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Rosen, V.H. (1953). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: A Contribution to the Study of the Dream Screen. Charles Rycroft. Pp. 178-184.. Psychoanal Q., 22:296-296.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: A Contribution to the Study of the Dream Screen. Charles Rycroft. Pp. 178-184.

(1953). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 22:296-296

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: A Contribution to the Study of the Dream Screen. Charles Rycroft. Pp. 178-184.

Victor H. Rosen

Lewin's observations on the 'dream screen', which he formulates as representing the 'complete fulfilment of the wish to sleep at the maternal breast after nursing', are further elaborated by Rycroft. The dream around which the analysis of a patient is developed consists of the idea of 'being taken under the analyst's wing—there was nothing to see in the dream—it was like a white sheet'. An attempt is made to answer two clinical questions. 1. At what stage in an analysis are dreams in which the dream screen is visible likely to occur? 2. What dynamic process does their occurrence represent? Rycroft concludes from the material that the dream in his patient marked a change from a neurotic, narcissistic state toward object cathexis, unlike Lewin's patient where a hypomanic state succeeded the dream. He proposes as the answer to the first question that dreams showing the dream screen are likely to occur when patients with narcissistic fixations are attempting to re-establish object relations either successfully as in his case, or unsuccessfully as in Lewin's case (1949). The dream screen may also represent an attempt to re-establish an object relationship with the mother after fulfilment of the wish to sleep. Finally, it may also serve a defensive function since it enables the patient to deny anxieties associated with frustration at the breast.

Since Rycroft's patient is a neurotic with good reality-testing capacity one would expect the dream to be a condensation of wish, ego defenses and restitutive tendencies. Likewise the fact that Lewin's first dream screen was in a psychotic individual would lead one to expect the surrounding data to reveal a direct wish fulfilment in less disguised form. Rycroft's paper is an interesting addendum to Lewin's observation but would seem to this reviewer to confirm some familiar data on dream theory rather than to offer any convincing evidence of the prognostic value of such dreams as constant guideposts in the course of an analysis.

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Article Citation

Rosen, V.H. (1953). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951. Psychoanal. Q., 22:296-296

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