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Aim- A case study to understand Hans fear of horses and to treat it. To monitor the development of a child to the age of 4-5 (used as evidence for the Oedipus complex)
Freud used information from Han’s father (who was a follower of Freud’s work) which came from letters, his visits to meet Hans, and comments Hans had made to make his analysis. Hans showed an interest in his widdler (penis), dreamt about widdlers and had been told off by his mum for playing with his widdler.
Hans’s father worked away and Hans wanted his father to stay away and wished his father was dead. When his father was absent Hans was allowed to sleep with his mother. He was also jealous of his sister who was born when Hans was 3 and a half years old. Hans was afraid of a white horse – he had heard someone tell a girl ‘not to put a finger’ on the white horse. Another dream Hans had was of a giraffe – one was crumpled and Hans sat on it, and another giraffe sat to one side
Hans wanting his father to go away and being alone with his mother was viewed as Hans wanting to possess his mother which is part of the Oedipus complex. His fear of horses was also part of this - fear of white horse – represented a fear of his father, fear of black horses – fear of men. Freud thought Hans jealousy of his sister was because it reminded him of the pleasure he had at earlier stages of development.
He wanted his sister to drown in the bath as another way of getting her out of the way so he could have his mother to himself. The girl being told not to touch the white horse reminded Hans of being told off for playing with his widdler – interpreted as castration fear. Giraffe dream interpreted as a sex act with one giraffe watching (Oedipus Complex). Hans saying that the daddy doll was him was seen as a resolution of the Oedipus complex.
This lead to Freud considering his therapy had been successful and that the phobia had gone away. Conclusion- Evidence for psychosexual stages and theory of gender development; Hans was cured of his phobia of horses by revealing the unconscious and applying Freud’s concepts to this.
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