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Sigmund Freud

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Essay title: Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, physiologist, medical doctor, psychologist and to some known as the father of psychoanalysis, was born May 6, 1856, in a small town called Freiberg in Moravia, today a part of Czechoslovakia.

Freud was the firstborn in a Viennese family of three boys and five girls. His father was known to have a good sense of humor and work as a wool merchant and his mother a lively and none to say good looking women. When Freud was four his family fled from the anti-Semitic riots that were happening in Freiberg, and moved to the German city of Leipzig. Shortly there after Freud moved to Vienna where he lived for much of his life.

Even though Freud's family had limited finances and were forced to live in a crowded apartment, his parents made every effort to foster his obvious intellectual capacities.

Although Freud’s ambition from childhood had been a career in law, he became intrigued by the rapidly developing sciences of the day after reading the work of British scientist Charles Darwin.

At just age seventeen, he was accepted into the University of Vienna in 1873, where he studied medicine specializing in neurology. Caught up in his studies, he did not graduate until 1881.

His own confusions, hatreds, loves and desires from this period appear to have had significant impact on his later work on development.

After a lot of hard work and the death of his father, this led Freud to his publication of The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900, and of Psychopathology of Everyday Life in 1901. By 1902 Freud was appointed the associate professor at the University of Vienna. As the originator of Psychoanalysis, Freud distinguished himself as an intellectual giant.

Regarded with skepticism at the time, Freud’s ideas have been thrown around in acceptance ever since. Nevertheless, he is regarded as one of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century.

Working closely with mentor Joseph Breuer and through his skill as a scientist, physician, and writer, Freud elaborated that the mind is a complex energy system. From my research I am of the opinion that Freud developed a number of models to show how the mind works; how the mind is organized, how personality works and how personality develops.

From his work with patients, Freud developed a more and more sophisticated theories of the human psyche which became increasingly used by many as a developmental model. Freud, by observing his patients, found that many of the memories uncovered by his patients were sexual in nature and reverted back to early childhood memories. From these observations, Freud developed his controversial theory of childhood sexuality. Freud eventually justified these observations with a generalized theory of an instinctual drive, which became the foundation for his theory.

Freud had three key concepts of personality theory.

• PHYCHIC DETERMINISM – the assumption that all feelings, thoughts, actions, gestures, and speech have a purpose and are determined by some action or event that happened to an individual in the past.

• UNCONSCIOUS MOTIVATION – a psychoanalytic assumption that behavior is determined by desires, goals, and internal states of which an individual is unaware, which are buried deep within the unconscious.

• CONFLICT – People are energized and act the way they do because of two basic drives. “Life” which features sex and sexual energy (eros), and “death”, which features aggression (Thanatos). These instincts are buried deep within the unconscious and are not always socially acceptable.

Freuds theory of which was the 'psychosexual stages of development,' traced the development of childhood sexuality through various stages, which were arranged according to bodily zones in particular, the mouth, anus, and genitals. These stages are the oral stage (first year of life), the anal stage (second year), phallic stage (third through fifth year), a period of latency (from 6 to 12), and the genital stage (after puberty).

In his theory evidence suggests that excessive gratification or frustration at any one stage could result in the fixation of libido; flowing or dynamic force which could cause a distruption to personality development. Fixation and Regression are related mechanisms which occur during psychosexual development.

In examining his theories I noted that a fixation was known as an excessive attatchment to some person or object that was appropriate only at an earlier stage of development. Consequently a fixation at any one stage would not let you develop to the next stage, you had to master each stage successfully so that you could master the later stages. Not mastering the next stage could be caused because of

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