Freud'S Dream Theory Essay

He suggests that a patient might describe a seemingly nonsensical dream to a psychoanalytic therapist, who then transforms that dream into "normal communication" by distinguishing between its manifest content and its latent content (11).

Freud describes the manifest content as the "text" of the dream, the actual images or events that the dreamer observes (11).

The dreamer's mind can relax, and the unconscious indulges its desires through the “hallucinatory satisfaction” of dreams (20).

Freud then addresses the question of what useful function dreams serve.

It is only at this point that the analyst should interpret these associations, making a final connection between the manifest and latent content.

Freud acknowledges the argument that the analyst forces an interpretation onto the dream through this process, but counters that clinical experience reveals the effectiveness of such a treatment.

However, sleep is only a temporary and purposeful retreat from outside reality.

He explains how dream analysis evolved from a “psychotherapeutic procedure” to a “depth psychology” (8).He believes that latent thoughts are transformed into manifest thoughts via the same psychological mechanisms that construct neurotic symptoms.Therefore, understanding dreams will help us treat neurotic patients.In other words, the unconscious may use images or feelings from the day to express its otherwise repressed desires.The fact that certain dreams awaken and alarm the sleeper merely confirms the fact that dreams are delving into repressed urges.The first professional journal dedicated to psychoanalysis, it initially featured a regular section on dream interpretation, but eventually ceased including that feature, suggesting that dream interpretation was no longer considered important.However, Freud considers dreams as essential to understanding the human psyche, and provides a hypothetical situation to illustrate his argument.Sometimes, the patient unknowingly withholds important associations by relaying other less important associations.Other times, the patient may forget his dreams, misremember certain aspects, or even unconsciously refuse to relate important associations.Therefore, psychoanalysis involves both the practical task of interpreting the manifest content of dreams, and the theoretical task of explaining how the latent content has been shaped into its manifest content.In other words, a psychoanalyst must first interpret the dream, and then explain to the patient how dreams are formed.

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  1. One method of tackling such an essay would be to distinguish five or six areas of similarity and contrast, and to devote a section of the essay to each area - a section in which you would assess the degree of similarity and reach a sub-conclusion.