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1. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookL1: Aim: To understand Freuds model of the psyche, including the concepts of id, ego, superego, conscious, preconscious and…
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  • 1. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookL1: Aim: To understand Freuds model of the psyche, including the concepts of id, ego, superego, conscious, preconscious and unconscious 1. Class – on boards, what can you remember about id, ego and superego? 2. Class – look at diagram and read notes 3. Indiv – definitions and scenarios + extension work 4. Class - feed back on scenarios 5. Class – hand back testThe id (“ich”) “It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality; what little we know of it we have learnt from our study of the dream-work and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations… It
  • 2. AS Psychodynamic Approach Workbook is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organisation, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of instinctive needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle” (SE, XXII.73)The id works in keeping with the pleasure principle, which can be understood as a demandto take care of needs immediately. Just picture the hungry infant, screaming itself blue. Itdoesnt "know" what it wants in any adult sense; it just knows that it wants it and it wants itnow. The infant, in the Freudian view, is pure, or nearly pure id. And the id is nothing if notthe mental representative of biology.Eros and ThanatosAccording to Freud our life is played out in two different, opposing forces. One of them,Eros, is the drive for sex, love, and self-preservation, whereas the other is known asThanatos, the drive for death and self-destruction. It is the yin and yang of motivations andurges.Put simply, Eros wants us to live and struggle through and with pain and suffering;Thanatos prefers to end it all with death, the equalizer, the dark force, the state of constantpeace, calm and rest.The Unconscious and psychic energyThe Unconscious contains inner drives, unconscious struggles, repressed experiencesand anxieties.It is like a steam engine or another hydraulic closed energy system: the psychic energyfrom the drives builds up and if not released, causes inner pressure or anxiety.This psychic energy is called “libido” by FreudThe egoThe ego, unlike the id, functions according to the reality principle, which says "take careof a need as soon as an appropriate object is found." It represents reality and, to aconsiderable extent, reason.A prime function of the ego is self-preservation: “As regards external events, it performs that task be becoming aware of stimuli, by storing up experiences about them (in the memory), by avoiding excessively strong stimuli (through flight), by dealing with moderate stimuli (through adaptation) and finally by bringing about expedient changes in the external world to its own advantage (through activity). As regards internal events, in relation to the id, it performs that task by gaining control over the demands of the instinct, by deciding whether they are to be allowed satisfaction, by postponing that satisfaction to times and circumstances favourable to the external world or by suppressing their excitations entirely.” (SE, XXIII.145-6)The last sentences points to the idea that the ego can employ defence mechanisms to
  • 3. AS Psychodynamic Approach Workbookkeep the peace between the demands of the id and the superegoThe superego The long period of childhood, during which the growing human being lives in dependence on his parents, leaves behind it as a precipitate the formation in his ego of a special sort of agency in which this parental influence is prolonged. It has received the name of super-ego. In so far as this super-ego is differentiated from the ego or is opposed to it, it constitutes a third power which the ego must take into account.” (SE, XXIII.146)The super-ego can be thought of as an inner voice which tells the ego when it is fallingshort of the ego-ideal (another Freudian concept), an image of oneself as one wants tobecomeThere are two aspects to the superego: One is the conscience, which is an internalisationof punishments and warnings. The other is called the ego ideal. It derives from rewardsand positive models presented to the child. The conscience and ego ideal communicatetheir requirements to the ego with feelings like pride, shame, and guilt.Define the terms id, superego, ego, conscious, preconscious, unconscious, eros andthanatos in your LBBsRead the scenarios below. Apply your knowledge of the ID, EGO and SUPEREGO toexplain what each part would be saying in the given scenarioExtension work: read and take notes on pages 640-643 of ‘The Freud Reader’Scenario 1Laura’s maths exam is in 2 weeks time. Laura knows that she needs to revise for herexam but she has been invited out by her friends every night for the next 2 weeks.What would the ID say?What would the SUPEREGO say?What would the EGO say?
  • 4. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookScenario 2David is walking along the road when he sees an old lady walking towards him. The oldlady looks just like an old babysitter he used to have that he hated.What would the ID say?What would the SUPEREGO say?What would the EGO say?Scenario 3 – write your own scenarioWhat would the ID say?
  • 5. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookWhat would the SUPEREGO say?What would the EGO say?
  • 6. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookExtra notes on Freud’s final topography of the mindIn 1923 Freud formulated what became know as his final topography showing therelationship between the Id, Ego and Superego. These are Freud’s own words and hisdiagram.The poor ego has a still harder time of it; it has to serve three hash masters, and has to doits best to reconcile the claims and demands of all three. These demands are alwaysdivergent and often seem quite incompatible; no wonder that the ego so frequently givesway under its task. The three tyrants are the external world, the super-ego and the id. When onewatches the efforts of the ego to satisfy them all, or rather, to obey them all simultaneously, onecannot regret having personified the ego, and established it as a separate being. It feels itselfhemmed in on three sides and threatened by three kinds of danger, towards which it reacts bydeveloping anxiety when it is too hard pressed. Having originated in experiences of theperceptual system, it is designed to represent the demands of the external world, but it also wishesto be a loyal servant of the id, to remain upon good terms with the id, to recommend itself to the idas an object, and to draw the ids libido on to itself. In its attempt to mediate between the id andreality, it is often forced to clothe the Ucs commands of the id with its own Pcs rationalisations, togloss over the conflicts between the id and reality, and with diplomatic dishonesty to display apretended regard for reality, even when the id persists in being stubborn and uncompromising. Onthe other hand, its every movement is watched by the severe super-ego, which holds up certainnorms of behaviour, without regard to any difficulties coming from the id and the externalworld; and if these norms are not acted up to, it punishes the ego with the feelings of tensionwhich manifest themselves as a sense of inferiority and guilt. In this way, goaded on by the id,hemmed in by the super-ego, and rebuffed by reality, the ego struggles to cope with its economictask of reducing the forces and influences which work in it and upon it to some kind of harmony;and we may well understand how it is that we so often cannot repress the cry: Life is not easy.When the ego is forced to acknowledge its weakness, it breaks out into anxiety. Realityanxiety in face of the external world, moral anxiety in face of the super-ego, and neuroticanxiety in face of the strength of the passions in the id. I have represented the structural relations within the mental personality, as I have explained them to you, in a simple diagram, which I here reproduce. You will observe how the super-ego goes down into the id; as the heir to the Oedipus complex it has, after all, intimate connections with the id. It lies further from the perceptual system than the ego. The id only deals with the external world through the medium of the ego, at least in this diagram. It is certainly still too early to say how far the drawing is correct; in one respect I know it is not. The space taken up by the unconscious id ought to be incomparably greater than that given to the ego or to the preconscious. You must, if you please, correct that in your imagination.And now, in concluding this certainly rather exhausting and perhaps not very illuminating account, I must add a warning. When you think of this dividing up of the personality into ego, super-ego and id, you must not imagine sharp dividing lines such as are artificially drawn in the field of political geography. We cannot do justice to the characteristics of the mind by means of linear contours, such as occur in a drawing or in a primitive painting, but we need rather the areas of
  • 7. AS Psychodynamic Approach Workbookcolour shading off into one another that are to be found in modern pictures. After we havemade our separations, we must allow what we have separated to merge again. Do not judge tooharshly of a first attempt at picturing a thing so elusive as the human mind. It is very probable thatthe extent of these differentiations varies very greatly from person to person; it is possible that theirfunction itself may vary, and that they may at times undergo a process of involution. This seems tobe particularly true of the most insecure and, from one point of view, the most recent of them, thedifferentiation between the ego and the super-ego. It is also incontestable that the same thing cancome about as a result of mental disease. It can easily be imagined, too, that certain practices ofmystics may succeed in upsetting the normal relations between the different regions of the mind,so that, for example, the perceptual system becomes able to grasp relations in the deeper layers ofthe ego and in the id which would otherwise be inaccessible to it. Whether such a procedure canput one in possession of ultimate truths, from which all good will flow may be safely doubted. Allthe same, we must admit that the therapeutic efforts of psychoanalysis have chosen much thesame method of approach. For their object is to strengthen the ego, to make it more independentof the super-ego, to widen its field of vision, and so to extend its organisation that it can take overnew portions of the id. Where id was, there shall ego be.It is reclamation work, like the draining of the Zuyder Zee.
  • 8. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookL2: Aim: To describe two defence mechanisms and the stages of psychosexual development 1. Indiv – scenarios as revision of last lesson 2. Class – read notes on defence mechanisms 3. Make notes on stages of psychosexual developmentThe Nirvana principleFreud was a psychoanalyst, and he explicitly said that the aim of psychoanalysis was notto prove theories, but to make people betterIn order to understand this idea fully, and to understand the role of defence mechanisms, itis essential to know what Freud’s conception of psychological well-being wasAnthony Storr: “Freud always believed that a dominating principle of mental life was the need of the organism to reach a state of tranquillity by completely discharging all tensions (this was later named the Nirvana principle)… Bliss, in the Freudian scheme, is attained when needs have been satisfied and passions spent.”Defence mechanisms are techniques employed by the ego to avoid conscious conflict andto control emotions that would otherwise be overpoweringTwo defence mechanisms: Repression and projectionRepression is where memories which would arouse overwhelmingly strong emotions arebanished from the conscious mind in order to make them relatively inaccessible.For example, an individual who was abused as a child might repress their memories of theabuse in order to avoid re-experiencing the emotions associated with it.This might sound like a good thing, but Freud believed that repression has a negativeeffect on psychological well-being because it prevents the discharge of the emotion (whichis good, according to the Nirvana principle) and means that it continues to bubble awaybeneath the surfaceIn therapy, psychoanalysts will often try to help their clients to uncover repressedmemories, sometimes using hypnosis. However, as we will see later in the module, thisprocess can sometimes lead to the creation of false memories rather than the recollectionof repressed ones.
  • 9. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookProjection is where a person unconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, andemotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people.For example, a woman with schizophrenia who has the paranoid delusion that everybodythinks that she is a whore might be projecting the judgmental persecution of her ownsuperego – this might happens because the external conflict (with other people) is easierfor her to deal with than the alternative of massive internal conflictAnother example might be that of homophobia: there is a theory that homophobic peopleare projecting their self-hatred onto others. The idea is that they have homosexual drivesof which they (more specifically, their superego) are ashamed, and that in order to avoidthis conflict they project the emotion of hatred onto othersAdams et al (1996) researched whether homophobic men were aroused by watching malehomosexual pornography: The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35 ) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.Stages of psychosexual developmentFor Freud, the sex drive is the most important motivating force. In fact, Freud felt it was theprimary motivating force not only for adults but for children and even infants. When heintroduced his ideas about infantile sexuality to the Viennese public of his day, they werehardly prepared to talk about sexuality in adults, much less in infants. The same is verymuch true today.It is true that the capacity for orgasm, sexual pleasure, is there neurologically from birth.But Freud was not just talking about orgasm. Sexuality meant not only intercourse, but allpleasurable sensation from the skin. It is clear even to the most prudish among us thatbabies, children, and, of course, adults, enjoy tactile experiences such as caresses,kisses, and so on.Freud noted that, at different times in our lives, different parts of our skin give us greatestpleasure. Later theorists would call these areas erogenous zones. It appeared to Freudthat the infant found its greatest pleasure in sucking, especially at the breast. In fact,young babies have a habit of bringing nearly everything in their environment into contactwith their mouths. A little later in life, the child focuses on the anal pleasures of holding inand letting go of faeces. By three or four, the child may have discovered the pleasure oftouching or rubbing against his or her genitalia. Only later, in our sexual maturity, do we
  • 10. AS Psychodynamic Approach Workbookfind our greatest pleasure in sexual intercourse. In these observations, Freud had themakings of a psychosexual stage theory.The oral stage lasts from birth to about 18 months. The focus of pleasure is, of course,the mouth. Sucking and biting are favourite activities.The anal stage lasts from about 18 months to three or four years old. The focus ofpleasure is the anus. Holding it in and letting it go are greatly enjoyed.The phallic stage lasts from three or four to five, six, or seven years old. The focus ofpleasure is the genitalia. Masturbation is common.The latent stage lasts from five, six, or seven to puberty, that is, somewhere around 12years old. During this stage, Freud believed that the sexual impulse was suppressed in theservice of learning.The genital stage begins at puberty, and represents the resurgence of the sex drive inadolescence, and the more specific focusing of pleasure in sexual intercourse. Freud feltthat masturbation, oral sex, homosexuality, and many other things we find acceptable inadulthood today, were immature.Freudians believe that we all go through these stages, in this order, and close to theseages.Freud also believed that if the first three stages are not successfully negotiated – forexample, if an infant is not allowed to fulfil his desire to play with his genitalia due to strictparenting – then fixation at one of the stages might occurUsing your green books, fill in the following tableStage Age Source of pleasure Adult character if fixated at this stage
  • 11. AS Psychodynamic Approach WorkbookL3: Aim: To describe Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex and understand how it explains gender developmentThe Oedipus complex (from Wikipedia)In the phallic stage, a boy’s decisive psychosexual experience is the Oedipus complex —his son–father competition for possession of mother. It is in this third stage ofpsychosexual development (ages 3–6) that the child’s genitalia are his or her primaryerogenous zone; thus, when children become aware of their bodies, the bodies of otherchildren, and the bodies of their parents, they gratify physical curiosity by undressing andexploring themselves, each other, and their genitals, so learning the anatomic differencesbetween “male” and “female” and the gender differences between “boy” and “girl”.Despite mother being the parent who primarily gratifies the child’s desires, the child beginsforming a discrete sexual identity — “boy”, “girl” — that alters the dynamics of the parentand child relationship; the parents become objects of infantile libidinal energy. The boydirects his libido (sexual desire) upon his mother, and directs jealousy and emotionalrivalry against his father — because it is he who sleeps with his mother. Moreover, tofacilitate union with mother, the boy’s id wants to kill father (as did Oedipus), but thepragmatic ego, based upon the reality principle, knows that the father is the stronger of thetwo males competing to possess the one female. Nonetheless, the boy remainsambivalent about his father’s place in the family, which is manifested as fear of castrationby the physically greater father; the fear is an irrational, subconscious manifestation of theinfantile Id.Psychological defense — In both sexes, defense mechanisms provide transitoryresolutions of the conflict between the drives of the Id and the drives of the Ego. The firstdefense mechanism is repression, the blocking of memories, emotional impulses, andideas from the conscious mind; yet its action does not resolve the Id–Ego conflict. Thesecond defense mechanism is identification, by which the child incorporates, to his or herego, the personality characteristics of the same-sex parent; in so adapting, the boydiminishes his castration a
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