From psychological, emotional and brain/neurological perspectives, dreams are created for compensatory and even healing reasons.
Professor Daniel Siegel stated that dreaming is “one of the important ways we integrate memory and emotion.” Indeed, it is the feeling tone of the dream which is more important than the actual content. Often, dreams can help process unresolved intense emotions from traumas and more often, from situations which currently remind us or trigger similar albeit less intense emotions.
Start by looking at the feelings felt by figures in the dream, including your own reactions. Honestly address the question, “What current situation might I be experiencing (or deny experiencing) feelings similar to those in the dream?”
Dreams use a symbolic and metaphoric language which often frustrates people. Be playful and curious with dreams rather than trying to ‘figure out’ what they mean.
Say the dream aloud. Listen for puns, metaphors, and statements that provoke a reaction or emotion from you. Try to summarize the dream in one sentence, then in one word. You may be getting a certain theme in a cluster of dreams.
Use terms such as “it was as if’ or ‘it was like’ to describe vivid features. For example, ‘It was as if the whole wall was going to crumble.’ Ah, then we can move to, “What perspective or idea in me is ready or needs to fall apart?”
Most dream work begins with making associations to the dream characters and objects. Give descriptive words or qualities for people, settings and objects in the dream. Are there any memories connected to these dream items? Try to capture its essence in one or two words, such as ‘young rebel’ or ‘wide-open field.’
Remember, about 85% of dreams are subjective; they are about the dreamer NOT the people in the dream.
Actions in the dreams such as running, cutting, and deciding can spark further associations. For example, cutting may lead to cutting through, cutting out, shearing, trimming, dividing.
Now try to relate the theme of the dream to current ‘up-for-you’ situations such as making a specific decision or conflict with someone. Remember, the Ego is rarely pleased with unconscious material. Challenge your Ego by asking, ‘What aspect of myself which is difficult to see or admit do I need to know about?’
“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the psyche.” Carl Jung
Sometimes as you work with dreams, feelings and meaningful insights may spontaneously occur. At other times, nothing seemingly profound occurs. Remember, regardless of whether you ‘got’ your dream or not, you have spent quality time with your Self.
September 17 – The Inner World of Dreams 6:30 – 9 pm
Parksville Community Centre (132 Jensen Ave.) By donation.
Learn from a depth/Jungian psychology (with some science in there too!) about the unconscious world of dreams and its creation of feeling-laden images. Participants will learn ways to work with dreams, make associations, look for themes, identify layers in dreams, and different approaches to use in order to better understand and connect with the symbolic dream material. The healing, compensatory and enriching function of dreams will be explored. You are encouraged to bring a dream to the talk to work with.
Register via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (250.586.7380).