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Ferguson, H. (2020). Dreaming the Field: The Analyst’s Dreams as a Co-Creative Act. Psychoanal. Inq., 40(4):243-252.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 40(4):243-252

Dreaming the Field: The Analyst’s Dreams as a Co-Creative Act

Heather Ferguson, LCSW

When the analyst shares a personal dream with a patient, they must first engage thoughtful self-reflection. In two treatments, I take a leap of faith and disclose my countertransference dreams as a reflection of our bi-directional, intersubjective exchange. In utilizing my dreams, I convey how I apprehend and represent my patients’ experience in my imagination, expressing a sense of twinship and shared humanity. I view my dream life as an opportunity for my patients’ psychic dilemmas to take up residence in my imagination, a “specificity of recognition,” as previously unshareable affect states are rendered creatively for our mutual reflection and become a shared dream field. In this way, my patients’ stories become real and memorialized in my unconscious experience and elaborated in our therapeutic dialogue. In our collaborative dream interpretation, we make meaning together as mutual, co-creative but asymmetrical therapeutic partners. In this exchange, openness to mutual vulnerability embodies the humanistic project of psychoanalytic healing.

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