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Many believe Freud to be the father of modern psychiatry and psychology and the only psychiatrist of any worth. He is certainly the most well known figure, perhaps because sex played such a prominent role in his system. There are other psychologists, however, whose theories demand respectful consideration. Erik Erickson, born Eric Homburger, whose theories while not as titillating as Freud's, are just as sound. This paper will compare the two great men and their systems. In addition, this paper will argue that Freud offers the more useful foundation for understanding the Jenny Masterson's confused psyche.
Sigmund Freud showed signs of independence and brilliance well before entering the University of Vienna in 1873. He had a prodigious memory and loved reading to the point of running himself into debt at various bookstores. Among his favorite authors were Goethe, Shakespeare, Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche. To avoid disruption of his studies, he often ate in his room.
After medical school, Freud began a private practice, specializing in nervous disorders. He was soon faced with patients whose disorders made no neurological sense. For example, a patient might have lost feeling in his foot with no evidence to any sensory nerve damage. Freud wondered if the problem could be psychological rather than physiological.
Dr. Freud evolved as he treated patients and analyzed himself. He recorded his assessment and expounded his theories in 24 volumes published between 188...