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Case Study Of Sigmund Freud's Theory On Psychoosexual Development

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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), was an influential Austrian psychologist and the founder of psychoanalysis. Freud went on to produce several theories, such as his theory on psychosexual development, which will be the focus of this assignment. Using the case study of a six-year-old patient, I will discuss the key principles of Freud’s theory on psychosexual development. Including, comprehensive definitions of the concepts used, and the stages of Freud’s psychosexual development. Lastly using Freud’s theory, I will explain how the patient’s current behaviour, could impact her behaviour in adulthood.
The case study presents; Jane, a six-year-old female, whom has recently, started to suck her thumb, habitually. This behaviour overlaps, with the birth
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Regression is one of the defence mechanisms identified by Freud. According to Freud there are times when people are faced with circumstances that make them feel at such unease and threatened, that they cannot deal with it and they protect themselves, by retreating to an earlier stage of development. Many children who use regression as a defence mechanism, may begin to suck their thumb again.
Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development
Freud identified five stages of psychosexual development, namely: The oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, latency stage and genital stage.
The oral stage of development, begins at birth (even prenatally) and ends approximately, when the child is one-year old. The source of libido or pleasure and conflict, is the mouth. The child will enjoy sucking, feeding, and putting things in their mouth. The psychological theme here is dependency. Babies can do very little for themselves, and this would be the time where they are cared for deeply by their mothers and their most intimate bonding time. When a child is deprived of this and his/ her needs are not properly fulfilled it can lead to an oral fixation or overindulgence in their later life. Fixation in this stage could lead to problems such as smoking, nail biting, pen chewing, overeating, alcoholism, sarcasm and verbal hostility. (Sammons,
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