Date: 11/5/2015 8:43 PM UTC
Sigmund Freud’s perspective on personality development is seminal in
many respects. Outlining the existence of the conscious, preconscious and
subconscious was a revolutionary theory, but was much discredited in his day (Ryckman,
2013). Today, in neuro-science, we can see the working of the unconscious in the brainstem. The brainstem can activate both movement (Donnelly, 2014) and panic reactions (hysteria) outside of conscious awareness (Šilhán, Jelínková, Walter, Pavlov Praško,
Herzig, Langová & Školoudík, 2015).
understanding of the effects of early childhood trauma on development is also
foundational (Ryckman, 2013). Impulsive
aggression which was a big part of Freud’s theory of the id, has now been
related to childhood adversity and its effects on serotonin systems in the
brainstem. Many personality characteristics are now seen as brain based reactions.
Freud started his
work in the field of biology as a doctor and neurologist in the early 20th century (Ryckman, 2013). Only
in recent times have we had the tools to find the real home of the id, as well
as, the traumatic factors in early childhood that affect development.
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