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Davidson, L. (2003). The Dream Frontier: Mark J. Blechner, The Analytic Press, Hillsdale, NJ, 2001, 328 pp., $49.95.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 31(4):723-725.
(2003). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 31(4):723-725
Book Reviews - Edited By Joseph P. Merlino, M.D., M.P.A.
The Dream Frontier: Mark J. Blechner, The Analytic Press, Hillsdale, NJ, 2001, 328 pp., $49.95.
Review by: Leah Davidson
In the concluding paragraph of this remarkably comprehensive book on dreams and their connection to mind and brain, Blechner states:
Throughout this book I have tried to attend to both the meaning and the science of dreams, always stressing that we can turn to dreams both for their clarification of the dreamer's psychological concerns and for clues about how the brain operates. If we attend to the neuropsychology of dreams and to the meaning of dreams with equal vigor, we may one day achieve what Freud originally hoped to deveolop—a unified science of brain and mind.
The documentation of the state of that embryonic “unified science” as it exists today forms the underlying matrix for Mark Blechner's rich and honest exploration of clinical dreammaterial and the issues surrounding working with dreams and dreaminterpretation.
The book, published in November 2001, has already earned some rave reviews, and will no doubt become a standard teaching text and a major reference source for information on dreams for working clinicians.
The publicity review for the book from Analytic Press stresses that “The Dream Frontier is that rare book that makes available the cumulative wisdom of a century's worth of clinical examination of dreams and then reconfigures that wisdom on the basis of research in cognitive neuroscience.”
Montague Ullman, a seasoned psychoanalyst and researcher of dreams, also affirms this book as follows:
With psychoanalytic virtuosity and a good deal of originality, Mark Blechner has reformulated dream theory in it's relation to the evolving framework of neurocognitive research, neurophysiology, linguistics, and evolutionary theory. In doing so he has provided the clinician with a wide ranging and detailed approach to interpretive techniques.
Regarding dreams with the greatest of respect as a frontier for both scientific and intuitive understanding, Blechner updates four major topics of concern in psychoanalytic dream theory:
1. The theory of dream formation;
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