Personality Theorist Sigmund Freud's Period Term Paper

  • Length: 14 pages
  • Sources: 8
  • Subject: Psychology
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #74750464

Excerpt from Term Paper :

"The work of civilization has become increasingly the business of men, it confronts them with ever more difficult tasks and compels them to carry out instinctual sublimations of which women are little capable" (Rosenfels 21).

When considering leaders and their followers, Freud believed that some people were meant to be controlled as a result of their laziness and of their instinctual abandonment. These individuals influence each-other in adopting an indifferent attitude with regard to their own fate. They are saved by people who are capable to set an example through their strength of will and who take on managerial positions in order to control the masses (Rosenfels 21).

One of the reasons for which Freud expressed dissatisfaction with his experience in the U.S. was the fact that he did not appreciate the attitude that American husbands had in regard to their wives. He believed that one had to control his wife in order for their relationship to be healthy. Furthermore, he attributed the high rate of divorce in the U.S. To the fact that American men were inexperienced in performing intercourse. European men were much more experienced from his point-of-view, as they apparently imposed their power in the family and managed to make their wives obedient (Rosenfels 21).

His perspective concerning the relationship between teachers and students was also severe, as he believed that it is futile for students to claim that they are experienced in psychoanalysis as long as they are familiar with the theoretical part of the domain. Freud believed that one should also be acquainted with the practical aspect of an environment in order for the respective person to consider himself or herself experienced in the sphere of influence (Rosenfels 21).

Freud generally considered that the relationship between the psychoanalyst and his or her patient needs to be based on a rapport of subordination. He believed that matters might get out of hand if the patient or the psychoanalyst oversteps his or her boundaries. It is very probable that Bauer's relationship with Anna O. influenced him in believing this, as he considered that both individuals experienced failure in their endeavor because they repressed the feelings that they had for each other (Hergenhahn & Olson 27).


Freud's methods of research were to a certain degree controversial because of his focus on hypnosis as a main method of getting people to express their problems. However, in spite of his determination to make this technique work, he only managed to build frustration as a result of his failures and abandoned it. Another method that he used with the purpose of connecting with his patients was hand pressure. Even with the fact that this technique was more successful than hypnosis, he realized that it was hopeless. He considered that free association was one of the most effective methods of conducting psychoanalysis, as this provided his patients with an impartial environment where they could say whatever they could think of without employing any kind of censorship. Not only does the psychoanalyst understand more about the patient during this process, as the patient also has the chance to discover matters that dominate his or her thinking (Hergenhahn & Olson 45).


Although Freud's theories were initially accepted by the general public, matters gradually changed as the field of psychoanalysis experienced progress. People started to question his point-of-view and some actually condemned it as a result of promoting false beliefs. The psychoanalyst's determination to create a link between the unconscious and one's behavior is essential in having critics consider him to be a revolutionary. However, while some are impressed with his theories and support him fully, others consider that he is responsible for having brought significant damage to psychoanalysis in general. People tend to think this way because of his certainty regarding how sexuality is a primary unconscious factor that triggers particular behavior in individuals (Van Haute).

Freud's addition to cocaine influenced many in expressing distrust concerning his thinking, especially thinking that some think that a large part of his early psychoanalytical studies were done under the influence of the substance. He initially promoted the drug because he believed that it had a series of beneficial properties, but eventually came to accept its damaging effect as more and more individuals experienced suffering as a result of addiction and overdose. His experience with cocaine is believed to be influential in having psychoanalysts express doubt regarding the validity of his theories.

Freud was reluctant to employ philosophical thinking in devising his theories because he believed that science was capable to provide a definition for anything. "For example, Freud defines the pleasure principle, which dominates human instinctual life, exclusively in terms of the reduction of tension" (Haute). Some of Freud's theories extended beyond the world of psychoanalysis and it is very probable that his theories regarding the pleasure principle go against psychoanalysis itself. It is likely that Freud acknowledged the danger of associating psychoanalysis with meta-psychology but ignored it as a result of the benefits that he considered to draw out of the enterprise. This was, however, harmful for his reputation because it brought a significant number of critics that considered his theories to be unfounded (Freud & Dufresne & Richter 16).


Even with the fact that he was widely criticized for his approaches, Freud brought a serious contribution to the world of psychoanalysis. The domain presently maintains a close connection with the field of medicine and it successfully provides numerous individuals with the chance to recover. Either modifying his personality theory or adopting it exactly as it was devised by Freud, clinical psychologists succeed in treating mental illnesses. Freud promoted one of the most common forms of therapy through emphasizing the importance of having patients talk with their therapists in order for the latter to learn more regarding who they are dealing with. Freud was not necessarily interested in providing his patients with an easy form of therapy, as he was determined to cure them through any means available, even if they had to consume a great deal of resources in the process.

Freud believed that psychologists tend to treat particular patients superficially by diagnosing them with an incurable disease. He considered that it was irresponsible for someone to consider that childhood and the surrounding environment did not have an influential effect on the individual. Freud managed to provide people with information regarding the importance of biology and society in a person's life. Similar to how Freud succeeded in treating a great deal of patients, many psychoanalysts in the contemporary society use his methods in providing individuals with an alternative remedy to their medical conditions.

Personal response

Freud had a decisive influence on psychology and on psychoanalysis in spite of his eccentric thinking. While he did not have access to a great deal of information concerning the human mind and how it works, he managed to change people's perspectives regarding mental illnesses. It is very probable that he is the reason for which many individuals overcame their problems. Ranging from the benefits that he brought to psychoanalytical vocabulary to the contribution that he brought to the world of psychology, Freud most certainly played an essential role in assisting society experience progress.

One is likely to consider his or her personal experiences consequent to becoming familiar with Freud's personality theory. Consequent to doing this, the respective person can relate to episodes in his or her childhood and acknowledge the fact that they did, indeed, have an effect on his or her personality in the present. Although many memories are still locked in the unconscious, one can focus on bringing them back through employing psychoanalytical thought and through performing self-analysis.

Freud's book "The Interpretation of Dreams" is important in helping individuals understand more regarding their unconscious. While it is difficult and almost impossible to perform self-analysis without having experience in the domain, it is easier to analyze dreams and to determine the exact factors that influenced a person in having a particular dream. It is only safe to consider that some mental conditions are caused by biological factors and to attempt to discover them. By interpreting Freud's work from an ethical point-of-view, I am confident that it is possible for me to use some of his theories in identifying the cause of problems that I might experience at one point in my life. Surely, it is wrong to consider his work literally and without expressing any doubts regarding its validity.


Rosenfels, P. (1980). Freud and the scientific method. Ninth Street Center.

Paul Rosenfels discuses Freud's determination to consider that inequality governed the human society. In addition to expressing his opinion regarding the "men are superior to women" concept that was common at the time, he also related to a series of other relationships that he considered imbalanced. Freud practically considered that there was no relationship that did not involve an inequality rapport, as he typically focused on people's problems and tried to…

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