Psychoanal Q. 2016 Jan;85(1):59-88. doi: 10.1002/psaq.12058.


In 1899, Freud introduced the concept of screen memories. His insights were revolutionary: screen memories do not emerge into consciousness at the time of recall, he argued; they are formed at that time and, moreover, historical accuracy is not their prime concern. In this article, the author reviews two of Freud's screen memories, as well as two screen memories from a completed analysis of one of his own patients. He argues that, if screen memories are formed, a concept such as screen work must be invoked as the agent of their formation. While screen memories may theoretically be formed at any stage of life, adolescence may be a prime time for their formation.

Keywords: Freud; Screen memories; repression; self-analysis; trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Freudian Theory* / history
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy / methods*
  • Repression, Psychology*