What is useful in Freud's theory of dreams?

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« The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind ».1 While Freud already used hypnosis and free association with his patients, he soon felt the need to include the interpretation of dreams in psychoanalysis as well. Freud decided he would developped his 'theory of dreams' to go further in his analysis. According to Freud, dreams allow unconscious desires, fears or emotions to express themselves in a disguised way. Dreams are an expression of wish fulfilment communicating through symbols. Throughout this essay, we will ask ourselves how dreams and their interpretation can be useful to psychoanalysis. Why pay attention to night unconsciousness to go deeper in the analysis? How and why do we dream? What relationship is there between sleeping, dreaming and stimuli? How far can the interpretation of dream lead? Are there limits to Freud's theory of dreams? Freud's theory of dreams completes the method of psychoanalysis : free association and interpretation when studying the meaning of dreams allow a deeper understanding of the patient. Through his theory's 'dream-work' process, Freud explores the mechanisms of unconsciousness to analyse the process of imaginary wish fulfilment. ** * Dreams and their interpretation appear to be a controversial issue never reaching consensus. Before focusing on the elaboration of his theory of dreams, Freud noticed there were three different appreciations commonly made of dreams : (1) dreams are the expression of a superior state where repressed fantasies reappear ; (2) medical experts believe dreams respond to sensorial and stomatic stimuli ; (3) the public consider dreams have a meaning.2 On those premises, Freud has developped and strenghten... ... middle of paper ... ...or the understanding of dreams and the psychoanalysis research, it seems to have its limits and uncertainties. The arbitrary involved in the interpretation and the generalization relevant to Freud's seduction theory can be easily criticized. Works Cited FREUD, Sigmund, Sur le Rêve, (Gallimard Paris : 1998) FREUD, Sigmund, 1. Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, translated by James Strachey, (Penguin Books : 1991) FREUD, Sigmund, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, The Standard Edition, (W.W. Northon and Company : 1989) FREUD, Sigmund, The Interpretation of Dreams, translated by A.A. Brill in 1911, Plain Label Books, (Chumley P. Grumley:1913) LACAN, Jacques, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XI, (W.W.Northon and Company : 1998) LAPLANCHE, PONTALIS, Vocabulaire de la Psychanalyse, 4e édition (Quadrige : 2004)

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