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Curtis, H.C. (1983). Construction and Reconstruction: An Introduction. Psychoanal. Inq., 3(2):183-188.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 3(2):183-188

Construction and Reconstruction: An Introduction

Homer C. Curtis, M.D.

The subject of reconstruction appears to have received less attention from psychoanalytic writers and clinicians in recent decades than had been the case previously. The group of papers to follow represents an effort to restore reconstruction to its proper place theoretically and technically. Perhaps this effort will serve as an incentive toward adopting a more balanced view of clinical material by avoiding overemphasis on either a “here and now” experience or a gathering of historical data removed from affect.

Without going into extensive historical and theoretical detail, it might be helpful to set the stage for what follows by placing reconstruction in the larger analytic context. One can follow the evolution of the concept of reconstruction from its early roots in the principle of abreaction, through the “talking cure” and recovery of childhood memories, by way of shifting emphasis to transference, resistance, and structural considerations, to Freud's (1937) “Constructions in Analysis.”

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