1st Edition

Dreaming and Being Dreamt The Psychoanalytic Function of Dreams

By John A. Schneider Copyright 2023
    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    In Dreaming and Being Dreamt, John Schneider illustrates the central concept of all emotional functioning: that we are most alive in our dreaming, and that it is dreaming that brings us to life.  

    Building upon the theoretical foundations of Ogden and Bion, the book explicates the way in which it is the unconscious goal of the patient, and the task of the analyst, to engage in dreaming the patient into existence in a fuller way than the patient has been able to dream. It goes on to develop the idea that all dreams are psychological works in progress, containing aspects of emotional experience that are entirely or partially too disturbing to dream on one’s own. Each chapter of this book offers rich clinical exchanges between patient and analyst in analytic sessions. Schneider clearly shows how he dreams the analytic session with patients and the importance of "talking-as-dreaming" in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice.

    With new insights on theory and rich clinical vignettes, this book will be indispensable for all psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists wanting to engage with the latest thinking on dreamwork.

    1. Introduction  2. From Freud's Dreamwork to Bion's Work of Dreaming: The Changing Conception of Dreaming in Psychoanalytic Theory  3. Bion's Thinking About Groups: A Study of Influence and Originality  4. Panic as a Form of Foreclosed Experience  5. Working with Pathological and Healthy Forms of Splitting  6. Experiences in K and -K  7. Janus-Faced Resilience in the Analysis of a Severely Traumatized Patient  8. Eating Disorders, Addictions, and Unconscious Fantasy  9. Signs and Symbols in Dersu Uzala  10. Dreaming the Truth of Experience: Heaven


    John A. Schneider is a supervising and personal analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. He is part of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Psychoses. Previously, he served as the associate director of the Eating Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, and an assistant clinical professor in psychiatry. He was an associate clinical professor in psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco.

    ‘John Schneider has written an outstanding book on the place of dreaming in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis today. It is as if he turns the subject of dreaming in a way that allows the reader to cast his view on this facet and then that, which contributes to an increasingly rich whole as the book proceeds. The writing itself is a large part of the pleasure of reading Schneider’s work. I strongly recommend his book to all those interested in the mutative role of dreaming in the lives of every human being.’

    Thomas Ogden is the author of 12 books of essays on the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, most recently Coming to Life in the Consulting Room: Toward a New Analytic Sensibility

    ‘The inspiring strength of so many of Schneider’s new ideas and views on dreams and dreaming makes his book a new key step in the insurmountably complex, and yet fascinating question of the meaning of thinking, understanding and knowing the human mind. The language in which this book is written is the language of kindness, ripened into a profound respect before the exceeding sensitivity of the human mind; before the host of mysteries and enigmas weaving the human mind, even essentially being the human mind. Such profound respect stands out as a crucial quality of the analyst’s reverie. As we move along his pages, we get the growing feeling of hearing the music of his voice, of his thinking, of his deeply inspiring uncertainty, as well as of the much he knows he does not know. This book lectures us all on how immensely sensitive, exacting and often even frightening it is to sit behind a couch, for the much we have to trust our fragile capacity for dreaming, and the little we can trust the unfortunate much we believe we know.’

    João Sousa Monteiro is a psychoanalyst in Lisbon, Portugal, and author of Bion's Theory of Dreams: A Visionary Model of the Mind