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October 1958

Ambiguity and Repression

Author Affiliations


From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research & Training of the Michael Reese Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(4):502-512. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340100102022

Introduction  In his paper on repression11 Freud states that "the essence of repression lies simply in the function of rejecting and keeping something out of consciousness." This function is implemented in a number of ways. These differing ways complement and combine with one another to produce repression, but a few of them may be separately appraised in order to investigate their particular roles in the total process.

Repression Without Primary Psychological Content.  —Here the subject may become aware of an inability to think about or approach a certain area of feeling. Sometimes, as in trying to remember a forgotten name, there is awareness of something which cannot be reached, or can be reached only partially. The feeling of the sound of the name, the number of syllables, the inflection in its pronunciation, may be felt before the actual word is recalled. In some active states of repression the mind

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