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

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


In this essay I intend to demonstrate an understanding of Freud’s theory of psychosexual development and how his theory may help us to understand a client’s presenting issues. I will investigate the pros and cons of psychosexual theory. I shall also define and consider the relationship between the Id, Ego and Superego and the way in which these parts of our psyche are in many ways relevant to earlier experiences and of those early situations. Lastly, I will examine some of the criticisms that have been levelled at Freudian theory in order to evaluate it.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a Viennese physician; his training was in neurology and he is the founder of psychoanalytic theory. He produced an entirely new view on the study of human behaviour; his main focus was on the unconscious instinct and desires rather than the conscious. The psychoanalytic view holds that there are inner forces beyond our awareness that are directing our behaviour. Freud’s theory says that human nature was focused mainly on desire rather than reason and that it was an individual’s past experiences that determined their future behaviour and the development of their personality.

While his theories were considered and viewed as shocking at the time and continue to create scholarly debate and controversy, his work had a profound influence on a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, literature, and art. The term psychoanalysis is used to refer to many aspects of Freud’s work and research, including Freudian therapy and the research methodology he used to develop his theories. Freud relied heavily upon his observations and case studies of his patients when he formed his theory of personality.

To pursue Freud’s Theory of psychosexual development and how a therapist may understand a client’s...