Target Health Blog


July 24, 2017


Sigmund Freud's Couch: Photo credit: Robert Huffstutter -, CC BY 2.0; Wikipedia Commons

International Psychoanalytic Congress. Photograph, 1911. Freud and Jung in the center
Photo credit: Anonymous - Prints & Photographs Division. Library of Congress, Public Domain; Wikipedia Commons

‍Psychoanalysis began, of course, with the genius of the great Sigmund 1) ___. Psychoanalysis refers both to a theory of how the mind works and a treatment modality. Today, psychoanalysis continues to be (despite hurdles along the way, like all great ideas) a thriving field, with more and more people opting for this type of therapy. Belief in the primacy of the interpretation of 2) ___, the unconscious fantasy life that we all have, desires, as well as (everyone's) murderous rage, repressed or otherwise and the concept of sublimation, has not wavered. Freud also identified such basic mental maneuvers as transference, projection, and defensiveness, and demonstrated how they distort our functioning. As a treatment based on extended self-exploration with a highly qualified psychoanalyst, psychoanalysis has evolved beyond the silent-shrink stereotype. In our experience, highly qualified means a PhD, MD, and/or a MS counseling or social work degree; plus certified post graduate work at a psychoanalytic institute, plus most important of all, a full (self) analysis with a certified psychoanalyst. You don't want just “anyone“ tinkering with your delicate 3) ___.


Neuropsychoanalysis is an up-and-coming subfield that aims to wed the insights of Freudian psychology and its emphasis on subjective experience with neuroscientific findings about brain processes. Psychiatrist, neurologist, Columbia University professor and Nobel Prize winner, Eric Kandel MD, provides a breakthrough perspective on how biology has influenced modern psychiatric thought, in his book: Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind. Dr. Kandel never fails to acknowledge and praise the ideas of Sigmund Freud, that made us aware of the mysteries of the human mind, and the existence of an 4) ___ part of the mind. Dr. Kandel's unique perspective on both psychoanalysis and biological research has led to breakthroughs in our thinking about neurobiology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. Another supporter of Freud's theories was the internationally respected neurologist, Oliver Sachs and finally the influential pediatrician Benjamin Spock MD, all of whose childrearing books are based on Freudian theory, as well as common sense. Today, predominant psychoanalytic theories all emphasize the influence of unconscious elements on the 5) ___ part of the mind. Freud called dream interpretation, the “royal road to the unconscious.“ Topographic theory was named and first described by Sigmund Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). The theory hypothesizes that the mental apparatus can be divided into the systems Conscious, Preconscious, and Unconscious. These systems are not anatomical structures of the 6) ___ but, rather, mental processes. Although Freud retained this theory throughout his life he largely replaced it with the Structural theory. The Topographic theory remains as one of the meta-psychological points of view for describing how the mind functions in classical psychoanalytic theory. Structural theory divides the psyche into the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id is present at birth as the repository of basic instincts, which Freud called “Triebe“ (“drives“): unorganized and unconscious, it operates merely on the 'pleasure principle', without realism or foresight. The ego develops slowly and gradually, being concerned with mediating between the urging of the id and the realities of the external world; it thus operates on the ?reality principle'. The super-7) ___ is held to be the part of the ego in which self-observation, self-criticism and other reflective and judgmental faculties develop. The ego and the super-ego are both partly conscious and partly unconscious.


Psychoanalytic object relations theory is concerned with early infantile human relationships, with all of the pitfalls, studying how internal representations of the self and others are organized. The clinical symptoms that suggest object relations problems are typically developmental delays throughout life, often referred to as “arrested 8) ___.“ They include disturbances in an individual's capacity to feel warmth, empathy, trust, sense of security, identity stability, consistent emotional closeness, and stability in relationships with significant others. (however, It is not suggested that one should trust everyone, for example.) Concepts regarding internal representations (also sometimes termed, “introspects“, “self and object representations“, or “internalization of self and other“) although often attributed to Melanie Klein, were actually first mentioned by Sigmund Freud in his early concepts of drive theory. Freud's 1917 paper “Mourning and Melancholia“, for example, hypothesized that unresolved grief was caused by the survivor's internalized image of the deceased becoming fused with that of the survivor, and then the survivor shifting unacceptable anger toward the deceased onto the now complex self-image.


Freudian theories believe that adult problems can be traced to unresolved conflicts from certain phases of 9) ___and adolescence, caused by fantasy, stemming from their own drives. Freud, based on the data gathered from his patients early in his career, suspected that neurotic disturbances occurred when children were abused in childhood. Later, Freud came to believe that, although child abuse occurs, neurotic symptoms were not necessarily associated with this. He believed that neurotic people often had unconscious conflicts that involved incestuous fantasies deriving from different stages of their development. Freud found the stage from about three to six years of age (preschool years) to be filled with fantasies of having romantic relationships with both parents. Arguments were quickly generated in early 20th-century Vienna about whether adult seduction of children, i.e. child abuse, was the basis of neurotic illness. There still is no complete agreement, although nowadays professionals recognize the negative effects of child abuse on mental health. Many psychoanalysts who work with children have studied the actual effects of child abuse, which include ego and object relations deficits and severe neurotic conflicts. Much research has been done on these types of trauma in childhood, and the adult sequelae of those. In studying the childhood factors that start neurotic symptom development, Freud found a constellation of factors that, for literary reasons, he termed the Oedipus complex (based on the play by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, where the protagonist unwittingly kills his father Laius and marries his mother Jocasta). The shorthand term, “oedipal“ refers to the powerful attachments that children make to their 10) ___ in the preschool years. These attachments involve fantasies of intimate relationships with either (or both) parent, and, therefore, competitive fantasies toward either (or both) parents.  The most common problems treatable with psychoanalysis include: phobias, conversions, compulsions, obsessions, anxiety attacks, depressions, a wide variety of relationship problems (such as dating and marital strife), and a wide variety of character problems (for example, painful shyness, meanness, obnoxiousness, workaholism, hyper-seductiveness, hyperemotionality, hyper-fastidiousness).


Sigmund Freud Biography - worth watching


Interesting explanation of Freud's theories of human nature


ANSWERS: 1) Freud; 2) dreams; 3) psyche; 4) unconscious; 5) conscious; 6) brain; 7) ego; 8) development; 9) childhood; 10) parents

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