Freud’s Dream Theory Revisited with Arnold Richards at MITPP

The Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, The Metropolitan Center for Mental Health and The Metropolitan Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists Invite you to a Scientific Meeting


Freud saw the dream as translating thoughts from their derivatives to their unconscious source. The dream exists first in the patient’s present, in his immediate experience, rather than in his earlier trauma. The link between present anxiety and past trauma may exist, but this has to be demonstrated rather than asserted. For the Freudian, the didactic purpose may be to show the patient his unconscious, unfulfilled childhood wish, but this is also driven by an effort to fulfill that wish in the dream state. In my view, attention to the experience of the dream is the beginning, not the end point, of the task of getting to the analysand’s conflicted wishes. It has been hypothesized that dreams seek solutions for conflicts. I conclude that this view of dreams is more descriptive than explanatory, and does not offer us an explanation of why past trauma or current conflicts should be represented in a dream. Instead, I believe that dreams are an effort to deal with conflicts that stem from a wish/guilt dynamic, and contain a compromise formation in which wishes are fulfilled and punishment is executed. Dreams mediate the realms in which the id-superego dynamic is refereed by the ego. Therefore, they are essentially creative.

Dr. Richards requests that attendees read his paper in advance of the meeting:


Participants will:
1) gain an understanding of Freud’s dream theory and its place in analytic treatment, 2) understand dreams as compromise formations where a wish is fulfilled and punishment executed, 3) integrate psychoanalytic dream theory with clinical practice.

Arnold Richards, M.D. Faculty: Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Adult Program. Training and Supervising Analyst: New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Recipient: Distinguished Contributor Award, American Psychoanalytic Association. Member: New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, American Psychological Association, Division 39, Section 10, New York Freudian Society, Psychoanalytic Association of New York, Western New York Psychoanalytic Society, Lake Oscawana Psychoanalytic Society. Honorary Member: American Institute of Psychoanalysis/Karen Horney Clinic, New Jersey Psychoanalytic Society. Arnold Richards was the Editor of The Journal of The American Psychoanalytic Association (JAPA, 1994 – 2003) and Editor of The American Psychoanalyst (TAP, newsletter of The American Psychoanalytic Association), for three years prior to that. He is the Editor of and the Publisher of Dr Richards was a winner of the Mary S. Sigourney Award (2000) and the Hans Loewald Awardee of the IFPE (2013). He is the author of Controversial Conversations: Selected papers of Arnold Richards, Volume 1, published by ipbooks, and a multitude of other books and papers.

The New York State Education Department has approved this meeting for 2 contact hours (CEUs) for LMSWs, LCSWs LMHCs and LPs. A certificate will be emailed to those who sign the attendance sheet at the end of the meeting, complete an evaluation and pay an administrative fee of $15. There is no charge for those affiliated with MITPP, MCMH or MSPP.

No registration or fee required. Refreshments served following the presentation.
Reidy Hall of Unitarian Church of All Souls
1157 Lexington Avenue (between 79th & 80th Streets)
New York, NY 10075

For further information: email, visit or phone (212) 496-2858

Program Committee: Alexandra Cattaruzza, MS, LP, Co-Chair * Begoña Núñez Sánchez, MS, LP, Co-Chair
Joyce A. Lerner, LCSW * Anthony Mazzella, Ph.D., LCSW * Barbara Reichenthal, LCSW, BCD * Ivy Vale, BFA Rosemarie Verderame, LCSW

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