Conscious mental activity

Freud believed that when we explain our behavior to ourselves or others (conscious mental activity), we rarely give a true account of our motivation. This is not because we are deliberately lying. While human beings are great deceivers of others; they are even more adept at self-deception. Our rationalizations of our conduct are therefore disguising the real reasons.

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Freud’s life work was dominated by his attempts to find ways of penetrating this often subtle and elaborate camouflage that obscures the hidden structure and processes of personality.

Freud was the founding father of psychoanalysis, a method for treating mental illness and also a theory which explains human behavior.

Psychoanalysis is often known as the talking cure. Typically Freud would encourage his patients to talk freely (on his famous couch) regarding their symptoms and to describe exactly what was on their mind.

Freud believed that when we explain our behavior to ourselves or others (conscious mental activity), we rarely give a true account of our motivation. This is not because we are deliberately lying. While human beings are great deceivers of others; they are even more adept at self-deception. Our rationalizations of our conduct are therefore disguising the real reasons.

Freud’s life work was dominated by his attempts to find ways of penetrating this often subtle and elaborate camouflage that obscures the hidden structure and processes of personality.

Freud was the founding father of psychoanalysis, a method for treating mental illness and also a theory which explains human behavior.

Psychoanalysis is often known as the talking cure. Typically Freud would encourage his patients to talk freely (on his famous couch) regarding their symptoms and to describe exactly what was on their mind.

Freud’s life work was dominated by his attempts to find ways of penetrating this often subtle and elaborate camouflage that obscures the hidden structure and processes of personality.

Freud was the founding father of psychoanalysis, a method for treating mental illness and also a theory which explains human behavior.

The Freud Museum is a place of mythic memory, a shrine, a monument, a haunted house. But it also continues to pulse with a lively current of problems and challenges.

Psychoanalysis is often known as the talking cure. Typically Freud would encourage his patients to talk freely (on his famous couch) regarding their symptoms and to describe exactly what was on their mind.

Anna

Her other symptoms originated when caring for her sick father. She would not express her anxiety for her his illness but did express it later, during psychoanalysis. As soon as she had the opportunity to make these unconscious thoughts conscious her paralysis disappeared.

Sigmund

However, Freud was not just advancing an explanation of a particular illness. Implicitly he was proposing a revolutionary new theory of the human psyche itself.

This theory emerged “bit by bit” as a result of Freud’s clinical investigations, and it led him to propose that there were at least three levels of the mind.

The unconscious

The third and most significant region is the unconscious. Here lie the processes that are the real cause of most behavior. Like an iceberg, the most important part of the mind is the part you cannot see.

Primitive wishes

The unconscious mind acts as a repository, a ‘cauldron’ of primitive wishes and impulse kept at bay and mediated by the preconscious area.For example, Freud (1915) found that some events and desires were often too frightening or painful for his patients to acknowledge, and believed such information was locked away in the unconscious mind.

The Id

Freud assumed the id operated at an unconscious level according to the pleasure principle (gratification from satisfying basic instincts). The id comprises two kinds of biological instincts (or drives) which Freud called Eros and Thanatos.

Object of the Week

Porcupine

This bronze porcupine was kept on Sigmund Freud’s desk. He thought it represented the prickliness of human relationships. Porcupines crowd together when cold; however their sharp quills cause them to move away from each other when they get too close. This forces them to shift closer and then further apart until a balance of proximity is found. Freud used this to illustrate how people can both benefit from and be harmed by those they are most intimate with.

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