Psychodynamic Theories

A compromise struck between unacceptable thought or

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A compromise struck between: Unacceptable thought or feeling and The defense against it Access to consciousness in disguised form TRAUMATIC SEXUAL EVENTS The symptoms removed with the cathartic method returned unless traced to earlier episode Current conflicts and symptoms tied to events in early childhood and not just for hysterics All symptoms could be traced to traumatic sexual involvement before the age of six DOUBTS ABOUT THE SEDUCTION THEORY Freud was neurotic, but has no memory of being seduced Dreams about his recently deceased father Suggested that as a small boy he had sexual feelings for his mother and saw his father as a dangerous rival Suggested that he felt a triumph in connection with his father’s recent demise Neurotic symptoms common in upper-middle-class Vienna Not ALL these people endured sexual abuse Too many patients recovered sexual abuse memories THEORY OF INFANTILE SEXUALITY Freud felt that children were sexually innocent Became convinced the impulses, fantasies and conflicts beneath neurotic symptoms derived from the child’s mind Intensely conflictual sexuality dominates
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INSTINCTUAL DRIVE Theory of sexuality based on notion of instinctual drive Became fundamental building block for all subsequent theorizing The mind becomes structured to contain, control and if possible, discharge internal stimuli DRIVE AND LIBIDO Central among the internal stimuli are the sexual instincts These appear as a broad array of tensions arising from different body parts, demanding activity to effect their discharge Oral Libido (example) Arises in oral cavity (its source) Creates a need for sucking (its aim) Becomes targeted toward something such as the breast (its object) required for satisfaction PSYCHOSEXUAL STAGES Concentration of nerve endings in particular organs underlies their function as the source of libidinal drives At different times in childhood, a zone predominates That zone becomes the central organizing focus of the child’s emotional life: oral anal, phallic and genital Sexuality has many tributaries It begins as a diffuse sensuality in many different body parts, stimulated by many different activities SUBLIMATION (disguised gratification) and DEFENSE (repression) Impulses of childhood sexuality survive in adulthood Disguised (neurotic symptoms) Undisguised (sexual perversions) Most infantile sexual experiences are a problem to the adult mind At best, channeled into sublimated forms of gratification If too objectionable, elaborate defenses built to keep them repressed or diverted into harmless activities
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