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Sigmund Freud and His Model of The Mind

Updated: 1 day ago

Written by Sara Bozyel

Sigismund Schlomo Freud was an Austrian neurologist born on 6 May 1856 and passed away on 23 September 1939. He is the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for evaluating and treating pathologies in the psyche through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst [Sigmund, 2022]. In founding psychoanalysis, Freud developed therapeutic techniques such as the use of free association and discovered transference, establishing its central role in the analytic process [Sigmund, 2022].

Freud’s model divides the mind into three regions: Conscious, Preconscious, and Unconscious. Consciousness is the awareness of internal and external existence [Consciousness, 2022]. Preconsciousness, or subconsciousness, is the part of the mind in which we store our memories. The Unconscious is the part of the mind where our behaviors, including our most primitive instincts, are controlled. Freud developed a more structured model of the mind, one that matches his original ideas, which he can relate more to.

In this model, there are three metaphorical parts of the mind: The Id, Ego, and Superego [Ackerman, 2021]. The Id operates on an unconscious level and focuses only on primitive urges and desires. According to Freud, two instincts make up the Id: eros, the instinct to survive that drives us to live, and Thanatos, the death instinct that drives disruptive, aggressive, and violent behavior. The ego acts as a conduit for the Id as much as it has a check on it. It works to meet the needs of the Id. It is the most tied one to reality [Ackerman, 2021]. The superego is the part of the mind in which moral values reside, restraining us by keeping within the framework of morality.

Sigmund Freud became one of the names that laid the foundations of the history of psychology with this impressive interpretation. We can say that he became one of the most important scientists in the history of psychology with his model of the mind.

  1. Ackerman., C. E. (2021, December 11). Psychoanalysis: A history of Freud's psychoanalytic theory.

  2. Consciousness. (2022, August 27). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 8, 2022, from

  3. Sigmund Freud. (2022, September 14). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from


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