A Summary of the Psychodynamic Theory and Sigmund Freud's Ideas

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It is difficult to summarize psychodynamic theory without a brief discussion of Freud. Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis, the father of psychodynamic theory, and in effect the father of modern psychotherapy. Freud's notions retain quite a bit of popularity, especially his ideas that things are not what they seem on the surface. Because of his understanding of the mind and behavior, Freud considered that overt behaviors were not always self-explanatory (or perhaps "not often explanatory" would be the better term). Instead, these overt or manifest behaviors represent some hidden motive. Sigmund Freud was trained as a neurologist and specialized in the treatment of nervous disorders. His early training involved using hypnosis with the French neurologist Jean Charcot in the treatment of hysteria, the presentation of baffling physical symptoms (mostly in young women) that appeared to have no physical origin (Hall, Lindzey, & Campbell, 1998). Freud also partnered with the Viennese physician Josef Breuer who practiced a revolutionary "talking cure" to reduce patients' symptoms by talking with them about how they felt as well as using hypnosis to remove emotional barriers to their feelings. He eventually abandoned the use of hypnosis in favor of a process he termed "free association" in which he had patients talk about what was on their minds without censoring their train of thought. This led Freud to develop his theory of the human mind as a complex system that is

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