"Thus in its relation to the id, the ego is like a man
on horseback who has to hold in check the
superior strength of the horse."
"The most immediate, and for practical purposes, the most significant causes of every case of neurotic illness are to be found in factors arising from sexual life."
Psychoanalyst and founder of "depth psychology", Freud added a new dimension to the concept of the mind and its relation to the body through his emphasis on the unconscious. For Freud, the mind consists of an ego which contains a person's ordinary thoughts and directs daily behaviour, and an id containing all the instincts and repressed feelings. A superego maintains the values and prohibitions and controls the ego through guilt. Trauma in childhood can upset the balance between the three and the ego can become the site of intrapsychic conflict between an intruding id and a threatening superego. The result can be neurosis, depression, anxiety.
(1898 "Sexuality in the Aetiology of the Neuroses ", 263)
Freud developed intense friendships and attracted a circle of admirers from whom he demanded total devotion. His dogmatic adherence to the "sexual theory" as the sole explanation for human development and behaviour, resulted in the defections of one-time collaborators. However, his influence on the development of psychoanalysis remained supreme for some time, likewise his influence on art and literature.
- "Studies on Hysteria" (1893-5) with Josef Breuer
- "The Interpretation of Dreams" (1900-1)
- "Totem and Taboo" (1913)
- "Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis" (1915-17)
- "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" (1920)
- "The Ego and the Id" (1923)
- "Moses and Monotheism" (1937)