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Fischbein, S.V. (2011). The use of Dreams in the Clinical Context: Convergencies and Divergencies: An Interdisciplinary Proposal. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92(2):333-358.

(2011). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 92(2):333-358

The use of Dreams in the Clinical Context: Convergencies and Divergencies: An Interdisciplinary Proposal

Susana Vinocur Fischbein

(Final version accepted 6 October 2010)

This paper aims to define some unexpected convergences and foreseeable divergences regarding the conceptualization of dreams and their use as a research tool, specifically in clinical practice with non-neurotic patients. It includes a concise review of different lines of thought on the vicissitudes of dreams throughout the history of psychoanalysis: from their initial conception up to their use to examine transference and relational aspects in the context of a psychoanalytic process. The idea of the merely evacuative function of dreams from patients in certain diagnostic categories is discussed and compared with that of their potential communicative value. Lastly, the essay sets forth an interdisciplinary semiotic-pragmatic approach to the function of dreams and their clinical and technical use in the context of the intersubjective dynamic field. Based on the hypothesis that dreams related in the session are communicative signs, this proposal argues their significance as a symbolic matrix that generates processes of psychic semiosis. To do so, it combines certain lines of psychoanalytic thought with ideas coming from C. S. Peirce's analytic semiotics. Clinical material is included to illustrate this viewpoint.

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