Although Freud was born in Freiber g, Moravia, in 1856 (now part of the Czech Republic), his family moved to Vienna when he was 4 years old, and he spent virtually the remainder of his life there. Freud excelled in school and obtained his medical degree from the University of Vienna. Although he started out as a researcher in neurology, he realized that he could make more money to support his wife and growing family if he entered into private medical practice. After studying hypnosis with Jean-Martin Charcot in Paris, Freud returned to Vienna and started a private practice, treating patients with "nervous disorders." During that time, Freud began developing the idea that portions of the human mind were outside conscious awareness. The unconscious is the part of the mind about which the conscious mind has no awareness. Freud sought to study empirically the implications of the unconscious for understanding people' s lives and their problems with living. From his early contact with patients, Freud began to surmise that the unconscious mind operated under its own power, subject to its own motivations and according to its own logic. Freud devoted the rest of his career to exploring the nature and logic of the unconscious mind.
Freud's first solo-authored book, The Interpr etation of Dr eams, was published in 1900. In it, he described how the unconscious mind was expressed in dreams, and how dreams contained clues to our innermost secrets, desires, and motives. The analysis of dreams became a cornerstone of his treatment. This book sold poorly at first but nev ertheless attracted the attention of other medical doctors seeking to understand psychological problems. By 1902, there was a small group
of followers (e.g., Alfred Adler) who met with Freud every Wednesday evening. At these meetings, Freud talked about his theory , shared insights, and discussed patients' progress, all the while smoking one of the 20 or so cigars he smoked each day . During this period, Freud was systematically building his theory and testing its acceptance by knowledgeable peers. By 1908, the membership of the Wednesday Psychological Circle had grown significantl , prompting Freud to form the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (Grosskurth, 1991).
In 1909, Freud made his only visit to the United States, to present a series of lectures on psychoanalysis at the invitation of psychologist G. Stanley Hall, who was then president of Clark University . Rosenzweig (1994) describes Freud' s trip to the United States in fascinating detail. In 1910, the International Psychoanalytic Association was formed. Freud' s theories were gaining recognition around the world.
Freud and his work drew both praise and criticism. Whereas some accepted his ideas as brilliant insights into the workings of human nature, others opposed his views on various scientific and ideological grounds. To some, his treatment approach (the so-called talking cure) was absurd. Freud's theory that the adult personality was a result of how the person as a child coped with his or her sexual and aggressive urges was considered politically incorrect by the standards of Victorian morality. Even some of the founding members of his Vienna Psychoanalytic Society grew to disagree with developments in his theory . Nevertheless, Freud continued to refine and apply his theor , writing 20 books and numerous papers during his career.
Germany invaded Austria in 1938, and the Nazis began their persecution of the Jews there. Freud, who was Jewish, had reasons to fear the Nazis. The Nazi party burned his books and the books of other modern intellectuals. With the assistance of wealthy patrons, Freud, his wife, and their six children fled to London. Freud die the following year after a long, painful, and disfiguring battle with cancer of the ja and throat.
Freud's London house continued to be occupied by his daughter , Anna Freud, herself a prominent psychoanalyst, until her death in 1982. The house is now part of the Freud Museum in London. Visitors can walk through Freud' s library and study , which remain largely as he left them when he died. The study, which is where Freud treated his patients, still contains his celebrated couch, covered with an Oriental rug. It also contains the many ancient artifacts and small statues and icons that seemed to fascinate him and reveal his secret passion for archeology . Freud has been referred to as the original archeologist of the human mind.
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Hypnosis is a capital instrument for relaxation and alleviating stress. It helps calm down both the brain and body, giving a useful rest. All the same it can be rather costly to hire a clinical hypnotherapist, and we might not always want one around when we would like to destress.