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Theories of Personality and Psychopathology

Theories of Personality and Psychopathology



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Published by: sarguss14 on Jan 09, 2009
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Psychiatry 1 (Dra. Capitan)
Theories of Personality andPschoatholo
13 December 2007
Sigmund Freud: Founder of ClassicPsychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud
- created the discipline of psychoanalysis in the 19thcentury- role of meaning was central to his vision of psychoanalysisex. Auditory hallucinations
biological mechanisms may produce the symptombut the content of that symptom and its meaning tothe patient relate to specific psychologicalcharacteristics unique to that patient- psychoanalysis is recognzed today as having 3crucial aspects:a. therapeuhc techniqueb. body of scientific and theoretical knowledgec. method of investigation- some of his basic tenets have remained central topsychiatric and psychotherapeutic practice:a. notion of psychic determinationb. unconscious mental activity- can be seen in dreams and nonverbal behaviors(
: slips of the tongue that often revealunconscious intent that is outside the indivrdual’sawareness)c. role of childhood experience in shaping the adultpersonality- principles of technique are also at the core of psychoanalysis as a treatment:
a. resistance
- he observed that patients often resists thephysician’s effort to heal- some patients either become silent or were unable tofollow his suggestion when he asked them to saywhatever come to mind
(free association)
b. transference
patient’s displacement unto the analyst of earlywishes and feelings towards persons from the past
patients may experience the psychiatrist as aparental figure from the past and defy the perceivedparental control
contemporary view: acknowledge that the analystor physician’s real characteristics always influencetransference
c. countertransference
clinician’s feelings towards the patient, based on amixture of the real characteristics of the patient andqualities associated with the figures from theclinician’s past
Life of Freud-
born of May 6, 1856 in Frelburg, a small town inMoravia which is now a part of 
Republic- specialized in neurology after medical school- studied with Jean-Martin Charcot- influenced by Ambroise August Liebault and Hippolyte-Marie Bemheim who both taught him hypnosis- began clinical work with hysterical patients in Vienna;where he developed psychoanalysis
1 887- 1897)
died in London
Beginnings of Psychoanalysis
- in conjunction with his colleague, Joseph Breuer, Freudstudied a series of female patients suffering fromhysterical symptoms that defied neurologicalexplanation- he turned to the cathartic method which he used inconjunction with hypnosis →
: attempt byFreud to remove symptoms through a process of recovering and verbalizing suppressed feelings withwhich the symptoms were associate- through his experiments with abreaction and hypnosis,he learned that patients were unable or unwilling torecount memories that subsequently proved verysignificant
reluctance = resistance
Resistance was caused by largely unconscious, activeforces in the patient’s mind
: active process of excluding distressingmaterial from conscious awareness; essential tosymptoms formation- he switched to
free association
or the inviting of hispatients to say whatever came to mind withoutcensoring their thoughts- childhood sexual seduction played a role in causing theneuroses- the idea that sexual seduction by parental figures wasa fantasy began to discipline his theory that actualsexual seduction was a pivotal pathogenic factor inneuroses
The Interpretation of Dreams
Freud’s most monumental work
He was struck by the intimate connectionbetween dream content and unconsciousmemories or fantasies that were longsuppressed
is the distinguished fulfillment of anunconscIous childhood wish that is not readilyaccessible to conscious awareness in waking life
Freud laid the foundations for ego psychology
he suggested that unconscious childhoodwishes can be transformed into disguisedconscious manifestations only if a censorexists in the mind
functions to preserve sleep in theservice of the ego
it disguises disturbing thoughts andfeelings making sure that thedreamer’s sleep is not disturbed
 JoY and IsaY 
1 of 12
Clincal Pathology – Theories of Personality and Psychopathology 
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repressed wishes and impulses mustattach themselves to innocent orneutral images to pass the scrutiny of the dream censor
unconscious thoughts and wishes that arerepressed includes:
nocturnal sensory stimuli
day residue – thoughts and ideas thatare connected with the activities andpreoccupations of the dreamer’scurrent waking life
repressed unacceptable impulses
2 layer of dream content:
– refers to what is recalled bythe dreamer
– involves the unconsciousthoughts and wishes that threaten toawaken the dreamer
Dream work 
: unconscious mentaloperations by which latent dream content istransformed into manifest dream
several unconscious impulses, wishes, orfeelings can be combined and attached to onemanifest dream imageex
A composite character may appear in the dream witha name like one person in the dreamer’s life
energy or intensity associated with one object isdiverted to a substitute object that isassociatively related but more acceptable to thedreamer’s ego
dream censor displaces affective energy in sucha way that the dreamer’s sleep can continueundisturbed
: special instance of displacementwhich involves the attribution of the dreamer’sown unacceptable impulses or wishes to anothercharacter in the dream
Symbolic Representation
dreamer would often represent highly chargedideas or objects by using innocent images thatwere in some way connected with the idea orobject being represented → an abstract conceptor a complex set of feelings toward a personcould be symbolized by a simple, concrete, orsensory image
he noted that symbols have unconsciousmeanings that can be discerned through thepatient’s associations to symbol
he also believed that certain symbols areuniversal
Secondary Revision
Primary Process – type of thinking which ischaracterized by mechanisms of condensation,displacement, and symbolic process → primitivemode of cognitive activity that Is characterizedby illogical, bizarre, and absurd images thatseem incoherent
according to Freud: a more mature andreasonable aspect of the go works duringdreams to organize primitive aspects of dreamsinto a more coherent form
dreams become somewhat more rational
reated to secondary process→ mature activity characteristic of waking life
Affects in Dreams
secondary emotions may not appear in thedream at all
they may be experienced in altered form
feelings may also appear as their opposite
Anxiety Dreams
Freud’s understanding of dreams stresses theimportance of discharging drives or wishesthrough the hallucinatory contents of the dream
Mechanisms he believed to be facilitating of latent impulses, rather than protecting dreamersfrom anxiety and pain
symbolic representation
secondary vision
reflects a failure in the protective function of thedream work mechanisms→ repressed succeed in working their way intothe manifest in a more or less recognizablepattern
Punishment Dreams
seem to represent an exception to Freud’s wishfulfillment fheory of dreams
reflects a compromise between the repressedwish and the repressing agency or conscience
ego anticipates condemnation on the part of dreamer’s conscience if the latent unacceptableimpulses are allowed direct expression in themanifest dream content→ wish for punishment on the part of thepatient’s conscience is satisfied by givingexpression to punishment fantasies
- part of the mind in which perceptions coming from theoutside world or from within the body or mind arebrought into awareness
- subjective phenomenon whosecontent can be communicated by means of language orbehavior; used a form of neutralized psychic energy(ATTENTION CATHEXIS)
- Comprises mental events, processes, and contents thatcan be brought into conscious awareness by the act of focusing attention- Interfaces with both unconscious and conscious regionsof the mind
Clincal Pathology – Theories of Personality and Psychopathology 
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- Contents of the unconscious become linked with words(preconscious)- Maintain the repressive barrier and censorunacceptable wishes and desires
; its mental contents and processes are keptfrom conscious awareness through the force of censorship or repression- Closely related to instinctual drives; INSTINCTS consistof sexual and self-peservative and UNCONSCIOUScontain mental representations and derivatives of thesexual instinct- its content is limited to wishes seeking fulfillment whichprovide motivation for dream and neurotic symptomformation (reductionist)- Characterized by
Primary process thinking:
Principally aimed at facilitating wish fulfillment andinstinctual discharge
Governed by pleasure principle and disregards logicalconnections, no concept of time, represents wishes asfulfillments, permits contradictions to existsimultaneously and denies existence of negatives
Characterized by extreme mobility of drive cathexis;investment of psychic energy can shift from object toobject w/o opposition- Memories have been divorced from their connectionwith verbal symbols- Become conscious only by passing the preconsciousLimitations of Topographical Theory (2 main deficiencies1.Patients’ defense mechanisms that guardagainst distressing wishes, feelings or thoughtswere themselves not initially accessible toconsciousness.2.Freud’s patients frequently demonstrated anunconscious need for punishment. These difficulties lead Freud to discard the topographicaltheory, but certain concepts derived from the theorycontinue to be useful:
& 2° thought processes
Fundamental importance of wish fulfillment
Existence of a dynamic unconscious
 Tendency toward regression under frustratingconditions
: refers to a pattern of species-specific behavior,genetically derived & therefore is more or lessindependent of learningConfusion from the ambiguity inherent in a concept onthe borderland between biological and psychological:
Should the mental representation aspect of the term and  psychological component be integrated or separated?
may have been closer than
to Freud’smeaning, in contemporary usage, the tow terms areoften used interchangeablyFreud’s view, instinct has 4 principal characteristics:
: part of the body from w/c the instinctarises
: amount of force or intensityassociated w/ the instinct
: any action directed toward tensiondischarge or satisfaction
: target (often a person) for this action
: (Freud) that force by w/c the
sexual instinct isrepresented in the mind 
; linkage of genital sexuality withlibido was viewed as the end result of a course of dev’tin w/c libidinal expression took a variety of forms
Ego Instincts
Freud maintained a dual instinct theory:
subsuming sexual instincts & ego instinctsconnected w/ self-preservation
(On Narcissism) Freud invested egoinstinct w/ libido by postulating an ego libido &an object libido, thus he viewed
as an essentially libidinal instinct &called the remaining nonsexual components the
Ego instincts
originally conceptualized by Freud as acomponent of the sexual instincts in the form of sadism;eventually he categorized it w/ hate as
 part of the egoinstincts & the libidinal aspects of sadism ascomponents of the sexual instincts
1923 (Freud)
Aggression instinct was conceived as aseparate instinct in its own right; its source accdg toFreud was largely in skeletal muscles, and its aim wasdestruction.
Life and Death Instincts- 1920
Freud subsumed the ego instincts under abroader category of life instincts; juxtaposed w/ deathinstincts & referred to as
Eros and Thanatos
(Beyondthe Pleasure Principle)
regarded as
forces underlying the sexual &aggressive instincts
Repetition compulsion
- a person’s tendency to repeatpast traumatic behavior
Death instinct (Thanatos):
dominant force inbiological organisms
Life instinct (Eros):
tendency of particles to reunite orbind to one another (as in sexual repd’n)
PLEASURE AND REALITY PRINCIPLES1911: 2 Basic Tenets of Mental Functioning
Pleasure Principle
: Pleasure principle: inborntendency of organism to avoid pain & to seekpleasure through the discharge of tension
Reality Principle
: learned function closelyrelated to the maturation of the ego; modifiesthe pleasure principle & requires delay orpostponement of immediate gratification
*Both are aspects of ego functioning.

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