Communicative function of dreams in the therapeutic process

Ilal G. K.

TURK PSIKIYATRI DERGISI, vol.17, no.3, pp.223-229, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Title of Journal : TURK PSIKIYATRI DERGISI
  • Page Numbers: pp.223-229


Sleep is not a loss of consciousness, but an altered state of consciousness. What appears in the dream is preconscious and ready to move into consciousness. This material may be manifested also during free association. The difference between free association and REM dreaming is that the preconscious material is presented in response to internal and/or external stimuli in a more coherent form during free associations, whereas during a REM dream, the material of daily experiences and perceptions that are fragmented in the preconscious are recombined in a less coherent form. The material that cannot be easily expressed during free association in the wakeful state, due to inner or external inhibition, appear in dreams and thus, find an easier way of expression. The dreams of patients who have difficulty directly expressing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences serve as a useful means of communication during the initial stage of therapy and provide valuable analytic material to help the progress of the psychoanalytic treatment. This phenomenon is described with a case presentation.