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Freud's greatest achievements
Freud provided the basis for the entire field of individual verbal psychotherapy.
He greatly looked into free association and dream analysis. 'The importance of free
association is that the patients spoke for themselves, rather than repeating the ideas of the
analyst; they work through their own material, rather than parroting another's
suggestions'. Dream interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to dreams.
The concept of the unconscious was central to Freud's account of the mind. He
postulated a cycle in which ideas are repressed, but remain in the mind,
removed from consciousness yet operative, then reappear in consciousness
under certain circumstances. The postulate was based upon the investigation of
cases of traumatic hysteria, which revealed cases where the behavior of
patients could not be explained without reference to ideas or thoughts of which
they had no awareness. This fact, combined with the observation that such
behavior could be artificially induced by hypnosis, in which ideas were inserted
into people's minds, suggested that ideas were operative in the original cases,
even though their subjects knew nothing of them.
Freud played a big part in the identification of psychosexual development. Freud hoped to
prove that his model was universally valid and thus turned to ancient mythology and
contemporary ethnography for comparative material. Hence the origin of the Oedipus
In his later work, Freud proposed that the human psyche could be divided into three parts:
Id, ego, and super-ego.
Freud believed that people are driven by two conflicting central desires: the life drive
(libido or Eros) (survival, propagation, hunger, thirst, and sex) and the death drive.…read more

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Freud's basic
concepts…read more

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The Unconscious
Freudian theory assumes that the unconscious
exists and that a great deal of mental
functioning occurs outside of conscious
awareness. The unconscious cannot be observed
directly, but can be inferred from the powerful
influence it often has on consciousness and
observable behavior. All psychological events,
even those that appear to be random, are
actually determined by earlier experiences,
feelings, and fantasies -- conscious and
unconscious.…read more

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Previous emotional experiences
affect later experiences
Past emotional experiences and our reactions to
them, though often buried (i.e., unconscious),
live on in each of us and continue to influence
later feelings and behavior. Above all, the
experiences of early childhood, centering around
the child's relations with his/her caretakers, and
the wishes, fears and conflicts they give rise to,
regularly have a determining effect on individual
desires and fears, character, object choices, etc.…read more

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Sexual and Aggressive impulses are
Erotic feelings have long been recognized as a primary human motivation,
and Freud showed how infantile pleasures and desires are precursors of
adult sexuality. Psychoanalytic work with patients led Freud and his
followers to recognize aggressive impulses and wishes as an equally
important force in psychic life. In classical psychoanalytic theory these two
groups of wishes, which are thought to be active from birth on, are called
drives, or "instinctual drives" because of their power to impel the mind to
activity and their ongoing role throughout life.
In Freudian thinking, every psychic act (thoughts, feelings, fantasies, plans,
etc.) contains elements of both the libidinal and aggressive drives in varying
proportions, and both play an essential role in psychic life and conflict. The
specific nature of each person's sexual and aggressive motives is, of course,
unique to that individual, depending on his/her own individual experience
and innate endowment. Sexual and aggressive wishes are malleable, and
capable of undergoing extensive transformation.…read more

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