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Psychoanalysis as theory


Freud (1856-1939) founder of psychoanalysis. Presently Freud’s Ideas still play an important role in psychoanalysis. While psychoanalysis has undergone enormous developments his ideas are still continually referred to. An example of development is the great amount of research that has been done on early infant development. An The ifirst 3 years of life has gained a more prominent role then was seen in Freud’s views. He focused on the oedipal phase around the age of 4.


Post-Freudian development diverged in many directions. Presently not single psychoanalytic theory can be seen as dominant. Instead a fairly large number of theories can be seen as influential. Two extreme poles among contemporary psychoanalytic currents are e.g.:
-psychoanalysis with a strong emphasis onattachment theory, which assumes children to be instinctively attached to their caretakers. Deficiencies in the early attachment relationships would induce emotional problems later on. It actually is a theory with an optimistic outlook starting from an assumption of a society, which can modelled at will. Something has gone wrong in childhood and in this view psychoanalysis may repair it.


Another variant assumes every person to harbour pathology, which not necessarily will lead to problems. Every human being also possesses aggressive drives, which can function constructively in work, hobbies, but it can manifest themselves destructively as well, as is reported daily in our newspapers. Besides its primary subject, the psychic functioning of the person, psychoanalysis has from its onset contributed to our thinking about society and culture in its broadest sense. In this way psychoanalysis is also a Weltanschaung, a perspective on culture.