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Friedman, L.J. (1954). Regressive Reaction to the Interpretation of a Dream. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:514-518.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:514-518

Regressive Reaction to the Interpretation of a Dream

Lawrence J. Friedman, M.D.

The following is a short presentation of three consecutive analytic hours centered around the analysis of a dream. This dream occurred in a young married woman patient who had been in analysis for a period of twenty months. She came to analysis originally on account of depression and feelings of confusion following disappointment in a love affair. At this particular time of her analysis she had discovered that two of her closest girl friends were pregnant. Simultaneously, her husband gave her a puppy as a birthday gift. She unconsciously equated this gift with a baby. A few days after this the patient began to menstruate and the next morning reported the following dream:

I am back home in the country, around age twelve, where there are two houses next to each other, ours and one of our neighbors'. Both houses are tremendous castles. There is a big party going on, some kind of celebration. In our garden there is something like a fenced-in round hole; it is more a cage and the hole is more like a little lake. Outside the cage is a large pipe, standing up at an angle, squirting little pieces of wood into that hole behind the fence. My sister is there and somehow I have the feeling we are both in the same position. Then I am back in my own home with my husband. Our apartment looks so desolate, so small, so uncomfortable, so poor; I have the same feeling about my husband somehow, the feeling that whatever I have, including my husband, is second choice.

Associations to the dream elicited the following material: "Everything is so huge, reminds me of how a child looks at the grownups or the world around him. If I were to imagine the relationship of my size today to how my father's size appeared to me when I was a little girl, then he would be a terrifying monster. The idea that my sister is in the same position as I brings to mind the way I always connect my sister with my mother. They look alike, have a great deal in common, they are very much attached to each other.

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