The first thing that we are going to do to know the term that concerns us is to discover the etymological origin of the two words that give it form:
-Association, first of all, derives from Latin and is the result of the sum of three components of said language: the prefix “ad-”, which can be translated as “towards”; the noun “socius”, which is equivalent to “companion” and the suffix “-cion”, which indicates action and effect.
-Libre, in second place ”, also comes from Latin, exactly from“ liber ”, which is equivalent to“ libre ”.
According to DigoPaul, association is called the act and the result of associating or associating. The notion is also used to name the organization that groups different individuals with the same objective and the set of associated people.
Free, on the other hand, is he or she who has the freedom to act or function: that is, he has no conditions or restraints.
The concept of free association can be used to refer to entities that arise from the voluntary union of the various members. The Free Association of German Trade Unions and the Free Association of Artists of Spain are two historical examples of this type of corporation.
Free association is also an idea that is used in the field of psychoanalysis based on a method proposed by Sigmund Freud. According to Freud, the technique of psychoanalysis is based on the person who goes to therapy expressing all his thoughts, emotions, sensations and memories as they appear in his mind, without organization, structuring, selection or restriction. The patient must share with her psychoanalyst even what seems to be logicless or unimportant or which is immoral.
These free associations reveal, according to Freud’s perspective, contents that are in the unconscious of the individual (who, for this reason, cannot access them). Unconscious representations, in this way, may reflect trauma or psychological distress.
What free association does is to avoid the subject’s defensive barriers, eliminating resistance. Accessing these unconscious contents is the way to cure the patient.
Others have spoken out against the use of the free association tool to treat patients at the psychoanalytic level. And it is that it considers that it brings with it a series of disadvantages, among which they do not hesitate to emphasize the following:
-It is considered that it can give shape to an absolute ambiguity environment, which generates confusion.
-It can increase what are paranoid anxieties.
-In the same way, those who are against free association establish that it can even cause dispersion in the patient.
Beyond psychoanalysis, free association used brainstorming (brainstorming) and the technique of automatic writing promoted by the Surrealists.
Within the business and marketing field, the use of the free association tool is used to improve productivity, give cohesion to a team and get the best from each of its members. It is a technique that exploits creativity by chaotically associating words and ideas without any order or filter.