Dream Interpretation Therapy Dream Interpretation and Dream Interpretation Therapy There are many facts that are unknown about dreams and their meanings. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have tried to understand the meaning of dreams. They have all been fascinated by the fact that the content of dreams may have meanings relating to one’s life. Are dreams just thoughts in people’s minds, or are dreams in fact representations of different areas in people’s lives? Dreams represent many different areas of one’s life in physical, emotional, and mental ways. Dreams can relay to people facts about their lives that they are not even aware of.
There are also many ways that dreams can help cure different physical, emotional, and mental problems in one’s life. This paper will discuss dreams and their meanings, and ways of interpreting a dream using such methods as hypnotherapy and psychoanalysis therapy that can help a person in physical, mental, and emotional ways. The first fact that will be discussed is what dreams are and how they work for people in allowing the person to discover more about himself. Dreams can be defined as “a conscious series of images that occur during sleep” (Collier’s, vol. 8).
Dreams are usually very vivid in color and imagery. They reveal to the dreamer different wishes, concerns, and worries that he or she has. Dreams usually reflect every part of who the dreamer is. The content of the person’s dream is usually made up according to how old the dreamer is and how educated the he or she is (Collier’s, vol. 8).
Dreams are not planned out or thought up. The unconscious part of the mind brings out bits and pieces of information in the dreamer’s mind and places them together. According to Encarta, dreams are almost always visual. Forty to fifty percent of dreams have some form of communication present in them and a very small percentage of dreams give the dreamer the ability to use his or her five senses (Encarta). Dreams allow one to take a closer look into his mind and himself in a quest for self-discovery. Dreams can be used to solve all different types of problems. In Sigmund Freud’s book, The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud states: “As regards the dream, all the troubles of waking life are transferred by it to the sleeping state [ .. ]” (Freud 113).
They relay things about a person that the person may not be able to see. Sigmund Freud says that certain images in dreams sometimes have significant meanings relating to the person’s life. Different objects in the dream may serve as a symbol (Kalb 77). Symbols in dreams usually mean something much deeper than simply being an object that just happens to be in the dream. They represent different areas of one’s life that deal with one’s physical, mental, and emotional being. These symbols will relay information about one’s life if these symbols are interpreted.
Dreams are “a private language, known only to ourselves” (Cartwright 5). Dreams have the ability to relieve all people of their everyday problems in life. They have a way of setting one free from reality, which includes all of one’s problems. Dreams help one to overcome these stresses and help people to get on with their lives. Sigmund Freud states, “The waking life never repeats itself with its trials and joys, its pleasures and pains, but, on the contrary, the dream aims to relieve us of these” (qtd.
in Burdach 474). This statement means that though a certain experience in a person’s life can never happen again, dreams allow the person to relive those memories, and they can also allow the person to overcome the stresses of other memories that bother him or her. Memories that continue to stay in people’s minds from their childhood are very often included somehow in the dream. No memory that a person has once experienced will ever be lost because it is stored within the person’s mind and kept there. A person’s conscious mind is the mind that he uses when he is awake and aware of what he is doing.
The conscious mind has the ability to make distinctions between reality and the fantasy world. A person is able to think in a reasonable manner and have a higher order thinking along the lines of placement of time and space. A person, in this state of mind, has complete control over everything he or she does including speaking, thinking, and the way that he or she acts around people. A person can evaluate what is reality and what is not reality while in this state of mind. Treatment such as hypnotherapy and psychoanalytic therapy cannot be given during this state of mind because the person is fully aware of what is going on around him and also fully aware of how he is acting and what he is saying.
When a person falls asleep or is almost asleep, then he or she leaves the conscious mind and drifts into the unconscious mind (Beck). Alex Lukeman explains that people’s conscious minds are very much related to the unconscious part of people’s minds (Lukeman 61). All thoughts that a person thinks while he or she is conscious comes from the person’s unconscious (Lukeman 61). During dreaming, the mind travels from the conscious to the unconscious. Dreaming allows the unconscious part of the mind to relay all information to the person that sometimes that the person does not even know exists.
Lukeman explains that one’s unconscious mind does not deal with issues such as morality, ethics, or cultural essentials (Lukeman 62). People often feel scared of just the thought of the unconscious. People do not like the thought of having something not completely under their control. Through analyzing a patient’s unconscious mind, a therapist is able to see all of the patient’s choices that he makes during his life and also his health. The Freudian theory deals with the issue that the unconscious involves memories or events that are from the person’s childhood (Encarta).
Bad childhood memories that affect the person in present day may even be relayed through the unconscious. Through some kind of therapy, a person may become aware of his problems and different things that are bothering him or her (Beck). Dreams have a way of telling the person about sickness and disease that he or she is experiencing at the moment or will be experiencing. Dreams are sometimes trying to tell a person that he need to stop doing something or start doing something for his own well being (Garfield). In Alex Lukeman’s book, What Your Dreams Can Teach You, Lukeman states “If we pay attention, our dreaming consciousness will forewarn and advise us about health of our bodies and the course of any disease process with which we are involved (Lukeman 4).
Dreams tell people when something is not right in their bodies. Shakespeare even states that sleep and dreams are “nature’s soft nurse” (qtd. In. Cartwright 5). Most people, however, would rather not know what their dreams are trying to tell them. Some people have a certain fear about dreams because dreams are part of the unconscious. People do not like not being in complete control of their thoughts and actions.
They feel that if they have a dream about something like death, there will be death in the near future. Most of the time, when dealing with dreams like this, people would rather not find out what the dream means (Lukeman 67). Psychoanalytic Therapy is a treatment that psychologists use for helping people to overcome mental, physical and emotional torment. It is often called the “the talking cure” (Beck). Psychoanalysis can be described as a “specific method of investigating unconscious mental processes and to a form of psychotherapy” (Encarta). Psychoanalytic therapy is mainly based on the idea that how people act, their thoughts and their attitudes and how they are arranged by the unconscious portion of the person’s mind and are not within one’s usual conscious control. Psychoanalytic therapy is performed by the patient lying on a couch allowing him or her to totally relax. The psychoanalytic therapist beings talking to the p …