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Dora: An Analysis of A Case of Hysteria (1915)
by Sigmund Freud
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After studying this book for my doctoral exams, I have my own conclusions about this book. This is why I am classifying it as fiction, as well as nonfiction. ( )
This is basic and straightforward Freud. For those initially seeking to understand him and his thesis', I believe that it is important. However, to those who have read his other material (particularly his important works) I feel that it is much less fundamental and important to the overall understanding of Freud and the mechanics that drove his work.
Overall, a satisfactory read.
In "Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria" Sigmund Freud established the method and pattern of scientific documentation of what we now call a case study. One thing he did was to give his patient a pseudonym so as to protect her from being identified. He continued the practice by ascribing to the people relevant to her case by a single initial. It is clear that "hysteria" is no longer a diagnosis, nor a condition. Freud was a person of his time and he wrote the book a century ago. But, it is an interesting read, largely for seeing how he was developing psychological study as a science. Remember, prior to Freud and his contemporaries the prevalent idea in studying behavior was phrenology, in which people read the topography of a person's head in order to infer things about their personality and behavior. Freud was a leader of the movement to create a proper science in psychology to replace the pseudoscience of phrenology. And this book is a historical example of sometimes stumbling in that process, while also laying groundwork for development. I recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of psychology.
Interesting and enjoyable read. Exposes certain of what are, in my opinion, the shortcomings of the psychoanalytic mode of reasoning (e.g., and disagreement with an analysis is a resistance) and its general lack of a method that resembles hypothesis-test-refutation/confirmation.
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'I very soon had an opportunity to interpret Dora's nervous coughing as the outcome of a fantasized sexual situation.'A Case of Hysteria, popularly known as the Dora Case, affords a rare insight into how Freud dealt with patients and interpreted what they told him. The 18-year-old 'Dora' was sent for psychoanalysis by her father after threatening suicide; as Freud's enquiries deepened, he uncovered a remarkablyunhappy and conflict-ridden family, with several competing versions of their story. The narrative became a crucial text in the evolution of his theories, combining his studies on hysteria and his new theory of dream-interpretation with early insights into the development of sexuality.The unwitting preconceptions and prejudices with which Freud approached his patient reveal his blindness and the broader attitudes of turn-of-the-century Viennese society, while his account of 'Dora's' emotional travails is as gripping as a modern novel.This new translation is accompanied by a substantial introduction which sets the work in its biographical, historical, and intellectual context, and offers a close and critical analysis of the text itself.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)150Philosophy and Psychology Psychology Psychology
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