Sigmund Freud's birth certificate, 1856

Sigmund Freud's birth certificate, 1856

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Credit: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Sigmund Freud Papers/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sigmund Freud's birth certificate, 1856. This document gives his birth name (Sigismund), birth date (6 May 1856) and religion (Jewish), and names his place of birth (Freiberg), his father (Jakob Freud) and his mother (Amalia Freud). Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) established the idea that mental disorders could have psychological as well as physiological causes. He theorised that the human mind contains both conscious and unconscious levels. Unpleasant memories are repressed and stored unconsciously, but they still affect the behaviour of a patient. Freud analysed dreams to study this unconscious level. His studies led him to believe that sexual impulses were responsible for irrational thoughts and behaviour (neuroses).

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