Widely acknowledged to be one of Freud’s greatest works, when first published in 1913, this book caused outrage. It remains the fullest exploration of Freud’s most famous themes. Family, society, religion - they’re all put on the couch.
This is an excellent work for Freud enthusiasts. The work discusses the theoretical underpinnings for behavioral characteristics popularized by Freud. For instance, the proclivity to forget is related to a personal motivation to suppress unpleasant memories. Dreams tend to depict unfulfilled wishes. Pain and disgust are more frequent aspects of dreams than pure pleasure. The author explains how childhood experiences both good and bad may resurface in our dreams. Our memory can be challenged to recall things long dormant. Night hallucinations can be due to perceived rejected sexual impulses. Freud explains how seemingly contradictory thoughts can coexist side by side. The concept of psychological tension may be related to a displeasure or aversion. Freud discussed sexuality. For instance, he noted that bisexual tendencies could be interpreted within the context of a female brain in a male body. The book brings out many aspects of human behavior that we rarely dwell on consciously. It is perfect for a class project in science, psychology or medicine. Freuds theories tend to be very complex. This work reduces some of the deepest complexities to simple English. Finally, the book helps us to understand the dynamics of why we behave as we do. This book explains important strategies to the classic flight/fight phenomena and accomodative strategies aimed at reducing behavioral tensions/conflicts.
Psychoanalysis was never just a method of treatment, rather a vision of the human condition which has continued to fascinate and provoke long after the death of its originator. Its central hypothesis, that we live in conflict with ourselves and seek to resolve matters by turning away from reality, did not emerge from experimental science but from self-examination and the unique opportunities for observation presented by the psychoanalytic technique - in particular, from the confessions produced by ‘free-association’ in Freud’s consulting room. Written during the turmoil of the First World War, A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis was distilled from a series of lectures given at Vienna University, but had to wait for the war to end before being made available to the English speaking world.