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Slap, J.W. (1976). A Note on the Drawing of Dream Details. Psychoanal Q., 45:455-456.

(1976). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 45:455-456

A Note on the Drawing of Dream Details

Joseph W. Slap, M.D.

From time to time, it has seemed useful to have a patient draw a dream detail he is having trouble describing. A precedent exists in that the Wolf-man produced a sketch of his childhood dream about wolves (Freud, 1918p. 30). In the incident to be reported, drawing a dream detail led to a parapraxis that helped to clarify the dream.

A young woman entered analysis with the fear that she might cut off her newborn's penis or throw him out of a window. In addition, she was concerned that her husband, because of rare epileptic seizures, would be forced to undergo sterilization for eugenic reasons. It soon became clear that the patient regarded the delivery of her child, with the attendant cutting, tearing, swelling, and bleeding, as a phallic catastrophe and that her symptoms were derived from retaliatory fantasies aimed against the child and his father.

Some months after turning the care of her child over to a nurse and taking a job, her symptoms subsided and she was able to enjoy both her child and her husband. One day she reported a dream.

A strange looking bug or bird flew in the kitchen window and attacked me.

As she had difficulty describing the bug or bird, I handed her a pad and pencil and asked if she were able to draw it. She quickly drew a duck on a platform with wheels. She looked at what she had drawn and exclaimed, 'Why, that's Bobby's toy!'.

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