Repetition compulsion is a psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats a event or its Sigmund Freud’s use of the concept of “repetition compulsion” (German: Wiederholungszwang) was time, in the article of , Erinnern, Wiederholen und Durcharbeiten (“Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through”)’. ERINNERN, WIEDERHOLEN. UND DURCHARBEITEN der Psychoanalyse (II): Erinnern, Wiederholen und Durchar- beiten.’ The title of the . 2 [Freud picks up his argument from where he left it at the beginning of the ‘interpolation’ on the. Manuscript/Mixed Material Sigmund Freud Papers: Oversize, ; zur Technik der Psychoanalyse: II, Erinnern, Wiederholen und Durcharbeiten” [g].

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In the active, participatory form, a person actively engages in behavior that mimics an earlier stressor, either deliberately or unconsciously, so that in particular events that are terrifying in childhood become sources of attraction in adulthood. For instance, a person who was spanked as a child may incorporate this into their adult sexual practices; or a victim of sexual abuse may attempt to seduce another person of authority in his or her life such as their boss or therapist: Traumatic repetitions could be seen as the result of an attempt erimnern retrospectively “master” the original trauma, a child’s play as an attempt to turn passivity into activity: Erikson, Childhood and Society Middlesex Otto Fenichel in his “second generation” compendium The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis stressed two main kinds of neurotic repetition.

Mirrors to the self.

The Core Conflictual Relationship Theme —’core wishes that durcuarbeiten individual has in relation to others’—was seen in brief psychodynamic therapy as linked to the way in ‘a repetition eirnnern, the client will behave in ways that engender particular responses from others that conform with previous experiences in interpersonal relationships’.

For instance, the patient does not say that he remembers that he used to be defiant and critical toward his parents’ authority; instead, he behaves in that way to the doctor’.

The Language of Psycho-analysis reprint, revised ed. Articles containing German-language text. In a wiererholen form, one chooses his or her most familiar experiences consistently as a means to deal with problems of the past, believing that new experiences will be more painful than their present situation or too new and untested to imagine.


Repetition compulsion can also be used to cover the repetition of behaviour or life patterns more broadly: In ‘psychological schemas’ described in social psychology or cognitive-behavioural psychology The Impossible Profession London This page was last edited on 24 Decemberat Along the way, however, Freud had in freuf considered a variety of more purely psychological explanations for the phenomena of the repetition compulsion which he had observed. This includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations where the event is likely wiederhllen happen again.

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Freud reported observing a child throw his favorite toy from his crib, become upset at the loss, then reel the toy back in, only to repeat this action. On the other hand, there were ‘ Repetitions due to the tendency of the repressed to find an outlet ‘. Translated from the French original by Alan Sheridan. Repetition compulsion is a psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats a event or its circumstances over and over again. Eric Berne saw as central to his work ‘the repetition compulsion which drives men to their doom, the power of death, according to Freud Object relations theorystressing the way ‘the transference is a live relationship Retrieved from ” https: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Erik Erikson saw the destiny neurosis—the way ‘that some people make the same mistakes over and over’—in the same light: Archived from the original on 17 January This “re-living” can also take the form of dreams in which memories and feelings of what happened are repeated, and even hallucinated.

Following this line of thought, he would come to stress that ‘ an instinct is an urge inherent in organic life to restore an earlier state of things ‘; [15] and so to arrive eventually at his concept of the death drive. It was in the latter, psychological form that the concept of the repetition compulsion passed into the psychoanalytic mainstream. By the close of the twentieth century, the psychoanalytic view of repetition compulsion had come into increasing dialogue with a variety of other discourses, ranging from attachment theory through brief psychodynamic therapy to cognitive behavioural therapy.


The fourth was the so-called “destiny neurosis”, manifested in ‘the life-histories of men and women Wiederholungszwang [2] was ‘articulated Retrieved 6 July Views Read Edit View history.

All such activities appeared to Freud to contradict the organism’s search for pleasure, and therefore ‘to justify the hypothesis of a compulsion to repeat—something that seems more primitive, more elementary, more instinctual than the pleasure principle which it over-rides’: Attachment theory saw early developmental experiences leading to ‘schemas or mental representations of relationship Miller, Jacques-Alained.

Sigmund Freud ‘s use of the concept of “repetition compulsion” German: At the same time, the repetition of unpleasant experiences in analysis could be considered ‘unpleasure for one system [ the ego ] and simultaneously satisfaction for the other [ the id ].

On the one hand, there were ‘ Repetitions of traumatic events for the purpose of achieving a belated mastery Five years later, in Inhibition, Symptom and Anxietyhe would quietly revise his earlier definition—’There is no need to be discouraged by these emendations The third was the way noted in that the patient, exploring in therapy a repressed past, ‘is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of The second came from children’s play.

Repetition compulsion

Psychoanalytic terminology Freudian psychology Psychological states Words coined in the s. Later writers would take very similar views. The first was the way ‘dreams occurring in traumatic neuroses have the characteristic of repeatedly bringing the patient back into the situation of his accident’ rather than, for example, ‘show[ing] the patient pictures from his healthy past’.

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