These initial childhood stages set the stage for Freud’s personality theory. For instance he strongly believed that these childhood experiences greatly influences the adulthood interaction with the entire world with people inclusive. Freud explained that every child is born with his Id which is very important as far as personality is concerned. Through this Id a child is able to get all his needs. Freud further explained that this Id solely depends on the principles of pleasure whereby the child wants what seems good at the moment even if the reality tells different things. For instance when the baby is uncomfortable or hungry the Id cries in order for the necessary services and attention to be given. This is best explained by the fact that the child cares less about other people’s needs and that is the reason they cry when they need something (Redfern and Ross, 1999: pp 39).
As the child continues to interact with the world the second type of personality develops. Freud named this personality as Ego and this moment many things are based on reality. The child begins to understand the needs and desires of other people and also learn that selfish ambitions and desires may not always result in their good. The ego tries to satisfy the needs of the Id in consideration of the underlying circumstances and position of other people. The next personality stage is the superego which basically reveals the morals of the child as imparted by the caregivers. Freud explains that this ego can successfully be used to meet the desires and needs of the Id. Development of a strong superego could results in rigid morals and judgmental reactions to the later world interactions. Most of the things experienced in life are not usually available at the conscious level. Some of the experiences lead to certain beliefs, emotions and feelings which later control our lives.
Freud explained in his theory that the driving force in people is mostly hidden in the unconscious. These experiences are mostly hidden there because of their tremendous effects which arouse much anxiety as well as pain. Despite the fact that these experiences are buried in the unconscious they strongly impact our future actions and lives. Freud further explained that everything which is known is kept in the conscious though it forms very small section of whom we are. Therefore people know little about their makeup because a lot of important information is stored in the unconscious mind. Another important part which explains our personality and behavior is the subconscious and preconscious which can only be accessed through prompted deeds. Aspects which don’t get their way in our personalities are referred to as non-conscious.
Fraud explains that the deriving force behind the acquired behavior is either aggression or sex. For instance sex drives a person to acquisition of riches or prosperity and production of offspring. On the other hand aggression ensures one stays alive and eliminates any form of threat. Kohlberg’s moral development stages further explains developmental personality. Kohlberg categorizes morality into three distinctive groups. These groups include self focused morality, at this stage moral laws of children are predetermined by their parents. Therefore actions which meet the needs of the child are what are considered morally right and good. At this particular moment children ranging from age three to nine starts to understand what they are expected of by teachers and parents. Therefore they view morality as meeting the required expectations. For adults they start to understand that people’s views about morality are not the same.
Behavioral changes can result through learning and this is what is explained in behavioral psychology and learning theory. Through learning a person receives knowledge which makes him to view things differently. Ways of interaction and perception are greatly changed through learning. Behaviorism theory clearly explains that research can be done on the observed behavior because things like personal thoughts and moods are very subjective. On the other hand Skinner believed that external stimuli have the capacity to influence behavior the same way it can be influenced by internal stimuli. Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory has been used to progress the counseling process. For instance patient’s narrative processing has been linked to experience specific emotionality and experience specific knowledge (Engler, 2008: 449).
Counseling professional seeks to explain emotional experiences which may be very disturbing and hurting like loss of a beloved family member. The right words for expressing these emotional experiences are not always easy to come by and that is the reason many counselors have spent many years trying to teach their clients words that can be used for expression. Counselors believe that re-storying or narration of those former experiences brings emotional healing. Basing on this developmental theory client’s narration told before a trusted and safe therapeutic relationship greatly contributes to increased integration of a person’s emotions. Narrative construction is employed in many counseling approaches because it enables a client to develop an explanatory system which helps in understanding the underlying problem. Besides that narrative construction is a clear indication of healthy integrated mental functioning. Most of the times students seeking counseling often lack the ability to describe and conceptualize whatever underlying problem and this is a clear reflection of Piaget’s sensorimotor level.
Clients with the above deficiency always fail to remember the details of the needed experience. Most of the time they end up describing emotional responses and images scantly, this type of narration is referred to as sensorimotor or experiential narration. By working as a counselor the client is given the opportunity to experience processing of specific content. Attachment is very important in personal development. Attachments developed during initially developmental years helps an individual to become stable and develop the necessary security that is needed before risks are taken. For instance childhood development greatly depends on the ability of the child to develop strong relationship with an adult whether a caregiver or a mother. This is because a strong childhood attachment enables one to develop the sense of security as well as the needed foundation. Children who fail to develop strong attachments are usually afraid of venturing into new experiences. A mature person with this kind of fear is unable to work effectively and relate with clients because there is always unknown fear in all his encounters.
Life-span theory indicates that growth and development occurring during ones lifespan is characterized by combined occurrences of losses or decrease, gain or increase and maintenance in a capacity which is adaptive. This theory puts a lot of emphasis on plasticity which may be positive or negative. Plasticity is simply a person’s ability to flexible respond to stress. Therefore factors contributing to change may be as a result of historical or cross cultural differences. An individual can handle stress to the capacity of the stored plasticity reserve. This reserve is influenced by external and internal responses that may be at the disposure of the person during a specific time. Internal resources include aspects like physical health and cognitive capacity while external resources may be aspects like an individuals financial capabilities and established social networks.
There are two kinds of reserve capacity for instance baseline reserve capacity. Baseline reserve capacity is the maximum performance potential of a person when external and internal resources are in use. Developmental reserve capacity is the other type and this is applicable when there is activation or increase of the two resources. The life span theory explains that an increment of the reserve capacity causes an increase in potential plasticity. For these reason intervention activities which are organized for social workers are meant to help clients who are elderly. Practitioners use the baseline reserves of this client to help them activate their developmental reserves. For instance when a social worker expands the social network of his client, he is basically trying to develop the client’s internal reserve capacity and as a result the client is enabled to develop strong social networks. These capabilities start to form during the establishment of cognitive skills as well as positive self image (Shulman, 2008: pp 47).
A counselor usually has a responsibility of working with his self. For instance counselors obtain knowledge about personality theories on addition to psychotherapy. Besides that one has to learn the dynamics of behavior as exhibited by humans. Individual qualities and experiences which were developed during the initial developmental years usually make counseling successful because through them a counselor is able to develop meaning therapeutic relationships with their clients. Therefore developmental theories and the childhood experiences help one to have an effective interaction with his clients. Personal experiences and qualities are what make counseling what it is (Corey, 2008: pp 17). Growth occurs through a serious of challenges and lessons. Erikson’s psychosocial development theory helps in understanding personality and behavior. Through this theory facilitation of personal development also occurs.
Attachment theory can successfully be used in solving psychiatrist clinical issues. Attachment is very instrumental in understanding and shaping relationships between clinicians and patients. Caregivers who are psychiatric staffs often form secure bases for patients. Most of these patients develop the need for attachment during their moments of distress. Therefore employment of attachment theories helps in development of secure relationship were trust is essential. Not all therapeutic relationships are attachment relationships but some of those relationships formed between patients and caregivers are therapeutic relationships. Relationships between mental health staff and their patients help in working. Most of these patients do not take new practitioners easily and therefore these relationships help in offering the needed services. People develop character on the basis of the quality of life they desire. Values are the bases of developed character and these values develop from affective and cognitive components.
The experiences which people go through during infancy and early developmental years greatly influence their character. For instance strained childhood relationships make one to have strenuous relationship in the future interactions. Experiences with caregivers and parents greatly contribute to personal character. Relationships at work with clients are greatly influenced by the values and qualities that one has developed. Past experiences which may be positive or negative also influence how a practitioner relates with their clients. For instance children who go through abuse and violence during their early years tend to have problems with further relationships for instance trust. Developmental theories greatly influence our future work with clients.