Early memories: Clinical relevance and significance

Gillian van der Watt, David Coall, Adelln Sng, Aleksandar Janca

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The purpose of this research was to examine earliest memories in patients with a mental disorder and their clinical relevance to diagnosis and treatment.Method: A semi-structured early memory questionnaire was developed and 50 patients with anxiety, depression or a psychotic disorder were interviewed. A thematic analysis was conducted to extract dominant themes from the qualitative data.Results: Family events, play, and receiving attention were dominant themes of pleasant memories, while unpleasant memories consisted of fear-provoking situations, abuse/violence, and death-related themes. Participants were able to recall the feelings they had experienced at the time of their earliest memories and most participants stated that their first memories had significant impact in their lives.Conclusions: The findings of this exploratory study suggest that earliest memories may be of clinical significance for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in psychiatry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-38
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


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