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Freud and dreams The thoughts of Freud and association of dreams - Essay Example

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This paper highlights contributions of the psychoanalytic pioneer-Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)-to developmental psychology. Although more than a generation apart, his life crossed in a way that left the younger man feeling a deep sense of intellectual continuity with the investigative spirit of his predecessor…
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Freud and dreams The thoughts of Freud and association of dreams
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Download file to see previous pages A theme of the paper is that the great contributor gave central importance to understanding individual meaning. He also addressed the challenges of understanding increasing developmental complexity, although neither acknowledged the challenge in these terms. The latter consideration frames a portrayal of the limitations of the ideas of each from our contemporary perspective. A final section of the paper looks to the future, invoking the creative spirit of these scientific ancestors as part of today's living history. I ask what the approaches of Freud offer us as we address the challenges of increasing complexity and seek new developmental advances in the 21st century.
Freud's living contributions draw our attention to the meaning of individual experience. They tell us that much about the course of human development and its vicissitudes can be described in terms of lawful principles; priority, however, must be given to investigating individuality. In the discussion that follows in this paper, I shall emphasize Freud's influence on some key trends in today's developmental psychology, giving only brief mention to the history of child development between Freud's time and ours. It is hoped, however, that engaging in this kind of "back-to-the-future" journey will provide us with both pleasure and some fresh insights.
Freud was a p
Freud was a practicing clinician who learned early that variations in private meaning cannot be taken for granted. Related to this point is another straightforward one, which, like the first, continues to permeate our developmental dialectics even today. This concerns the reality of psychic life and the assertion that understanding an individual's unique life and living perspective is worthy of both study and therapeutic attention. Strong contemporary statements of both points for developmental psychology can be seen in Bruner (2000) and in Stern (2003).
Play offers a good way to begin taking a fresh look at Freud. We can envision Freud attending to the meaning of individual experience and theorizing in ways that are both simple and profound. Writing in 1920, Freud described observations of his 1 -year-old grandson who lived with him for some weeks. He commented that the child was not at all precocious in language development and frequently threw things away from himself-for example, in a corner or under a bed. On these occasions, the child often pronounced a long, drawn-out "Oooo"-an utterance that the child's mother and Freud agreed seemed to represent the German word fort (i.e., gone).
One day I made an observation. The child had a wooden reel with a piece of string tied round it. what he did was to hold the reel by the string and very skillfully throw it over the edge of his curtained cot, so that it disappeared into it, at the same time uttering his expressive "Oooo." He then pulled the reel out of the cot again by the string and hailed its reappearance with a joyful "Da" (there). This, then, was the complete game-disappearance and return. As a rule, one only witnessed its first act, which was repeated untiringly as the game in itself, for there is no doubt that the greater pleasure was attached to the second act. (Freud, 1920/2003a. p. 15)
Freud added a footnote to this work in which he documents a subsequent observation that seemed to confirm his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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