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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Freud

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 3950F/G
Professor
Mark Cole
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 7: Now You See It, Now You Don‟t: The Psychology of Sigmund Freud Early Life  Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was born in Freiburg in Moravia  Moved to Vienne four years later  His choice of professions was limited to business, medicine, or law  Feud chose medicine, the closest to science o Was a medical doctor, never an actual psychologist  He entered the University of Vienne at age 17 and graduated with a medical degree in 1881  His eclectic interests included philosophy and physiology  Also became fluent in Latin and Greek  After graduation, Freud worked in Brucke‟s laboratory before entering medical practice o One reason was to support his intended wife, Marta Bernays  In this context, Freud become interested in the possible clinical uses of cocaine o It is clear that he used himself as a subject and saw it as harmless o He prescribed cocaine liberally to his patients, relatives, and friends  This was indicative of Freud to generalize from a specific case (Jones, 1961, p. 64) o Would discover something in one person, sometimes himself, and would assume that it was the same in everyone else Anna O. and the Beginning of Psychoanalysis  Freud admired Joseph Breuer  In 1880 Anna O. (real name Bertha Pappenheim) was one of Breuer‟s patients  Her symptoms included paralysis of three limbs, disturbances of sight and speech, an aversion to food, and a persistent nervous cough (hysteria)  Had several personalities – one of a typical 21-year-old girl and one of a „naughty child‟ (dissociative personality disorder)  Anna seemed to feel relief when she talked about her distressing life with her invalid father o Breuer‟s term for this release of emotional was catharsis o Breuer noted that when Anna talked about her symptoms, they seemed to disappear o Anna called it the “talking cure” or “chimney sweeping”  Breuer‟s wife became jealous of the relationship o Breuer tried to terminate the treatment but Anna developed a hysterical pregnancy (pseudocyesis) o Breuer then “dumped” her and went on a second honeymoon with his wife  Anna O. was hospitalized for a time but recovered to become the first social worker in Germany and one of the first in the world Charcot and Hysteria  In 1885 Freud went to Paris to work with Jean Martin Charcot who was experimenting with hypnosis in the treatment of hysteria  Hysteria was then attributed to a “wandering womb” (hysteron) and therefore viewed as organic and a uniquely female disorder  Freud was intrigued by Theodor Meynert to find even one example of a male hysteric o Feud did and gave a paper on the subject of male hysteria on October 15, 1886 o The paper was not well received and likely began the schism between Freud and the rest of the medical profession  Freud initially used electric shocks to the afflicted organ (e.g., arm) with little success  He then turned to hypnotism, which further distanced him from his fellow doctors o Hypnotism wasn‟t universally applicable, however, and began to bore him  Freud began to realize that a personal relationship was an indispensable part of therapy  Between 1892 and 1895, Freud moved towards concentration method – patients laid down with their eyes closed and attempted to recall memories associated with a symptom  This evolved into free-association  Eventually, all that remained of the old hypnosis method was the therapeutic couch  Freud first used the term psychoanalysis in a paper published in 1896  He called the unwillingness of patients to report some painful memories resistance  He came to believe that free-association could uncover a repressed memory  Also, Freud writes about the importance of slips of the tongue and omissions in speech o In one example, a friend omitted the word aliquis from a Latin text o After a number of free associations by the friend, including “liquid” and “blood”, Freud „guessed‟ that the friend was concerned about the possible pregnancy of a female acquaintance  Basically, psychoanalysis wad an attempt to bring into consciousness repressed traumatic events which were the cause of the pathology  Freud initially believed that the cause of neurotic anxiety was always sexual trauma o He noted that the symptoms of anxiety (e.g., breathing difficulties, sweating) were also common to coitus o Lead to the ending of the relationship between Freud and Breuer  Eventually, Freud claimed that all cases of hysteria were rooted in childhood seduction (sexual assault) by an adult, usually a male relative, and often the father (Watson, 1963) o N.B., based on a mere 13 cases! o His main arguments was that memories of such seductions were unrecoverable o Freud interpreted that as clear evidence of their truth and importance o The view was “met with an icy reception” (Jones, 1961, p. 167)  Later, Freud decided that most such childhood seductions had never occurred o Reasons: 1. Too many analyses were coming to a satisfactory conclusion – shouldn‟t be the case if things have to be dredged out of the unconscious like psychoanalysis is based on 2. It was too much to believe that so many fathers were so perverse 3. The unconscious cannot distinguish fantasy and reality (primary process) – wouldn‟t know if it was real or not even if it did occur The Dream Work  Wanting to psychoanalyze himself, Freud decided free association would not work o He would have to be both the associater and the interpreter – “the mind cannot observe itself” (Kant)  He settled on dream analysis o Have already happened so he could go back and look at it  The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) o His longest and most important book  The manifest content (obvious content) of dreams was stimulated by recent events – brief, nonsensical, easy to describe  But the latent content (deeper, unconscious content) was stimulated by the conflicts and repressed material in the unconscious – inferring from the manifest content and Freud‟s knowledge about the psyche about the patient he is observing  Dreams are always about oneself (ego), even when they don‟t always appear to be o Cardinal rule: the dream is always about you even when the manifest content doesn‟t appear to be  Dreams are very condensed o E.g., one person in a dream can represent more than one person/play more than one role  One could never be sure when and if the dream analysis was complete  The latent content of the manifest content might be as it appears or its opposite, or even both  Identification: one
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