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(1943). Untranslated Freud—(8) Remarks Upon the Theory and Practice of Dream-Interpretation (1923). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 24:66-71.

(1943). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 24:66-71

Untranslated Freud—(8) Remarks Upon the Theory and Practice of Dream-Interpretation (1923)

The accidental circumstance that the last editions of my Traumdeutung have been printed from stereotype has led me to issue the following remarks in an independent form, instead of introducing them into the text as modifications or additions.


In interpreting a dream during an analysis a choice lies open to one between several technical procedures.

One can (a) proceed chronologically and get the dreamer to bring up his associations to the elements of the dream in the order in which those elements occurred in his account of the dream. This is the original, classical method, which I still regard as the best if one is analysing one's own dreams.

Or one can (b) start the work of interpretation from some one particular element of the dream which one picks out from the middle of it. For instance, one can choose the most striking piece of it, or the piece which shows the greatest clarity or sensory intensity; or, again, one can start off from some spoken words in the dream, in the expectation that they will lead to the recollection of some spoken words in waking life.

Or one can (c) begin by entirely disregarding the manifest content and instead ask the dreamer what events of the previous day are associated in his mind with the dream he has just described.

Finally, one can (d), if the dreamer is already familiar with the technique of interpretation, avoid giving him any instructions and leave it to him to decide with which associations to the dream he shall begin.

I cannot lay it down that one or the other of these techniques is preferable or in general yields better results.

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