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Sigmund Freud considered himself a scientist whose intention was to find a physiological and materialist basis for his theories of the psyche Freud revolutionised the way in which we think about ourselves From its beginnings as a theory of neurosis Freud founded and developed psychoanalysis into a general psychology which became widely accepted as the predominant mode of discussing personality behaviour and interpersonal relationships Freud who had been studying neuropathology left Vienna in 1885 to continue his studies in Paris under the guidance of Jean Martin Charcot This proved to be the turning point in his career for Charcots work with patients classified as hysterics introduced Freud to the possibility that psychological disorders might have their source in the mind rather than the brain Charcots hypnotic experiments demonstrated the link between hysterical symptoms such as paralysis of a limb and hypnotic suggestions to cure the paralysis Although Freud later abandoned his faith in hypnosis hypnotic experiments taught Freud that mental processes that took place unconsciously could have a powerful effect on behaviour It was Freud who drew our attention to the unconscious mind If we liken the mind to an iceberg the nine tenths below the surface is the unconscious in which there are many mental processes going on that we have little control of Our conscious mind is above the surface it is what we are fully aware of and contains our perception thought and memory Freud also spoke of the preconscious which might include material put out of our conscious mind but which may be retrievable Freudian psychoanalytical theory states that there are three agencies of the human personality Below the surface is our id these are our social and biological instincts such as hunger thirst and self-preservation The id seeks outlet in the pleasure principal with no regard to reality It is our awareness of the outside world our memory perception and learning The Ego develops to harmonise
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