Psychology - Psychodynamic approach - Dream Analysis

  • Created by: jkav
  • Created on: 10-05-15 22:11

Dream analysis

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 unconscious. Dream analysis is the process of assigning meaning to dreams.

Dreams as primary-process thought (repression)

Freud beived that personality consists of three basic structures: the id, ego and superego. Most importaqnt in the explanation of dreaming is the id. This is the unconscious source of our impulses, and is also the source of the wishes and fantasies that derive from these. The id is associated with irrational, instinct-driven unconscious though called primary-process thought. This form of though is unacceptable to the adult conscious mind, and so is relegated to our dreams (Freud referred to this as repression), where we can act out our wishes and desires. Freud belived that if we did not dream, the energy invested in these desires would build up to intolerable levels and so threaten our sanity.

Dreams as wish fulfilment

Freud believed that all reams were te unconscious fulfilment of wishes that could ot be satisfied in the conscious mind. Dreams therefore protect the sleeper (primary-process throught), but also allow some expression to these buried urges (wish fulfilment).

The symbolic nature of dreams 

According to Freud, although dreams represent unfulfilled wishes, their contents are expressed symbolically. The real meaning of a dream (latent content) is transformed into a more innocuous form (manifest content, the content you actually experience) that may be eaningless to anybody but a psychoanalyst trained to interpret these symbols. For example, a penis ma be represented by a snake or a gun, a vagina by a tunnel or a cave. In order to understand the meaning of dream symbols fully, however, Freud believed it was necessary to consider them in the context of a person's life. For example, a fish could represent a person's friend who is a fisherman who has a piscean star sign. Freud did not support…


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