Throughout psychology, many theorists are remembered for his or her work in specialized areas. Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Alfred Adler, and Carl Jung were psychoanalysts. Each theorist had his own view and that view was brought into the psychology field and has earned its own right to become a theory. Many of the theories are still used today and may continue to be used in future studies. Sigmund Freud became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis. Freud’s work and theories helped shape a person’s view of childhood, personality, memory, sexuality, and therapy.
Freud did not believe that important psychoanalytic phenomena could be studied in any manner other than in therapy (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). After the death of his father, Freud had problems with depression and anxiety. He began to work on an activity that became fundamental to the development of psychoanalysis: this activity was self-analysis (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). He began to use hypnosis but learned not all patients could be hypnotized; he came up with the theory of free-association. His theory of free-association is still being used today.
According to Macmillan 2001, Freud’s method is the foundation of psychoanalysis and interpretations of the data gathered provides the basis of psychoanalytic theoretical concepts Freud did not pay attention to development after the early years. He believed all action in the personality development ended by the end of the phallic stage (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Psychoanalysis remains influential in psychology today. Erik Erikson believed that development did not end at the phallic stage as Freud believed. Erikson believed development was not just psychosexual but also psychosocial (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).
Erikson became best known for his development the eight-stage chart of the life cycle (Weiland, 1993). His psychosocial development theory had two possible outcomes, according to his theory the successful completion of each stage may result in a healthy personality and successful interaction with others. If a person fails successfully to complete a stage, unhealthy personality can occur (McLeod, 2008). This theory was known as the single most important theory of adult personality development (Weiland, 1993). Erikson’s psychosocial theory was widely regarded; to this day his theory is seful far beyond psychoanalysis. Erikson believed that every person goes through a certain number of stages before he or she reaches full development. Erikson also believed the environment a child lives in was crucial to the development, growth, self-awareness, and identity. His ideas were greatly influenced by Freud, Freud was considered to be an id psychologist and Erikson was considered to be an ego psychologist (McLeod, S. A. , 2008). Alfred Adler developed individual psychology; he wanted to emphasize the importance of viewing the entire individual rather than parts of the person (Overholser, 2010).
Adler joined Freud’s psychoanalytic movement in 1902 and departed the group in 1911 because of disagreements with Freudian theory (Overholser, 2010). Early in Adler’s career, he became interested in the bodily inferiorities and how a person compensates for the inferiorities (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). He believed a person with a weak bodily organ may attempt to compensate by making special efforts to strengthen the weakened organ (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Adler’s concepts were more socially oriented than Freud’s. Adler’s methods and ideas appear in the theory and practice of most psychologies and counseling approaches used today.
Adler, in his treatment of neuroses, was convinced that the seat of disorder invariably lies in an inferior organ. He believed the organic deficiency is the weak link that debilitates the whole personality (Vaughan, 1927). Many of Adler’s ideas have found themselves in the public’s thinking and are views later expressed by other theorists (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Carl Jung was also an important follower of Freud; he split from Freud because of what he believed to be excessive emphasis on sexual instincts. One feature of Jung’s psychology is his emphasis on the evolutionary foundations of the human mind.
After breaking ties with Freud, According to Cervone & Pervin, 2010 Jung had then formed his own theory called Analytical Psychology; therefore, he believed that human psyche exist in three parts, which are the personal unconscious, the ego (the conscious mind), and the collective unconscious (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Jung became interested in the unconscious processes. He was fascinated with dreams, fantasies, and believed these represented deep patterns in the human psyche (Eisold, 2002). Each analyst brought something special to psychology and many are still being used today.
Sigmund Freud brought free-association; this allows the patient to speak for him or herself rather than repeating the ideas of the analyst. Erik Erikson brought his psychosocial development theory; this theory is the development of the personality. The social attitudes and skills from infancy through maturity is part of the development still being used today. Alfred Adler developed individual psychology. After breaking away from Freud, Adler emphasized social concepts more than biological concepts. Carl Jung brought analytical psychology; this theory is the analysis of the human mind, psyche, and the unconscious.
After breaking away from Freud, Jung emphasized on generalized life energy and the collective unconscious. Many theorists are remembered throughout psychology, breakthrough has been made to help people in one way or another. Freud, Erikson, Jung, and Adler were all part of the Psychoanalytic Society but three eventually broke away to develop his own theory despite how Freud felt about them leaving to start his own school. Jung is thought by many to be one of the great creative thinkers of the 20th century (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).
Erikson attempted to broaden and extend psychoanalytic theory through the emphasis on psychosocial stages of development. Adler emphasized social concepts more than biological concepts. Although each theorist had his own idea, without each theory many people would not find the help he or she needed to develop.
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