Alicia MacDougall, Psy.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Theodore Ellenhorn, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Gina Pasquale, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Vincent Pignatiello, PsyD, Committee Member


Dreams, relational psychoanalysis, relationships, history of psychology, autoethnography

Document Type


Publication Date



Dream interpretation has been a widely recognized component of psychological practice since the publication of Sigmund Freud’s (1900/2010) The Interpretation of Dreams. By providing initial conceptualizations of the dream’s function, Freud created the foundation for the numerous iterations of dream work to follow. What these modalities of dream work all have in common is the utilization of dream interpretation to uncover information, or the engagement in research and empirical practice to search for answers regarding the how and why of dreaming phenomenon. Dreams, however, have yet to be considered within the context of relationship. This dissertation, in the format of a book proposal, explored the synergistic qualities between dreams and relationships and how that synergy generates biographically, professionally, and psychotherapeutically formative experiences. Through examining individual interviews with four eminent dream researchers and scholars, I delineated the ways in which dreams provide a foundation for relating, provide a container (Bion, 1967/1993) for the un-thought known (Bollas, 1987), create meaning through relationships, and ultimately foster mass dispersion of relational dynamics originating from the culture of the times, race, ethnicity, and more. From a relational psychoanalytic perspective, this book aims to describe the utility of dreams in creating and maintaining various types of relationships that then shape the lives of others.


Alicia MacDougall

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-9799-9978