Foundations of Psychoanalysis
The first person that comes to my mind when I think about psychology is Sigmund Freud. Known best as the Father of Psychoanalysis, Freud has made significant influences to the field of psychology with his controversial theories. Aside from founding psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud is best known for his theories such as the Theory of Psychosexual Development, the Id, Ego, and Superego, dream interpretation, the conscious and unconscious mind, defense mechanisms and free association. Understanding his background helps future psychologists to understand where his theories were based from.
Sigmund Freud was born in Vienna, Austria in May 1856. Freud began his work as a physician, but later became intrigued by the mental disorder known as hysteria while joining a French neurologist Professor Jean-Martin Charcot. In 1895, while working with Josef Breuer, Freud was introduced to the particular case study of Anna O., who was diagnosed with hysteria. “The woman recalled several traumatic experiences, which Freud and Breuer believed contributed to her illness” (Cherry, 2015).This led Freud to believe that her symptoms were influenced by early childhood sexual abuse, which was the beginning of Freud’s psychoanalytic therapy.
The psychoanalytic therapy is based on the unconscious mind in which Freud theorizes is what drives thoughts and behaviors. For example, Freud believed that childhood events, such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse play a role in mental illnesses and shape behavior. Freud initially began this type of therapy with hypnosis to dig deeper into the unconscious mind. Freud compared the mind to an iceberg; the tip of the iceberg, or the surface is what is recognized as the conscious mind, which is usually only 10 percent, while the part of the iceberg that is unseen, or the remainder 90 percent, is what is recognized as the unconscious mind. According...