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This is a thinker who helps us understand why our lives and relationships
are full of so much confusion and pain. He tells us why life is hard, and how to cope.
His own life incurred a lot of anxiety. Sigmund Schlomo Freud was born to a middle-class Jewish family
in 1856.
His professional life was not an immediate success. As a medical student,
he dissected hundreds of eels in an unsuccessful attempt to locate their reproductive organs.
He promoted cocaine as a medical drug, but it turned out to be a dangerous and addictive idea.
A few years later he founded the discipline that would ultimately make his name.
A new psychological medicine he called
The landmark study was his 1900 book The Interpretation of Dreams.
Many others followed.
Despite his success, he was often unhappy.
During some particularly strenuous research he recorded, "The chief patient I am preoccupied with is myself.”
He was convinced he would die between 61 and 62 and had great phobias about those numbers.
Although he actually died much later, at age 83.
Perhaps because of his frustrations, Freud achieved a series of deep insights into the
sources of human unhappiness.
He proposed that we are all driven by the
Pleasure Principle
which inclines us towards easy physical and emotional rewards
and away from unpleasant things like drudgery and discipline. As infants we are guided more or less solely
according to the pleasure principle, Freud argued.
But it will, if adhered to without constraints, lead us to dangerous reckless things
like never doing any work eating too much
or, most notoriously, sleeping with members of own family.
We need to adjust to what Freud called
Though we all have to bow to this reality principle, Freud believed that
there were better and worse kinds of adaptations. He called the troublesome ones
Neuroses are the result of faulty negotiations with – or in Freud's language,
repression of – the pleasure principle.
Freud described a conflict between three parts of our minds: the
the ID
driven by the pleasure principle,
driven by a desire to follow the rules and do the right thing according to society.
the EGO
which has to somehow accommodate the other two.
To understand more about these dynamics, Freud urged us to think back to the origins of our
neuroses in childhood.
As we grow up, we go through what Freud termed
where we deal with all the feelings around ingestion and eating.
If our parents aren't careful we might pick up all kinds of neuroses here: we might take
pleasure in refusing food, or turn to food to calm ourselves down,
, or hate the idea of depending on anyone else for food.
Then comes
which is closely aligned with what we now call “potty-training".
During this period, our parents tell us what to do, and when to go.
At this phase we begin to learn about testing the limits of authority.
Again, if things go wrong, if we don't feel authority is benign enough,
we might, for example, choose to withhold out of defiance.
Then, as adults, we might become “anally retentive”; in other words, not able to
give or surrender.
Next comes,
which goes until about age 6. Freud shocked his contemporaries by insisting that little
children have sexual feelings. Moreover, in the phallic phase children direct their sexual
impulses towards their parents, the most immediately available and gratifying people around.
Freud famously described what he called
Where we are unconsciously predisposed towards
“being in love with the one parent and hating the other.”
What is complex is that no matter how much our parents love us, they cannot extend this to sexual life
and will always have another life with a partner. This makes our young selves
feel dangerously jealous and angry – and also ashamed and guilty about this anger.
The complex provides a huge amount of internalised worry for a small child.
Ultimately, most of us experience some form of confusion around our parents
that later ties into our ideas of love.
Mum and dad may both give us love, but they often mix it in with disturbed behavior.
Yet because we love them, we remain loyal to them and also to their bizarre, destructive patterns.
For example, if our mother is cold, we will be apt nevertheless to long for her.
And as a result, however, we may be prone to always associate love with a certain distance.
Naturally, the result is very difficult adult relationships. Often the kind of love we've learned from mum and dad
means we can't fuse sex and love
because the people we learnt about love from are also those we were blocked from having sex with. We might find that the
more in love with someone we are, the harder it becomes to make love to them.
This can reach a pitch of crisis after a few years of marriage and some kids.
Freud compared the issues we so often have with intimacy to hedgehogs in the winter.
they need to cuddle for warmth, but they also can't come too close because they're prickly.
There's no easy solution. Freud says we can't make ourselves fully rational,
and we can't change society, either. In his 1930 book Civilization and its Discontents,
Freud wrote that society provides us with many things, but it does this by imposing
heavy dictates on us: insisting that we sleep with only a few (usually one) other,
imposing the incest taboo, requiring us to put off our immediate desires, demanding that we follow authority
and work to make money. Societies themselves are neurotic
that is how they function and it's why there are constant wars and other troubles.
Freud attempted to invent a treatment for our many neuroses, he called it, psychoanalysis.
He thought that with a little proper analysis, people could uncover what ails them
and better adjust to the difficulties of reality.
In his sessions, he analyzed a number of key things.
He looked at people's dreams, which he saw as expressions of
He also looked at
or slips of the tongue.
We now call these revealing mistakes
Like when we write “thigh” when we wanted to write “though”.
He also liked to think about jokes. He believed that jokes often help us make fun of something
symbolic like death or marriage, and thus relieve some of our anxiety about these topics.
There's a temptation to say Freud just made everything up, and life isn't quite so hard
as he makes it out to be. But then one morning we find ourselves filled with
inexplicable anger towards our partner, or running high with unrelenting anxiety on the train to work,
and we're reminded all over again just how elusive, difficult, and Freudian
our mental workings actually are.
We could still reject his work, of course. But as Freud said,
“No one who disdains the key will ever be able to unlock the door.”
We could all use a bit more of Freud's ideas
to help us unpick ourselves.


【心理分析】佛洛伊德其人其事 (PSYCHOTHERAPY - Sigmund Freud)

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Jacky Avocado Tao 發佈於 2015 年 10 月 23 日    bettyteacher 翻譯    jenny 審核
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