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(1960). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 29:603-604.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:603-604

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

January 26, 1960. THE CONCEPT OF REGRESSION AND THE STRUCTURAL THEORY. Jacob A. Arlow, M.D. and Charles Brenner, M.D.

A continuation of a previous paper presented before the Society concerning the contradictions in the topographic as compared with the structural theory, and the advantages of the latter over the former, this presentation specifically deals with the concept of regression and whether it needs any revision in the light of the structural theory. In the course of its development regression has come to be used within the context of the topographic hypothesis in several different senses, sometimes complementary and sometimes contradictory. These can be grouped under the headings of temporal, topographic or systemic, instinctive, phylogenetic, and biogenetic. Temporal regression is defined as a return to an earlier mode of mental functioning that was more primitive in both a temporal and functional sense; systemic regression as a return to the mode of operation of the system Ucs. These meanings were first outlined in The Interpretation of Dreams. Instinctual regression, growing out of the discovery of infantile sexuality, refers to a return to an earlier libidinal phase of development and to modes of operation characteristic of that phase. It has also come to mean a retreat from object relationship to narcissism, the extent of this retreat being correlated with the earlier libidinal phase. Phylogenetic regression signifies a return, through the reactivation of inherited tribal memories of the unconscious, to modes previously followed by the human race.

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