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Assignment Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

Assignment: Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

Period of Life

Freud

Erikson

First year of life

Oral stage

Sucking at mother’s breasts satisfies need for food and pleasure. Infant needs to get basic nurturing, or later feelings of greediness and acquisitiveness may develop. Oral fixations result from deprivation of oral gratification in infancy. Later personality problems can include mistrust of others, rejecting others; love, and fear of or inability to form intimate relationships.

Infancy: Trust versus mistrust

If significant others provide for basic physical and emotional needs, infant develops a sense of trust. If basic needs are not met, an attitude of mistrust toward the world, especially toward interpersonal relationships, is the result.

Ages 1-3

Anal stage

Anal zone becomes of major significance in formation of personality. Main developmental tasks include learning independence, accepting personal power, and learning to express negative feelings such as rage and aggression. Parental discipline patterns and attitudes have significant consequences for child’s later personality development.

Early childhood: Autonomy versus shame and doubt

A time for developing autonomy. Basic struggle is between a sense of self-reliance and a sense of self-doubt. Child needs to explore and experiment, to make mistakes, and to test limits. If parents promote dependency, child’s autonomy is inhibited and capacity to deal with world successfully is hampered. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Ages 3-6

Phallic stage

Basic conflict centers on unconscious incestuous desires that child develops for parent of opposite sex and that, because of their threatening nature, are repressed. Male phallic stage, known as Oedipus complex, involves mother as love object for boy. Female phallic stage, known as Electra complex, involves girl’s striving for father’s love and approval. How parents respond, verbally and nonverbally, to child’s emerging sexuality has an impact on sexual attitudes and feelings that child develops.

Preschool age: Initiative versus guilt

Basic task is to achieve a sense of competence and initiative. If children are given freedom to select personally meaningful activities, they tend to develop a positive view of self and follow through with their projects. If they are not allowed to make their own decisions, they tend to develop guilt over taking initiative. They then refrain from taking an active stance and allow others to choose for them.

Ages 6-12

Latency stage

After the torment of sexual impulses of preceding years, this period is relatively quiescent. Sexual interests are replaced by interests in school, playmates, sports, and a range of new activities. This is a time of socialization as child turns outward and forms relationships with others.

School age: Industry versus inferiority

Child needs to expand understanding of world, continue to develop appropriate gender-role identity, and learn the basic skills required for school success. Basic task is to achieve a sense of industry, which refers to setting and attaining personal goals. Failure to do so results in a sense of inadequacy.

Ages 12-18

Genital stage

Old themes of phallic stage are revived. This stage begins with puberty and lasts until senility sets in. Even though there are societal restrictions and taboos, adolescents can deal with sexual energy by investing it in various socially acceptable activities such as forming friendships, engaging in art or in sports, and preparing for a career. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Adolescence: Identity versus role confusion A time of transition between childhood and adulthood.

A time for testing limits, for breaking dependent ties, and for establishing a new identity. Major conflicts center on clarification of self-identity, life goals, and life’s meaning. Failure to achieve a sense of identity results in role confusion.

Period of Life

Freud

Erikson

Ages 18-35

Genital stage continues

Core characteristic of mature adult is the freedom “to love and to work.” This move toward adulthood involves freedom from parental influence and capacity to care for others.

Young adulthood: Intimacy versus isolation. Developmental task at this time is to form intimate relationships. Failure to achieve intimacy can lead to alienation and isolation.

Ages 35-60

Genital stage continues

Middle age: Generativity versus stagnation. There is a need to go beyond self and family and be involved in helping the next generation. This is a time of adjusting to the discrepancy between one’s dream and one’s actual accomplishments. Failure to achieve a sense of productivity often leads to psychological stagnation.

Ages 60+

Genital stage continues

Later life: Integrity versus despair

If one looks back on life with few regrets and feels personally worthwhile, ego integrity results. Failure to achieve ego integrity can lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness, guilt, resentment, and self-rejection.

Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual Stages and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

The Basic Philosophies

Psychoanalytic therapy

Human beings are basically determined by psychic energy and by early experiences. Unconscious motives and conflicts are central in present behavior. Early development is of critical importance because later personality problems have their roots in repressed childhood conflicts. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Adlerian therapy

Humans are motivated by social interest, by striving toward goals, by inferiority and superiority, and by dealing with the tasks of life. Emphasis is on the individual’s positive capacities to live in society cooperatively. People have the capacity to interpret, influence, and create events. Each person at an early age creates a unique style of life, which tends to remain relatively constant throughout life.

Existential therapy

The central focus is on the nature of the human condition, which includes a capacity for self awareness, freedom of choice to decide one’s fate, responsibility, anxiety, the search for meaning, being alone and being in relation with others, striving for authenticity, and facing living and dying.

Person-centered therapy

Positive view of people; we have an inclination toward becoming fully functioning. In the context of the therapeutic relationship, the client experiences feelings that were previously denied to awareness.

The client moves toward increased awareness, spontaneity, trust in self, and inner-directedness.

Gestalt therapy

The person strives for wholeness and integration of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Some key concepts include contact with self and others, contact boundaries, and awareness. The view is nondeterministic in that the person is viewed as having the capacity to recognize how earlier influences are related to present difficulties. As an experiential approach, it is grounded in the here and now and emphasizes awareness, personal choice, and responsibility.

Behavior therapy

Behavior is the product of learning. We are both the product and the producer of the environment. Traditional behavior therapy is based on classical and operant principles. Contemporary behavior therapy has branched out in many directions, including mindfulness and acceptance approaches.

Cognitive behavior therapy

Individuals tend to incorporate faulty thinking, which leads to emotional and behavioral disturbances. Cognitions are the major determinants of how we feel and act. Therapy is primarily oriented toward cognition and behavior, and it stresses the role of thinking, deciding, questioning, doing, and redeciding. This is a psychoeducational model, which emphasizes therapy as a learning process, including acquiring and practicing new skills, learning new ways of thinking, and acquiring more effective ways of coping with problems.

Choice theory/ Reality therapy

Based on choice theory, this approach assumes that we need quality relationships to be happy. Psychological problems are the result of our resisting control by others or of our attempt to control others. Choice theory is an explanation of human nature and how to best achieve satisfying interpersonal relationships.

Feminist therapy

Feminists criticize many traditional theories to the degree that they are based on gender-biased concepts, such as being androcentric, gender centric, ethnocentric, heterosexist, and intrapsychic. The constructs of feminist therapy include being gender fair, flexible, interactionist, and life-span-oriented. Gender and power are at the heart of feminist therapy. This is a systems approach that recognizes the cultural, social, and political factors that contribute to an individual’s problems. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Postmodern approaches

Based on the premise that there are multiple realities and multiple truths, postmodern therapies reject the idea that reality is external and can be grasped. People create meaning in their lives through conversations with others. The postmodern approaches avoid pathologizing clients, take a dim view of diagnosis, avoid searching for underlying causes of problems, and place a high value on discovering clients’ strengths and resources. Rather than talking about problems, the focus of therapy is on creating solutions in the present and the future.

Family systems therapy

The family is viewed from an interactive and systemic perspective. Clients are connected to a living system; a change in one part of the system will result in a change in other parts. The family provides the context for understanding how individuals function in relationship to others and how they behave. Treatment deals with the family unit. An individual’s dysfunctional behavior grows out of the interactional unit of the family and out of larger systems as well.

The Basic Philosophies

Key Concepts

Psychoanalytic therapy

Normal personality development is based on successful resolution and integration of psychosexual stages of development. Faulty personality development is the result of inadequate resolution of some specific stage. Anxiety is a result of repression of basic conflicts. Unconscious processes are centrally related to current behavior.

Adlerian therapy

Key concepts include the unity of personality, the need to view people from their subjective perspective, and the importance of life goals that give direction to behavior. People are motivated by social interest and by finding goals to give life meaning. Other key concepts are striving for significance and superiority, developing a unique lifestyle, and understanding the family constellation. Therapy is a matter of providing encouragement and assisting clients in changing their cognitive perspective and behavior. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Existential therapy

Essentially an experiential approach to counseling rather than a firm theoretical model, it stresses core human conditions. Interest is on the present and on what one is becoming. The approach has a future orientation and stresses self-awareness before action.

Person-centered therapy

The client has the potential to become aware of problems and the means to resolve them. Faith is placed in the client’s capacity for self-direction. Mental health is a congruence of ideal self and real self. Maladjustment is the result of a discrepancy between what one wants to be and what one is. In therapy attention is given to the present moment and on experiencing and expressing feelings.

Gestalt therapy

Emphasis is on the “what” and “how” of experiencing in the here and now to help clients accept all aspects of themselves. Key concepts include holism, figure-formation process, awareness, unfinished business and avoidance, contact, and energy.

Behavior therapy

Focus is on overt behavior, precision in specifying goals of treatment, development of specific treatment plans, and objective evaluation of therapy outcomes. Present behavior is given attention. Therapy is based on the principles of learning theory. Normal behavior is learned through reinforcement and imitation. Abnormal behavior is the result of faulty learning.

Cognitive behavior therapy

Although psychological problems may be rooted in childhood, they are reinforced by present ways of thinking. A person’s belief system and thinking is the primary cause of disorders. Internal dialogue plays a central role in one’s behavior. Clients focus on examining faulty assumptions and misconceptions and on replacing these with effective beliefs.

Choice theory/ Reality therapy

Assignment Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial StagesAssignment Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

Assignment Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

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The basic focus is on what clients are doing and how to get them to evaluate whether their present actions are working for them. People are mainly motivated to satisfy their needs, especially the need for significant relationships. The approach rejects the medical model, the notion of transference, the unconscious, and dwelling on one’s past.

Feminist therapy

Core principles of feminist therapy are that the personal is political, therapists have a commitment to social change, women’s voices and ways of knowing are valued and women’s experiences are honored, the counseling relationship is egalitarian, therapy focuses on strengths and a reformulated definition of psychological distress, and all types of oppression are recognized.

Postmodern approaches

Therapy tends to be brief and addresses the present and the future. The person is not the problem; the problem is the problem. The emphasis is on externalizing the problem and looking for exceptions to the problem. Therapy consists of a collaborative dialogue in which the therapist and the client co-create solutions. By identifying instances when the problem did not exist, clients can create new meanings for themselves and fashion a new life story. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Family systems therapy

Focus is on communication patterns within a family, both verbal and nonverbal. Problems in relationships are likely to be passed on from generation to generation. Key concepts vary depending on specific orientation but include differentiation, triangles, power coalitions, family-of-origin dynamics, functional versus dysfunctional interaction patterns, and dealing with here-and-now interactions. The present is more important than exploring past experiences.

Key Concepts

Goals of Therapy

Psychoanalytic therapy

To make the unconscious conscious. To reconstruct the basic personality. To assist clients in reliving earlier experiences and working through repressed conflicts. To achieve intellectual and emotional awareness.

Adlerian therapy

To challenge clients’ basic premises and life goals. To offer encouragement so individuals can develop socially useful goals and increase social interest. To develop the client’s sense of belonging.

Existential therapy

To help people see that they are free and to become aware of their possibilities. To challenge them to recognize that they are responsible for events that they formerly thought were happening to them. To identify factors that block freedom.

Person-centered therapy

To provide a safe climate conducive to clients’ self-exploration. To help clients recognize blocks to growth and experience aspects of self that were formerly denied or distorted. To enable them to move toward openness, greater trust in self, willingness to be a process, and increased spontaneity and aliveness. To find meaning in life and to experience life fully. To become more self-directed.

Gestalt therapy

To assist clients in gaining awareness of moment-to-moment experiencing and to expand the capacity to make choices. To foster integration of the self.

Behavior therapy

To eliminate maladaptive behaviors and learn more effective behaviors. To identify factors that influence behavior and find out what can be done about problematic behavior. To encourage clients to take an active and collaborative role in clearly setting treatment goals and evaluating how well these goals are being met.

Cognitive behavior therapy

To teach clients to confront faulty beliefs with contradictory evidence that they gather and evaluate. To help clients seek out their faulty beliefs and minimize them. To become aware of automatic thoughts and to change them. To assist clients in identifying their inner strengths, and to explore the kind of life they would like to have. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Choice theory/ Reality therapy

To help people become more effective in meeting all of their psychological needs. To enable clients to get reconnected with the people they have chosen to put into their quality worlds and teach clients choice theory.

Feminist therapy

To bring about transformation both in the individual client and in society. To assist clients in recognizing, claiming, and using their personal power to free themselves from the limitations of gender-role socialization. To confront all forms of institutional policies that discriminate or oppress on any basis.

Postmodern approaches

To change the way clients, view problems and what they can do about these concerns. To collaboratively establish specific, clear, concrete, realistic, and observable goals leading to increased positive change. To help clients create a self-identity grounded on competence and resourcefulness so they can resolve present and future concerns. To assist clients in viewing their lives in positive ways, rather than being problem saturated.

Family systems therapy

To help family members gain awareness of patterns of relationships that are not working well and to create new ways of interacting. To identify how a client’s problematic behavior may serve a function or purpose for the family. To understand how dysfunctional patterns can be handed down across generations. To recognize how family rules can affect each family member. To understand how past family of origin experiences continue to have an impact on individuals.

The Therapeutic Relationship

Psychoanalytic therapy

The classical analyst remains anonymous, and clients develop projections toward him or her. The focus is on reducing the resistances that develop in working with transference and on establishing more rational control. Clients undergo long-term analysis, engage in free association to uncover conflicts, and gain insight by talking. The analyst makes interpretations to teach clients the meaning of current behavior as it relates to the past. In contemporary relational psychoanalytic therapy, the relationship is central, and emphasis is given to here-and-now dimensions of this relationship.

Adlerian therapy

The emphasis is on joint responsibility, on mutually determining goals, on mutual trust and respect, and on equality. The focus is on identifying, exploring, and disclosing mistaken goals and faulty assumptions within the person’s lifestyle.

Existential therapy

The therapist’s main tasks are to accurately grasp clients’ being in the world and to establish a personal and authentic encounter with them. The immediacy of the client–therapist relationship and the authenticity of the here-and-now encounter are stressed. Both client and therapist can be changed by the encounter.

Person-centered therapy

The relationship is of primary importance. The qualities of the therapist, including genuineness, warmth, accurate empathy, respect, and being nonjudgmental—and communication of these attitudes to clients—are stressed. Clients use this genuine relationship with the therapist to help them transfer what they learn to other relationships. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Gestalt therapy

Central importance is given to the I/Thou relationship and the quality of the therapist’s presence. The therapist’s attitudes and behavior count more than the techniques used. The therapist does not interpret for clients but assists them in developing the means to make their own interpretations. Clients identify and work on unfinished business from the past that interferes with current functioning.

Behavior therapy

The therapist is active and directive and functions as a teacher or mentor in helping clients learn more effective behavior. Clients must be active in the process and experiment with new behaviors. Although a quality client–therapist relationship is not viewed as sufficient to bring about change, it is considered essential for implementing behavioral procedures.

Cognitive behavior therapy

In REBT the therapist functions as a teacher and the client as a student. The therapist is highly directive and teaches clients an A-B-C model of changing their cognitions. In CT the focus is on a collaborative relationship. Using a Socratic dialogue, the therapist assists clients in identifying dysfunctional beliefs and discovering alternative rules for living. The therapist promotes corrective experiences that lead to learning new skills. Clients gain insight into their problems and then must actively practice changing self-defeating thinking and acting. In strengths-based CBT, active incorporation of client strengths encourages full engagement in therapy and often provides avenues for change that otherwise would be missed.

Choice theory/ Reality therapy

A fundamental task is for the therapist to create a good relationship with the client. Therapists are then able to engage clients in an evaluation of all of their relationships with respect to what they want and how effective they are in getting this. Therapists find out what clients want, ask what they are choosing to do, invite them to evaluate present behavior, help them make plans for change, and get them to make a commitment. The therapist is a client’s advocate, as long as the client is willing to attempt to behave responsibly.

Feminist therapy

The therapeutic relationship is based on empowerment and egalitarianism. Therapists actively break down the hierarchy of power and reduce artificial barriers by engaging in appropriate self disclosure and teaching clients about the therapy process. Therapists strive to create a collaborative relationship in which clients can become their own expert.

Postmodern approaches

Therapy is a collaborative partnership. Clients are viewed as the experts on their own life. Therapists use questioning dialogue to help clients free themselves from their problem-saturated stories and create new life-affirming stories. Solution-focused therapists assume an active role in guiding the client away from problem-talk and toward solution-talk. Clients are encouraged to explore their strengths and to create solutions that will lead to a richer future. Narrative therapists assist clients in externalizing problems and guide them in examining self-limiting stories and creating new and more liberating stories. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Family systems therapy

The family therapist functions as a teacher, coach, model, and consultant. The family learns ways to detect and solve problems that are keeping members stuck, and it learns about patterns that have been transmitted from generation to generation. Some approaches focus on the role of therapist as expert; others concentrate on intensifying what is going on in the here and now of the family session. All family therapists are concerned with the process of family interaction and teaching patterns of communication.

The Therapeutic Relationship

Limitations of the Approaches

Psychoanalytic therapy

Requires lengthy training for therapists and much time and expense for clients. The model stresses biological and instinctual factors to the neglect of social, cultural, and interpersonal ones. Its methods are less applicable for solving specific daily life problems of clients and may not be appropriate for some ethnic and cultural groups. Many clients lack the degree of ego strength needed for regressive and reconstructive therapy. It may be inappropriate for certain counseling settings.

Adlerian therapy

Weak in terms of precision, testability, and empirical validity. Few attempts have been made to validate the basic concepts by scientific methods. Tends to oversimplify some complex human problems and is based heavily on common sense.

Existential therapy

Many basic concepts are fuzzy and ill-defined, making its general framework abstract at times. Lacks a systematic statement of principles and practices of therapy. Has limited applicability to lower functioning and nonverbal clients and to clients in extreme crisis who need direction.

Person-centered therapy

Possible danger from the therapist who remains passive and inactive, limiting responses to reflection. Many clients feel a need for greater direction, more structure, and more techniques. Clients in crisis may need more directive measures. Applied to individual counseling, some cultural groups will expect more counselor activity.

Gestalt therapy

Techniques lead to intense emotional expression; if these feelings are not explored and if cognitive work is not done, clients are likely to be left unfinished and will not have a sense of integration of their learning. Clients who have difficulty using imagination may not profit from certain experiments.

Behavior therapy

Major criticisms are that it may change behavior but not feelings; that it ignores the relational factors in therapy; that it does not provide insight; that it ignores historical causes of present behavior; that it involves control by the therapist; and that it is limited in its capacity to address certain aspects of the human condition.

Cognitive behavior therapy

Tends to play down emotions, does not focus on exploring the unconscious or underlying conflicts, de-emphasizes the value of insight, and sometimes does not give enough weight to the client’s past. CBT might be too structured for some clients.

Choice theory/ Reality therapy

Discounts the therapeutic value of exploration of the client’s past, dreams, the unconscious, early childhood experiences, and transference. The approach is limited to less complex problems. It is a problem-solving therapy that tends to discourage exploration of deeper emotional issues.

Feminist therapy

A possible limitation is the potential for therapists to impose a new set of values on clients—such as striving for equality, power in relationships, defining oneself, freedom to pursue a career outside the home, and the right to an education. Therapists need to keep in mind that clients are their own best experts, which means it is up to them to decide which values to live by. Comparison of Freud’s Psychosexual and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Postmodern approaches

There is little empirical validation of the effectiveness of therapy outcomes. Some critics contend that these approaches endorse cheerleading and an overly positive perspective. Some are critical of the stance taken by most postmodern therapists regarding assessment and diagnosis, and also react negatively to the “not-knowing” stance of the therapist. Because some of the solution-focused and narrative therapy techniques are relatively easy to learn, practitioners may use these interventions in a mechanical way or implement these techniques without a sound rationale.

Family systems therapy

Limitations include problems in being able to involve all the members of a family in the therapy. Some family members may be resistant to changing the structure of the system. Therapists’ self knowledge and willingness to work on their own family-of-origin issues is crucial, for the potential for countertransference is high. It is essential that the therapist be well trained, receive quality supervision, and be competent in assessing and treating individuals in a family context.

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