Sigmund Freud is one of the most influential and, simultaneously, debatable thinkers and psychotherapists of the twentieth century, still attracting the significant attention of both the mass audience and the scholarly community. “The Interpretation of Dreams” is the first fundamental work bringing the creator fame and containing many concepts that later became pivotal in his psychoanalysis theory, including the unconscious mind. The book is primarily noteworthy in that it makes the first serious attempt to decipher dreams from the scientific point of view and reveal the depth of psycho by analyzing them. Moreover, the author tries to detect or treat various mental diseases via dreams and help people experiencing internal conflicts and problems. Thus, this paper aims at providing a review of “The Interpretation of Dreams” by explaining what I learned after reading it.
Learned Ideas and Book Summary
Freud begins by describing significant theories about the dreams’ nature, which emerged before the monograph’s appearance. Based on their examination, the author distinguishes the key concepts about dreams. In general, according to the book, a dream refers to a psychic phenomenon demonstrating the complexity of the human psyche and the struggle of conscious and unconscious wishes occurring in real life. Freud states that dreams are composed of several elements: external sensory stimuli, internal (subjective) sensory excitations, internal organic somatic stimuli, and physical sources of stimulation. For instance, the second “are images, often very vivid and rapidly changing, which are apt to appear—quite habitually in some people—during the period of falling asleep” (Freud 63). Besides, considering all impressions imprinting in a person’s memory, dreams comprise memories from the past, speak in the language of images, and can illuminate individuals’ obscure natures, desires, and features.
Furthermore, Freud offers the method of dreams interpretation, indicating that all dreams possess particular structures, meanings, and patterns. The author states that to understand dreams, therapists should help patients remove criticism of dreams, ask appropriate questions about specific instances in dreams, and reveal connections between dreams and feelings or desires. I also learned the principal sources of dreams, including powerful emotional events and firm unconscious wishes or senses, for example, fear or love. In this regard, the dream carries the fulfillment of particular dissatisfied desires, anxious thoughts, or earlier painful experiences, such as a failed exam, death of a relative, or shameful dead. Herewith, wishes can be explicit or hidden in the dreams because of their complexities or individuals’ frequent denials of their cravings. It is also worth noting that dreams have many symbols that can be in the form of myths, simple objects, or archetypes. For instance, trees, knives, and ties are related to male characters, while boxes or stoves represent female symbols.
My Interest and Changed Ideas
My interest concerning dreams was primarily ignited by the that this topic is still examined by scientists inadequately and that Sigmund Freud is regarded as the most prominent pioneer in this respect. I am curious about dreams’ meanings, their sources, and their effects on people’s lives. Moreover, it is interesting indeed whether dreams can serve as markers of different severe mental disorders and indicate the pathways of the right treatments. In this regard, the book provides a holistic picture of dreams’ main processes and beneficial therapeutic techniques supported by the author’s substantial experience. In particular, the work helps me realize that the dream is not a baseless, simple phenomenon but has robust associations with the psyche, especially its deepest levels. Thus, the scientific community has cogent reasons to explore this area that can become beneficial in developing and improving psychotherapist practices.
Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams: The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text. Translated and edited by Strachey James, Basic Books, 2010.