Freud and Lacan Essay

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Freud and Lacan Freud and Lacan are two of the most influential psychonanalysts, but they were very different in their outlook and personality. Freud was a deeply conservative man despite his revolutionary approach, whereas Lacan revelled the company of unconventional artists and writers and courted controversy. But both thinkers had a profound effect on the way the individuals and society were viewed in the 20th century. Their legacy lives on in much of how we analyse art and literature today, despite the debunking of much of freudian psychoanalysis over the last 50 years. Freud was born in the middle of the 19th century and is most associated with Vienna where his original apartment and office are preserved as a museum. He was an exceptionally intelligent child and from early on showed an interest in science and medicine, despite considering a career in law. His studies in medicine led him to visit a Jean Martin Charcot in Paris, where he witnessed the use of hypnosis in treatment. Hypnosis was a new and mysterious phenomenon at the time and Freud, like many others, was impressed with the way that hidden aspects of people's lives and personalities were revealed under hypnosis. Charcot was specialising in treating what was called 'hysteria' at the time and Freud would later also spend much time dealing with this phenomenon but used 'talk therapy' rather than hypnosis as the method for treating the condition. In fact Freud's development of 'talk therapy' and the use of dreams and free association revolutionised the treatment of psychiatric and psychological conditions, setting the scene for the style of treatment most used in the 20th century. Currently talk therapy is less popular for treating severe psychiatric conditions but is still the basis for much of psychological treatment. What Freud achieved in his use of talk therapy was a dramatic 'cure' of patients that
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