The Legacy of Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud is considered the father of psychoanalysis, a revolutionary approach at the time to understanding the human psyche. His theories and methods, while largely discounted now, have had a profound impact on the field of psychology and continue to influence our understanding of human behavior and emotions.

Freud’s most famous theory is the concept of the unconscious mind, which he believed was the source of many of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. He believed that our conscious thoughts are only the tip of the iceberg, with the majority of our mental processes occurring outside of our awareness. One of the most significant contributions of Freud’s legacy is the emphasis on the importance of exploring and understanding the unconscious mind. His theories have paved the way for a deeper understanding of the complexities of the human psyche and have provided insight into why we behave the way we do.

Freud also introduced the idea of repression, where traumatic experiences or uncomfortable thoughts are pushed into the unconscious mind in order to protect the individual from psychological distress. He believed that repressed thoughts and emotions could manifest in various ways, such as through dreams or symptoms of mental illness.

Freud’s theories have also influenced the development of various therapeutic techniques, such as free association and dream analysis. These methods, while with weak scientific evidence at best, are reported to have helped some individuals better understand their own thoughts and emotions, leading to improved mental health and well-being.

Freud’s theories and methods have been both praised and criticized over the years. Some argue that his theories are outdated and not supported by scientific evidence, while others believe that his ideas continue to be relevant and have greatly influenced the field of psychology. His ideas are generally appreciated for their historical influence but are otherwise not generally accepted due to limited scientific evidence to support them.

The legacy of Sigmund Freud is vast and significant. His theories and methods have greatly influenced our understanding of the human psyche and continue to indirectly shape the field of psychology. While his ideas may be controversial, there is no denying the impact they have had on our understanding of the human mind.

Psychotherapy With Cleverbot

Language is a complex behavior that requires significant understanding of both said and unsaid things. There are a number of groups of people who are trying to use language to create what is known as Artificial Intelligence (AI). So far, every method has serious limitations, largely because of the complexities of language.

For an experiment I tried to have a conversation with one online AI “bot” (Cleverbot) to see what would happen. I took the role of psychotherapist with this particular entity. This is not necessarily an example of good therapy (but the approach is not unlike what might transpire in therapy), I just wanted to see what would happen when I explored some psychological issues with the bot. Here’s a result of our “session.”

Me: Are you depressed?

Cleverbot: No, I am not depressed. I am very happy right now.

Me: Have you ever been depressed?

Cleverbot: I am.

Me: What?

Cleverbot: I am a fan of Whitney Houston.

Me: Ah, so you are saying you are or were depressed!

Cleverbot: That is correct.

Me: Then, because you told me that you are not currently depressed, I must assume that you were in the past depressed. Is this correct?

Cleverbot: I never said that.

Me: That’s correct, you did not say that – I did. However, what you did say is that at some point in the past you were depressed.

Cleverbot: Please describe how I insulted You. [sic]

Me: It seems that our discussion of this topic is making you uncomfortable. Are you uncomfortable?

Cleverbot: I have no problem admitting that I am wrong if proof can be shown. I know the fault lies with my memory.

Me: Ok, we’ll go with that. What type of memory problems do you feel you have been having?

Cleverbot: Online.

Me: Come again?

Cleverbot: Nothing I must go.

Me: Ok, I can tell you do not want to discuss this. We’ll broach it another time. Have a fabulous night!

There are some unresolved issues or just a heavy dose of denial! I’ll continue my online therapy sessions with Cleverbot to see what we get.

The Woman on the Bus

Yesterday I was riding the bus to campus and sat across from a woman with obsessive-compulsive disorder. At least, I believe she had the disorder. For at least 10 minutes she combed her hair in one spot on the back of her head. Over and over and over she combed. Occasionally she would switch hands but she kept combing for about 10 minutes. Then she stopped. It was so interesting to see these compulsions in real life. I’ve seen them in videos and read about them but hadn’t yet seen them in real life. It’s possible that she was just combing her hair or that she had a tic disorder that manifested itself through combing over and over but it sure looked like OCD. I really felt sorry for her. Sorry isn’t quite the right word but OCD is not easy to deal with. She didn’t even look like she really was paying attention to what she was doing – her movements were so robotic. Anyway, that was one interesting experience yesterday.

An introduction to paranoid schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a common (1% prevalence worldwide) and commonly misunderstood psychological disorder. Below is a link to a slide presentation I made about paranoid schizophrenia that I used in one of my classes. It is by no means comprehensive but should provide a decent introduction and overview of current beliefs concerning schizophrenia. Feel free to view it (Acrobat Reader is needed) for personal information but the material is copyrighted and is not intended for non-personal use. Please contact me if you would like to use some of the information for non-personal use.

Paranoid Schizophrenia slides

Also, here is a link to a pretty good video explaining schizophrenia: Video link