⌬ Podcast Lecture № 5 | Pleasure & Instinct v. Enjoyment & Drive; The Shift to the Structural & Economic Model

⌬ Podcast Lecture № 5 | Pleasure & Instinct v. Enjoyment & Drive; The Shift to the Structural & Economic Model
Photo by Edurne Chopeitia / Unsplash


In this lecture, I talk about Pleasure & Instinct v. Enjoyment & Drive, shifting from the topographical model of the unconscious, pre-conscious, conscious to the structural model of id, ego, and superego. I also do a short bit on the economic model of the mind. Below are the notes I used as I recorded the lecture.

1. The unconscious is a part of you with a mind of its own.
2. Traumatic stuff can’t be erased, but it can be defensively put into the unconscious, this is called **repression**.
3. When **repression** happened, the traumatic thing is still present, but as sort of a ghost haunting us.
4. One of the things that can be traumatic is desire.
5. Our ghost traumas often lead us to do things that don’t make sense.
6. **Drive objects**, which I spoke about in lecture number 3, are one thing that does not make sense.
7. **Transference**, which I spoke about in lecture number 4, is another thing that does not make sense.


In today’s lecture, I am going to be talking about two things.

1. The difference between the terms pleasure and enjoyment (or satisfaction), and how these terms relate to instincts and drives. As I do this I’ll build more on top of what I said about the drive(s) in a prior podcast lecture.
2. Secondly, I’ll describe a shift in Freud’s thinking from the topographical model of the mind which is made up of the conscious, pre-conscious, unconscious, to the structural model of the mind which is made up of the id, the ego, and the superego.

Let’s get started.

Pleasure / Instincts v. Enjoyment / Drive
To start with I want to try to make something clear, but to do this I’ll need to tell you some psychoanalytic history involving a mistake in translation from German to English.

- When Freud wrote, he used both **instinct** (Instinct) and **drive** (Trieb).
- Instincts are things our body does naturally, without being taught.
- Instincts help our body stay alive.
- When we do what instinct tells us to we get pleasure.
- EX: Nap, stretch, laugh,
- Both human beings and animals have instincts.
- Instincts are about getting our needs met.  

Now here is the odd thing… If you can try to imagine a lie where you have only what you need, but nothing more than that.

That does not sound like a great life, eh? This is where drives come in.

- Drives are kind of like instincts gone off the rails.
- A drive demands that we get **more** than we need, it demands that we get something the brings enjoyment.
- Drives are excessive, they are aimed at things (or experiences) in excess of what we need, they are the surplus, the extra stuff we don’t need but we like having.
- And, because they are excessive, the things that our drives are going after are the things that are “off-limits.”

The original translator decided to make instinct and drive into the word instinct. Why this choice was made, I have no idea… but it was. And as a result, the English-speaking world has consistently been moving away from Freud’s ideas of the drive.

This brings me to the next stuff we will be covering in the class.

Topographical v. Structural
In this section of the podcast lecture, I want to talk about tFreud'stwo main models of the mind  

Early work (Freud’s demo tape)
1887 - 1896 (Fleiss, studies in hysteria) The Seduction Model

1897 - 1920 (studies in hysteria, the psychopathology of everyday life, the dream book, beyond the pleasure principle)
- The iceberg metaphor
- The room, hallway, rest of the house metaphor
- Example: ask people to remember their first day of kindergarten. Talk about how this is taking something from the preconscious and bring it into the conscious.
- Example: something that is unconscious is that something you can tell me about. I can ask you about it, but you won’t be able to tell me. Example asking in person why they have come to therapy. They can tell you a reason, but usually, the real reason is repressed and therefore unconscious.

1921 - 1939 (_Group Psychology & the analysis of the Ego_ & _The Ego & the Id_)
- This is the id, ego, superego.
- Though Freud never used those terms. (Again this was the original translator’s choice).
- the id is a part of us outside of our social identity, it is a wild thing…. Outside of all the ways we normally see ourselves and others. It has no concern for social constructs. It is more concerned with if you are afriend or foe if you’re going to help or hinder it in its desire to get whatever it is driven to want.
- The ego is the “I” as in “I think psychoanalysis is cool.” your identity is the part of us that is concerned with being consistent, whole, complete.
- The superego is **not your conscious**, not the little angel on your shoulder! It is your internalized authority figure, the part of you that judges things to be right or wrong, ethical or unethical, good or bad, etc.
- What makes this different than the angle on your shoulder?
- The superego is a jerk, it is a demanding, judgmental, jerk. No one wants to hang out with your superego!

The Economic Model
One thing that fits into the structural model well is this other idea called the economic model of the mind. This model works kinda like this.
Our mind is a system, and there is a finite (not a limitless) amount of energy in that system.
-Sometimes, we are doing things that pull (withdraw) energy from that system, and sometimes we are doing things that deposit energy into the system.
- One of the things that are taking energy is “not freaking out,” or “holding myself (my ego) together).”
- Most of the time that is easy, but it is not easy.
- When the ego lacks energy the things the ego is trying to contain come out.
- the id
- drives
- emotions
- This leads to moments where “I don’t know what came over me’” (The id is what came over you!).

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