Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Psychological Concepts



Psychological concepts
Psychological concepts


I began studying Psychology in 1995 and there are so many Psychological concepts that make up and represent various ideas about Psychology. I decided to put together a list of the better known terms for those readers that are interested in the brain and human behaviour.

I remember the first time I heard about Freud’s theories as a young student, I thought Freud must’ve been on drugs. Learning about “penis envy” amongst other concepts was quite an unusual theory. Now, of course, this and other theories have been streamlined and integrated into my general knowledge and I pick and choose the theories that make sense to me. All fascinating stuff though…

Oedipus complex

Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrates upon a male child’s desire to sexually possess their mother.

Electra Complex

A female child’s psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. When she discovers that she does not have a penis, she becomes attached to her father and begins to resent her mother who she blames for her “castration.”

Transactional Analysis

The way we communicate with each other and the roles we take on. Freud described three states: ego (adult), id (child), superid (parent). The best combination within relationships is the adult-adult interaction.


The redirection or transfer, of feelings and desires. Especially of those unconscious feelings and thoughts retained from childhood toward a new object.

Professional Boundaries

Professional boundaries define effective and appropriate interaction between professionals and the public they serve. Boundaries exist to protect both the professional and the client.

Personality Disorders

A deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind, typically manifest by the time one reaches adolescence and causing long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society. The ways in which an individual thinks, feels and behaves are disorted.


This involves forcing the unwanted information out of our awareness. In most cases, however, this removal of anxiety provoking memories from our awareness is believed to occur unconsciously. These unwanted thoughts and desires are pushed down into the unconscious mind


Repression is another well-known defense mechanism. Repression acts to keep information out of conscious awareness. However, these memories don’t just disappear; they continue to influence our behavior.


The unconscious transfer of one’s own desires or emotions to another person. We protect the self by a number of defense mechanisms, including repression and projection

Defense Mechanisms

A mental process (e.g., repression or projection) initiated, typically unconsciously, to avoid conscious conflict or anxiety

Unconscious Mind

That part of the mind that we are not consciously aware of. Dreams are a good idea of this part of the mind. Out of the 2 Million bits of information which approach us every second, the conscious mind can only register 7+/- bits, whereas the subconscious mind computes 140+/-. The subconscious mind is also responsible for all physiological functions of the body; we don’t regulate our heart rate, breathing, kidney function or digestion with our conscious mind.

Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is the part of your mind that is responsible for logic and reasoning. It contains the thoughts and emotions that we are aware of at any given time.

The above terms are only a small portion of the terms and concepts used in psychology. These terms are constantly changing and being updated as well but I hope it gives you a brief taster of the world of Psychology.


Mandy X



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