Freud's Dream Analysis. a Case Study

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Unconscious mind, Psychoanalysis Pages: 6 (2156 words) Published: July 26, 2010
Freud believed that dreams are the “royal road to the unconscious”, for it is within an individual’s dream state that their unconscious wishes, needs, and fears are expressed (Corey, 2005, p. 76). Dedicating his work to creating a procedure which could assist with the emergence of unconscious thoughts into the conscious mind, Freud developed psychoanalytical therapy: a therapy aimed at increasing awareness, encouraging insight into the client’s behaviour, and understanding the significance of symbols (Corey, 2005). Using Freud’s psychoanalytic theory on dream analysis, this reflective essay endeavours to analyse a personal dream. The purpose of this analysis is to offer an interpretation in to any emotional issues that I may be currently experiencing. In order to do this, Freud’s techniques of dream analysis, free association and interpretation will be discussed and applied (Rathus, 2004). Furthermore, due to Freud’s belief that dreams are mainly linked to childhood experiences, an overview of his theory on psychosexual development will be provided, with special focus on the phallic stage (Plotnik, 2002). Freud hypothesised that the human mind is divided into three main parts: the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious (Strickland, 2001). According to Krapp (2005), the conscious part of the mind contains thoughts and feelings of which one is aware, and plays a crucial role in the development of adaptive functioning. The preconscious functions as a transitional part of the mind between the conscious and the unconscious (Strickland, 2001). It contains content of which an individual is aware of, but not necessarily paying attention to at that precise moment (Straker, 2007). The unconscious mind is described by Sharf (2004), as a container which houses memories, thoughts and emotions that have been pushed away (repressed) by the preconscious mind, due to being too distressful for the conscious (for example, childhood trauma or abuse). However, as stated by Brians et al. (1999), repressed material buried in the unconscious can surface in a disguised form during a dream. Thus, one of the goals of psychoanalytic therapy is to extract material stored in the unconscious so it can be presented to the conscious, and subsequently, assist the client in obtaining a better understanding of their life and self (Brians et al., 1999). Dream analysis is a technique used in psychoanalysis to explore the role dreams play in the unconscious (Corey, 2005). Freud reputed that while an individual is in their sleeping state, their psychological defences are lowered, and an opportunity for repressed thoughts or experiences to enter the conscious mind, is created (through a dream) (Dixon & Hayes, 1999). Due to the repressed material being too distressing for the dreamer’s conscious however, the content would display itself in a disguised or symbolic form: a form Freud referred to as the manifest content (Dixon & Hayes, 1999). In contrast, there is also a part of a dream called the latent content (Wilson, 2005). And according to Wilson (2005), the latent content is the part which holds the true meaning behind the manifest content. Freud also expressed the importance of the dreamer’s day residue, and explained how memories or events from the dreamer’s previous day can ignite a connection with the latent content of a dream (Langs, Bucci, Udoff, Cramer & Thomson, 1993). The dream I am presenting for this analysis, in order to uncover any repressed material that may be stored in my unconscious mind is: I found myself in a motel room with my ex partner, who is also my children’s father. He was standing behind me, not moving, but had a look on his face which indicated to me that he wanted to have sex. I was frantically trying to pack my belongings into a suitcase, as just being near him, made me feel sick. However, the suitcase did not seem to be working. In fact, it seemed...
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