Penpisha's IB Psych Blog

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Case of Little Hans

During the year of 1909, Sigmund Freud encounters a patient with hippophobia, the fear of horses. The patient is only 5 years old, which Freud refered to as Little Hans. Through slowly investigating on Little Hans's thought and experiences, Freud slowly unfolded the case of this phobia that Little Hans have on the white horse. In Freud's investigation, Little Hans, at that time in the phallic stage, developed the Oedipus complex, the case of when the boy wish to marry his own mother, and by doing that, he first needs to kill his own father who's standing in his way. Also with the birth of the newborn sister of his, he develop envious attitude toward his own sister, wished that she was dead, because it made he felt as if he is nowhere in his mother's eye. Due to the environment, saying that wishing dad dead isn't an appropiate thing to do, the internal conflict developed inside Little Hans. When Hans realize that he couldn't win his father, he repressed his thought of wishing him dead, which became part of his phobia. Since that the horse was bigger than him, with the whiteness of its body and the black covering on the eye, it represent his father, becoming the cause of the phobia that haunt him, that the "white horse will bite him". His experience of seeing the horse falled down because of the loads on its carriage represents two things, which is the main causes of his phobia. One is that his father fall down and die, and two is that his mother will give birth to another child, either delivered the baby out or died giving birth. When Freud mentioned this to Little Hans, combined with Little Hans's try to be normal, the phobia disappeared.

What I think about this case study? I think it's a fun one. It's the first case study this year as well. It helps with understanding the stage of phallic more, what the child did and thought. What I think of Sigmund Freud? He's sounded like a detective to me when we as the whole class go over the case study.


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