Sigmund Freud was the greatest influence and 'ground breaker' in the psychoanalytic field. His biggest theories focused mainly on childhood, personality, dreams, and sexuality. He opened a private practice in Vienna, Austria where he practiced treatments that supported his theories. One of his theories was adopted through a study by his colleague, Josef Breuer, often called "the talking cure". This was one of his biggest breakthrough ideas that suggested the existence of a conscious and a unconscious. He suggested that we repressed our emotions into our unconscious and by simply talking about our feelings and issues, we could, in a sense, 'dig them out'. He studied in the late 1800's into the early 1900's before eventually taking his own life due to the pain from his cancerous jaw. World War 2 was going on towards the end of his lifetime and he had to relocate his family away from Austria in order to escape the reign of Hitler and the Nazis.
Sigmund Freud is an essential psychologist because of the way he challenged many ideas and illustrated new ways of viewing the human mind. Many people did not agree with him or his theories, however he did provide much of the groundwork for the proven theories present in psychology today. He was important to psychoanalysis because he conducted several experiments and research to prove and back up his theories. For example, he studied his theory of free association by conducting it on his patients and clients in his practice. The time period affected him negatively because he challenged many of the traditional ideas and morals of his era. Many people looked at him as a pervert or a pedophile for his studies of sexuality dealing with children.