Freud analyzes a female patient

Berggasse 19, Vienna, 1891

Scene on the Freud Birthday Cake: Patient lying on the couch, Freud in his analysts' armchair in the background

In 1891 Freud and his family moved into an apartment at Berggasse 19 in Vienna, where he also relocated his practice. Here he developed the therapeutic framework that is still typical today, with the patient reclining on a couch and the analyst seated behind him.

Because the patient does not see the analyst, speech takes center stage; in addition, it is easier to manage the process of transference.

"Every beginner in psycho-analysis probably feels alarmed at first at the difficulties in store for him when he comes to interpret the patient's associations. However, the only really serious difficulties he has to meet lie in the management of the transference."

By transference Freud means the patient falling in love with the analyst and thereby transferring to him or her the conception of love the patient has developed since childhood. Only in this way is the patient able to open up and allow the unconscious to come to the surface. This is why it is crucial for the analyst to adhere to strict rules so as not to become enamoured with the patient. For his part, Freud stated that he was never interested in his patients sexually.

Radio play on this scene [534 KB]

Details from various biographical scenes on the birthday cake in the exhibition.