How does the human conscious and unconscious mind and the external bio-social forces adapt in the process of development? What then is the role and significance of psychoanalysis? Researchers in the field of neuroscience have made great findings on the effect of the biopsychosocial perspective on child development. They have already accentuated on the fact that the interaction of infants with their neurobiological predisposition and interpersonal social and environmental experiences influences the development of the psyche, a concept earlier on stated by Freud in his ‘Project for Scientific Psychology’ (Sasso 2009). The development of consciousness is evidently a complex process with a myriad of concepts that needs attentive investigation due to its emphasis and significance on development. New research findings are however shedding a new light on Freud’s concept of the ego, superego and the id. These address the dynamic and structural nature of the brain which are significant points’ missing in Freud’s thinking (Sasso 2009). According to the new model on the brain development, there are subject poles and object poles in the brain, which are essentially the ego and the superego respectively, these form the s-o pathways hence the interaction with the environment for brain development (Sasso 2009).
The creation of new links on the significance of the vertical orientation of the brain to unconscious processes has shed a new light on the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious mind. Safran and Christopher have for instance, through their experiences in research, acknowledged the significance of psychoanalysis on patients with mental illnesses as important for recovery. Psychoanalysis, initially coined by Freud from his interest in the exploration of the unconscious mind is a concept that has helped spark interest in the field of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis (Safran & Christopher 2000). Scientists today have gone beyond the closed doors of psychoanalysis and are exploring new treatment options like therapeutic alliance as important for mental treatment. Contemporary neuroscience however also disconfirms some of Freud’s ideas like the concept of dreams being a product of human desires as well as the imitational role of perception. Projects on new theoretical models on the brain function are instead used to relate to Freud’s theories.
Safran, J. D., & Christopher, J. Muran. (2000). Negotiating the Therapeutic Alliance: A
Relational Treatment Guide. New York: Guilford Press.
Sasso, G. (2009). The Development of Consciousness: An Integrative Model of Child
Development Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis. New York: Karnac.