chapter  9
22 Pages

On dreaming one’s patient: reflections on an aspect of countertransference dreams

In this chapter, we explore the phenomenon of the countertransference dream. Until very recently, such dreams have tended to be seen as either reflecting unanalyzed difficulties in the analyst or unexamined conflicts in the analytic relationship. However, as we have seen in previous chapters, the countertransference dream may be a window into the shared unconscious phantasy of the analytic couple and is therefore a product of the intersubjective field. So while the analyst’s dream of his or her patient may represent problems in the analytic relationship, these dreams may additionally indicate the ways in which the analyst comes to know his patient on a deep unconscious level by processing the patient’s communicative projective identifications. In my view, the countertransference dream is embedded in an ongoing unconscious process of the analyst coming to know the analysand experientially by becoming in his own experience something similar to what the patient is unable to feel (transformation in O). Finally, we will revisit the question of how the countertransference dream may be put to use in supervision and take a second look at the dreams Dr. Miller and I had that were discussed in Chapter 8.