Rescuing Repression from Repression: Freud's 1915 Classic Revisited
The 2017 Freud Memorial Lecture provides an extraordinary opportunity to hear the world-renowned psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Salman Akhtar.
The so-called widening scope of psychoanalysis has led to emphasis upon psychodynamic constellations of splitting, projective identification, and other 'primitive' defences at the cost of inattention to the mechanism of repression. This presentation seeks to undo this trend by noting the profound and pervasive significance of repression in mental life. By carefully going over Freud's 1915 paper on repression, this presentation will unmask four important binaries (primal vs. defensive, pushed down vs pulled under, banished vs. returned, and successful vs. failed) in this concept. The work of repression in pathologies organized around splitting etc. will also be highlighted. Ample social and clinical vignettes will be offered to illustrate the ideas proposed in this talk.
Professor Akhtar is one of the most creative and prolific psychoanalysts writing today and has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He has been a supporter of the Freud Museum for many years, and we are honoured that he is giving this prestigious lecture.