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Gillett, E. (1987). The Relationship of Repression to the Unconscious. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:535-546.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:535-546

The Relationship of Repression to the Unconscious

Eric Gillett


I try to formulate the simplest topographic model that embodies current theoretical understanding. The repression mechanism is under the control of a single censorship located on the border of consciousness. I argue that neither the operation of the repression mechanism nor the decision process of the censorship, which controls the repression mechanism and other defence mechanisms, can be considered dynamically unconscious. I discuss the distinction drawn by Wallerstein, Sandler & Joffe between the experiential and the non-experiential, concluding that much of the non-conscious id, ego, and superego is non-experiential rather than dynamically unconscious. Within the experiential realm I present the reasons why the censorship is located on the edge of consciousness and the implications of this location for the distinction between the preconscious and the dynamic unconscious.

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