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Many believe Freud to be the father of modern psychiatry and psychology and the only psychiatrist of any worth He is certainly the most well known figure perhaps because sex played such a prominent role in his system There are other psychologists however whose theories demand respectful consideration Erik Erickson born Eric Homburger whose theories while not as titillating as Freuds are just as sound This paper will compare the two great men and their systems In addition this paper will argue that Freud offers the more useful foundation for understanding the Jenny Mastersons confused psyche Sigmund Freud showed signs of independence and brilliance well before entering the University of Vienna in 1873 He had a prodigious memory and loved reading to the point of running himself into debt at various bookstores Among his favorite authors were Goethe Shakespeare Kant Hegel and Nietzsche To avoid disruption of his studies he often ate in his room After medical school Freud began a private practice specializing in nervous disorders He was soon faced with patients whose disorders made no neurological sense For example a patient might have lost feeling in his foot with no evidence to any sensory nerve damage Freud wondered if the problem could be psychological rather than physiological Dr Freud evolved as he treated patients and analyzed himself He recorded his assessment and expounded his theories in 24 volumes published between 1888 and 1939 Although his first book The Interpretation of Dreams sold only 600 copies in its first eight years of publication his ideas gradually began to attract faithful followers and students - along with a great number of critics While exploring the possible psychological roots of nervous disorders Freud spent several months in Paris studying with Jean Charcot a French neurologist from whom he learned hypnosis On return to Vienna Freud began to hypnotize patients and encouraging them while under hypnosis to speak openly about themselves and the onset of their
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