Freudian Psychology

What Is Freudian Psychology?

Freudian Psychology is based on the work of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). He is considered the father of psychoanalysis and is largely credited with establishing the field of verbal psychotherapy. Originally trained as a neurologist, Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind, dreams, infantile sexuality, libido, repression, and transference—all of which continue to influence the field of psychology to varying degrees. Among the ideas that remain associated with him more broadly are the concept of "Freudian slips" and the theory of the Oedipus complex, introduced in his 1899 book The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud's account of the mind's structure—id, ego, and superego—led to a new understanding of human psychological development and the treatment of psychological disturbance.

Freud in the 21st Century

Sigmund Freud’s concepts persist in the popular imagination and his work forms an important part of the history of psychology. As psychology and psychotherapy evolved, the approach to therapy that Freud created—with its central focus on the therapist-patient relationship—slipped from prominence, and major ideas of his, such as his conceptualization of the unconscious, have been discounted by scientists as difficult or impossible to test empirically. Nevertheless, psychologists continue to find wisdom and meaning in Freudian concepts, such as projection and other defense mechanisms, and modern psychoanalytic therapists owe much to Freud’s methods, as do therapists who employ related psychodynamic approaches.


Unconscious, Therapy

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