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Sigmund Freud on Dreams, Part 2

October 31, 2009 on 10:17 am | In Dream Research, Dreamwork, History and Beliefs | No Comments

Freud’s growing interest in dreams may have come about because after he gave his patients the freedom to talk and explore the associations that arose, free association, he noticed that they often found a connection between their associations and a dream they had experienced.

The more Freud allowed his patients to go in their own direction, the more they talked about their dreams. Also, talking about the dream often enabled the patient to discover a new and productive chain of associations and memories.

Freud began to take note of his own dreams and explore the associations they aroused. In doing so he was the first person to consciously and consistently explore a dream into its depths through uncovering and following obvious and hidden associations and emotions connected with the dream imagery and drama.

Although earlier dream researchers had noticed how dream images correlated with personal concerns, Freud broke new ground, seeing the connection with sexual feelings, with early childhood trauma, and with the subtleties of the human psyche.

Freud explored his dreams to deal with his own neurosis. He wrote of that period, ‘I have been through some kind of neurotic experience, with odd states of mind not intelligible to consciousness, cloudy thoughts and veiled doubts, with barely here and there a ray of light.’

Using dreams for his self analysis, Freud found that he could remember forgotten details from his childhood along with feelings and states of mind that he had never before experienced.

Freud wrote of his period of personal dream analysis,

“Some sad secrets of life are being traced back to their first roots; the humble origins of much pride and precedence are being laid bare. I am now experiencing myself all the things that, as a third party, I have witnessed going on in my patients, days when I slink about depressed because I have understood nothing of the day’s dreams, fantasies, or mood.”

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