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

This essay will evaluate the extent to which Freud’s theory of psychosexual development can help us to understand a client’s presenting issue.   To commence I will describe Freud’s psychosexual theory and my understanding of its relationship to adult neurotic behaviour.   I will then evaluate Freud’s psychosexual theory to include social implications bearing in mind the broader ethical perspectives.

“Freud’s work and theories have contributed towards our views of childhood, personality, and therapy to name, but a few. In 2001, Time Magazine referred to Freud as one of the most important thinkers of the last century. A 2006 Newsweek article called him "history’s most debunked doctor. While his theories have been the subject of considerable controversy and debate, his impact on psychology, therapy, and culture is undeniable”.   (http://psychology.about.com).

To explore Freud’s psychosexual theory “at the centre of Freud’s psychosexual development is Freud’s concept “sexual instinct”.   The fact of the existence of sexual needs in human beings and animals is expressed in biology by the assumption of a “sexual instinct”, on the analogy of the instinct of nutrition that is of hunger, everyday language possesses no counterpart to the word “hunger”, but science makes use of the word “libido” for that purpose”.   (Freud, S. (1949).   I am not convinced that this is entirely the case, however, is relevant in the overall discussion.
I will now look at Freud’s theory of personality.   According to Freud, personality is predominantly established by the age of five.   Thus early experiences affect the personality development immensely and also continue to influence behavior later in life.   Freud believes that from birth every human, has an instinctual sexual appetite referred to as the libido, which is then broken down to five specific stages which all humans go through in a specified order.   These stages are as follows:

The first stage, oral, occurs at 0-2 years.   During this...