The development of psychoanalysis, especially by the influence of Sigmund Freud, caused an inevitable surge in popularity in both American media and society. Freud was a highly intelligent psychologist who strayed away from traditional methods in psychology such as experimentation and focused more on subject areas that other psychologists avoided. Freud was particularly interested in motivating forces, consciousness, and conflict, neither of which psychologists had given an in-depth analysis to before Freud. While psychoanalysis was subject to criticism, because of how much it varied from academic psychology, it began to gain popularity amongst the public because of the extremely different subject matters that Freud had proposed.
Because psychoanalysis was such a vastly different concept, it received a dramatic surge in media attention via newspapers, magazines, and books. In addition, Freud was actually invited to be featured in a film, and although he declined he had many television shows and documentaries made about his contributions to psychoanalysis. Freud’s work around sex was equally as intriguing as the idea of psychoanalysis itself and helped contribute to the rise in popularity of his ideas.
Although psychoanalysis saw a rise in popularity when it was first introduced as a school of thought, it continues to be relevant even in today’s society. Many therapists still use psychoanalysis as a way to treat patients diagnosed as having an anxiety or depressive disorder. In media such as tv shows or movies, we can see theories that Freud studied such as the conscious and unconscious mind being dramatized through the depiction of alter-egos. Additionally, Freud also gave us the language of terms related to consciousness such as the defense mechanisms. In everyday life, I can experience the bridge between consciousness and unconsciousness by accidentally slipping up and saying something that I didn’t mean to say. While some of Freud’s theories have not withstood the test of time, he still has many influences on our lives and the history of psychology.
Freud’s theory of personality and the system of psychotherapy is still seen today in our person lives as well as movies. For instance, Freudian defense mechanisms are prevalent everywhere and we use them to represent our unconscious denials. Freud theorized that defense mechanism are there to guard the ego against forms of anxiety. The forms of anxiety were said to be objective anxiety, neurotic anxiety, and moral anxiety. The other day me and my parents were having a discussion on group conversations. We were trying to discuss why during confrontations whomever is being confronted begins to initiate their defense mechanisms. However, this is only one example of a portion of Freud’s psychoanalysis. Another big example is impulse which Freud made into a term for human motivating forces when most psychologists used instinct. The phrase “acting on impulse” has been said and heard by almost everyone. In fact another term to describe an impulse we all have is libido, the innate impulse that influences someone towards pleasure. Even in movies I have heard people refer to libido as a term for pleasure crazy or just to describe someone who acts on their impulse towards pleasure. There have even been pills and stimulants made that are said to increase your libido. As for the neo-Freudians, they sought out to modify Freud’s psychoanalysis theory. The term archetypes was used to describe an individual whom acts in a similar fashion to their ancestors given a similar situation. I have heard this term used many time in movies and everyday life. The term itself has been modified a bit to describe a socially accepted symbol that is replicated by everyone. For example, a hero, mentor, allies, trickster. etc. that you see in movies. Two large term used universally to this day are introversion and extraversion. When in school you are labeled as an extrovert or introvert depending on your sociability.
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