Karen Turner PHD | Freud’s Psychological Theories About Dreams
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Freud’s Psychological Theories About Dreams

Freud’s Psychological Theories About Dreams

Psychological Articles on Unlocking Dreams

Psychological Articles on Unlocking Dreams

By Boomeryearbook.com

Dreams are one of the very important psychological issues; as many psychological articles tell us a dream is more than just a random compilation of the unconscious mind. In fact, psychological theorists believe that a dream actually gives us a window of insight into what the unconscious mind is really thinking and believing. Originating with Sigmund Freud, the theorists represented in these psychological articles posit that dreams are a tool to uncovering things that we have repressed or kept hidden from our waking consciousness, and thus these thoughts and feelings become conveyed to us as “alarm signals” through our nighttime reveries. In other words, to these theorists, all dreams represent something of subjective psychological importance; and oftentimes this emotional material is objectionable to the person’s conscious waking ego.

Freud’s dream theories are representative of the psychological (i.e., non random) approach to dream interpretation; as he believed that dreams are the doorway to understanding the unconscious mind. He believed the psyche had three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. It is a bit of a complicated theory, but basically, Freud believed that dreams occur because of the ego defense theory, which is the waking ego, our conscious minds, defending our more vulnerable subconscious minds from allowing in material the conscious ego would find unpleasant and objectionable. Therefore, if the conscious mind isn’t willing to deal with conflicted or difficult waking issues, the unconscious dreaming mind will push through the conscious ego’s defenses and present the material as dream imagery.

We all need to sleep! This is certainly a well known fact. Lack of sufficient sleep is harmful to both our minds and bodies. However, lots of differing psychological articles have different opinions on the role of dreaming. For Freud, when we sleep the ego part of our mind relaxes and, therefore, the unconscious mind is able to sort of influence our conscious mind. However, he says that if this actually happened it would wake us up, so our mind had to develop a defense against awakening. He explains that the ego begins to do what he called dream work, in which the ego can disguise thought of the unconscious nature by using symbols. In his theory, the symbols do not disturb our sleep and, thus, a dream develops.

Now what does all this mean, you ask? Well, basically, it means that there are two distinct levels of dreams. There is the manifest content, which Freud says is what you remember after you awake or the part that is remembered after the ego disguised it. And then there is the latent content, the true meaning of the dream. To go a step further, Freud thought that the symbolism in dreams were of two types: personal symbolism and universal symbolism. Personal symbolism contains symbols that are relevant to the dreamer while universal symbolism contains symbols that are universally recognized as having the same meanings, (i.e., similar to Jung’s concept of archetypes we discussed in http://boomeryearbook.com/blog/2009/03/04/dream-interpretation-using-title-or-one-line-summary/

What do you think? Do you believe there is any truth behind Freud’s ego defense theory? Or do you believe that each dream is unique to each individual and that there is no such thing as a universal symbol? You will find that the debate rages on. You can generalize a universal symbol as to the possibilities of what they generally represent, but you cannot say for certain that it means the exact same thing to every dreamer.

For further information on Freud’s theory and to read the full article upon which this one was based, you can visit the following website: http://www.psychlotron.org.uk/resources/sleep/AQA_A2_sleep_theoriesofdreaming.pdf, and we hope you can share your thoughts at Boomer Yearbook.

Boomer Yearbook is a Psychological-Informational Social Network Website for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join now to discover the many ways this website for boomers can contribute to optimal physical and emotional wellness.


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