Regressive restoration of the persona – A term used to describe what can happen when there has been a major collapse in the conscious attitude.
Take as an example a businessman who takes too great a risk and consequently goes bankrupt. If he does not allow himself to be discouraged by this depressing experience, but, undismayed, keeps his former daring, perhaps with a little salutary caution added, his wound will be healed without permanent injury. But if, on the other hand, he goes to pieces, abjures all further risks, and laboriously tries to patch up his social reputation within the confines of a much more limited personality, doing inferior work with the mentality of a scared child, in a post far below him, then, technically speaking, he will have restored his persona in a regressive way. … Formerly perhaps he wanted more than he could accomplish; now he does not even dare to attempt what he has it in him to do. [“The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious,” CW 7, par. 254.]
The regressive restoration of the persona is a possible course only for the man who owes the critical failure of his life to his own inflatedness. With diminished personality, he turns back to the measure he can fill. But in every other case resignation and self-belittlement are an evasion, which in the long run can be kept up only at the cost of neurotic sickliness. [Ibid., par. 259.]
© from Daryl Sharp’s Jung Lexicon, reproduced with kind permission of the author.
Articles Related to Regressive Restoration of the Persona
Inflation is a concept related to this phenomenon – read: Inflation – a Psychological Regression of Consciousness
A further understanding of the Persona is warranted here. Read: The Persona as Social Mask – Traps of a Successful Persona
If this topic has touched you, one way to follow up is to engage in a Jungian analysis process.
To help you further explore this, some helpful articles and pages on this website include:
Working with Jungian Theory and Practice looks at going deeper into Jungian work.
Jungian Analysis – an Adventure into the Self explores the topic further.
To learn more about me, see Jungian Analyst – Melbourne.
To listen to a podcast with Laura London in her Speaking of Jung series, check out this Podcast with Laura London.
Getting in Touch
In these days of online meetings and ‘social distancing’ due to Covid, it is not uncommon to talk online. To get in touch for an initial contact to see if it is possible to work with me, refer to my Contact Page for your initial enquiry.