Dreams and History: The Interpretation of Dreams from Ancient Greece to Modern Psychoanalysis

By Daniel Pick; Lyndal Roper | Go to book overview

Chapter 13

A dream to dream

Edna O'Shaughnessy

A hundred years after Freud's great work The Interpretation of Dreams, we all recognize that various new dimensions have been added to what Sara Flanders, in her excellent collection of writings from various psychoanalytic schools, calls The Dream Discourse Today. I shall present a session in which a patient's dream poses a problem: how to consider the dream's important content, while at the same time giving analytic attention to the way in which the dream structures the relationship between patient and analyst? The way I approach my patient most of all reflects current Kleinian thinking as well as some other recent influences in the British psychoanalytical tradition. 1


A SKETCH OF MY PATIENT

Mrs A has been in analysis for several years. She is much less anxious and less passive than she used to be. Relations with her colleagues and her standing in the office where she works have also improved though it sounds to me that she is still rather exploited, doing over-much without recognition. Currently, she is disappointed at not being offered a promotion she had expected - even though she had not contended for it. She and her husband seem much attached; he is in finance and she finds him intelligent and attractive though she describes him as doing nasty deals and complains about his unhelpfulness in family life - it is always she who does what needs to be done for their grown-up son and daughter. She believes she has benefited from the analysis and is grateful; yet, significant problems remain which come well into view in the session with the dream.

The session with the dream was on a Monday. On the preceding Friday Mrs A had been very disturbed about a lump she had detected while examining her breasts the evening before.

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