The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

The Interpretation of Dreams is one of the many important psychology works published by Freud. It’s primary purpose was to figure out and deduce the purpose of dreams and how conscious material makes it’s way into dreams.

He draws his evidence from large body of work starting with his own dreams as well as the dreams of many different case studies he researched. He also compares his research to that of the current psychological work published at the time.

He uses the dream framework to put forward his ideas of the unconscious and the preconscious and how they work together to form dreams. This is theorized possible by transitioning left over thoughts in the preconscious with repressed or unconscious thoughts to form dreams. That is a rough outline of the theory but if you want to know more you’re going to have to read the book.

Now to the point of the review, up until the time period of Freud there wasn’t any form of treatment of the mentally ill, they were for the most part put in asylums, jailed or housed out of the public eye. Because of Freud’s one on one work with patients we get the groundwork for psychological treatment. He was not the first to think but his constant use of it effectively helped codify it’s use a place in history.

Psychological treatment is now often thought of as something you can get with a counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. But in ancient times it was a religious disease, medieval times were put away, jailed or killed. Now we have a system in place as well as a litany of psychological diseases on record.

There is still a negative stigma for the mentally ill and the system is by no means perfect but without the work of Freud and others like him we would not where we are today as we attempt to help people.

The is written very much like a college textbook of the 19th century. Some of the language and terms are not in common uses anymore but can be figured out with a good amount of thought.

The pacing is meant more for study, learning and reconfiguring, because even in the end Freud was saying that this was only the beginning and more work needed to be done.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in psychology, especially the history of psychological theory. But regardless of whether it is read or not it has a solid place in history and needs to be understood as ushering in a new paradigm of psychological ideas.

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