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Lipschitz, F. (1990). The Dream Within a Dream—Proflection Vs. Reflection. Contemp. Psychoanal., 26:716-731.

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(1990). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 26:716-731

The Dream Within a Dream—Proflection Vs. Reflection

Fred Lipschitz, Ph.D. Author Information

A 34 YEAR OLD FEMALE PATIENT has the following dream;

In my parents house, dreaming about waves overtaking me. I found if I kicked my legs and yelled 'Lilly Down' it was easier. I also dreamed my mother introduced me to a friend of hers, but I couldn't see her because I didn't have my glasses and the light was in my eyes. When I woke up I went to the bedroom next door. I told my parents (or just my mother?) about my dream. My mother had a friend there. Her eyes were bloodshot. My mother was worried and seemed to be looking a doctor up in the phone book.

The unique dyadic structure of this type of dream compels the question; why does the dreamer go through the effort of creating an inner dream separate from the larger containing dream, and what is the function of this arrangement. Freud (1900/1973) saw the placing of a dream within a dream as aimed at denying the "reality" of the inner dream-within-a dream. He states:

The intention is once again to detract from the importance of what is 'dreamt' in the dreams to rob it of its reality. What is dreamt in a dream after waking from the 'dream within a dream' is what the dream-wish seeks to put in the place of the obliterated reality … To include something in a "dream within a dream" is thus equivalent to wishing that the thing described as a dream had never happened (p. 338).

Most writers in this area have affirmed Freud's view of the dream within a dream as designed to denigrate or undo the reality of what was dreamed. Wilder (1956) who wrote about dreams in

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This article is dedicated to Dr. Edward S. Tauber who enlivened my interest in the world of dreams.

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Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 26, No. 4 (1990)

1 I wish to express my appreciation for permission to present this dream which was originally published in Contemporary Psychotherapy Review, 1983.

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