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Article
November 1960

A Method for Clinical and Theoretical Study of the Earliest Memory

Author Affiliations

New York
Professor and Director of Research in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Dr. Reiser).
Resident in Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. Present address: National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. (Dr. Fishman).
Senior Interdisciplinary Research Fellow and Fellow in Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Bronx Municipal Hospital Center (Dr. Rothenberg).
Senior Interdisciplinary Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. Associate Research Scientist, Research Center for Mental Health, New York University (Dr. Langs).
The feasibility of utilizing hypnotic techniques for such explorations has not been studied.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(5):523-534. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710050073008
Abstract

There have been two broad approaches to the study and interpretation of early memories, both of which stem from the writings of Freud.6-9 The first has its origins in Freud's initial paper pertaining to early recollections in which he described the "screen-memory." Memories in this special class were viewed as innocuous compromise formations which conceal more traumatic material. The interpretative approach to the "screen-memory" was comparable to the techniques developed for dreams and emphasized the analysis of the defensive repressions, condensations, displacements, and symbolizations which transform the latent, unconscious, traumatic content or experience into an acceptable, conscious derivative in the form of the manifest content of the memory.7-9 The second approach also has its roots in the writings of Freud,6-9 but was more extensively developed and eventually utilized exclusively by Alfred Adler1,4 and his followers.19 Here, the analysis was directed at

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