how did Freud's life affect his theories?

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Alice Roberson                                                                                                     IB Psychology

How did Freud’s life affect the development of his theories?

In this short essay I shall be discussing the life of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), and how the developments of his theories were affected by his experiences.

        Sigmund Freud was a renowned, inspirational psychologist. Freud explored techniques for understanding the human behaviour and developing complex theories, distinguishing himself as a pioneering intellectual made famous through his efforts to understand the human mind.

        Freud was born into a Jewish family, the firstborn of five girls and three boys. Growing up in north western Moravia, Sigmund was known to be the favourite of his mothers seven children and was referred to as ‘the golden child’. His parents made every effort to encourage his obvious intellectual talents.

Graduating from his ‘gymnasium’ in 1873, Freud successfully applied to study medicine at the University of Vienna, where he obtained his doctorate in medicine. For a stretch of six years from 1876 to 1882, Freud worked as a research assistant at the institute of Physiology, working under Ernst Brüke. For these six years Freud became particularly interested in neurology.                                                                                 In 1885 Freud received a grant to work under Jean-Martin Charcot in Paris, here Freud was able to study and practice observed hypnosis as a clinical technique. The following year Freud sets up his private practice and also marries his fiancé of four years, Martha Bernays. Between 1893 and 1896 Freud began working on case studies with Josef Breuer, including that of ‘Anna O’.

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It wasn’t until 1899; four years after the death of his father, that Freud published his first book ‘the interpretation of dreams’, containing dream analysis on the way to ‘the royal road to the unconscious’. Freud then went on to publish seven more books throughout his research into the human mind. Whilst working with his patients Freud began to develop his theories on the mind and also the therapy of psychoanalysis.

Feud’s theories have formed the basis of the psychodynamic perspective. In 1923 Freud explained the ‘Tripartite theory’. In this theory Freud identified three different parts of our ...

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