Little Hans case study & role of the unconscious mind


Little Hans case study

Little Hans about 2 years old and his parents had noticed he’d developed a phobia linked to presence of horses.

Freud discovered that his mum was pregnant.

Little Hans asked mum to touch his penis.

Oedipus complex - Little Hans was very envious of his own father, and had a strong desire for his mother.

Freud explained the phobia of horses to be due to that fact Little Hans’ father had big glasses and a beard.

As Little Hans grew up he realised he could no longer desire his mother, & mirrored his father in order to have a similar adult relationship when he was of age. With time the phobia and fear of his father disappeared.

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Role of the unconscious mind

Frued believed that we are only aware of and know the conscious mind and that most of our everyday actions are not controlled consciously but are the product of the unconscious mind.

The unconscious mind is the part of the mind that we are unaware of but continues to direct much of our behaviour; it contains threatnening and distrubing memories that have been repressed, locked away or forgotten.

The preconscious is right under the conscious mind which includes thoughts & ideas we may become aware of during dreams or through 'slips of the tongue' (i.e. calling your teacher 'mum' instead of 'miss')

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