Mechanisms of character formation - PDF by William Alanson White

Mechanisms of character formation - an introduction to psychoanalysis

Mechanisms of character formation


Psychology seems always to have been in danger of gravitating, on the one hand, in the direction of metaphysical abstractions and, on the other hand, in the direction of refined physiology. The carefully conducted laboratory research under wholly artificial conditions has, as a rule, attracted little general interest and therefore had few practical results. 

Certainly, the field of mental medicine has benefited practically not at all as a result of all the years of laboratory psychology. A man seems to have been considered by the psychologist as an object of experiment and rarely as a human being in a social environment. 

True, the behaviourists may change all this but in the meantime, new psychology has come into existence, borne of the sufferings and the heartaches of the mentally ill the psychology which is called psychoanalysis and, no matter what the remote history of events preceding its birth, properly also bears the name of its real creator, Prof. Sigmund Freud of Vienna Freudian.

 This is psychology which had its origin in trying to help sick people, in trying to alleviate their sufferings and from the very first dealt with men and women in the raw, as they really were. This is the psychology I propose to give in outline in this book and which might well be called Humanistic not only in the accepted Protagorean meaning of that term but also because it deals with human beings, their hopes and fears, their aspirations and despairs, their good and their evil qualities as everyone, but especially the priest and the physician knows them. 

It is psychology that has opened the door to the understanding of man and as such I believe is the psychology that will prove of the greatest pragmatic advantage. It is some such scheme as I have outlined in this work which I think should be taught in the medical schools. Later it will find, I am sure, much wider usefulness. Surely, however, the physician should know something of the principles which govern the operations of the most important of all the endowments of man. 

He should have some guides to help him to a real understanding of his patients and to point added ways to help them in their difficulties. A properly understood mental symptom may easily be the most important means of dealing with a given situation. The physician, therefore, of all men, should try to see deeper than the spoken word, he should be able to see what is hidden beneath. Such knowledge is often of inestimable value. 
This volume on The Mechanisms of Character Formation merely tries to lay down the broad principles which underlie human behaviour and which are necessary to comprehend before one can have a real appreciation of mental facts and their true meanings.

Contents:

I introduction 1
Ii the genetic approach to the problem of consciousness 14
Iii the fore-conscious and the unconscious. 35
Iv the conflict 62
V symbolism 76
Vi dream mechanisms 117
Vii the family romance 145
Viii the will to power 177
The all-powerfulness of thought
Ix the will to power (cont.) 195
Partial libido strivings
X extroversion and introversion .... 217
Xi organ inferiority 245
Xii the resolution of the conflict .... 270
Xiii summary and synthesis 317
Index. 337

the book details :
  • Author: William Alanson White
  • Publication date: 1920
  • Company:  New York, Macmillan

  • Download 9.8 MB
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