The Psychology of Fantasy

Reference: Wikipedia – Psychoanalysis
Reference: Wikipedia – Fantasy (psychology)

“Freudian psychoanalysis refers to a specific type of treatment in which the “analysand” (analytic patient) verbalizes thoughts, including free associations, fantasies, and dreams…”

A psychoanalytic patient is encouraged to verbalize his or her fantasies so that the psychoanalyst may induce the unconscious conflicts causing the patient’s symptoms.

But, fantasy is basically imagination. It is a visualisation of desired scenarios and conditions.

“Fantasy in a psychological sense is broadly used to cover two different senses, conscious and unconscious. In the unconscious sense, it is sometimes spelled “phantasy”…

“… He [Sigmund Freud] considered that men and women ‘cannot subsist on the scanty satisfaction which they can extort from reality. “We simply cannot do without auxiliary constructions”, as Theodor Fontane once said…[without] dwelling on imaginary wish-fulfillments’. As childhood adaptation to the reality principle developed, so too ‘one species of thought activity was split off; it was kept free from reality-testing and remained subordinated to the pleasure principle alone. This activity is fantasying…continued as day-dreaming. He compared such phantasising to the way a ‘nature reserve preserves its original state where everything…including what is useless and even what is noxious, can grow and proliferate there as it pleases’.

But fantasy is essential to bringing about a new and improved reality. All progress in science and humanities has come about as a result of fantasies.

“Daydreams for Freud were thus a valuable resource. ‘These day-dreams are cathected with a large amount of interest; they are carefully cherished by the subject and usually concealed with a great deal of sensitivity…such phantasies may be unconscious just as well as conscious’. He considered ‘These phantasies include a great deal of the true constitutional essence of the subject’s personality’ and that the energetic man ‘is one who succeeds by his efforts in turning his wishful phantasies into reality’, while the artist ‘can transform his phantasies into artistic creations instead of into symptoms…the doom of neurosis’.”

To fantasize is a natural function of the mind. A fantasy may simply indicate the area where a person’s attention goes to, and that’s about it.

The source of psychological symptoms may be determined as follows:

(1) First spot the key area where a person’s attention is either fixed or where it cannot be focused.

(2) Then look further into that area of non-optimum attention for inconsistencies.

(3) Keep looking until all inconsistensies are found and resolved.

No verbalization or analysis is needed. All that is required is looking per Attention.



Origin: “a making visible, display.” Fantasy is basically imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained. It is a visualisation of desired scenarios and conditions. Fantasy is essential to bringing about a new and improved reality. All progress in science and humanities has come about as a result of fantasies. 


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