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Psychology School of Thought: Contextual Influences (Essay Sample)


Section 1: The School of Psychology
Select and then describe a school of thought within the field of psychology highlighted in this course or through your independent research for this course. Include the following in your description:
The school of thought (If this school has been referred to by more than one name, suggest why it might have different names according to the sources.)
Major theorists or figures associated with that school and their contributions
Section II: Contextual Influences
Describe the contextual influences of your chosen school of thought. These influences may be historic events, social values, worldviews, or themes that influenced the evolution of this school of psychology and/or the key theorists or figures associated with the school.
Explain how this school of thought continued to provide contextual influences for contemporary psychology today.
Section III: Research
Support Sections I and II with no fewer than eight current (within 5 years) peer- reviewed articles on your chosen school of thought.
Write a summary of your findings. Synthesize the arguments and ideas of the scholars who contributed to the topic you selected.


Psychology School of Thought
Psychology School of Thought
Psychology is one of the disciplines that have many classical theories, and every theory has been very influential in describing a particular phenomenon. Even though some psychologists believe in one school of thought, many psychologists hold on to the eclectic viewpoints where they combine various schools of thoughts viewpoints. In this case, the psychologists come up with one effective theory to use. Despite many differences of the structuralism, functionalism and psychoanalysis schools of thoughts, the three schools of thoughts largely emphasize on the mental process. Psychoanalytic school of thought is one of the most common school of thought that has been widely used.
The psychoanalytic theory is a theory that was introduced by Sigmund Freud. In the 20th century, the theory can be named as one of the most influential. According to a study by DeVita (2011), Freud’s theory was developed after an observation and an analysis of the data that he extracted from clinical practice. According to Ezhovkina and Ryabova (2015), there are three major people that influenced Freud to come up with this school of thought and they included Anton Mesmer, who was a neurologist. The second person that influenced Freud was Jean Charcot, who was more concerned with the motor disorders treatment and management and Joseph Breuer, who helped Freud to experiment with his patients.
Nowadays, the name Sigmund Freud or the psychoanalytic school of thought is in many psychologists mouth. Just like the prior psychologists that included the structuralists and the functionalists, Freud wanted to study the covert behavior. Unlike the past psychologists, Freud was discontented with the conscious thoughts, and he dived into the unconscious. In their work, Aldridge, Kilgo, and Jepkemboi (2014) explain that Freud likened the human psyche with the iceberg. In this case, it is only a small part that is seen, but the larger one is hidden below the surface. Sigmund explained that most of the conscious actions are operated entirely by the unconscious mind. Freud proposed that for a person to understand the individual, they should study the unconscious motives and impulses (Aldridge, Kilgo & Jepkemboi, 2014). According to Robinson (2011), another name referred to as the psychoanalytic school is psychoanalytical. The psychoanalytical refers to the human psyche and the way it affects a human unconscious mind.
The unconscious mind is a part that a person is not aware. According to Sigmund, there are various techniques that can be used to access the unconscious mind. Some of the techniques used include the dream analysis and the free association. Sigmund describes that the dream allows the psychologists to understand the unconscious mind (Schwaber, 2014). Through his thoughts and explanations, the counseling psychologist, psychologists, psychiatrists among other health professionals have continued to integrate the thoughts in their treatments. The unconscious mind is the biggest portion of the brain that largely affects the physical personalities that the people have.
The personality structure of the psychoanalysis school of thought talks about the three factors of the man mind. The three factors include the id, ego, and superego. According to a study by Ezhovkina & Ryabova (2015), the id is the aspect that is driven by the basic internal drives also known as the pleasure principle. These aspects include the hunger, thirst, and libido among others where they seek instant pleasure. The second element that is the ego that balances the id and the superego where it acts in a realistic way. The third element is known as the superego that is the morality principle. This principle encourages the morally acceptable behavior.
The psychoanalytic theory has been largely influential in the past and today. There are many theorists that criticize the theory while as there are others that support the theory fully. Some of the psychoanalytic thinkers that support Freud include Anna Freud, Carl Jung, and Eric Erikson. The major theme that influenced this school of thought is the unconscious. The past theories had explained about the influences of the conscious in the human behavior, but none explained about the effects the unconscious. Sigmund Freud saw the deficit and introduced the theory that explained the effects of the unconscious mind when it came to how people behaved. Through his works, Freud changed how the society viewed the issue of the mental illness. Before the psychoanalysis was invented, people thought that the mental illness was an organic or the deterioration of the brain. After his research, Sigmund rejected the organic explanation (Robinson, 2011).
According to the study that was conducted by DeVita (2011), Freud opened new frontiers in understanding the human psychology. Through his work, Sigmund came up with the form of psychotherapy that has been used by many theorists, modified by a couple of theorists to understand the human unconscious mind.
Even if the field of psychology does not have a long history, various schools of thoughts have fought for their dominance. Despite having many psychology schools of thoughts, no thought has dominance in the end. Many of the psychologists have come to embrace the eclectic approach where many aspects of various schools are used instead of sticking to one perspective.
In today’s world, the Freud’s ideas are being used in treating mental illness and the thoughts have explained that talking about problems brings relief. The psychoanalytic school of thought has brought a lasting mark on the way people approach the mental illness. Nowadays, many neuroscientists are largely using the Freud’s concepts in laboratory studies. Studies that were conducted by Sousa (2011) indicate that when people are asked about things about psychology, Sigmund Freud is one of the personalities that come into mind.
Studies by DeVita (2011) indicate that the psychoanalytic is so influential today in the field of psychiatry. In the United States, the Freud school of thought is being incorporated in the medical and the academic world. Trebjesanin (2013) explains that the school of thought has received as much criticism as the approval. Many theorists have negated the Freud’s thoughts by explaining that they are not testable while may are using the thoughts to help people with mental illness. Some of the major people that have challenged the Freud’s theory include Otto Rank in 1920 and Horney in 1930’s. According to these critics, the psychoanalytic school of thought relied much on the data ambiguities. Some of the ambiguities that they oppose include the Freud’s dreams and free associations ideas. The lack of the empirical evidence on this school of thought makes it weak, and this hinders the standards of treatment.
One thing that Robinson notes is that the psychoanalytic theory is not largely used like in the past. Nowadays, many people are talking about the psychodynamic theory more than the psychoanalytic theory. Even though the school of thought is not largely used nowadays, it is still being felt today. The talk therapy is one of these schools of thought concepts that are largely being used nowadays. Other treatments that relate to the psychoanalytic theory are the client-centered and group therapy. Even though the Sigmund Freud Psychoanalytic therapy is no...
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