Our Inheritance from Sigmund Freud Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein   Free association—a means of accessing a patient’s unconscious memories through having him/her talk about what comes first to mind when a given image or subject is suggested. Defense mechanisms—selective processes of blocked memory that protect the subject from painful experiences. Oedipus complex—the attachment of young boys to their mothers, with a corresponding urge to supplant their fathers. Electra complex—a similar attachment of girls to their fathers, with a corresponding desire to supplant their mothers. Repression—the selective forgetting of experiences, which nevertheless remain, although they are locked away in the subconscious. Narcissism—obsessive self-love. Cathartic treatment—a process of psychoanalysis wherein patients could recall, understand, and render harmless painful memories. Interpretation of dreams as an initial entry to discussion of the content of the subconscious. The idea of polymorphously perverse sexuality in children. Models of the mind that include the following layers: o Ego—the rational consciousness o Id—the primitive energy of the unconscious that strives to satisfy primal needs o Superego—an internalized image of the ethical standards of mankind Primary forces in both humans and in collective civilization: o Eros—sexual drive toward life o Thanatos—the death instinct o (Both of these are exploited in modern advertising through subliminal messages.) Weaknesses of the Freudian Approach Patriarchal. Based in part on Victorian stereotypes. Recognized women’s sexuality, but held conventional view about women’s roles. Did not, especially later, really explore the symbolism of dreams, but used them primarily as springboards to free association. (Carl G. Jung picked up this dropped strand and based his whole approach on exploring the content and symbols of dreams.) Some Further Psychoanalytical Terms and Ideas Derived from Freud’s Cases Reversal effect—A response to a stimulus that is the exact opposite of that to be expected, e.g., when the occasion for sexual excitement elicits feelings that are preponderantly unpleasurable; found in some hysterical patients. Displacement—The development after either physical or psychological trauma of a symptom in a part of the body not physically associated with the trauma; it may, however, be associated symbolically by the patient. Cloaking—A patient’s covering up of a desire s/he wishes to hide from self or others through a preoccupation with some other focus, possibly of a symbolic nature. Hysterical symptom development—The development of illness from purely psychological, rather than pathogenic, causes. Somatic compliance—The development of physical symptoms for a psychical dysfunction because of hysterical involvement or agreement on the part of one of the bodily organs. Sublimation—The diversion of primarily sexual thoughts or energies to higher, asexual aims. Recurrent dreams—Dreams associated with some traumatic or otherwise dangerous experience that the dreamer has repressed or ignored; the dreams are an effort on the part of the subconscious to balance the psyche by bringing the experience to light. Switch words—The unconscious and repeated use by a patient during psychotherapy of words intended to represent other more threatening and possibly repressed words or ideas. Transference—The removal of emotional energy on the part of the patient from the person associated with the patient’s trauma to his or her therapist or to someone else in his or her environment. Symptomatic acts—Those acts people perform automatically, unconsciously, without attending to them, or as if in a moment of distraction. They are actions to which people would like to deny any significance, and which, if questioned about them, they would explain as being indifferent and accidental. However, on closer examination, they give expression to unconscious thoughts and impulses and are therefore most valuable and instructive as being manifestations of the unconscious which have been able to come to the surface. Wish fulfillment—The fulfillment in dreams of unconscious desires on the part of the patient. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily