Repressed Emotions

Repressed Emotions

by Isador Henry Coriat

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Psychology in both its academic and practical aspects is now at the parting of the ways and the immediate future will determine whether it shall remain unproductive or become an instrument of practical importance in the guidance of human interests. As Harvey, by training, a physician, discovered the circulation of the blood and so made modern physiology possible, so Freud, also trained as a physician has devised new avenues of approach to the understanding of the human mind through the conceptions of psychoanalysis.

There is a strange but perfectly natural analogy between the utterances of a seventeenth century scientist and that of a twentieth in the consciousness that each has perceived the inner meaning of his great discovery. Harvey states for instance,—"But what remains to be said upon the quantity and source of the blood which thus passes, is of so novel and unheard-of character, that I not only fear injury to myself from the envy of the few, but I tremble lest I have mankind at large for my enemies, so much doth want and custom, that become as another nature, and doctrine once sown and that hath struck deep root, and respect for antiquity influence all men. Still the die is cast, and my trust is in my love of truth, and the candor that inheres in cultivated minds." Three centuries later Freud was led to make a similar statement, with a scientific candor which showed his profundity of mind and his sincerity of purpose. "In my continued occupation with the problems considered therein, for the study of which my practice as a psychotherapeutist affords me much opportunity, I found nothing that would compel me to change or improve my ideas. I can therefore peacefully wait until the reader's comprehension has risen to my level, or until an intelligent critic has pointed out to me the basic faults in my conception."

Psychoanalysis has shown that what is termed "abnormal" is merely an exaggeration of certain traits as they manifest themselves in everyday life, for instance, the forgetting of familiar words has the same mechanism as the repressions in the neuroses. The psychoanalytic concept of the unconscious is unique, since it demonstrates that all the facts of consciousness cannot be gathered by mere experimental introspection in the laboratory and that the so-called free associations, on which experimental psychology has laid so much stress, are not free at all, but are definitely motivated by either antecedent experiences or unconscious mechanisms. It is this theory of psychical determinism which explains not only the psychology of everyday life, but also dreams and neurotic manifestations. Various mental concepts such as determinism, the displacement of the emotions, the dynamic nature of the mental processes, repression, the wish as the key to conscious and unconscious thinking, the various levels of the unconscious, are thus clearly explained for the first time through psychoanalytic investigation. Neurotic symptoms, defects of the memory, slips of the tongue, are not accidental trends but have a definite psychological meaning and purpose—but this meaning and purpose can be disclosed only through the technical devices of psychoanalysis.

The human mind is ever on the alert to protect itself through repression into the unconscious from painful memories and anxieties, but sometimes this repression oversteps itself and leads to all sorts of neurotic disturbances, through what is technically termed, "a flight into disease." Psychoanalysis is the method of probing into these unconscious psychological settings. All psychoanalysis leads to the realm of the unconscious, that strange mental world, barbaric, primitive, the repository of repressed emotions, of a sort of elemental Titan, which at times pushes the censorship aside and allows these infantile emotions to invade consciousness. There they are perceived like a foreign body and manifest themselves in anxieties, fears, depression, and compulsive thinking. On the contrary, in the unconscious are also precipitated those mental traits which aid in the formation of character and in the development of social consciousness, both of which are so important for adjustment to the realities and struggles of everyday life. It is the task of the psychoanalysis to investigate the origin of these hidden repressions through the technical methods which have been devised in the development of the science.

Whenever the principles of psychoanalysis have been applied, particularly in the unique concept of unconscious thinking, either to therapeutics or to cultural or social problems, the various utilizations fit accurately. Psychoanalysis has also shown that human motives cannot be explained by ordinary superficial reactions...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012902689
Publisher: OGB
Publication date: 06/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 447 KB

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