The Meaning of the Dream in Psychoanalysis

By Rachel B. Blass

Subjects: Psychiatry
Series: SUNY series in Dream Studies
Paperback : 9780791453186, 242 pages, April 2002
Hardcover : 9780791453179, 242 pages, April 2002
Paperback - Unavailable
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Table of contents



1. The Context: Conceptual Clarification and Previous Research

2. Freud's Justification of His Dream Theory in The Interpretation of Dreams

3. Can the Application of Psychoanalytic Principles to the Dream be Justified?

4. Developments Regarding the Dream Theory and Its Justification after Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams

5. The "Experiential Quality of Meaningfulness"and the Overcoming of the Obstacle to the Holistic Justification of the Dream Theory

6. Conclusions




Offers scientific and philosophical support to the Freudian claim that dreams are meaningful and that their meanings can be discovered through dream interpretation.


The Freudian claim that dreams are meaningful and that their meanings can be discovered through dream interpretation has in recent times come under harsh attack from both scientific and hermeneutic-psychoanalytic circles. In a forceful response to these critiques, Rachel Blass demonstrates that while Freud and his followers have thus far failed to provide adequate justification for his dream theory, such justification may now be found through an alternate and legitimate—yet neglected—route, one that establishes both scientifically and philosophically the relationship between the self of the dreamer and that of the awake individual. The implications of this argument are both practical and theoretical: by providing sorely absent scientific and philosophical grounding to the very foundations of dream interpretation, the book clarifies and broadens the possibilities of dream interpretation within the clinical setting, and breaks new ground in the field of psychoanalytic epistemology and the philosophy of the human sciences.

Rachel B. Blass is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


"…[this] thought-provoking and beautifully laid out book has deep-seated implications for psychodynamic scholars." — Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"This is the most thorough and persuasive exploration of the epistemology of dream interpretation within psychoanalysis that has ever appeared. Overall, the depth and sophistication of the scholarship, thoughtfulness, and ultimate philosophical, research, and clinical implications of the work make this a landmark book." — Bennett Simon, Harvard Medical School and The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

"The critique of Freud is the best I've seen, and the careful construction of the argument supporting the meaningfulness of dreams is excellent. The book demands to be inserted into the current field of methodological controversy swirling around psychoanalysis." — William Meissner, S. J., Boston College