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Hárnik, J. (1930). Resistance to the Interpretation of Dreams in Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:75-78.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:75-78

Resistance to the Interpretation of Dreams in Analysis

J. Hárnik

Patients undergoing analytic treatment have various methods of calling up resistances to the interpretation of their dreams, thus making it impossible, sometimes for long periods at a time, for the dreams to be utilized for the purpose of the analysis. In such a situation we follow Freud's advice and, giving up the attempt to co-operate with the dreamer in working out his dreams, we do not trouble about their interpretation, but try to make progress with the analysis in other ways. This was the course I myself adopted when analysing a certain young man, till I suddenly realized that in his mind dreams and the effort to interpret them were equated with the unprofitable and tedious prayers of his childhood. Further and more exhaustive observation has taught me that a resistance of this sort can probably very often be recognized and interpreted as the repetition of former attitudes, which were the patient's reactions to his childish conflicts connected with intellectual work. For instance, in another analysis I found that dreams and the associations to them were equated with daily prayers, and, having realized this, I was able to trace the transference-resistance which was thus manifesting itself back to quite early religious conflicts, and so to master it. This time I was already acquainted with the direct technique for handling this form of resistance, for I had had experience of it in treating a case, which I shall describe in detail in this paper, a case in which an analogous difficulty was cleared up in a very striking manner, and, I think, completely.

A patient, who had always been regarded as having a gift for phantasy and poetry, in her analysis treated the dream-material as equivalent to the phantasies which she wove in her childhood and youth, and repeated in the transference the blows to her narcissism to which this mental tendency had exposed her.

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