The Dreams of a Child: A Case Study in Early Forms of Dreaming

Author(s) : Claudio Colace

The Dreams of a Child: A Case Study in Early Forms of Dreaming

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This fascinating and highly original book presents a longitudinal systematic study of the earliest form of human dreaming in a child, from ages 4 through 10.

Claudio Colace draws upon his extensive research on children’s dreams, his expertise in brain science and an intimate knowledge of a single subject, his son Marco, to demonstrate the validity of an ontogenetic approach to the understanding of dream processes. The availability of ‘first-hand’ information about the daytime experiences of the author’s son in relation to dream contents, as well as the longitudinal approach of the study, prove to be useful for a qualitative in-depth analysis of the nature and function of infantile dreams and of the changes that occur in the dreaming process as the child grows, from the early forms to more complex ones. Affirming the significance of Freud’s explorations of infantile dreaming, this book attests to the nature of dreaming as a meaningful psychic act rather than the result of random processes.

Expanding beyond a purely psychotherapeutic context, the book analyzes the development of dreams systematically and in relation to Freud’s theories on the human mind, making it an important read for clinicians, scholars and researchers interested in dream functions, child development and psychodynamic theory.

Reviews and Endorsements

In his new book, The Dreams of a Child, Claudio Colace details a seven-year longitudinal study of his son’s dreams. This book takes readers on a journey into the developmental course of dreaming and vividly shows how dreams reach a crescendo of dynamic complexity in childhood. The Dreams of a Child is a must-read for anyone interested in the contemporary Freudian view of children’s dreams. - Calvin Kai-Ching Yu, Professor at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.

About the Author(s)

Claudio Colace is executive Psychologist at the Operational Unit of Psychology of the National Health Service in Italy, where he works in the Outpatient Psychology Department and in the Centre for Drug Addictions at Civita Castellana. He obtained a MD in Psychology at the University of Rome and a PhD in Psychology at the University of Bologna, Italy. After training in sleep research at the Sleep Laboratory of the University of Rome (“La Sapienza”), he carried out empirical studies on children’s dreams, dream bizarreness, and on dreaming in states of addiction. He has been a member of the Italian Society of Sleep Research from 1997 to 2009 and is currently a member of the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society. He is the author of scientific contributions published in The American Journal on Addictions, Neuropsychoanalysis, Alcohol and Drug Review, Sleep and Hypnosis, Sleep, and Sleep Research. He has recently published Children’s Dreams: From Freud's Observations to Modern Dream Research.

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