Repetition-compulsion

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Freudian Dictionary

Endeavors to make the psychic trauma real-to live through once more a repetition of it; if it was an early affective relationship it is revived in an analogous connection with another person. [1]

We are able to postulate the principle of a repetition-compulsion in the unconscious mind, based upon instinctual activity and probably inherent in the very nature of the instincts-a principle powerful enough to overrule the pleasureprinciple, lending to certain aspects of the mind their daemonic character, and still very clearly expressed in the tendencies of small children; a principle, too, which is responsible for a part of the course taken by the analyses of neurotic patients. [2]

We may assume that as soon as a given state of things is upset there arises an instinct to recreate it, and phenomena appear which we may call "repetition-compulsion." [3]