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Freud’s most popular theories are related to the unconscious mind and defense mechanisms. The Id, the Ego, and the Superego are considered to be the levels of consciousness a person’s brain functions on the basis of. According to an Austrian neurologist, the basic motivational energy of human life is considered to be sexual desire. Irrational and self-destructive behaviors are caused by unconscious desires. The role of instincts is superior as compared with external forces, because instincts can energize the mind (Thornton, 2010).
The daughter of a well-known neurologist supports most of the ideas developed by her father. However, she recognizes the supremacy of the ego and rejects the extremely important role of unconscious drives. Unlike her father Anna minimizes the import of the Oedipus Complex. She accepts the importance of social and environmental effects on a person’s behavior. The psychiatrist also emphasizes the importance of a variety of defensive mechanisms, which humans seek to escape or reduce anxiety.
Karen Horney agrees with some ideas developed by Freud; although she is of the opinion that Freud overestimates the role of the biology. Thus, Karen does not reject the importance of the unconscious mind and sexual desire, but she points out that there are social and cultural conditions, which form personality.
Both, Freud and Horney state that the riddle of femininity cannot be revealed. According to Horney, a person’s mental well-being depends upon the styles of social interaction. These involve moving toward people, moving against people, and moving away from people (“Psychoanalytic Social Theory – Karen Horney,” n.d.).
A psychoanalyst highlights the importance of interpersonal relationships. Her comprehension of the Oedipus Complex differs from Freud’s understanding of the issue. Thus, she defines the phenomenon as “a struggle between wishes for opposite-sex parent” (Goodman, n.d.).
Furthermore, Melanie mostly stresses the importance of the pre-oedipal period. Klein emphasizes the role of female breasts as opposite to Freud’s penis envy. She does not support Freud’s neglect of mother. A psychoanalyst shares some Freudian viewpoints on unconscious ideas and wishes, and considers them as a starting point of a child’s mental development.
According to Adler, a person’s basic motivation is self-perfection. It is necessary to distinguish between human beings and animals and machines. As far as persons have certain purposes, values, and free will, they cannot be similar to other objects, items, etc. This approach differs from Freud’s opinion. Adler emphasizes the role of feelings of inferiority and regards compensation as the natural response to the feelings.
Carl Jung, as one of Freud’s followers recognizes three levels of consciousness: Ego, Personal Unconscious, and Collective Unconscious (which is unique to Jung). According to him, a person’s motivations and purposes are more important in comparison with sexual desires. Jung stresses dual nature of personality. He states that when archetypes are at variance with each other, different complexes appear.
According to Kogut, the construction of the self determines people’s relations. The importance of interactions cannot be neglected, as a person’s survival depends upon both – physical and psychological requirements fulfillment. Kogut highlights narcissistic features as important variables, which affect a person’s self-development. Like Melanie Klein, Heinz Kogut emphasizes the importance of the pre-oedipal period.
Goodman, G. (n.d.). Object Relations Theories. Liu.edu. Web.
Psychoanalytic Social Theory – Karen Horney. (n.d.). Ivcc.edu. Web.
Thornton, S. (2010). Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Utm.edu. Web.