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Dream Analysis Articles

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There 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.

Dreams 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.

Studies 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 response."

Types of Dreams

We 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.

Dreams 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.

Other 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.

Other 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.

Mystery Language

Dreams 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:

Universal symbols: Carl Jung found archetypical symbols to be common to all people in all cultures. Examples would be mother, father, etc.;

Cultural 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 death; &

Personal symbols: For example, although the dog has universal and cultural meanings, it may be very personal to me if I was bitten by one.

The Power of Dream Analysis

The 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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