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Mahon, E.J. (2005). To Repress: A Note on an Ambiguity of Meaning. Psychoanal Q., 74(4):1053-1068.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(4):1053-1068

To Repress: A Note on an Ambiguity of Meaning

Eugene J. Mahon, M.D.

An analysand used the word repress in a dream in an unusual way. In the dream, a record had been re-pressed: it was not the original disc but a copy. This manifest meaning of the word led associatively to more latent meanings. A kind of dialectical process ensued whereby, whenever the concept of repression came up, several meanings had to be considered to set the record straight. The classical way of thinking about repression had been augmented a little by this novel meaning that the analysand had stumbled on in his dream. Psychoanalytic process was enriched by this ongoing scrutiny of repression in theory and practice.

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