Essay on Psychoanalytic approach to personality

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Psychoanalytic Approach to Personality

Kathleen A. Dufur

Psychology of Personality

12/09/2013

Dr. Leslie Sherlin

"If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life," stated by Abraham Maslow. To be capable of being everything that someone could possibly be we must first understand what that is. Personalities are very distinct with their minute differences in traits and characteristics. Applying the psychoanalytic theories by Freud, Jung, and Adler and how they differ and align together can give better insight to whom and what personalities can possibly achieve. Frued also gives a lot of depth to examine in his theories of personality and his defense mechanisms.

Each contributed to psychology with theories scientifically tested and non-scientifically tested.
The brilliant and diverse minds of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, have fueled centuries of psychological studies. At times these great minds worked together to formulate concepts of understanding. Freud, Jung, Adler, all believed childhood experience was a fundamental determiner of adult personality. The importance of early childhood development, especially the ability to develop a healthy relationship with both parents will lead into an healthy adult life and balanced individual. Freud, Jung, and Adler believed that parenting and childhood development played a role in the development of a personality and that dreams and daydreams played a role as well. Another similarity in each of their beliefs was the role that the unconscious mind played in psychoanalytic analysis. Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud believe in the existence of the unconscious, but added the concept of collective unconscious or rather what people all experience and motivates the world on a day to day basis. Freud and Jung also developed dream theories. Dreams according to Freud are said to have two levels, manifest content and latent content. The manifest content is what a person remembers from the dream and then considers in the conscious daily life and its potential relevance to their situation. The latent content is the hidden meaning of the dream or what someone might believe to have some introspection to their current lifestyle or the path of their life they are currently on. “This is the trademark idealism of the psychoanalytic approach to personality, in other words what we see on the surface is only a part of what really lies underneath” (Friedman & Haystack 2009). Like Freud, Jung felt that the unconscious did contain negative feelings, but it also represents human potential, creativity and existential meaning. While both men disagreed as well as myself with the emphasis Freud placed on sexuality as a motive, the similarities in their views end there. Religion plays a huge role in today's society and Freud, Jung, and Adler believed that as well. However, Jung did not believe that all people could actually understand religion and Freud believed everyone interprets it differently. Adler felt that an individual’s view of the world was influenced heavily on their religious beliefs which is a very Catholic view. Adler also mentioned that religion can only be realized through belief in God.

Jung recognized that existential meaning brought changes in motivation and purpose in an individual. Adler believed that one cannot exist without goals or social interest. Adler also identified psychological symptoms as non conscious forms of defense mechanisms such as making excuses, aggression, distancing from tasks that threatened well being, and limiting one's goals in life. Jung's theory of the unconscious is one of main differences and a key reason why he opposed Freud's theory of psychoanalysis. Jung felt that the unconscious did contain negative feelings, but it also represents the human potential, creativity and existential meaning. Jung's theory of the unconscious is one of main…