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Tip: To sort articles by year…

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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Lipschutz, L.S. (1954). The Written Dream. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:473-478.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:473-478

The Written Dream

Louis S. Lipschutz, M.D.

Fliess (2) refers to the written dream as a "much overdetermined typical piece of 'acting out.'" Freud (3), in referring to psychoanalysts instructing patients to write down their dreams, stated: "This direction is superfluous in the treatment. … Even if the substance of a dream is in this way laboriously rescued from oblivion, it is easy enough to convince oneself that nothing has thereby been achieved for the patient. The associations will not come to the text and the result is the same as if the dream had not been preserved." He later stated (4): "A patient may try to combat the forgetting of his dreams by writing them down immediately after he wakes up. We may as well tell him that it is useless to do so, because the resistance from which he may have preserved the text of the dream will then transfer itself to the associations and render the manifest dream inaccessible for the interpretation."

Abraham (1) and Sharpe (5) described the written dream as a transference dream, a highly invested narcissistic product, a symbolic gift, and emphasized its anal aspects.

On the basis of these observations and their own experience, most analysts do not encourage the writing of dreams, or ignore the written dream if it is brought to the analysis. However, we know that psychoanalysis must regard with interest and curiosity every aspect of the patient's behavior. The writing of dreams during analysis is not an unusual occurrence, and the analyst not infrequently is presented with this form of behavior.

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