Freud's Sex and Aggression Theory

Essay by zalmahroUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2006

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Prophetically, Freud once commented that it was his fate "to agitate the sleep of mankind" (Gay, 1989: IX). Decades after his death his prediction appear to be fulfilled as his theories have made the field of psychology filled with intrigue and left researchers with many complex ideas to ponder on. Freud, as well as invoking wonder in the minds of his followers and his rivals, has indeed gifted the field of psychology the most enlightening theories. Freud's' theories were not only original but provoked so much controversy because they were indeed out of this world. He believed that consciously and subconsciously human's behavior is all geared towards satisfying sexual and aggressive instincts (Myers, 1993). This essay will discuss some of Freud's theories by focusing on their contribution to the field of psychology and how they related to his personal experiences.

Psychoanalysis and Freud

The field of psychoanalysis which awes its name and foundation to Sigmund Freud who coined the term in 1896 is defined as: the psychodynamic therapy method that relies heavily on the treatment techniques called free association, dream interpretation, and examination of resistance and transference.

The purpose is to lead patients towards insight into their unconscious conflicts, impulses, and motives (Schwartz, 2000). A few months later within the same year Freud's father died and that was a very huge event in Freud's life. It drove Freud to further psychoanalytic theorizing. He was his own first subject for significant part of his research. All his psychoanalyzing was based, as mentioned, on the idea that what motivate humans to either behave constructively or destructively could be attributable to their conscious or subconscious motivation towards the satisfaction of two innate drives, sex and aggression.

Mental illness according to Freud emanates from the struggle of these motives seeking satisfaction and social...