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Psychology has grown momentously over the past century, largely due to the influence of Sigmund Freud, a pioneer of the field. This Austrian-born neurologist founded the practice of psychoanalysis and 1 began scientific study of the unconscious mind. 2 Since his career which ended in the mid-twentieth century, Freud has remained a common cultural and scientific reference point.
3 Even the abiding popularity of terms such as "id," "ego," or talking about a "Freudian slip" serves to indicate how this psychologist lingers powerfully in Western memory.
As neuroscience has progressed, many early practices and theories, including some of Freud's, have been dismissed as outdated, unscientific, or even harmful. Much of Freud's theory, clinical practice, and even lifestyle are now discredited. But when considered in his historical context, alongside the astounding progress catalyzed by his work, Freud's contribution was significant indeed.
4 Because he is now widely referred to as the Father of Psychoanalysis, Freud was among the first to develop the now-commonplace psychological method of inviting patients to freely speak. For Freud, this was both study and treatment. It helped doctors to understand patients, but more importantly it helped patients to understand themselves. Freud employed the classic (now largely outdated) psychiatric style in which the patient lies face-up on a clinical bed, allegedly enabling access to deep 5 parts of the mind. These recesses, better known as the unconscious or subconscious, fascinated Freud.
6 He believed that uncovering repressed memories, was necessary for recovery. For Freud, understanding the activity of the innermost mind was essential. 7 In dealing with the conditions of patients, like neurosis or other psychological trauma, he suspected that there was a great deal going on beneath the "surface" of the psyche. He thought it was possible to reunite external, or conscious, thought with the internal, or unconscious. 8 Moreover, the method of inviting patients to speak and process their thoughts aloud remains central to today's psychological practice.
Freud altered the course of twentieth-century medicine by initiating what would become a grand, global conversation about the 9 still vastly mysterious human mind before Freud, medicine had barely scratched the surface in understanding mental health. Patients were met with very few answers, let alone recovery protocols. 10 Through trial and error—scientific method in action—Freud's finding of a method that seemed to work.
Since then, decades of ever-sharpening science have used his work as a launching pad. Therefore, as long as occasions arise to celebrate the progress of 11 the field, Sigmund Freud will be remembered for groundbreaking work that enabled countless advances.
8. Which detail would provide the best support for the ideas presented in this section?
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