sigmund Freudquotes

1856 - 1939

Photograph of Sigmund FreudConsidered the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud’s innovative approaches to treating mental problems, and his theories regarding child sexuality, the ego, and the libido have made him a household name even nearly a century later.

The Austrian doctor, scientist and psychiatrist changed the face of psychology with his “talk therapy,” which allowed patients to vent their pent up emotions and thoughts, and in doing so, find a sense of relief. Though he worked with hypnosis for a time, he largely moved away from that popular arena and focused on free association and transference in his practice.

Many know his name because of phrases like, “Oedipus complex, or “oral fixation,” and it is true that Freud firmly held that all neuroses contained a sexual basis. He believed forgotten and repressed memories were the cause of pain and suffering. His groundbreaking idea that mental disorders may occur in the mind, and not in the brain, opened up avenues for extensive new research and thought.

Most of his ideas faced criticism and challenges in his day, perhaps most notably, his phallic-centric theories of sexual development. However, despite a controversial career Freud remained a highly original thinker whose concepts of the unconscious (the id, ego and superego), and dream interpretation and symbolism have been useful and important to the fields of psychology, art, sociology, and religion.