Sigmund Freud Theories

Sigmund Freud Theories – Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in the Czech Republic. His family eventually shifted to Vienna where he received his education. Freud was heavily influenced by the Bible. His unnatural attraction towards Darwin’s theories helped him curb and direct his interest.

Freud started his education with medical studies at the University of Vienna. Josef Breuer had a significant impact on his thinking. his interests later developed into a branch of medicine called psychiatry.

Freud was influenced by Jean-Martin Charcot’s work on hysteria and further developed it. He gave the idea that neuroses might have a psychological origin rather than a physiological one.

Later in his career, he settled in Vienna and became a specialist in nervous diseases. He married Martha Bernays who bore him six children. They jointly published their findings on hysteria in the book Studies on Hysteria. This book emphasized the emotional life of a patient, distinguished conscious and unconscious mental acts.

Ultimately, all Freud from most of his works concluded that neuroses are derived from an anomaly in the sexual function of a person. Some of his major theories include the interpretation of dreams, sexuality, and repression and the unconscious.


Sigmund Freud Theories – Repression and the Unconscious

Freud came up with the hypothesis that any powerful instinct or instance which was embarrassing to continue in the conscious mind continues in the unconscious and the cathexis continues there or the investment of thinking and energy required to think about a particular event which may be alarming, painful or shameful continues in the unconscious. This leads to the production of neurotic symptoms and this process as a whole was termed as repression by Freud.

According to Freud, there are three basic levels of the mind.
1) The Preconscious
2) The Conscious
3) The Unconscious

The preconscious consists of any random miscellaneous thoughts that come into our brain. These memories are stored in our brains and can be recalled or brought back into consciousness easily. They are not repressed memories or events and can be retrieved into consciousness. For example- the tip of the tongue effect says that a person not being able to recall the right word though the person claims that he/she remembers but is difficult to retrieve it back into the consciousness.

The conscious consists of the things and surroundings of which we are aware. For example- It could be any event or story that we are aware of. Every human is conscious and knows about their surroundings, their family and the basic information about themselves.

The unconscious consists of the things that we are not aware of but is hidden or dormant inside our brain. For example, it could be related to the sexual impulses that a person has but is considered to be unacceptable. Such repression leads to the development of the unconscious.

Sigmund Freud Theories- The Interpretation of Dreams

The Interpretation of Dreams is a book by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. The first edition of the book was distributed in November 1899.


The book introduced the hypothesis of Freudian dream examination, which movement Freud broadly depicted as “the royal road to the understanding of unconscious mental processes.”

Toward the start of Chapter One, Freud portrays his work:

“In the following pages, I shall demonstrate that there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams and that on the application of this technique, every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state. Further, I shall endeavour to elucidate the processes which underlie the strangeness and obscurity of dreams, and to deduce from these processes the nature of the psychic forces whose conflict or co-operation is responsible for our dreams.”

The book presents Freud’s hypothesis of the unconscious concerning the understanding of dreams. Dreams, in Freud’s point of view, were all types of “wish-fulfillment” – an attempt to resolve a problem in the conscious state of mind. It could be some repressed emotions or a daily problem that we had been facing.

Since the information in the unconscious is in an unstable state, a blockage or a censor will not allow the information to pass on to the conscious. During a dream, the preconscious is in a state of lax, so the information in the unconscious must be distorted so that it can pass through the censorship. If the structure of the unconscious needs to be explored, then there should be a deeper understanding of the images perceived in the unconscious.


Sigmund Freud Theories- The Oedipus Complex

The Oedipus Complex was first brought up in Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams in 1899, however, he didn’t mark the idea until 1910. The complex was named after the title character in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. In this Greek disaster, Oedipus is relinquished by his folks as an infant. At that point, as a grown-up, Oedipus kills his father unknowingly and weds his mother. Freud felt Oedipus’ absence of familiarity was a lot familiar like a child’s sexual desire for their opposite-sex parent and the development of hostility and aggression towards the same-sex parent.

The Oedipus Complex starts to develop during the Phallic stage in Freud’s psychosexual stages, which happens between the ages of 3 and 5. Around then, a child starts to desire his mother. Eventually, the child learns he can’t follow up on his wants and desires. Simultaneously he sees his father get the expressions of love from his mother which he desires, causing envy and contention.


In spite of the fact that the child fantasizes about challenging his father, he realizes he couldn’t do as such, all things considered. Additionally, the child is usually confused by his clashing emotions towards his dad—in spite of the fact that he’s desirous of his dad, he likewise cherishes and needs him. Moreover, the kid creates develops a sense of fear, castration anxiety which the child thinks that the father would castrate him for his feelings. If a male child fails to resolve the Oedipus complex during the phallic stage, the child develops difficulty in the field of competition and love.

Leave a Comment