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Brenman, E. (1980). The Value of Reconstruction in Adult Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 61:53-60.

(1980). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 61:53-60

The Value of Reconstruction in Adult Psychoanalysis

Eric Brenman


Some of the factors that influence an analyst to choose one construction rather than another are explored. Such choices may be based on the analyst's insights and development, or his biases, past training and personal pathology; or the patient's attempts to influence the analyst in a particular direction. Constructions may overemphasize the part played by the patient's innate propensities or his environment. Freud's interpretation of the Oedipus myth is re-examined in the light of these thoughts.

Reconstruction is considered to be of therapeutic value only through the analysis of the repetition compulsion in the transference. The clinical examples include consideration of the repetition of an early folie à deux phenomenon manifest in the transference. The nature of the internal objects that 'go with' the patient in exploration and distortion of truths is examined.

New developments in analysis need to be integrated with creative constructions of the past, forming the foundation of new constructions. The view is held that in times of crisis patients revert to past systems; recognition of this factor implies that the work of reconstruction will be an ongoing process after the analysis is terminated, and forms part of the patient's equipment for future self analysis.

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