repetition compulsion


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compulsion

 [kom-pul´shun]
1. a recurrent, unwanted, and distressing (ego-dystonic) urge to perform an act.
2. a compulsive act or ritual; a repetitive and stereotyped action that is performed to ward off some untoward event, although the patient recognizes that it does not do so in any realistic way. It serves as a defensive substitute for unacceptable unconscious ideas or impulses. Failure to perform the compulsive act gives rise to anxiety and tension. Common compulsions involve hand-washing, touching, counting, and checking. adj., adj compul´sive. See also obsessive-compulsive.
repetition compulsion in psychoanalytic theory, the impulse to reenact earlier emotional experiences.

repetition compulsion

[rep′ətish′ən]
Etymology: L, repetere, to repeat
an unconscious need to revert to and repeat earlier situations, behavior patterns, and acts to experience previously felt emotions or relationships. See also compulsion.

repetition compulsion

Psychoanalysis The impulse to reenact earlier emotional experiences, considered by Freud more fundamental than the pleasure principle. Cf Pleasure principle.
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References in periodicals archive ?
But the repetition compulsion could be taking the form of the mastery of the tools of mathematics in economics.
The repetition compulsion (the attempt, conscious or unconscious, to reenact trauma in order to master it retrospectively) is of course one of the key concepts shared by psychoanalysis and family systems theory, but the latter stresses repetition between individuals' lives as well as within an individual's life.
If Australian colonialism is characterised by such a repetition compulsion, what symptoms and behaviours are evidence of trauma, and what is the precise nature of this trauma?
At the very beginning of her career, Judy Chicago married Minimalism's repetition compulsion with an illusionistic approach to material and color.
For all its repetition compulsion, surfing is in a sense autotelic.
The words stand for light and dark, I've learned--evidence, perhaps, of a will to conceptual clarity hiding behind the linguistic repetition compulsion.
The geometric form best characterizing the show was the spiral, that most Hitchcockian of signifiers, which coils throughout Vertigo as the paradigm of Jimmy Stewart's repetition compulsion.