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Repression – Freud’s master defense mechanism

We’ve probably all heard the psychological term “repressed” without stopping to think where it comes from. The idea of repression usually turns up in sentences like, That bible thumper is so repressed, he can’t get it on with anyone. And in other insinuations like … Continue reading


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Representation – A subtle power for good or ill

In the literary and artistic sense, representation refers to depicting a psychological, social, natural, political or spiritual idea or condition through language, music, visual art, multimedia, CGI or dance. In the sciences, abstract ideas like numbers and their interrelationships are represented … Continue reading


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Reaction Formation – A neurotic response to fear

In Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defense mechanism in which a repressed, socially unacceptable impulse is expressed in an exaggerated, opposite way. The original impulse, perceived as bad or anxiety producing, remains unresolved in its unconscious, infantile form. This … Continue reading