Online Journal Entry 1: Chapter 7
Chapter 7 discusses the life of Sigmund Freud and his everlasting impact on the world of psychology. Praised as one of the greatest psychologists of all time, Freud started out his work by pondering about what made him who he was. His studies in the medical industry, which led to him earning an M.D., sparked his interest in neurology. Freud moved into the field of psychology when his friend, physician Josef Breuer, invited him to help treat a woman suffering with hysteria. Through working with her, Freud learned that he needed his patients to search for the hidden meanings behind the events that triggered their illness. Eventually he invented the orientation of psychoanalysis, which focused on unconscious psychological processes. He described the dynamic unconscious as having three levels: the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious. Additionally, he depicted the psyche as being made up of the id, ego, and superego. Freud also introduced ideas such as the Oedipus complex, repression, principle of constancy, infantile sexuality, stages of sexual development, instincts, anxiety symptoms and defenses, and more. While Freud is often criticized for making sweeping generalizations that may lack scientific evidence, he continues to influence generations of psychologists.
An idea I want to focus on in this chapter is Freud’s description of the dynamic unconscious, which is pictured below. The Elements of Thought I’m using for this idea are point of view, concepts, and implications/consequences. For point of view, Freud came from a medical background and then worked a lot with patients dealing with mental illness. He has a lot of experience working with clients and used that to inform his ideas. The concepts he used to divide up the idea is the conscious, subconscious (or preconscious), and unconscious. The level of awareness in each concept can be easily depicted in the iceberg example. The implications/consequences is that psychology became a lot more complicated. People now could explore a deeper level of awareness, forcing them to confront repressed memories or unacceptable desires. Piecing this together in a therapeutic setting helped increase the popularity of therapy.