The theories of Freud, Adler, and Jung are considered classic theories because of theirhistorical significance and comprehensiveness (Nystul, M. S., 2006 p. 202). These men have had a vast influence on the art of counseling (Nystul, M. S., 2006). These psychologists differed on their beliefs of dreams as in many other beliefs. Freud and Jung believed that dreams had ameaning; Alder believed that dreams told how a person was living.
Freud’s Dream BeliefsFreud wrote that dreams contained both manifest and latent content. The manifest content is the material that the dreamer is aware in relating the details of the dream. The manifest content is a disguise for the true meaning of the dream, or the latent content, which is comprised of unconscious sexual and aggressive wishes and fantasies unacceptable to the conscious ego. These unconscious wishes and fantasies find expression in dreams. Consequently, Freud believed that the meaning of dreams is almost always wish fulfillment. To discover the meaning of dreams, Freud used a process of free association, asking his patients to free associate to various dream symbols. Invariably, he found symbols to be related to sexual or aggressive themes (Gardner, M, 1995, p.11).
Jung’s Dream BeliefsJung differed from Freud in that he believed that dreams can reveal other themes besides aggression and sexuality. According to Jung, dreams can also reveal archetypal material, creativity, and a drive toward individuation. Jung viewed the manifest content of dreams as not being disguises but being metaphors (Van De Castle, 1994). The psyche’s libido is a more general form of energy which pulls us toward individuation, a process of developing greater insight in one’s inner self. Dreams reveal material from either the personal unconscious or the collective unconscious, the source of archetypes.
Jung’s approach to dream interpretation involved amplification, the process of asking the dreamer to focus on various symbols in the dream and provide as many associations as possible about the particular symbol; whereas Freud used free association to have the dreamer create a chain of associations beginning with the dream symbol. Dream symbols could represent an actual person in the dreamer’s life or a part of his or her psyche. Amplification includes exploration of feelings connected to dream images, cultural meanings of dream images, and possible archetypal meanings of the dream images such as the mandala representing the archetype of the self (Van De Castle, 1994). Jung also encouraged the dreamer to use active imagination, reliving the dream and allowing it to continue in conscious imagination.
Adler’s dream BeliefsAdler viewed the personality as being holistic; the conscious and unconscious are not separate. He did not place as much focus on dream interpretation as did Freud and Jung, although he believed that dreams provided insight into one’s lifestyle and social interest. In particular, Adler noted the significance of repeated dreams as keys to understanding life challenges and their unique meaning for the individual. Alder is best known for his theory of personality (Nystul, M.S. 2006).
These men have been criticized for their work; they have even criticized each others theories. They belonged to a psychoanalytic group but their differences in theory made them go on their own. The classic psychological theories of Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Carl Jung have laid the foundation for modern clinical practice (Nystul, M. S. 2006, p174). Their work has laid the foundation for many merit programs and studies in psychology.
Gardner, Martin (1995, November). Waking up from Freud’s theory of dreams. The Skeptical Inquirer, 19(6), 10. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from ProQuest Psychology Journals database. (Document ID: 8671329).
Nystul, M. S. (2006). Introduction to Counseling An Art and Science Prespective 3rd Edition. Boston: Pearson.
Van De Castle, R. (1994). Our Dreaming Mind. New York: Ballantine Books.