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Ullman, M. (1993). Of “Sleep and Dream: A Psychoanalytic Essay” by Joyce McDougall (Discussion). Int. Forum Psychoanal., 2(4):219-224.

(1993). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 2(4):219-224

Of “Sleep and Dream: A Psychoanalytic Essay” by Joyce McDougall (Discussion) Related Papers

Montague Ullman, M.D.

An alternative view of the nature of dreaming consciousness is presented that differs from that of Dr. McDougall in three important ways. The dream is not regarded as the result of a return to a regressive state. It is a highly creative metaphorical representation of the subjective state of the dreamer. The dreamer is involved in a self-confrontational act that is revelatory rather than disguised. Secondly, the dream is the result of the interplay of motivational sources that go beyond wish-fulfilment and that are mobilized by the effort to move against inner and outer constraints. Finally, dream content is concerned with issues of connectedness to the self and others. A distinction is drawn between an approach based solely on the basic phenomenological features of dreaming consciousness namely, the linkage of present and past subjective residues of experience and an approach in which metapsychological theory is used as a superimposed template in arriving at the meaning of dream imagery. The implications of this point of view are explored in connection with the clinical material presented by Dr. McDougall, A greater emphasis is placed on amplifying the recent emotional context of the dream, the specificity of the dream imagery and the dialogue needed to develop as fully as possible the associative matrix of the dream.

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