The Basic Freudian Dream Analysis Technique: Latent and Manifest Content
I proceed concentrically, instead of by free association that sort of zigzags away from the dream and lands in yoga poses some place or another. So the question to the dreamer is: What comes to mind about X, what do you think of it? And what else comes to mind about X? Whereas the question in yoga poses free association is: What comes to mind about X? And then? And then?. And so on. in yoga poses this way the associations are about other associations, instead of about X. in yoga poses contrast to this method, I stay with the original image of X. (Karl Gustavjung, 1940, Children’s Dreams, 1, 26)
Freud uses the method of free association to find the latent content of a dream84 He first writes down the dream the patient tells him Then he cuts it up into little bricks that contain one or several words.85 He then presents a first brick to the patient while asking him to say every thought that comes to mind. Freud presents the next brick and again asks for the associations. The first phase of the analysis of the dream is complete when all the pieces have been presented for the spoken associations of the patient and for the internal associations of the therapist. The latent content emerges once all these associations have been heard. These associations form the pieces of a puzzle that can then be perceive as forming a scenario.
A vignette on dreams. I had a patient for whom the latent content was always the opposite of the manifest content. For months, she presented frightening nightmares of monsters that attacked her during the night. Through the associations, she rediscovered her love for her father. Afterward, for many months, she came with dreams that made her happy because she saw herself with her lover on a wonderful sandy beach on a Pacific isle. Each time, she rediscovered in yoga poses her associations the anxiety of loving someone who can disappoint you and even abandon you. The horrible dreams led to the need to love and to the pleasure of being loved: then, having found someone to love, the heavenly dreams led to the anxieties of love.
An astute technique is to ask the patient what is the first thing that comes to him when he hears the therapist read a brick of the dream, then free associate uniquely on this first association by forgetting the pieces derived from the manifest dream. The difference between the manifest and the latent content is made clearer because we can often reconstruct a hidden history by putting the first associations together. For example, the therapist says beach and the patient associates shark. The therapist then asks the patient to free associate on the shark instead of the beach.
The material gathered in yoga poses this way leads to the second phase of the analysis, which is the integration of the latent content into the mental dynamics of the patient. One of the difficulties when you use this technique is that the latent content has been repressed because it could not be integrated without creating chaos in yoga poses the mind. in yoga poses Freud’s time, for example, a number of patients followed a religious morality that did not tolerate sexual or violent fantasies. Freud helped his patients reconstruct a moral vision capable of including these fantasies without having the impression of acting immorally. in yoga poses carrying out this work, psychoanalysis put into question the foundations of the official morality in yoga poses European countries.
It became necessary to clearly differentiate delusions of the mind from behavior. From the point of view of psychoanalysis, the content of a sadistic dream becomes reprehensible as soon as it acted on, but not before. To dream that we are torturing a sexual partner, rendering him totally submissive, is one thing; becoming sadistic is something else. Thus the psychoanalysts showed that to apply the same moral laws to thoughts as to behaviors often leads to deeply rooted neuroses. The neurotic criticizes his thoughts as if they were behaviors. He represses his unacceptable thoughts for fear of what others would think of him. He censures these fantasies before they reach awareness. in yoga poses this way, he need not feel guilty for having them and feels assured that they will not influence his behavior. On the contrary, a pervert is compelled to act out what he imagines and is often incapable of stopping himself. The common element between neurosis and perversion would be a poor differentiation between the requirements of the mind and those of behavior. This lack of differentiation is one of the weak points of certain forms of humanistic psychotherapy, notably certain body psychotherapy approaches, that encourage, in yoga poses a simplistic way, all manner of self-expression.
One of the recurrent themes in yoga poses the psychoanalytic literature is that the unconscious dynamics fabricates fantasies, without taking into account the moral requirements of the cultural environment of the individual. This production is submissive to intra-organismic modes of functioning. To want dreams to avoid imagining reprehensible behavior according to the social environment would be to deny that biological needs do not follow the same rules as the legal system of the state. Psychoanalysts want to know all the fantasies produced by the mind so as to understand how the psyche functions and then prevent the patient from acting out the fantasy. Only once the dynamics of an individual’s drives are understood, is it possible to approach the inevitable issues posed by the behavior, which, by definition, is a bridge between drives and social practices. This procedure allows one to know what aspects of the individual a society needs to support and what aspects of the individual’s inner dynamics cannot be integrated in yoga poses a type of society that demands the respect of other people. This example, like so many others, shows why it is important to postulate that behavior and mind do not follow the same modes of functioning. in yoga poses psychoanalytic jargon, when the mental content automatically becomes behavior, there is acting out.86 Other forms of psychotherapy, like most body psychotherapies, require that one understands how thoughts and behaviors are related. Some types of coordination between thoughts and behavior are useful and need to be supported, whereas others are destructive. These therapies are therefore against the psychoanalytic stance that all forms of coordination between mind and behavior should be negatively connoted as a form of acting out. Most of the humanistic psycho-therapies, in yoga poses effect, encourage the attempts that the patient makes to explore new ways of coordinating feelings and expressions.
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