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OUTLINE AND DISCUSS THE STRENGHTS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE PHSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH TO PSYCHOLOGY I knew very little about Sigmund Freud and his approach to psychology before I began this essay, but after researching his many theories it struck me that here was a man who in his life, and even after his death in 1939 became someone who was either highly thought of, or very highly criticised. I am going to explain why he was seen in this way, and the way in which he ignored the sexual repression of his era, and became the "Father of Psychology" Imagine life in the Victorian era. Men were seen as the superior figure, the women as care givers and provider of all their husbands needs, and children were seen and not heard. Now imagine a bright Jewish boy who went to medial school in Vienna, which in its self was one of the few viable options open to him at that time, and then going onto set up a neuropsychiatry practice with the help of a man named Joseph Breuer. Not that unusual up to this point, but as Sigmund Freud's career progressed towards becoming what he is now termed as being, "the Father of Psychology" many people found him to be either very controversial and slightly mad, or the most influential and complex man you were ever likely to meet. ...read more.


The super ego is the last part of the personality to emerge and happens around the age of 5. It is mainly unconscious and represents the demands of society and parents, and of right and wrong. "It observes the ego, gives it orders, judges it and threatens it with punishment, exactly like the parents whose place it has taken" (Freud 1933). As mentioned above conflicts between the id, and super ego, sometimes cause the ego to use psychological weapons to protect itself, these are known as defence mechanisms. All defence mechanisms have two things in common, they distort or deny reality and they are unconscious. These structures have been used after Freud's recognition of them, in the work of Jung and Adler, and are still used to some extent in the modern world of psychology. They are seen as one of Freud's many (or few) strengths depending on your own point of view. As I mentioned in the beginning it was the emphasis Freud put on the sexual content of his theory, that the people of the Victorian era found controversial, so when he went on to describe another aspect of the personality structure the "psychosexual stages" you can imagine the criticism he came across. Freud believed that sexual drive controlled most, if not all, human functions. ...read more.


He of course is already taken, so the she moves from him to young boys, and later men. Only then does she start to identify with her mother, the women who got the man she really wanted. This could be seen as a weakness or limitation in Freud's work, due to the fact that children of the ages he describes cannot voice or agree with his opinion. The latency stage form 6 years to puberty is a time that boys and girls spend little time together. Lastly the genital stage, which lasts from puberty and continues throughout adult life, during this stage the main source of pleasure, is in the genitals. Freud seemed to think that everything good and bad had to stem from the expression or repression of the sex drive, and was based on the intense avoidance of sexuality. In Freud's credit though he managed to rise above his culture's repressed attitude towards to sex, to give the psychologists of the future a base to work from. In conclusion then, was Freud himself,. by talking so openly about sexuality in others, displacing his own unconscious thoughts about sex onto society? As Freud found out in his many case studies, including dream therapy, hypnosis, and talking therapy, this is something we will probably never know, as the unconscious mind is a difficult thing to access, prove or disprove! ...read more.

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