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Google doodle honours Sigmund Freud on 160th birth anniversary

Google paid tribute to Sigmund Freud, considered the father of psychoanalysis on the occasion of his 160th birth anniversary.

Sigmund Freud Google Doodle
Kevin Laughlin's Google Doodle to commemorate Sigmund Freud on his 160th birth anniversary. Pic/Google

Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud is credited for the creation of psychoanalysis, which is a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. In simpler terms, it is the method of resolving mental illness through a dialogue between a doctor (possibly a mental health expert like a psychiatrist) and patient.

Doodler Kevin Laughlin created an iceberg to represent the murky depths of the unconscious mind. Most importantly, the Google Doodle draws our eye to the horizon, reminding us how the genius of Freud's practice rests in the space between doctor and patient, reader and text, human and world.

Sigmund Freud's analysis of dreams as wish-fulfillments provided him with models for the clinical analysis of symptom formation and the mechanisms of repression as well as for elaboration of his theory of the unconscious. He also proved the existence of libido a mental process which generates erotic attachments, and a death drive, the source of compulsive repetition, hate, aggression and neurotic guilt.

The Freudian method of interpretation – looking for meaning beyond the surface of things – now extends far beyond the sphere of psychotherapy and terms like "narcissism," "sibling rivalry," "free association," and "death wish" are part of our vernacular, and Freud's theories continue to fuel heated debate among academics.

Born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856, to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1881 at the University of Vienna. Freud was appointed a docent in neuropathology after completing his habilitation in 1885 and became an affiliated professor in 1902.

Sigmund Freud set up his practice in Vienna in 1886 and left Austra in 1938 to escape the Nazis and died in exile in the United Kingdom the following year on September 23 after a lengthy bout with cancer.

Did you know? A few interesting facts about Sigmund Freud
>> Sigmund Freud was born with a caul (known as helmeted head, a piece of membrane that can cover a newborn's head and face, which occurs in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births and is immediately removed by the physician or midwife upon delivery of the child), which his mother Amalia saw as a positive omen.

Sigmund Freud in 1938. Pic/AFP
Sigmund Freud in 1938. Pic/AFP

>> Freud was the first of eight children. His father Jakob Freud, a wool merchant by trade had two sons, Emanuel and Philipp, by his first marriage.

>> Freud intended to study law but joined the medical faculty at the University of Vienna.

>> While studying zoology under Darwinist professor Carl Claus in his research station at Trieste, Freud dissected hundreds of eels in an inconclusive search for their male reproductive organs.

>> Sigmund Frued, who began smoking tobacco at age 24 became a heavy cigar smoker as he believed it enhanced capacity to work and that he could exercise self-control in moderating it. This is believed to have caused him to develop and later die of oral cancer.

>> Freud married married Martha Bernays, the granddaughter of Isaac Bernays, a chief rabbi in Hamburg. They had six children.

>> It is believed that Sigmund Freud fell victim to rumours of an alleged affair with his sister-in-law Minna Bernays, who became a permanent member of his household after her fiancee's death. The rumours are believed to have been started by Carl Jung.

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