Potential Strengths to Freudian Theory
A prominent, yet perhaps undervalued, strength of Freudian theory is its emphasis upon factors arising within the person as leading to psychological difficulties.Â This more humanitarian perspective than hitherto advanced a trend originated by Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) away from barbarous explanations implicating the devil or evil spirits.
Three cornerstones of Freudian theory – namely, the influence of childhood experience, primitive impulses and the unconscious – could also be considered as assets.Â Greater acknowledgement and understanding of such factors has undoubtedly arisen. Particular benefits may have accrued from a greater appreciation of the potential legacy of early trauma colouring a lifetime of perceptions and behaviour.Â The emotional needs of children have been given greater priority and respect as a consequence.
Regarding more specific aspects of Freudian theory, defence mechanisms appear noteworthy as especially pertinent to everyday experience and influential upon several other forms of psycho-therapy. Furthermore, some psychoanalytic therapy techniques – such as free association and dream analysis – were undoubtedly innovative and have been instrumental in helping many patients to overcome difficulties and to develop as individuals.