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Sigmund Freud and the Spirit
of Psychoanalysis

By Jean Chiriac

Everybody knows today that Sigmund Freud, the famous Viennese neurologist, is the founder of psychoanalysis. But because of the influences of the nowadays psychoanalytical  expression and culture, few still know what Freud thought about the psychoanalysis he had created, what opinion he had regarding the task of psychoanalysis.

To Freud psychoanalysis was a scientific method  for the investigation of our mental life and a psychotherapeutic method.

Being scientific, it borrows from the exigencies of science two fundamental aspects:

- the requirement of observing the studied facts. Unlike religion, which derives its truths from revelations, psychoanalysis extracts them from direct observation;

- the description and  the integration into a theory, the formulation of the rules that contribute to the occurrence and manifestation of the observed facts.

We must remember that psychoanalysis hadn't been revealed to Freud, as a mystical act, but it was based on his (and others') clinical observations, in a step-by-step process.

To Freud  psychoanalysis never stopped to be a therapeutical method. Although it often gave birth to some speculations concerning the cultural, religious facts, etc., in Freud's view psychoanalysis should be restricted to the  theory of neuroses. And to its task to cure mental disorders.

To this we must add the following detail: in Freud's view, the necessity to understand the mysteries of he human behavior was considered the  first and foremost in the psychoanalytical act. Once Freud would have stated that is more important to understand than to treat. Of course this vision is shocking for us but it emphasized what is essential  regarding the spirit of psychoanalysis: the fact of interrogating the psychical observed phenomena in order to understand the enigma of the human behavior and, therefore, to cure of, where it is meet and proper.

The emphasis on understanding, on knowledge represents the unmistakable  mark of the spirit of psychoanalysis...


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