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Cwik, A.J. (2011). Associative Dreaming: Reverie and Active Imagination. J. Anal. Psychol., 56(1):14-36.

(2011). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 56(1):14-36

Associative Dreaming: Reverie and Active Imagination

August J. Cwik, PSyD

The idea of countertransference has expanded beyond its original meaning of a neurotic reaction to include all reactions of the therapist: affective, bodily, and imaginal. Additionally, Jung's fundamental insight in ‘The psychology of the transference’ was that a ‘third thing’ is created in the analysis, but he failed to demonstrate how this third is experienced and utilized in analysis. This ‘analytic third’, as Ogden names it, is co-created by analyst and analysand in depth work and becomes the object of analysis. Reverie, as developed by Bion and clinically utilized by Ogden, provides a means of access to the unconscious nature of this third. Reverie will be placed on a continuum of contents of mind, ranging from indirect to direct associative forms described as associative dreaming. Active imagination, as developed by Jung, provides the paradigm for a mode of interaction with these contents within the analytic encounter itself. Whether the analyst speaks from or about these contents depends on the capacity of the patient to dream. Classical amplification can be understood as an instance of speaking about inner contents. As the ego of the analyst, the conscious component, relates to unconscious contents emerging from the analytic third, micro-activations of the transcendent function constellate creating an analytic compass.

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