Interpretation of Dreams

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Unconscious mind, Dream Pages: 6 (1970 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Interpretation of Dreams

Dreams reflection of complex negotiations carried out by different parts of the mind. Discussing why dreams need to be interpreted. Can the dreamer explain the meaning of his/her dream without the help of the analyst?

Neringa Puteliene
ATI BA in Psychology course 1st year


The average human spends six years of his or her life dreaming. Between 18 and 38 percent of people say they have experienced at least one precognitive dream and 70 percent have experienced déjà vu. Within five minutes of waking, half of the average person’s dream is forgotten, while 90 percent is forgotten in just 10 minutes. However, people are more likely to remember their dreams if they’re awakened during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage. There is not one person in whole world that haven’t had a dream. Some of dreams are clear and easy to understand, some very confusing. At some stage in life waking up after dreaming we find ourselves thinking “Does my dream mean anything? Why I had it? Is that a message? Prophecy?”. Dreams play big role in mythology and are a key element in many legends all over the world as well as in daily every man’s life. So what are dreams? Why we dream? Do they mean anything? Is it important to understand dreams? Can it be helpful in psychological person’s development?

Sigmund Freud (06.05.1856 – 23.09.1939) was Austrian neurologists who become known as founding father of Psychoanalysis. While treating his clients he continuously found them talking about their dreams. Freud found it important. He started recording and analysing them and tried to interpret the trough meaning of dreams. In 1900 Freud released a book called “Interpretation of Dreams” which becomes one of most significant books of 20th century. In the book he laid out his theory of dream interpretation based on his client cases and mostly on his own dreams. His method was especially encouraged by analysis of one of his dreams called “Irma’s Injection”. First edition of the book begins:

"In the following pages, I shall demonstrate that there exists a psychological technique by which dreams may be interpreted and that upon the application of this method every dream will show itself to be a easeful psychological structure which may be introduced into an assignable place in the psychic activity of the waking state. I shall furthermore endeavour to explain the processes which give rise to the strangeness and obscurity of the dream, and to discover through them the psychic forces, which operate whether in combination or opposition, to produce the dream. This accomplished by investigation will terminate as it will reach the point where the problem of the dream meets broader problems, the solution of which must be attempted through other material."

Dreams reflect complex negotiations carried out by different parts of mind

The argument on dream interpretation in Freud’s book is like this: <Dreams are the fulfilment of a wish
<Dreams are the disguised fulfilment of a wish
<Dreams are the disguised fulfilment of a repressed wish
<Dreams are the disguised fulfilment of a repressed, infantile wish

What is wish? There is a “want” and a prohibition. A whish is a result. As we get older the prohibition becomes internalised and the forbidden wishes become unconscious. Quite often dreams seem to make no sense. They may appear like a row of disconnected images with no logical pattern. Therefore if dreams are unfulfilled wishes, they must be disguised in some way. They have to be interpreted because their manifest content (as Freud calls it) is not the same as their hidden or “latent” content (instigating and underlying “dream thought”). One of reasons of dreams being irrational is condensation. Which is images, people, places even language all blend in one. Freud noticed that dream itself seemed to be about one thing whereas the dream thoughts showed it was really about...
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