vin ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUE AND CONFESSIONAL 329
three ' meanings \ Its reference to the present, shown in the manifest content; its reference to the past, shown in the latent content; and its reference to the future in so far as it is an expression of what the patient wants to do. In regard to the future, the wish is comparatively straightforward, and concerns itself mostly with immediate problems.
It is too early to affirm that psychology has reached conclusions in regard to the interpretation of dream symbolism to which the word ' established ' can safely be applied.
For patients with sufficient inclinations the encouragement of artistic production and the use of this for analysis as one would a dream or phantasy, is often useful, as is illustrated from the following case :
The patient, a woman teacher aged 24, developed anxieties and agrophobia and could not continue her work. She was found to have a strong fixation on and identification with the mother. She was engaged to be married but afraid of the step, claiming ignorance of the facts of sex.
The writer saw her once a week. On the occasion of the fifth visit she brought the painting (Fig. 1). She was asked to interpret it. The ' little ghosts ' were the obsessing elements making her self-conscious, and responsible for her anxieties. Standing on the precipice depicted the next step to take (marriage). The blue sky represented the happiness and peace that other people enjoy. She was gazing at this and holding out her hands to grasp it. The next week she brought a painting of herself barefooted and with her hands covering her face while in front of her were two pillars leading to an ascending staircase over which the light was shining from the room it lead to. She interpreted this as the future (that is, marriage and the sexual life). Behind her was a