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4 Structural Theory of the Mind

Johnny K. Lokin, M.D.

University of Santo Tomas Hospital
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry
Sigmund Freud

Founder of classic psychoanalysis

Unconscious factors determine the shape of symptoms,

thoughts, feelings, and behavior


Freuds Psychoanalytic Theory of Personality


Born on May 6, 1856 in Freiburg

Jewish wool merchant father

Taught hypnotism by Ambroise-August Liebault and

Hippolyte-Marie Bernheim

Work in Vienna with hysterical patients

Bertha Pappenheim Anna O

Treated patient with hypnosis in conjunction with cathartic



Basic concepts:
o Deterministic

All behavior has meaning and a discoverable

o Dynamic

Analyzes the flow of psychic energy

o Developmental

Personality develops through a series of

alterable stages

Freuds Topographical Level of the Mind

Three levels of awareness

o Conscious mind

We are aware of at any moment

Current thinking processes and attention to


Constitutes a very large part of our current

o Preconscious mind

Which we can be aware of if we attend to them

Can be deliberately brought to the conscious

o Subconscious or unconscious mind

We are unaware of and cannot be aware of

except under special circumstances

Process and content are out of direct reach of

the conscious mind

Thinks and acts independently

Freuds Personality Structure





Mental agency containing everything inherited at birth and

fixed in the persons constitution
It is raw, animalistic, knows no rules
It is the biological component of the personality
It does not recognize fear or anxiety
It cannot tolerate frustration and has no inhibitions
Need for immediate gratification is known as the pleasure
Reservoir of psychic energy and contains a certain amount
of this energy
It cannot tolerate increases in this energy and seeks to
reduce the level of this energy
The reduction of energy is known as pleasure
There are two ways to reduce energy levels:
1) Reflex action: automatic responses to sources of
2) Primary process: forming an image of an object
previously associated with satisfaction of a drive


Develops because primary process cant in reality satisfy


Provides an interface between the id, which has no

contact with reality, and reality

Must find a match in reality for the images the id produces

in primary process

Takes into account the demands and restrictions of the

real world in an attempt to satisfy the needs of the id
o Balance the id and superego

Social rules necessary to live and socialize with other

o Secondary processes
(perception, recognition, judgment, and memory)

Incapable of much reality-testing

It aims to suppress the ids impulses and prevents the ego

from attempting to satisfy the id

Counterbalances the id, particularly in sex and aggression

It seeks to prevent pleasure (the expression of psychic

energy). Even the thought of an impulse can produce guilt

It seeks to persuade the ego to seek moralistic goals and

forego realistic ones
Structure of the Personality

The id is totally unconscious

while the ego resides within
both the preconscious and the
conscious. The superego
resides partially in all three
levels of consciousness.





The law of the conservation of energy applies to the

functioning of personality.

Each person has a limited amount of energy.

Energy tends to accumulate over time, creating tension

which is unpleasant.

The release or reduction of energy is experienced as


The energy is shared among the various

components of the personality.
rainwater@mymelody.com || 1st semester, AY 2011-2012

The aim of an instinct is to reduce tension which produces

a momentary state of bliss.
The object of an instinct, which is not fixed and may
change over time, is any person or object that satisfies an
Two major instincts:
o Eros (life instincts) include all forces serving to
maintain vital life processes and assure propagation
of the species

Energy is libido (e.g., sexual instincts)

o Thanatos (death instincts) underlie all manifestations
of cruelty, aggression, destructiveness, suicide, and

Represent a desire to achieve an energyless

state (entropy) which is the ultimate pleasure

Represents an unconscious wish to die and

return to an energyless, inanimate state
(e.g., aggression is self-destructiveness turned
outward toward a substitute object)

Psychic Apparatus


Basic Tenets of Freuds Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic

(impact on psychiatric and psychotherapeutic practice)
Adult personality is determined by:
1. Notion of psychic determination
2. Unconscious mental activity
3. Role of childhood experience
Threefold Aspect of Psychoanalysis
1. Therapeutic Technique
2. Scientific and Theoretical Knowledge
3. Method of Investigation
Beginnings of Psychoanalysis

Joseph Breuer

Bertha Pappenheim Anna O

Treated patient with hynopsis in conjuction with cathartic


abreaction - remove symptoms through a process of

recovering and undertaking suppressed feelings with
which the symptoms were associated
The Conscious

Perceptions are brought to awareness

Subjective phenomenon

Communicated only by language or behavior

Attention cathexis a form of neutralized psychic energy

o A person was aware of a particular idea or feeling as a
result of investing a discrete amount of psychic
energy in the idea or feeling
The Preconscious

Mental events can be brought to awareness by focusing


The repressive barrier

Censor unacceptable wishes

The Unconscious

Dynamic censorship and repression

Closely related instinctual drives

Primary process thinking

o Principally aimed at facilitating wish fulfillments and
instinctual discharge

Wishes provide motivation for dream and neurotic

symptom formation

Governed by pleasure principle

The Id

Reservoir of unorganized instinctual drives

Lacks the capacity to delay or modify instinctual drives

Not synonymous with the unconscious

Freuds Personality Factors
Three components of personality

o Must differentiate between things in the mind and
things in the real world
o It operates on the reality principle (understands
that behavior has consequences)
o It borrows energy from the id to carry out its functions
o It controls higher mental processes such as thinking,
reasoning, problem solving
o Its aim is to suspend instinctual gratification until an
appropriate object or environmental condition is
found (keep id impulses in check until it is appropriate
to satisfy them)
o Executive organ of the psyche
o Controls motility, perception and contact with reality
o Delays and modulates drive expression
o Spans the conscious, preconscious and unconscious

Conscious component

Logical and abstract thinking

Unconscious component

Defense mechanisms

o Represents values and norms
o First the parents and then society in general
o Represents the social component and operates under
the morality principle
o Develops from the system of rewards and
punishments administered to the child
o The conscience develops out of the punishments the
parents apply to the childs behavior
o The ego-ideal develops from the rewards and
approvals the parents apply to the childs behavior
o Establishes and maintains an individuals moral
o Based on the complex system of ideas and values
internalized from parents
o Heir to the Oedipus complex
o Provides ongoing scrutiny of a persons behavior,
thoughts, and feelings

Ego and the Id

o Transition from the topographical model of the mind to
the tripartite structural model of ego, id, and superego

Superego vs. Ego Ideal

o Ego Ideal

Prescribes what a person should do

o Superego

Dictates what a person should not do

rainwater@mymelody.com || 1st semester, AY 2011-2012