A psychoanalytic portrait of Sigmund Freud’s personality


  • Ernest Jones




The translation of one of the most content-rich chapters of the fundamental work of the British biographer Ernest Jones “The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud” (1955) offered to the general public of Ukrainian intellectuals is a multi-worded, multi-colored mosaic of events, detailed in nuances and details, a psychoanalytic portrayal of the undoubtedly brilliant and outstanding personality of the creator of classical psychoanalysis as an original direction of psychological cognition of the unconscious and inner reality of man, and as a psychodynamic approach to understanding and describing the developmental circulation of psychic energy (mainly libido) in the human brain, and as a therapeutic technique of systemic psychological analysis and integration of components and mechanisms of action, symbolic and linguistic manifestations of the client’s psychic unconscious for the sake of their realization and, consequently, their mental recovery, and even as a separate worldview that explains personal, cultural, and social phenomena of human, psychic, life in an original psychosophical way. The author’s psychological picture of the famous figure panoramically and multifacetedly reproduces the psycho-spiritual image of this giant of creative thought in a harmonious network of personal traits, characteristic properties, thought-intentional tendencies, and self-conscious existentials. The attributive features of this patterned lace are “a lively, non-repetitive mind,” simplicity and accessibility, fundamental honesty and active love of justice, a calm manner of contact and established dignity, “tolerance and general ease of communication”, passion for clear and direct truthfulness, indescribable value of one’s own discoveries, “oscillation of the internal pendulum between excessive trust and distrust of others”, freedom and independence as a source of decent living in everyday life, a certain distrust of outside help, deep love to his mother, “pronounced bisexuality,” old-fashioned attitudes towards women, inspiring others to trust in themselves, inspiring others to devotion and “in the last resort trust only in oneself,” and constant self-analysis and progress through positive self-realization. The outlined mosaic of traits, qualities, properties, and psychic tendencies indicate Freud as a rich and complex, somewhat contradictory, but mentally complete personality who stands out among other researchers for his exceptional “passion to get to the truth with the utmost certainty,” unbreakable courage and perseverance combined with unwavering honesty, amazing intellectual fearlessness when faced with the dark unknown, his own “acceptance of the unbelievable and unexpected” and love for the harsh truth and factual reality of psychological knowledge, realism, a rational style of thinking, an original worldview, fundamental benevolence, self-respect and self-criticism, directness and absolute honesty, a subtle sense of humor, although with a slight probability of being an offensive and intolerant choleric. The detailed psycho-existential portrait of Sigmund Freud sheds additional light of truth not only on his unique creative personality, but also on hidden subjective sources, personal themes-priorities, and numerous consciously innovated conceptual and categorical means of psychoanalysis itself as one of the most powerful trends in modern psychological science.

Author Biography

  • Ernest Jones

    Ernest Jones (1879 – 1958) is a British psychoanalyst, student and first biographer of Sigmund Freud.



2024-07-08 — Updated on 2024-07-10

How to Cite

Jones, Ernest. “A Psychoanalytic Portrait of Sigmund Freud’s Personality”. Psyhology & Society, vol. 89, no. 1, July 2024, pp. 90-109, https://doi.org/10.35774/pis2024.01.090.