famous case study by Sigmund Freud who developed a phobia of horses after witnessing a horse collapse and die on the street. Freud attributed his fear to his castration anxiety and his unconscious sexual attraction to his mother.

He is afraid a horse will bite him in the street, and this fear seems somehow connected with his having been frightened by a large penis.

Little Hans was a five-year-old boy who developed a phobia of horses after witnessing a horse collapse and die on the street.

Freud interpreted Little Hans’ symptoms as manifestations of the Oedipus complex, a psychosexual stage in which boys develop an unconscious sexual attraction to their mothers and view their fathers as rivals. Freud believed that Little Hans’ phobia of horses was a symbolic expression of his fear of his father’s aggression and punishment. He also suggested that Little Hans’ fantasies and anxieties were ways of coping with his repressed desires and conflicts.

The treatment that Freud provided for Little Hans was mainly through correspondence with his father, who was also a follower of Freud’s theories. Freud advised the father to encourage Little Hans to talk about his feelings and fears, and to explain them in a rational and reassuring way. Freud also used the technique of dream analysis to uncover the hidden meanings behind Little Hans’ dreams.

The outcome of the case study was that Little Hans’ phobia gradually diminished and he became more comfortable with horses and other animals. Freud claimed that this was evidence that his psychoanalytic approach was effective and that he had successfully resolved Little Hans’ Oedipus complex. However, some critics have argued that the case study was biased, unscientific, and based on questionable assumptions and interpretations.

What actually could have caused the fear :

Hans had seen a horse fall down in the street and thought it was dead. This happened very soon after Hans had attended a funeral and was beginning to question his parents about death. A behaviorist explanation would be simply that Hans was frightened by the horse falling over and developed a phobia as a result of this experience.

Hans had gotten his tonsils removed immediately after this incident