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Derbolowsky, U. (1975). Three-Stage Technique of Dream Interpretation. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:75-82.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:75-82

Three-Stage Technique of Dream Interpretation

Udo Derbolowsky, M.D.

THE HUMAN BEING can be considered as a complete system which regulates itself. Just as metabolism functions in a regulatory way, dreams, too, have regulatory functions. For example, in an initial consultation a patient with inhibitions caused by fear sits on the edge of his chair and speaks in a low voice. He recounts one of his dreams, in which, sitting in an underground shelter, he survives a devastating air raid. The patient is the author of the dream and thus the person responsible for the events which occur in the dream—in this case war, an air raid and the dropping of bombs. Knowing this, the therapist now has two widely divergent impressions of the patient. One is derived from the anxiously inhibited appearance of the patient, who is in a condition of distress because of his fears and inhibitions. The other is derived from the aggressive release of energy in the dream, which has been dreamed as a regulatory counter-measure. Thus the therapist by combining these two impressions can get a true picture of what the patient "is really like, " of how he would be as a healthy man and what he might look like after a course of successful treatment.

The three-stage technique of dream interpretation is based on this conception of the dream as a regulatory counter-measure in a disturbed organism.

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