Freud's Position on Dreams Essay

Pages: 4 (1353 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

Freud: Dreams and the Unconscious

Dreams have been a focus of much attention in psychology and philosophy throughout history with many experts sharing beliefs about the origin and meaning. One such expert, Sigmund Freud interpreted dreams through a psychoanalytical lens. Freud argues that humans are influenced by unconscious activities while at the same time the ego provides rational influence over conscious thought processes (Tauber, 2009). The unconscious cannot maintain complete control over the individual as the autonomy of the ego to reason provides new options for choice and control (Tauber, 2009). Freud believed that dreams are the road into the unconscious mind a way by which the person is protected in their sleep. Sleep is viewed as a solely physiological process which should be uninterrupted and dreams serve the purpose of ensuring it is not interrupted by disturbing thoughts (Weitz, 1976). Sleep allows for the detachment from the external conscious world in order for the individual to focus solely on the internal stimuli that they experience.

This direct expression of the unconscious mind is a manner by which mental balance can be restored and maintained (Schneider, 2010). Mental imbalance can occur when thoughts are repressed by the conscious due to not wanting to deal with them. Repressed thoughts will remain in the unconscious oftentimes until an analyst is able to help the individual interpret them (Weitz, 1976). These rejected thoughts can create an internal psychic conflict which a dream attempts to relieve. The mind utilizes dreams as a means to shelter a person from their internal stimuli and can provide insight into the individual's unconscious (Weitz, 1976).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Freud's Position on Dreams Assignment

Freud believed that dreams are the direct result of unfulfilled wishes and desires (Weitz, 1976). This can include fears, desires and emotions that an individual is typically not aware of but comes through in the form of a dream (Michael, 2008). It is believed that if a desire is unfulfilled during the day then the dream allows the individual to gratify themselves through the dream process. Negative dreams are also considered a form of wish fulfillment with the desire being that these events do not come to fruition (Weitz, 1976). These negative dreams can be interpreted as a warning of what may come. Freud believed that information presented in dreams is not displayed in an obvious or factual manner rather these concepts are disguised. This is due to the unconscious minds inability to communicate in a verbal manner therefore it has created symbols to represent information (Schneider, 2010). Freud describes these symbols as both universal, experienced by all persons, and individualized, based on individual experiences. The majority of symbols proposed by Freud were sexual in meaning and he often attributed sexual connotation to dreams.5

Freud believes that during the dreaming process the individual is freed from the anxiety and tension that results from repressed emotions of childhood. He believed that all neurosis is the direct result of trauma or negative childhood events. The dream allows the individual to remove tension that is built up from unconscious impulses and thought (Weitz, 1976). This energy is released through the formation of symbols. When the tension is not released it builds up to the point that it is intolerable and the individual wakes up. An analyst can aid the individual in resolving unconscious conflicts that cause the tension to build (Weitz. 1976).

Freud describes dreams as being comprised of two parts: the manifest and the latent content. The manifest content is the information that an individual can recall after they wake up and that can be described in the conscious (Weitz, 1976). Freud did not believe that this part of the content held any valuable meaning for the individual or did not provide insight into the inner workings of an individual. The latent content, according to Freud, contain the true unconscious desires and thoughts of the individual (Weitz, 1976). Although this information may be present in the manifest content it is concealed and therefore not readily retrievable by the individual. They individual may not understand the underlying meanings of this content and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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