How are you feeling today?
How are you feeling today?
Do you know why you do the things that you do? Unlikely. You are driven by forces beyond your control. Your innate instincts for sex and death compel you to behave in ways that don’t make sense to you.
You are split inside, with an ego that struggles against the id and super ego. You never know which one is motivating you.
But don’t fear; with intense scrutiny through psychoanalysis, you can come to understand the mystery that is your own mind.
As I said in my essay, “On Psycho-analysis”
Psycho-analysis is a remarkable combination, for it comprises not only a method of research into the neuroses but also a method of treatment based on the aetiology thus discovered.
In other words, psychoanalysis is a way of examining the mind. It is also a proven type of therapy for implementing this mental investigation.
As the father of psychoanalysis, I am in a unique position to help you gain insight through psychoanalysis. I will serve as your tabula rasa or blank slate, and as you talk you will be able to project your deepest fears and feelings onto me. This will result in a unique state of being called transference, in which the issues you’ve had with people in the past, particularly in your childhood, will be directed onto me. Together, we will work through this transference.
You will likely be blindsided, awed, and amazed by what you uncover about yourself through psychoanalysis.
Everyone is driven by base instincts of libido and aggression. These instincts will arise in the process of transference. You do not need to be ashamed or afraid of them. They are simply products of the messy id.
The superego or inner critic berates you, especially the behavior that comes directly from the id. But you don’t have to shut out this superego entirely; you can learn to allow it to drive your moral life without casting you into constant self-doubt.
Ultimately, psychoanalysis will help you develop your ego function. The ego mediates between the unconscious and the rest of the world. Using reality testing, you can have the things that you want in this life without having to experience too much pain or discomfort.
In fact, you can bring all of your unconscious thoughts to the conscious mind, so that you gain control over your life.
Everyone develops through a series of psychosexual stages. Unfortunately, most people get fixated at some stage along the way. This causes difficulties in their lives.
For example, someone who has issues with control is likely stuck in the anal phase. They may be anal retentive which is overly self-controlling – stingy, stubborn, and perfectionistic. Alternatively, they might be anal expulsive, lacking any kind of control – messy, careless, and chaotic.
Entering psychoanalysis is a daunting prospect. Furthermore, everyone has developed their own defense mechanisms. For example, you don’t want to experience anxiety. Therefore, you have developed the mechanism of repression to force anxiety-provoking ideas deep down into your unconscious.
Some of your defense mechanisms are useful. However, they eventually stop serving you well. Believe it or not, you can begin to understand your defense mechanisms, and to select the ones that are helpful while changing behaviors that are no longer useful.
You can work through all of this. You can let your defenses reside. You can balance the forces of your id, ego, and superego. You can become unstuck from whatever phase you’re fixated on. You can do it all by developing transference in psychoanalysis and then working through that.