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Sigmund Freud

association vienna psychoanalytic psychoanalysis

Freud, Sigmund (1856–1939), Austrian neurologist, author, psychiatrist, and founder of almost all the basic concepts of psychoanalysis. He graduated with an M.D. from the University of Vienna in 1881, and for some months in 1885 he studied under J.M. Charcot, whose work in hysteria converted Freud to the cause of psychiatry. Dissatisfied with hypnosis and electrotherapy as treatment techniques, he evolved the psychoanalytic method, founded on dream analysis and free association. Because of his belief that sexual impulses lay at the heart of neuroses, he was reviled professionally for a decade, but by 1906 disciples like Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung were gathering around him (both were later to break away from the International Psychoanalytic Association, dissenting with Freud's views on infantile sexuality). For some 30 years he worked to establish the truth of his theories, and these years were especially fruitful. Fleeing Nazi anti-Semitism, he left Vienna for London in 1938 and there spent the last year of his life.

See also: Psychoanalysis.

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