Interpretation of Dreams -or- In the Blink of an Eye: Part 4

Dream of Interpretation -or- The Reliable Narrator

If "Interpretation of Dreams -or- In the Blink of an Eye: Part 3" discussed the artistic and psychosexual aspects of psychoanalysis, then this interpretation discusses Freud's dream of interpretation, and psychoanalytic literary criticism

In "Freud's Dream of Interpretation" Ken Frieden states: "Freudian psychoanalysis established conditions under which every patient may speak and invent freely, following the example of creative writers." In the psychoanalytic situation, an accurate re-telling of the patients past, becomes re-worked and worked through with the help of the psychoanalyst. By using the dreamer's narrative report the dream text provides the hermeneutic basis for uncovering the buried unspoken trains of thought, feelings and the "social problematic" of the text. 

From a creative writing literary perspective, "Interpretation of Dreams" is a compilation of historical and personal dramas found in dream visions, case studies, confessions, family romances, jokes, tragedies and morality plays. For Frieden; "Psychoanalysis is a drama in which the patient tries on masks, playing opposite the analyst's feigned neutrality."

From my own perspective the learning of mask wearing is the central ontological problem of the human condition, one which creates a lack of "authenticity" , "good faith and the loss of the "true self"

Taking off the "masks of sanity" in therapy, is the first step in recovering the ontological "real self". Frieden acknowledges that Freud had understood that children's dreams until a certain age were free of disguise and deception. Psychoanalytic therapeutic work is directed to restoring this freedom. For Frieden: "Beyond the manifold deceptions of the insidious dream work lies an imagined realm of innocence and truth...."

The patient's fear of the consequences of telling the truth, creates the face of self deception and mask wearing. Taking off the mask is the key to the psychoanalytic "talking cure" Truth  brings ontological and metaphysical order to the psychological dissonance and chaos of the patient's inner world of thoughts, feelings and memories. Said differently the "unreliable narrator" is replaced by a reliable creative writer who gets the developmental ontological narcissistic story straight. 

Freud's psychoanalytic "hermeneutics of suspicion", was one in which conscious narrative psychopathological defense mechanisms such as denial were employed reinforcing the work of self-deception. Deception is always an important aspect of the psychoanalytical critic's radar. For Rene Girard, "Deceit, Desire and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure" discusses how novelists expose our intra- and interpersonal deceit, (which includes lies, dissimulations, conceits and bad faith ).  

Understood from a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) perspective, "cognitive re-framing" deals with the re-structuring of "cognitive distortions" "Cognitive distortions" can be seen as a euphemism for the varying psychological degrees of irrationality, fallacies and "thought disorders" in which the philosophical sense of "reality" has become distorted, impaired and/or lost. The critical thinking of the "Socratic method" stands at the behavioural logos centre of the CBT process, helping to restore a healthy sense of reality. 

Many dream interpretations posted at the International Institute for Dream Research website discuss the varying degrees of psychodynamic problems found in the global village. Here are few; 

Further Reading: 


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