I’m in the middle of a short paper (for class!) on Michael Billig’s Freudian Repression: Conversation Creating the Unconscious. Verdict on the book: essentially negative. But that’s a topic for another time. I’ve come neither to praise nor blame, but to bleg.
I’m looking for “off the cuff” answers to the four (or five) questions below the fold. The point is to get a (very unscientific) sense of how “people” think of psychological repression. Feel free to answer whether you’ve read Freud or not (Sigmund or Anna or both); whether you’re in psychology or psychiatry or not; and whether the conception of repression you have in mind is Freudian or not. If you have read Freud, and/or are professionally in psychology or psychiatry, please indicate that. And feel free to answer any or all (or I guess, none) of the questions.
Here are the questions:
- What is repression? When we say, “John is repressed,” what exactly are we saying about him?
- Is repression inherently sexual?
- Is repression always a bad thing, or can it ever be a good thing?
- Would you (off the cuff) regard your conception of “repression” as having been influenced by Freud in some “significant” way? (I’ll leave you to define “significant”).
A question specifically intended for professionals in psychiatry or psychology (any branch):
5. Do you regard “repression” as a scientifically credible concept, e.g., as having gotten experimental support?
No, I haven’t gotten IRB approval for this bleg, and have no intention of asking for it.
P.S.: If you’ve never written a comment for the blog before, your first comment won’t show up until I’ve approved it, which may be hours after you’ve submitted it.