Analysis of a dream series by the Dream Coding System developed by Ulrich Moser

Submitted: March 14, 2021
Accepted: July 27, 2021
Published: August 24, 2021
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This paper serves psychotherapeutic process research and shows the process of change in a psychodynamic, individual psychological psychotherapy by means of a theory-based content analysis of the dreams reported in this therapy. The analysis of the patient’s dreams is carried out according to the dream coding method by Ulrich Moser and Vera Hortig (2019). The guiding question is about changes in positioning and interactions of the dream elements, how can they be determined and how (within the framework of the underlying dream generation theory) the influence of these changes on the patient’s ability to regulate affect can be assessed. Dream coding according to Moser and Hortig uses only the manifest dream and can be regarded as a research tool that rests, among other things, on psychoanalytic concepts, while at the same time taking into account more recent findings in dream and affect research. Its focus is on the coding of the present dream experience and the transformation of dream elements both within individual dreams and in the course of an entire dream series. It allows, without knowledge of the biographical anamnesis and without using psychoanalytic interpretation methods, to recognize changes in the dream structure and the affect regulation produced by it. The coding system thus also offers the possibility of making comparisons regarding the therapeutic changes achieved and thus (at least potentially) the effectiveness of different treatment methods (cf. Leuzinger-Bohleber, 2008, p. 7 f.). The coding of several dreams, i.e. the manifest dream content as a dream series highlighted the patient’s inner psychic change process: while the safety principle dominated the beginning, involvement increased and the use of the elements was more flexible and the interactions more mixed, to approach the initial dream again towards the end of the dream series. The coding indicates that the patient was able to increase her self-efficacy due to better containment of the emergent (dysfunctional) affects. This coding procedure serves as a promising empirical process assessment for carrying out single case studies.

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How to Cite

Pap, G., Lackinger, F., Kamp, G., & Löffler-Stastka, H. (2021). Analysis of a dream series by the <em>Dream Coding System</em> developed by Ulrich Moser. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 24(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2021.538

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