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Austrian neurologist and 'father of psychoanalysis'. Freud was born to Jacob Freud, a Jewish wool
merchant, and Amalia (neé Nathansohn). The family settled in Vienna when Freud was young. In 1873 he
started medicine at the University of Vienna, at which time he adopted the shortened form of his name,
"Sigmund." Freud served a year of compulsory military service and got his M.D. in 1881. He then stayed
on for another year as a demonstrator in the physiology laboratory. From 1882 to 1886, he worked as an
assistant at the General Hospital in Vienna. During this period, Dr. Josef Breuer related to Freud how he
had treated a young woman suffering from hysteria with 'talking cures' while in a state of self-hypnosis.


The term "attachment" is used to describe the affective (feeling-based) bond that develops between an
infant and a primary caregiver. The quality of attachment evolves over time as the infant interacts with his
caregiver and is determined partly by the caregiver’s state-of-mind toward the infant and his needs.

The father of attachment theory, John Bowlby, M.D., believed that attachment bonds between infants and
caregivers have four defining features:

 Proximity Maintenance: wanting to be physically close to the caregiver

 Separation Distress: more widely known as "separation anxiety"
 Safe Haven: retreating to the caregiver when the infant senses danger or feels anxious
 Secure Base: exploration of the world knowing that the caregiver will protect the infant from danger
Stages of Development

Believing that most human suffering is determined during childhood development, Freud placed
emphasis on the five stages of psychosexual development. As a child passes through these stages
unresolved conflicts between physical drives and social expectation may arise.
These stages are:

 Oral (0 – 1.5 years of age): Fixation on all things oral. If not satisfactorily met there is the likelihood
of developing negative oral habits or behaviors.
 Anal (1.5 to 3 years of age): As indicated this stage is primarily related to developing healthy toilet
training habits.
 Phallic (3 – 5 year of age): The development of healthy substitutes for the sexual attraction boys and
girls have toward a parent of the opposite gender.
 Latency (5 – 12 years of age): The development of healthy dormant sexual feelings for the opposite
 Genital (12 – adulthood): All tasks from the previous four stages are integrated into the mind allowing
for the onset of healthy sexual feelings and behaviors.
It is during these stages of development that the experiences are filtered through the three levels of the
human mind. It is from these structures and the inherent conflicts that arise in the mind that personality is
shaped. According to Freud while there is an interdependence among these three levels, each level also
serves a purpose in personality development. Within this theory the ability of a person to resolve internal
conflicts at specific stages of their development determines future coping and functioning ability as a
fully-mature adult.

Super ego. Each stage is processed through Freud’s concept of the human mind as a three tier system
consisting of the superego, the ego, and the id. The super ego functions at a conscious level. It serves as a
type of screening center for what is going on. It is at this level that society and parental guidance is
weighed against personal pleasure and gain as directed by ones id. Obviously, this puts in motion
situations ripe for conflict.

Ego. Much like a judge in a trial, once experiences are processed through the superego and the id they fall
into the ego to mediate a satisfactory outcome. Originally, Freud used the word ego to mean a sense of
self, but later revised it to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, reality testing,
control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory.

Id. The egocentric center of the human universe, Freud believed that within this one level, the id is
constantly fighting to have our way in everything we undertake.