Memory and phantasy

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O'Donnell, Barry
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The School of Psychotherapy at SVUH
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There is a presupposition in the term 'false memory syndrome' that there are memories that are true and memories that are false; that a false memory is something fabricated and that it therefore has no bearing on the truth; and what is fabricated is described as 'phantasy'. This approach distinguishes memory and phantasy so that their content is taken to be mutually exclusive. A consideration of some texts of Freud problematises this set of assumptions and in the end renders them untenable. The aim of this contribution to today's debate is to present something of what Freud says of the relations between 'memory' and 'phantasy' so that the status we grant to childhood events recollected in analysis may be called into question.