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Rechardt, E. Ikonen, P. (1991). Reflections on the Meaning of Constructions. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 14(2):106-122.

(1991). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 14(2):106-122

Reflections on the Meaning of Constructions

Eero Rechardt and Pentti Ikonen


Freud, inspecting the events in the mind, chose the principle of active dissociation as the central paradigm. We use it as a guideline in this paper. Psychoanalytical research and the psychoanalytical method are constantly in search for an answer to the following questions: (1) How and by what methods are the dissociative strivings that are manifested in the mind realized? (2) What are the contents and the processes of the mind that are dissociated? (3) Why are they dissociated? (4) What are the consequences of dissociations? (5) How and on what conditions can that which is dissociated be integrated?

It is specific in psychoanalytical work to establish contact with what has been dissociated. Other goals can be promoted by other means but in its own function, psychoanalysis is indispensable. There are many ways of intervention that do not search for the truth, that leave dissociations unchanged or even increase them; they may have a healing effect, but they are not psychoanalytical in meaning or in outcome.

What Is Construction?

In Freud's text “Constructions in analysis” (Freud, 1937), attention is especially drawn to three separate points. He says that the concept “interpretation” is used too widely, even in cases when the concept “construction” would be more to the point.

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