Sigmund Freud

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Sigmund Freud

Caroline Carter, Staff Writer

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Psychology is an interesting subject to learn about, but one of the most interesting neurologists to study is, arguably, Sigmund Freud. He is credited with the development of the field of psychoanalysis. For the most part, Freud studied the unconscious desires, dreams, and tendencies of a patient and what caused them. Even though most of his theories have been proven false, they are still rather fascinating to think about.

Freud graduated from the University of Vienna in 1881 and started working at the Vienna General Hospital soon after. He worked in various departments including a psychiatric clinic. Freud would often read independently and was heavily influenced by Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. In 1886, Freud left the hospital to begin his own practice, specialising in numerous psychological disorders. His technique involved the patients sharing their innermost feelings, thoughts, and desires suppressed by the subconscious; he hoped that resurfacing these unconscious thoughts would allow the patient to let go of consistent negative emotions. Freud also introduced the approach of transference, where patients communicated their negative emotions towards another onto the psychoanalyst. 

Many associate Freud with dream analysis. He believed dreams reflect a person’s deepest desires or unfulfilled wishes; dreams are a coping method for people to face problems too complex to deal with consciously. According to his theory, analyzing and better understanding one’s dreams can subconsciously change his/her feelings and behavior. Freud’s theories grew to be extremely influential, and by 1908, he and five other psychologists formed the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.

Freud also claimed that the human psyche is composed of three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the primal, instinctive part of the brain that maintains the aggressive and sexual drives as well as suppressed memories. The superego acts as a moral compass. The ego is the logical part that compromises between the desires of the id and superego, and violating it results in feelings of guilt and anxiety. Freud believed the superego is formed during the first five years based on the morals of one’s parent(s), and other role models continue to influence it throughout adolescence.

In 1882, Freud married Martha Bernays, and they had six children. Their youngest child, Anna Freud, picked up her father’s work and later became a distinguished psychoanalyst. In 1938, Freud fled from Austria to escape the Nazis. After a long, excruciating battle with oral cancer, he requested a fatal dose of morphine, and he died on September 23, 1939. To this day, Freud’s methods and theories are still taught in psychology classes, but they are not practiced. Considering the lack of understanding about the human brain, Freud was rather profound with his ideas. He helped shape the field of psychology, and though no one can truly comprehend the complexities of the brain, his teachings have helped psychologists better interpret the mind. While Frued and his theories were rather unorthodox, he certainly made the field of psychoanalysis interesting to say the least.

 

Works Cited
McLeod, Saul. “Id, Ego and Superego.” SimplyPsychology, Published 25 September 2019, 
https://www.simplypsychology.org/psyche.html. Accessed 10 October 2019.
“Sigmund Freud Biography.” Biography, A&E Television Networks, Published 2 April 2014, 
https://www.biography.com/scholar/sigmund-freud. Accessed 8 October 2019.
“Sigmund Freud Biography.” BiographyOnline
https://www.biographyonline.net/scientists/sigmund-freud-biography.html. Accessed 8 
October 2019.
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