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Ablon, S.L. (1994). The Usefulness of Dreams During Pregnancy. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:291-299.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:291-299

The Usefulness of Dreams During Pregnancy

Steven Luria Ablon


This paper explores the idea that dreams in analysis during pregnancy offer an especially valuable perspective for understanding and facilitating mastery of the developmental challenges of pregnancy as well as related central unresolved conflicts and earlier developmental problems. In this way, dreams during pregnancy facilitate the long-range work of the analysis. The regressive and self-oriented focus of pregnancy, and the heightened awareness of what is happening within, lend extra meaning, impact and richness to dreams in the analytic process, with its inward-seeking and regressive elements. In addition, during pregnancy, patients often feel highly motivated to resolve problems prior to the birth of the baby. A shift in our understanding of the narcissistic and early developmental aspects of transference has helped analysts understand how analysis during pregnancy can be useful. During pregnancy there is often an increased access to experiences from early childhood, involving a feeling of being taken care of and of feeling abandoned. In addition, during pregnancy, identifications with the analysand's mother and separation from her mother are perhaps especially deeply felt. These ideas are explored in discussing the dreams and associations of a 36-year-old analysand during different phases of the pregnancy.

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