By Claudio Neri, Malcolm Pines, Robi Friedman

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Interviewing her about the book was the most comfortable connection Ann could make with her. Ann’s connection with her mother was ambivalent and made all the more complicated by the fact that she was supported by a trust fund her mother had established for her. Ann raged about how her mother controlled her via money, and yet she could not make her way in the world without it. For Ann, connecting with her mother and separating from her was torturous. Her connection with the therapist and the group had the same ambivalence.

In a social dreaming matrix where persons gather to explore the social dimension of dreaming, the seating is in a spiral or in a snowflake configuration which enables the participants to differentiate the setting from that of a therapeutic group. Dreams are presented for responses by the dreams and associations of others. It is the dream, not the person, which is the medium for discourse. Lawrence’s language is rich and metaphorical. He differentiates between ‘the politics of salvation’ and ‘the politics of revelation’.

Projecting these difficult emotions onto an DREAM-TELLING AS A REQUEST FOR CONTAINMENT IN GROUP THERAPY 55 identifying audience may enable elaboration. Thus projective identification seems to be the main unconscious interpersonal relational process active in groups (Rafaelsen 1996), as well as central to the dream’s unconscious function. Projecting disowned feelings onto an identifying group may fulfil at least three tasks: building some kind of object relation with the recipient of these messages; changing this significant ‘other’ through communication; and changing the self through the transformation this ‘other’ will accomplish for him.

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