Repetition compulsion


… an ungovernable process originating in the unconscious. As a result of its actions, the subject deliberately places himself in distressing situations, thereby repeating an old experience, but he does not recall this prototype; on the contrary, he has the strong impression that the situation is fully determined by the circumstances of the moment.*

* The Language of Psychoanalysis, J. Laplanche, J. B. Pontalis (Karnac Books, 1988).

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