Sigmund Freud: Father of Psychoanalysis

Pages: 6 (1583 words) Published: June 9, 2014


Research Paper

Presented to Instructor Merriam C. Weaver

Amridge University

Montgomery, Alabama


As a Requirement in

Course HD #4406E

Theories of Personality & Motivation



Brad Tate

October, 2013

Sigmund Freud

Father of Psychoanalysis


Psychology’s most famous figure is also one of the most influential and controversial thinkers of the twentieth century (Cherry). Sigmund Freud’s work and theories helped shape our views of childhood, personality, memory, sexuality, and therapy (Cherry). His early years are fascinating and his work intrigues the mind of one who desires the field of psychology. He ended His life on a sad note but left a great deal of knowledge. EARLY YEARS

Sigmund Freud was born in Freiberg, Moravia, in what was then known as the Austrian Empire but is now part of the Czech Republic (Strachey, 124). Sigmund was the first child of his twice-widowed father’s third marriage. His mother was 19 and his father, 39, when they married. Sigmund’s two stepbrothers from his father’s first marriage were approximately the same age as his mother, and his older stepbrother’s son, Sigmund’s nephew, was his earliest playmate. Thus, the boy grew up in an unusual family structure.

Because the Freuds were Jewish, Sigmund’s early experience was that of an outsider in an overwhelmingly Catholic community. When the Jews of Austria were liberated, the Freuds moved to Vienna. Little is known about his childhood as he was a very private person and destroyed his personal papers. However, it is known that he was an outstanding student and that he attended the University of Vienna. BEGINNING OF PSYCHOANALYSIS

Freud received his doctor of medicine degree at age 24 and spent three years as a resident physician. During that time he spent five months in psychiatry and then he pursued neurological studies. Freud’s later work changed the entire attitude of the psychological meaning of behavior.

Freud’s works included treatment of hysteria, hypnosis, self-analysis of dreams, and the theory of sexuality.
Freud coined the term “psychoanalysis,” which is a way to treat certain mental illnesses by exposing and discussing a patient’s unconscious thoughts and feelings. Perhaps the most well-known part of the theory of psychoanalysis is Freud’s talk about the three forces of psychical apparatus = the id, the ego, and the superego (McLeod).

The id has the quality of being unconscious and contains everything that is inherited, everything that is present at birth and the instincts.
The ego has the quality of being conscious and is responsible for controlling the demands of the id and of the instincts, becoming aware of stimuli, and serving as a link between the id and the external world. In addition, the ego responds to stimulation by either adaptation or flight, regulates activity, and strives to achieve pleasure and avoid displeasure.

Last of all, the superego demands are managed by the id and it is responsible for the limitation of satisfactions and represents the influence of others, such as parents, teachers, and role models, as well as the impact of racial, social, and cultural traditions.

As you can see, Freud described the psychical process as being either conscious preconscious, or unconscious. You can also note where the id, ego, and superego are located. Freud stated that all instincts were the ultimate cause of all behavior. These are eros (love) and destructive or death instinct. The purpose of eros is to establish and preserve unity through relationships. On the other hand, the purpose of death instinct is to undo connections and unity via destruction. The two instincts can either...

Bibliography: Carver, Charles S. and Michael F. Scheier. “Perspectives on Personality.” Pearson, 2012. pp. 6.
Cherry, Kendra. "Sigmund Freud - Life, Work and Theories."
McLeod, Saul. “Id, Ego, and Superego.”
Strachey, J. and Freud, Anna. "The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud," 24 vols. London: 1953-1964. pp. 124
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