Sigmund Freud was a psychologist, from Austria, in the nineteenth century. He is known today for his theories and his dedication to the field of psychology. Some of his theories are still accurate and are used today.
Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856, at Freiberg in Moravia. Moravia was a small town in what is known today as Czechoslovakia.. Sigmund and his family were Jewish. He spent a few years of his life in Moravia and then later moved to Vienna. Sigmund had lived in Vienna for a while upon moving in 1938. The move was hard on Sigmund. He was only four years old when he moved. Except, he was leaving behind everyone and everything he knew.
Sigmund was also diagnosed with oral cancer. Freud was known for smoking. Over thirty surgeries resulted from the oral cancer. But, he never stopped smoking. Therefore, he was never completely cured. The cancer did not hold him back from his research and work but it did cause him to have a shorter life. Freud decided to die through euthanasia and that is what happened. Sigmund died in Hampstead, London, on September 23, 1939
Some say that the influences in Freud’s life in his younger years impacted his theories later on in life. In his early stages of life he dealt with a lot of death. First, his younger brother died only after being alive for a few months. Sigmund was impacted by this death and carried some guilt with him for the years to follow. Following the death of his brother were some more significant deaths.
”Freud lost the love of this nursemaid when she was arrested for theft and sent to prison, at about the same time that Freud’s mother was confined in pregnancy with his sister; and in ‘losing’ two mother figures at the same time he was confused about what might have happened to them”(Jacobs). Although the nursemaid did not die, she was no longer a part of his life. Death continues to shake Freud up even as the years go on. Freud’s dad died when Freud was 40. But, Freud was still moved and deeply saddened by his passing.
Sigmund Freud’s early life also consisted of education. His education was average and wasn’t anything too special. Although, he did accel in two particular fields of study. These studies being science and art. Strangely, Sigmund originally wanted to take up law instead of psychology. While in college and shortly after, Freud working in a research facility. He eventually became a medical doctor in the earlier 1880s. Although he was a doctor, he considered himself more of a scientist.
Freud was a father to six children. He was the father to three sons and three daughters. His wife and him met when he was 26 and she was 21.” Just six months after he met her, Freud sacrificed his scientific ambitions for the woman he loved: he decided to become a doctor” (Grubin). One of his daughters, Anna, followed in his footsteps and became involved in psychology herself.
Sigmund Freud practiced and is known for being the father of psychoanalysis. The textbook definition of psychoanalysis is “ A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy; it emphasizes the unconscious motives and conflict”(44). Freud believed that passion, secrets, and other similar traits had more power over our personalities than anything else.
Personality is divided into three different parts. This idea was thought of by Freud. These parts consist of the id, the ego, and the superego. All of which emerge overtime within a person. The three different parts are believed to go in order. He believed that a healthy mind had those three things balanced. Too much of one of these can cause a personality that is too selfish or too bossy.
There is also five unconscious strategies that are known as defense mechanisms. The defense mechanisms include repression, projection, displacement, regression, and denial. All of these defense mechanisms are used to help take away the truth of reality in an effort to help the person cope.
Freud had some points to make about the development of personality. This development was known as psychosexual stages. The oral stage is the first stage people go through. Freud believed that some people never out grow this stage. The following stage is known as the anal stage. The anal stage takes place in the age range of two to three years old. Yet, Freud still made the claim that some people can stay in this stage. Following the anal stage is the phallic stage. This stage is known to be the most important in the development of personality.
This stage consists of paying more attention to the people of opposite sex rather than someone of the same sex. An example would be a daughter showing more interest in her dad than in her mother. The next stage is known as the latentency stage. This stage prepares the person for the next stage which is the genital stage. All of these stages are very important in the development of personality. But, Freud did believe that some people could become stuck in one of the stages preventing their personality to fully develop.
Sigmund originated the idea of comparing the mind to an iceberg. The mind is like an iceberg, Sigmund Freud once said. An iceberg floats in water. The bigger part that keeps it floating is under water, not able to be seen. An iceberg was used to show the three stages of the mind. The tip of the iceberg is considered and portrayed as the conscious mind. The preconscious mind can be defined as what is in memory. The interesting part of this imagery is the unconscious mind. Freud portrays this as the most important part, but it cannot be seen. That is why it is underwater, but keeps the iceberg floating.
Freud made many contributions to the field of psychology. First, and most importantly, the theory of psychoanalysis. Also, he wrote many books that could later be used as reference. Freud used techniques on his patients that were sculpted into psychology today. “For example the use of a relaxing atmosphere were patients lay on a couch and the lights are dimmed, this allows for total relaxation to the point were the unconscious may begin to emerge itself”( Husman). Those techniques are still sometimes used today. Freud will always be remembered by these contributions to psychology.
Freud liked to think of himself as more of a scientist than a psychologist. But, when it comes down to it, Freud was a psychologist more than a scientist. Yes, he did conduct experiments and come up with his own theories. But, he was a medical doctor and had some of his own patients. Some argue that the way he conducted his experiments were not scientific. “His approach was not scientific. He never tested his ideas with experiments that might have falsified his beliefs, and he ignored facts that contradicted his beliefs” (Hall).