Chapter 2 The Beginnings of Personality Theory
· Grew up in the sophisticated, but anti-Semitic, city of Vienna
· European culture and sexual repression
· Was the indulged family favorite
· Attended medical school at the University of Vienna
· Performed research in the laboratories of Ernst Brücke and other distinguished professors
· Neuroanatomist, neurophysiologist
Hysteria and Hypnosis
· The brilliant Charcot’s neurological clinic:
· Exposure to the neurosis of hysteria
· Charcot’s explorations in hypnosis
· A model of hysteria?
· Treatment for hysteria?
· Another (more correct) view of hypnosis from Liébeault and Bernheim
· It is suggestion, not a hysterical manifestation
· A psychiatric practice with Josef Breuer, an older colleague
· Neurotic patients, many of whom were hysteric
· Often unsuccessful treatment techniques
· Discovery of the role of emotional release, abreaction
· Breuer had one patient in particular, Anna O., who exhibited a gallery of hysterical symptoms.
· Breuer’s and Anna’s discovery of ‘chimney sweeping’
· Emotional attachments, transference, and (a no-no!) counter-transference
· Breuer ‘held the key in his hand . . .’
· Frau Emmy von N.: ‘Why don’t you let me tell you in my own words?’
· The new ‘talking cure’: free association
· Resistance and repression
· A sign of repression
· An internal war: psychological conflict
· The irrationality of symptoms
· Unconscious mental life
· The role of childhood in the development of neurosis
Discoveries- Seduction theory
· Freud’s early theory of neurosis:
· Childhood sexual trauma
· Repression (denial)
· ‘Strangulated affect’
· Neurotic symptoms
· The patient is the victim of the effects of childhood sexual trauma.
· Freud held this theory for only a year:
· He saw problems with the degree of implausibility and inconsistencies in patients’ stories
· The new theory:
· Unconscious wishes/fantasies
· Repression and other defenses
· Formation of neurotic symptoms
· The patient is the victim of wish- and fantasy- induced anxiety and guilt.
· Psychological conflict between insistent wishes and fantasies, the kinds of things children think of and the terrible anxiety and guilt they will cause.
· The modern version: many adult symptoms (e.g., anxiety, depression) result from childhood sexual abuse.
· Note the clinical problems. Is all adult depression a result of early abuse?
· How do we tell? (The risk of suggestion by the therapist)
· Denial instead of repression
· Casting out an intolerable reality
· The content of the unconscious is not passive.
· There are inevitable reminders in our lives.
· Unconscious wishes demand expression
· Maintaining repression
· Energy expenditure
· Symbolic expression of the unconscious
· Slips of the tongue
· A ‘Freudian’ slip
· ‘Accidents’ which aren’t really accidents at all