Unconscious Guilt and Punishment Phantasies
DOI link for Unconscious Guilt and Punishment Phantasies
Unconscious Guilt and Punishment Phantasies book
THE first twenty-four years of psychoanalytic study of the neuroses by Freud and an increasing number of his students were, in the main, devoted to the elaboration of the free-association technique for investigating repressed phantasies and memories. The investigations showed the intimate causal relation of conscious-alien wishes to neurotic symptoms, to dreams, and to other phenomena, such as wit and art, as well. They led inescapably to the conclusion that neurotic symptoms result from an intra-psychic struggle, one of whose components is an unconscious wish which is directly, or through associative linkage, related both to adult sexual needs and to those of the infantile period. This struggle, this opposition between emotionalized mental forces, was termed a conflict; the incomplete solution of a conflict by the successful exclusion of an active thought from conscious experience repression; and the means by which the critical wish circumvented this repression and attained indirect expression in conscious experience-for example, as a
To produce such mental "conflicts," however, two "combatants" are necessary, two opposed forces within the personality. During the earlier decades of their pioneering work, psychoanalysts concentrated-and with what fecundity!-on the study of only one of these, the emotionally charged memories and sexual wishes which are kept unconscious by repression. But the opposing group of mental forces in producing a two-sided conflict, in forcing and sustaining repression, were usually regarded merely as undesirable obstacles to conscious knowledge, and psychoanalytic technique was developed for the purpose of circumventing or relaxing these formidable obstacles to the conscious expression of the repressed.