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Psychother Psychosom. 1976-1977;27(3-6):125-32.

Dynamic and structural features of a case of compulsive neurosis as revealed in dreams.


Several examples of the manifest dreams reported by a patient with a compulsive neurosis are presented. An outstanding feature of the dreams was the sudden shift of the dreamer's self-representation from the role of criminal to the role of policeman. This shift is thought to parallel the oscillation between unconscious instinctual gratification and conscious attempts at reparation which is the main dynamic feature of the compulsive neurosis in waking life. The shift of orientation of the self reflects the operation of early defense mechanisms against the sadistic impulse. It also portrays graphically an early stage in the internalization process which leads ultimately to the creation of the superego. The repetitive nature of the dreams indicated that the patient had become fixated at this particular point in the course of his psychic development. It is interesting to note that like the Rat Man this patient suffered from a chronically undescended testicle. The real defect in the sexual apparatus in both patients may have been a factor which favored regression of the libido from the genital stage to the anal-sadistic stage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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