The Legacy of Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis, however, he did not singlehandedly develop the science. He produced the 5 pillars of beliefs, but even his students Adler and Jung disagreed with them and moved on to develop their own branch of the science. Freud, nevertheless, leaves a legacy as one of the most influential people in the world of psychiatry.

Sigmund Freud is a hero figure to the few who still hold to his teachings, but there are very few who practice psychiatry today, as he envisioned it.

Scientists of his day called him a fraud and charlatan. Behaviorists find his theories reprehensible in fact, even though he became famous, his entire career was one of controversy. Yet, he laid the foundation for others to build upon. For that he has a rightful place in history.

Freudian concept and teachings found its way to American swiftly as Jews fled Nazi Germany and Hitler in the 1930s. It was embraced and taught in the leading Universities almost as soon as it hit the mainland.

But othet schools of scientific behavior began to open up shortly thereafter. It was almost as if the wave of scientific theory that sprang up in Europe a hundred years before, caught hold and flourished in the United States in the early to mid 1900s.

Today, Freud is still cited in textbooks, and research studies continue to this day, using his grand theories. He was selected as one of the most 10 influential psychologists in the 2002, Review of General Psychology.

However, most of Freuds original theories have fallen by the wayside today.

Freud opened a window to the unconscious mind, comparing it to an iceberg where only the surface of personality could be seen, with the bulk of it residing below the surface. He proposed the theory of the three divisions of the mind, the Id, Ego and Superego, with the Id directly responsible for impulse control.

Opposition and embittered critics were always a part of Freud’s legacy even while he was still building a foundation for psychoanalysis. Psychosexual development of children, and humans motivation driven by instinct are theories that couldn’t stand as more branches of psychology made their theories and experiments known.

Sigmund Freud, controversial in life and in death, whether you scoff at Freud or agree with his theories, Sigmund Freud leaves his legacy in the world of psychiatry, firmly established, and perhaps, unmovable.