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Kelly Bulkeley – An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming

Title: An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming
Kelly Bulkeley
Year: 1997

After browsing the library’s catalogue of sleep-oriented psychological literature, I came up with a handful of titles I thought would serve as good introductions. Kelly Bulkeley’s An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming seemed to contain the basics of both sleeping and dreaming, albeit focused on the latter. Spanning merely 144 pages, it is a concise and well-written introduction. The chapters are dedicated to various theorists and psychologists, as well as to phenomena related to dreaming (such as REM sleep and sleep cycles).

The book’s contents are heavily weighted towards psychoanalytic theory. This is not strange considering that these theorists have been dominating dream research since Freud’s days. But even if it is not controversial to give them much space in a book entitled An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming, I find it a bit annoying since I do not like psychoanalysis at all; some of the chapters are therefore only interesting in a historical point of view.

This book is really good in many ways. The author manages to describe many theories and scientific results in a concise, yet lucid way. The language flows beautifully and without interruption. Also, the disposition of the text is very good and gives an impression of order and neatness. Much of it is speculative theory like Freud and Jung, but some of it are more scientifically sound hypotheses formulated during the latter half of the previous century. Regardless of how one might regard the content, the presentation of it is very good.

Since this book is exactly what it sets out to be, I highly recommend it if you are interested in what psychologists have had to say (and say today, or at least in 1997) about dreaming.

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  1. Kalle’s avatar

    Man dude, how can you -not- like psychoanalysis? It’s, like, the shit. Oedipus complex! Penis envy! It’s all there, man! O_O