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Freud…and those who weren’t
Psychoanalysis: a method for the investigation of
mental processes, inaccessible by other means. A
therapeutic method for neurotic disorders.
Not directly comparable to the others
Distinct from mainstream
Not a true science
Arose from medicine and psychiatry
Subject matter is abnormal behavior
Primary method is clinical observation
Accepts and deals with the unconscious
– Not accepted by Structuralists, Functionalists, or
Antecedent influences on Psychoanalysis
The Unconscious Mind
• Gottfried Leibnitz’s (1646-1716)
• Monadology
• When enough petites perceptions
are grouped together, an
expansion results (Apperception)
• The sound of breaking waves not
perceived as a combination of
individual drops
The Unconscious Mind
• 1880’s Europe: ideas about the unconscious
– A part of the intellectual climate
– A fashionable topic of conversation
• Freud proposed a method to study the
History of Psychopathology
• Freud aimed to correct historic misconceptions of
mental disorders
– 2000 B.C. Babylonians: Demonic Possession
• Treated humanely with magic and prayer
– Hebrew cultures: Punishment for sin
• Used magic and prayer to treat it (sometimes
– Greek philosophers: Disordered thought
• Used persuasive, healing power of words to treat it
History of Psychopathology
• 4th-15th c. Christianity: Demonic
– Torture and execution
• 15th-18th c. inquisitions
– Accused of heresy and witchcraft
– Searched out symptoms of
mental disorder
– Severely punished any symptoms
of mental disorder – Beat it out
of you!
• 18th c. Viewed as “Irrational behavior”
– Confined mentally ill to institutions
– No longer put to death, but no treatment offered
– Some chained, restrained, hooked on a wall
History of Psychopathology
• Philippe Pinel (1745-1826)
– Mental illness is a biological
phenomenon to be treated by
natural-science methods
– Freed patients from chains
– Paid attention to their problems
– Precise case histories
– Careful records of cure rates
– Number of “cured” patients
Psychology in the new World
• Benjamin Rush (1746-1813)
– First American Psychiatrist
– Devised revolving chair
– Used type of shock treatment:
plunged patients into ice water
– First tranquilizing technique:
restrained in a chair; Pressure to
head via wooden blocks/vise
– The objective was to prevent
History of Psychopathology
• Dorothea Dix (1802-1887)
– Leading reformer of U.S. Insane
– Very religious
• Taught Sunday School to prisoners
• Pivotal moment in her life
– Actively worked to establish
Pinel’s reforms all over U.S.
– Self-described advocate of the
mentally ill
History of Psychopathology
Two schools in 19th c. psychiatry
1. Somatic (Dominant): causes of abnormal
behavior are physical
Brain lesions or “understimulated” or “tight”
nerves – Required physical intervention
2. Psychic: causes of abnormal behavior are
emotional or psychological
Treatment through talking
Psychoanalysis: An organized revolt against the
somatic school of thought
History of Psychopathology
• Emmanuel Movement
– Originator: Elwood Worcester
• Rector of Emmanuel church, Boston,
• Ph.D. In philosophy and psychology
from University of Leipzig
• Studied under Wundt
• Height of movement: 1906-1910
• Psychologists were horrified by the
prospect of clergymen acting as
therapists, but it opened the door for…
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Three shocks to the human ego (Freud, 1917)
1. Copernicus: Earth not center of universe
2. Darwin: Humans not a distinctive species
3. Freud: Unconscious forces rather than rational
thought govern our lives/moods
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
• Most of life in Vienna
• Became a medical doctor
– Wished for academic research
– Brücke, his professor and director
of the physiological lab where
Freud trained, dissuaded him
– Freud too poor to provide for
himself in interim
• Taking Brücke’s advice, Freud took
medical exams for private practice
Sigmund Freud
• 1881 Started Clinical Neurology practice
and “adopted by” Joseph Breuer
– Respiration, semicircular canals
– Catharsis approach led to Freud’s Free
• Anna O. (Bertha Poppenheim)
– Crucial to development of
– Wide range of hysterical symptoms
– Symptoms first manifested while
nursing her dying father
Breuer and Anna O.
• Hypnosis offered insight to problems and small
• Anna o. (Bertha Pappenheim) not cured by
Breuer – Institutionalized!
• Exhibited a myriad of symptoms
• Addicted to the morphine prescribed by Breuer
for facial pain
• Breuer described Anna as deranged to Freud;
Wished for her death to end her suffering
Anna O.
• Somehow overcame emotional problems
• Social worker, Feminist
• Anna O. Case introduced Freud to the method of
catharsis, the talking cure
• Freud’s method built on a case that wasn’t resolved!
Freud in France (1885)
• Through work with Jean-Martin Charcot, became
interested in hysterical patients (hypnosis)
• Charcot pointed to sex as the origin of Hysteria
• Freud tried hypnosis, but eventually dropped it
Sigmund Freud
• Returned to Vienna
• Published case histories of Hysteria
with Breuer
• Attempted to convince him of the
link between sex and hysteria
• He didn’t buy it and it ended their
Developing his Own System
• Ideas from Darwin
– Humans are driven by biological
forces of love and hunger
– Sex drive as a necessity for survival
– Unconscious mental processes and
– The significance of dreams
– Notion of continuity in emotional
behavior from childhood to adulthood.
– The drive for survival is there from the
The Childhood Seduction Controversy
• 1896: based on free-association data, reported
that patients exposed childhood seduction
traumas often caused by family member
• His conclusion: seduction traumas caused adult
neurotic behavior
• Widely ridiculed at the meeting and withdrew
his remarks one year later
• Scholars still wonder if his reversal was a
genuine admission of error or an attempt to
sterilize psychoanalysis for the masses
The Childhood Seduction Controversy
• Sexuality a dangerous, animal need
• Considered the act itself to be
• Age 41: gave up sex and
acknowledged his own sexual
• Conducted exhaustive self-analysis
to figure things out
• The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
is heavily influenced by self-analysis
Sigmund Freud
• Much of his theory is autobiographical
– Father 20 years older than mother
• Strict, authoritarian
• Both feared and loved by Freud
– Mother
• Protective, loving
• Freud emotionally attached to her
• She was enormously proud of him
– Oedipus complex
• Fear of father
• Sexual attraction to mother
Mechanism and Determinism in
Freud’s System
• Strict mechanist and determinist
In agreement with structuralists and behaviorists
No free will, every action has a cause
Both unconscious and conscious motives are causal
Principles of natural science can explain all
– By using term psychoanalysis, Freud was signaling
the importance of the analytic methods used in
physics and chemistry
Criticism by academic Psychologists
• 1916: all things German were distrusted because of
Germany’s wartime aggression
• Christine Ladd-Franklin: psychoanalysis as product
of “undeveloped German mind”
• Robert Woodworth: psychoanalysis as “uncanny
• J. B. Watson: psychoanalysis as “voodooism”
• James McKeen Cattell: Freud as living in a world of
dreams populated by sexually perverted orgies
Freud in the Texts
• Early 1920’s books included some of Freud’s ideas
• Defense mechanisms, the unconscious mind, and
dream analysis attracted important attention
• As a whole, in the heyday of behaviorism,
psychoanalysis was ignored
The Scientific Validation of
Psychoanalytic Concepts
• More valid tests of Freudian concepts followed the
more unconvincing studies of the 1930s and 1940s
• Major analysis of 25,00 studies from psychology and
other relevant disciplines
– Difficult to experimentally test some concepts (Id, ego,
superego, libido)
– Some support for
Aspects of oral and anal personality
Castration anxiety
Relationship between dreams and emotional processes
Those parts of the Oedipus complex dealing with rivalry with father
and sexual fantasies regarding mother
• Importance of unconscious motivation and
early experience
• Make-up of and dynamics of individual
• Psychosexual stages in development
Criticisms of psychoanalysis
• Freud’s methods of data collection
Conditions were unsystematic and uncontrolled
Data consisted of what Freud recollected
Freud may have reinterpreted patients’ words
Freud may have recalled and recorded primarily the
material consistent with his theses
Discrepancies exist between Freud’s notes and the
published case histories
Freud destroyed most of his data (patient files)
Only six case histories were published, and none
provides compelling support
Accuracy of patient’s reports not corroborated
Sigmund Freud
• After WWI, psychoanalysis
was rage (Shell Shock)
• Freud influenced literature,
art, religion, customs, ethics,
education, etc.
• Huge influence on field of
psychology even with those
who disagreed with him
Freud’s Legacy