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Greenacre, P. (1981). Reconstruction: Its Nature and Therapeutic Value. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 29:27-46.

(1981). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 29:27-46

Reconstruction: Its Nature and Therapeutic Value

Phyllis Greenacre, M.D.

THIS PAPER WAS WRITTEN IN RESPONSE to a request from a group of students and young psychoanalysts who wanted a discussion of how the work of reconstruction is actually carried on. It does not attempt a broad and thorough review of the contributions dealing with the theory of reconstruction or its place in the analytic process.

Reconstruction was part of psychoanalytic theory and technique very early, but in recent years it has fallen into relative disuse. Possibly the revival of interest has been stimulated in part by the growing interest in observational research in infant and child development, now extended into longitudinal studies covering a period up to young adulthood. I shall take up the topic of reconstruction in psychoanalysis, under the following categories: (1) what we mean by "reconstruction" in analysis; (2) how it is done; (3) how it works, i.e., the nature of its therapeutic value; (4) the importance of screen memories as an essential part of the process of reconstructing; and (5) some clinical examples.

I

"Construction"

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