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Faber, P.A. Saayman, G.S. Papadopoulos, R.K. (1983). Induced Waking Fantasy: Its effects upon the archetypal content of nocturnal dreams. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(2):141-164.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(2):141-164

Induced Waking Fantasy: Its effects upon the archetypal content of nocturnal dreams

P. A. Faber, M.A., G. S. Saayman, Ph.D. and R. K. Papadopoulos, Ph.D.

The Aim of the present study is, briefly, to investigate the relationship between waking fantasy and nocturnal dreams. Clinical observations have suggested that the expression and integration of fantasies during active imagination exert a predictable effect upon nocturnal dream reports (JUNG 50, p. 172). In addition to clinical observations, controversy exists in the experimental literature concerning the effects upon REM-sleep reports of the experience of fantasy during a variety of states of consciousness. The hypotheses tested in this experiment are introduced via a review of clinical, empirical and experimental studies, and an extended description of the aims of the study is given on page 148.

Psychoanalytical Approaches

Freud unequivocally asserted that the nocturnal dream and waking fantasy represent a common psychological process:

I cannot pass over the relation of fantasy to dreams. Our nocturnal dreams are nothing but such fantasies, as we can make clear by interpreting them. Language, in its unrivalled wisdom, long ago decided the question of the essential nature of dreams by giving the name of ‘day-dreams’ to the airy creations of fantasy (FREUD 32, p. 178).

Several psychoanalytically oriented investigators subsequently sought to confirm Freud's hypothesis. For example, SILBERER (69) reported that the simultaneous induction of two conditions, namely ‘drowsiness’ and ‘an effort to think’, resulted in the production of what he termed the ‘auto-symbolic phenomenon’. These conditions would appear to approximate closely to what today would be termed an hypnagogic-like (SCHACHTER 66) or meditative state (FABER et al. 20). ‘Autosymbolic’ denoted an hallucinatory experience which puts forth automatically, as it were, an adequate symbol for what is thought (or felt) at a given instant (p. 196). Silberer viewed this as one of the essential features of dream formation, in that it was a result of the same regression process occurring in nocturnal dreams.

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