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Ellis, H. (1925). The Synthesis of Dreams: A Study of a Series of one Hundred Dreams. Psychoanal. Rev., 12(3):251-294.

(1925). Psychoanalytic Review, 12(3):251-294

Original Articles

The Synthesis of Dreams: A Study of a Series of one Hundred Dreams

Havelock Ellis

We have become familiar during recent years with the analysis of dreams. The typical form of such dream-analysis may fairly be said to be due to Freud. His Die Traumdeutung marks an epoch in the study of dreams; that much be recognized even by those who question the general validity of the principles there applied. Never before had so concentrated and piercing an energy of intellectual vision been applied to the phenomena of a dream. Never before had so much been read out of—though some might say read into—an isolated dream. On the whole, without doubt, dream-analysis, as thus understood, has become an accredited method. There may be wide differences of opinion as to its special details, or its general limitations, or its universal validity, but as a method it stands. It may even be said to stand so firmly that no other method of dream study is at the present time being carried out with the same thoroughness, if even it is being carried out at all. Yet there is at least one other method of dream-study which is of the same psychological validity, and that is the method which I would term dream-synthesis.

It may fairly be said that the method of dream-synthesis is, as a scientific method—for as an unscientific method dream-analysis had its beginnings early in human history—older than the other methods. Everyone who makes a study of the characteristics of his own dreams may be said to be occupied with dream-synthesis. In America, also, at one time (as we may see in the early volumes of the American Journal of Psychology), there have been some more or less thorough attempts at a scientifically methodical dream-synthesis.

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