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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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Whitman, R.M. (1974). Dreams and Dreaming. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:643-650.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:643-650

Dreams and Dreaming

Roy M. Whitman, M.D.

David Hawkins, Chairman of the panel, introduced the discussion with a brief review of Freud's ideas on the function of dreaming. He touched on Adler's contributions that dreams possess the function of thinking ahead and Maeder's suggestion that dreams were attempts at solving conflicts—ideas that have been further developed by French, Erikson, and Jones. He mentioned his own belief that dreaming was part of a general problem-solving and information-processing mechanism. In a parallel summary of the research on REM and REM sleep, he pointed out that, during the REM state, there are tonic and phasic activities controlled largely from the rostral portions of the pons. The organism is to a large extent paralyzed during this stage of sleep. Whereas it is clear that dreaming in general is associated with REM sleep, at least some sort of mental activity goes on in other stages. Hawkins underscored the difference between a dream and the REM or dreaming stage of sleep, the dream being a subjective psychological event and REM sleep a physiological state. REM research indicates that dreams occur regularly, rather than when unconscious pressures build up sufficiently and become attached to an appropriate preconscious memory, usually from the preceding day. Freud's idea that the dream is a discharge for the unconscious impulses may be correct, but this would occur regularly rather than on demand. We also have to come to grips with the issue of the role of the dream in the mental life of the generally psychologically healthy individual.


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