Reconsidering Freud’s Topographic Theory

Prof. Mark Solms gives a clear description of Freud’s topographic and structural theories of the mind. He discusses how the conscious and unconscious emerge and interact; the role of the ego; and how these ideas have evolved since Freud first proposed them. He further outlines how memory develops and the role of our personal history. Prof. Solms outlines the core idea that our patients suffer from feelings arising from needs which are insufficiently met. He discusses how behaviours are automatised at an early age in an attempt to meet our needs, in ways which can be helpful or problematic. Patients who suffer from feelings are unconsciously repeating behaviours which do not adequately meet underlying needs. Prof. Solms brings together psychoanalytic ideas, evolutionary theory and cognitive psychology to offer an illuminating view of the mind which is true to Freud's metapsychology. This talk is the second in a three part series by Prof. Solms but can be watched on it's own.

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