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Psychoanalytic Theory Featured

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Psychoanalytic Theory

Psychoanalytic Theory developed by Sigmund Freud emphasis on the functioning of the unconscious mind.  According to Freud, unhealthy people are not aware of their own unconscious processes and they may suffer from illogical pleasure seeking.  Freud believed that human beings have two different minds.  That is unconscious mind and conscious mind. The conscious mind consists of everything that people are aware of. The conscious mind is only a small section of the mind.  The conscious mind also consists of the memory.  The memory is not part of the consciousness, but it can be retrieved easily and brought into awareness. Freud called this kind of memory preconscious. The unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts and memories that are outside our conscious awareness.

Most of the content of the unconsciousness mind are not acceptable or not pleasant like feelings of pain, anxiety and conflict. The unconscious mind influences how people behave and their experiences.  Jung expanded Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis. He argued that the psyche consists of personal unconscious and   collective unconscious.  Jung theory of personal unconscious is similar to Frauds in development of a region having a persons repressed and forgotten experiences. However, Jung considered the personal unconscious to be a shallow layer of the conscious.  There are “feeling toned complexes” in the personal unconscious and they make up the personal and private parts of psyche life. These are feelings that are organized around a person life.
In addition, Jung believed that there was a deeper and important part of the unconscious known as collective unconscious having archetypes.  The collective unconscious is based on Darwin theory of evolution. The collective unconscious is shared by all people and hence it is universal. However, not everyone is able to tap into it as it is unconscious. This kind of conscious is the foundation of personality and personal unconscious and ego are developed on it. The two theorists agree on the two kinds of mind like conscious and unconscious mind. The theorists also agree on the influence unconscious mind has on human behavior. The two believe that unconscious mind influences people behavior and therapists should understand the conscious mind so as to provide the right treatment. For instance, they believe that Ann’s unconscious mind influences her behavior (Elliot, 2002).
Freud and Jung are likely to approach Ann treatment in different ways.  Jung will use the Jung analysis to treat Anna. The Jung analysis is aimed at building an important relationship between the conscious and unconscious parts of the brain so as to encourage psychic development. Jung does not only see the unconscious part of the brain as a   store of repressed memories, but as the source of healing and psychic energy. In this case, Jung would understand how deficits from Ann’s trauma and history influenced her and also look at her future. Jung believes that people develop symptoms if they are stuck in their old ways and are unable to integrate creative potential in their personality.
Understanding the causes of the symptoms displayed by Ann is important in treating Ann. Additionally; Freud will use his theory to treat Ann.  He will analyze how her history and trauma influence her behavior.  Freud will examine the underlying causes of Anna's symptoms instead of looking at the symptoms and treating them.  Freud will examine Ann’s dream as it is a direct product of her unconscious mind. Then he will allow Ann to speak freely without helping her and then interpret repression and resistance so as to understand her unconscious mind. Ann will react well to the psychotherapy and juang analysis interventions as she will understand the relationship between her conscious and her behaviors and how the conscious influences her behavior (Hurst, 1982).


Elliot,A.(2002).Psychoanalytic theory: an introduction. Duke University Press

Hurst, L. C. (1982). What was wrong with Anna O? Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 75(2), 129–131.

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