Austin Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (ASPP)

A local chapter of the Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39) of the American Psychological Association (APA)


Royal Routes to the Patient’s Unconscious

A Salon (Study Group) Facilitated by

JoAnn Ponder, PhD

7 Tuesday evenings    October 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 27, Dec. 4, 2018    7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

JoAnn’s Office: 3660 Stoneridge Rd., Ste. D-102, Austin, Texas  78746


The premise of unconscious motivation is one of the defining features of psychoanalytic theory and practice. While Sigmund Freud considered dreams to be the royal road to the unconscious, he designated other routes as well, including free association, jokes, slips of the tongue, and transference. After considering these alternate routes in clinical work, we will delve into the topic of dreams, beginning with a review of various schools of dream interpretation. Together, we will ponder why contemporary relational psychoanalyst, Mark Blechner, described the dream as the answer to a question yet to be asked. This is an intermediate-level salon for clinicians, who are encouraged to bring their clinical cases into the discussion. We will utilize readings from classic and contemporary texts and journals. Salon participants must obtain their own copies of Blechner’s book, The Dream Frontier; other readings are provided.  Participants must attend all 7 sessions to get CE credit. Email if you have questions about the salon and for approval to register. To register, go to

10.5 CE/CEU/Professional Development Credits in the topic of clinical practice

  • Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ASPP is also approved to provide CEUs to LPCs, LMSWs, and LMFTs.

Schedule and Readings


10/16  Class1: Free Association

Malan, D. H. (1982). Individual psychotherapy and the science of psychodynamics. London: Butterworths. Chapter 3: Unconscious communication, pp. 16-23.

Barratt, B. B. (2017). Opening to the otherwise: The discipline of listening and the necessity of free-association for psychoanalytic praxis. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 98: 39-53.


10/23  Class 2: Jokes and Slips of the Tongue

Levy, S. T. (1990). Principles of interpretation: Mastering clear and concise interventions in psychotherapy. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. Chapter 2: The data for interpretations (free association, interpreting slips of the tongue, interpreting unconscious derivatives, dreams and fantasies). pp. 29-49.

Yazmajian, R. V. (1965). Slips of the tongue. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 34: 413-419.

Poland, W. S. (1992). An analyst’s slip of the tongue. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61: 85-87.

Newirth, J. (2006). Jokes and their relation to the unconscious. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16: 557-571.

Corbett, K. (2004). Cracking in. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14: 457-474.


10/30  Class 3: Transference

Weiner, I. B. (1975). Principles of psychotherapy. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Chapter 10: The psychotherapy relationship: Transference, pp. 202-240.

LaFarge, L. (2014). How and why unconscious fantasy and transference are the defining features of psychoanalytic practice. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 95: 1265-1278.


11/6  Class 4: New Ways of Conceptualizing Dreams

Blechner, M. J. (2014). The dream frontier. New York: Routledge. Chapter 1: The dream frontier; Chapter 2: The analysis and creation of dream meaning; Chapter 3: Secondary revision, tertiary revision, and beyond; Chapter 4: Who creates, has, remembers, tells, and interprets dreams? Pp. 3-48.


11/13  Class 5: New Ways of Conceptualizing Dreams (cont’d.)

Blechner, M. J. (2014). The dream frontier. New York: Routledge. Chapter 5: We never lie in our dreams; Chapter 6: Condensation and interobjects; Chapter 7: Oneiric Darwinism; Chapter 8: Dreams and the language of thought; pp. 49-104.


11/27  Class 6: Clinical Work with Dreams

Blechner, M. J. (2014). The dream frontier. New York: Routledge. Chapter 9: Vectors of dream interpretation; Chapter 10: How to analyze dreams: Fundamental principles; Chapter 11: How to analyze dreams: Special topics; Chapter 12: Homonyms and other wordplay in dreams; Chapter 13: Dream acts: Dreams in analysis as actions; Chapter 14: Dream symbols; pp. 105-176.

12/4  Class7: Clinical Work with Dreams (cont’d.)

Blechner, M. J. (2014). The dream frontier. New York: Routledge. Chapter 15: Kleinian positions and dreams; Chapter 16: The patient’s dreams and the countertransference; Chapter 17: Dreams as supervision, dreams in supervision; Chapter 18: The clinical use of countertransference dreams; Chapter 19: The reallocation of madness; pp. 177-236.    



Learning Objectives 

After attending the program in its entirety, attendees will be able to:

1a) Define free association and the psychological mechanisms underlying it

1b) Give an example of a patient’s chain of associations and a possible conclusion about its unconscious meaning

2a) Describe how Freud’s concept of “joke-work” is parallel to “dream-work” in terms of its underlying psychological mechanisms

2b) Explain the value of considering the associative chains of the consciously intended word in a slip of the tongue as well as the unintended substituted word in accessing the patient’s unconscious fantasy

3a) Define transference and describe what it can reveal about the patient

3b) List 3 important considerations in deciding if and when to interpret the patient’s transference

3c) Give an example of an interpretive sequence aimed at transference

4a) Describe the importance of dreams in psychoanalysis and state why they must be processed with others to really understand them

4b) Differentiate the dream from its subsequent revisions, and describe why the telling of the dream blurs the boundaries between the dream and its interpretation

5a) Distinguish between manifest and latent dream content

5b) Define Freud’s concept of “dream-work” and explain at least 2 transformative operations by which the mind converts latent dream thought into the manifest dream

6a) Describe 3 avenues for association of a dream’s content

6b) State why dreams might be considered as action in psychoanalysis

6c) Describe 2 considerations in discerning the symbolism in a dream

7a) Describe a way in which dreams might be used as supervision

7b) Give an example of the clinical use of countertransference dreams  

JoAnn Ponder, PhD is a psychologist-psychoanalyst in private practice in Austin. She is a graduate and faculty member of the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies (CFPS) in Houston. She also completed postgraduate training programs in infant-parent mental health intervention, object relational couples and family therapy, and psychoanalytic writing. JoAnn has presented at national and international conferences on a variety of topics. She co-edited a book about women’s issues, authored book chapters about the psychological process of becoming an adoptive mother and treating children who lost their mothers, and wrote journal articles about the intergenerational transmission of trauma, collective trauma following the Tower shootings in Austin, psychological defenses against global warming, and patients’ displacement of their issues onto animals.

Continuing Education            

10.5 CE/CEU/Professional Development credits if the salon is attended in its entirety

CEs: This program, when attended in its entirety is available for 10.5 continuing education credits. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to receive a Certificate of Attendance. Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program.  If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods.  If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them.  Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to Randy Frazier at There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest. During the program, the presenter will discuss the validity and utility of the content and associated materials, the basis of such statements about validity/utility, and the limitations of and risks (severe and most common) associated with the content, if any. The program also provides 10.5 Professional Development credits for psychologists in Texas.

ASPP is approved by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (Provider # 1138) to provide continuing education for licensed professional counselors in Texas. ASPP is approved by the Texas State Board of Social Workers Examiners (Provider # 5501) to provide continuing education activities for social workers.

Salon Coordinator: Randy Frazier, PhD, ASPP Co-President

Contact the ASPP Administrator, Beth Martinez, at with questions or concerns

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