4. Classic psychoanalytic treatment focuses on bringing unconscious thoughts and feelings to consciousness so the client can gain new insights about seemingly unacceptable feelings or thoughts. The hope is that incapacitating symptoms are allayed when repressed wishes of the id are made conscious, but this is easier said than done and usually necessitates extensive analysis.
5. Originally Freud posited two basic drives, the self-enhancing survival drive of the ego, and the pleasure seeking sexual drive of the id. As a good Darwinian, Freud was impressed by how all creatures are driven by sexuality to create the next generation. . Later Freud became convinced that there is also a death drive. Rather than posit three drives, he lumped together the self-enhancing survival drive with the sexual drive and called it “libido’ or the life drive, as opposed to the death drive, which Berne later named “mortido”. For Freud, mortido included aggression which he believed represents a way to deflect and turn outwards the attraction of death.
6. Whether we posit a battle in the unconscious between the ego-enhancing drive and the sexual drive, or between libido and mortido, or between the superego and the id, the important psychological issue is that there can be constant unconscious conflict going on about what feelings and thoughts may be brought to light or manifested as behaviors. Conflicts often relate to the super-ego’s high standards and the ego’s inability to distinguish between awareness of forbidden wishes and the feared likelihood of enactment of these wishes. As a result, we are likely to repress, and then deny, awareness of certain “forbidden” impulses, particularly those related to the sexual drive. However, some dim awareness of such “forbidden” feelings may appear in various forms of “acting out” and/or in fantasies, thus generating additional feelings of shame or guilt and further internal conflicts. Such conflicts may cause various psychosomatic ailments or symptoms such as anxiety, panic, phobias, and so on.