Psych M.D. - repression


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Term: Repression
Definition (Myers): In psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories.
Definition (alternative):a mental process by which distressing thoughts, memories, or impulses that may give rise to anxiety are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious. *
Contextual explanation:It's a Freudian term. According to Freud, we repress painful memories to protect our self-concept and to minimize anxiety. But the submerged memory lingers, says Freud, and with patience and effort may be retrieved by some later cue or during therapy. So if a woman has been almost drowned when she was 5, for example, and totally forgot about it, she might suddenly remember in her 30s.
Related terms and concepts: Memory

Related websites: Introduction to Sigmund Freud, Module on Repression
Edited by:Soo



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