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Joffe, W.G. (1965). Dream Interpretation: A New Approach: By Thomas M. French and Erika Fromm. (New York and London: Basic Books, 1964. Pp. 224. $5.50, 30s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:532-533.

(1965). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 46:532-533

Dream Interpretation: A New Approach: By Thomas M. French and Erika Fromm. (New York and London: Basic Books, 1964. Pp. 224. $5.50, 30s.)

Review by:
W. G. Joffe

In this work the authors make use of several dreams of one patient to illustrate how an operational approach which includes the use of intuitive imagination and critical appraisal can be applied to dream interpretation. They emphasize that their approach introduces a systematic method of checking an essentially intuitive art; and this makes it an adequate tool for scientific investigation. By their method the various meanings of the dream can be shown to fit into an intelligible cognitive structure and into the dreamer's real situation at the time of dreaming.

The ideas presented are an elaboration of those previously presented by French in his three-volume Integration of Behavior, and are contrasted with Freud's theories. The authors see the dream as a problem-solving phenomenon:

The practical, empathic thinking that underlies dreams becomes more intelligible when we recognize that the functional units in this living process are problems, not wishes or fantasies. Wishes are the dynamic stimuli that activate problems. Wishfulfilling fantasies are attempts, often fleeting attempts, to solve problems. Both wishes and wishfulfilling fantasies are only parts or phases of a more comprehensive problem-solving effort (p. 207).


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