week 1 forum post responses

In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

Sigmund who? For this forum, articulate whether you believe that it is no longer important to study Freud in a course on Personality Theory in the twenty first century or you believe that Freud’s theory is relevant and important to today’s psychologists. Use examples to support your position.

Forum post #1

Freud and his findings are a popular field of study within the child life world.For example, almost every psychology class I took during my undergrad involved at minimal a brief section reviewing Freud’s works and findings.Even when sitting for my national certification exam, all of the pre-tests and information regarding the exam mentioned knowing Freud’s stages, in addition to other materials.However, even with my repeated exposure to Freud and his works, some of his findings were a bit difficult comprehend.For example, I still question his theory that children hold sexual desires for the opposite sex parents, and because of this, hold hostility for the same-sex parents.How does he explain the children that grow up in single parent homes?Do they experience difficulty at this stage that, according to his theories, is never resolved and causes difficulties later in life?While this theory may be difficult for me to grasp, I do believe that his theory of psychosexual stages is valid and helpful to know.I think it is important to note that Freud uses the term ‘sexual’ as a blanket phrase for anything that is enjoyable (McLeod, 2017).For example, personally, Freud would classify me eating a brownie as a type of sexual gratification.

While some of Freud’s statements are hard to follow and trust, I think observing children and adults at different stages and ages would easily give Freud’s psychosocial stages credibility.For example, Freud believed that children experience an oral stage from 0-18 months.Almost any infant you see will be putting their hands or objects into their mouth.Further, infants experience oral satisfaction as they go from eating breastmilk or formula, to different baby foods, to solid foods.

In conclusion, while some of Freud’s theories may seem far-fetched, it would be irresponsible to no longer learn about his theories, works, and findings.

Forum post #2

I believe Sigmund Freud’s theories are still important in the 21st Century. Much of today’s work is still based on his theory. For example, Freud was correct in knowing that we are not the master of our own mind. Modern neuroscience confirms Freud’s insight that most of mental life takes place outside of awareness. “He showed that human experience, thought, and deeds are determined not by our conscious rationality but by irrational forces outside our conscious awareness and control — forces that could be understood and controlled by an extensive therapeutic process he called psychoanalysis.” (Dvorsky, 2013) Today experimental psychologists wrote a collection of essays Frontiers of Consciousness based on his idea of the unconscious mind. Freud also argued that the brain can be compartmentalized. He spoke on the ego, id and superego. “Today we do not really accept the idea but we do know that brain function, both in terms of its biology and the emergent mind, can be broken down into individual parts.” (Dvorsky,2013)

Freud’s take on memories, defense mechanisms and dreams still tends to be interesting and popular with psychologists. “People retain memories of events not as they happened, but rather in the way they are active when memories are being reformed.” (Dvorsky, 2013) In terms of denial, Dvorsky(2013) states, “Few people, including psychologists, would deny that we all too regularly employ such defenses as denial, repression, projection, intellectualization, and rationalization.” Freud captured the educated public’s attention with his ideas of the Oedipus complex, castration complex, primal scene and family romance, all formulated from Freud’s self-analysis of his own dreams and associations. Dreams and associated screen memories were disguised and distorted pathways to the reconstruction of the formative events of our childhood, which could be revealed in clinical psychoanalysis. We still use Freud’s research because psychologists know that some of our dreams are driven by our conscious and unconscious desires and fears. In addition, Blum (2017) states “the repressed memory of trauma resembled a fenced off foreign body analogous to encapsulated lesions of tuberculosis. This focus on psychic trauma and its unconscious effects manifested in human thought and behavior made it possible to apply the scientific method to the study of consciousness, despite the inability of science at that time to connect consciousness with neurological structures and activities.”

Blum(2017) states that “Freud proposed that the human sexual drive influenced mental life in a developmental sequence. He loosely referred to the sexual drive as “libido” and to the organizing psychological effects as “libidinal phases of development,” which he identified as the now well-known oral, anal, and phallic libido phases.” Freud’s theories of personality development was the groundwork to the development of today’s more complex psychoanalytic theories of personality.

References:

Blum, Harold (2017). Freud Is Everywhere: At 161, Sigmund Freud is still “alive.” Retrieved from:https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychoanalysis-unplugged/201705/freud-is-everywhere

Dvorsky, George (2013). Why Freud Still Matters When He Was Wrong About Almost Everything. Retrieved from: https://io9.gizmodo.com/why-freud-still-matters-when-he-was-wrong-about-almost-1055800815

Forum post #3

Although Freud and his school of Psychoanalysis are not currently held in as high regard as they once were, there are still important lessons within his work and those he inspired, including his own daughter Anna. Those in psychology still often refer to unconscious motives for the actions of others and terms like Ego, Id, Libido, and Defense Mechanisms are still generally accepted and understood, even outside of psychological and psychiatric circles. Other important concepts, like how humans fear and avoid change, and how the therapist/client relationship can be an important factor for change are also deeply rooted in theories of modern Psychotherapy. More modern theories of psychology often still refer to Freud’s stages of human development as well. Concepts like transference, and other comparisons of one’s behavior with factors that occurred in development are still popular concepts within therapy. For instance, having an unhappy or unstable childhood can greatly increase the chances of being unhappy as an adult, especially if trauma is involved in these experiences.

Many of the methods utilized by Freud, like hypnosis and Free Association for instance, are largely unreliable in modern Psychotherapy. Freud originally believed that sexual trauma was the cause of nearly all psychological problems, in what he called seduction theory. Even though he determined this to be largely untrue, the idea that sexual trauma can lead to future forms of sexual dysfunction is still an important discovery for therapists and counselors. Just because Freud’s theories on dreams have largely been dismissed as diagnostic tools does not mean he does not have a lasting legacy on the modern field of psychology.

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