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Stewart, H. (1981). The Technical Use, and Experiencing, of Dreams. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 62:301-306.

(1981). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 62:301-306

The Technical Use, and Experiencing, of Dreams

Harold Stewart


This paper was read at the European English Speaking Conference in London, October 1980.

(MS. received October 1980)

Copyright © Harold Stewart

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It was in 'The Interpretation of Dreams', that Freud (1900) first put forward a number of hypotheses concerning the meaning of dreams, the functions of dreams in the psychic life of the individual, together with certain technical procedures that he had adopted to enable him to arrive at these hypotheses. The function of the dream was to allow impulses, conflicts, perceptions, memories, etc. which had been repressed, to be expressed in symbolic form which was acceptable to the consciousness of the dreamer. This acceptable symbolic form constituted the manifest dream content, and the technical procedures adopted, particularly that of free association, gave access to the contents of the repressed unconscious, the latent dream content, and herein lay the importance of the dream for Freud.

Further technical developments enabled Freud to discover other routes to the unconscious, particularly those of the various transference phenomena. He eventually arrived at the structural theory of the mind and initiated the development of ego-psychology and character-analysis, with its associated defensive organizations. For Freud the dream always retained a special importance in reaching the contents of the unconscious,

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