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dream theorists                 


Freud's 5 Stages Of Personality Development:

Freud believes that there are 5 stages in the formation of your personality:

1. Oral/Dependency

This stage takes place from birth to age 2, where the child explores the world using their mouth. If needs are not satisfied during this stage, one goes through life trying to meet them. Smoking, eating and drinking are seen as oral fixations. Recurring dreams, the feeling of incompleteness or unmet needs are common themes.

2. Anal/ Potty Training

In this second stage, the child learns to control their bodily functions. If not handled properly or if the child is traumatized at this stage, then he or she might become anal retentive, controlling, or rigid. The child can also develop obsessive compulsive behaviors. Dreams of being out of control or trying to keep things in order are common.

3. Phallic Stage

Between the ages of 3 to 5, the child becomes aware of male and female. Personality is fully developed by this stage. This stage is also classified by the Oedipus and Electra Complexes. The Oedipus represents a male child's love for his mother and the fear/jealousy towards his father. The Electra is the female version where the female child has anger toward her mother and exhibits "penis envy".


4. Latency Period

Little new development is observable during this stage. 


5. Genital

Starting from age 12 to the peak of puberty, this stage is classified by the reawakening of sexual interest. 


As previously mentioned, Freud believes that the motivating force of a dream is wish fulfillment.  Issues of power, lack of control, or unsatisfactory love may manifest in dreams as a way of satisfying these needs.  Thoughts that are repressed during the day may also find a way into your dream as a way to getting fulfillment.


Freud believes that every imagery and symbol that appears in a dream have a sexual connotation.  For example, anxiety dreams are seen as a sign of repressed sexual impulses.

Critique: There are many critics on Freud's theory of dreams.  Freud lived in a sexually repressed Victorian era. His preoccupation with sexual imagery may therefore have been a product of the times, the culture or his own relationship/conflict with sex.

Freud Topics:

 1: Sigmund Freud Intro

 2 Freudian Dream Tools

 3. 5 Stages of Personality Development




Dream Theorists

Alfred Adler

Sigmund Freud

Calvin Hall

Carl Jung

Frederick Perls



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Last Updated: June 2, 2014