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Plaut, A.B. (2005). I. On note taking. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(1):45-58.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(1):45-58

I. On note taking

Alfred B.J. Plaut, M.D.

In this paper the author explores the theoretical and technical issues relating to taking notes of analytic sessions, using an introspective approach. The paper discusses the lack of a consistent approach to note taking amongst analysts and sets out to demonstrate that systematic note taking can be helpful to the analyst. The author describes his discovery that an initial phase where as much data was recorded as possible did not prove to be reliably helpful in clinical work and initially actively interfered with recall in subsequent sessions. The impact of the nature of the analytic session itself and the focus of the analyst's interest on recall is discussed.

The author then describes how he modified his note taking technique to classify information from sessions into four categories which enabled the analyst to select which information to record in notes. The characteristics of memory and its constructive nature are discussed in relation to the problems that arise in making accurate notes of analytic sessions.

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