Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud, by Max Halberstadt (cropped).jpg
Sigmund Freud by Max Halberstadt, c. 1921[1]
Born Sigismund Schlomo Freud
(1856-05-06)6 May 1856
Freiberg in Mähren, Moravia, Austrian Empire
(now Příbor, Czech Republic)
Died 23 September 1939(1939-09-23) (aged 83)
Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Nationality Austrian
Alma mater University of Vienna (MD, 1881)
Known for Psychoanalysis
Spouse(s) Martha Bernays (m. 1886–1939, his death)
Scientific career
Fields Neurology, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis
Institutions University of Vienna
Academic advisors
Influences Brentano, Breuer, Charcot, Darwin, Dostoyevsky, Empedocles, Fechner, Fliess, Goethe, von Hartmann, Herbart, Nietzsche, Plato, Schopenhauer, Shakespeare, Sophocles

Sigmund Freud (/frɔɪd/ FROYD;[3] German: [ˈziːkmʊnt ˈfʁɔʏt]; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.[4]

Freud was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. He qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1881 at the University of Vienna.[5][6] Upon completing his habilitation in 1885, he was appointed a docent in neuropathology and became an affiliated professor in 1902.[7] Freud lived and worked in Vienna, having set up his clinical practice there in 1886. In 1938 Freud left Austria to escape the Nazis. He died in exile in the United Kingdom in 1939.

In creating psychoanalysis, Freud developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing its central role in the analytic process. Freud's redefinition of sexuality to include its infantile forms led him to formulate the Oedipus complex as the central tenet of psychoanalytical theory.[8] His analysis of dreams as wish-fulfillments provided him with models for the clinical analysis of symptom formation and the underlying mechanisms of repression. On this basis Freud elaborated his theory of the unconscious and went on to develop a model of psychic structure comprising id, ego and super-ego.[9] Freud postulated the existence of libido, an energy with which mental processes and structures are invested and which generates erotic attachments, and a death drive, the source of compulsive repetition, hate, aggression and neurotic guilt.[10] In his later work Freud developed a wide-ranging interpretation and critique of religion and culture.

Though in overall decline as a diagnostic and clinical practice, psychoanalysis remains influential within psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy, and across the humanities. As such, it continues to generate extensive and highly contested debate with regard to its therapeutic efficacy, its scientific status, and whether it advances or is detrimental to the feminist cause.[11] Nonetheless, Freud's work has suffused contemporary Western thought and popular culture. In the words of W. H. Auden's 1940 poetic tribute, by the time of Freud's death, he had become "a whole climate of opinion / under whom we conduct our different lives."[12]

  1. ^ Halberstadt, Max (c. 1921). "Sigmund Freud, half-length portrait, facing left, holding cigar in right hand". Library of Congress. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  2. ^ Tansley, A. G. (1941). "Sigmund Freud. 1856–1939". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 3 (9): 246–275. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1941.0002. JSTOR 768889. 
  3. ^ "Freud". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference Systems of Psychotherapy was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Noel Sheehy; Alexandra Forsythe (2013). "Sigmund Freud". Fifty Key Thinkers in Psychology. Routledge. ISBN 1134704933. 
  6. ^ Eric R. Kandel The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present. New York: Random House 2012, pp. 45–46.
  7. ^ Gay 2006, pp. 136–37
  8. ^ Jones, Ernest (1949) What is Psychoanalysis ? London: Allen & Unwin. p. 47.
  9. ^ Mannoni, Octave, Freud: The Theory of the Unconscious, London: NLB 1971, p. 49-51, 152-54
  10. ^ Mannoni, Octave, Freud: The Theory of the Unconscious, London: NLB 1971, pp. 146–47
  11. ^ For its efficacy and the influence of psychoanalysis on psychiatry and psychotherapy, see The Challenge to Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Chapter 9, Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry: A Changing Relationship by Robert Michels, 1999 and Tom Burns Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry London: Allen Lane 2013 p. 96-97.
    • For the influence on psychology, see The Psychologist, December 2000
    • For the influence of psychoanalysis in the humanities, see J. Forrester The Seductions of Psychoanalysis Cambridge University Press 1990, pp. 2–3.
    • For the debate on efficacy, see Fisher, S. and Greenberg, R. P., Freud Scientifically Reappraised: Testing the Theories and Therapy, New York: John Wiley, 1996, pp. 193–217.
    • For the debate on the scientific status of psychoanalysis see Stevens, R. 1985 Freud and Psychoanalysis Milton Keynes: Open University Press, pp. 91–116 and Gay (2006) p. 745.
    • For the debate on psychoanalysis and feminism, see Appignanesi, Lisa & Forrester, John. Freud's Women. London: Penguin Books, 1992, pp. 455–474
  12. ^ Auden 1940

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