Sigmund Freud (born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis.

Freud qualified as a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Vienna in 1881, and then carried out research into cerebral palsy, aphasia and microscopic neuroanatomy at the Vienna General Hospital. This led in turn to the award of a University lectureship in neuropathology, a post he resigned to go into private practice. On the basis of his clinical practice Freud went on to develop theories about the unconscious mind and the mechanism of repression, and created psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient (or "analysand") and a psychoanalyst. Though psychoanalysis has declined as a therapeutic practice, it has helped inspire the development of many other forms of psychotherapy, some diverging from Freud's original ideas and approach.

Freud postulated the existence of libido (an energy with which mental process and structures are invested), developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association (in which patients report their thoughts without reservation and in whichever order they spontaneously occur), discovered transference (the process by which patients displace on to their analysts feelings based on their experience of earlier figures in their lives) and established its central role in the analytic process, and proposed that dreams help to preserve sleep by representing sensory stimulii as fulfilled wishes that would otherwise awake the dreamer. He was also a prolific essayist, drawing on psychoanalysis to contribute to the interpretation and critique of culture.

Psychoanalysis remains influential within psychiatry and across the humanities. As such it continues to generate extensive debate, notably over its scientific status and as to whether it advances or is detrimental to the feminist cause. Regardless of the scientific content of his theories, Freud's work has suffused intellectual thought and popular culture to the extent that in 1939 W. H. Auden wrote, in a poem dedicated to him: "to us he is no more a person / now but a whole climate of opinion / under whom we conduct our different lives".


Sigmund Freud Poems

Sigmund Freud Quotes

The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. repr. in Complete Works, vol. 12, eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud (1958). Recommendations to Physicians Practising Psycho-Analysis, sct. G (1912). On the ideal practice of psychoanalysis.
Woe to you, my Princess, when I come ... you shall see who is the stronger, a gentle little girl who doesn't eat enough or a big wild man who has cocaine in his body.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. Letter, June 2, 1884, to his fiancée, Martha Bernays. "The Cocaine Episode," vol. 1, ch. 6, Ernest Jones, Sigmund Freud: Life and Work (1953). Freud added, "I am just now busy collecting the literature for a song of praise to this magical substance," though his interest in cocaine ended with his repudiation of it and a long-lasting sense of reproach.
Like the physical, the psychical is not necessarily in reality what it appears to us to be.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian psychiatrist. The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, volume XIV, tr. And ed. James Strachey, "The Unconscious," p. 171, The Hogarth Press (1966-74).

Comments about Sigmund Freud

Chris Robideaux 25 Nov 2015 04:09
Though Freud was not a poet, (?) I came here anyway after searching for freud and poetry, expecting to find poems written by a man who I thought would have some salient, unique thoughts upon the subject. Why is he on Poem Hunter?
Chris Robideaux 25 Nov 2015 04:07
Freud was not a poet, (?) but I came here anyway after searching for freud and poetry, expecting to find poems written by a man who I thought would have some salient, unique thoughts upon the subject.