Psychology is a western (Caucasian) academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors in people. The premise Psychology is the immediate goal of overstanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases to better fit people into categories in a society based on a pyramidal Hierarchical construct. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist, and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie certain cognitive functions and behaviors.
Psychologists explore concepts such as perception (belief), cognition (overstanding), attention, emotion (Id), phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. Psychologists of diverse stripes also consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psycho social variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques.
In other words they count and measure relational experiences based on constructed social etiquette during the Victorian era. This is the standard references that all practitioners use regardless of the culture and ethnicity of the subject
Psychology has been described as a “hub science”, a mish mash of ideas, with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, and the humanities, such as philosophy. While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in many different spheres of human activity. The majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings, which often times leads them to either apply modified behavioral techniques or medication to suppress behaviors they feel does not fit into the standards set out in Western society.
The difference between psychology and psychiatry is that the latter tends to focus mainly on the use of medications for treatment. Although psychiatric training may require some training in psychotherapy, psychiatrists are not required to complete any personal psychotherapy. Nevertheless, many psychiatrists have, for personal reasons, pursued training in psychotherapy. Historically, this training has most often been in the area of psychoanalysis.
One of the more famous practitioners in the field of Psychology and psychiatry is that of Sigmund Freud; May 6th, 1856 –September 23rd, 1939). He was born Sigismund Schlomo (damn this is interesting) Freud, was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the “founding “father of psychoanalysis. Freud had chosen medicine as a career and qualified as a doctor at the University of Vienna, subsequently undertaking research into cerebral palsy, aphasia and microscopic neuroanatomy at the Vienna General Hospital. This led in turn to the award of a University lectureship in neuropathology, a post he resigned once he had decided to go into private practice. On the basis of his clinical practice Freud went on to develop theories about the unconscious mind and the mechanism of repression, and created psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Though psychoanalysis has declined as a therapeutic practice, it has helped inspire the development of many other forms of psychotherapy, some diverging from Freud’s original ideas and approach
Freud postulated the existence of libido (an energy with which mental process and structures are invested), developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association (in which patients report their thoughts without reservation and in whichever order they spontaneously occur), introduced into the language, transference (the process by which patients displace on to their analysts feelings based on their experience of earlier figures in their lives) and established its central role in the analytic process, and proposed that dreams help to preserve sleep by representing as fulfilled wishes that would otherwise awake the dreamer. He was also a prolific essayist, drawing on psychoanalysis to contribute to the interpretation and critique of culture.
Psychoanalysis remains influential within psychiatry and across the humanities. As such it continues to generate extensive debate, notably over its scientific status and as to whether it advances or is detrimental to the feminist cause. Sigmund Freud’s believed that the human psyche has more than one aspect. Freud saw the psyche structured into three parts (i.e. tripartite), the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives. According to Freud, these are systems, not parts of the brain, or in any way physical.
The id (or it)
The id consists of all the inherited (i.e. biological) components of personality, including the sex (life) instinct – Eros (which contains the libido), and aggressive (death) instinct – Thanatos.
He postulated that the id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of the psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts. The personality of the newborn child is all id and only later does it develop ego and super-ego. The id demands immediate satisfaction and when this happens we experience pleasure, when it is denied we experience ‘unpleasure’ or pain. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world. On the contrary, it operates on the pleasure principle (which is the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences.
The Ego (or I)
Initially the ego is “that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world”. The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. Ideally the ego works by reason whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable. The ego operates according to the reality principle, working our realistic ways of satisfying the id’s demands, often compromising or postponing satisfaction. Like the id, the ego seeks pleasure and avoids pain but unlike the id the ego is concerned with devising a realistic strategy to obtain pleasure. Freud made the analogy of the id being the horse while the ego is the rider. Often the ego is weak relative to the head-strong id and the best the ego can do is stay on, pointing the id in the right direction and claiming some credit at the end as if the action were its own. The ego has no concept of right or wrong; something is good simply if it achieves its end of satisfying without causing harm to itself or to the id.
The Superego (or above I)
The superego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learnt from one’s parents and others. It develops around the age of 4 – 5 during the phallic stage of psychosexual development. The superego’s function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression. It also has the function of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection. The superego consists of two systems: The conscience and the ideal self. The conscience can punish the ego through causing feelings of guilt. For example, if the ego gives in to id demands, the superego may make the person feel bad though guilt. The ideal self (or ego-ideal) is an imaginary picture of how you ought to be, and represents career aspirations, how to treat other people, and how to behavior as a member of society. Behavior which falls short of the ideal self may be punished by the superego through guilt. The super-ego can also reward us through the ideal self when we behave ‘properly’ by making us feel proud. If a person’s ideal self is too high a standard, then whatever the person does will represent failure. The ideal self and conscience are largely determined in childhood from parental values and you were brought up.
One of Freud’s (or as I call him Fraud) method of working with the mind, was derived through dream symbols which arises from the resistance of dream interpretation. He noticed that resistance regularly occurred with certain elements of dreams even in dreams of mentally healthy people. He claimed that formation of visual answer on stimulus (dream) is not coincidental. He postulated that some parts of manifest content typically correspond with certain latent content. Freud called these manifest elements symbols – to which he ascribed constant meaning. The dream symbols are in his opinion more or less sexual.
Number three has in dreams symbolic meaning of man’s sexual organ. All dream ideas which consist of three parts can mean the man’s sexual organ. Phallus is symbolically substituted with all things that are similar to it by their form, namely long things that jut out: mountains, rocks, sticks, umbrellas, poles, trees… Then objects for which the penetration in the body and harming is characteristic – weapons: knifes, daggers, lances, sabres, swords… and fire arms: guns, rifles, revolvers, cannons… Obviously, the phallus is also substituted with objects from which water runs: pipes, watering-pots, fountains… and with objects that can be lengthened: hanging lights, extensible pens, aerials… Balloons, airplanes, helicopters, rockets, etc. are symbols of erection. Less evident male sexual symbols are reptiles and fish, especially a symbol of snake. A hat and a coat as well as various machines and appliances have the same meaning.
Female genitalia are symbolically represented with hollow objects that can contain things: shafts, pits and caves, vessels and bottles, boxes, suitcases, tins, pockets, closets, stoves, ships… The same holds for house with entrances, passages and doors, churches, chapels, castles, mansions, fortresses and even landscape itself. The material such as wood and paper as well as objects made of them: a table, a book… symbolize the same. Typical female symbols among animals are snails and mussels and their shells. Apples, peaches and fruits in general symbolize breasts.
All kind of playing (playing instruments also), sliding, slipping and breaking branches are symbols of masturbation. The teeth falling out and extraction of them are symbols of castration as a punishment for masturbating (castration’s complex). Various rhythmical activities such as dance, riding, raising and threatening with weapon symbolize sexual intercourse itself. Typical activities that symbolize sexual intercourse are also climbing and going down the ladder or stairs and running inside a house. The queen and king or empress and emperor and similar relations symbolize parents. The fall into water or rising out of it symbolizes birth.
Many dreams which seemed puzzling before is said to have been made more clear when considering Freud’s symbols and the censorship of dream. While there are many critics of Frauds belief system of psychoanalysis, including yours truly, many who support his theories, seem to over look that time period and the environment that Fraud not only grew up in, but where he got his education. In a Victorian period of staunch Christian fundamentalism which includes the belief that the Caucasian man sits on the right hand of god, anything that lacks a Christian specific, black vs. white outlook as mental health vs. emotional imbalance, clearly impacts on approach and methodologies not only practiced then, but still follow by rote today. The three disciplines of Psychology, Psychiatry and psychoanalysis are all considered sciences and all deal first and for most with the mind or intellect and its resulting impact on the emotional output, hence Frauds ID, Ego and Superego break down.
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