Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
Part of the Biography television series from A&E, this documentary reviews the career and personal life of the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud. In 1881, Freud received his medical degree and initially sought work at Vienna General Hospital before setting up a private practice for the treatment of psychological disorders. In 1885, Freud went to Paris where he became familiar with the technique of hypnosis. He soon deemed the effects of hypnosis temporary and adopted an alternative method of treatment which involved "free association." He also developed the notion that many phobias were rooted in traumatic childhood experiences. In 1923, Freud ventured so far as to develop a model of the human mind, consisting of three elements -- the ego, the id, and the superego. During his creatively productive life, Freud published over twenty volumes of theory and clinical studies in which he coined concepts and terms, including libido, subconscious and inferiority complex, that permeated Western culture. In 1937, Freud sought asylum in England following Hitler's annexation of Austria and a ban on psychoanalysis. Freud and his family settled in London until his death from mouth cancer in 1939.