Z Psychosom Med Psychoanal 1996;42(1):1-24
The construction of biographical data by the analyst and the remembrance of the past by the patient were regarded as vital for the psychoanalytic cure by Freud. Today the working-through of the transference in the actual therapeutic relationship is regarded as much more important. Whether the past is constructed or reconstructed, whether past events can explain present experiences etc., these questions are discussed not only in psychoanalysis, but also in the historical sciences and in philosophy. The dialogue with these can offer new insights into the relation of past to present, the importance of narrativity etc. to psychoanalysis; at the same time by comparison psychoanalysis can define its proper and specific approach to biography more clearly. These specific methods include the intersubjectivity of psychoanalytic experience in general and of reconstruction of the past, particularly, and the psychoanalytic process of remembering that leads to a differentiation of presence and past. Psychoanalysis is no psychosynthesis; it de-constructs experience, whereas the synthesis of the past is left to the patient's synthetic functions.