Freud was wrong about nearly everything…

Freud was wrong about nearly everything…

Welcome. The time has come. Let’s talk about Sigmund Freud. (Upbeat instrumental music) When you think of psychology, you probably
think of him. He’s the butt of many jokes and puns. Hardly a day goes by without mentioning his
research and legacy. Mommy and daddy issues. Defence mechanisms. Repression. Freudian slips. Oedipus complex. Denial. Libido. Displacement. Phallic symbols. This is why we need to talk about Freud. He is one of the most recognized names in Western history. His influence is undeniable. Let’s discuss. Freud was born to Jewish parents in the town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. He studied at the University of Vienna and qualified as doctor. Specifically, he became a neurologist, a doctor that specializes in disorders of the nervous system. He opened his practice in Vienna in 1886. In his early practice, he noticed that many
of his patients had symptoms that didn’t appear to have any physical cause like paralysis without physical nerve damage, depression, anxiety… Over time, he developed theories for where these disorders came from, and methods of treating them. This method was called psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis focused on the unconscious. Freud believed that we all have a large portion of our mental experience
is inaccessible to us. Many thoughts, memories, and desires (especially
those that are traumatic or socially unacceptable) were pushed down to the unconscious. This was called repression. He believed was the mind’s way of defending against trauma and conflict. The goals of psychoanalysis was to get to the root of conflict and trauma, and treat it from there. Here’s his framework for that: Freud believed we are all driven by pleasure. We more towards it, and avoid unpleasant experiences. But many of these desires are inappropriate in a “moral society” like having sexual feelings towards your parents, or being lazy and not working. Instead of giving into these desires, we should follow the reality principle and follow the moral values of society, which goes against our innate desires. He described this using the id, ego, and superego. These unconscious desires are in the id. The superego adheres to the morals and values of society, and its function is to control the id. The ego is stuck mediatoing between the two. His practice included free association, in which he encouraging patients to talk freely, without inhibition or censorship, whatever thoughts or ideas came to their head. He also analyzed his patients’ dreams and placed value in slips of the tongue, which he called parapraxes
but we now call Freudian slips. All of these methods supposedly revealed repressed, unconscious conflicts that could then be resolved. Freud coined 5 steps of development, which coincided to navigating a series of conflicts during childhood which shaped the conflicts you would face in adulthood. This included the very controversial Oedipus complex, in which kids sexually desire their mothers and grow to hate their fathers. (unconvinced) Hm… I dunno about that one. Freud continues his practice for decades. In 1938, Freud left Austria to escape the
Nazis during World War II. He died at the age of 83 in the UK a year later. So that’s Freud… his life, and practice. But where do his theories stand today? Needless to say, Freudian psychoanalysis did not age well. After his death and WWII, psychoanalysis largely fell out of practice in Europe, but it did gain its footing in the United Kingdom and the United States. Specifically in post-WWII America, Freudians dominated psychology for decades to come. They were university chairs, they wrote the medical school curricula, and wrote the first two editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders (the DSM). Which is the standard for diagnosing
and treating patients. So many of his theories and treatments were still in use in the 1970’s. But here’s the thing. Freud was wrong about nearly everything. There’s no proof of the id, ego, or superego. Nothing to support his 5 stages of development. No evidence that everyone is driven by the
Oedipus complex. His theories on gender and sexuality were
were sexist, homophobic, and outdated…
even for his time! For example, he believed that being gay was the result of not resolving the Oedipus complex during childhood… ??????? His understanding of women is hailed as being
“notoriously inadequate.” The idea that our developments and desires
are driven mostly by sexual urges is inaccurate and alarming to a modern-day audience. One critic said about Freud, “Arguably no
other notable figure in history was so fantastically wrong about nearly every important thing he
had to say.” Another said, “There is literally nothing
to be said to the advantage of the entire Freudian system.” As a practice, it’s largely a thing of the past. Since Freud’s death, some of his ideas have been
built upon, expanded, and adapted into more progressive schools of thought. Other ideas have been dismissed all together. And that’s good! That’s how science advances. It’s important to be critical of the very damaging ways that Freud influenced many areas of study, including gender and sexuality. One of his most impactful influences was the popularization of “talk therapies.” His practice of listening to his patients’ problems planted the seed for modern-day therapy. Psychoanalysis helped move the treatment of
mental illness from asylums and hospitals to an office or clinic. It contributed to a post-war boom of people seeking these kinds of therapies, and somehow, Freud is still our stereotypical therapist today. If it wasn’t for Freud, therapy as we know
would look very different. So that’s it for today’s video! I am so proud of myself for tackling Freud… I was avoiding him like the plague. We did it! Be sure to hit that subscribe button for new videos every single week, and remember that science is everywhere! And be critical! I like how the consistent branding of this series is just my middle part… like, Marketing 101: Middle Part. (Upbeat Instrumental Music) My thoughts on Freud? thank u, next (Upbeat Instrumental music)


  1. Freud, in fact, was a misogynist who believed in patriarchy.  Freudian concepts were Eurocentric, so his concepts were not based on universal and objective science.  His views were biased, given Western codes of behavior.  Freud has been criticized for equating "primitive" people in the non-Western world with the infantile and the neurotic.  Psychoanalysis was used as a colonial tool by Western tyrannical authorities.  Freud is a good example of bad science and pseudoscience.  He was nothing but a fraud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *