Sigmund Freud Essay, Research Paper
Theories of a Mad Man
Sigmund Freud rocked the world of psychology with his new and unorthodox theories. He went against the establishment teaching what he considered to be the ?great truth? or the way he thought the mind actually behaved. Freud opposed the traditional and early trends of the twentieth century, this was a time when society placed importance on morality, loyalty, intellect, and emphasized the importance of family. An example of Freud?s different views in his idea of what the school program should have been. He pushed for the development of emotions over intellect; His idea was schools should healthy personalities instead of focusing strictly on education. Because Freud dared to venture outside the boundaries of ?traditional psychology? (this was when all psychology was based on scientific based theories) he received a lot of criticism.
Freud?s genius was his ability to analyze and theorize his observation. His idea were not always new ideas, but were extensions on concepts on ready in existence. The theory of the unconscious was not a discovery of Freud. Psychologist before Freud described the unconscious as a part of the mind that dealt with feelings and thoughts. Freud declared that the unconscious was a separate part from the mind and that it was the minds own wishful impulses and expressions. Freud developed the idea of unconscious says Dr. Rueben author of ?Freud a Critical Re-Evaluation of His Theories?. He made the unconscious a working tool for the psychologist, instead of a speculative device, as it had been in the past. (Red 39)
At the beginning of the century Freud?s works were raising horrific storms in the medical society. His theories of the unconscious and of sexuality infantile produced mounds of opposition and gross amounts of misunderstanding (Zaretsky 65). At a convention of Neurologist in 1910 Professor Wilhelm Weygandt denounced Freud?s work when it was brought up saying; ?it is not a topic for discussion at a scientific meeting; it is a matter of the police.? Another professor named Oppenhim proposed a boycott of all institutions that were tolerant of Freud?s work. It was said that Freud?s work was ?nothing but pornography and that the proper place for psychoanalyst was in prison?(Rueben 169).
Freud?s ideas and methods were considered by most to be radical and wrong. An example of Freud?s radical theorizing is illustrated in his observation of patients who were said to be suffering from hysteria (a common syndrome characterized by general irritability, anxious expectations, and hypochondria). Hysteria was described as a ?defense mechanism? against traumatic memories by neurologist. However Freud?s observations of these patients said something different. Freud claimed that they suffered from either inadequate sexual discharge, unhealthy sexual practices such as excessive masturbation, or prolonged sexual abstinence. Freud called this syndrome ?anxiety neuroses?. His theory was that sexual excitement built up in the mind and could not be discharged adequately and somehow gets converted to anxiety. (Kramer 38)
Freud?s work sparked a revolution in mans attitude towards the comprehension of the mental process. Freud classified mental activity to exist at three levels: the Id, the Ego, and The Superego. The Id is center of our primitive instincts according to Freud, ?it caters to the business of gratifying our desires and pleasures; the new born baby is a personification of the Id?(Sigmund Freud). The Ego develops as a child grows up says Freud; ?the ego acts as a censor to the Id, checking the primitive desires for immediate gratification recognizing the whole picture so to speak? (Sigmund Freud). According to Freud?s theory the Superego is the highest state of the mind; ?The superego is the overseer of our conscious? (Sigmund Freud). Freud?s theory of the Id, Ego, and Superego is one of the few of his ideas that was considered not considered to be wrong by the medical society. Freud?s teachings were new and sprang whole new ideas in the psychological world.
Freud?s ideas and theories went against the status quo. He brought change to the medical world breaking through the traditional conditions. His work was criticized and thought to be wrong because he didn?t follow the same principles as the majority.