On Freud's "Screen Memories"

Editor : Gail S. Reed, Editor : Howard B. Levine

Part of the The International Psychoanalytical Association Contemporary Freud: Turning Points and Critical Issues Series series and The International Psychoanalytical Association series

On Freud's

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : October 2014
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 224
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 34512
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782200550
  • ISBN 10 : 178220055X
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The concept of "screen memories" was introduced by Freud for the first time in his 1899 paper, reprinted here in its entirety. Although the clinical interest in "screen memories" has perhaps diminished in recent analytic discussion, there is much to be gained from revisiting and re-examining both the phenomenon and Freud's original paper within a contemporary context. To this end, Gail S. Reed and Howard B. Levine have invited contributions from eight leading psychoanalysts on the current meaning and value to them of the screen memory concept.

These comments come from contemporary psychoanalysts practicing in Italy, Francophone Switzerland, Argentina, Israel, and the United States of America, each of whom has been trained in one or another of a variety of psychoanalytic traditions, among which are ego psychology, a French version of Freud, an American version of Lacan and at least two variants of Kleinian thought - one British and one Latin American. Their comments range from advocating that screen memories are an important, even central, feature of contemporary analytic work (LaFarge, Cohen), to finding the concept less universally applicable, but nonetheless compelling (Ahumada).

The editors hope that the encounter with these creative and thought-provoking commentaries will give new meaning to our appreciation of this important clinical phenomenon and stimulate further research and clinical observation into its origins and uses.

Contributors: Jorge L. Ahumada, Franco De Masi, Rivka R. Eifermann, Lucy LaFarge, Nellie Thompson, Shlomith Cohen, Florence Guignard, Howard B. Levine, Gail S. Reed, and John P. Muller.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘The use of several old psychoanalytic terms and concepts is gradually receding as new ones are introduced from continuously evolving psychoanalytic theory and practice. Screen memories is one of them. Gail S. Reed and Howard B. Levine, with the help of their collaborators, have succeeded with this fascinating volume in giving new life to Freud’s concept of screen memories by deepening their enquiries into Freud’s propositions and by bringing them within a more contemporary context. In doing so, they have demonstrated the richness of Freud’s propositions, which defy simplistic judgements. The authors’ capacity to integrate and contrast the old with the new makes this publication of great value to all psychoanalysts regardless of theoretical orientation.’
— George Moraitis MD, former training and supervising analyst, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis; faculty, Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute

‘To explore the partially forgotten psychoanalytic concept of screen memories, the editors, Gail S. Reed and Howard B. Levine, have elicited commentaries from prestigious contributors from different parts of the world and from varied theoretical frameworks. We are reintroduced to the paradoxes of memory: screen memories are apparently trivial, but they are also clear, vivid, hyper-intense, recurring memories that convey repressed infantile sexual experiences at the same time as they conceal such experiences. We are reminded that the concept of screen memories comes at a turning point in Freud’s oeuvre; a time at which he is immersed in exploring the mechanisms of dreams and detailing the significance of the act of forgetting. The reader will find a text both clinical and theoretical, a text with a plurality of voices and experiences, which makes this title highly recommended not only within the psychoanalytic field but for interdisciplinary approaches as well.’s and experiences, which makes this title highly recommended not only within the psychoanalytic field but for interdisciplinary approaches as well.’
— Leticia Glocer Fiorini. President of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association

About the Editor(s)

Gail S. Reed practises psychoanalysis in New York City. She is the president and a founding member of the Group for the Study of the Psychoanalytic Process, a training analyst and founding member of the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute, and
a training analyst of the Contemporary Freudian Society and the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis.

More titles by Gail S. Reed

Howard B. Levine is a member of the faculty at the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England East, a member of the faculty and supervising analyst at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, and is in private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is a founding member of the Group for the Study of Psychoanalytic Process and the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies, Inc.

More titles by Howard B. Levine

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