Psychoanalytic theory is the theory of personality organization and the dynamics of personality development that guides psychoanalysisa clinical method for treating psychopathology. First laid out by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century, psychoanalytic theory has undergone many refinements since his work. Psychoanalytic theory came to full prominence in the last third of the twentieth century as part of the flow of critical discourse regarding psychological treatments after the s, long after Freud's death in and its validity is now widely disputed or rejected.
These three elements of personality—known as the id, the ego, and the superego—work together to create complex human behaviors.
By encouraging the patient to express any random thoughts that came associatively to mindthe technique aimed at uncovering hitherto unarticulated material from the realm of the psyche that Freud, following a long tradition, called the unconscious. Because of its incompatibility with conscious thoughts or conflicts with other unconscious ones, this material was normally hidden, forgotten, or unavailable to conscious reflection. Such blockages Freud dubbed resistance, which had to be broken down in order to reveal hidden conflicts.
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