Dream Interpretation Offers Insight
Dream experts tell what the real meaning is behind our dreams.
Doing Your Own Dream Interpretation continued...
For example, Delaney's interview with a woman who dreamt she'd
had sex with her old boyfriend, George, might go like this:
Delaney: What is George like?
Dreamer: Extremely handsome and dashing, but I couldn't get
close to him.
Delaney: Why did you break up?
Dreamer: He was critical and kept me at arm's length.
Delaney: Is there anyone in your life now who's sort of like
Dreamer: I'm dating Michael. He's handsome and dashing, but
he's blond. He's not at all like George. Last night before I went to sleep I
tried to talk to him about our relationship, but he put his arms straight out
and said he didn't want to talk about it.
Delaney: So is there any parallel between the dream and real
Dreamer: Now that you mention it ...
Delaney says if friends told the dreamer that Michael was just
like George, her subjective bias would prevent her from seeing the parallel.
But subjective bias can be overridden in the dream state. "Dreams bring
objectivity to everyday experience, and this dream revealed her unconscious
pattern of choosing men like George."
"Dreams are pretty transparent, but most people never try
to decode them," says Freeman. "It's like learning a new language."
He teaches a four-week dream interpretation class and says when students begin,
they view the symbols literally. "Dreaming they fell down stairs must mean
they fell down stairs," he says.
The device both Freeman and Delaney use to get dreamers past
the literal symbols and discover how the symbols act as a metaphor for what's
happening in their lives is to have them describe the people, setting, mood,
and actions in a dream as though they're talking to someone from another
planet. They say dreamers can use the interview technique on themselves, and
Delaney suggests questions you could ask if, for example, you dreamed about
losing a purse or wallet:
- What is a purse or wallet? Pretend I come from another planet and have no
idea what one is, why humans use them and what they carry in them.
- Why would a human such as yourself care if your purse was lost or
- How do you feel in the dream when your purse is lost or stolen?
- Is there anywhere in your life where you feel the way you feel in the dream
when you realize your purse has been lost or stolen?
- How so? Be as specific as you can.
- Having identified the relevant area of your life, is there anything you
could do to change the situation?