Dream Psychology, Sigmund Freud
Dream Psychology
Sigmund Freud
6:16 h Science Lvl 11.86
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud believed the function of dreams is to preserve sleep by representing as fulfilled wishes that would otherwise awaken the dreamer. His book Dream Psychology was published in 1920. Freud claimed that every dream has a connection point with an experience of the previous day. Though, the connection may be minor, as the dream content can be selected from any part of the dreamer's life.

Dream Psychology

Psychoanalysis for Beginners

by
Prof. Dr. Sigmund Freud

Authorized English Translation
by M. D. Eder


Introduction

The medical profession is justly conservative. Human life should not beconsidered as the proper material for wild experiments.

Conservatism, however, is too often a welcome excuse for lazy minds,loath to adapt themselves to fast changing conditions.

Remember the scornful reception which first was accorded to Freud’sdiscoveries in the domain of the unconscious.

When after years of patient observations, he finally decided to appearbefore medical bodies to tell them modestly of some facts which alwaysrecurred in his dream and his patients’ dreams, he was first laughed atand then avoided as a crank.

The words “dream interpretation” were and still are indeed fraught withunpleasant, unscientific associations. They remind one of all sorts ofchildish, superstitious notions, which make up the thread and woof ofdream books, read by none but the ignorant and the primitive.

The wealth of detail, the infinite care never to let anything passunexplained, with which he presented to the public the result of hisinvestigations, are impressing more and more serious-minded scientists,but the examination of his evidential data demands arduous work andpresupposes an absolutely open mind.

This is why we still encounter men, totally unfamiliar with Freud’swritings, men who were not even interested enough in the subject toattempt an interpretation of their dreams or their patients’ dreams,deriding Freud’s theories and combatting them with the help ofstatements which he never made.

Some of them, like Professor Boris Sidis, reach at times conclusionswhich are strangely similar to Freud’s, but in their ignorance ofpsychoanalytic literature, they fail to credit Freud for observationsantedating theirs.

Besides those who sneer at dream study, because they have never lookedinto the subject, there are those who do not dare to face the factsrevealed by dream study. Dreams tell us many an unpleasant biologicaltruth about ourselves and only very free minds can thrive on such adiet. Self-deception is a plant which withers fast in the pellucidatmosphere of dream investigation.

The weakling and the neurotic attached to his neurosis are not anxiousto turn such a powerful searchlight upon the dark corners of theirpsychology.

Freud’s theories are anything but theoretical.

He was moved by the fact that there always seemed to be a closeconnection between his patients’ dreams and their mental abnormalities,to collect thousands of dreams and to compare them with the casehistories in his possession.

He did not start out with a preconceived bias, hoping to find evidencewhich might support his views. He looked at facts a thousand times“until they began to tell him something.”

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