The Psychoanalytic Approach

By: Gabi Jakubow, Jessica Ficon, and Jewel Gingras

Sigmund Freud

  • Psychologies most famous figure
  • theories helped shape our views of childhood, personality, memory, sexuality and therapy
  • the founder of psychoanalysis
  • an Austrian physician
  • Areas of interest : personality development, what can go wrong, and what can fix it

The Psychoanalytic Theory

  • Psychoanalysis - a system that views the individual as the product of unconscious forces (definition from the textbook)
  • It is the original psychodynamic theory that inspired other psychologists to develop their own theories
  • Early experiences that kids go through can affect their future personalities once they have reached adulthood based on the effects of unconscious conflicts within individual inner forces drive behaviour

Freud's Psychosexual Stages

Psychosexual Stages

Oral Stage

  • From birth to 18 months
  • first development stage marked by physical aspect of sucking (mouth, tongue, lips)life sucking = food and comfort
  • Oral Fixation - when an individual does not pass this stage
  • results of oral fixation = overeating, drinking, smoking or chewing on nails
  • oral fixated people become - dependant on others, gullible, never ending followers
  • people who fought the desires become - pessimistic, aggressive

Anal Stage

  • between 18 months and 3 years
  • marked by control of bowel and urge controls
  • fixations can lead to anal retentive personalities (parents too strict,clean or parents to sloppy,disorganized, not strict enough)

Phallic Stage

  • from 3 years to 6 years
  • child's focus moves to genitals, specifically the penis
  • boys/girls wonder why girls don't have penis
  • boys get sexual feelings for mom
  • boys see father as competition and fear castration (oedipus complex)
  • fixations can lead to sexual deviance or weak and confused sexual identities

Latency Stage

  • 6 years through puberty
  • dormancy period
  • children play with other children of the same gender
  • sexual urges remain restrained throughout stage

Genital Stage

  • after puberty has begun
  • centre of focus = genitals
  • if successfully progressed through other 4 stages- the individual will be able to have successful heterosexual relationships
  • if fixated on other stages - individual will have trouble forming normal relationships
  • people who achieved the genital stage they are well adjusted, balanced people - said by Freud


1. Mr. Clarke forgot to post the notes from yesterdays class on the blog. The psychoanalytic theory could determine that the reason he forgot this was because he didn't want to go to psychology the next day instead he wanted to teach something else.

2.When Jennifer was a little kid, her mom got pregnant and Jennifer was supposed to have a sister. Sadly, he mom had a miscarriage and now that Jennifer is married she doesn't want to have kids since she is afraid she will have a miscarriage as well.