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Sigmund Freud and His Concepts

Freud hypothesized that an individual must successfully complete each stage to become a psychologically healthy adult with a fully formed ego and superego. Otherwise, individuals may become stuck or “fixated” in a particular stage, causing emotional and behavioral problems in adulthood (McLeod, 2013).

The Interpretation of Dreams

Another well-known concept from Freud was his belief in the significance of dreams. He believed that analyzing one’s dreams can give valuable insight into the unconscious mind.

In 1900, Freud published the book The Interpretation of Dreams in which he outlined his hypothesis that the primary purpose of dreams was to provide individuals with wish fulfillment, allowing them to work through some of their repressed issues in a situation free from consciousness and the constraints of reality (Sigmund Freud Biography, n.d.).

In this book, he also distinguished between the manifest content (the actual dream) and the latent content (the true or hidden meaning behind the dream).

The purpose of dreams is to translate forbidden wishes and taboo desires into a non-threatening form through condensation (the joining of two or more ideas), displacement (transformation of the person or object we are concerned about into something or someone else), and secondary elaboration (the unconscious process of turning the wish-fulfillment images or events into a logical narrative)