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Who Was Sigmund Freud Pt 5

Who Was Sigmund Freud Pt 5

Development of Psychoanalysis

Additional momentum in the evolution of psychoanalysis may have gathered from Freud’s own troubles. Occurrences such as the death of his father in 1896, the illnesses of his children, financial difficulties, heart problems, obsessional tendencies and anxiety attacks all appeared to precipitate an extended period of self-analysis. As a result of investigating his own inner dynamics (in addition to exploring the minds of others), he gradually abandoned the seduction theory. Discovery of the Oedipus complex (outlined later), in particular, pointed Freud in the direction of inner, psychological factors rather than external trauma. Some (most vociferously Masson [1984]) believe Freud to have been irresponsible in this and more concerned with repairing his own prestige than reporting valuable facts.

Freud’s favourite amongst his own publications, The Interpretation of Dreams, was published around the turn of the century. This bore the fruits of his own dream analysis and outlined the similarity between dreams and symptom formation, both considered to be disguised manifestations of repressed sexual wishes. Despite the poor reception of this book, which took eight years to sell its first print run of 600 copies, Freud continued undaunted, and influential works followed.  Most notable amongst these were The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1904), extending psychoanalysis from neurotic to “normal” behaviour, and Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), in which Freud expressed his views on the development of the sex instinct.

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