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J Am Psychoanal Assoc. 2008 Mar;56(1):223-51. doi: 10.1177/0003065108315694.

Affect integration in dreams and dreaming.

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Faculty, Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, USA.


The processes by which dreaming aids in the ongoing integration of affects into the mind are approached here from complementary psychoanalytic and nonpsychoanalytic perspectives. One relevant notion is that the dream provides a psychological space wherein overwhelming, contradictory, or highly complex affects that under waking conditions are subject to dissociation, splitting, or disavowal may be brought together for observation by the dreaming ego. This process serves the need for psychological balance and equilibrium. A brief discussion of how the mind processes information during dreaming is followed by a consideration of four component aspects of the integrative process: the nature and use of the dream-space, the oscillating "me / not me" quality of the dream, the apparent reality of the dream, and the use of nonpathological projective identification in dreaming. Three clinical illustrations are offered and discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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