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Fromm, E. (2000). Dealing with the Unconscious in Psychotherapeutic Practice: 3 Lectures 1959. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 9(3-4):167-186.

(2000). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 9(3-4):167-186

Dealing with the Unconscious in Psychotherapeutic Practice: 3 Lectures 1959

Erich Fromm

Introduction to Erich Fromm's lectures by Rainer Funk

The following paper was presented in May 1959 at the W. A. White Institute in New York. So far the paper has not been published in English, but only in a German translation in volume 7 of the posthumously published writings entitled “Gesellschaft und Seele”, 1992; in Italian in “Anima e societá”, (Milano 1993) and Spanish in “Espiritu y sociedad” (Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Mexico City 1994). Title and headings were added by Rainer Funk, the editor and literary executor of Erich Fromm.

1. My Understanding of what Is Being Unconscious

If one uses the term, “repression”, as it is usually used by Freud and as it is used in analytic literature, one thinks primarily of something which was conscious and then was repressed. While in my concept here I refer to that which is not conscious, i.e. both to that which has been conscious, and to that which we have never been aware of. Therefore, perhaps it would be better to word the concept “dissociation”, rather than “repression”, because in the concept “dissociation” one can more easily comprise both: that which has emerged and that which has not emerged in awareness. It does not have quite the active “pushing back” quality. To give another example of the kind of dissociations I have in mind, representing that which we are not aware of: You have seen the face of a person, let us say, who is well known to you; you have known him for many years, and one day you suddenly see the face entirely afresh.

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