The paper "Freud’ s Theory of Dreams and Psychoanalysis" Is a wonderful example of a Philosophy Assignment. Freud’ s theory of dream is famous and revered for putting forth a foundation for psychoanalysis that even psychiatrists use to deal with their patients. The theory supported the notion that normal and neurotic cannot be sharply contrasted, and therefore, building a foundation for psychoanalysis as a general theory of the mind that applied to everyone. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), is considered as the founder of psychoanalysis and he penned his thoughts in his work The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud 1894).
He revolutionized the study of dreams. Nothing in any one’ s life happens by mere chance. Every thought and action is motivated by a person’ s unconscious at some level. For the purpose of living in a society that is civilized, there is a tendency to hold back personal urges and suppress impulses. However, these impulses and urges have to be released in some way and they come up in forms that are disguised. Dreams happen to be some of these forms. The content of the unconscious can be extremely disturbing or even harmful hence the tendency of the unconscious to express itself using symbolic language (Blechner, 2001).
This essay explores the concepts of Freud’ s dream theory and how it is a basis for psychoanalysis where it is the general theory of mind applied to anyone. Discussion Modern research has continuously proven that dreams contain information that is fundamentally meaningful. Freud rejuvenated the controversy about dreams at a time when society had discounted them as meaningless. At the beginning of the 19th century, the interpretation of dreams had fallen out of fashion, and people did not practice this art with any seriousness.
At this time ‘ rational’ was given credence over other abilities and dreams remained meaningless and thought to be a result of a heavy meal. In the course of the 19th Century, Freud reenergized the realm of interpretation of dreams with his radical perspective that incorporated dreams with fears and desires from childhood (Hollan, 2009). In Freud’ s perspective, dreams are forms of wish fulfillment or attempts by the unconscious to resolve conflict whether from recent times or in the past.
Freud demonstrated that save for a few cases; dreams are disguised, hallucinatory fulfillment of wishes that are repressed. He also affirmed that apart from representing current wishes, dreams were also expressions of fulfillments of wishes since early childhood. Freud considered dreams as if they were symptoms of neurotic. Neurotic and normal cannot be sharply distinguished as described by Freud’ s theory of dreams, and created a path for the establishment of psychoanalysis as a general theory of the mind that applied to every person. Dreams gave indirect expression to infantile wishes about sex that had been repressed and which, if manifested in a form that is not disguised, would disturb the dreamer intensely to the point that he would be awakened (Storr, 2001).
It is an observation by Feud that dreams concerns wish with their origin at infancy as the crucial motive force for dreams formation. Since these wishes at the time were potentially disturbing, they are disguised and censored. The resultant dream, just like a neurotic symptom, is a balance between direct expression and censorship. The process through which the underlying wish is transformed into the manifest content is known as the dream-work.
The goal of the dream work is to translate prohibited wish into a form that is non-threatening hence leading to minimization of anxiety and allowing the person to continue with his sleep. Psychological theories are based on the perspective that people dream for the purpose of exercising various neural connections that affect certain types of learning (McLeod, 2009). Dreams allow humankind to sort through problems and mental illness patients can be helped through the psychoanalysis process.
Blechner, M. The Dream Frontier. New York: Routledge, 2001.
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Hollan, Douglass. “The Influence of Culture on the Experience and Interpretation of Disturbing Dreams”. Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry, 33. (2009): 313-322.
Marinelli, Lydia and Andreas Mayer A. Dreaming by the Book: Freud's 'The Interpretation of Dreams' and the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, New York: Other Press, 2003.
McLeod, Saul. “Freud-Dream Interpretation”. Simplypsychology.com. 2009.
Storr, Antony, Freud: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001