1. Education

Sigmund Freud Biography(1856-1939)

By

Sigmund Freud Biography(1856-1939)

Sigmund Freud

Best Known For:

Birth and Death:

  • Sigmund Freud was born May 6, 1856
  • He died September 23, 1939

Life and Career:

When he was young, Sigmund Freud’s family moved from Frieberg, Moravia to Vienna where he would spend most of his life. His parents taught him at home before entering him in Spurling Gymnasium, where he was first in his class and graduated Summa cum Laude.

After studying medicine at the University of Vienna, Freud worked and gained respect as a physician. Through his work with respected French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, Freud became fascinated with the emotional disorder known as hysteria. Later, Freud and his friend and mentor Dr. Josef Breuer introduced him to the case study of a patient known as Anna O., who was really a woman named Bertha Pappenheim. Her symptoms included a nervous cough, tactile anesthesia and paralysis. Over the course of her treatment, the woman recalled several traumatic experiences, which Freud and Breuer believed contributed to her illness.

The two physicians concluded that there was no organic cause for Anna O's difficulties, but that having her talk about her experiences had a calming effect on the symptoms. Freud and Breuer published the work Studies in Hysteria in 1895. It was Bertha Pappenheim herself who referred to the treatment as "the talking cure."

Later works include The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) and Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905). These works became world famous, but Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages has long been a subject of criticism and debate. While his theories are often viewed with skepticism, Freud’s work continues to influence psychology and many other disciplines to this day.

Influence:

Freud also influenced many other prominent psychologists, including his daughter Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Karen Horney, Alfred Alder, Erik Erikson, and Carl Jung.

Contributions to Psychology:

Regardless of the perception of Sigmund Freud’s theories, there is no question that he had an enormous impact on the field of psychology. His work supported the belief that not all mental illnesses have physiological causes and he also offered evidence that cultural differences have an impact on psychology and behavior. His work and writings contributed to our understanding of personality, clinical psychology, human development and abnormal psychology.

Selected Publications by Sigmund Freud:

  • (1895) Studies in Hysteria
  • (1900) The Interpretation of Dreams
  • (1901) The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
  • (1905) Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
  • (1905) Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
  • (1923) The Ego and the Id
  • (1930) Civilization and its Discontents
  • (1939) Moses and Monotheism

Biographies of Sigmund Freud:

  • Breger, Louis (2000). Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision--An Analytical Biography
  • Ferris, Paul (1999). Dr. Freud: A Life
  • Gay, Peter (1998). Freud : A Life for Our Time
  • Roazen, Paul (1992). Freud and His Followers

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.