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Calef, V. (1954). Color in Dreams. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:453-460.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:453-460

Color in Dreams

Victor Calef, M.D.


An attempt is made to describe a portion of the metapsychology of color in dreams which belongs both to the content and the form of the dream.

In the reports of dreams, the censor makes itself known in different ways, i.e., the patient forgets, the dreams are hazy, there are conscious and unconscious omissions, dream writing, etc. Another way that the censor has of making itself known is in the use of color in dreams. The black and white imagery of most dreams is an indication that the resistance has taken over to camouflage the latent dream thoughts and wishes. Color, the differentiating medium of vision, is removed in the service of repression. On the threat of the return of the repressed, color in dreams may reappear (especially if the repressed is linked with the scoptophilic-exhibitionistic impulses) and represents a further regression, calling forth the reproduction of sensory images or symbolic distortions of those images.

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