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Ullman, M. (1967). Discussion. Am. J. Psychoanal., 27(2):184-187.

(1967). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 27(2):184-187


Montague Ullman, M.D.

To read and listen to a paper by Dr. Kelman is an experience in consciousness expansion without the chemical side effects, but with the same feeling of being shook up and left to gaze in wonder at a familiar but very different world. Only someone who combines a little of the artist, a rich sprinkling of the philosopher, something of the scientist who is not caught up in the scientific establishment, and a goodly dose of clinical sensitivity could accomplish this. And I think he has succeeded admirably.

I would like to make three points in this discussion. The first concerns Dr. Kelman's ever so justifiable concern over the problem of getting through to psychoanalytic trainees on the issue of dreams. The second pertains to the richness of the phenomenological approach itself. Third, I would like to discuss the specific application of this approach to the dreams presented and raise what I believe to be some points of difference.


Dr. Kelman has opened up a very important area when he indicates how encumbered psychoanalytic trainees are in their initial attempts to struggle with dreams. The paradox can be simply stated. The student's encounter with the dream as the most compellingly spontaneous, creative kind of datum presented by the patient tends to elicit from the neophyte a kind of response that is very formula ridden, cliché encumbered, and is an appeal to higher authority. The dream is the patient's invitation to the therapist to experience him, the patient, in his uniqueness.

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