Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

SIGMUN FREUD (1856-1939)

• Freud (1905) proposed that psychological development in childhood takes place in a series of fixed stages.
• These are called psycho sexual stages because each stage represents the fixation of libido (roughly translated as sexual drives or instincts) on a different area of the body.
• As a person grows physically certain areas of their body becomes important as sources of potential frustration (erogenous zones), pleasure or both.
• Freud believed that life was built round tension and pleasure.
• Freud also believed that all tension was due to the build up of libido (sexual energy) and that all pleasure came from its discharge.
• In describing human personality development as psychosexual Freud meant to convey that what develops is the way in which sexual energy accumulates and is discharged as we mature biologically.
• Freud used the term ‘sexual’ in a very general way to mean all pleasurable actions and thoughts.
• Freud stress that the first five years of life are crucial to the formation of adult personality.
• The id must be controlled in order to satisfy social demands; this sets up a conflict between frustrated wishes and social norms.
• The ego and superego develop in order to exercise this control and direct the need for gratification into socially acceptable channels.
• Gratification centers of different areas of the body at different stages of growth, making the conflict at each stage psychosexual.
• Human beings from birth possess an intellectual libido (sexual appetite) that develops in five stapes (physical desire).
These steps are:

  • Oral
  • Anal
  • Phallic
  • Latent
  • Genital

Sigmund Freud proposed that if the child experience anxiety, thwarting his or her sexual appetite during any psychosexual development stage, said anxiety would persist into adulthood as a neurosis a functional mental disorder.

Oral Stage: (0 to 1 Year)

• The first stage of personality development where libido is centered in a baby’s mouth
• It gets much satisfaction from putting all sorts of things in its mouth to satisfy libido, and thus its id demands. Which at this stage in life are oral, or mouth orientated, such as sucking, biting, and breast-feeding.
• Freud said oral stimulation could lead to an oral fixation in later life.
• We can see oral personalities all around us such as smokers, nail-biters, finger-chewers, and thumb suckers.
• Oral personalities engage in such oral behaviors particularly when under stress.

Anal stage (Age range 1 to 3 yrs)

• During the anal stage Freud believe that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowl movements.
• The libido now becomes focused on the anus and the child derives great pleasure from defecating.
• The child is now fully aware that they are a person in their own right and that their wishes can bring them into conflict with the demands of the outside world (i.e. their ego has developed).
• Freud believed that this type of conflict tends to come to a head in potty training, in which adults impose restrictions on when and where the child can defecate. The nature of this first conflict with authority can determine the child’s future relationship with all forms of authority and could become capable and constructive individual.
• However if parents not provide required support, according to Fraud inappropriate parental response can result in negative outcomes. Through which individual could develop wasteful, destructive personality.

The Phallic Stage: Age range (3 to 6 yrs)

• During this stage the primary focus of the libido is on genitals. At this children also begin to discover difference between male and females.
• Freud also believes that boys begin to view their father as a rival for the mother affection.
• According to Freud the boy develops sexual (pleasurable) desires for his mother. He wants to possess his mother exclusively and get rid of his father to enable him to do so. Irrationally, the boy thinks that if his father were to find out about all this, his father would take away what he loves the most. Freud called such behavior as ‘Oedipus complex.’
• The term ‘Electra complex’ has been used to describe a similar set of feeling experienced by young girls.
• This is resolved through the process of identification which involves the child adopting the characteristics of the same sex parent.

The latent Stage : (Age range 6 Years to Puberty)

• No further psychosexual development takes place during this stage (latent means hidden).
• The libido is dormant.
• Freud thought that most sexual impulses are repressed during the latent stage and sexual energy can be sublimated (re: defense mechanism) towards school work, hobbies and friendships. Much of the child’s energies are channeled into developing new skills and acquiring new knowledge and play becomes largely confined to other children of the same gender.
• The latent stage/period is a time of exploration in which the sexual energy is still present, but it is directed into other areas such as intellectual pursuits and social interactions.
• This stage is important in the development of social and communication skill and self development.

The Genital Stage :(Age range- Puberty to Death)

• During the final stage of psycho-sexual development the individual develops a strong sexual interest in the opposite sex.
• The stage begins during puberty but last throughout the rest of person’s life.
• It is a time of adolescent sexual experimentation, the successful resolution of which is settling down in a loving one-to-one relationship with another in our 20’s or so.
• Sexual instinct is directed to heterosexual pleasure, rather than self pleasure during the phallic stage.
• For Freud, the proper outlet of the sexual instinct in adults was through heterosexual intercourse. Fixation and conflict may prevent this with the consequence that sexual perversions may develop.
• If the other stages have been completed successfully, the individual should now be well balanced, warm and caring. The goal of this stage is to establish a balance between various life areas.