Introducing the Basics

Sigmund Freud

What was revolutionary about Freud?

Freud was revolutionary for several reasons. For one, he brought to light the way unconscious passions can rule our lives-the battle between animalistic passions and the constraints of civilization. His particular emphasis on sexuality opened discussion on a formerly taboo subject. Secondly, he drew attention to the effect of childhood experiences and trauma on adult emotional adjustment. Thirdly, his invention of the method of psychoanalysis spearheaded the entire discipline of psychotherapy.

While psychoanalysis per se is no longer the preferred method of psychotherapy, many forms of psychotherapy can be seen as the direct descendants of Freud’s couch. Finally, he brought the emotional and the irrational into the realm of science. While poets, artists and philosophers had addressed the concerns of psychoanalysis before, few people had considered these questions in scientific terms.


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