and his own subconscious problems. Therefore I maintain that a doctor must be analysed before he practises analysis. Otherwise the practice of analysis can easily be a great disappointment to him, because he can, under certain circumstances, reach a point where further progress is impossible, a situation which may make him lose his head. He is then readily inclined to assume that psychoanalysis is nonsense, so as to avoid the admission that he has run his vessel ashore. If you are sure of your own psychology you can confidently tell your patient that he does not dream because there is still conscious material to be disposed of. I say that one must be sure of one’s self in such cases, for the opinions and unsparing criticisms to which one sometimes has to submit, can be excessively disturbing to one who is unprepared to meet them. The immediate consequence of such a loss of personal balance on the part of the doctor is that he begins to argue with his patient, in order to maintain his influence over him; and this, of course, renders all further analysis impossible.
I have told you that, in the first instance, dreams need only be used as sources of material for analysis. At the beginning of an analysis it is not only unnecessary, but also unwise, to make a so-called complete interpretation of a dream; for it is very difficult indeed to make a complete and really exhaustive interpretation. The interpretations of dreams that one sometimes reads in psychoanalytic publications are often one-sided, and not infrequently contestable formulations. I include among these certain one-sided sexual reductions of the Viennese school. In view of the comprehensive many-sidedness of the dream material one must beware, above all, of one-sided formulations. The many-sidedness of the meaning of a dream, not its singleness of meaning, is of the utmost value, especially at the beginning of the psychoanalytic treatment. Thus, for instance, a patient had the following dream not long after her treatment had begun: “She was in a hotel in a strange city. Suddenly a fire broke out; and her husband and her father, who were with her, helped her in the work of saving others.” The patient