Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To print an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To print an article, click on the small Printer Icon located at the top right corner of the page, or by pressing Ctrl + P. Remember, PEP-Web content is copyright.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Dowling, A.S. (2004). A Reconsideration of the Concept of Regression. Psychoanal. St. Child, 59:191-210.
   

(2004). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 59:191-210

Theory

A Reconsideration of the Concept of Regression

A. Scott Dowling, M.D.

Regression has been a useful psychoanalytic concept, linking present mental functioning with past experiences and levels of functioning. The concept originated as an extension of the evolutionary zeitgeist of the day as enunciated by H. Spencer and H. Jackson and applied by Freud to psychological phenomena. The value system implicit in the contrast of evolution/progression vs dissolution/regression has given rise to unfortunate and powerful assumptions of social, cultural, developmental and individual value as embodied in notions of “higher,” “lower,” “primitive,” “mature,” “archaic,” and “advanced.” The unhelpful results of these assumptions are evident, for example, in attitudes concerning cultural, sexual, and social “correctness,” same-sex object choice, and goals of treatment. An alternative, a continuously constructed, continuously emerging mental life, in analogy to the ever changing, continuous physical body, is suggested. This view retains the fundamentals of psychoanalysis, for example, unconscious mental life, drive, defense, and psychic structure, but stresses a functional, ever changing, present oriented understanding of mental life as contrasted with a static, onion-layered view.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.