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(1951). Regular Meetings at the New York Academy of Medicine. Am. J. Psychoanal., 11(1):81-85.

(1951). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 11(1):81-85

Scientific Meetings

Regular Meetings at the New York Academy of Medicine

The significance of fantasies in the psychoanalytic process. (Paul Lussheimer; September 27, 1950) There are two main types of fantasies: the daydreaming fantasies which are substitutes for wishes that cannot be fulfilled or an escape from the unpleasantness of reality, and the constructive, anticipatory fantasies which are substitutes for an actual preparation for action. In classifying fantasies within the thinking processes, they are assigned a position between aware, conscious thinking and the unconscious thinking, as it prevails in our dreams. Freud, in the twenty-third of his Introductory Lectures, described the fantasies as “standing between the world of material reality and the dream world and having psychic reality.”

Fantasies should be considered as a means of diminishing the individual's cravings and of bringing his wishes closer to fulfillment. Since such cravings and wishes exist in normal as well as in neurotic persons, fantasies are found in both. The gauge with which to measure normality or neurosis is the degree to which the goal of a fantasy seems to be obtainable. This should not be measured in absolute abstract terms but with due respect for the existing values and potentialities of the individual in his environment.

The question whether the analyst should ask the patient for the presentation of all his fantasies during the analytic sessions can be answered in the affirmative, but good judgment has to be used as to when and how to bring up a discussion of fantasies.

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