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Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche

Every interpretation of a dream is a psychological statement about certain of its contents.

This is not without danger, as the dreamer, like most people, usually displays an astonishing sensitiveness to critical remarks, not only if they are wrong, but even more if they are right.

Since it is not possible, except under very special conditions, to work out the meaning of a dream without the collaboration of the dreamer, an extraordinary amount of tact is required not to violate his self-respect unnecessarily.

For instance, what is one to say when a patient tells a number of indecent dreams and then asks: “Why should / have such disgusting dreams?”

To this sort of question it is better to give no answer, since an answer is difficult for several reasons, especially for the beginner, and one is very apt under such circumstances to say something clumsy, above all when one thinks one knows what the answer is.

So difficult is it to understand a dream that for a long time I have made it a rule, when someone tells me a dream and asks for my opinion, to say first of all to myself: “I have no idea what this dream means.”

After that I can begin to examine the dream. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 533