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Thread: Freud's stages of life

  1. #1

    Default Freud's stages of life

    According to Sigmund Freud we go through different stages in life. In each stage of life we learn by different experiences.
    as we go through each stage we have the potential of getting "stuck" due to either to much attention or not enough attention.

    The first stage he describes is that we go through an Oral Stage. this is from day one to about year 1 1/2. He describes that in this stage we have a desire to suck and to have things in our mouths, such as food. I think a lot of us got stuck in this stage.

    the second stage is the Anal Stage.Freud defines the anal stage as: "the time during which experience is dominated by the pleasures and frustrations associated with the anus, retention and expulsion of feces and urine, and toilet training." This normally takes place during year 2-4. I know we all got stuck here!

    So I guess my question is, what age do you think you are stuck at? and if you got stuck in one of these two stages, do you have any memory of too much attention or not enough?

    I myself cant think back that far. but I would stay I got stuck in the 2-4 years old which is why I feel like I'm still only 3 years old!

  2. #2


    bearing in mind that Freud is widely refuted by the pyschoanalytic community.

    I don't think I'm "stuck" per se... I take Freud with a pinch of salt.

    one of my earliest memories is being wet and uncomfortable in my cot. It's a memory of a memory somehow. It was before I enjoyed wearing nappies I'd have said...

  3. #3


    if anythin, latency period... but Freud did not believe you could get stuck at latency (later neo-Freudian theorists did examine that, if I recall correctly)...

    you may also want to look into Erikson's stages of psychosocial development... Freud is mostly laughed at in modern academic psychology, but Erikson still has a good amount of credibility...

  4. #4


    Freud isnt really considered to be a way to understand childhood development. They do still teach it in psychology but it is used as a foundation for other theories (such as Erikson's) because many theories are based on freud. Another theory that im pretty sure is still used is piaget's thoery of development. Although erikson's is pretty good as well.

    I think for us, we go well and truly past being 'caught up' in a stage of development as a child. If that happened, we would not be able to function as adults very well at all (which is definitely not the case for all of us here, there are a minority who may only be able to half function in the adult world)

    For this reason, i think that erikson's is better. He understood each stage of development as a question that is postulated and either a good or a bad outcome occurs. Regardless of whether the person experences the negative or the positive of the question, they still move to the next stage of development (however, that negative experience may impact future developmental stages and he person may continue to experience the negative side of each developmental stage... like dominoes falling, when one falls the rest will follow).

  5. #5


    I think we all develop differently and that it is impossible to have a single working model for human psychological development. The stages are decent mile markers which indicate what children will often be doing at a specific age however I don't care for a lot of what Frued has proposed.

    Personally I don't really think any of us could have "gotten stuck" in one of these stages unless we never truly separated from or binkies or became toilet trained successfully. Even then incontinent folks are an excellent counter example which shows that people are more than capable of moving forward even if they are unable to hit the great milestone of potty training. I can see that you are IC, so perhaps my assumption is poor and you can give me a different perspective to examine this through.

    I know that my interest and urges for ABDL didn't resurface until I was at least 10 years old and I have faint memories of potty training as well as several photos which show myself quite happy during the phase. I think the age that we take on for our persona has a great deal to do with what we perceive that age is/was like. I am personally a fan of the 4-6 age bubble because I still had my blonde hair and enough curiosity/freedom to make it exciting. I know I was potty trained far before I hit that age range, however it's nice to think about being 4-6 with the added ABDL elements.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
    if anythin, latency period... but Freud did not believe you could get stuck at latency (later neo-Freudian theorists did examine that, if I recall correctly)...

    you may also want to look into Erikson's stages of psychosocial development... Freud is mostly laughed at in modern academic psychology, but Erikson still has a good amount of credibility...
    My take on Dr. Frued is his psychosexual model is not refuted in science, in my opinion, it just limited in its application. It seems that his model is the only one that seems to fit paraphillic infantilism/ABDL. ABDL is limited to sensuality, sexuality, and most often, like a hobby for most of us, and that small part of it. The Erickson "conflict" stages do not seem to address it very well in "Shame vs. doubt/ trust vs. mistrust," though his model describes childhood emotional development. Another model: Piaget (Piaget's theory of cognitive development - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Seems to limit to cognitive development.

  7. #7


    Okay, I know I'm new here, but here is my take. I think that we all have self-actualization needs. If you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs you have to understand that the way to get to the next "step" on the pyramid of needs is to make sure all the needs of the lower levels are met. The lowest level of need is the physical needs: breathing, food, water, sex, etc. The step above that are the security needs--body, employment, family, etc. Above that is love and belonging: family, friendship, and sexual intimacy. Above that is esteem: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of and by others. Next, is the final step: self-actualization. I think that a lot of us get stuck in the self-esteem part because we lack one or more of the things we need to reach a fully self-actualized self.

    I, too, take Freud with a grain of salt, but give the dude his due: he was the first to really take a stab at looking at the complexities of human social, sexual, and psychological development, and encouraged countless others to do the same. While some of his theories may seem out there, they are just a reflection of the Victorian attitudes of his day. That's my two cents, and I'm sticking to it!

  8. #8


    And then there's love mapping. I studied all the above mentioned back in the late 60s to 1970, and yet we still discuss their work. I suspect that our understanding of the mind will remain limited, in that the function of the brain is so complex. Even now, science is studying the hard wired inferences, predispositions based on the more physical functions. I like both Erikson and Paiget, and was impressed with them then and now. I wouldn't be quick to dismiss Freud either, in that I harbor this theory that our desire for diapers traces back to the stress of potty training compounded by being made to feel shame when failure was experienced. Sounds like teen Freud spirit!

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I wouldn't be quick to dismiss Freud either, in that I harbor this theory that our desire for diapers traces back to the stress of potty training compounded by being made to feel shame when failure was experienced. Sounds like teen Freud spirit!
    Thing is, there are also a number of us on here that were potty trained without any perceived 'stress'. Not only that but some people managed to go thorugh potty trainging without failing or being shamed. Some people have had a normal childhood where they have had everything they needed and yet still develop this desire (or other desires). I think Freud's concept can apply in some situations but it does not explain everything.

    I think the one thing that all the psychosexual development theories have as a flaw is that they are based on observation only. This means that it doesnt actually get into the mind of a child to see what is going on (well it does, but it it limited as to what it shows). And we still do not understand brain development and neuronal connections/networks.

  10. #10


    This has turned into a little bit of an essay, but I do rather enjoy psychology! I welcome all responses. I love this kind of debate .

    While I am no psychologist, I've studied psychology intensely for the past five years. If I were rich and had no need for a career, I'd be preparing to go university to study psychology - but alas I am not. Psychological theory is fascinating stuff. But, it's important to note that there are many vastly differing approaches to psychology. All with their own merit in some regard. Even the psycho-dynamic approach, of which I am a skeptic.

    Having studied Freud and psychoanalysis, it frankly flabbergasts me that so much of america still prescribe to this form of psychology. Theoretically, perhaps I can understand some of its merits. But in practice? Really?!

    It is outmoded, outdated and from my perspective in some areas rather batshit insane.

    Although some areas of the psycho-dynamic approach have been notably updated over the years, the fundamental assumptions remain the same as they were in the early 1900s. In this sense, regardless of how much modern day psychoanalysts reject the idea, Freud is still synonymous with psychoanalysis. It is widely known within the scientific community that his approach was subjective (this is bad!). He mainly used case studies of single people, as did many of his contemporaries, not forgetting other more recent psychoanalysts. His sampling methods were also biased towards his very Victorian and sexually repressed view of humanity.

    This was Freud's main weakness. His is the least scientific approach to psychology.

    Psychoanalysis assumes that most human behaviour is determined either by early childhood events or irrational unconscious drives. To the layman, this sounds like it could be quite logical. But, the reality of this is that much of the evidence that psychoanalysis is based upon is just supposition. In modern day psychology, we rely on what can be observed or measured only. Ask yourselves this about psychoanalysis: How can you prove or disprove scientifically what the unconscious mind contains? Or even, how can you prove that the unconscious mind even exists?

    To this day case studies remain the most used method of research within the psychodynamic community. The crunch of this is that, even though psychodynamic theory cannot be generalised and applied to everyone, it has been for over a century. Truthfully, I think this is highly irresponsible.

    On a more personal and philosophical level, psychodynamic theory rejects the idea of free will. I think part of the reason for this is again due to the age of this approach. It is almost a psychological "stepping stone" away from religious dogma. If science can prove that you are a slave to your own unconscious drives, then who needs the devil to blame? You can then rest easy in the knowledge that you are not at fault for your own insecurities, bad habits and idiosyncrasies, because scientific theory has taken that responsibility away from you.

    On a philosophical, rather than a scientific level, I fundamentally reject this notion. In order to keep my sanity, I have to believe that we are all responsible for our own selves. My conscious mind is very much in control of my path through linear time and how I think and behave. To think otherwise... is in my mind, batshit insane.

    Freud is the father of modern day psychology. I will not refute this. He laid the foundations for a new discipline, and was an incredibly intelligent man. I also believe that it is important to teach students the ramifications of his theories, because they help to give budding psychologists a broader view of psychology. He has made important contributions to modern theories such as free association and highlighting the importance of childhood in psychological development.

    But. Now that we have other more robustly scientific and proven theories of psychology, such as the cognitive and behavioural approaches, why is it still so prevalent in the USA?

    Three words: Money & Cultural Significance.
    Last edited by Luca; 17-Feb-2013 at 22:18.

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