Freud is defined as the founding father of psychoanalysis; psychoanalysis is the study of the unconscious, and according to Freud the dream is the privileged way to access the unconscious. He argues that in dreams there are all our desires, but it is not easy to interpret dreams, because they often have hidden meanings. Freud discovered the existence of two levels in the dream; the manifest dream represents the mental scene that is represented during sleep that we remember when we wake up, and the latent dream, that is, the most hidden content. The manifest content takes its images from events of our recent life, the latent content, on the other hand, goes back to a very distant time, the past. Dreams are unfulfilled desires that are usually removed, because they are perceived as unacceptable by the subject; these desires are generally related to the sexual sphere.
Dreams love the symbolic covering, for this reason dreams must be interpreted; the subject, in fact, feels ashamed of his own desires and subjects them to censorship. Thanks to the dream work, the previously removed dream scene is reconstructed and wishes can come to light. According to Freud, our psyche is comparable to an iceberg; consciousness is the conscious part of our personality and is represented by the tip of the iceberg that emerges from the surface of the water. The unconscious represents all the desires that have been removed from the subject, while the preconscious represents those contents that have been momentarily removed, but can resurface at any time. He also distinguishes three instances of the human psyche: the id, the ego and the superego. The id represents our drives and our instincts, the superego is the moral conscience, that is, the set of rules that have been imparted to us by our parents and the surrounding world, since we were children; and finally there is the ego which represents the mediation between the other two parts.
There is a constant battle between the id and the superego, and the ego’s task is to please one a little and the other a little.
This conflict can generate a disturbance of the psyche which takes the name of neurosis; it is a disease of the psyche caused by strong conflicts between the ego and the id drives, mostly of a sexual nature. During the psychoanalytic session, the patient gets at ease and begins to tell the analyst his dreams, desires, fantasies and memories uncensored. The goal is to make the patient relive the situation or event that he has removed. A relationship is established between the doctor and the patient which takes the name of transference; the patient gains trust in his doctor and develops a kind of love for him. In order not to disappoint his analyst, the patient begins to tell everything he knows.
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