Free Theories of Jung, Adler, Horney, Erikson Essay Sample

Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic theories were first founded by Sigmund Freud; they also included psychology theories of very famous theorists like Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, and Karen Horney who had a very broad history with modern psychology with the psychodynamic approach. This psychodynamic approach showed that the normal functioning of the human being was usually based upon all the forces which existed within the inner self of a person, especially when the person was unconscious, and the personality structures which were usually very different in different individuals (Fromm, 2000).

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Horney’s social theory had the assumption that all the cultural and social conditions which very common in the childhood of every individual had a very powerful effect on the personality of an individual which caused neuroses (Fromm, 2000). Jung in his theory of personality believed that life’s main aim was the knowing of the person within and knowing of oneself by penetrating into the depths and not only the personal unconscious form but also the collective unconscious form (Roazen, 2003).

Adler’s theory of personality explored and developed a social theory which was a comprehensive study on the dynamic self (Roazen, 2003). He believed that human beings were self-determined since they were able to control their lives and make choice which concerned their lives. Erikson stressed on the psychoanalysis which was seen to shift its emphasis on the ego’s roots in the social organization (Roazen, 2003). Erikson’s theory was focused on the development of children with a greater sense of personal control; he believed that control the functions of the body led to a sense of independence.

These theories which have been brought up by Jung, Adler, Horney, and Erikson were very similar because the Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic school of thought had a great impact on them. The theories showed how an unconscious state can influence human behavior; the theorists had a very strong believe that the human mind was composed of the ego, id, and super ego. They believed that these three elements made up the personality, and the unconscious mind made up of the super ego and the id which are usually in conflict with the ego, the conscious element of the human mind. The ego is believed to be the most functioning element of human personality which exerts the conscious control being the mediator between the superego and the id. The id, on the other hand, is known to seek pleasure blindly which is commonly based on the pleasure principle, and the ego seeks pleasure using rationality rather than irrationality. The superego is that element that represents the moral system in humans (Bernstein, 2001).

However, they did not believe that instincts acted as the primary motivators of human behavior; it showed that they did not agree with all the ideas of the founder of the psychoanalytic theory, Freud, at all. They also did not accept the fact that the people’s view of their future was able to affect their individual personality, unlike the founder of this approach. The four theorists had some things in common, however; there were some matters wherein they had different positions.

Jung’s theory on the MBTI was a form of a psychometric questionnaire which measured all the psychological preferences which showed how people were able to make the decisions which they made and also how they perceived worldly matters. Jung’s theory differed greatly from the Freud’s theory in the development process and the personality structure of a person which explained the reason as to why his theory was mainly based on the development process which included individualism. Jung believed that dreams could help reveal other important themes, but not just sexuality and aggression; he supposed that these dreams revealed elements of creativity, a drive aimed towards individualization, or even archetypical matters.

Adler’s theory strived for perfection in people and Adler also differed with Freud’s arguments where she believed that dreams talked about the life of a person in terms of how the person was living.  He also had therapy differences from Freud’s where he preferred facing the patient and not being too authoritative (Roazen, 2003).

Hoyney’s Neurotic theory also differed from that of Freud since she stressed so much on the feminine psychology and the self theory. Her theory differed greatly form the idea of Freud of the penis envy concept where she emphasized very much on the womb envy concept where she argued that men were always seeking to undermine the women which made her theory to differ from that of Freud (Roazen, 2003).

Erikson’s social development theory also differed with Freud’s theory since he did not emphasize so much on the fact that the unconscious mind was inaccessible as compared to Freud who put in a strong emphasis on the idea. He believed that the future views of people could affect their personalities as compared to Freud who put in less emphasis on the matter (Weiland, 1993).

In conclusion, I would support the critics of Feud’s theory since it lacked enough empirical data since it never included the common sense as being a part of the psychodynamic theory and it was very unacceptable that the entire stem for all mental problems were as a result of sex aspects (Fromm, 2000). I strongly believe that the theories by Jung, Adler, Horney, and Erikson bring out future hypothesis which Freud’s theories failed to cover in the 20th century. Freud’s theory represent the traditional theorists theory which was for the 20th century but the theories from Jung, Adler, Horney, and Erikson are theories which have been developed to represent the modern psychoanalysis (Bernstein, 2001). It is very important for future research on psychoanalysis since there is the need for this research to evolve so as to meet all the needs and the perspectives of the future generations. This research might be of great benefit to the society because there is the evolving on newer ideas as the time progresses which may help in therapy. The shortcomings of these personality theories they cannot be proved scientifically because their propose structures are immeasurable.


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