Case study of repression

Short essay description
Repression is the psychological attempt to direct one's own desires and impulses toward pleasurable instincts by excluding them from one's consciousness and holding or subduing them in the unconscious. According to psychoanalytic theory , repression plays a major role in many mental illnesses , and in the psyche of the average person. Repression is a key concept of psychoanalysis , where it is understood as a defence mechanism that "ensures that what is unacceptable to the conscious mind, and would if recalled arouse anxiety , is prevented from entering into it. There has been debate as to whether or how often memory repression really occurs [3] and mainstream psychology holds that true memory repression occurs only very rarely. However, psychoanalysts were at first disinterested in attempts to study repression in laboratory settings, and later came to reject them.
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Repressed Memories. The debate centers on whether or not traumatic experiences can be repressed out of conscious awareness and then later recalled, either spontaneously or through psychotherapy. S igmund Freud more-or-less started the whole issue about repressed memories when his clinical case studies in the late nineteenth century inspired him to develop his psychological theories about the nature of unconscious mental processes. He used the term repression to describe the way emotionally painful events could be blocked out of conscious awareness so that their painful effects would not have to be experienced. Note that this repression process is a completely automatic psychological defense against emotional trauma and does not involve conscious intent. In contrast, deliberately pushing something out of awareness because you want to avoid any responsibility for it is called suppression.
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Repressed memory

It will be evident that what follows is not a conventional review of the book. However, these cases proved difficult to interpret because independent corroboration was often lacking. Schacter, , p. From this passage and what follows pp. However, a closer reading of the passage in question indicates that what Schacter had in mind was the whole period in the late s during which Breuer and especially Freud investigated cases they diagnosed as hysteria.
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At one point or another, most of us have pushed away uncomfortable memories intending to deal with them at another time. This can be considered natural, mature emotional behavior to protect ourselves from unpleasant feelings or intense negative emotions in the short-term. However, some individuals have buried those memories so deep within themselves so frequently that neurosis develops and can even extend to a high level of amnesia.

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