Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud: The Father of Psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud is considered one of the most influential and controversial thinkers of the twentieth century, and his work has had a profound impact on psychology, psychiatry, and Western culture.

Early Life and Education

Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856, in Freiberg, Moravia (now Příbor, Czech Republic). He was the eldest of eight children born to Jacob and Amalia Freud. His father was a wool merchant and his mother was a homemaker.

Freud attended the University of Vienna, where he studied medicine, specializing in neurology. He was particularly interested in the effects of cocaine and its potential medical applications. After completing his medical degree in 1881, Freud worked in Vienna General Hospital and then in private practice.

The Development of Psychoanalysis

Freud began developing his psychoanalytic theories in the late 1880s. He believed that mental illness was caused by unconscious conflicts and that these conflicts could be resolved through talk therapy. He proposed that the mind was made up of three components: the id (the instinctive, pleasure-seeking part of the mind), the ego (the conscious, rational part of the mind), and the superego (the moral part of the mind).

Freud also developed the concept of the Oedipus complex, which states that children have a sexual desire for their opposite-sex parent and a sense of rivalry with their same-sex parent. This theory has been controversial since its inception, but it remains an important part of psychoanalytic theory.


Freud’s influence on psychology and psychiatry has been immense. His theories and methods are still widely used today, and his work has had a profound effect on Western culture. Freud’s legacy is also seen in the fields of literature, art, and film.

Freud’s work has been criticized for its emphasis on the role of the unconscious and its lack of empirical evidence. Despite this, Freud’s theories remain influential and have been adapted and modified by later psychoanalysts.


Freud died on September 23, 1939, in London, England. He had been living in exile since the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938. His legacy continues to this day, and his work remains an important part of psychology and psychiatry.


1. What is Sigmund Freud’s Background?

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis. He was born in 1856 and died in 1939.

2. What is Psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques related to the study of the unconscious mind. It was developed by Freud and is used to treat psychological disorders.

3. What is the Oedipus Complex?

The Oedipus Complex is a concept developed by Freud to describe the psychological conflict of a child wanting to possess the same love object as the parent of the same sex.

4. What is the Id, Ego and Superego?

Freud’s model of the psyche is composed of three parts: the id, ego and superego. The id is the unconscious part of the mind that seeks immediate gratification of basic needs and desires; the ego is the conscious part of the mind that mediates between the id and reality; and the superego is the moral part of the mind that is the internalisation of societal values.

5. What is the Psychosexual Development Theory?

The psychosexual development theory is a Freudian concept that explains how personality is formed through a series of stages based on pleasure-seeking instincts. It states that fixation at any stage can lead to personality issues.

6. What is the Structural Model of the Psyche?

The structural model of the psyche is Freud’s model of the mind, which divides the mind into three parts: the id, ego and superego. It is based on the idea that the mind is composed of different parts that interact with each other.

7. What is the Role of Dreams in Psychoanalysis?

Freud believed that dreams are the “royal road to the unconscious” and that they can be used to gain insight into the unconscious mind. He believed that the manifest content of dreams can be interpreted to reveal the latent content, which is the unconscious wish or desire of the dreamer.

8. What is the Role of the Unconscious in Psychoanalysis?

The unconscious is an important part of psychoanalysis. Freud believed that the unconscious is the source of many psychological issues and that it can be accessed through dream analysis, free association and other techniques. He believed that understanding the unconscious can help to resolve psychological issues.

Leave a comment