The following points highlight the top three neo Freudians who have given attention to social determinants of personality. The neo Freudians are: 1. C .G .Jung 2. A. Alder 3. Karen Horney.
Neo Freudian # 1. C .G .Jung (1875-1961):
Swiss psychiatrist Jung was the earlier associate and follower of Freuds and is well known for his school of Analytical Psychology. He also advanced this strong views on collective unconscious. He was separated from Freud because he differed from his in many areas.
He developed his own approach towards understanding the unconscious aspect of mind. He claimed that the contents of collective unconscious are archetypes or primordial images. They are due to heredity and not individually unequal God, the earth are some simple examples of archetypes.
Jung explained the causes of neuroses by the theory of extra version, introversion and collective unconscious. He pointed out that the libido is an energy which is not particularly sexual though Freud equated libido to sex energy. It is an energy which can be utilized for sex or for some other activities, just as electricity can be used for different types of activities.
As Coleman puts it, Jung believed that the achievement of maturity and selfhood requires great courage and resolution, but that failure to develop one or more essential components of the personality or the attempt to deny the deep unconscious instead of relating to it, dooms the individual to a one sided and unfulfilling life and often neuroses and other mental disorders.”
Jung also made contributions to the interpretation of dream. He describes four ways of experience of the world. They are sensing, intuition, feeling and thinking.
In view of his distinct and classic contributions he deserves the status of one of the greatest thinkers of psychology in the world.
Contrary to Freud Jung held that dream is not only of the past, but also a preparation for the future. It is becoming as well as has been. The sex symbols in dreams have been explained by Alder as thoughts and symbols of primitive race.
In his utilization of dream materials, Jung like Freud used free association to get patient’s direct observation. But unlike Freud he was not primarily interested in repressed infantile desires, traumatic experiences and oedipus functions.
Neo Freudian # 2. A. Alder (1870-1937):
Adler was also a follower of Freud but was separated later on because of differences in opinion. Adler is famous for his “school of individual psychology” Contrary to Freuds emphasis on the sexual urge which he viewed the most urgent driving force in human life, Adler emphasised the importance of the urge of mastery and self-assertion in human life.
Adler advocated that every individual is driven by the desire for power and dominance on other persons due to his sense of inferiority developed during the helpless period of the childhood. Because of physical and mental weakness the child develops a sense of inferiority.
To overcome this sense of inferiority he develops a sense of superiority and dominates on others. Adler thus holds that neuroses is caused for adopting socially disapproved channels as a means to be free from excessive sense of inferiority.
Adler’s theory of inferiority is helpful in explaining neuroses in children. But it is not very effective in explaining the neuroses of adults. He through that everyone suffered from inferiority complex or feeling of inadequacy that arise from childhood.
Adler theory of individual psychology also emphasizes that behaviour is purposeful and great suspected. He thought that everyone of us has the capacity to choose and create our goals, nature us to do any activity and hence every work should have a specific goal.
The goes in life that provide security and self confidence and help to overcome inferiority and extremely important for a person to establish his identity and overcome his inferior.
Adler viewed dreams as means of reinforcing the dreamer’s life style. He saw dreams is attains of arousing appropriate emotions for tackling one’s difficulties. According to him dreams point out to the immediate future and not to the past. Keeping in view the individual psychology.
Adler holds that the dream is a type of preparation for the future and it deals with the immediate or most distant future of the dreamer. Dreams therefore to Adler are the unconscious attempts to trade the immediate difficulties. He insisted that it is always the purpose of the dreamer to pave the way towards the goal of superiority and to solve a problem. Adler hold that style of life is the master of dreams.
Neo Freudian # 3. Karen Horney (1950):
Karen Horney focussed her interest in the social foundations of personality. She reported that excessive need for affection results in neuroses.
Horney has particularly emphasized the human child’s hostile reaction towards rejecting parent/parents as the basic cause of neuroses which the child learns to repress because of socialization and social restrictions. Ultimately it creates anxiety, emotion and leads to neurotic break down.
She further opines “Many reactions which we should look as neurotic in our culture are considered quite normal in other cultures and behaviour types which we consider quite usual would be considered neurotic at sometimes and in some places.”
Another area on which Horney expressed her strong views relates to the differences between males and females. She claimed that the differences between males and females are largely society made, i.e., results of social factors.
She holds that each sex has qualities which are admired by the other sex and neither sex should by viewed superior or inferior. Thus, more than fifty years back Horney gave this revolutionary views in a male dominated world relating to prejudice regarding gender discrimination.
She viewed that power and autonomy associated with males has made women feel inferior to men and not penis envy which Freud thought. As opposed to Freud and his associates Horney held that various psychological dysfunctions are not caused by fixation of psychotic energy, but from disturbed interpersonal relationship with parents during childhood.
When parents are cold or hostile or indifferent or aggressive towards the child, when the child feels in secured and frustrated in a family without adequate love, affection, caring and sharing it creates basic anxiety according to Horney.
Deep resentment and hostile attitude towards parent or parents occurs due to basic anxiety. The inadequate behaviour of parents generates a feeling of helplessness, isolation and alienation in the child. This affects the healthy development of personality.
Even too much approval and admiration or the vice versa towards the child’s activities stand on the way of healthy personality development. These parental styles of child rearing either lead to moving towards people, moving against people, and moving away from people.
Moving against lead to disturbed interpersonal relationship, hence unhappiness which can be overcome by appropriate therapy. Horney held that disturbed interpersonal relationship lead to basic anxiety.