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psy 459 application paper 1

psy 459 application paper 1 - Hannah Bauss Psy 459...

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Hannah Bauss Psy 459 10/19/10 Application Paper 1: Freud’s American Lectures Today, I attended Sigmund Freud’s first lecture on the origin and development of psychoanalysis. A great portion of this lecture was devoted to an example of a patient of physician, Dr. Breuer, who was afflicted with “Hysteria.” Freud also provided us with the patient’s background information, mainly her symptoms, to give us a better idea of what this affliction looks like. He then proceeded to talk about the frustration that hysteria causes for doctors. Because while all of these women come in with very real and visible symptoms like paralysis, vision impairment, confusion, and delirium, the doctors can find no biological evidence for them. Doctors therefore cannot understand the affliction and there is nothing they can do for a patient with this condition. It is upsetting for a doctor and he will tend to “lose his sympathy; he considers them persons who overstep the laws of science…blames them for exaggeration and intentional deceit, and ‘simulation’.” I can’t really say I blame the doctors…it would be so frustrating to have a patient who is ailing from something but not being able to find the source of it! No wonder they are getting irritated. The doctor that Freud acknowledges, however, does not take this approach with his hysterical patient, which led him to discover the origins of psychoanalysis. It fascinated me that by being sympathetic to his client’s plight he was able to unravel the mystery of hysteria as well as a cure for it – who would have thought?! Anyways, this Dr. Breuer discovered that putting a patient in hypnosis would bring out word associations that represented traumatic or stressful events that have been occurring in her life. This patient, for instance had a very sick father that she single-handedly cared for. Freud explained that hypnosis “provided free vent [for associations]…to the emotions which they aroused” which would eliminate the symptoms of
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hysteria. I was amazed to hear that symptoms like paralysis and delirium can originate from stressful events and “psychic trauma.” It’s hard to believe that the human brain is powerful enough to cause the body such severe ailments all because stress or trauma. Freud has found similar results with his own patients, which is amazing because it means that there is truth behind Breuer’s findings! Freud elaborated slightly though to make the conclusion that hysteric symptoms are the “remnants and the memory symbols or certain traumatic experiences.” That’s so weird to think that hysterical symptoms are unique to each person based on what has happened to them – how can that be?! I never would have thought that could be possible. I still have so many questions about the theory and how it works and if it always works…hopefully Freud can give a more in depth description in his next lectures and expand the theory more so that hypnosis, hysteria, and psychoanalysis all make more sense to me. Today was Freud’s second lecture about psychoanalysis.
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psy 459 application paper 1 - Hannah Bauss Psy 459...

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