120th anniversary event for ‘Dora’ telling her burning house dream to Freud

  • Julia Lockheart (Author)
    University of Wales Trinity St David

    Senior Lecturer, Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity St David

  • Brigitte Holzinger (Author)
    Institute for Consciousness and Dream Research, Vienna, Austria

    Psychotherapist and Director of the Institute for Consciousness and Dream Research, Vienna, Austria.

  • Katharina Adler (Author)

    German writer, author of the novel Ida, about Ida Bauer, and great-grand-daughter of Ida Bauer.

  • Deirdre Barrett (Author)

    Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry.

  • Dany Nobus (Author)

    Professor Nobus is Professor of psychology and psychoanalysis at Brunel University, London, and a fellow of the Freud Museum London.

    Orcid-ID: 0000-0001-8026-9533

  • Zora Wessely (Author)
    University of Vienna

    Student at University of Vienna and associated with the Institute for Consciousness and Dream Research, Vienna, Austria.

  • Mark Blagrove (Author)
    Swansea University

Identifiers (Article)


This paper reports a DreamsID (Dreams Illustrated and Discussed) art science collaborative event held to commemorate the first dream told by Dora to Freud, in November 1900, during her psychoanalysis. As part of the online ‘Main stage’ schedule from the Swansea Science Festival, the event had participation from a worldwide audience, and contributions from expert panel members. That Dora’s dream is a poignant depiction of the distress and persecution in her teenage life can be seen from Dora’s free associations to the dream, but this is often overshadowed in readings of Freud’s case study by his speculative further interpretations of the dream, derived from Freud’s own associations. This paper includes the background to the case study, and the main points, themes and questions raised by the online discussion of the case study. This included the lack of emotion in the dream report, whether the dream was used by Dora to show to Freud the danger that she was in, the relationship between Dora’s dream, with its metaphor of the need to escape from the danger of fire, and dreams more widely of trauma and abuse; and the ethics of Dora’s real-life name having been made known without her permission. The painting produced live during the event is reproduced, with an account of the discussion of how the painting is composed. A link to the film of the event is provided.


Contributor or sponsoring agency
Sigmund Freud Museum
Dream, Dream analysis, Dora, Freud, Psychoanalysis, Art, Ullman dream discussion method, Dream, Dream analysis, Dora, Freud
How to Cite
Lockheart, J., Holzinger, B., Adler, K., Barrett, D., Nobus, D. ., Wessely, Z., & Blagrove, M. (2021). 120th anniversary event for ‘Dora’ telling her burning house dream to Freud. International Journal of Dream Research, 14(2), 202–208. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2021.2.77283