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Female psychoanalysts such as Karen Horney and other feminist thinkers have described his ideas as distorted and condescending.

Freud’s revolutionary talk therapy evolved in part from his work with Bertha Pappenheim, who is known as Anna O.

Suffering from what was then referred to as hysteria, she experienced a variety of symptoms that included hallucinations, amnesia and partial paralysis.

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This process seemed to alleviate her symptoms, which led her to dub the method the "talking cure." Pappenheim went on to become a social worker and made significant contributions to the women’s movement in Germany.

Initially, Freud suggested that the causes of hysteria were rooted in childhood sexual abuse.

He later abandoned this theory and instead emphasized the role of sexual fantasies in the development of a variety of neuroses and illnesses."His understanding of women was notoriously inadequate, but he did make great steps beyond what was understood about women when he came on the scene.

by Ernest Jones, 1953Sigmund Freud’s views on women stirred controversy during his own lifetime and continue to evoke considerable debate today.

"Women oppose change, receive passively, and add nothing of their own," he wrote in a 1925 paper entitled "The Psychical Consequences of the Anatomic Distinction Between the Sexes." Donna Stewart, M.

D., a professor and chair of women’s health at the University Health Network, explained, "Freud was a man of his times.

He was opposed to the women’s emancipation movement and believed that women’s lives were dominated by their sexual reproductive functions."Penis envy is the female counterpart to Freud’s concept of castration anxiety.

In his theory of psychosexual development, Freud suggested that during the phallic stage (around ages 3-5) young girls distance themselves from their mothers and instead devote their affections to their fathers.

According to Freud, this occurs when a girl realizes that she has no penis.

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