Psychoanalysis > Theory


  • Definition

Thus the ego is fighting on two fronts: it has to defend its existence against an external world which threatens it with annihilation as well as against an internal world that makes excessive demands. It adopts the same methods of defence against both, but its defence against the internal enemy is particularly inadequate. (Sigmund Freud: An Outline of Psychoanalysis - 1940.)

  • Defence and repression

It will be an undoubted advantage, I think, to revert to the old concept of 'defence', provided we employ it explicitly as a general designation for all the techniques which the ego makes use of in conflicts which may lead to a neurosis, while we retain the word 'repression' for the special method of defense which the line of approach taken by our investigations made us better acquainted with in the first instance. (Sigmund Freud: Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety - 1926).

=> See also the defence mechanisms here.


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Freud picture

Sigmund Freud

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