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Freud's Theories of the Subconscious

Freud's Theories of the Subconscious


While administering hypnosis to patients suffering from hysteria, Freud realized that this practice was not a cure, but just a temporary fix. It was this event that created the framework for Freud’s idea of the subconscious, repression vs. aggression, dreams, and civilation. The basis of his theory is that the mind is separated into two main factions: the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious being what we know to be happening and the unconscious is what is in our mind that we do not necessarily know about.

Freud’s theory of the subconscious consists of three parts, the Id, the Ego, and the Super Ego and how they interact with one another. The Id is considered to be chaotic, the center for animalistic impulses, and is governed by the pleasure principle, otherwise known as instant gratification. It is also the location of the libido, which is our “life force” or our sexual drive. The Id’s driving instinct is for self-preservation.

The Ego is quite different from the Id. It is the mediator between the Id and the Super Ego. The Ego is also the personality that we show others. It is based upon the reality principle. The Super Ego represents our conscience or moral standards. These ideas of right and wrong are permanently instilled in our minds by our parents or other authority figures. To sum this all up: the Id demands gratification, the Ego responds to reality, otherwise known as civilization, and the Superego which is our morals and also the demands of society.

The subconscious is most evident in our dreams. While we are asleep our subconscious is constantly active. We create scenarios in which our true feelings are disguised but still able to be known. It is the job of the person who is administering the process of psychoanalysis to interpret our dreams and reveal its true meanings, our deep hidden thoughts of our Id.

In the subconscious many actions take place such as, rationalization, denial, projection, and sublimation. During rationalization, we validate our actions with reason. With denial, we denunciate our feelings and pretend they aren’t true. In projection, much like denial, we deny what we feel and assume that someone else is experiencing the same feelings instead. Finally, sublimation is learning to...

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