Freud'S Dream Theory Essay

He suggests that a patient might describe a seemingly nonsensical dream to a psychoanalytic therapist, who then transforms that dream into "normal communication" by distinguishing between its manifest content and its latent content (11).Freud describes the manifest content as the "text" of the dream, the actual images or events that the dreamer observes (11).

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In the case of psychosis, the subject 'turns away' because the conscious mind cannot handle reality, and so allows the unconscious to redefine the world.

It is an extreme means of repressing unpleasant thoughts that the real world forces on the subject.

It is only at this point that the analyst should interpret these associations, making a final connection between the manifest and latent content.

Freud acknowledges the argument that the analyst forces an interpretation onto the dream through this process, but counters that clinical experience reveals the effectiveness of such a treatment.

The patient should be encouraged to mention any feelings, memories, or seemingly unrelated thoughts that come to his mind during this process.

Focusing on the dreamer's associations (rather than upon the manifest content that evoked these associations) serves to clarify what these images mean to the dreamer, and hence why his mind selected these particular images.

In other words, the unconscious may use images or feelings from the day to express its otherwise repressed desires.

The fact that certain dreams awaken and alarm the sleeper merely confirms the fact that dreams are delving into repressed urges.

The latent content, however, contains the underlying thoughts or feelings that provoked the dream in the first place.

He argues that the goal of psychoanalysis is to transform the manifest content into the latent, and to thus explain why the latent content became manifest in the dreamer’s mind.


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