Psychoanalysis > Theory

[About Censorship]

  • Definition of censorship

There is a force in the mind which exercises the functions of a censorship, and which excludes from consciousness and from any influence upon action all tendencies which displease it. Such tendencies are described as "repressed". They remain unconscious; and if one attempts to bring them into the patient's consciousness one provokes a "resistance". (Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalysis, 1926.)

  • Censorship in dreams

The unconscious impulse makes use of this nocturnal relaxation of repression in order to push its way into consciousness with the dream. But the repressive resistance of the ego is not abolished in sleep but merely reduced. Some of it remains in the shape of a censorship of dreams and forbids the unconscious impulse to express itself in the forms which it would properly assume. In consequence of the severity of the censorship of dreams, the latent dream-thoughts are obliged to submit to being altered and softened so as to make the forbidden meaning of the dream unrecognizable. (Sigmund Freud: An Autobiographical Study, 1925.)

  • Censorship and the repressed

You have long been aware that this censorship is not an institution peculiar to dream-life. You know that the conflict between the two psychical agencies, which we - inaccurately - describe as the "unconscious repressed" and the "conscious", dominates our whole mental life and that the resistance against the interpretation of dreams, the sign of the dream-censorship, is nothing other than the resistance due to repression by which the two agencies are separated. (Sigmund Freud: New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, 1933).

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Sigmund Freud

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