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has been a growing interest in dream interpretation over the last
decade. Historically, dreams have been the domain of both science
and religion which has been the source of confusion and misrepresentation.
The following is a relatively elementary view of dream interpretation
and one that is useful to help understand dream analysis. If you
have a serious concern about a dream, you should seek someone
qualified, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor or
spiritual counsellor, to help interpret it for you.
are the language of the un-conscious, a gentle way for our higher-self
to communicate with us. Dreams and imaginal techniques (like hypnosis,
visualization, RGIplus, NLP) are less threatening, allowing us
to feel safer in dealing with personal or challenging issues.
Dream interpretation and other holistic counselling strategies
open the door for some who otherwise would not have sought counselling.
This may lead to them exploring issues such as grief, sexual or
other abuse, addictions or anxiety that have impacted them significantly
but are difficult to bring to the surface. The unfolding of a
dream allows people to deal with issues as they are ready.
show that those who are deprived of dream sleep (REM) are less
able to handle stress and everyday challenges. This is why techniques
like meditation, visualization and RGIplus, that produce dream-like
state have such a proven record in producing Hebert Benson's "relaxation
dream for a number of reasons. Dreams can be caused by something
as mundane as eating before sleep or illness. Dreaming also serves
the important function of processing emotionally charged events
that we witness, but do not directly experience. It is not important
to remember or interpret such dreams. It is important to get rid
of the emotions. An example of this type of dreaming might be
a youngster who has a bad dream or nightmare after having seen
a scary movie. Dehumanization and gory scenes in movies have to
be processed and the emotions witnessed dealt with.
are used by the subconscious as psyche cleansers. The mind, the
original computer, processes things on many levels. Like a computer,
if you put garbage in to your subconscious, you will get garbage
out. Dreams are therefore the mind=s cleanser. Once the garbage
is out, it no longer pollutes the mind. The best way to get rid
of these dreams is to get rid of the source.
types of dreams can be a message from the subconscious that we
are acting without authenticity and that our behavior is causing
harm to ourselves or to others. Interpreting dreams can help balance
our actions with our higher purpose. For example, one of my clients
was abusing drugs. It was only through one of his RGIplus visualizations
that he was able to acquire the insight that this behavior was
preventing him from developing a relationship with the girl he
was interested in. Balance between the ego and his higher self
was restored, allowing him to engage in more authentic behaviour.
dreams occur in the super-conscious or at the soul level. At this
level we can get in touch with our higher self. It is at this
level that in religion, revelations are made; in science, discoveries
and insights are found; and in art, works are inspired. In the
18th century, James Watt, the father of the industrial revolution,
claimed he was given the idea for the steam engine through a dream.
Robert Louis Stevenson claimed that the story of Dr. Jekyll and
Mr. Hyde originated in a dream. Some people are more susceptible
or even vulnerable to such visionary experiences. Without proper
understanding, living in fear of these dreams can contribute to
such detachments as psychosis.
rely heavily on symbolism. To understand ourselves better through
our dreams, we need to develop a deeper understanding of the symbolic
language of the unconscious. Our mind=s computer will automatically
present imagery that is less threatening to us than the actual
issue to be dealt with. There are several levels of symbolism:
symbols: Carl Jung found archetypical symbols to be common
to all people in all cultures. Examples would be mother, father,
specific symbols: For example the swan in Asia Minor
and in Europe symbolizes light, purity and grace, while in Greek
beliefs, the swan possessed the ability to prophesy and announce
symbols: For example, although the dog has universal
and cultural meanings, it may be very personal to me if I was
bitten by one.
Power of Dream Analysis
skill of dream interpretation can often be used through other
imaginal techniques such as meditation, visualization and RGIplus,
colour analysis, sand play, art, drawing, music, clay work, psychodrama
and guided dreams in which the free flow of imagery is permitted.
Skilled interpretations of these resulting images are so closely
akin to dream interpretation, that an understanding of dream interpretation
can prove to be invaluable in a breadth of counselling techniques.
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