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Tying, securing, or constraining. In psychoanalysis, an operation tending to restrict the flow of libidinal energy, usually by the ego exerting a restraining influence on the primary process. For example, in an article on ‘Project for a Scientific Psychology’, published in 1895, Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) cited the example of a painful memory that needs to be tamed: ‘particularly large and repeated binding from the ego is required before this facilitation to unpleasure can be counterbalanced’ (Standard Edition, I, pp. 177–397, at pp. 380–1). Freud developed the idea further in his book Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920, Standard Edition, XVIII, pp. 7–64), and in An Outline of Psycho-Analysis (1938/40, Standard Edition, XXIII, pp. 144–207, at p. 148) he described binding as a preservative operation that is a primary aim of Eros, in contrast to Thanatos, whose primary aim is to destroy things. See also bound energy.

Subjects: Psychology.

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