• Psychoanalysis > Techniques

Freudian Slips and Mistakes

- Definition and Examples -

By J Jones

What are the Freudian slips? Common mistakes such as forgetting names, projects or book titles, lecture errors such as reading instead of the word written in a newspaper another one, pronunciation errors - when instead of saying the word we want to say we say another one - writing errors - when we write something else than what we had intended. There are many slips and mistakes - generally called lapses - studied and analyzed by Freud in order to prove they are not hazardous but meaningful acts related to his theory of the functioning of the unconscious mind.

The Basic Writings of Freud includes the Psychopathology of Everyday Life, a book entirely dedicated to the explanation and analysis of various slips and mistakes.

The work was intended for people without any experience with psychoanalysis, therefore is a must-have.

You may purchase this book from Amazon.com by clicking the Buy from Amazon button.

Then there are the symptomatic acts, the most frequent one being to play with the wedding ring on your finger. These acts indicate serious unconscious drives that are revealed only after a thorough analysis.

A simple symptomatic act is committed by a man who has to call his girlfriend in order to break up with her. He would not want this in fact and then, when he calls her, he unconsciously uses an expired phone card so that his conscious intention of saying good-bye would not be completed.

Freud approached in-depth these slips and mistakes in his dedicated book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. This book had an enormous success because it was addressed not only to specialists but to the wide public too, offering reliable explanations about what these mistakes are and how they can be analyzed.

Freud offers many examples concerning the interpretation of slips, mistakes and symptomatic acts in his book. We also offer several examples of such errors approached through the psychoanalytic means.

Several examples:

Further resources:

  • More articles and papers on Freudian slips may be purchased from our paperstore. More...
  • Check out our email course dealing with the psychoanalytic techniques of exploring of the unconscious. It also deals with the Freudian slips and mistakes.


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