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201 Technique: Dream Interpretation – 5 seminars

Seminar Leader: D. Carveth PhD

Course Description

After “The Interpretation of Dreams”

This 5 seminar course addresses the evolution of psychoanalytic dream theory and practice after Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams”. Seminar 1 reinforces the central technique of free association in working with dreams (and generally) in psychoanalytic treatment. Seminar 2 explores the uniquely catalytic role of dreams in facilitating work with developmental issues and their recapitulation within the treatment. Seminar 3 examines important overlaps between themes relived in the psychoanalytic treatment situation and conflicts evident between sleeping/forgetting vs. dreaming/awakening. Seminar 4 places working with dreams in the context of the therapeutic alliance. Psychoanalytic dream work is shown to extend beyond content interpretation to its role in fostering the psychoanalytic therapeutic dyad. Seminar 5 addresses the role of changing conceptual models on interpretive modes of working with dreams. It also anticipates 3rd and 4th year dream seminars which enlarge on these issues. Candidates will be encouraged to discuss dreams from their own case material.

Course Objectives

Candidates will learn:

  1. (1.2) how to use key concepts in the theory of psychoanalysis (associations, manifest vs. latent content, conscious/unconscious distinctions) in relation to dream material.
  2. (1.2) how working with dreams has a unique role in facilitating the establishing of a psychoanalytic therapeutic relationship.
  3. (4.2) how collaboratively working with dreams – uniquely personal expressions of the inner self – helps establish rapport and calls for the employment of empathy, respect and authenticity. This also fosters autonomy through the involvement of the analysand in reflection on dreams, thus facilitating the development of self-reflective capacity.
  4. (5.1) how psychoanalytic models of dreaming and working with dreams have evolved to reflect a current diversity of approaches.

Seminar 1

Required Readings

Freud, S. (1920). A note on the prehistory of the technique of analysis. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud Vol.18 (pp. 263-265).

Freud, S. (1923). Remarks on the theory and practice of dream interpretation. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud Vol. 19 (pp. 107-122).

Erikson, E.H. (1954). The Dream Specimen of Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:5-56.

Seminar 2

Required Readings

Fenichel, O. (1926). The appearance in a dream of a lost memory. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 7, 243-247.

Sterba, R. (1946). Dreams and acting out. Psychoanalysis Quarterly, 15, 175-179.

Hewitson, O. Reading Seminar 2 Chapter XIII.,

Seminar 3

Required Readings

Lewin, B.D. (1955). Dream psychology and the analytic situation. Psychoanalysis Quarterly, 4, 169-199.

Seminar 4

Required Readings

Bollas, C. (1998). Origins of the therapeutic alliance. Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 21, 24-36.

Seminar 5

Required Readings

Ferro, A. (2002). The Waking Dream and Narrative Derivatives. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, (83)(3):597-607

Eshel, O. (2001). Whose Sleep is It, Anyway?: Or ‘Night Moves’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 82:545-562.

Supplementary Reading

Fischbein, S.V. & Miramon, B. (2015). Theoretical trajectories: Dreams and dreaming from Freud to Bion. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 96, 967-992.

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