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Stern, A. (1921). Some Remarks on a Dream. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:427-429.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:427-429

Some Remarks on a Dream

Adolph Stern

In my experience it has not often occurred that a dream should contain material in barely disguised, yet symbolic form; material that was in the main readily interpreted on direct or immediate associations. An interesting feature is that of the two important wish (repressed) elements in the dream one was present in the patient's consciousness from the time of its origin, while the other became evident to her only when well along in the analysis. It may also be of interest that though the dream is short, and the associations to the dream elements few in number, yet they disclose the most important sets of impulses concerned in the neurosis of the patient.

The dream to be described was that of a woman thirty-six years of age, married thirteen years, sterile. The condition for which she sought treatment was an anxiety-hysteria, some of the symptoms being: an easily aroused anxiety and apprehension, gastric disturbances and constipation. The most pronounced characteristic traits were obstinacy, inordinate regularity in all things and a psychological difficulty in regard to money matters, though not miserliness. A well pronounced feeling of envy in regard to boys existed from her very early childhood, being later in life transferred to men. These scanty details may aid in the appreciation of the dream, which was as follows:

'I was up on the roof, standing against a fence; a hole in it. Some boys inserted something into my rectum; it was of wood. I knew that it belonged to a boy. I ran away, they stood and laughed at me. It was a joke on me. The wood was colored red and green. I was so ashamed, because I knew it belonged to a boy, and I was a girl.'

Addendum: 'I was small and young; I had no clothes on.'

The patient had met a woman the day preceding the night of the dream, whom she had not seen since the second year of the patient's marriage.

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