Early Recollections: Interpretative Method and Application

Early Recollections: Interpretative Method and Application

Early Recollections: Interpretative Method and Application

Early Recollections: Interpretative Method and Application


Our present and our past are manifestly intertwined. Memories are not identical simulations of the past, but are stories shaped by our current perspectives of others, the world, and ourselves. As a result, the gathering of early recollections can be used as a projective technique that indicates our strengths, goals, lines of movement, fears, and a host of other relevant psychological data. Early Recollections are a quick, accurate, and cost-effective personality assessment demonstrated to have similar reliability and validity to other personality measures.

Both a comprehensive and accessible text, Early Recollections: Interpretative Method and Application presents a constructivist approach and systematic development of early recollection theory. Mosak and Di Pietro invite students to think and actively engage in problem solving rather than merely read for content. Supported by step-by-step examples, this book also offers a perspective suitable for application by Adlerian practitioners, non-Adlerian clinicians, and all other mental health professionals and students seeking a new framework for evaluating personality.


When Freud wrote The Question of Lay Analysis, he adopted a nontraditional style. Instead of writing a traditional professional text, he addressed the reader directly, using the subtitle “Conversations with an Impartial Reader.” We have made the decision in writing this book to follow Freud’s lead, to address the reader directly, and make the writing “personal.”

While the reader may be “impartial,” we are obviously not. Both of the authors have been trained in the Adlerian tradition, and our own interpretations are grounded in Adlerian theory and practice. However, early recollections can be used by a wide spectrum of non-Adlerian clinicians, counselors, coaches, and psychohistorians, whatever psychological orientation they may espouse. Chapter 19, for example, illustrates a Freudian interpretation of a set of early recollections. We have in addition included descriptions of other forms of administration than ours as well as other methods of interpretation. Our intention is not to “sell” the Adlerian methods but rather to acquaint the reader with the wide applicability and utility of this earliest projective technique.

As Bauman (2003) pointed out in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it is difficult to write a book that will appeal to both faculty and students. Consequently we have asked both students and colleagues to offer their comments and suggestions of this book in draft form. We are most grateful to Dave Baker M.A., Dr. Rose Boldt, Joel Bornstein M.A., Albert E. Kircher M.A., and Elizabeth Traina for their assistance. Whatever its merits, the book is a better book for their critiques.

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