A central technique in psychoanalysis; the patient free associates (describes any thoughts about a dream as they come to mind) in order to discover his or her psychological associations within the dream, and, with the help of the therapist, works to uncover the current problems or conflicts implicit in the dream.
Example: A man dreams that his wife cheats on him; something which she has never done in real life. After analyzing his dream in therapy, he concludes that he’s been feeling betrayed by her for some reason, and resolves to figure out why he is having these insecure feelings in the first place.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Dec 2008