2.2. Freud and Psychoanalysis
"Freud was not the discoverer of the unconscious: his uniqueness lies in his attributing to it such a decisive role in our lives. Linked within this is the idea of repression, which is 'forgetting' or 'ignoring' of unresolved conflicts, unadmitted desires, or traumatic past events, so that they are forced out of conscious awareness and into the realm of the unconscious." (Barry 1995:96).
Freud's theories of personality are complicated because they incorporate many interlocking factors, but they are underlined by two basic assumptions. The first 'psychic determinism' and second the 'conscious-unconscious' dimension. The principle of psychoanalysis states that all behaviour, whether overt or covert, is caused…show more content… It is not less important for a child to understand the way he feels than it is for an adult. The building of rational understanding and control over the emotions is a central part of development. Children have to find harmony between completing inner wishes and drives. Freud pictured the eternal antagonists of psychic life as the biological drive, as he calls the 'id', versus knowledge of practical necessity, 'the ego' versus the person's perception of what society authority asks of him, namely the 'superego'. (Feud…show more content… The 'ego' on the other hand is a problem-solving agent. The 'id' is simply concerned with minimising pleasure, the 'ego's' efforts are directed towards maximising pleasure within the constrains of reality. The 'id' says "I want it now!", the 'ego' says, "Okay, but first do your homework.". The 'ego' try to avoid danger. An individual is confronted with three sources of danger: the environment, his 'id' impulses, and guilt. (Coleman 1984:63).
"Repression is a preliminary stage of condemnation, something between flight and condemnation...it is not a defensive mechanism which is present from the very beginning, and that it cannot arise until a sharp cleavage has occurred between the conscious and unconscious mental activity- that the essence of repression lies simply in turning something away and keeping it at a distance from the conscious." (524)
Freud defines anxiety as an response to perceived danger or stress. He presumed that psychic energy accumulates if inhibitions and taboos keep it from being expressed. This accumulated energy may build up to the point where it may overwhelm the controls of the ego. When this occurs a traumatic state results. Freud considered that the ego was not depended in the face of the demands of the id nor the superego. Anxiety alerts the individual to danger, such as the presence of an intense unconscious conflict. If the anxiety cannot handle the direct action, the ego initiates