Friday, 9 September 2016

What do dreams mean?

Almost all of us dream, often multiple dreams every night. Do these dreams have any meanings, do they bear any significance are often questions that we ask ourselves or at times others, there are those who often vividly describe their dreams and there are those who do not remember dreams at all.
It was Freud and later Carl Jung who together used dreams for psychoanalysis. Freud believed that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious mind. He believed that every dream is a wish fulfilment, it’s like a secret wish which gets fulfilled in a dream. Let’s say I dreamt about losing my phone, if I had to look at it from Freudian analysis, it would mean that I wanted to lose a phone to get a new phone, lets image one dream of losing a spouse, I am sure you understand what the dream means. See it’s so simple.
Let’s take this a step ahead, a person may dream about an apple, while apple means good health it need not mean the same for this person, it’s important to understand the meaning that individual gives to apple. So while everything does have a symbolic meaning, the interpretation would largely depend on the individual’s perception of that particular thing. Also this would vary culturally; let’s say in India a snake is symbolic of religion, in Greek mythology symbolic of knowledge, while in western culture symbolic of sex. This is as far as the psychoanalytic perspective of dream goes.
For the psychotherapist a dream is nothing a random image which are the result of electrical activity in the brain. So for the psychotherapist so its important to understand not the images that you saw but the perception you had from it. So the lion in the dream may not be symbolic but the perception of what happened when u saw the lion, how did it make you feel - scared and what were your thoughts just prior to feeling this fear. These would represent the current underlying psychological processes to the psychotherapist.
Following these steps would help counsellor with dream analysis:
Dream Story: Write down as soon as possible to avoid forgetting the dream, also dreams that are really important would not be forgotten so could be written a little laterDream Images and Associations: It’s important to seek associations of dream images from real life understanding not from a book or from a symbolic understanding of the sameLink the associations: This is the process of fiting the jigsaw puzzule, and joining the dts to understand the real meaning of dreams for that individual.

What Dreams have to say
Listening to your subconscious often helps you solve problems before you run out of timeDreams are not corrupted and true but their meanings isn’t always what we think, a spouse may dream of their partner having an affair that does not mean that the spouse has an affair but goes to say the sense of betrayal a spouse has in relationship and how it needs to have a reality check.Dreams may often mean the opposite of what we see; say we dream of a sense of embarrassment out of singing in public, this would really go to mean that we have a desire to sing in public which is your hidden talent, of which you want to tell the world.Dreams of sexuality, for the body sex is just a biological process and therefore has nothing to do with love, it would only therefore signify a narcissistic need to reproduce, which may be the result of fears of abandonment or being ignored.Repetitive dreams mean that we are missing something important, its time to wake up and do something about it

How a psychotherapist helps:
For those going through nightmares persistently, a psychotherapist may often help you understand your fears provide gradual desensitization, use techniques like imagery rehearsal to create a new ending for the story, make you rehearse the same before going to bed, often help you perform relaxation techniques and exercises.

Dreams are the bridge from your conscious to the unconscious reality, we need to awaken to understand its meaning and ramifications, once having done this it would help us often sort our repressed unresolved conflicts. Here I have tried to give an understanding of dreams why and how’s of it, we could take up troublesome dreams and their meanings in the next issue.

Sleep Well Dream Right!

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