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What is Psychoanalysis? From the Freud Museum London

A 4 part video series

Psychoanalysis is a theory of the mind and a method of helping people in mental distress. It is based a very simple idea that human behaviour is determined by unconscious motives that are the products of childhood encounters with love, loss, sexuality and death.


It's about the things we keep hidden from ourselves

In this episode:

  • Is psychoanalysis weird?

  • A talking cure

  • The unconscious

  • The ego is not master in its own house

  • Psychoanalysis and the ‘cognitive approach’


Freud's account of sexuality was very different to mainstream ideas about it

In this episode:

  • An enlarged concept of sexuality

  • Infantile sexuality

  • Perversion is something we’re born with

  • Normal and abnormal

  • Psychosexual stages of development: oral, anal, phallic

  • Repression

  • Sexuality and symptoms


The emotional world of little children is not a peaceful world!

In this episode:

  • The emotional world of children

  • His Majesty the Baby

  • The mother as first love object

  • Is it sexual?

  • Jealousy, rivalry, hatred and anxiety

  • The role of the father Gender: Freud didn’t think you were just ‘born a boy’ or ‘born a girl’

  • There is no perfect resolution of the Oedipus complex

  • It marks us for life


Freud discovered a mind at war with itself.

In this episode:

  • A fractured self

  • Id, Ego, Superego

  • Why did Freud develop a new model?

  • Devils and angels

  • People fall ill of their moral ideals

  • A horse and a rider

  • The ego is like a politician

  • The goal of psychoanalysis: stop the ego being so silly



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"If you discount the years of training, continued education, emotional investment, attention to detail, mastery of multiple theories and techniques to weave this altogether for each individual. Therap

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