"we are very often astonished to realize in what a mutilated state all the ideas and scenes emerged which we extracted from the patient by procedure of pressing. Precisely the essential elements of the picture were missing [...] I will give one or two examples of the way in which a censoring of this kind operates..."
He then shows that what is censored is what appears to the patient to be blameworthy, shameful, and inadmissible.
Although the term appears quite frequently in writings from this first period, its status remains uncertain.
Freud seems to be describing the deliberate suppression by patients, in their communication with the doctor, of what they do not wish to reveal to him, as well as the mechanism and effects of unconscious repression.
Censorship is in fact defined as that which opposes the return of that which is repressed, at the two successive levels in the passage from the unconscious to the preconscious (the "antechamber") and on to the conscious (the "drawing-room").
"We know the self-observing agency as the ego-censor, the conscience; it is this that exercises the dream-censorship during the night, from which the repressions of inadmissible wishful impulses proceed."
Although the notion of censorship continues to be fairly widely used in psychoanalysis to describe resistance to the treatment, it has scarcely received any further elaboration and its global nature may cause it to appear to be somewhat outmoded.
- Dream interpretation
- Fundamental rule
- Freud, Sigmund. (1895b). On the grounds for detaching a particular syndrome from neurasthenia under the description "anxiety neurosis." SE, 3: 85-115.
- ——. (1896b). Further remarks on the neuro-psychoses of defence. SE, 3: 157-185.
- ——. (1900a). The interpretation of dreams. SE, 4-5.
- ——. (1915e). The unconscious. SE, 14: 159-204.
- ——. (1916-1917a). Introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. Parts I & II. SE, 15-16.
- ——. (1923b). The ego and the id. SE, 19: 1-66.
- ——. (1950a). Extracts from the Fliess papers. SE, 1: 173-280.