Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Jones, Ernest

        Health | Great Psychologists

Jones, Ernest (1879-1958), a British psychologist, was a pioneer in his field. A psychologist is a scientist who studies the processes and behavior of the mind. Jones was a friend and strong supporter of Sigmund Freud, the Austrian physician who developed psychoanalysis, a method of treating mental illness. Jones helped introduce the principles of psychoanalysis in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. His efforts contributed to the eventual acceptance of Freud's theories by physicians and other scientists.

Freud believed mental illness is caused in part by instincts, fears, and memories of unpleasant experiences that are hidden in the unconscious mind. Psychoanalysis tries to bring these hidden elements into the conscious mind for examination and treatment.

Alfred Ernest Jones was born on Jan. 1, 1879, in what is now Gowerton, Wales, near Swansea. In 1903, he received a medical degree from University College in London. He later studied neurology and psychiatry at the University of Munich in Germany, where he discovered the writings of Freud. In 1905, Jones began practicing psychoanalysis. He met Freud in 1908.

Jones moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1908 and became director and later associate professor of a psychiatric clinic. He took many trips to the United States to lecture on psychoanalysis. In 1911, he helped establish the American Psychoanalytic Association.

In 1913, Jones returned to London and founded the London Psycho-Analytical Society (which later became the British Psychoanalytical Society). He also founded and was editor of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. Jones wrote many articles arguing that psychoanalysis provides greater understanding of art, literature, and other creative fields.

Jones married Katharina Jokl in 1919. They had four children.

In his later years, Jones wrote the biography The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, published in three volumes from 1953 to 1957. Jones died on Feb. 11, 1958, in London.


More to Explore