Psychoanalytic Theory
Psychoanalytic Theory
• One of the prominent theories in Psychoanalysis.
• A radical new perspective in psychology.
• It is mostly credited to the works of Sigmund
Freud and his theory of personality and
• It was very appealing to not only those in the
psychology field, but also in literature as well.
• Psychoanalytic concepts and themes from the
Freud’s Psychoanalytic theory have been found in
many literary pieces and used in literary writing
• While most psychologists at the time looked for a
physiological and biological explanation for
behavior psychoanalysis instead focused on:
• Significance of the unconcious
• Instinctual drives
• Hypnosis
• Significance of dreams
• Free Association
• Psychoanalysis’ goal was to show that behavior was caused
by the interaction between the unconcious and
Psychoanalysts believe that there is always a strive of
thoughts in the unconcious to become conscious; and the
fulfillment of desires which are unacceptable in societywhich according to Freud are mostly erotic and sexual.
Psychoanalysis puts much importance on the significance
between the unconcious and thought processes. They
believed that an awareness of this is therapeutic and vital
to a health y mind.
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
• Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory
encompasses many of the
themes in psychoanalysis about
the unconcious and uses it to
explain personality.
• It is in Freud’s Psychoanalytic
Theory of Personality which
first introduces his concepts of
the id, ego and superego.
• Freud’s interpretation of
behavior almost always
suggested d a sexual instinctual
drive and cause.
• His psychosexual theory of
development, he states
explains many behaviors from
childhood to adulthood.
Terms in Psychoanalysis
• Unconcious mindrepressed thoughts & desires.
• Id- desires
• ego- balances the id and
• Superego- morals,
societies expectations.
• Sublimation- defense
mechanism when socially
unacceptable desires are
transformed for
satisfaction into socially
acceptable behaviors.
• Psychoanalysis suggest that abnormal behavior
and therapy is when unconscious thoughts and
desires are released, and finally in awareness in
the consciousness. Psychoanalysts use
introspection, free association as a means of
• Introspection is when one observes ones own
thoughts and feelings- and tries to become aware
of the thought processes in ones mind; when one
self reflects and tries to report these thoughts,
emotions and desires.
Free Association
• Free association, iconic by the famous
Freudian couch- is a technique, started
by Sigmund Freud.
• This therapeutic technique required the
patient to speak freely while the
psychologist merely listened and
Free Association and Stream of
• Free association is known to have inspired the
literary technique Stream of Consciousness.
• Stream of consciousness is a narrative mode
which gives a detailed account and perspective of
a character’s thoughts processes and feelings.
The use of this technique is found in many
modern writers’ works, like Virginia Woolf.
• Stream of Consciousness and Free Association
both show the importance of perspective and the
awareness of thought processes and emotions.