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Strean, H.S. (1969). A Paranormal Dream. Psychoanal. Rev., 56A(1):142-144.

(1969). Psychoanalytic Review, 56A(1):142-144

Clinical Note

A Paranormal Dream

Herbert S. Strean, D.S.W.

In a paper, “A Further Clinical Illustration of the Paranormal Triangle Hypothesis,”3 written with Marie Coleman Nelson in 1962, the writers concluded, “… the chief obstacle to scientific investigation (of the paranormal hypothesis) is, of course, the paramount concern the responsible therapist must maintain for the therapeutic needs of the patient. Since evidences of paranormal perception occur usually in a topical context of quite another order—namely, the patient's conscious productions—the necessary procedure of going along with these verbalizations in their own right, and refraining from utterances and inquiries which divert his stream of thought, prohibits inquiry into the apparent telepathic manifestation.”

Yet, Eisenbud has reiterated, “The analytic situation is the best laboratory for the study of the affective contexts in which psi, or telepathic phenomena, occur…. To simply ooh and aah or goggle or gape at coincidences, no matter how striking—and some really extraordinary ones have been reported to me by analysts who went no further than simply noting them—is to miss the entire point of what the patient, whether or not he is unconsciously trying to, is presumptively communicating by these means, just as it would be missing the point of any other of the patient's behavior not to try to relate it, no matter what it was, to the context of his analysis and the transference situation. Thus, the rule that there is no such thing as extraterritoriality in this domain, as every analyst discovers again and again in connection with some seemingly ‘indifferent” action or expression, should be axiomatically applied to every ‘striking coincidence” observed in the analytic situation just as well as to any other material so observed.1

Eisenbud's contention is supported by Freud.

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