Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Psychoanalysis in Adults, Theory and Technique
John J. Cecero
All psychotherapies are informed by specific theories of personality and psychopathology, and psychoanalysis is certainly no exception. This entry (a) describes the psychoanalytic theory of adaptive and maladaptive personality functioning, emphasizing the centrality of unconscious conflicts, and (b) points out how the techniques of psychoanalysis are designed to promote more successful resolution. Freud (1911) identified two fundamental hypotheses about mental functioning that characterize psychoanalytic theory: (1) the principle of psychic determinism and (2) the primacy of unconscious processes in motivation and behavior. The principle of psychic determinism maintains that no human thought, feeling, or action is random or accidental. Every human choice is instead essentially related to previous thoughts, conflicts, or mental events that precede and determine that choice. For example, forgetting to pick up the milk on the way home from work is not simply a random event. That forgetfulness is likely determined by any number of psychic events, ...