Sigmund Freud's Psychodynamic Approach To Psychology

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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) believed in a psychodynamic approach to psychology and focused on how the unconscious mind motivates the actions of a person. He believed that the psyche was divided into three parts (tripartite), the id, the ego and the superego, and all three develop at different stages in our lives. Whether we acknowledge the presence of this subconscious or not, it influences greatly the actions we engage in.

The id (it), according to Freud, is the part of the brain that seeks pleasure, and is the most primitive part that makes up the personality. It holds all of our primal instincts and seeks immediate gratification. It consists of all the inherited components of the psyche, including Eros, the sex instinct, and Thantos,
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It is that part of the id which has been modified by the influence of the external world (Freud, S. 1923). The ego is developed in order to mediate between the unrealistic demands of the id and the reality of the world we live in. It is the main component of personality that is involved in decision making. Whereas the id operates on the principle of pleasure, the ego works by reason. According to Freud, the ego works on the reality principle, figuring out realistic ways of achieving what the subconscious desires. Unlike the id, the ego is willing to postpone decisions or compromise satisfaction in favour of the consequences and take into consideration the social norms and etiquette when making decisions on how to behave. Like the id, the ego also seeks pleasure and avoids pain but however, unlike the id, the ego strives for realistic strategies in achieving this pleasure. The analogy made by Freud to explain this relationship is that of the id being a horse and the ego the rider-the ego being like a man on horseback, who has to hold in the superior strength of the horse (Freud, S. 1923). The ego, like the id, has no concept of right or wrong, its function is self-preservation, and thus what it considers as being good is something which achieves its means without harming itself or the…show more content…
Repression is an unconscious mechanism employed by the ego to keep disturbing or threatening thoughts from becoming conscious (McLeod S.A. 2009). Thoughts that are repressed would be those that would lead to feelings of guilt or shame from the superego. It involves moving thoughts that make one uncomfortable into areas of the subconscious mind that are not easily accessible. For example, if something that we cannot easily cope with happens, and we employ repression as a defence mechanism, we push the thoughts of this thing away, planning on dealing with them at a later date or hoping that the issues resolve themselves without any conscious input from us to try and solve
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