Freud's Theory Of Repression In Freud And Freyd

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Repression in Freud and Freyd Freud describes repression as the act of blocking unacceptable urges, but this phenomenon is not that simple. Ever since he popularized using repression to describe cases of abnormal forgetting, alternative theories of repression have been formulated. In contrast to Freud, Freyd theorizes that repression occurs when someone is abused by a close caregiver, and to survive, they must repress their memories of the abuse to maintain a relationship with their caregiver. Her theory diverges from Freud’s as she is more focused on the abuse causing the repression while Freud is more concerned about the ramifications of acting upon taboo desires. Likewise, both authors use survival as a core concept in their theories. If…show more content…
In Freyd’s case, it is the external relationship of the individual that is repressed as opposed to Freud’s idea of repression that stems from internal sexual feelings. “When a parent or other powerful figure violates a fundamental ethic of human relationships, victims may need to remain unaware of the trauma not to reduce suffering but rather to promote survival” (Freyd, 1994, 307). As can be seen by the above definition, Freyd’s version of repression does not have to be sexual in nature. She suggests that the object of repression is not the leftovers of the developed id, rather repression occurs when an individual’s relationship with a significant figure is violated through any form of abuse and the victim then must disremember the event to ensure survival. In contrast to Freud, for whom the victim’s best interest is endangered by internal sexual urges rather than the actual knowledge of the abusive event. Also, without the abusive guardian figure, food, shelter and family life is jeopardized, so it is in the victim’s best interest to suppress the event. “Betrayal trauma theory posits that from a logical analysis of evolutionary pressures and cognitive architecture, we can expect that there will be information blockage under certain conditions (of which sexual abuse is likely to be an example) and that this information blockage will create various types of traumatic amnesia that can be understood in terms of cognitive mechanisms” (Freyd, 309). When Freyd says “information blockage”, she is hinting that the anticathexes that Freud claims are responsible for suppressing unacceptable thoughts and desires. Both authors report that it is this information blockage or anticathexes that are leading to the repression of the knowledge of abuse. The abuse could be anything, sexual or non-sexual, according to Freyd, the more important fact is that the victim has been

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