Sigmund Freud Essay example

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Vanessa Baker
Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was born on May 6th, 1856, in Freiburg. Freiburg is a small town 100 miles from Vienna. He was born to a mother who was twenty years younger than his father. He was born to a poor, complicated Jewish family. This family makeup shaped him. As he grew, he developed an intense obsession over studying and learned many languages. He gained a position of power and favor in his family from his intelligence and pursuit of knowledge. He became the “golden child” of his family, with lots of promise and potential. He also kept a boyhood record of his dreams. This surely influenced him later in his life, as his ideas developed around the unconscious and dreaming. He identified in his younger years with Napoleon, and despised the anti-Semitic values that affected his family. He swore that he would not be repressed by anti-Jewish sentiment in the time period. He vowed that he would make a name for himself. His early science career began with the observation of sexual organs in eels. This first encounter shaped his later breakthroughs in sexual psychoanalysis, and introduced him to a wide variety of different doctors and thinkers. He decided reluctantly to become a doctor when he fell in love. He and his fiancée were engaged for 4 years. During that time they only saw each other 6 times. It was a very Victorian love affair, and he was very inexperienced with women. Around this time is also when he began to experiment with cocaine. He believed that it would bring him great fame and wealth, because he thought it would be good to use as a relaxer and medication. He became slightly obsessed with it, using it frequently and sending it to his wife before he gave a lethal dose to a friend. This ended to abundant use, as well as a fellow scientist discovering its use in eye surgery and gaining the wealth over the drug instead of him. At this time, Freud is a hospital employee with a focus on the nervous system and mental illness. This is when Freud begins to work with Charcot, who introduces him to his practice of hypnosis. This is another important shaping aspect. It sparks his interest and eventual development of the “unconscious” ideas. The beliefs of the mind are what caused symptoms, according to Charcot. Freud opens his first practice in Vienna, where he uses the “talking cure” methodology. A fellow scientist who had worked with patient Anna O. introduced this cure to him, because it succeeded in curing Anna O. of her hysteria. The “Freudian couch” became a national symbol of psychoanalysis, and his patients would sit and talk to him about their mental state. He deducts an unprecedented viewpoint at the time- that all neurotic sickness comes from childhood sexual abuse or repressed childhood fantasies. Freud’s work ethic was ambitious and passionate, and he worked tirelessly to develop his theories of the unconscious and psychoanalysis into legitimate, trusted thought. He opens a new practice in the 1980’s, and at the…