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Anzieu-Premmereur, C. Barrett, D.G. Karush, R.K. (2016). Epilogue: Psychoanalytic Work with the Dreams of Children: The Forgotten Royal Road. Psychoanal. Inq., 36(3):269-270.

(2016). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 36(3):269-270


Epilogue: Psychoanalytic Work with the Dreams of Children: The Forgotten Royal Road

Christine Anzieu-Premmereur, M.D., Ph.D., Denia G. Barrett, M.S.W. and Ruth K. Karush, M.D.

Freud addressed himself to the topic children’s dreams in both The Interpretation of Dreams and in his Introductory Lectures (Lecture VIII, 1915-1916). In his later remarks on the subject, he noted that dreams in early childhood, from the beginning of observable mental activity to the fourth or fifth year, are relatively undistorted wish-fulfillment ones that allowed him to “draw conclusions with great ease and certainty on the essential nature of dreams in general” (p. 126). He asserted no analytic methods were necessary to understand these dreams, as long as one has some knowledge of the child’s experience the preceding day; the dream is a reaction to “some regret, longing or wish that has not been dealt with.” He further believed that such infantile dreams are not confined to early life, but may occur throughout childhood and even in adulthood under certain conditions. In this lecture, he relates the dreams of two family members, each of whom had an illness that obliged her to go without food the day before. The 19-month-old girl dreamed: “Anna F., stwawbewwies, wild stwawbewwies, omblet, pudden!” Her grandmother dreamed she, herself, had been served the most appetizing delicacies. Freud argued against those who took the point of view that children’s dreams are without meaning, saying they are “intelligible, completely valid mental acts” and put this forth as reinforcement for his hypothesis that the dreams of adults are not “mere twitchings” either (pp.

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