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Compare and Contrast the Psychoanalytic Theories of Freud and Erikson



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    1. Compare and contrast the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Erikson. (Chapter 2)

    The psychoanalytic theories of both Freud and Erickson are similar in many ways, but Erickson recognized a wide range of outcomes from the eight developmental stages that being different from Freud’s five stages.

    Freud believed that development in the first six years occurred in the three stages (Stassen). Freud believed that each stage focused on sexual pleasure that came or originated from a particular part of the body. For a newborn baby the oral stage is where the infant would use the mouth, tongue and gums to focus on pleasures from that area and how to experience the new world through this medium of pleasure. Feeding as an infant if one of the primary rituals that occurs for the first many months of a baby’s life, where Freud’s theory would explain the wants and needs of a smoker that is still unconsciously stuck in the oral stage of life.

    The next stage of Freud’s theory is the anal stage that occurs from one to three years of age, where the toddler pleasures from retaining and eliminating feces. Again the negative outcome of this stage is where an adult would become obsessive and dedicated to perfection. Erickson, like Freud has the same two theories from birth to three years of age in the developmental stage, however, the major differences is that in Erickson’s theory of Psychosocial development the stages focuses on family and culture not just sexual urges, as well as the problems that would originate if a certain stage was not successfully completed (Stassen).

    Freud’s phallic stage focuses on the penis, the most important part on the body in which will make the girls question why they do not have one (Stassen). Erickson’s stage at this point was not about the penis and the lack of one, but more of the limits set by the parents of the child. Erickson stage of initiative and guilt focused on the abilities of the child to do or participate in activities that far outreached their abilities, but like Freud’s phallic stage, this originates pride and fear. Pride in completing something that the parents thought was too difficult for the child, or Freud’s pride of having a penis.

    The subsequent stage from Freud’s theory is the latency stage, in which this is not a stage rather a pause of sexual desires where the energy is placed in other activities such as schoolwork and sports (Stassen). However, in Erickson stage of industry versus inferiority the child learns to become competent and productive in the new world. Each of Erickson’s stages has a conflict that must be satisfied either way, in addition to successfully completing each stage before reaching the next or that conflict will arise unconsciously later in life. In both theories of the adolescence stages a somewhat completion of both sexual desires and pleasures originates, but Erickson describes a role confusion, where the adolescence needs to find and answer of the question “Who am I”, unlike Freud’s stage of sexual satisfaction and stimulation in a heterosexual relationships (Stassen).

    In Freud’s genital stage, this was the last stage and lasts throughout the lifetime, where the goal is to live a happy and healthy life to work and to love, but Erickson’s stages continued from adolescents to older adults. Erickson’s next stage was a conflict between intimacy and isolation, in which young adults seek companionships and struggles with fears and rejections. Both Freud’s and Erickson’s development stages have many similar attributes because Erickson believed in Freud’s theories but expanded on them further and included family and culture. In addition to that of a person will have to be successful at each stage or a problem will exist in the person’s future, although Freud’s theories must be accomplish in the same way or fear of struggles from the unconsciousness will emerge in adulthood.

    2. Discuss the significance of events that occur (or may occur) after birth, including concepts such as the parental alliance, postpartum depression, and the parent-infant bond. (Chapter 4)

    Right after a baby is born, medical personnel will assess the newborn using the Apgar Scale, in which will identify and check the five vital signs. The vital signs are Heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, color and reflexes. The assessment will be done twice, one minute after birth and again at five minutes, this assessment will determine if the newborn needs medical attention in one or other areas of the score identified by the vital sign. Each vital sign is scored from zero to two, in each of the five areas. The higher the score the better, if at the five minute assessment the newborn scores above a seven then all is well. If the newborn scores below a seven then medical help is needed, if the score is below a four than a Neonatologist will be called right away. Most newborns are born fine, pink, and alert (Stassen).

    The parent-infant bond is formed in the minutes that follow birth for the newborn baby and both the mother and father. This is not as necessary and once thought, research as shown that bonding immediately after birth is not necessary for parents and newborns to form lifetime strong parent-child bonds. Indeed this attachment is more for the parents that it is necessary for the newborn for a bond to form (Stassen).

    From the minute of birth the mother will go through many different emotions from happy to sad, to inadequacy. Although the Father can help by providing care to the newborn so that the mother can recover can also add salt to wound, making the mother feel more inadequate. Postpartum Depression affects eight to fifteen percent of women (Stassen). There are many factors that can contribute to the effects of Postpartum Depression such as preexisting depression, financial worries or even problems within the marriage before the pregnancy began (Stassen). Postpartum depression can last for a couple of days to several weeks, anything longer than a few weeks should be treated immediately, because of the long term effects to the child. A mother with postpartum depression feels that caring for the newborn can be bothersome and may neglect the newborn. In general if the mother is not affected by postpartum depression but the father becomes depressed this can affect the baby in the toddler stages by having behavioral problems (Stassen).

    For even an uncomplicated birth a parental alliance is a must, this is a mutual commitment for both parents that will allow support between both parents. This alliance will assure and often allow each parent to communicate effectively to all matters of child bearing and nurturing. Since parental roles have shifted in this day and age an alliance to uphold both parental beliefs is more important that the each of the parents beliefs and morals alone.

    Preterm births are births three weeks before the full 38 weeks can have and does have considerable impact on both the baby and the mother. Since most preterm newborns have considerable low birth weight, extra care and equipment is needed, not from just low birth weight but from being preterm. A preterm newborn is still under development, but in the hands of caregivers, not in the womb.

    Compare and Contrast the Psychoanalytic Theories of Freud and Erikson. (2017, Jul 22). Retrieved from

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