Contraindica Tions

There are at least two contraindications to interpreting: the individual's situation and the group's maturity must be judged by the therapist as sufficiently mature to handle deep and frightening emotional content. I evaluate the situation using the dream's structure, my knowledge of the dreamer's psychic conditions, and his or her relationship with the group. If the dream is fragmented, indicating that both the dreamer's situation as well as the group's relationships may be in jeopardy, I tend to use a "formative" approach. Although the "informative" approach deepens the level of dialogue, the "transformative" use uncovers the relationships generated by dreams; a "formative" approach first acknowledges the need to structure dreams with noninterpretative means. It tries to form a safe-enough space to contain the difficulties without threatening the emotional existence of the dreamer or the group.


Bion, W. (1963). Elements of Psycho-Analysis. London: Jason Aronson. Foulkes, S.H. (1984). Therapeutic Group Analysis. London: Karnac. Freud, S. (1965). The Interpretation of Dreams. New York: Avon Books. Friedman, R. (2002). Dream-telling as a Request for Containment in Group Therapy-The Royal Road through the Other. In R. Friedman, C. Neri & M. Pines (Eds.). Dreams in Group Psychotherapy, (pp. 46-67). New York: JKP. Friedman, R. (2004). Dreamtelling as a Request for Containment-Reconsidering the Group-Analytic Approach to the Work with Dreams. Group Analysis. Vol. 37(4): 508-524.

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