Freud and Jung: Early Psychoanalytic Theories
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were two influential theorists in psychology (Nystul, M., 2005). Freud was considered the father of psychology and believed that human behavior was the result of unconscious conflict deep in the mind of individuals (Nystul, M., 2005). Jung’s theory developed directly out of Freud’s psychoanalytic approach; however he refuted several of Freud’s key points and placed an even greater emphasis on the unconscious. Freud and Jung were the key figures of the psychoanalytic approach to psychology; however their theories differed on several key points (Nystul, M., 2005).
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If an individual were unable to move into the next stage, then they would fixate into that particular stage, and this could mediate personality development (Garcia, 1995). For instance, adults that had not moved on through the anal stage of psychosexual development are representative of type-A personalities such that they are characterized as uptight, as children are as they are focused upon controlling potty training and bowel movements between ages one and three.
Furthermore, Freud’s theory was focused on sexual issues and conflict. For instance, he developed the Electra complex and Oedipus complex such that girls became jealous of their mothers as they competed for their father’s sexual attention. Similarly, boys became jealous of their fathers through penis envy as they sought the sexual attention of their mothers and secretly wanted to kill their fathers (Garcia, 1995).
Freud used assessment methods to probe the unconscious of his patients. He believed that the unconscious used several techniques to keep conflicts in the unconscious and used methods to tap into his patients’ unconscious through psychoanalytic therapy. For instance, he developed free association where patients said whatever came to their minds, similar to a verbal daydream (Macmillian, 2001). This helped patients to recall events that had been suppressed and so they could achieve catharsis in order to relieve their disturbing symptoms. Freud also used hypnosis in his early therapy sessions. Moreover, Freud conducted dream analysis where he would interpret dreams in order to tap into the unconscious on an individual dream by dream basis (Schept, 2007).
The unconscious was also a main point of interest in Jung’s psychoanalytic approach to psychology. However, Jung disagreed with Freud on three main points (Bergmann, 2008). First, Jung refuted the main importance of sexual anxiety in his theory. Instead, Jung stressed that sexual stress was more of a generalized aspect that impacted a psychic energy of a person but included other aspects. Second, Jung believed that individuals were impacted by past and future events, while Freud postulated that individuals were impacted solely by events in an individual’s life. Finally, Jung placed a greater importance on the unconscious and developed the idea of the collective unconscious that was retrospective and prospective.
Jung developed the idea of the collective unconscious and expanded the idea of the unconscious itself (Leader, 2009). He believed that there was an aspect of the unconscious that included all of the past experiences of humankind. He believed that this information was passed down generation by generation as an accumulation of human and prehuman experiences that helps the species to develop as a whole. He also believed that all individuals have a personal unconscious that contains information that was once known but has been suppressed because it was too painful to remember. Within the collective unconscious, there...