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Fosshage, J.L. (1983). The Psychological Function of Dreams: A Revised Psychoanalytic Perspective. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 6(4):641-669.

(1983). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 6(4):641-669

The Psychological Function of Dreams: A Revised Psychoanalytic Perspective

James L. Fosshage, Ph.D.

The psychological function that dreams serve is, as with all clinical data, the pivotal theoretical dimension that structures and guides our clinical understanding and interpretations. Within classical psychoanalytic psychology, Freud's (1900) conception of dreams as primarily energy discharging and wish fulfilling in function has undergone limited modification in theory and a comparatively greater change in its clinical use through the development of ego psychology, object-relations theory, and, more recently, self psychology. Despite proposed theoretical modifications, dream theory has not kept pace with contemporary changes in psychoanalytic theory, and Freud's wish-fulfillment hypothesis still remains central in discussion of dreams.

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