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Harris, I.D. (1962). Dreams about the Analyst. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:151-158.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:151-158

Dreams about the Analyst

Irving D. Harris

The kind of dream to be discussed in this communication will become evident from the following example. A young woman recently graduated from college reported her first dream of the analysis in the twelfth hour: 'A professor is saying that I am the brightest and cutest student he ever had.' Her associations to 'professor' are essentially non-enlightening: she liked her professors—this is a not immediately identifiable professor—he looked somewhat like a professor she had, but the dream professor wore glasses—the shape of the glasses was similar to that of the analyst, but the colour much different. Now, though this dream has obvious transference implications, it is debatable whether it can be designated as a dream predominantly about the analyst. The dream could as well reflect residual transference to her college professor. Much less debatable in this regard is a dream reported in the 45th hour, 'I was having an analytic session with you—my mother had died the previous night and I was telling you what happened.'

It is the second kind of dream which will be the focus of this report. The essential criterion is that the analyst is dreamed of unmistakably in his real identity. Thus, analyst dreams would include: (i) Dreams in which the analyst is seen (such as the one just described); (ii) Dreams in which the analyst is heard—example: 'I was in your waiting room and I heard you talking to another patient'; (iii) Dreams in which the analyst is thought of or referred to—examples: 'I was going down for my hour with you, but didn't get there because the train was delayed.

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