A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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shortening of time and place. This, Freud found, was due to the fact that the Unconscious must elaborate wishes and desires in such a way as to elude the superego, known earlier as the censor, whose business it is to repress these instinctual desires. The super-ego, which acts as a check, keeping anti-social drives like those of sex and aggression within bounds, maintains, as it were, a similar checking device in the dream. The Unconscious distorts these instinctual drives in the dream in order to evade the dream censor.
The dream, then, expresses these drives, using a distorted language of symbols. There are many common symbols for sexual activities in dreams, as walking up staircases, riding on trains, or moving vehicles. In many dreams, symbols such as needles, steeples, revolvers, represent the male genital organ, and boxes, vessels, the earth, symbolize the female sexual organs. But analysis looks beyond the symbol, trying to find the unconscious wishes which the dream figures represent. The reasons for these symbolizations and distortions must be ferreted out in terms of the patients emotional needs. This is the work of interpretation of dreams, one of the main tasks of the analyst. In the dream our true desires are visible after elaborations and disguises are deciphered in terms of the patient's life. The clue to interpretation of this latent content lies in the free associations which the patient brings. Dream symbols do not always have the same significance for each dreamer.
The idea of symbolism can be illustrated from the well-known dream of Pharaoh, which, together with Joseph's interpretation, is reported in Gen. xli. Freud says that dreams which are experienced on the same night often reproduce a single idea in different forms, and so, according to Bradby,22 it was with Pharaoh. Attention is given to the account that: The lean kine were such as