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Khan, M.R. (1976). The Changing Use of Dreams in Psychoanalytic Practice—In Search of the Dreaming Experience. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 57:325-330.

(1976). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 57:325-330

The Changing Use of Dreams in Psychoanalytic Practice—In Search of the Dreaming Experience

M. Masud R. Khan

God's my life! stol'n hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream—past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound his dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had—but man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom …
SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer-Night's Dream

Since this is my third attempt to clarify and state my work on dreams, I hope, Mr Chairman, you will bear with me if I briefly state my earlier hypotheses. The fundamental bias of my thinking is that psychoanalysis tries to abstract and make sense of the very private subjective experiences in a person. This person can be a patient, the analyst himself or a mélange of both.

In my Edinburgh Congress paper (Khan, 1962) I had postulated the concept of a 'good dream' and argued that certain intrapsychic functions and ego-capacities were necessary for a person to be able to put together a 'good dream' from his sleep experience. Prominent among these were the ego's capacity to sustain the sleep-wish, controlling excessive influx of the primary process and appropriate dosage of 'day residues' to structuralize the latent 'dream wish' into a contained dream text.

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