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Sigmund Freud

Was a german neurologist who started psychological treatment of his patients

--> initiated Psychoanalysis


Psychological Treatment

Treatment of mental health problems consisting of conversations between the patient + therapist

--> uses introspection + case studies
--> alternative to medical + educational treatments

(Talking cure)



Refers to the name given to Freuds theory + therapy, that is based on the idea that :

Peoples actions are controlled by their unconscious mind

--> provided a coherent theory of Psychopathology


Case study

Refers to the intensive study of an individual patient within the context of his/her own world + relations

--> aims to understand + help the patient
--> used by Freud


In which way differs Freuds interpretation of Introspection from Wundt's + James' view ?

According to Freud the patients don't have access to their own conscious drives

1. Therefore, the therapist has to be attentive to occasional slips during the conversation

2. The therapists then has to reinterpret the contents of the introspection according to the psychoanalytic theory



Refers to the scientific study of mental disorders



Physicians who were interested in the treatment of milder forms of mental problems outside the asylum

--> specialists of the NS
--> Charcot was a forerunner, Freud one of the first


(16th century)

Institutions for the insane, modeled after prisons, later after hospitals

--> aim was to re-educate them as good, productive members of society


Cathartic method

Method by which the patient was hypnotized then asked to try to recall the first time she had experienced a physical sensation like one of her symptoms

--> revealed the long suppressed emotions
--> used to treat hysteria



Refers to a condition of emotional distress often accompanied by physical symptoms for which no origin could be found


Pathogenic ideas

Refer to memories of emotionally charged experiences that have been somehow "forgotten" + placed beyond the reach ordinary consciousness

--> are disease-producing


Why did Freud + Breuer refer to many hysterical symptoms as "conversions" ?

Emotional energy is conversed into physical energy (symptoms)


Franz Brentano

Friend of Freud from medical school, that promoted "Act psychology"

--> introduced young freud to psychology


Ernst Brücke

Director of the Universitys physiological institute + founder of the "New physiology"

--> rejected vitalism + sought mechanistic explanations for all organic phenomena

--> Freud worked for him


Theodor Meynert

Was a brain anatomist + teacher of Freuds

--> supported Freud for a traveling grant to work for Charcot in Paris


Why did Freud eventually open his own practice to treat patients with hysteria ?

After returning from Paris and having worked with Charcot, many of his views/theories were frowned upon, even by his former mentor Meynert

--> he decided to augment his income this way and sought to find a more WIDELY APPLICABLE SUBSTITUTE FOR HYPNOSIS in the cathartic method


Pressure technique

1. Patients lay on a couch with their eyes closed like for hypnosis but were awake

2. Asked to recall earliest experiences of their symptoms

--> if they failed to get to pathogenic ideas

3. Therapist presses hand on forehead + confidently assures that further memories will follow


Free Association

Encouraging patients to let their thoughts run free + treating everything the patients report as potentially significant even if it might seem unimportant

--> more developed version of "Pressure technique"



Occurs when a single-observed effect is determined by multiple causes, any one of which alone would be sufficient to account for ("determine") the effect

--> there are more causes present than are necessary to cause the effect



Is evidence for the fact that pathogenic ideas have not simply been "forgotten", but were willfully but unconsciously repressed


Intrapsychic conflict

1. Suffering from the symptoms + wanting to cooperate


2. Resisting the treatment unconsciously, because the emotional pain coming with a successful treatment is too much to bear

--> slows down the progress of the treatment


Seduction theory

All hysterics must have undergone sexual abuse as children



Symptoms function as defenses against the pathogenic ideas

--> symptoms are unpleasant but less anxiety arising thanks the pathogenic ideas themselves


Manifest content

Refers to the consciously experienced content of a dream

--> symbolizes the latent content, but in a "safe" way, with the images being less distressing


Latent content

Refers to the content that originally inspired the dream but which emerged in consciousness only after free association

--> dreamers will resist its uncovering, just like pathogenic ideas


Dream work

Refer to the 3 processes that transform the series of latent thoughts/ideas into manifest content, while asleep

a) Displacement
b) Condensation
c) Concrete representation



Occurs when the psychic energy of the highly charged latent content is being displaced into the more neutral ideas of the related manifest content



Refers to the idea that two or more latent thoughts sometimes "condense" onto a single manifest dream image

--> related to overdetermination


Concrete representation

Refers to the idea that the manifest content typically represents latent ideas by means of concretely experienced sensations/hallucinations

e.g.: real sounds, sights, feelings, etc.


Primary processes

Refer to the unconscious mode of thought

--> characterized by the processes of the "Dream work"
--> explains seduction theory