Unconscious childhood sexuality

Unconscious Childhood SexualityIn classical Freudian theory the unconscious wishes were almost exclusively sexual. Basic but unacceptable wishes of childhood get driven out of awareness.

  They become part of the active unconscious where, while out of awareness, they remain influential.  The active unconscious presses to find the expression in dreams, slips of speech, unconscious mannerisms, as well as socially approved behavior as artistic, literary, or scientific activity. One may say that it is difficult to treat Freud’s influence because it is far-reaching in effect and extremely complex.Freud believed that the sexual desire could be developed in individuals by sublimation.

That pleasure could be derived from any object that, as humans develop become fixated on different and specific objects through their stages of personality development. First in the oral stage, illustrated by an infant’s pleasure in nursing, the mother’s breast is the first object. Consistently, the first love object is the mother, a displacement of the earlier object of desire which is the breast.  Then in the anal stage by a toddler’s pleasure in discharging bowels, the object is the rectal orifice.

Then in the phallic stage, where children then passed through a stage in which they settled on the mother as a sexual object, known as the Oedipus complex, but that the child eventually overcame and repressed this desire because of its forbidden nature. The repressive latency stage of psychosexual development comes before the final stage of psychosexual development when sexual urges are once again aroused. Adolescents direct their sexual urges to the opposite sex with the genitals as the primary focus of pleasure (Felluga, D. 2003).

Analysis/DiscussionBased from the background information gathered during the interview with Doris, a depressed adolescent, the problems has developed from childhood experiences. The first five years is said to be the critical period in a child’s personality development. There were no proper gratifications of certain desires that these were reflected in her adult life.Major Issues.

The issues revolve around unconscious childhood sexuality. It is important to consider, whether or not: (1) having had no father contributes to her disorderly behavior; (2) a desire for sex and a fear of the desire primarily the root cause of Doris’ weak ego development; (3) the negative  attitude of her mother towards his father causes fear of the desire for sex; (4) the knowledge that her father left them when her mother was pregnant with her, causes her strong feeling of rejection; (5) siblings’ rivalry causes her masochistic tendencies and self-punishment; (6) the mother’s tolerance and permissiveness contributes to her personality disorder and school phobia; (7) without having a closely-knit family results to her antisocial behavior; (8) her mother’s guilt feelings over not being able to provide a `normal home` for her children contributes to her inadequacy and inferiority; (9) anxieties, stress suffered by a pregnant mother affect the mental development of the unborn child; and (10) uncaring baby-sitters negatively contribute to the disorderly development of her personality.Doris has never had a father.  According to Freud’s stages of psychosexual development, at ages three to six, the pleasure zone of a child shifts to the genitals.

  The formation of gender identity occurs at this stage (Phallic Stage) where children first become aware of anatomical differences between the sexes..  The super ego develops followed by cognizance of the cultural differences between males and females. Also, the identification with the parent of the same sex, whose behavior the child imitates, evolves at this stage.

Like its female counterpart, the Oedipus complex revolves around a child’s wish to possess the parent of the opposite sex.  Since Doris has no father whom she can turn her sexual desires, she had to repress it, thus the attachment was centered on her mother, a conflicting sexual feelings. She has advanced from her mother’s breast to her mother as a whole person. As her mother was busy working, Doris was left to the care of baby-sitters who did not give her the love that she desires.

She tried to manage for herself. Doris having had to repress her sexual desires, psychological fixation developed.  Repression is a defense mechanism described as pulling or pushing back conflicts into the unconscious to forget something that causes anxiety. This is a defense mechanism employed by the ego to prevent conflict between the id and super ego.

Failure to use it effectively often leads to problems in life as the repressed conflicts remains intact and exerts a force on the conscious mind. Fixation refers to a state in which an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another person, being or object.Without her sexual desires having been satisfied, Doris became obsessed with her father. Such obsession was manifested in her persistence to know about her father, and his whereabouts notwithstanding the ire of her mother every time she would insist on her concern.

The unconscious fear of the desire for sex was developed as her mother reacted with rage and insisted that they are fortunate enough without him as he was a wretched person and rambled on to forget him. Doris centered her attention to her mother but her uncaring attitude rebuffed her away resulting to severe sexual conflicts, a desire for sex and a fear of the desire with her mother that a strong hostility towards her has unconsciously built up.Her background also reveals her extreme fears for school. According to Freud, we go to school to improve ourselves, to be more attractive to the opposite sex which is a natural instinct for procreation and survival.

When this desire for sex, which is a powerful unconscious motivational force, is taken away, the drive to improve oneself is also eliminated, thus Doris has developed ‘school phobia.’ Anxiety disorders which include school phobia come along to have a genetic component. Children of parents, who have anxiety disorders as exhibited by her mother, may also suffer anxiety disorders. Another possible cause of school phobia is long separation from a caregiver in early childhood.

Actual physical symptoms such as shaking or trembling, vomiting, headaches, etc., are common symptoms.  They usually get better once the child is allowed to stay home. Dysfunctional family can also cause children to feel compelled to stay at home.

Background information revealed that Doris has a mother who is too loose or over permissive.Doris’ father left while her mother was pregnant with her. The knowledge that he did not want to be burdened with anymore children is enough for Doris to have a feeling of rejection and a feeling of guilt that her mother was left alone to rear her children and her inadequacy to provide them a normal family. Unable to compete with her brothers in all aspects and her failure to win her mother’s attention, her inadequacy to have a phallus, as a sign of strength, Doris has developed masochistic tendencies unconsciously.

Girls always wanted a phallus, a desire which can never be filled, as theorized by Freud. All these factors contributed to what Doris is now.Antisocial behavior in childhood persists when children’s parents do not show them affection and acceptance.  They eventually behave antisocially and consequently, psychopathic behavior develops.

  It is understandable then why this behavior is difficult to treat. The sociopathic behaviors are deeply ingrained in the person’s personality. With this observation, psychologists agree that a loving parent-child relationship is necessary for a child to develop a moral conscience and to have the ability to cope with his emotional hang-ups.  An adult of the same sex to stand as model for proper and moral behavior facilitates a child’s normal developmentPsychoanalytic TherapyFreud’ theory of personality is the basis of psychoanalysis, which is one of the most important psychotherapeutic methods.

Intensive sessions between the psychoanalyst and the patient are held an hour a day, four or five times a week, or more often depending on the nature and scope of the problem. If possible the psychoanalyst should spend more than enough time with the patient. The psychoanalyst attempts to help the client reveal and resolve his emotional problems and conflicts and to determine his motives for repressing them. The psychoanalyst utilizes the person’s refusal (resistance) and reveals foolish or embarrassing thoughts so that the basic unconscious feeling that underlies his problem may be uncovered.

Through dream analysis, the latent content of a dream (unpleasant or painful unconscious thoughts) based on knowledge of its manifest content (remembered portion of the dream as recalled by the person after awakening) may be uncovered by the psychoanalyst.  Other basic psychoanalytic techniques may be identified:Free Association. This method involves instructing the patient simply to focus on a symptom or an event in the past and to “associate freely” to it, to say anything that came to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing it might seem (Mussen, et al.).

  Patients are encouraged to be less inhibitive, to respond freely, and to speak out their ideas.  This technique can often successfully reveal repressed thoughts and hidden motives..   Transference.

 As treatment progresses, the patient often develop an emotional relationship with the analyst and this is called the transference neurosis.  He transfers to the therapist the characteristics of important people in his childhood; he re-enacts with the therapist major unresolved childhood conflicts (Mussen, et al.). The analyst modifies the relationship and enables the patient to acquire insights into his emotional reactions and the nature of his psychological defenses and to respond more realistically to his present and deep-seated conflicts.

The object of psychoanalytic treatment is self-understanding of the conflict. The psychotherapist must facilitate the patient himself to be aware of the unresolved conflict entombed in the cryptical niches of the unconscious mind to face and pursue with them to effect healing. Therapists must learn and experience the techniques themselves as clients. The patient needs empathy that is discernment and getting into the feelings of the patient.

Suppression of the formerly repressed drives is another possibility to cure the patient.  It means that, after the unconscious mind have been uncovered and understood by the patient; the conscious mind must exclude the unacceptable thoughts or desires and channel this repressed energy into sublimation which is achieving social, artistic, and other interests in life. What is important is the discharge of the repressed psychic energy, the coarctation of which was the primary reason of the neurotic indications.Conclusion.

“Psychoanalysis aims at transforming greater amounts of what once belonged to the id into acceptable possessions of the ego, along with its main purpose of turning unconscious contents into conscious ones. Thus, the mind can find solutions that were previously unattainable to the immature ego (Rowell, M. H., 2008).

”Freud’s classical psychoanalytic theory revolves exclusively on psychosexuality. He argued that a person’s personality depends on the stages of childhood development. That whatever wishes or desires have been repressed during these stages remain active in the subconscious mind and are manifested and brought back in adult life. The method of psychoanalysis using proficiencies of free association and interference and other appropriate techniques under the guidance of the analyst is itself a way of helping unconscious wishes find verbal expression.

Freud regards empathy “as essential for establishing the rapport between patient and analyst that makes interpretation possible. He views it as the process that allows us to understand others by putting ourselves in their place (Pigman, G.W., l995).

” The therapist must experienced relaxation himself to have a better feel on how to administer the same to the patient and will know more what to look for.  The therapist can make use as undercoating guide, his own anxieties, how he confronts and uncovers them. Courage and other individual qualities of the therapist are of primary importance.References.

Felluga, D. (2003). “Modules on Freud: On Psychosexual Development.”  IntroductoryGuide to Critical Theory.

  Retrieved on September 29, 2008 from<http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/psychoanalysis/freud.html>Mussen, Paul, Rosenzweig, Mark R.

, et al. (l979). Psychology an Introduction (brief ed.)Massachusetts: D.

C. Heath and Company.Pigman, G.W.

(1995), “Freud and the history of empathy”, The International journal ofPsycho-analysis 76 (Pt.2): 237-56.  Retrieved on October 1, 2008 from<http://www.ncbi.

nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7628894?dopt=Abstract>Rowell, M.H.

, (2008). The defense mechanisms. Classic Psychoanalytic Theory. The FreudPage.

  Retrieved on September 30, 2008 from<http://www.geocities.com/~mhrowell/freudpsychotheory.html#id>      

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