Caroline:Psychoanalytic Theory and Criticism

Slade, Andrew. “Sigmund Freud and the Itinerary of Psychoanalysis”, Psychoanalytic Theory and Criticism. pp 1-15. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, 2016. Print.


This first chapter in the book gives a brief introduction to Sigmund Freud’s history and background and short descriptions of the theories coined by him. It also discusses how even though analysts have made developments in psychoanalysis opposing few of Freud’s ideas, his basic theories about the unconscious and dreams still hold significance and is considered the foundation of psychoanalysis.

In describing Freud’s psychoanalytic journey, Slade begins with his experience under Josef Breuer where he treated hysteria with hypnosis. This method was called the cathartic method in which the patients would be helped to get rid of thought that was causing his or her suffering. It was famously called the “talking cure” as it required the patients to talk about the conflicts that brought them to the clinic. According to Freud the major cause of hysteria was that the patients would see a past event in their life as the present and causes suffering because of its emotional appeal.

Later, Slade talks about Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams where he regards dreams as the effect of the unconscious. This was one of his major works where he claimed that dreams are everything that one’s unconscious mind wishes for and that “the unconscious is a dynamic, primary, mental process that seeks its satisfaction through wishing.”


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