Remembering, Repeating and Working Through: The Impact of the Controversial Discussions

Ken Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Freud's recognition that what cannot be remembered may well be repeated in action is useful for understanding the trauma and aftermath of the Controversial Discussions. I shall be concentrating on disavowal, repeating, working through and remembering in the evolving context of the process of the impact of the Discussions. I suggest that we can distinguish three phases of the impact of the Discussions: the first a silence as if the Discussions constituted something too traumatic or too shameful to speak about; the second a phase of mutual influence between two or more groups which constitutes one form of working through, an attempt to integrate (with its opposite a concentration on irreconcilable differences); and third a further stage of working through which is closer to remembering, treating the Discussions as a historical point of reference in the service of sorting out clinical and conceptual problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-84
JournalBritish Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


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