Background & Aim: Little Hans’ father to be a support of Freud and when his son arisen a phobia, the referred him come Freud. Freud agreed to help and thought Hans’ phobia was due to things walking on in his unconscious mind. Freud offered the research of little Hans to support his views on the beginnings of phobias, childhood sexuality and also the Oedipus complex, and his id in psychoanalysis together an effective therapy. Freud believed Hans’ fears, dreams and also fantasies to be symbolic that his unconscious passing with the phallic stage of psychosexual development.

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Freud (1909)

Method: As this to be a comprehensive study of a solitary individual (Little Hans to be Herbert Graf) over a period of time, we deserve to classify it together a longitudinal case study. The study defines Hans’ fear from when he was 3 years old till he to be five. He was five years old at the time of this study, but historical information from when small Hans was three years old was also used. Qualitative data to be gathered by little Hans’ father with observations of and conversations through his son. This information was then sent to Freud by letter, who responded with interpretations that Hans’ behaviour and with advice.

During his correspondences with Freud, Hans’ father reported few of the complying with information around his son: Just before the age of three, Hans started to build an energetic interest in his ‘widdler’ and also he started to masturbate. This led to his mom to threaten to send for Dr A. To reduced it off. In ~ three and a half Hans’ sisters Hanna to be born; he resented her and also hoped she would drown in the bath. A short time after that Hans emerged a are afraid of white horses and being bitten by them. This appeared to relate to two key incidents: Firstly, overhearing a male say come his child “Don’t put your finger to the white steed or it will bite you”; secondly, see a horse that to be pulling a carriage fall down. As a result, Hans’ phobia was generalised to carts and buses.

It was likewise reported the before and after the advance of the phobia, Hans to be anxious that his mommy would leave and also he experienced fantasies including one around a giraffe, 2 plumber fantasies and finally a parenting fantasy. The analysis/ investigation of tiny Hans ended soon after ~ the last fantasy when the phobia stopped because of the help he was given by Freud.

Results: The information about small Hans was analysed by Freud and he came up v the adhering to findings: since Han’s was suffering the Oedipus complex (a sex-related desire for his mother and rivalry v his father) he was subconsciously scared of his father. This are afraid was materialized in a fear of horses, an especially those v dark roughly the mouth (representing his father’s beard) and also blinkers (which stood for his glasses). Hans’ obsession with his ‘widdler’ was another sign of gift in the phallic stage of breakthrough and enduring the Oedipus complex. Other behaviours relating come the Oedipus complex also consisted of the giraffe fantasy which stood for the desire to take his mommy away native his father; the plumber fantasy was taken as him identifying v his father, as was the fantasy of ending up being a father. The final family fantasy was interpreted as the resolution the the Oedipus Complex.

Conclusions: Freud concluded that the research of tiny Hans listed support for his concept of psychosexual development and childhood sexuality, consisting of the idea that boys in the phallic stage experience the Oedipus complex. He additionally concluded the phobias are brought about by unconscious anxiety being displaced ~ above harmless external objects. Furthermore, Hans is an instance of unconscious determinism which suggests that human being are no consciously conscious of the reasons of your behaviour. Finally, Freud cases that psychoanalysis was an effective treatment for small Hans since it identifies the unconscious reason of the abnormality which is then carried into the aware to be discussed and also resolved.

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Evaluation

A strength of the case study technique is that in-depth qualitative data have the right to be acquired through various approaches such as observations and interviews. This allowed Freud come make thorough conclusions. However, as the data was got by Hans’ father, who was also a fan of Freud, it may lack objectivity. There may additionally have been bias in the concerns that were asked and also in the record of the data.

Furthermore, as the sample was just a single individual the research lacks population validity and therefore it is questionable as to whether the findings worrying the Oedipus complex and psychosexual development can it is in generalised to all children. This is especially true together Hans was a middle course European young in the early on 20th Century. It can be said that this study and also much of Freud’s other research is ethnocentric.

As small Hans was a five-year old young he was unable to offer informed consent; however, Hans’ father plainly did. Some of the inquiries Hans’ father asked his child may have actually caused emotional harm and also the detailed summary of Hans’ an individual information in ~ the research post would be invasion of privacy. Top top the various other hand, Hans’ dad was really open through his son and told him the notes the was acquisition were because that the professor that was walking to resolve Hans’ ‘nonsense’, which he seemed to do!


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