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Sandler, J. Sandler, A. (1983). The 'Second Censorship', the 'Three Box Model' and Some Technical Implications. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 64:413-425.

(1983). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 64:413-425

The 'Second Censorship', the 'Three Box Model' and Some Technical Implications

Joseph Sandler and Anne-Marie Sandler

In this paper we put forward some theoretical propositions aimed at providing bridges between topographical and structural concepts as they apply to clinical psychoanalytic work. They are a product of the interaction between theory and practice, and reflect attempts to deal with some of the problems which arise in connexion with mental topography, and with the central theoretical and clinical concept of censorship. Following this, a theoretical schema (the 'three box model') will be presented, intended to reflect a clinically relevant aspect of the interface between the topographical and structural theories.

From the beginning of Freud's thinking about the psychoanalytic model of the mind he struggled to find formulations which would allow his theoretical constructions to fit the data of clinical experience. But as one part of his theory came to fit these data better, so discrepancies in other areas increased. This contributed to the organic growth of psychoanalytic theory, which occurred partly in the form of minor revisions, but from time to time as major reformulations, notably with the introduction of the structural theory in 1923. Inevitably the way psychoanalytic theory has grown has left us with a formidable and useful set of ideas which are, nevertheless, to some degree incomplete, unintegrated and even contradictory. While it is true that these latter qualities provide strong motivation for improving and developing psychoanalytic theory, at the same time the

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