Dreams can be mysterious, but at the same time revealing. In the past, they were connected with prophecies and sacred revelation, but do they have what so ever meaning and can we rely on dreams to help us discover future ahead of us?
All this mystery surrounding the dreams leave us wondering what causes dreams in the first place and what a particular dream means. Modern science can offer some explanations and how they are related to brain function. However, only psychological understanding of the unconscious can tell us why dreams happen.
So let’s explore a couple of ideas that have taken a significant stance in the past.
Sigmund Freud interpretation
Freud referred dreams as the “royal road to the unconsciousness,” and this statement had an essential impact on psychology. It would be challenging to summarize his work in a few sentences, but Freud believed that dream is a wish, and he stuck to this theory.
His initial idea was that dreams have sexual content. But, this concept of wish fulfillment wasn’t only focused on pleasure because maybe the person wished to be punished as well. Therefore, this idea of a secret wish which was masked by dreams remained as a central point of Freud’s psychoanalysis.
It is similar to Freud’s interpretation of dreams. In this case, also dreams are symbols which have a hidden meaning, but in Jungian analysis, the dreamer plays a crucial role in unlocking the hidden message.
This interpretation points out that unless the dream resonates with the dreamer, it will not be helpful. For instance, if a person dreams about a dog, then the therapist will explore the hidden meaning to understand the information about dogs.
Jungian analysis neglects individual’s associations and is set to explore the collective understanding of the symbols.
Dream analysis in modern therapy
Even though dream analysis is dismissed in contemporary use, it still remains as an integral part of some theories. It is most popular among the psychoanalysis who practice psychodynamic theory.
On top of that, a psychotherapist who used dream analysis to treat their patients stated that 70% of individuals obtained some benefits from these sessions. The main goal is to help people address their issues. It also can be used to aid mental health, as well.
Usually, this type of treatment is used to help with PTSD and chronic nightmares. The therapists may rely on a bad dream, write everything down, and try to change the content to something better.
Although modern research shows numerous benefits, there are still some limitations to dream analysis. Some critics believe that dreams are a biological phenomenon and don’t have relevant meaning. However, we can’t negate the impact dreams have on our lives.
Throughout history, they represented an integral part of our state of mind and carried a message. But, one question remains, can we truly believe that dreams carry specific meaning, and can they help us unlock the hidden message?