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Sigmund Freud Essay Research Paper Sigmund FreudSigmund

Sigmund Freud Essay, Research Paper Sigmund FreudSigmund Freud’s revolutionary ideas have set the standard for modernpsychoanalysis that students of psychology can learn from, and his ideas spreadfrom the field of medicine to daily living. His studies in areas such asunconsciousness, dreams, sexuality, the Oedipus complex, and sexualmaladjustments laid the foundation for future studies and a better understandingof the small things that shape our lives.

Sigmund Freud Essay, Research Paper

Sigmund FreudSigmund Freud’s revolutionary ideas have set the standard for modernpsychoanalysis that students of psychology can learn from, and his ideas spreadfrom the field of medicine to daily living. His studies in areas such asunconsciousness, dreams, sexuality, the Oedipus complex, and sexualmaladjustments laid the foundation for future studies and a better understandingof the small things that shape our lives. In 1873 Freud graduated from the Sperl Gymnasium and, inspired by apublic reading of an essay on nature by Goethe, Freud decided to turn tomedicine as a career(Gay, 10). He worked at the University of Vienna with oneof the leading physiologists of his day, Ernst von Brucke, and in 1882 he enteredthe General Hospital in Vienna as a clinical assistant. After making severalconclusions about the brain’s medulla, Freud was appointed lecturer inneuropathology. At this same time in Freud’s career, he developed an interest inthe medical uses and benefits of cocaine(Britannica, 582). Even though somebeneficial results were found in some forms of eye surgery, cocaine use wasgenerally denied by the surgeons of his time. This interest in the narcotic hurtFreud’s medical reputation for a time. This episode in Freud’s life has beenlooked at as an example of his “willingness to attempt bold solutions to relievehuman suffering(Wittels,98).”From 1885 to 1886 Freud spent nineteen weeks with Jean MartinCharcot, a world famous neurologist and the director of a Paris asylum. It wasCharcot that first introduced Freud to the idea of hysteria and hysterics. Freudbecame intrigued by the idea of hypnotism as a method of therapy, but he wastold that only hysterics could be treated with hypnotism(Appignanesi, 34). Therewas a firm belief that only women could be hysteric and that no man or non-hysteric woman could be affected by the use of hypnotism. Freud knew thathysteria could only develop where there is a degeneration of the brain, not justwith women but with men too and that hypnotism could have an effect on normalpeople. Freud lost his interest in hysteria and hypnotism, but developed a liking ofthe psychoanalytic method of free association. This method encouraged thepatient to express any random thoughts that came to the mind, which promoted a”stream of consciousness” that helped tap into the unconsciousness. Thematerial that the patient said in this stream of consciousness was a link to theideas of the unconscious mind that was normally hidden, forgotten or”unavailable to conscious reflection”(Freud, 47). Unlike his companion Charcot,Freud believed that based on his clinical studies, some mental disorders likehysteria were based on sexual manner. For example, Freud linked “the etiologyof neurotic symptoms to the same struggle between a sexual feeling or urge andthe psychic defenses against it.(Gay, 536)” He felt that being able to talk aboutsuch problems were crucial in helping the patient and using free association wasthe best way to confront and treat these feelings. After the death of Freud’s father in 1899, Freud decided on analyzing thelast words of his father that seemed to have touched Freud. This led to aninterest in the analyzation of dreams which were what Freud called “the royalroad to a knowledge of the unconscious”(Britannica, 585). Published in 1899,The Interpretation of Dreams which is considered his master work, Freudpresented his findings. In the book, Freud used his own dreams and the dreamsof some of his clinical patients as evidence and he concluded that dreamsplayed a fundamental role in a person’s psyche. Freud called the mind’s energythe libido which was related directly to one’s sexual drive. This libido usesdreams in order to purge pleasurable or painful feelings as anoutlet(Appignanesi, 64). According to Freud, all dreams, including nightmares,are outlets of this libido energy. In order to understand and fully interpret dreams, Freud devised a fourpoint system that is used to interpret dreams: The first point is called condensation, which operates through the fusion ofseveral different ideas or elements into one vision. The second point, called displacement, involves substitution of one thing foranother such as a king and a father.The third point, called representation, involves the transformation ofthoughts into images.The final point involves looking at the dream from a different perspective

and recollecting the thoughts in a conscious state(Wittels, 211). In 1904 Sigmund Freud published the book The Psychopathology ofEveryday Life which explored everyday errors in speech which he believed wereof interpretable importance. These “Freudian slip’s” were unlike dreams in thesense that they can arise from immediate hostile, jealous, or egotistic causes. Just one year after publishing his book on psychopathology in everydaysituations, Freud published Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. In thisbook, Freud compared jokes to dreams in the sense that like dreams, jokes hada double sided meaning. What he meant by this was that jokes were formed inthe conscious, but had a base in the unconscious mind. In addition to publishinga book on jokes in 1905, Freud published Three Essays on the Theory ofSexuality. This book established Freud and some of his associates Richard vonKraft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, Albert Moll, and Iwan Bloch as the “pioneeringexperts of sexology.”(Gay, 613) Sexual development starting young children,along with the ease of maladjustment in sexual development were the mainbasis of this publication. Freud stated that sexuality was one of the main”movers” in human behavior. Sigmund Freud outlined three stages of the sexualdevelopment of children:The oral phase, which occurs first, plants the seed of the mother being alove object because of breast feeding. The mother is the first love object forthe child. The anal phase, occurs second because of the introduction to toilet training.This stage is especially important because the skill of self-control is put uponthe child. As the child develops, he/she learns that defecation is pleasurable,and must be controlled. The phallic stage is the final stage of sexual development. Freud based iton the story of Oedipus Rex(Appignanesi, 98). The general story of Oedipusis the urge to sleep with your mother and kill your father. The reason thatFreud associated this story is because in 1896, the year that his father died,he began the analyzation of his dad’s dreams. In doing so, he confronted ahatred toward his father through his dreams. Through the studies that Sigmund Freud conducted in sexology, he askedhimself the question of how are homosexuals developed? After studying for atime he concluded that due to possible trauma as children(such as sexualabuse), homosexuals could have been forced in the wrong direction. Thismaladjustment forces a perversion into the person which the libido(the mind’senergy and the person’s sexual drive) takes over in the form of an obsession. In 1923 Freud published the book The Ego and the Id. He split up thehuman psyche into three different forms:The Id was the first and represented the primitive urges of children and whichwere based centrally on the desire for pleasure. The ego is considered to be the guide for reality and changes with thesituation that the person is in. The super-ego is related to the Id in the sense that it is based in feelings ofthe past and it provides an outlet for a person’s aggressions(Britannica, 584). Sigmund Freud laid the foundation for modern psycochanalysis so thatstudents of psychology could study and expand on his ideas. His ideas wereground-breaking and were not like anything that anyone had ever heard of.All of his ideas can be directly related back to people and applied toeveryday life. Such ideas like jokes and their relation to the unconscious are extremelyfascinating because of their significance to what people really are. Because ofFreud, people can step back and look at exactly what their dreams mean andwhat their mind is trying to tell them. One of Freud’s greatest contributions tosociety was his expertise in the field of sexology. Because of his work, Freudintroduced a way to people which allows them to understand how they werebrought up and allows them to figure out the best way to bring up their ownchildren. Also, Freud’s discoveries in sexual problems and perversions allowpeople to have a greater understanding of what makes people do the things thatthey do. Freud’s ingenious development of the three stage way that childrenform their sexual identies allows parents to have a better understanding of whattheir children are going through and the importance of small things in life liketoilet training and it’s relation to controlling the pleasures of every day life. Sigmund Freud’s work can have an effect on all people’s lives if they know whathis has done and if they take a moment to analyze their own lives. “I am actually not a man of science at all … I am nothing but aconquistador by temperament, an adventurer.”

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