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Kramer, M. Glucksman, M.L. (2006). Changes in Manifest Dream Affect During Psychoanalytic Treatment. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 34(2):249-260.

(2006). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 34(2):249-260

Changes in Manifest Dream Affect During Psychoanalytic Treatment

Milton Kramer, M.D. and Myron L. Glucksman, M.D.

Affect is central to our understanding of many processes, including dreams. The question has been raised as to whether it is the affective or narrative aspect of dreaming that is central to its development. The purpose of the study is to assess the frequency and valence of affect in the manifest content of dream reports of patients in analytic therapy and if affect is absent to assess the frequency and valence of affect in the associations to the dream reports without affect[MK1].

The presence and valence of affect was evaluated in the first and last manifest dream report of 24 patients who had completed psychoanalytic treatment. If no affect was found, the dream associations were examined for affect and valence.

Affect was found in 58.3% of dream reports. The valence of affect in dream reports became more positive during the course of treatment from 19.2% in the first manifest dream report to 53.3% in the last. The associations to the dream reports without affect had affect 94.1% of the time. Affect was present in either the dream report or the associations to it 97.9% of the time.

The positive change in affect is most likely the result of psychotherapeutic treatment, although the psychotropic medication 46% of the patients were on at the time of the last dream report and the passage of time may also be factors. The centrality of affect in dream formation and interpretation is supported if the view of the dream experience includes the associations to the dream report.

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