The Fictions of Dreams: Dreams and Literature Institute of Group Analysis


February 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

With Otto M Rheinschmiedt (SPEAKER/CONVENOR) and Morris Nitsun (CHAIR)

Dreams and literature are closely related. The dream’s essence lies in its narrative facility. Dreams are autobiographical fictions that tell the story of the dreamer’s life history, her insertion in trans-generational family themes, and her ethnic and cultural identity. In that sense dreams are psychosocial depositories and makers, not unlike world literature which recreates interiority and historicity of a given time period. Literature is a dream gone solid. And the process of fiction writing duplicates the dream’s inherent storytelling capacity.

The poetry of dreams and world literature employ the same writerly devices. Patrick Modiano, in his memorial mode of writing, takes us into broken memory at the time of the French Occupation, in a reflection of a dreamer slowly but not entirely recovering from traumatisation. Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses the method of multi-temporality which is the simultaneous occurance of past, present, and future, a feature which gives credence to the non-chronological, cyclical nature of dreams. Kafka, the ‘poet of his own disorder’, writing directly from dreams, gave expression to human alienation. His writing style of obscure lucidity comes close to the poetic nature of dreams, bringing forth the unknown and the unthinkable from the recesses of the mind. Irene Némirovsky, writing in the midst of France’s Nazi Occupation during the exodus from Paris, became a writer steeped in historical consciousness that is also a dream conception. Australian author Patrick White’s notion of writing, ‘infinite connectivity’, is duplicated in the dream’s capacity to dismantle ego identity, and by doing so reaches into the domain of inter-relatedness of all beings and we-consciousness, the spiritual dimension of dreaming.

This workshop aims to make dream analysis more accessible to the group forum by focusing on the narrative nature of dreams and to introduce a model of the dreaming mind which brings order to the chaos of the internal world.



9:30 AM

Registration and refreshments

10:00 AM

Presentation: The Fictions of Dreams: Dreams and Literature

11:00 AM

Refreshment break

11:15 AM


11:45 AM

Lunch break (provided)

12:45 PM

Small groups

14:15 PM

Refreshment break

14:30 PM

Large Group

16:00 PM



WORKSHOP FEES // Early Bird until 10th Dec 2017

IGA Students £99 / £115

IGA Members £109 / £125

Public fee £129 / £145


Otto M Rheinschmiedt is a university lecturer, IGA training group analyst, and psychologist working in private practice in Bath with over thirty years experience analysing dreams. His book, The Fictions of Dreams. Dreams, Literature, and Writing, was published this year by Karnac. He is a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), appeared on BBC radio shows, and taught dream analysis at the University of Bath.

Morris Nitsun is a consultant psychologist in group psychotherapy in Camden and Islington NHS Trust, a senior training group analyst at IGA and a founder member of the Fitzrovia Group Analytic Practice in London. He is the author of several books, notably “The Anti-group: destructive forces in the group and their creative potential” and “The group as an object of desire”, which have been described as ‘classics in the field’. He is also a professional artist whose last exhibition was in London in 2017.