Ego and Psychology Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Ego Psychology

Theorists of Ego Psychology:

Ego psychology comes under the neo-analytic theory. Neo-analytic theory recasts and broadens psychoanalytic theory by underplaying sexuality, and by underplaying the significance of the unconscious. Instead it highlights the role of the ego. There are some neo-analytic theorists who concentrate on the process of the ego, while some concentrate on how the ego relates with and is influenced by other individuals or society or culture. Freud thought that the main job of ego was to intervene among the id, superego and external realism. Ego psychologists vary from Freud by stating that: The ego is concerned in adjustment, i.e. that the aim of behavior is adjustment to the surroundings and that the ego is powerfully concerned; and that the ego prevails from birth. Based on Freud's early works, a number of famous ego psychologists have done their works, but with a better and diverse prominence on ego. These ego psychologists can all be categorized as Neo-analysts. Examples are: Adler; Erikson; Freud; Hartmann; Loevinger and White. (Major Neoanalytic Theories & Theorists)

Development of Ego Psychology:

Between the period of the First and the Second World War, the ego psychology emerged out of the dark and disastrous period and was mainly inspired by the positive character of American society. Ego Psychology is confident about human nature and concentrates on the Ego. To be more precise, Ego Psychology concentrates on improvement methods across the life cycle; describing human abilities in reply to the interaction between the person & surroundings; the inner forces that drives toward ambition aimed types of organization; the way persons adjust themselves and/or adjust with the surroundings to meet their requirements. (Human Behavior and the Social Environment)

Primary components of Ego Psychology Theory:

The mind can be subdivided into three basic parts as per psychoanalysis, the ego, the id, and the superego. The ego signifies the continuing conscious occurrence or alertness, while the id and the superego signify the subconscious, which we are not aware. As considered by the psychoanalysts, the subconscious controls the vast majority of our behavior. As per the view, it is almost impossible to know what is actually taking place in our subconscious. This model is considered like an iceberg with ego on top and subconscious at the surface below it. The ego is quite small. The superego is similar to our conscience. This represents the communal rules that we are educated as we go through life as to what is good and moral. But the id is a furious cauldron of feelings and wishes. The id has most of our basic animalistic drives and characters, with the focus on violence and sexual energies. A part of the id that gets a lot of recognition is the libido, which consists of our sex drive. This drives to have children; to pass on our genetic material to the next generation is one of our most basic drives, according to the psychoanalysts. All through our lives, the theory goes; there is continuous clash between the id and superego. Thus the mind of a human being is in continuous clash with much of the clashes concerning basic sexual and aggressive drives. (Psychoanalysis:

As per Freud, the ego is in between id and superego to stabilize our ancient needs and our moral beliefs and restrictions. He states that the Ego consists of our conscious sense of self and world and a well-ordered set of unconscious resistance that are essential in describing both individual differences in character or personality and the indications and inhibitions that define the neuroses. Relying on experience, a strong Ego offers the capacity to change to actuality and intermingle with the outside world in such a way that helps both Id and Superego. (Ego, Superego and Id)

Ego psychology is related to the three structures that make up the personality: id, ego, and superego. The id is there from birth and has strong, unruly desires for self-preservation, love, and sexual satisfaction, as well as wild violent wishes and vicious desires. The ego develops at six months of age. The ego intervenes in the contradictory needs of the id teaching it that not all wishes can be fulfilled and must be postponed until the suitable time comes. The superego emerges when the child is five-year of age. While the ego tries to postpone the wishes of the id, the superego wants it to be permanently stopped. Feeble or stubborn egos are easily overcome by the id's childish wishes. Likewise, when the ego is conquered by the superego, the person is often besieged by feelings of shame and humiliation, unhealthily preventing his or her instinctual requirements. (Emotional and psychological issues page 2)

Ego Psychology applied to Human behavior and development:

Ego psychology evolved by Freud, Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Carl Jung, Melanie Klein, Otto Rank, Harry Stack Sullivan and others concentrated on the dynamic unconscious, the lowest point of the human psyche whose contents, they stated, must be incorporated with those of the conscious mind in order to have a healthy human personality. These founders believed that human behavior is mainly found out by what takes place in the unconscious mind. (Humanistic Psychology overview)

As per Freud, the id is an essential part of our personality, because, as newborns it permits to get our basic requirements met with. The id wants whatever it feels good at that time with consideration for the situation. For instance, when the id wants food, the child feels hungry and it cries. The id does not care about the reality but only about its requirements. In the next three years, when the child interacts with the world, the second part of the personality that is the ego develops. The ego realizes that other people also have wants and needs and that sometimes being hasty or egotistic can harm us in the long run. It's the ego's job to meet the requirements of the id, while taking into consideration the actuality of the situation. By the age of five, or the end of the phallic stage of development, the Superego forms. The Superego is the ethical part of us and is formed due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers. As per Freud, in a healthy person, the ego is the strongest so that it can convince the needs of the id, not disappoint the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation. If the superego becomes powerful, the person would be compelled by firm morals, would be hypercritical and rigid in his or her interactions with the world. (Freud's Structural and Topographical Models of Personality)

Strengths of Ego Psychology Theory:

The powers of ego psychology are that it concentrates on developmental procedures across the life cycle; recounting human abilities in reaction to the interface between the person & atmosphere; the internal forces that drive toward objective directed patterns of organization; the way persons modify themselves and/or adjust with the environment to meet their requirements. As per ego psychology, individuals are born with inborn ego powers that grow up over time, the influence of interpersonal and environmental factors is considered to be vital to the development of grown-up ego functions during the lifelong developmental process. Ego psychology offered the reasons for interferences aimed at making better or supporting adaptive ego functions through the means of work with both the individual and the environment. The social worker is considered as therapist and advocate. Ego psychology has the capability to concentrate on circumstantial and normative/stage related life dilemmas. (Human Behavior and the Social Environment)

Criticisms of Ego Psychology Theory:

The two general criticisms rose by the common people and the experts are that the theories are too simple to explain something as complicated as a human mind and the Freud exaggerated sex and was unequal here and was a sexist. (Psychoanalysis: From Theory to Practice, Past to Present) Ego psychology does not acknowledge the possibility of studying values, intentions and meaning as elements in conscious existence. It explores the dynamic unconscious, that is, the depths of the human psyche whose subjects must be included with those of the conscious mind in order to produce a healthy human personality. The human behavior is principally determined by what occurs in the unconscious mind. (Humanistic Psychology overview)

Understanding human behavior through Ego Psychology Theory:

As per Sigmund Freud, human beings are just motorized creatures, whom he thinks are hostages of prehistoric nature and powers. He asserts that the role of human beings is to manage these senses and influences. A newborn child will just have an id, the natural inducements and reactions that the human beings have acquired during the last centuries. The sole role of the id is to react to the inducements. The ego grows itself from the id and from the finding that the ways of the id can have mind-numbing outcomes. The superego, an outcome of an individual's socialization, is mainly just the conscience, which arbitrates between wants…

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