Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality


Psychoanalysis is a therapeutic technique that operates on the assumption that everyone has unconscious memories, emotions, and feelings that influence their daily events and dreams. Sigmund Freud whose emphasis was on sexual desires and urges repressed in the unconscious mind invented the psychoanalysis theory (Yalof, 2020). Psychoanalysts facilitate the release of repressed experiences and memories to help in healing. The therapies require two to five weekly sessions for three to five years. The analysts use various techniques to help clients bring their repressed minds into consciousness. Some of these include free association, inkblots, dream analysis, parapraxes, and transference analysis (Yalof, 2020). This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section provides answers to some of the questions you may have about therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy

My insurance company will only pay for l-2 weeks of sessions. How long does psychoanalysis last?

Psychoanalysis is quite a lengthy process, taking years rather than months with weekly sessions. Nevertheless, each psychoanalytic treatment plan will include defined start and end dates. However, patients are not restricted by time while resolving longstanding problems. You will find it useful to think of the period in years instead of months because the minimum recommended sessions will take at least one year (Kahr, 2019). Inner conflicts require ample time to understand and resolve permanently. The period is reduced if the patient develops self-analysis capacity in the early sessions.

Your insurance company is considerate to pay for the few sessions. Due to tight regulations and management of health care, most insurance covers will not include psychoanalysis (Plakun, 2020). However, there are insurers who pay for a single weekly session while you cover the rest. Restricted financial resources might limit a patient’s access to the service. Nevertheless, you can discuss the situation with your analyst and request a discounted fee. With lower charges and a portion covered by insurance, your cash payments will be lower, making the service affordable.

Is it important for me to discuss my childhood with the therapist?

Yes, it is quite important to discuss your childhood with the analyst or therapist. Although you are seeing a therapist for difficulties happening now, childhood influences most of your adult life. However, unless you experienced a traumatic early life, it will be hard to connect the current challenges to your childhood (Farley, 2018). For example, people who were victims of sexual or physical abuse in their early life might connect it to their adulthood depression. It is critical to realize that our upbringing influences our view of the world and ourselves.

Most of the beliefs you have about relationships, work, rest, safety, love, and self-worth are greatly influenced by your upbringing. For example, if a child grows in an environment where adults make sacrifices for others, they end up feeling the need to do the same in their adulthood. If the parents died and the eldest sister was forced to drop out of school to take care of the younger siblings, they too will feel pressured to sacrifice for someone else in adulthood.

Why does Freudian psychoanalysis put so much emphasis on sexual urges?

To begin with, Freudian psychoanalysis is not only about sexual urges and pleasure, as many people believe. Freud used libido to mean wholesome psychic energy inclusive of sexual and survival instincts (Preston, 2020). However, the modern meaning of the term libido is overtly sexual, hence, the interpretation. Nevertheless, sexual urges are a major source of pleasure, which is sought by the Id. Freud believed that the Id controls and directs the entire body to achieve the maximum pleasure described as the pleasure principle.

Freud’s emphasis on sexual urges is warranted because there are several factors that influence libido. These include social issues, health status, psychological factors, and sex hormones (Preston, 2020). Therefore, libido affects and reflects the state of several body issues. In addition, Freud’s theory also applies to infants who cannot have an actual sexual desire but have libidinal stages. From birth to a year, sucking on the mum’s breast is the basis of the pleasure that the Id seeks, making its mouth a libidinal organ.

Will I have to talk about my dreams? Why?

While dream analysis is used y analysts and therapists, you are not compelled to discuss them. However, you may want to reap the benefits of discussing your dreams with a therapist. Psychoanalysis insists on dream analysis because Freud believed they represent a royal road to the Id (Roesler, 2018). Therefore, analysts can tap into the unconscious mind through the interpretation of dreams. Psychoanalytic theories believe that the conflicts, desires, and unfulfilled wishes of the Id are revealed in dreams as latent and manifest content.

When you talk about your dreams to the therapist, you are revealing the manifest content, which includes all the information you can remember. The analyst helps you to come up with the latent content, which are the symbols represented in the dream and their meanings (Roesler, 2018). Through the technique of free association, the therapist supports you to explore the symbolic meanings of your manifest content. For example, if you dream of being in a car without a driver and cannot direct it, it could symbolize your lack of control over certain aspects of life.

My friend is going to a Jungian therapist. How is that different from a Freudian therapist?

Jung and Freud differed in five key areas: religion, paranormal events, sexuality, dreams, and the unconscious. While Freud believed that repressed feelings were hidden in the unconscious mind, Jung divided psyche into collective unconscious, ego, and personal unconscious (Baratt, 2018). A person’s experiences and memories are stored in the collective and personal unconscious minds. Freud argued that repressed sexual urges in the unconscious mind ultimately lead to neuroses (Baratt, 2018). Both Jungian and Freudian therapists use dream analysis but will differ in interpretations. Freud believes that dreams reveal repressed sexual desires while Jung says that they represent symbolic imageries of the internal and external world.

Freud felt that sex is the main motivating factor of human behavior, leading to his theories such as psychosexual development, the Oedipus Complex, and the Electra Complex. Jung believed that sex was only one of the factors driving human conduct. When it came to religion, Freud felt it was an opiate of the masses while Jung thought that it was the humans’ way of communicating (Barratt, 2018). While Jung studied parapsychology as the connection between a person’s external and internal world but Freud had zero interest in the field.

Overall, the differences between Freud’s and Jung’s beliefs will influence the respective therapy sessions. Jungian therapists will broaden their analysis of dreams and include paranormal aspects of the client’s life in it. On the contrary, a Freudian analyst will only interpret dreams in connection with repressed desires and cannot consider paranormal activities as significant. In addition, the Jungian therapist might be interested in your religion as it affects your world but a Freudian analyst may not.

What is the difference between the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious?

The collective and personal unconscious minds are sections of the psyche as identified by Jung. The personal unconscious stores the emotions and memories rejected or repressed by the individual (Mills, 2019). They are mostly negative including embarrassing moments, bitterness, forbidden urges, and pain, and not consciously recallable. For example, traumatic childhood events are repressed in the personal unconscious but can influence the adult’s reaction to daily occurrences or be revealed in dreams. However, Jung believed that even recalled painful memories are held in the personal unconscious.

The collective unconscious contains the knowledge one is born with or experiences of the whole species or group. It includes all the memories inherited from ancestors or past human generations. Most scholars define it as the “whole spiritual heritage of mankind’s evolution born anew in the brain structure of every individual” (Mills, 2019, p. 44). Collective unconscious trespasses human limits of race and is passed on through inheritance. The contents include universal experiences such as love, pain, fear, and hatred. Other products of the collective unconscious include animus and persona.

I have heard a lot about defense mechanisms. What are they?

Defense mechanisms are mental processes allowing an individual to reach a compromise on when faced with conflicts difficult to resolve. They help you to conceal any feelings or drives that could cause anxiety or lower self-esteem. Examples of defense mechanisms include repression, reaction formation, projection, regression, sublimation, rationalization, and denial (Boldrini et al., 2020). The use of these defenses is psychologically normal but when excessively or rigidly applied, there is a need to worry.

Denial involves consciously refusing to acknowledge the facts at hand to escape intolerable feelings. Rationalization is where the true threatening event is substituted with a reasonable and safer explanation. Regression is returning to earlier developmental stages to avoid the unsettling feelings of the current one. Repression involves pushing the undesired feeling to the unconscious part of the mind. Projection is the displacement of unwanted feelings upon another individual or item to apportion blame to an external source or force.

I’ve been told that I am a very anal person. Does that have anything to do with Freud?

Yes, Freud is credited for coining the term anal personality in his psychosexual development theory. He defined three important psychosexual phases as oral, anal, and phallic, occurring from 0-1, 1-3, and 3-6 years, respectively (Guido et al., 2018). During the anal stage, the child learned how to use the toilet. If the training was strict, the child would develop an anal personality disorder, also called anal retentiveness.

Individuals with anal personalities are perfectionists, obsessed with even the smallest detail. However, they do not require psychologist attention unless there are extreme tendencies that affect daily activities. Therefore, you do not need to see a psychoanalyst unless the personality is bothering you or the people you interact with. For example, if you experience anxiety when your surrounding is out of control or you cannot make decisions, you may want to seek help.


In conclusion, psychological therapy is important in revealing harmful memories and emotions hidden in the unconscious mind. Freudian psychoanalysis might involve discussions of your childhood and dreams. Most painful and traumatic childhood experiences are repressed in the unconscious mind and they manifest in your reactions to everyday events or are revealed in dreams. Although insurance may not cover your entire psychoanalysis treatment, you can ask for a reduced fee to cut your spending on the sessions.


Barratt, B. B. (2018). On the otherwise energies of the human spirit: A contemporary comparison of Freudian and Jungian approaches. In R. S. Brown (Ed.), Re-encountering Jung: Analytical psychology and contemporary psychoanalysis (pp. 47–67). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Boldrini, T., Buglio, G. L., Giovanardi, G., Lingiardi, V., & Salcuni, S. (2020). Defense mechanisms in adolescents at high risk of developing psychosis: an empirical investigation. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome, 23(1).

Farley, L. (2018). Childhood beyond Pathology: A psychoanalytic study of development and diagnosis. SUNY Press.

Guido, G., Belk, R. W., Rizzo, C., & Pino, G. (2018). Consumer behavior and the toilet: Research on expulsive and retentive personalities. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 17(3), 280-289.

Kahr, B. (2019). The first Mrs. Winnicott and the second Mrs. Winnicott: Does psychoanalysis facilitate healthy marital choice? Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 9(2), 105-131.

Mills, J. (2019). The myth of the collective unconscious. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 55(1), 40-53.

Plakun, E. M. (2020). Access to psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in the US. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 34(2), 100-110.

Preston, E. (2020). Freud, sex, and the soul: does Freud’s focus on sex obscure his relevance to the twenty-first-century soul-searcher? Journal of Psychological Therapies, 5(1), 65-73.

Roesler, C. (2018). Structural dream analysis: A narrative research method for investigating the meaning of dream series in analytical psychotherapies. International Journal of Dream Research, 11(1), 21-29.

Yalof, J. (2020). When the assessor’s limits are tested: Enactments and the assessment frame in psychological testing. Journal of Personality Assessment, 102(4), 573-583.

Cite this paper

Select style


PsychologyWriting. (2023, September 17). Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2023, September 17). Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality.

Work Cited

"Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality." PsychologyWriting, 17 Sept. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality'. 17 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality." September 17, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality." September 17, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Freudian and Neo-Freudian Views on Personality." September 17, 2023.