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Golombek, H. (1997). Reconstruction in Psychoanalysis: Childhood Revisited and Recreated: Harold P. Blum. New York, NY. International Universities Press, 1994, 196 pp.. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 5(2):312-314.

(1997). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 5(2):312-314

Reconstruction in Psychoanalysis: Childhood Revisited and Recreated: Harold P. Blum. New York, NY. International Universities Press, 1994, 196 pp.

Review by:
Harvey Golombek

This monograph emanates from the deliberations of a research group that took place between 1980 and 1985. Sponsored by the Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund, the group met monthly under the chairmanship of Dr Blum and consisted of drs. S. Abrams, M. Bergmann, D. Cohen, A. Frank, S. Furst, M. Harley, S. Kramer, M. Kris, J. McDevitt, P. Neubauer, H. Nunberg, M. Ostow, B. Pacella, L. Shengold, A. Valenstein, and A. Weil. Although Dr. Blum assumes full responsibility for the material presented in the monograph, it is clear that the ideas, formulations, and perspectives offered result from a group collaboration, in that they are balanced, broadly based, well argued, comprehensive, and rooted in multiple perspectives. Dr Blum's orientation in psychoanalysis is clearly centred within the frameworks of modern classical theory and object relations theory, but he seems to have a learned appreciation for self psychology

The book is divided into several sections. In chapters 1 and 2, the concept of reconstruction is described in terms of its importance, historical development, emphasis within different schools, construction within the analytic process, and curative effects. In chapter 3, the concept of the reconstruction of trauma in clinical psychoanalysis is described. Contrary to the notion of narrative truth, Blum emphasizes that there are actual experiences (with highly subjective meaning) which are part of the patient's authentic feeling about his own unique life and which add rational conviction to the analytic autobiography.

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