TOWARDS AN INTERSUBJECTIVE SCIENCE OF DREAMS

George Bermudez

George Bermudez

Training & Supervising Psychoanalyst, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis Los Angeles

George Bermudez, Ph.D., Psy.D., a Clinical-Community Psychologist and Certified Psychoanalyst. A member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis-Los Angeles (ICP-LA), former Associate Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, specializing in Multicultural Clinical Psychology; Dr. Bermudez is currently Core Faculty & Director of the Child /Family Studies Specialization at Antioch University-Los Angeles (AULA). He is the Founding Director of the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Internship Training at Children’s Institute, Inc., where he developed an innovative bilingual-bicultural clinical psychology internship, applying and integrating the principles of community psychoanalysis with evidence-based practice and multiculturalism.
Dr. Bermudez has been striving to develop and train others in a multi-dimensional, integrative approach to psychological theory and practice that brings together developmental theory, depth psychology of the unconscious, family systems, group psychology, and multiculturalism. Dr. Bermudez is an active conference presenter, consultant, and trainer: he has presented at regional, state, national, and international professional conferences on a number of topics: Organizational Development for Multisystemic Therapy Services; Principles for Effective Interprofessional Collaboration; Effective Family Therapy with Latino Families; Eco-systemic Family Therapy, Trauma, and Attachment: An Integrative Approach to Treatment and Training; and most recently, healing collective racial trauma through “social dreaming” (published in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, June 2018). Dr. Bermudez is currently working on a book integrating the insights of a depth psychology (psychoanalysis) with whole systems change.

The overall objective of this presentation on psychoanalytic dream theory and dreamwork is to provide a brief introduction to and overview of the historical development of psychoanalytic dream theory, arriving at a contemporary vision of an intersubjective science of dreams. The arc of the evolution of psychoanalytic dream theory begins with Freud’s pioneering theorizing in his magnum opus, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), takes us through the refinements of Psychoanalytic Ego Psychology and the transformations of Psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory, and arrives at contemporary psychoanalytic theories (Psychoanalytic Self Psychology; Intersubjective Systems Theory; Interpersonal/Relational Psychoanalysis; and Contemporary Intersubjective Systems &  Field Theory, culminating in the “social dreaming paradigm”). The presentation will examine and reflect on the relationship between psychoanalytic theories of dreams and the evolution of psychoanalytic models of the mind. Despite the pluralism, which is often decried as fragmentation, in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic dream theory and the historical fluctuations in interest in dreams, Freud’s prescient assessment of the singular position of the dream in understanding the psyche seems to have endured: “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.” (Freud, 1900, p. 608). The presentation will end with the recounting of two dreams from the presenter’s clinical practice, transparently demonstrating the intersubjective and social nature of the dreaming mind—which psychoanalysis reveals as mirroring the unconscious processes of the human psyche.