April 1962

Freud's Concept of Repression and Defense, Its Theoretical and Observational Language.

Author Affiliations

by Peter Madison. Price $4.75. Pp. 205. University of Minnesota Press, 2037 University Ave., S.E., Minneapolis 14, 1961.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1962;6(4):330. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1962.01710220072012

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Professor Madison's stimulating book was in itself stimulated by intimate association with psychiatrists and psychiatry, in which he discovered that therapists were vague as to their notions of repression and defense, that Freud's own writings were unsystematized and apparently contradictory, and that there were few measurements, if any, as to the quantity and quality of observed phenomena in patients, or of the effectiveness of therapeutic techniques. Aware that repression is a cornerstone of Freudian psychology, Madison attempts to systematize all that Freud has written on repression and defense, to formulate his theories in clear and consistent terms at the abstract level, and then to relate this theoretical language to an observational language that refers to observable events.

The book is divided into two parts. The first section develops Freud's theories of repression and defense in a concise, lucid fashion, using many quotations, necessarily repetitive.

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