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Anamnesis in Psychoanalysis

By J Jones

Anamnesis represents a common place both for the practice of Christian religious "therapy" and the proper medicine. There are opinions claiming that the role of anamnesis is not only of bringing back to life memories buried under the load of years, but also of reinforcing the healing energies and powers. In fact, psychoanalysis is based on the belief, confirmed by facts, in the healing power of the uttered word, or more precisely of recollecting memories.

In psychoanalysis, like in general medicine, relating the contextual events that have triggered the neurotic symptoms is extremely  important. The patient has to remember facts, happenings, and other events, of any kind, that may be related to the occurrence of the symptoms.

It is obvious that he does not know the significance of the events he has experienced, that is, their psychical dynamic which explains, very clearly, the meaning of the pathological symptoms. It is necessary to know that psychoanalysis rightfully considers that our neurotic symptoms have a certain meaning and sense.

In many cases they are substitution products that link together conflicting psychic demands (conscious + unconscious) or purely conversion of the repressed libido as in anxiety, tachycardia, vertigo or other such clinical symptoms.

The patient doesn't know anything about these facts and more often he gets panicked trying to find out the solution to his symptoms given by the general medicine, by medicines or medical interventions more or less painful.

Therefore the role of anamnesis, of  recollecting the happenings that have preceded the symptoms, is extremely important for the healing of mind disorders. Simply putted, we may find the meaning of the actual symptoms as the result of a complete knowledge concerning the things happened in the past.

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