Sigmund Freud recognised that people could not easily adopt the idea and action of free thinking, which was necessary for successful psychoanalysis.

Sigmund Freud -  January 1935

The term used here, free thinking, is not entirely satisfactory in-it-self but with sufficient associated explanation we can understand what was meant. Freud, in his book The Interpretation of Dreams, cited an allegory used by the German philosopher Freidrich Schiller. The conscious intellect acts as a guard for the mind allowing only some thoughts to surface, and vocalise, whilst simultaneously preventing others from rising, pushing them down, as it were. Freud insisted, in The Interpretation of Dreams, that for the sake of the success of his method of psychoanalysis it is necessary for the conscious intellect, the guard of the mind, to temporarily cease working. All thoughts should be allowed to rise, irrespective of whether they at first appear relevant or not. Absurd, violent, incoherent or unrelated, the conscious intellect, the guard of the mind, should not prevent them from surfacing.

In The Interpretation of Dreams Freud observed that such a practise was at first difficult but after introduction and explanation the patient could adopt the action, of free thinking, relatively easily. More pertinently Freud insisted that the patients subscription to this idea was of significant benefit to themselves. Without it Freud's method of psychoanalysis would only encounter problems. Freud noted we could see the difference between the man who is free thinking, in self observation, and the man in reflection, who is not free thinking. Watching somebody who is free thinking, in a state of self observation, we will note that they are entirely tranquil, seemingly oblivious to the thought process. Contrarily the man who is in a state of reflection, conscious thinking burdened by the self regulation of the intellect, will have a furrowed brow and a tense pensive attitude. Freud also maintained that new patients need to understand the analysed dream was a symptom, not the problem itself. Acknowledging this is necessary for the success of Freudian psychoanalysis.

Inevitably there are various other problems the patient will encounter with psychoanalysis but these mentioned here are merely the immediate ones, encountered in the first few sessions of therapy. The ability to understand the concept of free thinking, the unconscious flowing of thoughts memories and ideas, is of vital significance to the Freudian method of psychoanalysis. Without understanding this practise, and putting it into method, the process of therapy and the interpretation of dreams is difficult and inevitably incomplete.