Psychoanalysis developed out of Sigmund Freud’s (1856-1939) beliefs as described in Myers (2014) that the mind is made up of the “ego”, “super ego”, and the “id”, and that these make up our personality, and that these three are in conflict with each other. The ego is the go between of the id, and the superego, the id contains the represses desires, pleasures, and wants immediate satisfaction, the super-ego knows how we should behave, and respond, and is sensitive to positive, and negative feelings. The ego focus is on the future outcome of our actions, long-range planning. So if a patient comes for help, and is showing symptoms of a mental disorder the goal of psychoanalysis is to seek “to expose and interpret unconscious tensions”(p514). The aims of psychoanalysis can be used in psychodynamic therapy by looking at ones childhood past, and discover where that is making a negative impact on one’s adult life according to Myers (2014) “Freud’s therapy aimed to bring patients repressed …feelings into conscious awareness…giving them insight into the origins of their disorders…to help them reduce growth-impeding inner conflicts”(p653).
The Strengths of Freud’s theory is that the past can haunt your present, and
traumas from childhood not dealt with can manifest themselves into our adulthood, also the theory in free association that as Myers (2014) shows that Freud could “glimpse the unconscious…into peoples free associations…”(p.515) Holds some biblical truth as Matt 12 34 says”…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”(NKJV). So whatever is troubling the mind will show itself, either by speech or actions. So the first thing a pastor would ask someone who comes for counselling is “tell me what’s on your mind”. Other psychologists who followed Freud, and incorporated psychodynamic theorists were called “neo-Freudians, Ferguson (2003) explains, “Alfred Adler and Karen Horney [HORN-eye], for example agreed with Freud that childhood is important. But they believed that childhood social, not sexual, tensions are crucial for personality formation” (as cited in Myers 2014 p. 519). Today most therapist use what is called “psychodynamic therapy” as stated in Myers (2014) “Psychodynamic therapists don’t talk of id, ego, and super-ego. Instead they try to help people understand their current symptoms. They focus on themes across important relationships, including childhood experiences …”(p.654). Understanding the root cause of an issue such as the fear of failure can help bring healing, and with prayer and faith that knowing that God will be with you every step in your life can help one overcome such fears.
Psychoanalysis has lost its popularity in America, but not it’s influence as
Strenger (2014) states “Psychoanalysis has been immensely influential in Western culture, but its public standing has declined considerably in the last decades…”(P.1). However some psychologist do use psychoanalyst still today in more modern form as Quackenbush (2008) explains “Many of the children I have worked with in art classes have resolved their fears through drawing and sculpting ferocious animals with fang- like teeth. Gradually these figures change to cuddly bears and pandas as the children come to understand what their terrors are about”(p.96).
With psychoanalysis, the theory that past unresolved conflict, desire, and trauma
affecting ones present life today does have some truth about it, but I tend to believe that the issues would be caused more by trauma, such as an alcoholic parent, and abusive parent, sibling, or even a bad choice form the patient. I do not so much subscribe to the belief in unresolved sexual desires as Freud did, but perhaps some unresolved desire related to ones childhood regarding a parental nurturing. In order to receive healing sometime it is necessary to honestly acknowledge the root cause of the issue, and release it to God, or in some cases to acknowledge it to a trusted person. This may seem easy, but it can be quite painful to acknowledge that a parent, whom one deeply loves, was, or is capable of inflicting such a wound. On the other hand acknowledging that you yourself caused, or committed an act that had lasting negative consequences can be difficult also, for example if someone had been plagued with guilt, but has repressed the memory of a childhood prank that went terribly wrong resulting in someone else getting seriously hurt, to go back and dredge the incident up, and to make peace with oneself can be very painful, and traumatic, but necessary in order for healing to begin. Dealing with such issues as the fear of failure, one would do good to trace back into their past , and reclaim memories where they have failed, or perceived to have failed, and relive that experience, in ones mind experiencing the pain, and then coming to terms with it, and then to focus of their accomplishments, and understand that life can be a mixture of both, and they need to try their best at future opportunities, and not give in to that fear, and to know as the Philippians 4:13 states ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV). Christ strengthens us to do our best.
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