• dreams;
  • metapsychology;
  • history of psychoanalysis;
  • reconstruction

This article discusses a text on the function of dreams and their relation to trauma. Ferenczi intended to present this material as a talk at the 12th International Congress of Psychoanalysis, which was to take place in Interlaken, Switzerland the same year that he wrote it (1931). The entire conference, however, was postponed, and parts of this communication’s content appeared in other texts in which Ferenczi rethinks the concept of trauma and its clinical significance. In the present article the author makes use of the Freud/Ferenczi correspondence to contextualize Freud’s Hungarian follower’s originality regarding his theorizations about different aspects of the function of dreams. In the 1931 speech, as well as in this article, Ferenczi used a patient’s dream work as a clinical example of a process in which traumatic experiences and unmastered sensory impressions can be repeated to achieve a better working-through for the dreamer. The process Ferenczi describes resembles an effort of self-treatment, of self-Kur.