Avoiding projections

     Thus, the dreams of others are a perfect place to project our own psychology. In the US, now, they have started using a technique developed by Ullmann (1979) in which the dream-worker prefaces any remarks he or she makes about the meaning of someone else's dream with the phrase "If this were my dream, ..." and this approach has a lot to be said for it. On the other hand, I have heard it used on occasion in such an authoritarian way that it was "clear" to the dreamer that he or she had better accept that interpretation anyhow, despite this caveat!

     Then, too, as some seminar participants have pointed out, it is sometimes too artificial for the interpreter to pretend that the dream was his or her own. The associations would simply not be the same. Thus, it is perhaps better to preface what one says about someone else' dream with the phrase, "My fantasy about your dream is ...", keeping in mind and trying to make clear that everything one thinks and says about another person's dream is really -- and of necessity can only be -- projections, through and through. All remarks apply to and are true for the dreamer and of his or her dream only if he or she feels an inner agreement (Gendlin, 1986, pp. 24 - 25), a resonating with what is said.

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