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Blum, H.P. (1977). The Prototype of Preoedipal Reconstruction. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 25:757-785.

(1977). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 25:757-785

The Prototype of Preoedipal Reconstruction

Harold P. Blum, M.D.


Freud's first reported reconstruction was to the preoedipal period and referred to the psychological meaning and consequences of the birth and death of his younger brother, Julius. In

the historical development of psychoanalysis, preoedipal and oedipal reconstruction were simultaneously utilized, and Freud's thinking encompassed preoedipal influences with the Oedipus complex.

Reconstruction was one of the earliest discovered methods in psychoanalytic technique, reciprocally contributing to psychoanalytic theory, the uncovering of infantile amnesia, and awareness of the persistent influence of unconscious infantile conflict. Freud anticipated the importance of object relations in contemporary psychoanalytic theory before formulation of the libido theory. Reconstruction from dreams and screen memories converged in Freud's self-analysis in the discovery of the repression and revival of infantile object relations, leading to the concept of transference. Psychoanalysis was reconstructive, facilitating memory reorganization, and new ego synthesis.

Freud's self-analytic reconstruction concerning Julius, prototypical of preoedipal reconstruction, was to the proto-verbal anal developmental phase, and the rapprochement subphase of separation-individuation. His reconstruction is remarkably consistent with modern knowledge of developmental processes. The integration of psychoanalytic reconstruction and direct child observation promises a deeper understanding of ego development and disturbance, character formation, and preoedipal determinants of oedipal conflict and the infantile neurosis.

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