The psycho sexual stages of development.

When I sit down to write this article is Tuesday March 9, 2020. You can listen to this post on my podcast. Today I will try to talk about the psycho sexual stages of human development. Referring to Sigmund Freud and his “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality”.

It was published in 1905. Freud believed personality problems we have in adulthood, were the results of early experiences in childhood. A key concept related to psychoanalysis concerning the development of the personality is that of the five stages of psychosexual development.

All of which occurs from birth through to adulthood. Each of these stages plays an essential role in the development of an individual’s personality. People can become fixated at any stage which hinders their transition to the next phase.

The five stages are;

Oral; occurs between the birth of a child to their eighteenth month of life. Fixates on all matters oral i.e. hands in the mouth and playing with own feet. If not satisfactorily met, there is a likelihood of developing negative oral habits or behaviours. When the child in adulthood does not realise the progress on this stage, he or she is at high risk of overeating, over smoking or excess of drinking alcohol or developing an eating disorder such as bulimia. (Freud, 2016)

Anal; occurs between eighteenth months and three years old. As indicated, this stage is primarily related to developing healthy toilet training habits. Anal and the pleasure of excretion, helps to reduce tension in the child’s life. Toilet training will be affected in adult life. Freud believes that could be a problem with authority in further life. Harsh training teaches one to be very tidy in the future, but lack of training could develop into a of habit of being rumpled and sloppy.

Phallic; occurs between 3 to 5 year of age. The development of a healthy phallic, substitutes for the sexual attraction that pre-schoolers must feel toward a parent of the opposite gender. Phallic, is the next stage when a child is interested in his or her genitals. When parents of children, who are in the stage of 3-5 years old and the caregiver says to them, “that is dirty do not touch”, this will, in time, build stress and shame on the individual. Also, if a child starts to feel attraction for the opposite-sex parent, that could produce a complex of Oedipus, Electra or Cassandra i.e. a child wants to marry own mother and push away his father.

Latency; occurs between 5 to 12 years of age. It is often referred as the development of healthy, dormant sexual feelings for the opposite sex. Latent stage in the opposite sex; children lose interest of the phallic stage and avoid any interaction like kissing, touching. Children prefer to play with same-sex. A rise in the distance between girls and boys.

Genital; occurs between 12 years old to adulthood: All tasks from the previous four stages are integrated into the mind, allowing for the onset of healthy sexual feelings and behaviours. Rise an attraction and interest in the opposite sex, and sexual drive is developed.

This article seem to be a bit sensitive subject, but I believe is still very educated.

Thank you for listening and see you soon. Your host Marcin Bogucki on Private Psychotherapy Practice with Remote Counselling.


Contact – email: mobile phone +353 899420902

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Marcin Bogucki

Counselling & Psychotherapy for both English and Polish speakers.

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