Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Freiberg, Czech Republic. He was a neurologist who began to study medicine at the University of Vienna in 1873. Freud got his medical degree in 1881 and after graduating, he immediately began to study the human knowledge. After schooling in Paris, he got married and had six children with his wife, Martha Bernays. Sigmund Freud was one of the most important scientist when it came in the fields of psychology. He worked hard searching for diagnoses and symptoms about the human behavior and discovered ways how to help the ill.
Although at first his main focus was treating people with damage nervous system. Until one day, Freud and his colleagues had a patient who they thought had a nervous system problem. Freud and his colleagues were trying to diagnose his patient but when they saw that there weren’t any physical damage, this was when Freud had a thought that the issue might be mentally instead. He suggested that the problem was with the human mind that, that was causing the misbehavior in the nervous system.
Freud started to be intrigued about this diagnosis that he began to experiment by treating people mentally through conscious and unconscious mind he called repress, to keep control of emotions, desires, and activities (Freud et al. , 1990). Freud began to work on his theory called psychoanalysis, which now in the modern world is called psychotherapy, that is why he is known as the “Father of Psychoanalysis”. Psychotherapy is a procedure where a psychologist helps a patient how to change his or her behavior or have a better understanding about their own personalities that impacts their daily lives.
This is where we study the differences and how it focuses about having an conscious and unconscious minds. When psychoanalysis focuses on having an conscious mind, this is when a person is more aware of their self being and surroundings, while having an unconscious mind is when a person is unaware and Freud compared this logic to an iceberg which illustrated that the conscious mind is the tip, above the water and the unconscious mind is a mystery and concealed, below the water (Rana, 1997). He wrote a book about psychoanalysis called “Introduction to Psychoanalysis” which was published in 1917.
Freud studied people’s personality and how it contributed with repress, he soon figured out that it all started with a person’s childhood, usually the first six years of life and how it affects his or her future if not treated right. Sigmund Freud also proposed childhood development b psychosexual stages. He believed that in the first five to six years of life makes that progress in personality. He also believed that the personality has three different structures to help function our brain for our everyday functions; the id, ego, and superego.
The id is the first basic phrase of a person’s mind that does not change through time or experiences and it has two parts; eros, which focuses on sexual energy and thanatos which focuses on death or angry, violent expressions. The ego is the realistic part that tries to be rationalize to problem solving for self discipline, it also tries to avoid pain because it only looks for pleasure and how to appease the id moments, but if ego phrase does not work out for the individual it can result having anxieties.
The superego phrase focuses on the moralistic and has two types of concepts; conscience and ideal self. Conscience blocks the ego phrase so that the person can feel guilt in some way and not to think just happy thoughts in times of bad. Ideal self is the presentation you want other people to see, like how you act or behave around people. Also superego can punish an individual through guilt when they are not behaving to other and receives rewards as well when they behave (Mcleod, 2007). Sigmund Freud published a book about the id and ego called “The Ego and the ld” in 1923.
Psychosexual stages has five stages: 1. Oral stage, where babies zero to one years old focuses on using their mouths, 2. Anal stage, where one to three years old toddlers learn how to potty, 3. Phallic stage, when three to six years old children notices their private areas and experiencing mixed feelings such as attraction, anxiety, fear, jealousy, and fear called oedipus complex, 4. Latency stage, appears later in the age of five to six years old where the child doesn’t focus on sexual attraction anymore and finds new skills to do such as read and write or go to school, and lastly 5.
Genital stage, begins when a child hits puberty up to adult age and sexual discoveries are taking place (Mcleod, 2008). Freud ties sexual attraction and perspectives to his cases to help him have an explanation for the problem. Sigmund Freud did a case study about psychosexual with a boy named, Herbert Graf “Little Hans” who was five years old at the time and his father, Max Graf started to study his son’s phobia and was very familiar with Freud’s studies about oedipus complex (Mcleod, 2008). It all started when Herbert Graf’s family was living where he would see many horses everyday.
Herbert would get scared of the ways that horses would move, such as walking with heavy feet, the noise they make coming out through their nose and mouth, and not to mention he even witnessed a white horse with blinkers and black bits on collapsed while walking down the street, carrying tons of bags on top of its back. Herbert was very traumatized of the scene he just perceived that he didn’t want to leave the house anymore. Max Graf was very concerned about his son and noticed the movements of his son had change. He seeked help from Freud by sending him letters on how he can help his son fix his phobia of horses.
Until one day, Freud met Max and Herbert in person and began to observe him to see what was Max’s letter was all about. Sigmund Freud thoughts came together and he figured out that Herbert was on the Phallic stage, which explained his anxiety towards the horses. Freud also explained that the deeper meaning of why Herbert is afraid of the white horse that died was that it resembled his father by; the horses’ black bits resembled his father’s moustache, the horse’s blinkers resembled his father’s glasses, and the horse happened to be white and Max was a white male.
Freud continued to explain to Max that Herbert was very attached to his mother that being on the phallic stage causes his sexual desires towards her and that he wanted to get rid of his father so that his mother would only pay attention to him. Herbert’s reasons was that he was afraid that his father will take that attraction away from his mother considering he had a big penis, which made Herbert really jealous toward Max that he made him his rivalry.
Wishing to be similar to his father and compete for his mother’s affection but Herbert noticed that his father was far more stronger than him and he thought that his father would castrate him if he continued to allure his mother. Which explained why he was afraid of horses because to Herbert’s eyes Max resembled the white horse (Mcleod, 2008). Oedipus complex can be resolve through time. Freud told Max how to fix the phallic stage by having Herbert learn the differences between men and women.
Also by repressing Herbert, that way he can start to acknowledge and bond with him. After years since Little Hans’s case study, Freud came back to evaluate the progress when Herbert was nineteen years old. Herbert explained that his childhood was well that he didn’t have any problem growing up and that he was healthy and fit. Freud came to a conclusion that Herbert didn’t remember any of his phobias and his phallic stage moments due to the repress that he advised Max to do when Herbert was a young boy (Cherry, 2016).
Herbert grew up successfully by the help of Freud’s repress development. Through Freud’s psychoanalytic studies, he started interpreting dreams to help him understand his patient’s situation. Freud believed that the unconscious mind starts to develop during childhood so he would always connect his patient’s dreams to any events, struggle, or pleasurable moments that might had happened when they were young. Dreams perform a wish fulfillment by forming a symbolic meaning and explanations of dreams through two contents: manifest content and latent content.
Manifest content is a dream of an actual image and thoughts while latent content is when people dream about frightening images that can be disturbing. Freud believed that the latent content needs to be hidden by the manifest content because there are damaged illustrations with the unconscious mind that needs to be blocked by the manifest content to be able for person not to become aware of the traumatic figure so that they won’t be able to remember their latent dream and just the manifest part (Cherry, 2017).
Freud published a book called “The Interpretation of Dreams” in 1899, how he interprets the symbolic meaning of each person’s dreams and how it connects to our waking life. Another of Sigmund Freud’s case study was with Sergei Pankejeff “Wolf Man”, who suffered from depression and had a frightening dream that he remembered throughout his adulthood. Pankejeff started his symptoms of depression when his older sister, Anna committed suicide in 1906. In the following year, his father also had committed suicide from overdose, which led Sergei completely depressed.
He knew that he was suffering from depression and did the right thing to do by going to get help. Pankejeff decided to go to Vienna where he would see Freud to begin his treatment. Freud started to observe him and asked questions why things went the way they did by starting how his childhood was. Pankejeff did mention that one time he saw his parents having a sexual intercourse, that obviously sparked Freud’s mind with his psychosexual development aspect. Freud continued to observe but this time, asking about any of his dreams being off or disturbed and Pankejeff then told him the dream about the white wolves.
He began telling his dream by remembering that he was lying in bed at night while his bed stood up facing the window noticing creepy walnut trees and he said that his windows opened, spotting six to seven white wolves with white long tails like what foxes have and prickled white ears like what dogs have. Remembering the image and feeling that he was scared because he might get eaten by the wolves that he screamed and woke up, but after awhile he calmed down with the help of his nurse and slowly went back to sleep (Cherry, 2016).
When Freud understood his dream, Freud reasoned that his trauma all began when he anticipated his parents having sexual intercourse. He was shocked when he saw his parents having sex which symbolizes his shocking dream about the white wolves. Freud helped Sergei Pankejeff realize his terrifying dreams and giving him the explanation he wanted to fix but Pankejeff still seeked for more psychoanalysis treatments with Freud’s followers.
Sadly, Pankejeff was never really cured until his death and couldn’t ask Freud’s help anymore since Freud died forty years before he did (Cherry, 2016). Sigmund Freud died in London, England in September of 1939 at age of 83 because of suicide, he demanded his doctor to give him a lethal dose of morphine because he didn’t want to feel his long discomfort anymore from his oral cancer that he got in 1923 from his smoking habit (“Sigmund Freud Biography”, 2016).