His father Jakob was 41, a wool merchant,and had two children by a previous marriage. His mother Amalié (née Nathansohn), the third wife of Jakob, was 21. He was the first of their eight children and owing to his precocious intellect, his parents favoured him over his siblings from the early stages of his childhood. Despite their poverty, they sacrificed everything to give him a proper education.
After planning to study law, Freudjoined the medical faculty at University of Vienna to study under Darwinist Prof. Karl Claus.  At that time, eel life history was still unknown. In search for their male sex organs, Freud spent four weeks at the Austrian zoological research station in Trieste, dissecting hundreds of eels without finding more than his predecessors had. In 1876, he published his first paper about "the testicles ofeels" in the Mitteilungen der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, conceding that he could not solve the matter. Frustrated by the lack of success that would have gained him fame, Freud chose to change his course of study.
He studied too with Hermann von Helmholtz, one of the formulators of the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy), supposed that all living organisms areenergy-systems also governed by this principle. The origins of Freud’s basic model, based on the fundamentals of chemistry and physics.
In October 1885 Freud went to Paris on a traveling fellowship to study with Europe's most renowned neurologist, Jean Martin Charcot. Charcot specialised in the study of hysteria and its susceptibility to hypnosis which he frequently demonstrated with patients onstage in front of an audience. Freud later turned away from hypnosis as a potential cure, favouring free association and dream analysis. Charcot himself questioned his own work on hysteria towards the end of his life.
After opening his own medical practice, specializing in neurology, Freud married Martha Bernays in 1886. After experimenting with hypnosis on his neurotic patients, Freudabandoned this form of treatment as it proved ineffective for many, in favor of a treatment where the patient talked through his or her problems. This came to be known as the "talking cure", as the ultimate goal of this talking was to locate and release powerful emotional energy that had initially been rejected, and imprisoned in the unconscious mind. Freud called this denial of emotions"repression", and he believed that it was often damaging to the normal functioning of the psyche, and could also retard physical functioning as well, which he described as "psychosomatic" symptoms. (The term "talking cure" was initially coined by the patient Anna O. who was treated by Freud's colleague Josef Breuer.) The "talking cure" is widely seen as the basis of psychoanalysis. Carl Jung initiatedthe rumor that a romantic relationship may have developed between Freud and his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, who had moved into Freud's apartment at 19 Berggasse in 1896. (Psychologist Hans Eysenck has suggested that the affair resulted in a pregnancy and a subsequent abortion for Miss Bernays.) The publication in 2006 of a Swiss hotel log, dated 13 August 1898, has suggested to some...