French – Thomas

Thomas French advanced a “focal conflict” theory of dreams in his book The Integrative Process in Dreams. He further elaborated his views, in collaboration with Erika Fromm, in their book Dream Interpretation.

French saw dreams as an attempt to solve problems in ones life – especially interpersonal ones. He believed that such problems usually had their roots in conflicts/trauma felt in ones infancy. He felt that dreams are created in a similar way that poets create poetry, and are works of fascinating beauty.

To understand dreams, French saw that it needs not only logical thinking, but also an intuitive approach that does not stay with the limitations of logic but can reach out into dark areas and feel the way to an answer. But it must also depend on a trained and logical awareness in order to make a ‘whole’ of the many parts of our dream. When this happens it can be likened to the whole person coming together – the physical and organic, the emotional and passionate, the intuitive mating with the logical in an ‘Aha’ experience.

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