The History Of Freud

Submitted By elana121
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Pages: 10

Freud’s ideas remain influential even when they seem implausible. Why might this be?

Freud’s psychoanalytic thought laid the foundations for a modern understanding of unconscious mental processes; he believed that he was creating a new science, and attempted to keep his work as “scientific” as possible, tying it to biology and physiology when he could. He was the first to create and assert a systematic method of analysis into the evaluation of the mental processes of the human mind; he even attempted to apply the law of conservation of energy, from physics, to mental processes. Yet he also determined that psychology required its own vocabulary, as result of its largely unexplored territory it resisted simple identification with physical or biological processes. Freud turned to data that could not be quantified: dreams and fantasies, and by subjecting such phenomena, which existed purely in the mind, to rigorous analysis formed the basis of psychoanalysis. In the later parts of the 19th century, Freud endeavoured to treat victims of hysteria, using techniques such as hypnosis, this he undertook with his colleague Josef Breuer leading them to determine that many neuroses originated in traumatic experiences from early childhood that had somehow been forgotten or supressed. To understand theoretical stance and approach, we have to acknowledge that for Freud neurosis stemmed from the burden of frustration society exacted on the individual, for the built up antagonism interpolated the demands of the instincts and the overbearing structures of society such as laws and regulations, and the innate constraints of the super-ego. Thurschwell (2001) encapsulates what Freud was trying to achieve and overcome by stating “An advanced civilisation, based on guilt, makes the achievement of civilisation extraordinarily difficult”
Through his clinical practice, Freud recorded what he came to call the workings of the “unconscious” mind. This uncovering of how to tackle neurosis he saw as part of the role of psychoanalysis, when it was treated as a therapy, it would be able to bring the elements of the “unconscious” mind into consciousness, to then better understand the conflicts that influenced human thought and activity without the person knowing it. In 1900, he published The Interpretation of Dreams, which became a generative work in the history of psychoanalysis, not only did it include his concepts about the unconscious and the conscious, furthermore it revealed Freud’s tendency to view many psychological conflicts as rooted in sexuality. After establishing dream interpretation as the cornerstone of psychoanalysis, Freud published Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality in 1905. Here he analysed the development of the libido the sexual drive, drawing connections between its development and the formation of character traits; the libido, according to Freud, was the most important natural motivating force in life.
Furthermore in Totem and Taboo (1913) he tried to give a chronological history by investigating the manner in which religious practices, such as totemism resembled the obsessive, ritualistic behaviour and the development of the modern neurotic. With totemism he tries to decipher the antecedent of social connections between people, within taboo he shows how this is distinctive and endogenous in tribal societies, where women and men are expected to find sexual partners outside the tribe. This he referred to as Totemic exogamy; the prohibition of sexual intercourse between members of the same clan, it emerges to have been the appropriate means for preventing group incest, and it thus became to be established and persisted long after its acumen for existence had ended. However the historical consanguinity between marriage classes and the totem clans was seen to be completely obscure. Furthermore he relayed a resemblance to the Catholic Church’s own ancient prohibition to certain marriages such as between brothers and sisters, to