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Why Do We Dream? Essay

2357 words - 9 pages

“Dreaming and their subsequent emotional interpretation have been investigated and recorded since the beginning of recorded history”. (as cited in Palagini; Rodenlicht, 2010). Recent experimental investigations applied to neurobiological and psychological perspectives of sleep identify a greatly dynamic arousal state, which in turn predicts a variety of physiological responses. One of the key stages associated within sleep is known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep; REM sleep at one stage was thought to be the primary dream period. However recent research and empirical evidence has shown that REM sleep does not have a direct relationship with dreaming, it is however purely and simply the stage of sleep which allows better recall of dreams. This is supported by Nielson (2000) who presented empirical evidence that dream recall during REM sleep in adults was as high as 60-90% after waking, whereas when individuals passed through into NREM sleep, this recall lowered substantially to 25-50%. Throughout this report, it will become clear of the relevance REM sleep has in the analysis period of these hallucinatory events. It is also important to clarify the different concepts and approaches attempting to explain dream phenomenon, such as psychoanalytical, neurobiological and finally to be discussed evolutionary explanations.
Sigmund Freud (1922) “Dreaming is the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious in mental life” (as cited in Arnold; Vogal, 2007, p20-21). Freud became adamant that dream symbols and interpretation with regards to psychoanalytical perspectives will always be prevalent and never disproven. The methodology of psychoanalysis’s enforces the notion that analysis of dream content is a vital necessity for the individual and the psychotherapist. In recent years however, the concept that this holds restorative advantage has decreased substantially. Psychoanalysis works on the sole basis that the entity of dream interpretation relies heavily on the reports made from the individual patient. This in itself is debatable in terms of its advantages and disadvantages.
Freud built his main theories at the onset of the twentieth century, developing the consistent perspective that because our dreams represent our deep, dark suppressed desires, predominantly associated with repressed sexuality, we experience ‘manifest dreams’ this dream in which can be recalled when woken, but this is simply a crude disguise for our true unconscious, the ‘latent dream’. Freud believed dreaming to be an internal deflection formation, “baring witness to both side of the conscious”. Within this perspective we become reacquainted with very familiar Freudian terms, such as “displacement and condensation”, both techniques serve one primary purpose to protect the ego, and subsequently the dreamer.
Freud maintained that dreams don’t represent the unconscious which would be commonly perceived, but conscious thoughts which have been suppressed deep within our self, Freud...

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