|No one has ever seen the unconscious
but we know it exists because of its powerful effects, just as we know
that atoms split and electrical impulses travel. Each one of us has
an unconscious. It governs our breathing, our digestion, our heartbeat,
every step we take; it also serves as our storehouse for all secret, seething
memories. Our unconscious helps propel us to success or failure.
It can haunt us, making life a nightmare, or it can delight us, help us
to live more richly.
Psychoanalysis is a science - the
science of the understanding the mind. It is also an art - the art
by which an individual may become acquainted with his unconscious feelings
and release imprisoned emotions, giving up illusions that once were useful
but have become redundant and bring only unhappiness.
Through the ages philosophers, physicians
and theologians sought answers to the mystery of the human mind.
Why could man not find happiness in this best of all possible worlds?
What caused man's mind to break down? Why did man commit violent
crimes? Why could he not control his emotions through the use of
reason? And why did man dream? Was there a purpose? For
centuries there were no answers.
July 28, 1774, Franz Otto Mesmer, a Viennese doctor stumbled on what may
have been the first clue. He was treating a twenty nine year old
woman who suffered from severe episodes of convulsions (beginning with
headache, and followed by delerium, vomiting, paroxysms of rage, then a
partial paralysis). On this day he tried something new, and brought
to her bed three magnets, placing one over each leg and a third heart-shaped
one on her stomach. She convulsed…then was amazingly free of pain!
Following a few more treatments her attacks disappeared completely…though
they later returned and further treatment was required. For the most
part Mesmer was judged a "quack" by his colleagues and accused of fraud.
Mesmer's discovery that one man may
possess enough power over another to relieve psychic illness led to the
knowledge that, with help, man possesses the power within himself to heal
himself. In effect, Mesmer mesmerized his patients and helped
open the door to psychoanalysis.
years after Mesmer placed the magnets, the scene shifts to France, 1793,
the Reign of Terror and the French Revolution. Paris had two madhouses,
the Bicetre and the Salpetriere. Conditions were horrific!
Crying, screaming depressed men and women lived in damp dungeons without
light or air in chains, guarded by by convicts who treated them like wild
Dr. Phillipe Pinel, 1745-1826, a
deceptively shy young man was appointed physician-in-chief to the Bicetre
just after the first bloody days of the revolution and was appalled at
the conditions. He set his own revolution in motion…recognizing the
pyschosis and medical connotations. He released the "wild beasts"
from their chains, and some got well. One fellow saw the sky for
the first time in 40 years. Pinel lightened the burden of the psychotic,
the extremely emotionally ill, and introduced medical care into mental
hospitals. He helped pave the way for psychoanalysis.
the end of the 19th century the Saltpetriere became a center for research
on hysteria under the tutelage of Jean Martin Charcot. Charcot used
hypnotism to produce hysteria in his studies. He was responsible
for making hypnosis an acceptable medical tool, both as treatment and research,
during a period when many advances were being recorded in medicine.
The first center of post graduate education was formed under Charcot and
young doctors interested in studying the human mind began to flock to the
Saltpetriere. One young doctor who sat through his lectures in 1885
and 1886 was a slender, dark haired Viennese. His name was Sigmund
Charcot opened up the world of neurology,
and worked to bring the together psychology and medicine.
Charcot hypnotized patients and produced various symptoms of hysteria,
he concluded that hypnosis brought out the underlying hysteria and that
only hysterical men and women could be hypnotized. Hippolyte Bernheim,
1840-1919, a researcher at a clinic in Nancy, south of France disagreed.
He believed that the hysterical symptoms were due to the orders of the
hypnotist, who freed the suggestibilty of the patient. This was later
proven to be true
Bernheim said "In truth, we are all
potentially or actually hallucinating people during the greatest parts
of our lives."
Bertha Pappenheim suddenly became ill in 1880 while nursing her dying father,
she insisted that a physician a physician listen to the torment of her
heart. The world knew her as "Anna O"
Her mother called in Josef Breuer,
a well known Viennese physician who treated her, primarily with hypnosis
for eighteen months, at which time she appeared to recover her help.
A few months later he described what
had happened to a young medical student he had met at the Institute of
Physiology…the student was Sigmund Freud. Freud was entranced with
the story and questioned Breuer endlessly, pressing him for details.
Both Anna O and Josef Brauer contributed to the scientific discovery of
creating psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, I known as the "Father
of Psychoanalysis" made it possible for man to set free the turbulent emotions
that torment him, cause him to make costly mistakes and poor decisions
and bring indescribable suffering to himself and others. Psychoanalysis
has influenced the lives of millions in terms of the greater understanding
it has brought to the rearing of children, to education and medicine, to
law and criminology, to religion, sociology, literature and drama.
Many human sciences have benefited, some to the point of complete revolution.
In the beginning Freud used hypnosis
almost exclusively in treating his patients, but found himself disturbed
that it did not work as well or give him lasting results as he desired.
He developed and began using free association, whereby his patients would
relate every thought that came to mind during their sessions. More
and more it seemed to work.
Freud was famous for his work on
Id/Ego, dream, Oedipus complex, narcissism, aggression and many other theories;
the true leader of the field.
Adler, 1870-1937. Adler was the first of Sigmund Freud's rebellious
disciples. He disagreed completely with Freud's ideas of "sexuality
in neurosis" and instead believed that "inferiority and superiority" was
the power that dominates man's behavior, and that almost everyone has problems
with feelings of inferiority. These feelings would stem from such
things as being "hated" or "pampered" as a child, or being a member of
a minority group, or growing up in poverty or too much wealth, being spoiled
or having a childhood physical defect. (including an imperfection of the
body, fatness, albinism, bowlegs etc)
Adler is known, as he would often
point out with pride, as the inventor of the "inferiority complex".
Ferenczi, 1873-1937, of Hungary, remained a loyal follower and close
friend of Freud's. They often vacationed together
Ferenczi was known for his experiments
in the technique of psychoanalysis, in addition to elaborating on many
of Freud's theories, including the understanding of homosexuality.
He tried innovations in an effort to discover what was best for each patient
and offered a flexible schedule. It was Ferenczi who drove home the
theory of counter-transference (in which the analyst's hidden feelings
might be aroused by the patient)
He and Freud eventually ended that
friendship, due largely to the time demands Ferenczi made on Freud.
Jung: (1875-1971) Carl Jung was the second of Freud's fallen disciples.
An independent thinker who was first quite taken with Freud's theories,
and who was expected to be Freud's successor, increasingly followed his
own path and by 1916 when he published the Psychology of the Unconscious
he split from Freud's theories. He attacked Freud's theory of libido
and reformulated it.
Jung emphasized the role of opposites
in psychic life - conscious vs. unconscious, love vs. hate, thought vs.
feeling and so on. If one aspect became dominant consciously, the
other became dominant unconsciously by default. He had more clinical
experience with psychotic patients and their thinking than did Freud.
Jung was immersed in the rich symbolic lore of many cultures and was sensitive
to the transference of neurotic tendencies, especially from mother to child.
In later years Jung's work took a
pseudomystical and religious direction and became increasingly remote from
clinical experience and application.
Otto Rank(1884-1939) For many
years a devoted follower of Freud's teachings, Otto Rank gradually defined
his own divergent ideas. Rank did not accept Freud's theories of
the Oedipus complex and instead related all neurotic anxieties to birth
trauma. Separation anxiety was essential to his theory, since he
believed all later forms of separation reactivated the primal anxiety of
the birth trauma.
Jones (1887-1958) was a pioneer Welsh analyst who wrote the massive three-volume
biography of Sigmund Freud.
On the death of Freud September 23,
1939 Ernest Jones delivered the funeral oration. In it he said:
"A great spirit has passed from the
world. How can life keep its meaning for those to whom he was the
center of life? Yet we do not feel it as a parting in the full sense,
for Freud has so inspired us with his personality, his character and his
ideas that we can never truly part from him until we finally part from
ourselves in whom he still lives. His creative spirit was so strong
that he infused himself into others. If ever man can be said to have
conquered death itself, to live on in spite of the King of Terrors, who
held no terror for him, that man was Freud. And so we take leave
of a man whose like we shall not know again. From our hearts we thank
him for having lived; for having done; and for having loved."
These were the pioneers of psychoanalysis.
Future analysts embroidered, changed, expanded upon and refined many of
the theories but the theories of Sigmund Freud remain the standard.