Essay on Implications of Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis on the African and Jews Psychology

Published: 2021/11/15
Number of words: 1037

Sigmund Freud was a medical doctor born in 1856 in the present day Czech Republic. His theories in psychology were of great importance to the development of the modern psychoanalysis in the western world. His studies mainly stemmed from his engagement as a medical doctor whereby he dealt with patients of different ailments and races. In his works as a doctor he developed psychoanalysis as a model of treating patients with mental health issues through talk therapy. He also wrote extensively on the issues of religion, spirituality and women. Freud also dealt extensively on the issue of African and Jewish myths and their effect on their psychological behavior even as they grow from children to adults through what he described as the subconscious mind. This writing seeks to understand Freud’s thoughts on the impact of myths in the African and Jewish thinking and how the world could have responded to the African and Jewish people had they known earlier of the similarities in the human physical and mental abilities irrespective of their race.

Freud’s thoughts on African and Jewish People

The central European Jews and the African immigrants and slaves are a group of people that suffered immensely in the nineteenth and twentieth century’s as a result of a well planned and executed idea that viewed the two races as sub human. Sigmund Freud in his studies comes to the defense through his study and understanding of the subconscious which point that a people only develop and do things or say something they never intended because that is what is in their subconscious thought. From his perspective, the human being, irrespective of his or her place in the world, was influenced by the unconscious, and the relevance of psychoanalysis was universal. ‘Considering the new persecutions, I once again ask myself how the Jews were born and the reason why they attract this unquenchable hatred towards themselves. I rapidly found a formula. The Jews were created by Moses’ (Freud, Zweig, 1974,).in this quote extract from his book, Freud decries the racial persecutions that his Jewish people underwent as he talks about trauma and mourning.

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Use of psychology toward African people

The myths of Egypt were of great interest to Sigmund Freud and his study of African culture and psychology. He wrote often of Amenophis -Akhenaton with respect to monotheism. In the book Totem and Taboo (Freud, 1923) he writes on the issues of religion and origin extensively. In this we find his thoughts of guilt as a result of breaking a taboo. He also writes about the African sacrifice of animals as away the sacrifices were meant to replace the sacrifice of human beings. This study on African myths and beliefs shows that there was understanding on boundaries that were set and a way to atone for the mistakes. The western world viewed Africans as ungovernable people that could be peaceful in cages and mad when free. From Freudian analysis and the modern use of psychology be the western states there is a clear biasness towards appreciating the Africans strides in developing their own understanding of mental illnesses and treating them.

Trends in psychology incorporating African ways

The world health (WHO) in its health policies in2002 advised on the integration of locally available ways of handling mental issue with the modern psychological advancements. Modern psychology offers a wide array of scientific fields where it can be applied. The goal of understanding individuals and groups social behaviors and mental processes is to develop a specific response to every individual group’s specific needs, from this academic and practical scientific discipline, aims ultimately to benefit society. The world conference on psychology is a leading body that seeks to bring this set of development in present day psychology.

Integration of African traditional medicine and western medicine

Studies done over the years have indicated that the patients who visited a traditional healer alongside a modern medical psychologist have shown great improvement in their mental health condition. Therefore there is need to intermarry the best of traditional medicine into modern psychology in Africa. To achieve this there is need to create an enabling environment both legally and financial capacity. Western medicine has an international code of medical ethics, which provide safeguards for patients and African traditional medicine should have the same. African traditional healers should allow the patient to choose the type of care they feel most comfortable with,Koss-Chioino (2006).

To bridge the gap in mental health treatment that exists in Africa, there is need to train more modern medicine experts as well as funding more research into the traditional medicine that has been proven as a functional remedy to mental cases. It is also advisable that African countries start researching more and helping their young medical practitioners to embrace the valuable use of traditional medicine in today’s health and thus not to view it as archaic. More colleges and research institutions need to be opened up by African governments and requisite funding and legislation acquired.

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The many problems in psychology and mental health world over are serious cause for a concerted effort towards understanding its working and the African continent can play a leading role in this area through wider research in its community health and traditional healer’s wisdom. African states and nongovernmental organizations should provide guidelines that address limiting problems and difficulties in caring for the mentally impaired by traditional healers.

Sigmund Frauds’ pioneering work in the study of psychology and its role in the treatment of mental traumas has played a huge role I understanding and development of modern psychology in general. His works on religion, taboos and the place of mourning and suffering have guided the development of modern mental health.


Freud, S. (1970). Letter from Sigmund Freud to Arnold Zweig, March 14, 1935. In The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Arnold Zweig (pp. 104-104). London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis.

Koss‐Chioino, J. D. (2006). Spiritual transformation, ritual healing, and altruism. Zygon®41(4), 877-892.

Kroeber, A. L. (1939). Totem and taboo in retrospect. American Journal of Sociology45(3), 446-451.

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