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The Intricate Mind Of Sigmund Freud

2892 words - 12 pages

The Intricate Mind of Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was a complex man that was a genius in his field. Sigmund Freud's studies, theories and techniques have had more impact on the world of psychology than any other single person in history and is widely recognized as one of it's founding fathers. His explorations into the use of hypnosis, studies of hysteria and the catharsis system were groundbreaking work in the world of psychoanalysis. His techniques of diagnosis are still in use today. Freud introduced many new and controversial theories into the world of medicine such as the phases of the super ego and the psychological impact of child development.
Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856 in Moravia, which is known today as the city of Pribor in the Czech Republic. Freud's father was a small wool merchant and often relocated in the search of work. In 1858 the Freud family picked-up and moved to Leipzig, which turned out to be a brief visit rather than permanent move. He spent less than a year in Leipzig before moving again and settling in Vienna in 1860.
Freud excelled in school early and graduated Suma Cum Laude from the "Gymnasium" at the age of 17. He went on to the University of Vienna's Medical School in 1873. Freud spent eight years at the University of Vienna and became deeply involved in research under Claus and Bruecke. He finally graduated as a M.D. in 1881.
In 1885 Freud received a Stipendium (a traveling grant) and would go on to study hypnosis in Paris with Charcot. He spent a year working with Charcot until he decided to return to Vienna. Upon his return in 1886 he married Martha Bernays who had been waiting for his return for four years.
Freud, becoming inspired from his work with hypnotism, sought new ways to treat people suffering from hysteria. When hypnosis began, the treatment circulated around the theory "that every symptom was explained on the basis of some organic lesion, and if nothing physical was discovered it was assumed that there must something be something in the brain to account for the disturbance"(Brill). During his first years of practice he relied on hypnotism and electrotherapy. Freud eventually ran into a wall. He realized not everyone was able to reach a hypnotic state and even if they did results were often temporary or short-lived.
In 1889 Freud teamed up with Josef Breuer, who was working with a patient referred to as Anna O. Breuer discovered that her frustrations were bottled up. Also, referred to as the strangulated affect. The patient could not vent her frustration because the situation she was trapped in rendered this impossible. Breuer would hypnotize her and encouraged her to express her frustrations through abreaction. This method proved successful and freed her from her repressed thoughts. In 1883 Freud and Breuer wrote "Studies on Hysteria". This book was based on their research of Anna O. and their works on psychoanalysis. This period is often said to...

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