The psychoanalytical school of thought, also known as psychoanalysis, was founded by Sigmund Freud, around the same time as behaviourism. (McLeod, 2014) While behaviourism focuses on the environment and its influence on an individuals’ behaviour, psychoanalysis aims to study and analyse the influence that unconscious mental processes have on a persons’ thoughts and emotions. (McLeod, 2014). Freud founded this school of thought with the belief that by enabling a person to understand their unconscious thoughts would also enable them to cure themselves.
The main focus of the psychoanalytic school is to address issues a person has by digging into their unconscious mind and developing an understanding of the mental processes that results in the problematic symptoms. (McLeod, 2014) . Psychoanalysts are strong believers that experiences of trauma or developmental disruptions from a persons’ past have an influence on their current behaviour (McLeod, 2014), and these are naturally stored in the unconscious section of the mind. (McLeod, 2015). For this reason, psychoanalysis is often used to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders, with therapy being the primary source of treatment used.
One of the key theories within the Psychoanalytic school is Sigmund Freud’s structure of the mind. According to Freud, the features of the mind can be compared to the structure of an iceberg (McLeod, 2015). Within this analogy, the tip of the iceberg represents the conscious mind of