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Psychotherapeutic counseling is primarily influenced by the ideas of Sigmund Freud. The basic freudian view is that a persons behaviour is determined by irrational forces, unconscious motivations, and biological and instinctual drives that evolve through key psychosexual stages in the early years of a persons life.
The psychoanalytic view focuses on three fundamental systems, the id, the ego, and the superego. The id the biological component of ones life, the ego being the psychological component and the superego the social component. The dynamic work of this approach presents some solid understandings of the 'unconscious and the conscious', as expressed through dreams and symbols, slips of the tounge, memory lapses and material derived from free association.
This view of therapy being that our unconscious stores up all of our memories, experiences and repressed materials of living. Our needs and motives which are hidden from us or just out of our awareness are considered living under the surface of our consciousness and therefore out of reach.
The primary goal of this therapy being to help peoples unconscious motives become conscious so that the compounding effect on our behaviours can be grasped and understood: and therefore made reachable enabling a person to have more control of their day to day living: more able to make better decisions, and freer to live a fuller and healthier life.
Psychoanalysis enables a person to uncover the meaning of their symptoms, the causes of behaviours and the repressed materials embedded in the human psyche that interferes with healthy living.