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Bromberg, P. VanDerHeide, N. (2008). Awakening the Dreamer. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 3(4):494-500.

(2008). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 3(4):494-500

Review Essay

Awakening the Dreamer

Review by:
Philip Bromberg

Reviewed by
Nancy VanDerHeide, PSYD

The classical emphasis on repression as primary to psychological functioning has largely been replaced in the work of contemporary, relationally oriented theorists by a view of dissociation as the mental activity most relevant to the regulation of potentially overwhelming emotional experience. The collection of essays comprising Philip Bromberg's Awakening the Dreamer expands and elaborates the ideas he develops in Standing in the Spaces, wherein he began in earnest to persuade Freud, “or at least his ghost,” (p. 2) of the need to reexamine the prominence of dissociation and its utility and consequences. To that end, Awakening the Dreamer provides compelling evidence to clinicians working with traumatized patients. Every chapter in the book, each of which stands on its own as a well-crafted and valuable contribution to the literature, holds the prism of dissociation to the light, reflecting its many facets as they pertain to development, psychopathology, and psychoanalytic treatment.


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