chapter  22
On interpreting dreams
Pages 12

In many people’s mind, analysis consists in the task of the analyst interpreting the dreams of his or her clients. It is assumed that he, as a highly trained dream interpreter, can somehow decipher these coded contents of the patient’s unconscious, telling him what they mean. But dealing fruitfully with dreams is an act of the greatest complexity. What transpires in dreams definitely affects waking consciousness; and in most cases, profound reflection in the form of dialogue is required in order for the dream content to come alive. The dialogue takes place, on the one hand, between the ego and the unconscious; and on the other hand, intersubjectively, between analysand and analyst. In the course of interacting with the patient, it is basically the analyst’s task to encourage linkages between the ego and the unconscious, to aid in deepening them, and to function as a mediator or partner in the ensuing dialogue.