Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 52–65 | Cite as

The renovative aspect of psychoanalytic reconstruction in psychotherapy

  • Joyce Edward


Reconstruction of the origins of present day psychic phenomena constitutes an essential component of psychoanalytically oriented treatment. The clinician seeks to help restore to the patient a picture of the past and to correct or revise those early impressions that have been distorted as a result of cognitive immaturity or altered by the employment of defense, fantasy, or compensatory adaptations. It is this renovative aspects of reconstruction which will be elaborated upon, drawing from the treatment of a borderline woman who, since childhood, had overly employed the autoerotic resources of her body to compensate for missed object experiences. Ultimately this effort came to block her development, distort organization, and compromise self valuation. By tracing her polymorphous perversity in adulthood back to its origins, it was possible to enable her to regard her responses to chronic childhood trauma in a new light. This in turn aided in the revision of the predominantly negatively coloured self representations, leading to more positive development in the narcissistic sphere of her personality.


Childhood Trauma Positive Development Object Experience Chronic Childhood Compensatory Adaptation 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce Edward
    • 1
  1. 1.Freeport

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