Sigmund Freud's views continue to influence the contemporary practices of many psychologists today.
Many theories of psychology have been influenced by Freud's psychoanalytic method. Many of his basic
concepts are still used by many theorists. Known as the "father of psychology," Freud's ideas toward the
science will be remembered, studied and utilized by many psychologists for years to come. In this paper I
am going to discuss the life of Freud, his ideas toward the science, and his book, A General Introduction to
Psychoanalysis. (Corey, 1996).
Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856 in Freiburg, a rural town near Ostrau in northeastern Moravia.
The town of Freiburg later became Pribor and was eventually absorbed into the modern state of
Czechoslovakia. Freud's father Jakob Freud was a Jewish wool merchant from Galicia. His mother Amalie
Nathanson was Galician and was Jakob's second wife. Sigmund was the oldest son out of eight children.
Sigmund also had two half-brothers from his father's first marriage. In October 1859 the family moved to
Vienna where Sigmund grew up. He lived there until June 1938. Freud attended high school at
Leopoldstadter Communal-Real- und Obergymnasium. While in high school he got the idea of becoming a
scientist when he heard, a lecture delivered about Goethe. In 1873 he registered at the Faculty of Medicine
of the University of Vienna. (Jones,1957)
In 1878 he changed his name from Sigismund to Sigmund. He obtained his doctorate in medicine in
March of 1881, and worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Physiology under Ernst Brucke, with
neurology as his main focus. In 1882 Freud did his clinical practical at the "Allgemeines Krankenhaus."
At the department of Dr. Scholz Freud he increased his knowledge in the clinical neurology field. In 1885
Freud obtained a one year scholarship with Charcot at the "Salpetriere" in Paris. (Ricoeur, 1970).
On April 25, 1886, Freud opened up his first neurologist office in Vienna. In September of the same
year he married Martha Bernays. The marriage between the two produced six children and was very
successful. In 1887 Martha gave birth to Freud's first daughter Mathilde and in 1889 his son Martin. Once
again in 1891 Martha gave birth to Freud's second son Oliver. The Freud family then moved to the house
Berggasse 19 in the 9th Viennese District where they lived until 1938. In 1892 Freud's third son was born
Ernst, and in 1893 his second daughter Sophie was born. The birth on Freud's sixth and last child Anna
was born in 1895. Also, in 1895 Freud published his studies on hysteria together with Josef Breuer. Freud
called this new therapeutic treatment psychoanalysis. He worked on this treatment for forty years. In 1900
Freud published his book The Interpretation of Dreams. This book made Freud famous. Later in 1901
Freud published another book called Psycho pathol!
ogy of Everyday Life, in which he studied the meaning of certain disorders. In that same year Freud was
appointed an associate professor of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Vienna. (Jones, 1970).
Freud decimated much time in his work. He held therapeutic sessions with patients up to 12 hours a day
and continued his works till the late hours in the morning. He gave numerous lectures, first in the United
States in 1909 at the University of Worcester in Massachusetts. He founded the International Association
of Psychoanalysis in 1910. In 1920 Freud is appointed the Professor of the University of Vienna, and that
same year published yet another book, Beyond the Pleasure Principle. In 1923 Freud became ill with
palatine cancer. The pain of the cancer became so severe that Freud became addicted to cocaine to help
with the pain. In the late 1930's Freud was awarded the Goethe Prize. On March 12, 1938, Austria is
annexed by Germany and Freud emigrate to London with his wife and his youngest daughter Anna. On
September 23, 1939, Freud dies of cancer in London. (Jones, 1970)
In Freud's book A General Introduction to Psycho-Analysis he makes a basic assumption. "We Know
two kinds of things about what we call our psyche (or mental life): firstly, its bodily organ and sense of
action, the brain (or nervous system) and, on the other hand, our acts of consciousness, which are
immediate data