Sigmund Freud, an Austrian born during the Habsburg Monarchy, was one of
the trailblazers of modern-day psychology. The american historiam william
johnston sees freud, the father of psychoanalysis, among those personalities
"that one made austria a shining example of modernism in a world that had lost
In his function as a neuropathologist freud came to realize that he had
no clear understanding of neurotic patterns despite his thorough
studies of the
human brain. From 1895 onwards he associated intensely with the Viennese
internist Josef Breuer. Both discovered that hypnosis removed neurotic symptons.
The case of patient Anna O. became famous.
By applying this method, Freud came to understand the correlation
between emotional disorders and the formation of mental (at that time mainly
hysterical) symptoms. Through hypnosis as a method of "mental catharsis" the
patient recalls and relives repressed traumatic situations and is eventually
relieved and healed. Freud was now convinced that functional diseases had a
mental cause. In the following he discovered how mental energies may casue
After breaking with Breuer Freid found out that the abnormal emotional
state of neurotics was almost invariably associated with conflicts involving the
sexual impulse. Based on these findings he develoepd his theory on repression
and defense as well as the sexual aspect of neurotic behaviour.
Freud was unjustly blamed with "pansexualism". His theories created a
storm in meical circles and were often and heavily rejected. However, what
Freud had theoretically taught most of his life was rather a "dialectic of the
sexual impulse" than its omnipotence. After breaking with Breuer Freud carried
on his research work alone. Instead of hypnosis he applied the method of "free
association" with his patients and soon recognized the traumtic impact of early
sexual experience during childhood,... [continues]
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