Monday, April 21, 2008

Dream Interpretation

Many of my clients ask me to interpret their dreams when they come to a session. When they ask about their dreams, they usually think that these interpretations will provide answers to key issues in their lives. They have normally consulted or looked up one of the various books on dream interpretation or some radio program they may have heard where the subject was discussed – a dog means this, a cat means that, and a nightmare could mean many things depending on the many views of the writer.

As for me, I don’t take this type of approach when I am analyzing someone’s dream. The reason why is because a dog, cat, or horse, and even nightmares, have different connotations for different people. For example, some people grew up loving dogs while others grew up fearing dogs – the same applies to the image of cats and other animals that may appear in your dreams. Nightmares, on the other hand, are a whole different ball game.

My approach to dream analysis involves a more scientific basis – it is a communication between the conscious and the subconscious mind or the interpretation of the outside world by your mind’s internal world. According to scientists, we have at least three dreams per night for approximately 90 minutes. These dreams are comprised of processing, predictive and venting dreams. The first dream of the night is the processing dream. At this stage, we process all of the information that filtered through our brain that day. If we watch a scary movie one evening before we go to sleep, for example, it may flash through our mind in the form of a dream or nightmare. The second dream of the night is a predictive dream. This type of dream’s meaning is just like it sounds – it predicts. Have you ever treasured a thought, person or thing so long or so often that it came up in your dreams? This is part of the predictive dream which means you may be predicting something about your future or something you want to happen in your future. The last dream of the night is a venting dream. With this type of dream, the subconscious mind may be dealing with a negative thought from the past in the form of blame, guilt or emotional pain, a thought that is “bothering” it. This dream – which often manifests in the form of a nightmare – may reoccur night after night unless it is consciously acknowledged and the issue is resolved or accepted.

Some specialists who use this form of interpretation as described in the previous paragraph may focus primarily on the venting dreams. My method is different especially if the client isn’t experiencing some type of pesky dream. What I primarily focus on is the predictive kind of dream. Instead of being so concerned about what my clients dream at night, in fact, I am more interested in finding ways to trigger their dreams. Why is this, you may ask? If my client’s goal is to become a successful portrait artist, I would program his or her mind to dream not only at night about it, but also to start daydreaming about being a successful artist. The idea behind this technique is that the more you eat, sleep and ‘dream’ about a goal, the closer you will be to transforming this goal into reality.

So if you have an aspiration, stoke your desires and dream big, because In Descartes' words, "Desire awakens only those things that are thought possible."

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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