Psychoanalysis 101 – Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is also a haven for psychoanalysis, a method of psychology invented by Sigmund Freud. It's common for expatriates and natives alike to take advantage of the city's many therapists to explore their problems. Click through to learn more about psychoanalysis. The people in this photo are not necessarily patients.
Psychoanalysis 101 – Sigmund Freud is hailed as one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. He and others laid the foundation for modern mental health practice. The field of psychoanalysis stays closer to his original ideas than other branches of psychology.
Psychoanalysis 101 – Freud believed problems in adulthood could be traced to being "stuck" in stages of development, and some of those ideas are still in popular culture. People with an "oral fixation," for instance, have not resolved conflicts from their infancy up until about age 2. Those who are "anal retentive" may have had parents who created anxiety around toilet training, around 2 to 4 years old, Freud believed. Therapists today don't force patients to talk about these experiences, but generally, personality forms by age 6 or 7, says Gabriel Rolon.
Psychoanalysis 101 – The "Oedipus complex" refers to boys who desire their mothers and feel threatened by their fathers around ages 4 to 5, Freud believed; girls, on the other hand, experience "penis envy." Therapists today, even psychoanalysts, admit that Freud's development patterns such as this one do not apply to everyone, although they may be useful generally in thinking about development.
Psychoanalysis 101 – Transference happens when a patient redirects his or her feelings about one person toward another, Freud believed. For example, a patient may come to relate to a psychiatrist or significant other in the same way as he or she did to a parental figure. Negative reactions to a spouse may, in theory, come from bad feelings toward someone else being transferred. Recognizing these patterns may be helpful as patients work out their problems.
Psychoanalysis 101 – Freud talked about the mind in terms of three parts: The id, ego and superego. The id is driven by pleasure; it has all the person's wishes and motivations. The ego is the cognitive, rational apparatus to deal with life. The superego serves as the person's conscience, driving guilt and incorporating societal pressures. These may not exist as physical structures in the brain, but they do provide guidance for thinking about how people repress their true wishes, impose shame on themselves and balance desires against the expectations of others.