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Eder, M.D. (1930). Dreams—as Resistance. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:40-47.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:40-47

Dreams—as Resistance

M. D. Eder

None here will dispute that the interpretation of dreams is the via regia to an understanding of the unconscious. But there may be less complete unanimity if one asks whose understanding is in question, that of the dreamer or that of the interpreter, analysand or analyst. Again I think there will be general agreement that, to the analyst, the patient's dreams are indeed a via regia to the latter's unconscious; even when the associations are scanty or altogether absent dreams give a considerable insight into the deeper workings of the patient's mind; where the association material is generous, the analyst's understanding is all the more rapid and penetrating.

All this is perfectly obvious, almost banal, and I only allude to it here to point out that this does not, by any means, imply that the analysand's understanding of their own unconscious is necessarily easily reached or reached at all through the interpretation of their dreams.

I rather think that there is some difference in the attitude of the analysand to-day from what obtained in the earlier days of psycho-analysis.

When nearly twenty years ago I began the analysis (very imperfectly of course) of my own dreams, and that of my first patient, associations were liberal—we knew nothing. Nowadays it is rare to find analysands who have not had some previous information about psycho-analysis through reading of psycho-analytic literature, through the Press or from friends; they knew enough to be certain that the meaning of dreams plays a large part in the work of analysis and they have some knowledge of this procedure. Freud pointed out that the more the patient has learnt of the method of dream interpretation during analysis the more obscure, as a rule, do his later dreams become. We are somewhat in the same position in regard to the earliest dreams of our patients nowadays—that is—all the possible ways of resistance are marked out.


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