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Criticisms And Strengths Of Psychoanalysis Psychology Essay

Freud’s psychoanalysis was many of the theories today. Many of his basic concepts are still part of the fundamental resource on which other theories develop (Gerald Corey, 2005). Many of the theorists refer Freud theory to develop new theory, it just like a fundamental resources. However, we cannot follow blindly toward psychoanalysis theory due to nowadays many researchers found out that there are some criticism and strengths of the psychoanalysis theory.

There are some criticisms that some of the research found out that is Freudians have commonly forgotten that each individual is also a member of the human race, different people have different physiological and biological process and different life experiences. (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). Its means that if the patient said something that the Freudian is not agree, the Freudian will said you are denial and repression, it actually will hurt the patients who are really said the truth. They are forcing the patient to change their unconscious mind to conscious. To change the unconscious mind Freudian believe that in the rigorous application of the theories of the conservation and transformation of mental energy (as mental energy) is very effective (Solomon; Meyer, 1914).

The second criticism is psychoanalysis is too focusing on childhood experience. In viewing mental tendencies and activities from this standpoint we must include not only our infantile but also our phylogenetic and ontogenetic (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). It means that our population and our life span development, the environment factors and cultural factors will also affect our development. For example, psychoanalysis said that the oral stage if the infant did not get enough sucking activities he or she will develop mistrust of others and rejecting others but it actually change be change if the baby develop in a very friendly and caring environment.

The third is dream analysis, everyone dream is same dream with Freud, therefore, the objects illustrated in Freud dream does not means others will same as well. It is because the formation of dream is mental make-up of our life experiences in the interpretation of certain sensory experiences and in directing the trend and content of our ideas (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). Actually we cannot prove that the symbol in dream that Freud said represent something of the reality. Why should a screw driver in dream represent penis in reality? On the other hand, it said that dream is about “wish-fulfillment” even in a broad sense, does not adequately describe the tendency of dream (Solomon; Meyer, 1914).

According to Dr. Putnam says about the value and the significance of vague longings and surging, which, even though never cultivated; also that the materials utilized to reconstruct the history of the emotional life need not necessarily consist of actual experiences, but may also consist of imagined experiences which have the form and value of actual experiences and that even the possible falsifications and elaborations during the course of a psychoanalysis have a real meaning (Solomon; Meyer, 1914). It shows that in psychoanalysis some of the facts may just an imagination and falsification.

The psychoanalysis theory also has some strengths side of it. We have to thank for the Freud Psychoanalysis theory because it act as a reference for other theorists. A good theory should be argued and it helps to develop ideas and lead to new theories as well as applicable to other field (Kristen, Northwestern University). Freud theory has fulfilled many of the criteria stated by Kristen. For example, Carl Jung refers Freud theory to develop his analytical therapy.

The consistency of Freud psychoanalysis theory is still using until the twenty-first century for the patients suffering from mental illness (Kristen, Northwestern University). It means that Freud theory is very applicable for many setting such as institutes, organizations and hospitals. For instance, patient may feel about work stress and it affect the daily their performance in the organization, psychoanalysis may help the patient develop more ego in the structure of personality.

Psychoanalysis theory helps many health professional to understand about human minds and inner working, phenomena that previously cannot be evaluated. Freud’s psychoanalysis approaches for psychological treatment nowadays are commonly developed in the world (Farrell, 1981). It show that Freud theory actually can be apply to a wide range of people.

The psychosexual in psychoanalysis and Erikson’s psychosocial factors providing complete stages of a human development turning point (Gerald Corey, 2005). It helps therapists can search the patient problems from the patients childhood until it become adult. It seems like systematic way to study about patients problems. For example, a patient which has too much of aggression, it may because of the development of Anal stage is being threatened.

Criticism of analytical psychotherapy (Carl Jung)

Carl Jung has develops a theory of personality that was totally different with Freud Psychoanalysis. Jung’s analytical psychology is an elaborate explanation of human nature that combines ideas from history, mythology, anthropology and religion (Schultz & Schultz, 2001). In Analytical Psychotherapy is still not perfect and it contains some criticism, but it also has its own strengths and contribution to the society.

One of the criticism is that analytical psychotherapy is like a religion worship, according to McGowan(1974), in What’s Wrong With Jung, examines the lack of proof and scientific research in Jungian psychology. Analytical Psychotherapy is like cult-like aspects, its religious overtones, and the prejudices of Jung himself (Ziff; Katherine, 2000).

Another criticism is in research and proof. McGowan (1994) notes that Jung was unconcerned with proving any of his ideas. All his theory was built by self-evident and his personal experiences. Jung’s theory was not proven by any scientific evident. For example, he said that the shadow has the deepest roots and is the most dangerous and powerful of the archetypes (Gerald Corey, 2005). The shadow has the deepest roots, this evident is cannot prove by the scientific method because it is a mythology.

Nowadays, different people will have different religion as in analytical theory is not suitable to people today. Jung had family roots and deep interest in Germanic Volk mythology with its emphasis on transcendent spirituality and pantheistic beliefs (Ziff, Katherine, 2000). The religion view of Jung century may have different with the religion view nowadays. Besides that, Jung European religion that means it may be cannot apply on eastern countries which have different religion of view.

Jung theory is not realistic to the world. According to Noll, he maintained that Jung meant his method of analysis to be means for direct experience of God and a means of spiritual redemption for individuals as well as mankind (Noll, 1997). Jung theory cannot apply towards Islam religion because when Jung doing his research for world religions of the world for ideas he had ignore the Islam religion (McGowan, 1994).

While Analytical psychotherapy also contains it advantage such as Carl Jung had made a big impact of generating in rating researches. His theory based on classification and typology, helps in defining the attitude and function of people and bringing moderation of rating in most of the researches such as Myers-Briggs Type indicator (Gregory, 2006).

Jung’s personality theory brought out a new dimension in creating personality theory known as collective unconscious (Gregory, 2006). He helps in broadening the scope of personality theory. Even though his theory related to occult and mystical but his other theory, such as collective unconscious helps in suggestion more ways analyse a person’s personality. Jung’s theory able assists those who had trauma by identifying their cultural myth and legends.

As conclusion, both theories contain it strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand we should thanks about these theories help people solve so many problems as bring the unconscious mind to conscious.


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