elle n’a pas présenté de réminiscences

16:30 Aug 8, 2018
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Medical - Psychology
French term or phrase: elle n’a pas présenté de réminiscences
A psychiatric report I'm translating says the patient "n’a pas présenté de réminiscences, d’amnésie, de flashback." The final two things in the list are easy to translate - amnesia and flashbacks - but I'm not sure how to translate the first thing, "réminiscences". The obvious translation would be "reminiscences", but that sounds strange to me, because in English, reminiscing is an enjoyable activity.

Here's the context:

La patiente n’a jamais présenté d’idées de suicide. L’anxiété prédominait. Elle vivait un sentiment d’impuissance. Son fonctionnement était généralement perturbé. Toutefois, elle n’a pas présenté de réminiscences, d’amnésie, de flashback. Il n’y a pas eu de réactivations de passé traumatique.
Paul Jones
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:36

Summary of answers provided
4 +2reminiscence
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
3 +1reminiscence
S. Marcotte

Discussion entries: 3



1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1

Canada's oft used government termbase Termium has a specific entry for that term (link below). Much of Termium's terminology is taken from official European sources, but as the French synonym "souvenir" also appears on the right, I get the feeling the term may not be especially clinical in nature. But at least you'll have a source.

Here's the link:


S. Marcotte
Local time: 22:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: How is it that I've never heard of Termium before? It's amazing! I'll definitely be using it from now on.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: I hope you don't mind my posting the same term as you have already posted. I've posted an answer rather than a reference post as I have wanted to explain stuff.
5 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2

In the discussion section, Marco presents an interesting source that considers the English conception and use of the term and its overlap with autobiographical memory, the latter type of memory being part of long-term memory. Reminiscence is something people use, consciously and unconsciously, to recall events of their own past. It is used in some types of psychotherapy, particularly with old people, as a technique, as explained in the article cited by Marco. The authors explain that they use "réminiscence" with the English psychological meaning. Reminiscence is a mnesic function that serves autobiographical memory and is used in therapy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=reminiscence thera...

Also in the discussions section, Kevin's first source describes spontaneous unconscious recall of images from an event of the individual's past. In PTSD, for example, a person may experience amnesia, flashbacks and recollection of negative information. In PTSD the negative thoughts are often automatic and become distorted which results in an increase of PTSD symptoms (Schiraldi, G.R., The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, 2016, McGraw Hill, pp.176-180).

The term "reminiscence" is used ordinarily as an activity which is pleasant. To understand it with its ordinary meaning in this context would clearly be incorrect. However, in psychology, the term "reminiscence" refers to both voluntary and involuntary recollection of past events. If you check this article, you will see how it can be used in French psychological contexts in the same specific way the same term is used in English psychological contexts. Scan through some of the content of the article, in French, but confirm the use of the term in English by reading through the bibliographic references at the ened of the article, the majority of which are in English, from classic peer-reviewed original language sources, and which use the term "reminiscence", http://www.jle.com/download/nrp-304974-concept_de_reminiscen...

Note added at 7 hrs (2018-08-08 23:41:32 GMT)

I came across the term "réminiscence" in studying PTSD and during specific informational training on PTSD with a couple of people from this team http://www.abcpsychotraumas.fr/pages/les-equipes/equipe-8.ph...

Note added at 7 hrs (2018-08-08 23:44:06 GMT)

Amnesia and flashback are found in PTSD and it seem particularly relevant therefore that "réminiscence" should appear here. The extract you post goes on to affirm that there has been no "réactivation de passé traumatique". It all makes perfect sense. ;-)

Note added at 1 day 5 hrs (2018-08-09 21:54:20 GMT)

Correction: "an activity that is pleasant"

Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 04:36
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 46

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  B D Finch: I think that, in this context, the explanation is as important as giving the correct term.
10 hrs

agree  Victoria Britten
1 day 7 hrs
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