What would you say has been Freud’s greatest contribution to our understanding of ourselves and our world? Refer to any one or more of Freud’s works.
Sigmund Freud (Sigismund Szlomo Freud) was born on the 6th of May 1856 in Freiberg. Physiologist, medical doctor, psychologist and also a father of psychoanalysis. An influential thinker of twentieth century. He established the theory that the mind is a complex energy- system, the structural investigation of which is proper province of psychology. Because of him we know a lot about the unconscious, infantile sexuality and repression.
Sigmund Freud has investigated, studied, written and lectured about psychology nearly all his life. And still most of his practices and theories are widely used today in psychoanalysis. Aldo he has his skeptics he is one of the most respected psychoanalysts to date.
Freud was giving answers how to deal with human’s mental disorders and how to clinically help them. Many of his works are present in our times. Freud looked very closely at interpretation of dreams as he thought that behind every dream is hidden desire and he circumscribe them as mental life during sleep.
Freud created a theory about abnormal mental conditions, their diagnosis and treatments, theory of structure and functions of human’s psyche and also social and philosophical conception of the man and culture. In his opinion main mechanism managing human activity are primitive drives (especially a widely understood sexual drive) hidden deep in the unconscious staying in conflict with assimilated in the childhood bans and social warrants. In the end of 19th century Sigmund Freud formulated his revolutionary theory which had a task to explain antisocial behaviors of his patients. On this base Freud worked out psychotherapy, procedure of emotional disorders which was called Freudian Psychoanalysis. Desire for getting to know the psychological structure of human was main reason for psychoanalysis, willingness of getting to know the development and functioning of personality, as well as cultural and social phenomena being a product of the effect of his conscious and it was affecting it.
The psychoanalysis was supposed to contribute to the better cognition and understanding of human behaviors, indeed sometimes strange. Freud thought that sexual instincts which are dominating in preserving the life already in a few first years were driving behaviors of people. Parents and the society are teaching us properly to control them. According to Freud the fact that children learn about inborn instincts are bad causes intense anxiety in adult life and suppress these instincts in psyche. Suppressed thoughts and emotions are in out subconscious and are personifying in the form of irrational behaviors, from slips of the tongue, forgetting to more meaningful mental illnesses. Freud explained that unaware psychological processes have the meaning, if not main influence on behavior of people. Divided into three zones unconscious, Preconscious, conscious, the psyche of human is dethroning conscious which is not the most important already, but only property of psyche. “The ego is not master in its own house”.
The psychoanalysis is considering it exactly from this point of view. Main functions of the unconscious are adoptive functions, like the perception or adjusting the access of internal stimuli for the spiritual sphere.
The psychoanalysis of Freud is composed of these three essential aspects: the theory concerning functioning of the mind, the theory concerning the development of the child and procedures of people suffering from psychical disorders. Freud totally different described the development of the child than the majority of psychologists in his times. He thought that the child was born with drives and desires, which till then were associated with adult life. In the process of the identification the child is starting to realize the existence of certain principles, which are stronger than aspiration for satisfying own needs and desires. As was explained by Freud in child’s mind a new element of the personality structure is formulating. It controls according to widely accepted norms and principles. Acting against any principle causes a sense of guilt. Freud also kept an eye on interpersonal associations because the ones early established have the key to the influence for later development.
So a belief that psychological processes are unaware is a point of departure for the psychoanalysis and a primitive sexual drive is playing an important role in the unawareness (libido). The relation between conscious and unconscious consists in conflict and the censorship, and one should search early development phases of the children’s sexuality for sources for them although to the development and shaping the individual as the social being also social customs are affecting. The unawareness is a part of the mind which is suiting the awareness outside borders, because for its content is often too painful so that it can stay in the conscious sphere. An awareness is extensive abundance of memories unaware of contents of instincts and pushed off. The existence of unawareness, aware of psychological phenomena and motives for action is the fundamental assumption of the Freudian theory of the psychoanalysis.
Although mainstream of life, like feelings and aspirations is happening in the unconscious it is having very important role in our life, cause it describes beliefs, motivations and our attitude to other people. Psychological events which are taking place in the unconscious are creating conditions for deliberate psychological processes; e. g. antipathy or sympathy towards people we just met. All grudges, passions and aspirations are staying directed at the unawareness where are developing creating psychological structures. They often get back to the awareness. Freud said that the unconscious is a positive aspect because it has the direct affect to our life; causes that relations between experience from the childhood and adults are becoming the behavior bright and understandable.
The psychoanalysis initiated by Sigmund Freud became the source of inspiration for many psychologists. In my opinion Freud’s greatest contribution to understanding of ourselves and our world are detailed above. Who knows maybe some time in the future Freud’s work will be interpreted differently and give more to our understanding of psychology?