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Oremland, J.D. (1998). Play, Dreams, and Creativity. Psychoanal. St. Child, 53:84-93.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 53:84-93

Play, Dreams, and Creativity

Jerome D. Oremland, M.D.

Viewed ontogenetically, creating, dreaming, and playing are a variant of object relatedness. It is suggested that in recapitulating the ontogenetic sequence, creating, dreaming, and playing each as a process initiates by de-differentiation to primal union, evolves into transitional functioning, and consummates in tertiary cognitive discourse. The products of the triad—the created object, the dream, and play—are viewed as synergistic psychodynamic composites of topical, personal, and archetypical imperatives. Creating, dreaming, and playing are easily over-burdened by events, becoming stereotypical and repetitious. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the play of chronically ill, hospitalized children. It is suggested that with development generally, playing is replaced by formalized games; only dreaming continues as the vestige of early creative abilities.

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