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Mintz, I. (1971). The Anniversary Reaction: A Response to the Unconscious Sense of Time. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 19:720-735.

(1971). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 19:720-735

The Anniversary Reaction: A Response to the Unconscious Sense of Time

Ira Mintz, M.D.


The phenomenon of the anniversary reaction was described and clinical examples given. The anniversary reaction is a response to the unconscious ego's sense of time, and must be distinguished from the timelessness of repressed drive impulses. The unconscious time sense recathects earlier traumatic events, especially those experiences linked to conflicts over death and separation. The anniversary reaction is the response to this recathexis in the form of mastery through re-experience rather than through remembering.

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