Psychology Study Material: The Neo Freudian and Adler՚s Approach

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The Neo Freudian

The theorists who belonged to the Freudian school and supported it, but later digressed on some issues and differed from Freud

They emphasized, more than Freud, the following:

  • Current social environment plays an important role in one՚s life.
  • Life experiences have a continuing influence and childhood alone should not be of prime importance.
  • Positive interpersonal relations of love and social motivation have a significant role.
  • Ego functioning is significant rather than id.
  • Development of self-concept is important.
  • Self-esteem is important.

Alfred Adler (1870 - 1937)

His theory is known as “individual psychology” which in many ways is the opposite of Freud՚s theory. For Freud, individuals are constantly in conflict with one another and with society; Adler saw them seeking relationships and harmony, he looked upon mind as an integrated whole working to help to attain the future goals.

  • Initially he was Freud՚s closest friend.
  • 1911: Diverted and launched his version of psychoanalytic approach.

Differed from Freud in:

  • Freud՚s negativity (e. g. Thanatos instincts)
  • Freud՚s idea that libido is the prime impulse

Adler՚s Approach

Main concepts: Esteem, inferiority complex, birth order, will power and style of life

  • We are a product of the social influences on our personality
  • Goals and incentives drive us more than drives and instincts
  • Our goal in life is to achieve success and superiority

Inferiority complex: the feeling of being less able than others. It affects one՚s relationship with others and his achievement in many ways.

Motivating Forces of Human Life

  • Feeling of inferiority
  • People are primarily motivated to overcome inherent feelings of inferiority
  • Birth Order: has effect on personality. The first- born is different from the last one, and so is the middle- born different from others.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Siblings feel a kind of rivalry toward each other.
  • Psychopathology: Compensation: i.e.. , Compensatory Defense mechanism combined with conscious or unconscious feelings of inferiority is the main cause of psychopathological behaviour.
  • Function of the Psychoanalyst: To discover and rationalize such feelings and break down the compensatory, neurotic will for power.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961)

A Swiss psychiatrist, founder of the analytical school of psychology, Jung presented a complex theory of personality.

  • 1913: left the inner circle of Freud՚s students and colleagues, although he had chosen Jung as his successor.
  • Was mystical in his understanding and description of personality.
  • Had a positive approach toward one՚s ability to control one՚s destiny.
  • His view of human nature is among the most complex ever portrayed. The human psyche is embedded in past, present, and future; it consists of conscious and unconscious elements, rational and irrational impulses, masculine and feminine tendencies, and a tendency to bring all these contradictory tendencies into harmony with each other. Self- actualization is achieved when such harmony exists, but self- actualization must be sought; it does not occur automatically.
  • Believed that the spiritual side must be satisfied, which usually happens in middle age when many of the components of psyche have been discovered.
  • Religion to him is the major vehicle in the journey towards self- actualization.

Jung՚s Disagreements with Freud

  • The understanding and description of the genders.
  • The nature of unconscious.

The Main Jungian Concepts

Major goal of life: Unification of all aspect of our personality:

The Main Jungian Concepts
  • Conscious and Unconscious
  • Introversion (Inner Directed) , Extroverted (Outer Directed)
  • Libido
  • Energy for personal growth and development

Types of Unconscious

  • Personal unconscious: Similar to Freudian view
  • Collective unconscious: ideas beyond personal experience, inherited from ancestors՚ all generations, and common to all of humanity.
  • Archetypes
  • Part of collected unconscious, universal forms and patterns of thought: These include themes that can be seen in myths e. g. masculinity, femininity, good, evil opposites, motherhood.

Karen Horney (1885 - 1952)

  • German- American psychologist
  • Trained as a psychoanalyst in Germany who later shifted to the US.
  • She agreed with Freud on the levels of unconscious, anxiety, and repression.
  • She emphasized childhood experiences, social interaction and personal growth.
  • Disagreement with Freud
  • Differed from Freud on primary impulses; impulses are not the main motivating force.
  • Disagreed on Freudian position regarding the biological basis of differences between genders.