1. Education

The Early Years ofPsychoanalysis

"Psychoanalysis will bring the repressed in mental life to conscious acknowledgment?" - Sigmund Freud, 1910.
Sigmund Freud 1907

Sigmund Freud in 1907

Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Self-Analysis

Freud continued to develop his ideas about the unconscious, talk therapy, and other theories. He first used the term "psychoanalysis" in 1896. After his father's death in 1896, Freud began an extended period of self-analysis. During this time, Freud exchanged many letters with his friend, William Fleiss, a Berlin doctor who shared a great deal in common with Freud. In his letters, Freud theorized on the hidden meaning of dreams and his own intense feelings of love for his mother, which would eventually lead to his notion of the Oedipal complex. "I have found, in my own case," he wrote, "being in love with my mother and jealous of my father, and I now consider it a universal event in early childhood" (Freud, 1897).

The Interpretation of Dreams

The publication of his book The Interpretation of Dreams in 1899 laid the groundwork for much of his psychoanalytic theory. While he had high hopes for his book, initial sales were slow and reviews were generally disappointing. In his book, he described concepts that became a central part of psychoanalysis, including the unconscious, the Oedipal complex, and dream interpretation. Despite the poor performance of the book, it became one of the seminal works in the history of psychology and Freud later described it as his personal favorite.

The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Freud also continued to develop his theories, publishing The Psychopathology of Everyday Life in 1901. The book introduced concepts such as the Freudian slip (or slips of the tongue), suggesting that such events reveal underlying, unconscious thoughts and motivations. Considering how controversial Freud's theories still are today, it is not surprising that his ideas were met with great skepticism among his peers. The publication of his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality in 1905 served to deepen the divide between Freud and the medical community.

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Gallery Index: Sigmund Freud Photobiography
Kendra Cherry

Kendra Cherry
Psychology Guide

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