IT is best to take as a starting point in explaining dream-analysis the interpretation of an ordinary dream, thus paving the way for a clearer understanding of the psychology of dreams and the various mental mechanisms which enter into their formation. To interpret or analyze a dream means to find out its inner and often hidden meaning, to collect the thoughts or mental processes which have produced the dream and out of which the dream is constructed.

Only a portion of the analytic procedure can be described, and since dream-analysis is an art as well as a science, a considerable knowledge of psychopathology is needed as well as long experience in dream-interpretation. In fact, the analysis of dreams is a highly technical procedure, and like other technical methods, must be fully learned and mastered before it can be adequately handled as an instrument to penetrate the deepest and most significant aspects of our thoughts. No amount of reading can make a psycho-analyst any more than one can expect to paint portraits by reading how to do it.

For certain reasons I shall choose the following dream of a medical friend, which was dreamed in the late morning and written down immediately on awakening, thus making its recollection exceedingly accurate, as it was particularly vivid and intense. This dream I was given the opportunity to analyse fully. It will be noticed that while the dream is short, the analysis occupies many pages. This is a fact of great significance which will be subsequently explained in detail. As in all dream-analysis, there were opened up certain data of exceedingly intimate relationship, which led into places where discretion was needed. Thus for personal reasons, these mental processes cannot be mentioned, while other data which it may be necessary to disclose will be more or less disguised. These omissions do not, however, in any way invalidate the purpose of the analysis which we wish to emphasize: namely, a study of the various dream mechanisms.