Denial

A Clarification of Concepts and Research

  • E. L. Edelstein
  • Donald L. Nathanson
  • Andrew M. Stone

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Theoretical Issues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-3
    2. Theodore L. Dorpat
      Pages 17-35
    3. Donald L. Nathanson
      Pages 37-55
  3. Basic and Applied Notions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-60
    2. Giorgio Sacerdoti, Antonio A. Semi
      Pages 61-70
    3. Joel Shanan
      Pages 107-118
    4. Ruth S. Shalev
      Pages 119-124
  4. Child Development

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-127
    2. Rami A. Bar Giora
      Pages 129-139
    3. H. Shmuel Elrich
      Pages 141-153
    4. Rivka R. Eifermann
      Pages 155-170
  5. Clinical Implications

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-174
    2. Léon Wurmser
      Pages 175-201
    3. Michael H. Stone
      Pages 203-218
    4. Richard C. Friedman
      Pages 219-230

About this book

Introduction

We do not think about everything at once all the time. Various mecha­ nisms allow us to choose from among the themes, issues, topics, feelings, ideas, and memories that might occupy consciousness. One can focus selectively on anything deemed important; yet the methods by which this is accomplished vary greatly. We clinicians assign to these various mech­ anisms names that fit whatever theoretical system is central to our work-the healthy suppression of "background noise" allows us to pay attention to certain matters; the repression of unconscious conflict may assist our functioning in one moment despite its later cost; whereas denial and disavowal are used as general and fairly nonspecific terms for matters that are left out of awareness in order to avoid the noxious emotions specific to the personal significance of such awareness. Despite the attitude of scientific objectivity characterizing Freud's introduction of psychoanalysis, an aura of morality clings to certain of these mecha­ nisms, for we tend to judge people by their use of them. We are a society of doers, people of action and accomplishment who look with disrespect at the avoidance of any responsibility or task. Thus denial has taken on a negative connotation, and those who use this avoidance system are seen as the lesser among us.

Keywords

attention coping emotion feeling identity psychoanalysis

Editors and affiliations

  • E. L. Edelstein
    • 1
  • Donald L. Nathanson
    • 2
  • Andrew M. Stone
    • 3
  1. 1.The Hebrew UniversityIsrael
  2. 2.The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital and Hahnemann UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4613-0737-2
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag US 1989
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-8057-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4613-0737-2
  • About this book