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There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reviews by Hubie Goode: We're Still Living With Freud?

After all our progress in medicine and science, are we still living with Freud? Pt. 3

When Freud began his practice in neurology, he had a stroke of luck and timing by being available to a large crowd of upper crust society that had money for the treatment of their flourishing neuroses. He had developed a promising and emergent reputation in the field of childhood diseases and was soon put in charge of the Institute of Pediatrics in Austria. At this point he began a very busy round of activities. This is where it all began as he started to use the first phase of what would be his medical practice which would become heavily characterized by the use of hypnosis.

He had become interested in this activity when studying in Paris. There he watched the French Neurologist, Charcot, induce hysteria in his patients. He could make his patients recall some forgotten memories and then cause their hysteria to cease. Hypnotic suggestion became an amazing private practice surrounded with a sort of “taboo” type mystery. Hypnosis itself was being considered for acceptance by the neurology committee and was suffering a kind of mixed following among those in the know. Some felt it was a valuable tool that could become a boon to the practice, while others felt it was the brazen activity of charlatans.

This questioning of hypnosis and it’s questionable methodology and results were of little interest to Freud. As was usually the case, Freud often ignored the facts of what his fellow scientists in his field thought of up and coming studies and breakthroughs, or for that matter, any other information from any other field that may have shed some helpful or contradictory light upon that which he was busy studying. He worked in a vacuum and he liked it there.

Freud was dead set on making hypnosis a bonified medical practice, and he was determined to be its’ champion. He was once quoted as saying, “In the first years of my activity as a physician, my principal instrument of work, apart from haphazard and unsystematic psychotheraputic methods, was hypnotic suggestion.”

This implied, of course, that he abandon the treatment of organic nervous diseases, he found this to be of little importance. Prospects for treatment in those cases was never all that promising, and could not compare to the numbers, literally thousands more, of people running around with unsolved neuroses and large amounts of disposable income for treatment. But also, apart form this, there was something positively seductive about hypnosis to Freud. For the first time there was a feeling of being able to overcome one’s helplessness, of gaining control of the inner mind. And he also liked being referred to a as a sort of miracle worker. He witnessed some experiments on the ultra poor of the community who were convalesced in the local government hospices and came to understand that perhaps there was an entire world going on behind the scenes inside of a person’s mind.

It was during this period, when he was listening to patient after patient relate their past life experiences under hypnosis, that he began to become convinced of a connection to aberrant behavior from a person’s childhood. This gave birth to something called the Cathartic method. During hypnosis he would ask a patient to remember events and relationships from their childhood and the realities about those events and people. For Freud, this was quite the revelation.

During many of those sessions, Freud found that there was a repeated pattern of sexual abuse present, not necessarily provable to have been experienced as the result of relationships with parents or relatives or the neighbor, but sexual focus was, as the means for neurosis, quickly adapted as the primary causality. His contemporaries were aghast at the development and horrified at the man who had made such a thing of primary focus.

It is often stated that Freud at this point in his career was carried forward by intellectual courage alone. He was widely rebuffed with extreme disgust in the medical community and his closest friends and colleagues deserted him, as was to be the case with many in his profession down through the years.

more in part 4

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