Freud's Interpretation Of Dreams

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Dreams are defined by a series of ‘mental and emotional processes that occur during sleep, including thoughts, imagery, and problem-solving.’ (Osman, 2015) They often have a temporal progression with an accompanying narrative. Dream research focuses on the implications of dreams, both psychological and physiological, and how these implications relate to conscious and unconscious processes. Assuming a dualist approach to the mind-body debate, dream research attempts to connect material and mental events into the behaviours exhibited in dreams. This paper will assert and describe the three main strings of dream theory and their advocates as well as what evidence and research exists, or fails to exist, for each. Furthermore, the following paragraphs …show more content…
In his Interpretation of Dreams (1991), Freud implies that the nature of the dream has psychological effects and deals with the innermost emotions that could only be reached in an unconscious state. Freud believed that ‘the interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.’ (Freud, 1991) His theory was based on the idea that there are two types of mental content, the latent and the manifest kind. The manifest content of the dream is that which is on the surface, the obvious interpretation. Freud believed that it was possible to use the manifest content of the dream to discover the latent content, that which revealed the unconscious desires of an individual. Because Freud saw dreams as a form of wish fulfilment, the latent content was deemed to be the innermost wishes of an individual and his research was founded in this idea of discovering the latent content through the analysis of the manifest content of his dreams and those of children. Freud kept a journal of his dreams as well as those from patients that he recorded using recall methods, arguing that the internal functions affected the mental unconscious in the form of dreams and that dreams revealed important and forgotten details in regards to the lives of individuals. His Freud’s findings emphasized the idea that dreams have a deeper meaning accessible to interpretation—the latent content of the mind—and the idea that dreams have a function—hallucinatory wish-fulfilment (Marcus, 1999). While Freud focused on the visual interpretation of dreams and how repetitive events could be analysed, he took a neurobiological approach to research, which preceded the activation-synthesis theory that honed in fully on the biological implications of dream

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