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Psychoanalytical School of Psychology

The Psychoanalytical school of Psychology traces its roots back to the mid 1800's and the work of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis and arguably talking therapies.

Freud believed that humans had a subconscious part of their psyche that could in some cases cause individuals to experience 'neuroses', which presented as a number of negative feelings such as anger, anxiety, depression, low self worth etc.

The Psychoanalytical school of Psychology traces its roots back to the work of Sigmund Freud

Neurosis is no longer used in the language of therapy. It has been replaced by an overarching term, namely 'Anxiety Disorder'.

The psychoanalytical approach to therapy is still taught and practised today. However modern practitioners, having access to research accumulated after Freud’s death in 1939, work in a contemporary way.

Unlike Freud, they consider the relationship between client and therapist as an important part of the therapeutic alliance or relationship.

The Id, Ego, and Super Ego

Psychoanalytical School of Psychology - Freud believed that humans are driven by three district and subconscious drives: the Id, Ego, and Super ego, which need to attain balance.

The basic tenets of Freud’s ideas still remain, that as humans we are driven by three district and subconscious drives which need to attain balance:

  • the Id
  • Ego
  • Super ego

The Id pursues our desires and is fuelled by libido, our desire to procreate.

The Ego is the moral compass (or mediator) between the Id and the Super ego.

One of the consistent themes is that of the presenting past, the idea that our here-and-now difficulties are rooted in past events, maybe in childhood of which we are unaware.

Schools of Psychoanalysis

Differing schools of psychoanalysis have emerged.

One of the more well-known is Transactional Analysis (TA).

TA was developed in the 1950's by Eric Berne who wanted to demystify therapy by using what he described as 'layman’s' language.

TA therapy replaced the Freudian idea of superego, ego and Id, with the term Parent-Adult -Child.

Berne contributed to child development theories by introducing the term life script, the idea that as very young children (4-5 Y), we subconsciously produce a life plan based on our interaction with care givers.

Transactional Analysis, the Psychoanalytical School of Psychology developed by Eric Berne, replaced the Freudian idea of superego, ego and Id, with the term Parent-Adult -Child.

This links with another of his theories that as children, we take on injunctions. These are subconscious messages from our care givers which lead to us developing a coping mechanism called drivers, which help us attain emotional balance in the world.

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