Is psychoanalytic dream interpretation possible?
In this paper I explore the question of whether the dream can be assumed to have any inherent meaning that can become accessible to the awake analyzer of the dream. For this purpose I adopt the basic assumptions underlying the general process of ascription of meaning in psychoanalytic theory and examine whether these assumptions are applicable to dreams. I conclude that because of the possible discontinuity of the self between the wakeful and dreaming states, these assumptions cannot be straightforwardly applied to that context. I go on to show that these problems do not, however, preclude the possibility of dream interpretation. Attunement and awareness to certain kinds of experience that the individual at times may feel in relation to his or her dream provide evidence that meanings inherent to the dream are, in fact, accessible.
Published online: 01 January 1994