Sigmund Freud: Father of Psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis who had influence in the study of sociology, psychology, and literature. Freiberg, which has now changed its name to Piibor, part of the Czech Republic, is the place where Sigmund Freud was born. Freud is the son of a Jewish wool merchant, Jacob Freud, who is married to his third wife, Amalie. When he was 3 or 4 years old, Freud was taken by his family and moved to Vienna. Freud stayed in Vienna for the next 79 years, before finally dramatically escaping to London under threats from the Nazi regime in 1938. Vienna in the 19th century, as historians say, was a city with contradictory nuances. On the one hand it has an amazing intellectual, artistic and literacy climate, but on the other hand it is full of economic problems.

Since childhood, Sigmund Freud was very enthusiastic about reading. He had started reading Shakespeare’s works at the age of 8. Intellectually, Freud was practically mature. He has also studied many languages, including; Greek, English, French, Latin and Hebrew. At the age of 17, Freud entered the University of Vienna to study medicine. Initially, Freud’s interest in medical studies was zoology or animal science, before moving on to human objects. A professor of physiology, Ernst Burke took Freud as a colleague to work at the institute he founded, ‘Burke’s Physiological Institute’. Burke is a mechanical physiologist, who believes in physical causes for mental illness.

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Freud’s career with Burke did not last long, the practice of medicine seemed to be of short interest even though it was economically promising. At the age of 26, Freud married Marthe Bernays. Economic pressure made Freud rethink planning income for his family. Freud began to switch to studying the human nervous system, then opened his own practice of medicine. With a specialization in the knowledge of the human nervous system, in practice many patients who consist of hysterical women are visited. In addition, Freud is also a lecturer in neurology at the University of Vienna. His experience in dealing with various neurological problems led him to develop the psychoanalytic theories that he was interested in.

Freud’s hysteria cases were recorded with his colleague, Joseph Breuer, in a manuscript which was later published in 1895 under the title ‘Studies on Hysteria’. Hysteria was recorded at that time mostly affecting women. Doctors and researchers believe that this is due to anatomical factors. The cause of hysteria is thought to be related to biological factors related to the uterus. However, Freud denied this, he believed that hysteria did not originate from a biological element, but a psychological element. Therefore, men also have the possibility of suffering from hysteria. Although Freud received much scorn for his statements, Freud insisted on defending his opinion.

Read also Soren Kierkegaard: Philosopher Milancholy To prove his theory, Sigmund Freud seriously examines the psychological problems of his patients. Sigmund Freud also treated male patients who were believed to be suffering from hysteria. Freud’s method of tracing hysteria symptoms shifted from biology to narrative. Freud began to listen to past stories about traumatic events experienced by his patients in order to get an explanation of the symptoms of his illness. This method led Freud to discover important subconscious factors as the cause of physical disease, especially the nerves. Freud called his method psychoanalytic therapy.

In 1990 Sigmund Freud published the work of psychoanalysis that he considered the most phenomenal, entitled ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’. This work, although it contains subconscious analysis, contains more of a collection of dream narratives experienced by his patients. Through the deduction method, Freud interpreted the dreams of his patients, piece by piece. He considered a dream as the fulfillment of a desire. What could not be fulfilled in the conscious mind, for Freud, was fulfilled through the subconscious, namely dreams. The following year, another work of psychoanalysis was born, entitled ‘The Psychopathology of Everyday Life’. Freud in this work explores the existence of the subconscious that influences daily life, such as: forgetting someone’s name suddenly, a slip of the tongue.), nervousness, embarrassment, and so on. According to him, these behaviors contain valid information about a person.

Read also Max Weber: “Architect” of Modern Social Sciences Throughout his life, Sigmund Freud has published 24 works of psychoanalysis. Everything is written in Vienna. The anti-Semitic atmosphere under Nazi rule forced Freud and his family members to flee to London. Freud, who was old, moved to London in 1938, then the following year Freud died. The psychoanalytic theory that he left behind attained a debatable status , never ending being debated. Freud himself claimed psychoanalysis as a scientific method, but many critics later dismissed it as pseudo-science.

. Psychoanalytic theory, according to Freud’s critics, cannot be verified and his works contain only personal stories of a person which cannot be objectively tested.


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