Freud had several stages and we
call these the Psychosexual Stage.
So Freud is kind of synonymous
with relating everything back to
sort of sexual innuendo and sexual
stages and sexual nomenclature,
and these five stages align with that.
So the first stage, when
you’re really, really young,
so just under two year old to a
newborn, we have the oral stage.
And this is when you feel the need
to put everything in your mouth,
so sucking, chewing, nipples, bottles,
everything goes in your mouth and
that’s pleasure-seeking activity.
You find happiness and pleasure
in putting things in your mouth.
Now as you get a little bit older,
so between 18 and 36 months,
you enter the anal stage,
and this is where you actually get pleasure
and you feel a sense of control and able
to control the elimination of waste,
so fecal matter,
so taking a poo.
So the fact that you can take a poo and
you’re aware of the fact that you’re pooing
and you can maybe stop it or go on the
toilet and all that kind of stuff
gives you that sense of control.
You find happiness in that.
Then into the phallic stage, and
this is three to six years old,
and this is pleasure through genitals.
And I don’t think we want to
limit this just to three to six,
but in Freud’s Psychosexual Stages, this
happens at this particular time, three to six,
and you go through something which might
on the surface seems slightly disturbing,
but it has a purpose
and that the child tends to be sexually
attracted to the opposite caregiver.
So a young girl would be sort of
attracted to her father and vice versa.
So if you have a young son,
the little boy is going to
be attracted to the mother
compared to say the same sex parent.
So if you’re a little
boy you hate your dad,
if you’re a little girl you hate your mom.
You don’t necessarily hate, but you don’t
have that same sense of attraction.
And so in boys we call
that the Oedipus complex,
and in girls it’s the
So in the Oedipus complex the
boy is really into his mom,
and the Electra complex the
girl is really into her dad.
And this is really relevant because we’re
going to make a point in just a moment.
So this is probably something that
could easily come up on the MCAT.
So remember that stage, the phallic stage.
Then we also have the latency stage.
I should mention actually, the
phallic stage is also when
young girls will express
what we call penis envy
and that they realize that
they don’t have a penis
and maybe their little brother does,
and so they get kind of
jealous of the fact that
hey, why does he have one and
I don’t have one, right?
Now, the next stage is the latency stage
and this is between the
ages of three to seven,
and then this is where you kind
of go away from the phallic stage
and being into genitalia and you
start getting into other things.
So you now you start liking toys
more and playing and coloring
and getting into that stuff
and you get away from the
fascination of sort of the penis
and really being into
your mom or your dad.
Then we get into
the puberty stage
and I think we all see the
reintroduction of our friend,
good friend, Mr. Genital and Mrs.
Genital, and you enter puberty
and this is where you start getting
into adolescents and sexual themes
and starting to like other boys and
girls and that’s the overall sequence.
You can see he’s linked, Freud has linked
everything to sort of a psychosexual stage
and he’s linked a sexual behavior to
some type of psychological transition.
Now, we know that your
ultimate adult personality
is largely determined by
the first three stages:
the oral, the anal, and
the phallic stages.
And even more specifically,
Freud believes that if the child is not
successfully moved through those three stages
that they’ll get
stuck in a stage.
We call that becoming
So a child needs to go
through all of these stages,
and if they don’t complete all the
stages there might be some issues,
and one that’s kind of really
important, which is why we’re
saying this might come up on
the MCAT is the phallic stage.
So if the child does not
actually go through --
completely go through
the phallic stage,
the point where they’re really
into opposite sex parent,
they, as an adult, won’t actually accept
his or her sexuality and sexual feelings.
So it’s kind of really important that
they need to go through that phase
and then transition over to the latency
phase in order to be well-rounded,
sort of sexually aware and intact
with their sexual feelings as adults.
Now, let’s move on to the next theory
and that was one that was put forth
and kind of championed by Erik Erikson.
So this is a Freud believer
and he adapted it a little bit
and he kind of added two things.
So first is that he added social
and interpersonal factors.
So Freud’s is a little bit
lacking there in that respect
and he also added conflicts in
your adolescence and adulthood
as opposed to just focusing
on your early childhood.
Okay, so two different things that
he’s layered into Freud’s approach.
So psychoanalytic therapy helps
patients become aware that
there are unconscious motives
and to better understand the
emotional issues and conflicts.
So in English, we’re looking at not
only just the unconscious motives,
but we want to try and see how that relates
to the emotion that you’re expressing now
and the conflicts that you’re having now.
So again, it’s trying
to be a little bit more
well-rounded, a little
bit more inclusive.
So the goals of this
psychoanalytic therapy will be to
help you choose your
So there might be some
but you can modulate your
And it says to strengthen the
ego so choices are based on
reality instead of instincts or your
id or guilt, which is your superego.
So we should kind of remember
that and you should know that,
that id is associated with instinct and
superego is associated with guilt, okay?
So just to reiterate there,
the point is that we want to strengthen
the ego’s choices based on reality, okay?
So again, we’re bringing
consciousness back into the mix.
Now, this therapy is what you normally
associate when you think of psychotherapy
and that’s sitting there on a
chair and talking, or a sofa.
And so that’s why it’s given
the term talk therapy,
where you respond in some
of the questions he asks,
but it’s you more so
driving what’s coming out.
So it’s not the therapist talking
a lot, it’s you talking a lot.
And the therapist’s job is to
sit there and try and map out
and look for certain childhood events or
unconscious feelings that you’re having,
and then make that
link and say, “Okay.
We think that the behavior that
you’re illustrating right now
is linked to this childhood event or
this unconscious thing that has happened
and so, therefore, let’s address that
and modulate your behavior using