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Eisnitz, A.J. (1987). Chapter 6: The Perspective of the Self Representation in Dreams. The Interpretations of Dreams in Clinical Work, 69-85.

Eisnitz, A.J. (1987). Chapter 6: The Perspective of the Self Representation in Dreams. The Interpretations of Dreams in Clinical Work , 69-85

Chapter 6: The Perspective of the Self Representation in Dreams Book Information Previous Up Next

Alan J. Eisnitz, M.D.

Dreams abound in contradiction and paradox. While some elements are vivid, others are obscure; some realistic, others fantastic. The dream tense is mainly in the present, yet there is always a focus on the past. Presenting as an outer view, the dream is solely an inner eye. Full of people and events, its content, in the regressed sleep state, comes almost entirely from within the dreamer, the self. Offering clear views of the self and of others, for the most part it presents them in distorted or disguised form. It has been considered a protector of sleep, a fulfiller of wishes, a preserver of sanity, a solver of problems, a discarder of nonessential data and perceptions, and in treatment, a communication to the therapist.

Bertram Lewin (1954) emphasized Freud's introduction of narcissism to dream theory (1917) and extended Freud's view of the dream as a protector of sleep. Sleep is viewed as a regression to narcissism with the dream employed as a means of dealing with those stimuli, inner or outer (the “exceptions” to narcissism), which threaten to disturb the restorative narcissistic regression of sleep.

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