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Reiser, L.W. (1994). Remembered Childhood Artifacts: Windows to the Past. Psychoanal. St. Child, 49:241-262.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 49:241-262

Remembered Childhood Artifacts: Windows to the Past

Lynn Whisnant Reiser, M.D.

This paper explores how working with memories of childhood songs, pictures, poems, and stories can facilitate and deepen the analytic process. These artifacts are special metaphors for networks of repressed memories, in many respects like dream images. But unlike dream images and other early memories, they exist in the real world and can be verified. They provide the child with a scaffolding upon which to build a version of reality, putting conflictual situations into words, melodies, and images, and organize representations of relationships and affect that remain internally alive and can be reworked in unconscious fantasy. Three clinical examples illustrate how such associations enable the analysand to express ways in which the present, including the transference, is linked with the past.

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