Few things are more concrete and real than a dictionary and even more so if we put it in contrast to dreams. talk about a “dream dictionary” It sounds nice, but who could have an unequivocal explanation about the dream world? Is there a dictionary of dreams?
There is no single ‘dictionary’ for interpret all dreamsalthough throughout history there have been multiple attempts to understand the meaning of dreams. It is clear that there are dreams that have been repeated to human beings throughout humanity and there is a general consensus on their interpretation. But let’s go little by little and look back. When did the interest arise in knowing what dreams meant?
what are dreams
dreams are a set of involuntary thoughts, images, and emotional responses that occur during sleep. Sounds and physical sensations may also be experienced in dreams. Thought to occur only during the REM phase of sleep, dreams also occur during all three non-REM phases.
We start dreaming from early childhood. Dreams will increase in number and duration until adulthood. Apparently, dreams are triggered when the normal activity of the brain changes or decreasessomething that happens on a regular basis when we sleep.
The most common is having between three and five dreams every nightbut there are people who can have up to seven dreams in one night. Most dreams last between five and 20 minutes, but some last only seconds. Some can be remembered and many others are never remembered. We spend literally six years of our lives dreaming.
Since when is there interest in interpreting dreams?
There is evidence that at least 3,000 years ago dreams were already interpreted, specifically, in the sumerian culture in modern Iraq. Furthermore, it is known that the priests of ancient Egypt believed that dreams were a form of supernatural communication.
In the ancient greece and rome prevailed the idea that dreams were of divine origin. This opinion was maintained not only in theory, but also in practice, so that various oracles and dream interpretation manuals (Oneirocritica) were manufactured. The Greeks thought that dreams were omens of great importance.
psychiatrists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung they were fascinated by dreams and had different theories about their meaning. Both are two enormous references, whose ideas continue to mark the analyzes that are made today.
In his famous book ‘The interpretation of dreams’Freud affirmed that dreams represent the fulfillment of repressed desires and that they are inspired by the events of the previous day.
For his part, Carl Jung believed that dreams were not symbols of repressed thoughts or desires, but rather direct messages from the deepest psyche of the human being.
For Jung, dream images are symbols that express unrecognized thoughts and beliefs buried in the subconscious. ‘dreams’Jung’s collection of essays, is a classic in the field of dream analysis and is still very popular.
Modern dream interpretation builds on all of these historical traditions, but remains unscientific. Although brain activity can be measured during dreams, the results are subjective and cannot be interpreted with available methods.
Despite the lack of research on the meaning of dreams, their interpretation is still a very popular activity in all cultures of the world.
What dreams mean, if they mean anything
But Do dreams really mean anything? Can a person’s unconscious desires be known by interpreting their dreams?
What dreams tell and if they reveal true feelings it depends on several factors. Although some modern theories suggest that the answer is no, that dreams may have a deeper component. biological or even due to sleeping positionHowever, this has not prevented interpreters and analysts from trying to identify what the usual themes and symbols of dreams mean. This is an outline of the main schools of dream interpretation, summarizing GoodTherapy.
1. Analysis of dreams from the Freudian approach
The ‘father’ of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, considered dreams as “the royal road” to the unconscious. Freud developed dream analysis, or dream interpretation, as a way of accessing this unconscious material. In fact, the analysis of dreams is one more therapeutic technique within the work of psychoanalysis.
In psychoanalytic theory, dreams represent wish fulfillment, unconscious desires, and conflicts. Manifest content includes the dream information as recalled by the dreamer, while latent content represents repressed symbolic meaning that is in the dream.
During dream analysis, the person in therapy shares the manifest content of the dream with the therapist. After extracting specific symbols from manifest content, the therapist uses free association to facilitate exploration of repressed material.
2. Jungian dream analysis
As in the case of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung’s analysis of dreams seeks unconscious material. Symbols are explored for hidden meaning. However, in the Jungian analysis of dreams, the dreamer is most crucial in unraveling the message of the dream. Dreams are seen as attempts to express and create, rather than efforts to repress and disguise, as in Freud’s theory. Jungian analysis of dreams is based on Jung’s belief that, unless the interpretation resonates with the dreamer, the interpretation is not helpful.
In addition to the free association method, in the Jungian analysis a technique called amplification is used. This technique is based on the assumption that humanity shares a collective unconscious, or a set of inherited universal experiences. In this technique, collectively agreed associations are explored.
For example, if the person in therapy dreams of a dog, the therapist will encourage exploration and investigation of the universally understood information about dogs (dogs are affectionate, man’s best friend, dogs in mythology, etc.). Amplification goes beyond just using the individual’s associations; explores the collective understanding of the symbol to help the individual find the meaning of the dream.
3. The analysis of dreams according to Gestalt therapy
Dream work in Gestalt therapy is carried out somewhat differently than in psychoanalysis and Jungian analysis. Gestalt therapists believe that dreams they are existential messages that we send to ourselves.
One of the main techniques used in Gestalt dream analysis is the “Take the part of” technique. In this process, the therapist asks the person to write down everything he remembers about the dream. The person is then asked to act out each “part” of the dream, creating a dialogue between the parts. For example, if a man dreams of a hooded figure in his garden, the therapist may tell him to ask the figure questions. He might ask, “What are you doing in my garden?” and then respond, playing the role of the figure: “I’m here to protect your loved ones.” This back-and-forth role play helps people in therapy clarify feelings from all angles.
4. The analysis of dreams according to existential art therapy
In this approach, dreams are explored through an existential lens. The therapist acts as a witness as the person in therapy attempts a journey of self-discovery. Dream images are explored, interacted with and analyzed through art.
Criticism of the analysis of dreams from psychoanalysis
1. It is based on case studies andor is it possible to generalize.
two. The theory does not meet scientific standards. For example, the idea that dreams are based on wish fulfillment has not been supported by research.
3. Has a negative and deterministic view of humanity, stating that human beings are inevitably driven by unconscious forces. This belief does not account for free will, a central concept in humanistic theories.
If you are reading this, chances are you have had a dream that you would like to interpret. Or that you dream of something that is repeated to you many times and you want to know its meaning. As we can see, there is no exact science, but we can approach possible meanings.
In previous threads we have talked about: