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  Regression and fixation were Freud\'s words for what Darwin had called arrests in development and reversion. Freud also saw dreams as a regression of the level of language to thinking in pictures.

Regression theory, prior to Freud\'s, included that of mental decadence, a popular psychiatric theory in the 1850s. Lombroso, in the early 1880s, put forward the theory of the born criminal whose psychic make-up regressed back to a primitive man. Infantile characteristics in somnambulists were called regression by Flournoy. The French School of the late 19th century, notably Moreau de Tours and then Pierre Janet, saw mental illness as a world full of delusion and hallucination that brought about regression in intellectual functions.

Jung assumes that psychic energy is directed either in the form of regression or progression. Regression, for him, was inward movement, an increase in introversion and a move towards the unconscious. A stop in the process of individuation (growth) brings about regression (introversion) and then progression (linked to extroversion); it is here seen as part of a cycle. MJ



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