The Interpretation of Dreams: Sigmund Freud

PsychologyPersonality Psychology

Even though dreams are often linked to unconscious memories that may be traced back to early infancy or our experiences that have been stored implicitly in memory without access to actual awareness, dreams can also be considered an expression of one emotional self-state. Freud placed a high significance on dreams as the primary gateway to the unconscious, which he saw as a repository for memories and fancies that had been exiled and then repressed from consciousness, as well as a source of natural energy clamoring to be released.

Freud and Dream Theory

The golden road to our unconscious mind is our dreams. According to Sigmund Freud, "the interpretation of dreams is royal to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind." According to Freud, our dreams are one of the unconscious activities in sleep, providing a near-direct window into how a human's unconscious mind functions.

Freud was the first to hypothesize that dreams serve a purpose— to deal subconsciously with issues that the conscious mind cannot handle. According to him, the mind followed its laws. People set out to learn these guidelines and their justifications. A mind followed its laws. People set out to learn these rules and their reasoning. He stated that studying dreams can help to learn more about someone's desires and motives. He examined both latent and content, or what people remember about their dreams, and manifest, the symbolic meaning of the dreams.

Dreams and Freud analysis

Analysing dreams and memories is attempting to comprehend how past experiences, even those from our early years, continue to influence our actions and emotions now. Freud used to pay attention to the dreamer's associations with the event. The associations and links helped to explain the dreams' motivations: predicament with conflicting past and present times. This helped to provide abundant knowledge regarding the interplay, structure, and development of the human personality.

Major Mechanisms of Dreams

Freud's psychoanalytic theory, outlined in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), proposed that "dreams are covered-up symbols of suppressed desires and, as a result, provide us with direct access to the unconscious. Freud claimed that through a mechanism he called dream-work, which includes four operations, the obvious content of dreams, such as everyday occurrences and recollections, serve to conceal their underlying substance or unconscious desires.

  • Displacement is a process by which an idea's significance changes from one thought to another. (For instance, a person's most important thoughts or emotions could change from one notion (in the latent content of the dream) to a trivial detail (in the apparent content of the dream).
  • One concept or image may reflect numerous ideas that condense into a single dream image.
  • Considering representability means assuming that all meanings, even abstract ideas, can be represented by visuals.
  • The secondary revision shows how the seeming illogicality and absurdity in the dream are addressed by filling in the blanks to improve the logic of the dream's meaning.

Freud Dream Theory and Current Contemporises

In one of the recent reviews on the interpretation of the dream, the researcher stated the dream in mind is a systematic process of the brain in sleep and explained that the "sleeping brain is a self-organizing system that can weave together various aspects of dreams (i.e., discontinuous and discordant neural signals) into a largely continuous story as you sleep. According to this idea, dreams are a by-product of the sleeping brain rather than an autonomous activity, reflecting the dreamer's physiological and psychological processes such as memory encoding, emotion control, and the reception of environmental inputs,

Contrarily, Freud believed dreams are the way to the unconscious mind, making dream interpretation a crucial psychoanalytic technique. Although their self-organization theory contends that "dreams are a by-product of a dreamer's physical and psychological state while asleep, differentiates between manifest and latent dreams, and emphasizes that the Freudian dream-work is the result of information processing and self-organization of the brain in non- rem phase."


Freud's study of dreams interpretation may have been shown to have some benefits. It does, however, have some limits too. The difficulty of studying dreams and dream analysis is one of the difficulties psychologist faces. On the other side, due to brain activation, many psychologists also believe dreams are purely biological and not only a reflection of the unconscious.

Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47