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Adams, M.V. (2000). Compensation in the Service of Individuation—Phenomenological Essentialism and Jungian Dream Interpretation: Commentary on Paper by Hazel Ipp. Psychoanal. Dial., 10(1):127-142.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 10(1):127-142

Compensation in the Service of Individuation—Phenomenological Essentialism and Jungian Dream Interpretation: Commentary on Paper by Hazel Ipp Related Papers

Michael Vannoy Adams, CSW, D.Phil.

Jungians believe that compensation in the service of individuation is the primary transformative function of dreams. Jung (1916a) classifies dreams in three basic categories: reactive, compensatory, and prospective. Reactive dreams simply reproduce an experience that has had a traumatic emotional impact on the psyche. According to Jung, however, most dreams are compensatory. What they compensate is the attitude of the ego in the present. The attitude of the ego is always partial and prejudicial; in the extreme case, it may be utterly defective. Jung defines the ego as identity. That is, the ego is identified with a certain attitude and is disidentified from other, alternative perspectives of which it is, for whatever reason, unconscious. Compensatory dreams challenge the ego to relate to perspectives to which it has previously been unrelated or ineffectively related. The ego may then seriously entertain, evaluate, and either accept or reject these perspectives.

There is no imperative for the ego to integrate these perspectives. What Jung advocates is not uncritical captitulation by the ego to the unconscious but a retional dialogue between the ego and the unconscious.

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