Evaluate the Extent to Which Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development Can Help Us to Understand a Client’s Presenting Issue?

Year 2 - Psychotherapeutic Counselling - Module 2 – written assignment:

“Evaluate the extent to which Freud’s theory of psychosexual development can help us to understand a client’s presenting issue?”

Word count: 2650 (excluding any appendices)

Please Note the use of the following abbreviations for clarity:

Version date: 06-03-2015

The objective of this essay is to evaluate this aspect of Freudian theory, however in order to do so I will look to understand and describe this particular aspect.   From there we can look to evaluate this by exploring some of the various views surrounding this.

It was a proposal of Freud that psychological development primarily takes places in a series of predetermined phases during childhood. He referred to these as the “psychosexual phases” a fixation on different areas of the body would develop, roughly explained as sexual drives or instinct later referred to as the libido. In essence as a person grows specific regions of the anatomy become important as a cause of potential frustration and or pleasure.

Sigmund believed that life was constructed around both anxiety and indulgence; the anxiety leading to tension as a result of the build-up of libido whilst indulgence being the pleasure resulting from the release of the build-up.

Sigmund Freud perceived that during the anticipated phases of early childhood development, the child's mannerisms are orientated towards certain parts of his/her body; for example the mouth during breast-feeding, and the anus during toilet-training. He put forward that adult neurosis often is rooted in juvenile sexuality, therefore, said neurotic adult behaviours were manifestations of childhood sexual fantasy and desire.

This was because he believed human beings were born "polymorphous perverse", infants can gain sexual pleasure from any area of their bodies, and that socialisation directs the instinctual libidinal drives into adult heterosexuality based...