He believed that a dream represented an ongoing wish along with the previous day s activities. They may even portray wishes that have been inside us since early childhood. In fact, he believed, every dream is partially motivated by a childhood wish. Another interesting idea was that nothing is made up during a dream and that they are biologically determined, derived completely from instinctual needs and personal experiences.
Probably one of the most interesting ideas among these theories is his theory of dream occurrence. Dreams occur in a state of "ego collapse" when the demands of the Id imperative bodily needs and Superego conscience ego ideals converge upon the Ego personal desires and mediator between the Id and Superego.
In simpler terms, a dream will occur when the unconscious wish is bound to the preconscious, instead of just being discharged. Many of Freud's theories still stand true today, but most of all in the area of defense mechanisms our body uses while we dream.
If our minds have been dealing with too much denial, regression, or repression, it causes an internal conflict, a dream in this case, to take place. This prevents us from building up intolerable states of psychological tension in waking life.
This is why, if one becomes overemotional, it actually works to "sleep it off. The actual study of dreams in the late twentieth century has focused on two topics: The physiological process of dreaming, and 2. Researchers have found physiological clues as to when a dream is actually taking place.
The principal dream period, marked by a combination of rapid eye movement, a brain-wave pattern similar to that produced during wakefulness, and increased physiological activity, is known as REM Sleep or the Dream state.
Ever since the discovery of REM Sleep in the mids, researchers have conducted experiments in which they awaken subjects who show signs of REM sleep--in most cases the subjects report intensely the experience of vivid visual dreams.
Subjects awakened while not in REM sleep report dreams less frequently and have more difficulty remembering them. This evidence naturally supported a close association between REM sleep and the experience of vivid, spontaneously recalled dreams. However, extreme sleep-related behaviors such as night terrors, nightmares, enuresis bed-wetting , and sleepwalking have generally been found unrelated to ordinary dreaming.
It s a known fact that REM sleep recurs about every 90 minutes throughout the time spent asleep, in periods that successively grow in duration from an initial length of 10 minutes. Between the ages of 10 and the mids, people spend about a quarter of their time asleep in REM sleep. If this amount is temporarily lowered because of the use of certain drugs or by waking a sleeper in REM sleep, as soon as permitted, the person will recover by naturally increasing his or her amount of time in REM sleep, accompanied of course by an increase in dreaming.
From this it was deduced that the presence of REM sleep indicated a high probability that a person is in fact dreaming. Nevertheless, the content of his or her dream is directly available only to the dreamer and so to study the contents of dreams, researchers must rely on reports made by dreamers after they awaken. Unpleasant feelings in dreams are reported almost twice as often as pleasant ones. The contents of most dreams seem to consist of fairly direct representations of people and settings familiar to the dreamer.
Many theories have been proposed regarding the purposes of dreaming. Freud believed that the principal purpose of dreams is simply wish fulfillment. He felt that people fulfill ungratified needs from waking hours through wishful thinking in dreams. An example of this can be someone who is sexually frustrated would tend to have highly erotic dreams, while an unsuccessful person would dream about great accomplishments.
Other theorists such as Rosalind Cartwright in proposed that dreams provide an opportunity to work through everyday problems. This is known as her cognitive Problem-Solving View , in which there is considerable continuity between waking and sleeping thought. Proponents of this view believe that dreams allow people to engage in creative thinking about problems because dreams are not restrained by logic or realism. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley have argued that dreams are simply the by-product of bursts of activity emanating from subcortical areas in the brain.
Their Activation-Synthesis model proposes that dreams are side effects of the neural activation and produces wide awake brain waves during REM sleep. According to this model, neurons firing periodically in lower brain centers send random signals to the cortex the seat of complex thought. The cortex supposedly constructs a dream to make sense out of these signals. In contrast to the theories of Freud and Cartwright, this theory significantly downplays the role of emotional factors as determinants of dreams.
These theories are only three of at least seven major theories about the functions of dreams. All seven theories are based more on conjecture than research. Once again, this is partly because the private, subjective nature of dreams makes it difficult to put the theories to an empirical test. Naturally the real purpose of dreaming still remains a mystery. Not surprisingly though, drugs and dreaming have always gone hand in hand, and Freud was no stranger to using drugs such as cocaine.
His unusually vivid dreams, which he had no difficulty in remembering, are explained by the peculiar properties of cocaine, which he was then using so freely. In common with many other drugs of addiction, cocaine significantly reduces or even suppresses both total sleep and REM sleep, in which dreaming occurs. However, as the effects of the drug wear off, there is a compensatory rebound effect, so that REM sleep becomes longer and more intensified, accounting for the vividness and hallucinatory quality of the dreams and the fact that on waking there is no difficulty in recalling them.
On July 24, Freud had what he called an historic moment when he had a dream while he and his family were vacationing in the Vienna suburb of Bellevue. This dream was called his Irma dream and this became his first specimen dream on psychoanalysis , which would take up the entire second chapter of his book Interpretation of Dreams.
From then on it was that dream interpretation came to assume a major role in psychoanalysis. Again, Freud s main theory of the dream was that it represented the disguised fulfillment of a repressed wish , though the material that broke through undisguised he called dreams as well.
Sexual symbols were also used in his interpretation of dreams and were only a few of the many postulated by Freud and his followers in the succeeding years; Basically anything cylindrical in a dream was a male or phallic symbol , and anything hollow was a female symbol.
Dreams had an additional interest for him in that they had access to the forgotten material of childhood-In his own self-analysis Freud was discovering further elements of the Oedipus complex, in his case, a deep hostility to his father and death wishes to his baby brother who died in infancy. Despite this, he was not completely frank in recounting his own dreams, confessing to some natural hesitation about revealing so many intimate facts about one s mental life.
In nightmares the victim is usually on his own against the supernatural spirit that's attacking them. When the person eventually wakes up from the nightmare the person still thinks that they are being attacked. This leaves the person crying for help, trying to get the creature off themselves and gasping for air after suffocation. The person who's just had the nightmare needs reassurance that everything is okay because they still feel that there's a unnatural creature ready to get them.
In a reoccurring dream a young girl had she found herself in a dark street near her home. When she was there she felt that there are some "things" that were chasing her, this made her panic and run away.
The problem for the girl was that the further she ran away and the faster she ran she always had the sense that some "things" were chasing her. Whatever the girl did she felt that the "things" were chasing her no matter what happened.
She woke up at the point of the nightmare when she had run as far as she could and it was physically impossible for her to run further. When she woke up she cried for help, was soaking wet from her own sweat and was exhausted. The girl had tried to forget all about the nightmares but this was impossible because it had kept the girl awake most nights. The same nightmare had continued to occur with the girl because she did think about the reason the dream had happened. In the end the girl told somebody about these dreams and admitted that the "things" that had chased her were her feelings towards her mother.
She had these horrible feelings towards her mother because her mother never congratulated her and gave her praise. Even from this example of a nightmare it showed us that the purpose of the nightmare being repeated night after night was to force the girl to get all her feeling out into the open about her mother.
After the girl had shared her experiences she no longer had nightmares. I feel that dreams are a part of our life that should take more notice of. The powers of dreams have been expressed by the two examples of dreams you have read, showing how a woman got pregnant because of dreams and how somebody forgot to hand in a vital project. Dreams can give us clues about how we are feeling and what the future will be like.
It should be known that even the most feared kind of dream, nightmares, cure problems and not cause them. It takes the job of a trained dream interpreter to find out the true meanings of life. To conclude I feel that the sub-conscious is too powerful to be ignored. Published in by Andre Deutsh Limited. Dreams Essay, term paper, research paper: College Essays See all college papers and term papers on College Essays.
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This paper reviews the theories of dreams of probably the two most important and influential people in the study of dream interpretation, and then discusses another psychiatrist’s own point of view on dreaming that he composed with extensive research on both Freud and Jung’s theories.
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