Freuds Greatest Contribution

Freuds Greatest Contribution

  • Submitted By: didds
  • Date Submitted: 05/06/2010 4:05 PM
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 1482
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 489

Question: What would you say has been Freud’s greatest contribution to our understanding of ourselves and our world?

Loved or loathed, Sigmund Freud, perhaps more than any other explorer of the psyche, has shaped our thinking on the mind in the 20th century. We see this in the way his ideas have woven themselves into the tapestry of our culture, with words such as ‘repressed’ ‘anal’ and ‘denial’ appearing regularly in everyday language. The ongoing venom of his detractors is a living testament to the staying power of Freud's concepts. Even the psychiatrist Dr. Edwin Fuller Torrey, although he has been a fierce opponent of Freud, conceded that the common link within all therapeutic counselling is the“... Freudian assumption that intrapersonal and interpersonal problems shyness, difficulty making a commitment, depression, anxiety, possessiveness, slovenliness, substance abuse, [etc. etc.] originate in childhood experiences, especially in one's relations with parents” (1992, Freudian Fraud)

Freud appeared intent not merely on developing a generalised theory of mental function and dysfunction but strived to develop the rules of psychoanalytic therapy and to expand his understanding of human nature. It was whilst studying under Josef Breuer he further developed the art of listening. Breuer had used this technique ‘the talking cure’ whilst treating a patient know as Anna O (Studies in Hysteria 1895 ) It was Freud who progressed the technique where the analyst encourages the analysand to say whatever comes to mind, no matter how repetitive or outrageous, a technique he referred to as free association. ‘He argued that the unconscious mind would be unwilling to give up its knowledge and that special techniques were needed to probe it’s secrets’ (Dworetzky, Psychology 2nd ed) During this ‘stream of consciousness’ the analyst intervenes occasionally to interpret what the patient on the couch is struggling to say. Freud began experimenting with hypnosis...

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