Addendum to: Binswanger and Wittmann (2019): Reconsidering Freud’s dream theory. International Journal of Dream Research Volume 12 (1), 103-111.
Our paper aimed at facilitating the understanding and handling of Freud’s dream theory. We are grateful for critical comments on our contribution by Volker Hartmann which prompt us to differentiate more explicitly between verbal and perceptual representations of the latent dream thought within Freud´s dream theory. We will thus integrate the differentiation between the following two concepts in our previous arguments:
- The unconscious formation of the preconscious and verbal latent dream thought: The dream work by the unconscious ego replaces the sleep-disturbing stimuli – demands upon the ego – by a harmless preconscious wish-fulfilment that still has a verbal form, called latent dream thought. This process is dominated by the different defense-mechanisms of the ego, including displacement, condensation, reversal to the contrary and symbolization.
- The transformation of the verbal dream-thought into a perception of things: Dream work continues by transforming – in a regressive cerebral direction – the verbal latent dream-thought into hallucinatory perceptions of things. This process is dominated by considerations of representability. What comes out is a preconscious sensory perception of the latent dream thought, characterized by the primary process functioning of the unconscious ego. In this form, it is still incompatible with secondary process functioning of the conscious ego.
This distinction allows for a further clarification of the term secondary revision:
- The sensory perception of the latent dream thought undergoes – as every sensory perception – secondary revision by the preconscious ego, forming the manifest dream content, characterized by the secondary process. In this form, the manifest dream content is compatible with the conscious ego.