...Today, experimental data support five central aspects of psychoanalytic theory (Westen, 1998b). First, much of mental life-including thoughts, feelings, motives, and defenses against unpleasant ideas, feelings, fears, or wishes-is unconscious. Second, individuals can have conflicting feelings toward the same person or situation that motivates them in opposing ways and often leads to compromise solutions.
Third, stable personality patterns begin to form in childhood, and childhood experiences play an important role in personality development, particularly in shaping the ways people form later social relationships. Fourth, mental representations of the self, others, and relationships guide people’s interactions with others and influence the ways in which they become psychologically symptomatic. Finally, personality development involves not only learning to regulate sexual and aggressive feelings but also moving from an immature, socially dependent state to a mature, interdependent one.
...Researchers studying adult attachment- that is, the attachment relationships people form as adults (e.g., with spouses)-find four attachment styles or patterns that resemble similar patterns seen in infants: (1) a secure pattern, in which the individual feels relatively safe and comfortable in the relationship: (2) an anxious-ambivalent or “preoccupied with attachment” pattern, in which the individual is chronically worried or conflicted about the relationship: (3) an avoidant or “dismissing of attachment” pattern, in which the individual deals with anxiety and discomfort in intimate relationships by shutting off interpersonal needs and denying unpleasant feelings in relationships: and (4) a disorganized pattern, typically seen in people who have not resolved childhood trauma or loss, in which the person has incoherent representations of attachment figures, cannot seem to predict or understand why attachment figures behave the way they do, and tends to be erratic and unpredictable with lovers, children, and others.
PSYCHOANALYSIS: Methods of Study
...Furthermore, an examination of literature in the arts and humanities shows that Freud continues to be cited more than all other sources in history except Lenin, Shakespeare, the Bible, and Plato.