Personal Experiences and Their Impact on Counseling: A Reflection

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Reflection paper: Personal experiences and their impact upon counseling Part 1 As is true of most people, it is difficult for me to apply a Freudian lens to my experiences growing up simply because I do not remember that far back in my life. According to Freud, every family experiences what he calls the 'family romance' of the Oedipus complex or the Electra complex. The young infant desires his or her mother and resents and wants to supplant the father in the mother's affections. The boy resolves this by identifying with his father. The girl's Electra complex "has its roots in the little girl's discovery that she, along with her mother and all other women, lack the penis which her father and other men posses" and so she comes to resent her mother yet identifies with her mother to 'possess' a man (Stevenson 1999). However, my experiences show the culturally-limited perspective of Freud I grew up in a single parent household. In terms of my childhood experiences, I find much more resonance with the theories of Erik Erikson who stressed the fact that social relationships, not just sexual impulses, shape the development of the character. Growing up, I often found that I had to resist many of the peer influences around me. My neighborhood was full of drug dealers and gangs. But my home environment and all of my relatives gave me a strong sense of self-worth. Erikson states that the central conflict of adolescence is one of 'identity versus confusion' as the adolescent's
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