The Feminine and the Sacred, by Catherine Clement and Julia Kristeva
Regression, according to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, is a defense mechanism leading to the temporary reversion of the ego to an earlier stage of development rather than handling unacceptable impulses in a more adult way. The defense mechanism of regression, in psychoanalytic theory, occurs when thoughts are temporarily pushed back out of our consciousness and into our unconscious.
I'm including here another picture of Hans Christian Andersen in light of the quote I included in my last topic blog about his child-like or underdeveloped defense mechanisms. That aspect of his personality, which was likely directly responsible for his unrivaled success as an author of grim fairy tales, seems to have been perfectly captured in this portrait.
Regression is a concept involving developmental as well as structural considerations. Clinically speaking, it refers both to psychopathology and to potentially therapeutic phases of the psychoanalytic process. Regression, a movement backward, reverts to more or less primitive stages of psychic organization which deviate from a norm, while at the same time these stages are enduringly active in the continual integration of psychic life. Regression and progression are necessary and complementary phases of this organizing activity. Certain theoretical and clinical aspects are discussed in some detail. The normative implications of regression, in the context of modern Western rationality as the standard of normal mental life, are briefly considered.