No treatise of psychology would be complete without a discussion of my "namesake":

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was born in what is now Czechoslovakia. His family emigrated to Vienna when he was four years old. By the age of ten years, Freud shared his home with a total of five other siblings.

After studying internal medicine, Freud decided to practice neurology. Although a gifted researcher, Freud, a Jew, lived in Europe at a time when anti-Semitism was rampant. The prospects for an academic career were slim.

Freud always reveled in his role as the outsider. Although an atheist, Freud celebrated his Jewish heritage. Adding insult to injury, Freud developed a theory of personality that focused on human sexuality, even in children, as the central conflict to be resolved in human personality growth. Living in the Victorian era, Freud's theorys were considered shocking and vulgar. Even now, near the end of the twentieth century, Freud's ideas leave many people feeling the founder of psychoanalysis was a pervert.

Much of Freud's thinking grew out of his work with Joseph Breuer, an established physician living in Vienna who was something of a benefactor to the younger Freud. Breuer had one patient, a young woman, who had a dizzying array of psychological and physical symptoms. Breuer would hypnotize his patient, invite her to discuss her symptoms, and after recalling hidden, forgotten trauma from her past, her symptoms would disappear. Breuer referred to this phenomina as Catharsis.

Freud developed his own methods of delving into unconscious conflict using free association instead of hypnosis. Breuer and Freud described several of their cases in their book, Studies on Hysteria.

Freud's work with Breur left a powerful impression on his thinking, and he became convinced that the key to human behavior and psycholpathology lay in the unconscious mind.

The interpretation of dreams
is the royal road to a knowledge
of the unconscious activities
of the mind.

In 1900 Freud published what is arguably his most significant work, The Interpretation of Dreams. And in 1904 Freud published his most popular book, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.

For the next 30 years, Freud wrote, lectured, treated patients, and continued to refine his theories.

What do you get when you cross William Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud, and . . . Leslie Neilson?

+ + = Freud's Id