Dream analysis (psychodynamic approach) WJEC PSY1

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Dream analysis
Marking scheme
The aims of dream analysis
Examples of the uses of dream analysis
The main features of dream analysis
Finding from identifiable research into dream analysis.
To achieve full marks you must provide links between the aims and the main assumptions of the
psychodynamic approach.
Freud proposed that the unconscious mind expresses itself through dreams and that the
content of a person's dreams can therefore reveal what is in their consciousness. Dream
analysis is the process of assigning meaning to dreams.
Dreams as primary-process thought (repression)
In 1896 Freud coined the term psychoanalysis to refer to the study of mental - as opposed
to physical - causes of psychiatric disorder. He is thus known as the father of psychoanalysis
("the talking cure").
One of Freud's main themes was the amount of activity that goes on in our minds without
our awareness. This resulted in his proposing the now famous model of Ego, Super ego, ID;
EGO concerned with the conscious, the rational, the moral and the self-aware
aspect of the mind.
SUPEREGO the censor for the id, which is also responsible for enforcing the moral
codes of the ego
ID centred on primal impulses, pleasures, desires, unchecked urges and wish
Freud was fully aware of the importance of dreams and described them as the "royal road"
to understanding the unconscious.
When you are awake, the impulses and desires of the id are suppressed by the superego.
The id is associated with irrational, instinct-driven unconscious thought called
primary-process thought. Through dreams, you are able to get a glimpse into your
unconscious or the id. Because your guards are down during the dream state, your
unconscious has the opportunity to act out and express the hidden desires of the
id. However, the desires of the id can, at times, be so disturbing and even psychologically
harmful that a "censor" comes into play and translates the id's disturbing content into a

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This helps to preserve sleep and prevent you from waking
up shocked at the images. As a result, confusing and cryptic dream images occur.
According to Freud, the reason you struggle to remember your dreams, is because the
superego is at work. It is doing its job by protecting the conscious mind from the
disturbing images and desires conjured by the unconscious.
Freud's `wish fulfilment'
Freud published his `Interpretation of Dreams' in 1901.…read more

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Symbolic nature of dreams
For Freud dreams are the mind's attempt to disguise the real underlying meaning of these
repressed wishes. They act as a `psychic safety valve' allowing us to release what would
otherwise be potentially damaging desires. At night we carry out dreamwork in which the
latent content of our dreams (the real meaning) is converted into the manifest content (the
material that appears in our dreams).…read more

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Sexual act Driving a car, riding a horse, entering a room,
climbing stairs or ladders, train entering a
tunnel... Watch the love scene in Naked Gun
for other examples!
Freud classified the images into the following 5 processes:
This occurs when the desire for one thing or person is symbolized by something or
someone else. The emotional significance of a dream object is separated from its real
object or content and attached to an entirely different one
2.…read more

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Secondary revision makes the dream more palatable to waking thought, similar to the
way we automatically attempt to make waking experiences more coherent.
Using dream analysis in therapy
Dream analysis consists of reversing the process that created the manifest content. Free
association can be used to uncover the latent content. The psychoanalyst suggests various
interpretations of the dream based on the free association and knowledge of the patients
background and the patient selected the interpretation that makes the most sense.…read more

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Conversely, as Hayes (1994) points out, surely if dreams were about wish fulfilment then we
would dream far more about food. In fact food makes relatively rare appearances in dreams.
Many dreams are not disguised at all. We often dream about events that have happened
during the day and they appear in the dream in a similar form to the way they appeared in reality.…read more


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