Cognition and Overcoming Inhibition

  • Karen Zelan
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


Conceptual development assists the youngster to overcome inhibition just as it aids and abets inhibiting functions. During the last several months of her therapy and also during our telephone conversations, I was able to observe a few significant instances when Lara succeeded in remembering what she had forgotten or when she was able to undo repressions. For example, when I returned to my office from the hall, she recalled that another version of her “trick” to make people speak the truth is to ask the other person “What’s right about me” — not just “what’s wrong with me.” Similarly, she was able to remember my first name by free associating to the name Carol. (She said, “I was trying to remember your first name...It’s thought of Carol because of Christmas carols...when I first came [to therapy] it was Christmas...Carol sounds like Karen.”) Just as important in adolescent Lara’s case, when she remembered my name in a telephone conversation, she once more affirmed her sense of self as distinct from me but now on a more mature level than she had at age 3 when her mother appeared to “remember” and thus affirm her by calling her on the telephone. Now, she was active in “remembering” me in our telephone conversation while before she was passive when her mother remembered to call her from the airport.


Young Person Mental Function Free Association Thought Inhibition Telephone Conversation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Zelan
    • 1
  1. 1.BerkeleyUSA

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