What is a triple utopian dream

“How to dream when I cannot sleep at night?” On the current significance of dreams for the practice of psychoanalysis

Summary

A treatment of dreams in clinical work within the psychoanalytic mainstream compared to the Freudian tradition of others and often also less pronounced has been observed for a long time. Both internal and external factors are responsible for this. In connection with a general change in mentality under the conditions of a materialistic-capitalist social order oriented towards enjoyment and under the influence of current biologically oriented scientific paradigms (keyword: neurosciences), there is a shift in focus from dream to dreaming and thus from dream interpretation to scientific dream research as neuronal The offsetting process has come, which has not left the psychoanalytic dispositive with its specific discourse unaffected. The counter-movement of psychological-empirical dream research has, however, led to the fact that in the psychoanalytic therapy context the dream has lost the status of a royal road to the unconscious and that it is viewed less as a text to be interpreted, but rather as a definition of the relationship between the analyst and the analyzed within an intersubjectivist transference concept . In this way, I-psychological positions are newly filled, which, analogous to dream research under scientistic laboratory conditions, “disenchant” the fundamentally irrational and enigmatic dream and seek to subject the spontaneous dream events to a conscious manipulation. With Lacan's program of a return to Freud and the sources of psychoanalysis, however, a way of dealing with the dream is promoted, which again assigns it a privileged position within the analytical material for the benefit of the treatment and in the interpretation of which the signifying function of the dream elements receives greater attention.

Abstract

A vis-à-vis Freudian tradition different and often also lesser treatment of dreams in clinical work within psychoanalytic mainstraim has been to be observed a while now. Reasons for that are to be found in internal as well as external factors. On the one hand, change of minds and hearts under the conditions of a hedonistic oriented materialistic-capitalistic social order under the influence of biologistic-reductionistic research paradigms (neuro sciences) caused a shift from the dream to dreaming and with that from the interpretation of dreams to physiological dream research as a neuronal act of computation, which has not even left untouched the psychoanalytic dispositiv with it's specific discourse. The counteract in form of a psychological-empirical dream research however lead for the dream to the loss of the status of the via regia to the unconscious and it is not anymore a to be interpreted text, but a definition of the relationship between the analyst and his or her client within the intersubjective transference. With that ego-psychological positions are newly defined as is dream research under scientific-like conditions demystifying the irrational and enigmatic dream and is eager to manipulate consciously the spontanous dream events. However, with Lacans return to Freud and the sources of psychoanalysis the handling of dreams is favored that in favor of the treatment gives it back it's original privileged position within analytical material and for it's interpretation the significant function of the dream elements become obvious again.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Landskrongasse 5/14, 1010, Vienna, Austria

    August Ruhs

Corresponding author

Correspondence to August Ruhs.

additional information

This work is part of the main theme "Dream".

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Ruhs, A. “How to dream when I cannot sleep at night?” On the current importance of dreams for the practice of psychoanalysis. Psychotherapy Forum19, 98-104 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00729-014-0019-y

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keywords

  • Dream interpretation
  • Dream research
  • Structural psychoanalysis
  • Lacan
  • Laplanche

Keywords

  • Dream interpretation
  • Dream research
  • Structural psychoanalysis
  • Lacan
  • Laplanche