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Tokar, J.T. Brunse, A.J. Castelnuovo-Tedesco, P. Stefflre, V.J. (1973). An Objective Method of Dream Analysis. Psychoanal Q., 42:563-578.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:563-578

An Objective Method of Dream Analysis

John T. Tokar, M.D., Anthony J. Brunse, M.D., Pietro Castelnuovo-Tedesco, M.D. and Volney J. Stefflre


This study describes a technique for eliciting information about an individual and his language, using his own key words to construct sentences and data matrices. The purpose was to compare this method of eliciting language patterns and personality structure with traditional methods of eliciting psychodynamics, to objectively relate the key words obtained from the subject's dream sequence to the subject's personality structure, and to

attempt to bypass the investigator's interpretation as much as possible.

A patient was selected who had completed two years of therapy and who had had dream analysis as an integral part of her treatment. Twenty-two clinicians selected key words from a taped record of the subject's dream sequence. From these key words, the patient constructed sentences. The sentences were fed back to her with the key words missing, and she was asked to substitute contrast associational words. She completed four data matrices composed of her own sentences and contrast associational words. These matrices were rearranged, and the investigator abstracted the patient's sentences and wrote an evaluation of her personality structure with no further knowledge of her psychiatric history.

The therapist's (P.C.T.) perception of the patient was compared with the investigator's (J.T.T.) evaluation by the therapist and by four independent consultants. The therapist indicated an 85 per cent agreement, and the four consultants indicated an 83 per cent agreement between the two evaluations.

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