CHAPTER 13  
DREAM ACTS
DREAMS IN ANALYSIS AS ACTIONS

 

DREAMS ARE MORE than their content. Every dream that is told in clinical psychoanalysis is also an action by the patient in treatment. In interpreting dreams, the psychoanalyst pays close attention not only to the dreamtext and the associations but also to how a patient tells or doesn't tell a dream. The telling (or nontelling) of dreams is a symbolic action within the treatment, and the content of the dream is often reenacted during the dream interpretation process. In 1997, Hobson and I participated in a conference on dreaming. I sent him my paper before the meeting, which included an exposition on his “Van” dream (see chapter 2), in which he and Van play catch with a ...

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