by Jean Chiriac
self-analysis started in the mid 1890's to reach its climaxes in 1895 and 1900. In certain authors' opinion, it was continued up to his death in 1939. Nevertheless, we have to set a clear boundary between the time of
Freud's discovery of the Oedipus complex and other essential contents of psychoanalysis and routine self-analysis he performed to check his unconscious psychic life.
The first phase is full of
unexpected aspects and inventiveness - the productive, creative stage. The second becomes an obligation derived from his profession as a psychoanalyst.
Freud's discoveries during his first stage of
self-analysis are known to have been included in two of his main books: "The Interpretation of Dreams" and "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life".
"The Interpretation of
Dreams" provides plenty of Freud's dreams in his own interpretation, among which the famous dream of Irma's injection, which he considers a key issue in understanding the mysteries of dream life. It opens
Chapter II ("The Method Of Interpreting Dreams: An Analysis Of A Specimen Dream") and provides material for an analysis covering several pages ahead.
Just as Freud himself maintained, the
analysis of the dream is not complete but it was here that Freud for the first time asserted that dreams are the disguised fulfilment of unconscious wishes.
The explanation of the dream is quite simple: it
tries to hide Freud's lack of satisfaction with the treatment given to a patient of his, Irma, and throw the guilt of partial failure upon others, exonerate Freud of other professional errors.
interpretation also provides a dream psychology and many other issues. The volume is extremely inventive and rich in information, and, in its author's view, it is his most important work.
Psychopathology of Everyday Life" offers Freud room to focus on the analysis of faulty and symptomatic actions (Freudian slips), the important thing to emphasize here being that this volume represents Freud's
transfer from the clinical to normal life - it proves neurotic features are present not only in sickness but also in health. The difference does not lie in quality but in quantity. Repression
is greater with the sick and the free libido is sensibly diminished. Therefore, it is for the first time in the history of psychopathology that Freud overrules the difference between pathology and health.
That makes it possible to apply psychoanalysis to so-called normal life...