Reflection on dreams: Kim Groome

graphic by Han Jiang

Using your expertise, can you tell us about any particular theories or understandings about dreams?

So, Freud believed that dream interpretation — which he thought he was skilled in — gave him access to the unconscious of the person. He would listen to his patients, talk about their dreams, then determine what the symbolism was of the particular story that was being told. I’m going to give a personal example of Freud’s. One of his closest colleagues for a stretch of years before they had a falling out was a man named Jung. Jung and he were exchanging dreams because they were working on this idea of dream interpretation theory, and in the course of Jung telling Freud about his dream, Jung indicated that Freud died. Freud was so upset by this … that he fainted and fell out of his chair.


photo by Anya Sachdev

Do you know how Freud interpreted that aspect of Jung’s dream?

He took it as Jung wanting him to die because Freud was senior to Jung. Freud was actually hoping to have him be a colleague and sort of mentor him into leading the field of psychoanalysis once Freud got older… So, [Freud] thought that this was Jung secretly having a competitive urge to take over sooner and wanting Freud to die.

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