•Born in Vienna,Austria in 1856
•Began career as a Neurologist: freud’s work is foundational to his later work on the nature of personality.
work was built on case studies.
•Worked with Josef Breuer
–Studies of Hysteria
–Extensive use of Case Study method
Case 1: Anna O
•Suffered from a wide variety of neurotic symptoms
–Anno 0 = “Alpha and Omega” of neurosis (from a to z)
–Paralysis of the limbs (from wrist to tips of fingers could not be felt) neurons in arms are neatly connected for
the problem to be neurological. This paralysis was therefore not possible.
•none of these symptoms had No apparent physical cause
–Suspected psychological causes
-hysteria -> the wandering womb; The desire to wander sexually. Freud assumed that this happened in woman
only. Woman who were single or unmarried experienced hysteria, because their womb was restless.
•Anna O’s speech abnormalities : dual personalities – that could last for 2 weeks, where she said nothing at all,
although she had a desire to speak.
–Omit certain words from dialogue, and it increased until her speech was nonsensical and incomprehensible.
–Gradual increase until speech nonsensical, often producing mutism (she could not say anything) –Appeared to be triggered when annoyed/offended
–Discussion of offense reduced mutism: (example. if you’ve been offended, you can decrease by deciding
to never speak, until the offense is broken, you would begin to speak.
•But began speaking in English rather than German
•Seemed generally unaware of language change
–Death of father (trauma) exacerbated symptoms
•Paralysis of hands/feet, reduced vision
Breuer’s Insights (continued)
•Condition would change over course of day
–Morning = upset, hallucinations, anxiety
–Afternoon = sleepy, quiet
–Evening = hypnotic trancelike state
•During evening visits, she could talk about hallucinations and troubles of the day
–After talking, symptoms would subside
•The “talking cure” -> Breur term -> is a positive contribution to psychology in forms talk therapy working as a
reframing or catharsis.
–Verbal catharsis: Cleansing or purging of emotions
Breuer’s Theory of Hysteria
•Hysterical symptoms have a certain logic
–e.g., Mutism served to not talk about offense
•Origins of symptoms
–Intense emotional trauma not fully expressed
•Forgotten, but active unconsciously
•Pressing for release
•Expressed symbolically in the form of symptoms
•Symptoms can be removed by promoting direct expression of “strangulated emotions” -> the talk therapy
removing mutism/paralysis, at the unconscious level –Steam whistle metaphor (teapot at a certain level when things build up, there is a release, of whats lying
Case 2: Frau Emmy van N
•Excessively nervous person
•Through hypnosis, Freud searched for source of feelings/symptoms in her unconscious memory that had not
been revealed yet
–By re-experiencing emotions under hypnosis, Frau Emmy attained some relief
•But effects were only temporary, frau emmy continued to relapsed. It was partially successful treatment.
•Often claimed she did not know the source of feelings
–Frau Emmy thought Freud should just listen to what she had to say rather than ask questions - free association
•Perhaps “traumas” recalled under hypnosis were not true source of symptoms w/o allowing her self-deception
to get in the way to cover things up.
–Unconscious false connections to obscure real source
•If false connections could be removed, true source should be uncovered
- Frau Emmy’s False Connection
•Terribly anxious that hotel elevator would fail
–Had told children to take elevator
•Freud asked about source of anxiety under hypnosis
–Worry that her massage treatment would end because menstrual period beginning…
–Out of nowhere or false connection to conceal true source of anxiety?
False Connection Deciphered
•Freud able to determine that true source of anxiety was daughter’s menstrual problems
–Severe pain, difficulty walking
–Told to take the elevator down to see doctor
•Frau Emmy “forgot” about daughter’s problems and recalled only the elevator
–Source of anxiety displaced to less threatening idea
–Under hypnosis, daughter’s menstrual problem falsely connected with own menstrual problem
-thought sequence was transformed to omit her daughter’s illness, because it was displaced.
•Aim of avoiding the true source of anxiety which was the elevator. The event was too traumatic for her to think
about, so she was unable to deal with it used this mechanism to avoid actually thinking about it.
Insights from Frau Emmy Case
•Freud began to doubt usefulness of hypnosis of getting to one’s traumatic events
–Traumatic events recalled under hypnosis are still subject to distortion that happen in the conscious mind
–Frau Emmy’s insistence that he let her speak more freely gave Freud hint about alternative to hypnosis ->
moved toward free association instead.
•Workings of the mind can be directed toward defending against conscious recognition of unpleasant or
unacceptable thoughts. Its negative if that become our only coping tool. Case 3: Fraulein Elisabeth von R
•Could not be hypnotized- other of Freud’s patients were unable to be hypnotized or simply unwilling.
–Cathartic method relied on hypnotism
–Must discuss prob