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Stewart, H. (1973). The Experiencing of the Dream and the Transference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 54:345-347.

(1973). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 54:345-347

The Experiencing of the Dream and the Transference

Harold Stewart

The aspect of the role of dreams in psychoanalysis that I wish to discuss here concerns the dreamer's experience of himself in relationship to the events in the dream, and the possible changes of this experience that can occur during the course of an analysis. I am concerned with this one aspect of the manifest content of the dream as reported by the dreamer and its relationship to the state of the transference. This experiential aspect of the dream should not be confused with the various emotions that the dreamer might feel during the course of a dream. Thus a fairly healthy person might experience his dreams as though he were actively involved in the varying events in the dream, or else passively observing them, or perhaps alternating between activity and passivity, but he would not feel that only one sort of experience was as it were 'allowed' to him in his dreams to the exclusion of all others. He might experience varying emotions during the course of the dream, such as anger, fear or jealousy, but these are not the same sort of experiences as the former and it is with them that this paper is concerned.

My interest in this topic was first aroused by observations on a patient over the course of her analysis, which lasted about six years. My patient was a young woman who had been confined to a mental hospital for three years before being accepted for analysis, suffering from a borderline schizophrenic psychosis with a severe urinary disturbance. She was depersonalized with almost no sense of self, suffered from derealization and had numerous bizarre conscious fantasies that were almost delusional in quality.

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