Britania Ison
• My population is an intensive outpatient group of mixed-gender. I believe that this
lesson I have prepared has a broad application, but is a complex subject and
should be given to a patient who is digging in deep to find answers to the root
causes of the problems in their lives.
• Both males and females can benefit from understanding this topic. I would at first
glance suggest that because of the raw nature of internal conflict, this is a topic
best explored in single-sex groups. But, upon full understanding of psycho analytic
theory, and how one’s superego works, I suggest that in order to eliminate guilt and
shame on matters of sex, that this instead be a mixed-gender group, so that male
and female patients understand that this is a struggle all of humanity faces together,
and that no one is secluded or worse than their counterpart.
• The only caveat I have with my recommendation is that the facilitator be mindful of
pressing too hard on someone to psychoanalyze their life.
• Please vocalize to the group of time set aside immediately following group for
patients to have 15-minute check-ins in case they need to process something
• My group model is psychoeducational, and the group type is conflict resolution.
• Psycho analytic theory is all about understanding your internal conflict, and knowing
what to do with the conflicting parties in your head and heart, and how to put them
to rest.
• “In Psychoanalysis, however, the therapist probes past behavior, the inner psyche or
unconscious and subconscious impulses within the mind of patients, usually by
delving into their childhood. The goal of psychoanalysis includes bringing
unconscious behavioral patterns to the surface, gaining awareness and identifying
how they influence behavior. Psychoanalysis typically takes years and the patient is
in treatment two to three times per week” (Orfanos, 2019, para. 3).
• Additionally because of the level of commitment this topic requires, but its inherent
value, we recommend at least bi-weekly follow-up process groups to allow for
check-ins on the id, ego, and superego.
• “The ID is the basic, primal part of personality, that is present from birth”
(Cherry, 2019).
• According to Sigmund Freud's Psychoanalytic theory of personality, the id is
the personality component made up of the unconscious psychic energy
that works to satisfy basic urges, needs, and desires. The id operates based
on the pleasure principle. which demands immediate gratification of needs.
The id is one of the three major components of personality postulated by
Freud: the id, ego, and superego.
• When does the id Emerge? Freud compared personality to an iceberg. what
you see above the water is actually just a tiny piece of the entire iceberg,
most of which is hidden under the water. The tip of the iceberg above the
water represents conscious awareness. The bulk of the iceberg below the
water symbolizes the unconscious mind where all of the hidden desires,
thoughts, and memories exist. It is in the unconscious mind that the id resides
(Cherry, 2019).
• “Next the ego begins to develop during the first three years of a child’s life” (Cherry,
• The ego is "that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the
external world" (Freud, 1923, p.25)
• The ego mediates between the unrealistic id and the external real world.
• It is believed to be the decision making component of the personality.
• The ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and unreasonable.
• The ego considers social realities and norms, etiquette and rules in deciding how to
• Often the ego is weak relative to the headstrong id, and the best the ego can do is
stay on, pointing the id in the right direction and claiming some credit at the end as
if the action were its own.
• Freud made the analogy of the id being a horse while the ego is the rider.
The ego is 'like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior
strength of the horse.' (Freud, 1923, p. 15)
• If the ego fails in its attempt to use the reality principle, and anxiety is
experienced, unconscious defense mechanisms are employed, to help ward
off unpleasant feelings (i.e., anxiety) or make good things feel better for the
• The ego engages in secondary process thinking, which is rational, realistic,
and orientated towards problem-solving. If a plan of action does not work,
then it is thought through again until a solution is found. This is known as
reality testing and enables the person to control their impulses and
demonstrate self-control, via mastery of the ego.
• Write “Yes” on the piece of paper provided if you believe premarital sex is
wrong, and that ideally it is best to wait until marriage to have sex. If you do
not agree with this answer, write “no”. Fold this answer in half, and place
your responses in the basket when I come by to collect your answers.
• What you have indicated by writing a “yes” is that you are exhibiting a classic case of Freud’s
superego on display… (but don’t worry you’re not alone, most of society agrees with you, even
though the majority of society does not wait until marriage either)…
• The reality is:
Realistically, people will have premarital sex… “Further, contrary to the public perception that
premarital sex is much more common now than in the past, the study shows that even among
women who were born in the 1940s, nearly nine in 10 had sex before marriage” (Wind, 2006).
“The data clearly shows that the majority of older teens and adults have already had sex before
marriage, which calls into question the federal government’s funding of abstinence-only-untilmarriage programs for 12-20-year-olds. It would be more effective to provide young people with
the skills and information they need to be safe once they become sexually active- which nearly
everyone eventually will” (Wind, 2006).
Even though the data and evidence show that almost everyone engages in premarital sex? Yet, we
as a society believe that it is best to wait until marriage? Where do we get this belief from? As
mentioned earlier… we get these beliefs from our superego.
• “Finally the superego starts to emerge
around the age of five” (Cherry, 2019).
• “The superego works to suppress the urges of the id and tries to make the ego
behave morally, rather than realistically” (Cherry, 2019).
• “The ideals that contribute to the formation of the superego include not just the
moral and values that we have learned from our parents, but also the ideas of right
and wrong that we acquire from society an the culture we live in” (Cherry, 2019).
• “The component of the personality composed of the internalized ideals that we
have acquired from our parents and society” (Cherry, 2019).
• Freud is indicating that by age 5 a child has absorbed the majority of what they
need to from society and their families, to begin to conceptualize their superego, i.e.
what their perfect-self looks like.
Once again, lets take a closer look at what an ideal is…
"An important feature of clinical and social work is to enhance ego
functioning and help the client test reality through assisting the
client to think through their options” (McLeod, 2017).
Recognize that we have an id, ego, and superego
Learn about our id, ego, and superego.
Reflect about Life’s morals & best practices, by doing some research.
Set our own goals (which will allow us to manage that superego).
Forgive ourselves for falling short of our goals, continue to push ourselves
to strive for these goals we have thought about and set for ourselves,
and always be willing to get back on the horse and try again...
The Therapist
The ID- The Aggressor
The Super Ego- The Judge
The Ego- The Mediator
Do you think that
you are hard on
Hard on myself for what? I just think
that when I want something I
should get it. Life is mine for the
In order to be someone in life, I need to
have that high level of education, so I
can be proud of myself. I need to reach
my goals my parents set for me.
Ok guys I am in charge. Anything you want
has to go through me. You were hard on
yourself, but that’s irrational. Now just work
on accepting yourself and doing the right
Why do you feel
that you are not
good enough?
Don't listen to everyone else
they’re making you feel bad, the
therapist just wants you to cry. This
is B.S. there is no point to feeling
emotions or crying, nothing ever
I am not good enough because I have
made a lot of mistakes in my life, I have
used drugs, I have had sex, I am not
married, I’ve skipped school. Society says
I’m an outcast and they’re right.
There is no point in feeling guilt about the
past, and in order to eliminate these feelings
in the future I need to work to do my best,
but accept my shortcomings. A good way
to think is, will this thought or idea get me to
my end goal without harming myself?
Do you feel like
you engage in
risky behavior?
Time to party! I’m a free spirit. I’m a
gypsy. I have the right to seek
I can’t tell her what I really engage in, my
therapist will never accept me. Ignore
the question and talk about something
else instead!
We must continue to keep doing the safe
and right thing, even though the id really
wants to be destructive and chaotic, and
the superego makes me feel guilty. I am
invested in myself and my recovery, and I
will make good sound decisions and avoid
risky behavior and situations at all costs.
• Cherry, K. (2019). What is the Superego. VeryWell Mind. Retrieved from
• Cherry, K. (2019) How Studying The ID Helps Us Understand Our Dark Side. VeryWell Mind.
Retrieved from http://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-id-2795275
• Mcleod, S. (2017). Id, Ego and Superego. Simply Psychology. Retrieved
from www.simplypsychology.org/psyche.html
• Orfanos, A. (2019). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Vs. Psychoanalysis. VeryWell Health.
Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-is-cbt-different-from-psychoanalysis3227128
• Wind, R. (2006). Premarital Sex is Nearly Universal Among Americans, and Has Been For
Decades. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/newsrelease/2006/premarital-sex-nearly-universal-among-americans-and-has-been-decades