EDUCATION: 1881 – University of Vienna, Doctor of Medicine
THEORETICAL ORIENTATION: Psychoanalysis
INFLUENCES: Charles Darwin, Franz Brentano, Eduard von Hartmann
APPROACH TO WORKING WITH PEOPLE GOING THROUGH DIVORCE:
Divorce is the most painful experience people can go through because we are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love. The divorce is so destructive to the psyche for three reasons.
First, love is the cornerstone of humanness. When this cornerstone crumbles in divorce, intolerable pain results.
Second, love and marriage are the sublimation of our most powerful drive–the sexual drive. Love and marriage offer psychological protection for the Ego against the suppressed, yet awesomely destructive, irrational sexual demands of the Id. When psychological protection of love and marriage collapses, even though Id’s demands remain unconscious, these unsatisfied demands cause suffering–anxiety, anger, and hopelessness.
Third, divorce is traumatic, but society does not allow people to freely express the full range of feelings that they experience in divorce. To comply with societal norms, people lie to themselves and others about how they feel. But unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.
The solution is to learn to be entirely honest with yourself. I teach my patients and my students to honestly express their feelings in psychotherapy and to express them appropriately outside of it. Then your vulnerability–your ability to love–will become your strength. It will lead you to a new love, a treasure of the heart.
Divorce is the time of difficult decisions. Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. I help my patients to maturely face the difficult choices that are already staring back at them. I also help my patients make sure that they make decisions (and live) according to their stated beliefs. He does not believe that does not live according to his belief. I think diplomacy on my side would be too riskful. I should cling to what I consider the truth.
Sexual disturbances usually accompany emotional distress in divorce. This is because the behavior of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life. By working through emotional issues, my patients resolve sexual issues.
ADVICE TO PEOPLE GOING THROUGH DIVORCE:
- If you like cats, play with them. Time spent with cats is never wasted.
- Read poetry. Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me.
- Don’t give up. One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
WEBSITE: I am adjusting to the digital age well, but I still don’t have a website. However, someone has created a Wikipedia article about me: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud