If the continually shifting configuration of mental states that we call selfhood is to function optimally, it must be at once fluid and robust. That is, a person's transitions between self-states must permit spontaneity and novelty without threatening the stability of self-continuity, self-cohesiveness, and secure attachment to others, thereby allowing the person to lead his life creatively, relatively safe from the traumatic specter of self-invalidation or, in its most extreme form, self-annihilation. My approach to working with dreams is a reflection of my overarching self-state perspective on the human mind and represents my belief that, no matter what one's theoretical persuasion or loyalty, a clinical stance derived from this perspective optimally facilitates enduring personality growth within a psychoanalytic relationship.