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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys new developments in the theory of symbolism, primary process thinking, and dreams, and then revisits some of Freud’s own material to suggest how his contribution has been variously neglected or misconstrued. Freud’s broader treatment of symbolism, and his theory of drive as a motivation–cognition–affect matrix, suitably clarified, offer a rich and coherent context for understanding symbolization and symbolic activity across primary and secondary processes and along a pathological-normal continuum—from psychosis, dream, defence, and phantasy to healthy ego functioning, creativity, and waking rational thought. This material helps to bridge the supposed gap between Freud’s metapsychology and his clinical theory.

Keywords: dreaming, drive theory, metapsychology, primary process, symbolism, symbolization

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