The Death Instinct vs. the Libidinal Instinct

Katherine Marshall Woods, Psy.D.
4 min readDec 22, 2022

By: Matilda Koroma & Katherine Marshall Woods, Psy.D.

Malcolm & Marie Poster

In response to his traumatic experience of World War I, Freud created the concept of the death instinct (Laub & Lee, 2003). This concept was his attempt to understand why people often repeated painful or traumatic experiences, as he thought such behavior was the direct opposite of what people truly desired. As Freud described, the…

Katherine Marshall Woods, Psy.D.

Psychologist/Film Consultant; building scripts to create rich characters and themes; Author of Best Psychology in Film