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Cadernos de psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro)

On-line version ISSN 1413-6295


COSTA, Jurandir Freire. Memory and trauma. Cad. psicanal. [online]. 2019, vol.41, n.41, pp. 103-123. ISSN 1413-6295.

The text deals with the relationship between memory, trauma and ego defenses. The contended thesis is that the traumatic episode is characterized by the threat to the vital order, that is, to ego drives or conservation drives. In this respect, it differs from the frustrations imposed on the sexual order. In the threat to the vital order, memory is required as a compulsion to repeat and the ego defense consists above all in the immobilization of the traumatic agent. In libidinal frustration, by contrast, memory emerges in the form of evocation or repetition and the ego deals with displeasure by replacing the object of lost satisfaction or by reflecting the inhibited libidinal discharge into narcissistic organization. The vignettes presented as illustrations of the theory show how ego defense against trauma results in various clinical and cultural symptoms.

Keywords : Memory; Trauma; Ego defense; Sexual drive; Libidinal reflexivity; Vital order; Conservation drive; Helplessness.

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