1911 Journal of the American Medical Association  
Interest in the subject of dreams has been especially stimulated since Freud enunciated his theory. As is well known, Freud claims to be able to unravel dreams by his so-called analytic method, and he further regards dreams as directly concerned in the production of various hysterical symptoms, phobias, obsessions and delusions. In his brochure "Ueber dem Traum," and in his book "Die Traumdeuting," he tells us that he reached new conclusions with regard to dreams when he applied to them the
more » ... method of psychologic research which he had previously applied to the solution of various morbid phenomena. It becomes necessary, therefore, in order that we may have clear conceptions, to briefly review the origin and nature of his method. Psycho-analysis, as is well known, began with Breuer's case of hysteria. Breuer and Freud stated that they found that the individual symptoms of hysteria immediately and permanently disappeared whenever they were successful in fully arousing in the patient the memory of the event which was causal to the development of the symptoms, together with the accompanying emotion, if, added to this, the patient gave the fullest possible description of this event and gave verbal expression to the emotion. Originally this method presupposed that the patient was capable of being hypnotized and was based on the expansion of consciousness which was sup¬ posed to ensue under hypnosis. Subsequently formal hypnosis was dispensed with. Freud's endeavor was to set aside the patient's symptoms, and he attained this end in so far as he placed the patient back into the psychic state in which the symptoms first made their appearance. There appeared under these circumstances memories, thoughts and impulses which had long dis¬ appeared from his normal consciousness. When the patient communicated these, his "soul happenings," to his physician, and did so with intense emotional reac¬ tion, the symptom was conquered and its recurrence prevented. This result Breuer and Freud explained as follows: The symptom had existed as a substitute or in place of another past experience which had been sup¬ pressed (verdrängt), and the recollection of which had become subconscious-that is, it was a conversion of the original memory of an act and its associated emotion into a pathologic symptom or obsession. The thera¬ peutic efficacy of their procedure Breuer and Freud explained as the catharsis of the repressed, "locked-up" emotion which had been attached to or associated with the suppressed ps*ychic experience. Freud asserts that
doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560190001001 fatcat:k77w2oql3zfqld4weyza3echqi