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Jacob saw the ladder led to heaven, but Freud might have called it a phallic symbol.[1]

Wish fulfillment is the satisfaction of a desire through an involuntary thought process. Wish fulfillment can occur in dreams or in daydreams, in the symptoms of neurosis, or in the hallucinations of psychosis. This satisfaction is often indirect and requires interpretation to recognize.

Sigmund Freud coined the term (Wunscherfüllung) in 1900 in an early text titled The Interpretation of Dreams.

According to Freud, wish fulfillment occurs when unconscious desires are repressed by the ego and superego. This repression often stems from guilt and taboos imposed by society. Dreams are attempts by the unconscious to resolve some repressed conflict.[2]


  1. ^ Schept, Susan (30 May 2007). "Jacob's Dream of a Ladder: Freudian and Jungian Perspectives". Psychological Perspectives. 50 (1): 113–121. doi:10.1080/00332920701319533.
  2. ^ Sigmund, Freud. Die Traumdeutung [The Interpretation of Dreams] (in German). Leipzig, Vienna: Franz Deuticke.