Dream Interpretation Offers Insight
Dream experts tell what the real meaning is behind our dreams.
Trends in Dream Interpretation
Ancient cultures attached great significance to dreams as
communication with God or prophecy or out-of-body travel. Much of twentieth
century dream theory was influenced by three approaches: Freudian, Jungian and
gestalt. Their differences are illustrated in the interpretations they would
give to a dream about being chased. Freudians would say the dream represents a
repressed wish to be captured and have sex. Jungians would say the pursuer
represents a disowned part of the dreamer's personality that may need to be
accepted. Gestalt theorists would suggest that every image in the dream
represents some part of the dreamer.
"Modern dream work has moved toward metaphor and problem
solving, and people should stop trying to fit their interpretations to
psychoanalytical theory," says Delaney, author of seven books on dreams,
including All About Dreams: Everything You Need To Know About Why We Have
Them, What They Mean, and How To Put Them To Work for You. "If
they describe their dream to five different theorists, they'll get five
Freeman, who uses dream interpretation primarily to counsel
students regarding careers and relationships, tells WebMD most dreams
compensate for skewed relationships to the outside world. "For example, if
we're too nice, our anger and hostility can come out in dreams," he says.
He describes a woman who was so preoccupied with being pregnant that she
neglected other aspects of her femininity. In a dream, she was at a party
wearing a maternity dress when a voluptuous woman in a miniskirt approached and
spilled a drink on her. "My client got very upset and angry in the
dream," says Freeman. "The dream was compensating for a lopsided
situation in which she'd been too much into her maternal self and ignoring her
femininity. Dreams can be self-correcting in that way, letting us know when
we're out of balance."
Doing Your Own Dream Interpretation
Both Delaney and Freeman use an interview approach with clients
they say individuals can use to interpret their own dreams. Basically the
interview unravels the dream metaphor to discover what the dream symbols mean
to the dreamer and the dream's relevance to the dreamer's present day life.