Imaginative variations on selfhood: Elaborating an existential-phenomenological approach to dream analysis.
Existential Analysis: Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis, 17(1) pp. 2–13.
Dream analysis has occupied a central place in psychoanalysis for much of its history with a wide body of literature testifying to its utility at least within this particular theoretical perspective. Existential psychotherapy, which has its practical if not theoretical roots in psychoanalysis has however paid much less attention to the topic to, I want to argue, its detriment. Existential psychotherapists since Boss (1957) have of course produced important material but there has not been much further discussion or elaboration of the theory and practice of dream analysis since this time. In this paper I seek to further elaborate the dream analysis of Medard Boss and in doing so highlight the ways in which this aspect of the psychotherapeutic process might be better and more frequently used in existential practice. To this end, I supplement the work of Boss with recent developments in phenomenological psychology, notably the work of Ashworth (2003a, 2003b) and the Sheffield School, which employs concepts from key existential thinkers to better enable the analyst to understand the material they are examining. In addition, I seek to supplement the analytic givens highlighted by the Sheffield School with Ricoeur's concept of narrative identity, which I will argue provides a vital key in unlocking a dream story. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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