Little Hans

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  • Topic: Sigmund Freud, Penis envy, Oedipus complex
  • Pages : 5 (1851 words )
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  • Published : March 11, 2011
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Sigmund Freud’s,
“Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy”

Phil Feria
Psychology 310A
Grayson Schick, M.A.
February 5, 2011
Little Hans was a young boy who was the subject of a study of castration anxiety and the Oedipus complex by Sigmund Freud. This important publication was the first of clinical material that derived directly from the treatment of a child and was presented by evidence as support of Freud’s theories of infantile sexuality. Another theme within Freud's work concerns the unconscious mind, which is the part of our mind which we are not aware of. Freud believed that the unconscious contains unresolved conflicts and has a powerful effect on our behavior and experiences. He also believed that children experience emotional conflicts, and their future adjustment depends on how well these conflicts are resolved. Hans was a 5-year-old boy who was having trouble with a phobia of horses. In Little Hans case, the primary goal is to find a detailed analysis of treating his phobia. Since Sigmund Freud’s beneficial input in this case was at a minimal, and a secondary goal was to explore what factors led to the phobia in the first place, and what exact factors would have led to its remission.

Sigmund Freud’s,
“Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy”
In “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year Old Boy,” Sigmund Freud noted that Little Hans father had been sending Freud reports about his son’s interest in sexual matters. When Hans was almost 5, his father wrote to Freud explaining his anxiety concerns about his son. Han’s is afraid a horse will bite him in the street, and this fear seems somehow connected with his having been frightened by a large penis. The father went on to provide Freud with extensive details of the conversation with Hans. It was not only of his body, but the bodies of others as well. His curiosity was centered on the anatomical differences between the sexes-then suddenly developed a phobia of being bitten by a white horse and the boxes that are transported in the certain type of carts they pull. Hans fear and anxiety were thought to be the result of several factors. The factors include: birth of his little sister, his desire to replace his father as his mother’s mate, conflicts over masturbation and along with the other previously mentioned in the reading. Hans's father initially attributes the illness to sexual over-excitement caused by his mother's caresses, and fear caused by the large penises of horses and the unwillingness to tell Hans the truth about coition (sexual intercourse). Therefore, Hans’s neurosis took the shape of acute anxiety phobia of horses. Little Hans was a patient of Freud’s, even though they only had just one appointment. The transference in this case is positive because when the phobia process occurred, the therapist (Freud) and Han’s father used this position to help restore the client (Hans) to more normal feelings by responding in ways unlike that of the person upon which the original feelings were based. This treatment was carried out descriptively approximately for two years by the child’s father mainly by correspondence under the supervision of Freud, himself. The first documented analysis of Hans was when he was 3 years old, which is when he grew a special interest in his “widler” (penis), and also widlers of other people. On one occasion he asked. “Mummy, have you got a widdler too”? (2) In this time, the main problem of his fantasies and dreams were about widdlers and widdling. When Hans was about three years old his mother told him not to touch his widdler or else she would call the doctor to come and cut it off (2). The fear began when Hans was at the age of four, his parents’ allowed Han’s in the bed with them. The analysis of little Hans shall fall into three evident stages; the first stage is the fear of horses. When Freud asked Hans about the phobia of horses; Hans noted that he did not like white horses with black bits around...
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