Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory Essay

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Sigmund Freud created strong theories in science and medicine that are still studied today. Freud was a neurologist who proposed many distinctive theories in psychiatry, all based upon the method of psychoanalysis. Some of his key concepts include the ego/superego/id, free association, trauma/fantasy, dream interpretation, and jokes and the unconscious. “Freud remained a determinist throughout his life, believing that all vital phenomena, including psychological phenomena like thoughts, feelings and phantasies, are rigidly determined by the principle of cause and effect” (Storr, 1989, p. 2). Through the discussion of those central concepts, Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis becomes clear as to how he construed human character. Freud…show more content…
The reason behind the expression of hysteric symptoms in a mental patient, such as Anna O., is from the affect of an unpleasant memory that is not brought to the conscious mind. The conflict of repression is the explanation for physical symptoms seen in hysteria. Storr wrote, “In many instances, the physical symptom expressed the patient’s feelings in symbolic fashion. Thus, constriction in the throat might express an inability to swallow an insult; or a pain in the region of the heart might signify that the patient’s heart has been metaphorically broken or damaged” (1989, p. 13). This explains the multiple symptoms that Anna O. expressed in her case. Freud continued his work on repression, memories, and past experiences of trauma to be the motive for all neurotic symptoms. Trauma in past experiences was not always the key determinant for hysteria cases, there needed to be another component for the cause. The combination of past trauma and present trauma awakened memories of the earlier trauma which constituted the true aggravation (Storr, 1989, p. 15). However, he began to see a common factor in his work. Next Freud noticed that a common denominator of all his hysteria cases was premature sexual experiences. Sex encompasses many emotions through mind, body, and spirit that can influence a great deal of character if repressed. Storr pointed out that, “Freud became more and more convinced that the chief
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