Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), commonly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis" was an Austrian neurologist and is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the twentieth century. He remains a well-recognised figure and he and his ideas are still frequently referenced in pop culture. Freud has been influential in two related but distinct ways. He simultaneously developed a theory of the human mind and human behaviour, as well as clinical techniques for attempting to help neurotics. He popularised the ideas of the unconscious, defense mechanisms, Freudian slips and dream symbolism, while also making a long-lasting impact on fields as diverse as literature, film, Marxist and feminist theories, literary criticism, philosophy and psychology.
Freud's beliefs are still highly influential and frequently discussed.
Repression is to push down previous traumas on an unconscious level.Explore
Perhaps Freud's most famous theory, Freud had very controversial views on the construction of sexuality.Explore
Conscious and unconscious
The mind is divided into the unconscious and the conscious. Freud's work focused on bringing thoughts from the unconscious to the conscious.Explore
Freud's beliefs were problematic
A lot of his beliefs and behaviour are considered problematic today.
Freud believed lesbianism was a product of mental illness.Explore
His own baggage
Despite being an alleged expert on the mind, Freud himself was severely troubled.Explore
Freud’s beliefs are grounded in sexism and uphold misogyny
Freud focused on the male perspective in his psychological studies, dismissing women as both inferior and amoral by nature. According to Freud, men have the opportunity to heal from their troubles, while women need a man to guide them at all times.Explore
Reported abuse was actually a fantasy
Freud believed a lot of reported abuse was actually misremembered childhood sexual fantasy. He never seriously believed or helped his patients when they spoke of this traumatic topic.Explore
[P1] Freud believed repressed traumatic memories could be recovered.Explore
Much of what we know comes from pop culture
Freud remains an influential figure and trope in popular culture.
TV and movies
Freud's beliefs have often been portrayed on TV and in movies.Explore
Words and sayings
A huge amount of sayings that are now common parlance come from Freud and his theories.Explore
All that we can know is that they are now irrelevant
Most of Freud's beliefs have been disproved or superseded.
Freud’s beliefs do not apply to modern-day psychology
Amongst the psychologists of today, Freud’s work is dismissed as both incorrect and damaging. His treatments only worsened clients’ conditions and marginalized certain populations, particularly women.Explore
Everything we know is questionable
Freud carefully curated his own story, image and legacy and destroyed his personal papers at least twice, once in 1885 and again in 1907.
Freud didn’t invent psychoanalysis
Freud is not the true father of psychoanalysis; it was invented by Joseph Breuer.Explore
Freud’s theories did not come from his work as a therapist
Freud's work as a therapist did not actually follow or support his own theories.Explore
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 24 Mar 2020 at 14:16 UTC