The Eras, Life Histories, and Personalities of Freud and Rogers

Published: 2021-08-03 04:05:08
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IntroductionIn the field of psychology, the study of personality is a complex issue. Carl Rogers and Sigmund Freud are commonly recognized and prominent psychotherapists. They both theorized regarding aspects of hidden personality, which individuals are not aware of. These theories were developed over years of clinical experience, but are governed by different assumptions. The contrasting views of both Psychologists have been compared, identifying their own influences and how they influenced modern psychology today.Literature ReviewContemporary psychologists have used different processes and interventions that have been developed on the theories of Freud. For instance, in the article entitled ‘Affective agnosia: Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud’s legacy’, a different kind of agnosia is described by (Richard D. Lan, 2015) that refers to a lack in one’s ability to mentally know or represent what an individual is feeling. The term “agnosia” was coined in 1891 by Freud before forming his psychoanalysis theory in 1895. According to the study, the concept of “affective agnosia” progresses the measurement, theory and treatment of alexithymia, that refers to a “lack of words for emotion.” The neural substrates of affective agnosia and emotional attentiveness are compared with related conditions, and key implications for clinical practice and basic emotion research have been discussed.In the article entitled ‘Mindfulness: A foothold for Rogers’s humanistic person-centred approach’, (Julius Jooste, 2015) contextualised and probed strong similarities between Rogers’s humanistic person-centred (PC) approach and meditation derived mindfulness. An evaluative and conceptual literature review of the person-centred approach was carried to provide definitive explanations of mindfulness. The research, based on Roger’s OC, proposed that mindfulness deepens, harmonises, and cultivates vital therapist abilities in PC therapy, and provides a justification for important inferences in the application of meditation-inspired activities for trainee therapists undergoing practical training and preparation.Theories and WorldviewsFreud was of the view that our behaviour and actions are a result of our childhood experiences, defined by psychosexual stages. During these psychosexual stages, if there were problems in at period, this would leave a deep impact on an individual’s adult personality. Freud established a number of different ideologies and theories, that set the foundations of his approach to psychology thgrough the psychodynamic method. He theorized about the conscious mind, the the sub-conscious mind and the pre-conscious proper. According to him, the sub-conscious is the place that holds invisible or subversive memories that one want’s to block out and forget. The memories that one wants to bring to the conscious mind are stored in the pre-conscious proper broiught whenever one wants. The human mind according to Freud is like an iceberg in which above water level lies only the conscious mind whereas the sub-conscious and pre-conscious proper are under water and not easily accessible therefore.Carl Rogers famously introduced the person-centred theory. His theory based itself not on behaviour but personality. His theory of self is one the most important concepts he presented. According to Rogers, three core conditions must be met by the therapist: congruence, empathy and an unconditional positive regard. A relationship between the client and the therapist cannot be built without these core conditions, resulting into a lack of trust towards the counsellor is made. His theory of self-actualisation is the fundamental driving force that motivates individuals to reach their potential to the fullest and self-actalise. He believed was composed of three parts, the self concept, the organismic self and the ideal self. Who we really from deep down inside is characterised by our organismic self.Freud, Rogers and Contemporary AdvancesIf Freud and Rogers were alive today, their theories may have been different. For example, freud could not differentiate properly between male and female sexuality. His views may have changed upon discovering that today women act independently of men, taking pride in their sexuality. And, his theory that women are actually envious of males and their genitals may have changed and his argument that women resent their mothers or men for lacking male genitals or that their minds are distorted would also likely change. Carl Rogers’ theory of self-actualization may also change had he been alive, upon seeing the war and violence that has become a part of today’s world. He may have seen the world to beviolent in nature, affecting his theory on individual behaviour. Since according to him, an individual behaves the way in which he perceives his surroundings, and the surroundings of a man of his era and today’s man are entirely different.Influence of Social and Cultural FactorsA combination of socio-cultural background factors led to Freud developing his theory of personality. The family structure Freud was brought up was different, before his father married his mother he was widowed twice. He was expected to live with his parents until he was 27 years of age according to prevailing cultural conditions. As he finished medical school, he spent three years in a hospital as as a resident physician, spending 5 months in the department of psychiatry. In his era, psychology paid little attention to human behaviour, which was a social drawback, that led Freud to pursue his studies in psychology, and develop his research. With it, he was able to infuence everyone’s view of human behavior and psychology by presenting his groundbreaking pscyhoanalyis theories.Rogers was brought up in a practicing and strict Christian family, beginning his early education late owing to his family traditions. He studied agriculture in college but his social obligations and influences motivated him to switch to religious studies. He attended a seminar once on ‘Why I am entering ministry’ and again changed his career, later inspired to choose psychology. His travels to far away areas of national or social conflict and his efforts to bring Protestants and Catholics together also influenced his thoughts. In South Africa, he tried to reconcile between blacks and whites.ConclusionIt is understood that Roger’s humanistic theories and Freud’s psychoanalytic theories are two theories that contradict each other, and make use of different methods, ideas and foundations but they both became very infuentual and dominant perspectives within psychology, that heavily influenced and shaped the psychologists of today. Both theories emphasise the significance of early childhood experiences and envrionment on adult behaviour, despite adopting different approaches towards it and contibuted greatly to our understanding of personalities today.ReferencesCampbell, J. A. (2017). Person Centered Theory and Considerations for Counseling Practice and Teaching. Journal of Global Engagement and Transformation, 1(2), 1-20. Retrieved from Jooste, A. K. (2015). Mindfulness: A foothold for Rogers’s humanistic person-centred approach. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 25(6), 554-559.Richard D. Lan, K. L. (2015). Affective agnosia: Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud’s legacy. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 55, 594-611. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.06.007

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