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Nancy Furlotti: Dream Interpretation and Amplification in Jungian Psychoanalysis

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Psychotherapist, Nancy Furlotti, is coeditor and contributing author of, The Dream and Its Amplification, a collection of insights into Carl Jung’s method of dream interpretation known as amplification. Amplification is a psychoanalytic method of uncovering the deeper, multiple meanings of symbolic images in dreams. The book is a valuable text for working with dreams. It is available for preorder on Amazon.com

According to Jungian psychoanalysis, a dream reveals features of the individual’s internal and external life through the symbolic images presented in the dream drama. For example, a dream about one’s mother would not necessarily only represent the dreamer’s actual mother. Rather, “mother” could symbolize the feminine aspect of the psyche or evoke the biological aspects of human nature, as well.

The method of dream amplification focuses on elements of a dream with which the dreamer has no personal associations. These more collective elements are recognized as symbols. The Jungian analyst’s role is to interpret these symbols within the contexts of collective knowledge such as mythology, folklore, or religion. Amplification is the process of uncovering the full meaning of the symbol or image while continually relating its meaning back to the dream and the dreamer.

In addition to her scholarly work, Nancy Furlotti has a private psychology practice in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara California, and is an active member of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles.

Nancy Furlotti: Carl Jung Perfected Word Association Test

First developed by Victorian polymath Francis Galton as a means to determine intelligence quotient, word association gained prominence in the field of psychology after further investigation by Carl Jung. He used this experiment to test for the presence of complexes in his subjects. It was this test that led him to develop the theory of complexes which are the unconscious “feeling-toned” factors that break through into consciousness making us react in ways outside of our normal ego functioning. This important work helped him explain the reactions he was observing in his psychotic patients while working at the Burgholzli Mental Clinic in Zurich. The test generally encompasses 100 words revealed to the subject by the administrator; the subject responds with the first word that comes to his or her mind. Each response is timed and any deviation in response indicates the presence of a complex connected to the meaning of the given word. Jung, himself, showed eleven complexes when given the test.

Word association tests provide information that allows the administrator to undertake additional forensic testing for such conditions as schizophrenia, depression, and obsessive-compulsion, to name a few. It also indicates the presence of neurosis, which is where the personality is split. In addition to observing the response times and gestures in the answers to each word, Jung used a galvanometer to chart changes in heart rate. This test, as he designed it, continues to be used to this day as the lie detector test.

Nancy Furlotti has lectured nationally and internationally on many Jungian subjects, as well as published articles. Her newest book, The Dream and Its Amplification, is due out June 15, 2013, and is available for preorder through Amazon.com. It is co-edited with Dr. Erel Shalit with whom she has worked to ensure the upcoming publication of the Carl Jung- Eric Neumann Correspondence.