The Freud Museum


Sample Worksheet Questions

It is recommended to use no more than 4-6 questions per sheet.

  1. There are a number of pictures and photographs in the museum of Freud himself.
    Which one was his favourite?
    Why did you choose this one in particular?
  2. From what you know about Freud, and the evidence you can find in the museum, how do you think Freud arrived at his ideas, and where did they come from?
  3. From the evidence you can find in Freud's study and the Interpretation of Dreams exhibition, what kind of personality do you think Freud had? How would you describe his personality using psychological terms?
  4. From the evidence of Freud's study and the Interpretation of Dreams exhibition, what kind of things do you think caused Freud 'stress'? Is there any evidence of how he coped with stress?
  5. From the evidence of Freud's study and consulting room, what kind of psychopathology would you say was needed to create psychoanalysis; depression, obsessional neurosis, or paranoia?
  6. Is there any evidence in the museum of Freud's relationship with his father? How would you describe that relationship?
  7. Freud died of cancer as a result of smoking cigars.
    Using evidence from the study and exhibitions construct a plausible explanation as to why Freud smoked so much.
    What do you think he said to his friends and family who asked him to give up?
  8. Look at the chair in front of Freud's desk.
    What does it represent?
    How might the chair have helped in Freud's creative work?
  9. Look at the objects in the exhibition room and the rest of the house
    Which one do you think Freud would have liked the best?
    How would he have interpreted its meaning?
  10. Freud lived in Vienna for 78 years, although he often said he hated the place.
    Why did Freud stay in Vienna for so long?
    Find something in the museum to support your answer.
  11. Look carefully at the Freud Family Tree on the first floor landing.
    What does this tell you about the first five years of Freud's life?
    How would these experiences have affected him in later years?
  12. One of Freud's heroes was the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered the remains of Troy.
    Do you think Freud saw himself as a hero? and Why?
    Find something in the Museum to support your answer.
  13. Freud collected thousands of objects from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome
    Why did he collect so many antiquities?
  14. Find something in the museum that expresses something about the relationship between Anna Freud and her father,
    when she was a little girl.
    How is this represented in what you know of Anna Freud's theoretical work?
  15. From the evidence you can find in Freud's study and the Anna Freud room, how would you describe the differences between the two rooms?
    What does this tell you about the differences and similarities between their personalities?
  16. Anna Freud used to write a poem to her father on his birthday, as if it was from the dog.
    Why do you think she did that?
  17. How would you describe the atmosphere of the Freud Museum?
    How does this atmosphere come about?
  18. Freud said that dreams represent the fulfilment of a wish.
    If Freud's study was a dream what is the wish you can find expressed in it?
  19. Freud said that "Dreams represent the disguised fulfilment of an infantile wish"
    Use an example from the exhibition or one of your own dreams to answer the following questions:
    How is the dream disguised?
    What is the infantile situation or experience that the dream corresponds to?
  20. Some people say that psychoanalysis is like a religion.
    What evidence is there in the museum that would lead you to that conclusion?
  21. What did the following objects mean to Freud or Anna Freud?
    (i) The chair in front of Freud's desk
    (ii) The Leonardo cartoon in the consulting room
    (iii) The Alpine souvenir picture in the dining room
    (iv) The picture of the dog in the Anna Freud room
    How do these meanings relate to the process of Freud's and Anna Freud's creative work?
  22. Look at the picture of La Leçon du Dr. Charcot above the couch.
    What was the woman suffering from?
    What does this picture tell you about the relations between men and women in C19th medicine?
  23. What other representations of women can you find in Freud's study?
    What do these representations tell you about (a) the psychology of women? and (b) Freud's view of women?
  24. Anna Freud spent her life looking after other people's children, and never got married herself.
    How would you explain that behaviour?
  25. From the evidence you can find in the Anna Freud room and the rest of the museum, what kind of literary character would you think she identified with?
  26. What evidence is there of relationships between women in the Freud household?
    How would you describe these relationships?
  27. Find something in the museum that represents the categories ego, id, and superego.
    Why did you choose these items?
  28. What evidence of 'psychical trauma' can you find in the study? How might the trauma come about?
  29. What evidence of 'psychical conflict' can you find in the study or the rest of the house?
    What different kinds of conflict can you find?
  30. Psychotherapists often talk about maintaining "boundaries". What evidence of boundaries can you find in the museum?
    How would you describe the function of these boundaries?
  31. It is said that Anna Freud used to knit or crochet while analysing patients.
    Why do you think she did that?
    How might it help or hinder the process of analysis?
  32. Freud said that "Hypnotic treatment seeks to cover up and gloss over something in mental life; analytic treatment seeks to expose and get rid of something" (Introductory Lectures XXVIII)
    What would you say is covered up and glossed over in the creation of the Freud Museum?


Freud's couch.

Freud's couch.

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