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Curtis, H.C. Sachs, D.M. (1976). Dialogue on 'The Changing Use of Dreams in Psychoanalytic Practice'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:343-354.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:343-354

Dialogue on 'The Changing Use of Dreams in Psychoanalytic Practice'

Homer C. Curtis and David M. Sachs

This Dialogue on dreams continued the development of the theme of the Congress which was to demonstrate significant differences among analysts in their theoretical and clinical concepts. In the most extreme instances these differences brought into question the very definition and purpose of psychoanalysis. The following report will indicate how widely divergent are the conceptual orientations of the speakers in regard to dreams, a topic fundamental to psycho-analysis. It was hoped that the selection of advocates of differing positions would result in a dialogue; however, it was seldom possible to maintain the interchange of ideas necessary to establish that process. For this reason, the reader will not find many examples of a developing interaction among the speakers. Instead, this report will demonstrate that speakers and discussants tended to use their time to develop the arguments which supported their own positions. They accomplished this with sufficient clarity so that those in attendance were able to become aware of the differences of opinion and could use this opportunity to clarify their own thinking. It is the hope of the reporters that they have reflected the proceedings of the meeting in such a way that the reader may have the same experience.

In his opening remarks the Chairman, Jean-Bertrand Pontalis (Paris) reminded the audience that the theme of the Dialogue was not dreams per se, but the changing use of dreams in clinical practice. He pointed out that among the major theories of psychoanalysis, the theory of dreams has changed the least, although the dream is variously seen as a message, a puzzle to be deciphered or an intrapsychic experience.

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