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Psychodynamic Theory of Dreaming

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Psychodynamic Theory of Dreaming

Sicko-dynamite Dreaming
The psychodynamic theory of dreaming states that dreams are meaningful and that the main purpose of dreams is wish fulfillment, as described by Freud. There are two aspects of dreams that he describes, the manifest content, which is the part of the dream that the dreamer is aware of an reports, and the latent content, which is the true meaning of the dream based on desires buried in the subconscious.
Wish Fullfillment
Wish-fullfilling genie

According to Freud, dreams are meaningful and the major function of them is wish fulfillment. The spectrum of wishes include simple biological needs (hunger/thirst), deep-seated needs related to sexual and aggressive impulses buried in the unconscious.

Latent Content

Freud goes on to describe that the true meaning of the dream is based on the needs and desires buried in the unconscious. Often, the content of the dream is disguised in symbolic form as not to reveal the latent content, so that the repressed needs of the individual do not arise and wake him or her.

Manifest Content

The manifest content is the part of the dream that the dreamer is aware of and reports. "I had a dream that I was surrounded by money," is an example of manifest content.


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