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303 Comparative Dreams – 5 seminars

Seminar Leaders: Dr. P. Keefe

Course Description

This 5-seminar course will illustrate a diversity of clinical psychoanalytic practices in working with dreams through the examination of verbatim session material. Candidates will also present dreams from case material. Divergence between theory and actual practice will be explored in the hopes of fostering an attitude of flexibility in the candidates’ work with dreams. A shift will also be evident across decades of actual psychoanalytic practices with dreams: content interpretation shifts to collaborative use of dreams in maintenance of the therapeutic process. Seminar One re-emphasizes the key role of using associations to dreams in preserving the patient’s and analyst’s affective attunement (and the therapeutic alliance) in a difficult case. Seminar Two examines Freud’s actual (and notably flexible) work with dreams in a bisexual individual. Seminar Three examines Winnicott’s use of the dream as an instrument of attunement to an individual with developmental failures of attunement. Seminar Four explores the use of the dream in the ‘co-construction’ of the psychoanalytic treatment relationship. Seminar Five illustrates work showing a transition in practice from content ‘to the development of the instruments for dreaming, feeling and thinking’, a.k.a. reflective capacity and emotional growth.

Course Objectives

The Candidates will learn:

  1. (1.2) How, despite apparently divergent psychoanalytic theoretical orientations, actual clinical practices share a common ground vis-à-vis the utility of the dream in establishing and maintaining the therapeutic relationship.
  2. (1.4) How dream material may signal emotional reactions to the analyst’s interventions. The self-attunement of the analyst in relation to emerging dream material (including his/her own) draws on an ongoing awareness of the analyst’s impact on the therapeutic process.
  3. (4.2) How various clinical psychoanalytic practices with dreams (a): employ empathy, respect and authenticity, (b): establish rapport and (e): assume a non-judgmental stance.
  4. (4.5) To develop self-efficacy in working with dreams in a variety of ways, especially in ‘facilitating patient exploration of issues and patterns of behaviour’ and also ‘supporting patient exploration of a range of emotions.’
  5. Further develop their self-efficacy and clinical skills in working with dreams through engagement with readings on diverse approaches. (4.5)
  6. Develop critical thinking skills through evaluation and discussion of changing conceptions of the psychoanalytic process as reflected in changing conceptions of working with dreams. (1.2)
  7. Enhance their flexibility in psychoanalytic work through an appreciation of the various uses of dreams, including establishing and maintaining the therapeutic alliance. (4.2)

Seminar 1

Required Readings

Loden, S. (2003). The fate of the dream in contemporary analysis. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 51, 43-70.

Seminar 2

Required Readings

Doolittle, H. D. (1956). Tribute to Freud (pp. 115-187). New York, NY: New Directions (1984).

Seminar 3

Required Readings

Winnicott, D. (1986). Holding and Interpretation: Fragment of An Analysis (pp. 162-185). London: Hogarth Press.

Seminar 4

Required Readings

Ogden, T. (1996). Reconsidering three aspects of analytic technique. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 77, 883-899.

Seminar 5

Required Readings

Ferro, A. (2009). Transformations in dreaming and characters in the psychoanalytic field. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 90, 209-230.

Supplementary Readings

Grotstein, J. (1979). Who is the dreamer who dreams the dream? Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 15, 110-169.

Fairbairn, W. (1944). Endopsychic structure considered in terms of object relationships. In Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality. London: Routledge. (PEPWEB).

Winnicott, D. (1971). Dreaming, fantasizing, and living. In Playing and Reality (pp.26-37). London, Tavistock. (PEPWEB).

Meltzer, D. (1983). Chapter 3. In Dream-Life: A Re-Examination of the Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique. London: Karnac. (PEPWEB)

Aron, L. (1991). Dreams, narratives and the psychoanalytic method. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 25, 108-126.

Ferro, A. (2012). Creativity in the consulting room: Factors of fertility and infertility. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 32, 257-274.

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