Jungian Therapy, Jungian Analysis, New York

Objective level

from Jung Lexicon by Daryl Sharp

Objective level. An approach to understanding the meaning of images in dreams and fantasies by reference to persons or situations in the outside world. (See also reductive; compare constructive and subjective level.)

Freud’s interpretation of dreams is almost entirely on the objective level, since the dream wishes refer to real objects, or to sexual processes which fall within the physiological, extra-psychological sphere. [Definitions,”CW6, par. 779.]

Although Jung pioneered the teaching of dream interpretation on the subjective level, where symbolic meaning is paramount, he also recognized the value of the objective approach.

Enlightening as interpretation on the subjective level may be . . . it may be entirely worthless when a vitally important relationship is the content and cause of the conflict [behind the dream]. Here the dream-figure must be related to the real object. The criterion can always be discovered from the conscious material. [General Aspects of Dream Psychology,”CW8, par. 515.]