Who Was Sigmund Freud Pt 4
By 1896, Freud had arrived at the conclusion that hysteria and other neurotic complaints were reactions to traumatic experiences of a sexual nature occurring in early childhood (generally, before the age of eight). He also believed that such premature sexual experiences could involve abuse by a stranger, but were more commonly perpetrated by the father, especially, or a guardian (e.g., close relative or nursery maid) of the child, or another child (commonly a sibling or cousin). The victim was unable to respond to and assimilate such disturbing events, with the resulting repression being converted later into neurotic symptoms. Freud presented the associated paper on his seduction theory to the Society for Psychiatry and Neurology and met with an icy reception. A period of alienation and ostracism from the Viennese medical community followed. Even Breuer could not accept Freud’s ideas, which he considered to be overgeneralised, and terminated his association. The only ally during this period was William Fliess (1858-1928), an ear, nose and throat specialist with whom Freud forged an intense friendship. Fliess, similarly, viewed sexual problems as central to his work, and met and corresponded regularly with Freud between 1893 and 1902. Though Freud was extremely influential it is also clear that colleagues began to have very different ideas to him.