Get answers to the most FAQ asked on the internet about dream interpretation. CJ discusses scientific research and learns of a 6-Step process for dream interpretation from Robert Hoss, author of “Dream to Freedom”, and Director and Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
What are dreams? Dreams and their meanings.
Every night we close our eyes and as we relax into sleep, we dream. At times we want our dreams to last forever, and other times they disturb us to the core when we awake. But, what do these dreams mean?
*What is happening during our dreams according to psychologists Jung and Freud?
Freud believed that dreams provide a way for our bodies to preserve sleep and for our psyche to express latent wishes. He theorized that, having extreme feelings or desires would disturb your sleep because instead of dealing with the urges, you would have a hallucination in your dream to would satisfy these repressed desires. These desires could range from an intense urge to physically harm someone to having a sexual yearning for someone.
Jung, on the other hand, believed that dreams served the purpose of helping you solve real life problems to achieve balance and wholeness.
For more on Freud check out: http://www2.ucsc.edu/dreams/Library/lecture_notes_freud.html
For more on Jung check out: http://www2.ucsc.edu/dreams/Library/lecture_notes_jung.html
Check out this analysis by dreamresearch.net that mapped current research data to the theories and psychoanalysis of the past.
|What is “basic reality”?||physiology, especially libidinal organization||the psyche, especially archetypes|
|Origins of conflict||clash of instincts||ignoring part of the psyche|
|Developmental emphasis||childhood (psychosexual development)||adulthood (self archetype)|
|Aim of life||tension reduction||individuation and transcendence|
|Scope of the unconscious||personal unconscious||collective unconscious (all human kind)|
|Origins of the unconscious||anxiety caused by clash of instincts||repeated experiences of the species|
|Key contents of the unconscious||repressed wishes and fears||archetypes|
|Nature of dreams||disguised attempts at wish fulfillment; contain return of the repressed||attempt to express undeveloped parts of psyche, especially archetypes|
|Function of dreams||to preserve sleep||compensation for waking attitudes and personality|
|Mechanism of dream formation||dream-work||symbolization|
|Function of symbols||disguise||express|
|Methods of dream interpretation||free association, symbol interpretation||amplification, active imagination, dream series method, symbol interpretation|
Source: Schneider, A., & Domhoff, G. W. (2015). The Quantitative Study of Dreams. Retrieved January 9, 2015 from http://www.dreamresearch.net/
*Video: What is Gestalt theory on dreams?
*What is the meaning of our dreams?
Today’s brain research doesn’t seem to agree with yesterday’s theories. On one hand,the dream researchers from dreamresearch.net says that dreams really have no important function. It’s described by the authors of dreamresarch.net as “an accidental by-product of two important evolutionary advances, sleeping and thinking” ( http://www2.ucsc.edu/dreams/Library/domhoff_2006a.html). However, there are other reports from dreamscience.org that state the opposite (see section below on “What happens to our brain and body when we dream?” for a comprehensive report on recent research).
Whether it’s talking to a multitude of explorers on the spiritual dimension or employing the theories above, I suggest using your own personal experience as a guide. The meanings of our dreams vary depending who you talk to, here’s a compiled list a list of potential meanings for our dreams:
- Dreams are ways of expressing wish fulfillment.
- Dreams help you express undeveloped parts of your psyche.
- Dreams help you problem solve.
- Dreams reveal what is happening to you on an unconscious level.
- Dreams help us to process and integrate all the information received during our waking state.
- Dreams are a gateway to other realities, meaning we can have psychic hits, a prophecy, visit a past life or connect to a soul mate.
*Video: Why do we have dreams? What did Carl Jung say is the purpose of our dreams?
Click here to jump to answers in video.
*Why do dream interpretation? What are the benefits/insights of this process?
I’ve used the process outlined in “Dream to Freedom” to interpret my friends and my own dreams about a dozen times since reading the book. Here’s a summary of the benefits you may get from interpreting your dreams.
- Reveal unexpressed feelings that the dreamer isn’t consciously aware of in their waking life surrounding a person, issue, or situation.
In the analysis that I did with Robert Hoss, author of Dream to Freedom, it revealed that I was afraid of how tsunami-like my anger could get and that I feared hurting the people I loved. If I were asked if I was angry at the time, I’d likely say “no”. But, I think my dreams revealed a truer sense of the situation.
- Provide answers to problems or concerns happening in your real life.
I did a dream analysis with a girlfriend that was trying to figure out how to integrate her creative insights into her technical-style writing. Her dreams were of a baby wrapped in plastic wrap. After she followed the 6 Step process, her dream revealed that her creative side, which was represented by the baby, needed to be freed so that she could unleash her raw unbridled passion in her writing.
- Our unconscious is trying to offer more information and a different perspective than can be offered by our conscious mind alone.
During the video Robert Hoss shares a story about a former patient, who had been out of the technical field for a long time and was afraid of accepting a job offer because he felt his knowledge was antiquated. His initial decision was to reject the job, but oddly found himself the next day with a change of heart. Why? His dreams provided him a different perspective he was unable to see in his waking life. While he viewed himself in the dream as an old rusty car, his unconscious revealed that when he turned the ignition key to this jalopy, it not only started, but had turned into a brand new car.
*Video: Why is the unconscious mind so important in understanding ourselves?
Click here to hear answer in video.
What is happening when we dream?
*Video: What is happening with nightmares? What are PTSD nightmares? Why are both dreams and nightmares important to our well being?
Nightmares help us process and balance out traumas or problems we are having difficulty dealing with in day-to-day reality. A quick 6-step dream therapy session can help determine the cause of the nightmare and thus a resolution. PTSD trauma, however, gets hard coded into the limbic system so strongly that the dreaming brain can’t easily resolve the issues. The flashbacks with recurring nightmares are usually repeats of the original situation or event. In this case, treatment with therapeutic supervision should be used. Another potential resource is Barry Krakow’s image rehearsal treatment. Find more advice on PTSD with dream work (http://youtu.be/ua0cMchNQ-0?t=1h13m42s)
*Video: How is dreaming related to lucid dreaming? What is happening to our brains during a lucid dream? How can dreams allow us to reach a higher level of consciousness like process past lives, travel to different dimensions, clairvoyance of future events, etc? What scientific evidence exists that prove we do travel to a psychic realm?
What is happening to our brain and body when we dream?
*What do we know about the dreaming brain? And how do you connect this with the psychology of a dream?
The limbic system (which includes the hippocampus and amygdale) and adjacent prefrontal regions are highly active during a stress response as well as during dreaming. This is our “emotional brain”, which is involved in processing emotion, relating to sensory events to emotion, storing emotional memories, and encoding emotional response (Hoss p128)
In the REM state, we see the limbic and amygdale become highly activated even though there is not external threat or sensory influence. All of the above lead researchers to belief that dreams process emotionally relevant memories (Seligman and Yellen, 1987). It is possible that we are processing unresolved emotional events, by recalling and rehearsing them, in attempt to adjust or reprogram to our response (Hoss p128).
While a great deal of our brain is active in REM, the executive functions, including functions such as rational thought, linear logic, and episodic memory as well as primary sensory and motor functions, remain inactive or “asleep”, which may account for bizarre characteristics of a dream (p138).
Many cognitive centers in the frontal regions of the brain (which for the most part operate unconsciously or prior to awareness) are also highly active in REM. This suggests that dreams may perform a problem resolution and learning function. Alfred Alder suggested early on that dreams play a problem-solving role by diverging from rational logic toward an inner logic driven by emotion that either reinforces or inhibits the contemplated action. Evolutionary psychologists believe dreams serve some adaptive function, either that of survival (Revonsuo, 20900) or to practice different physical intellectual and social skills (Blackmore, 2004, p342) needed in waking life. Courts (2008) proposes that dreams improve the mind’s ability to meet human needs during wakefulness by either testing and adapting to meet human needs during wakefulness by either testing and adapting or rejecting dream scenarios, depending on the outcome. Deirdre Barrett (2001a, 2007) extensively studied the creative achievements that have originated in dreams and considers the dream state as thinking but in a different biochemical states”. As noted earlier, Earnest Hartmann (1996, 2011) perhaps describes it most completely when he states that dreams operate much like the brain learns, weaving new material into established memory in a hyper connected environment, making new connections where the dreamer can integrate thoughts that may be disassociated during waking life (Hoss, p139).
Source: Robert and Lynne Hoss, Dream to Freedom, Energy Psychology Press (2013)
*Video: What parts of our brain are awake and asleep while dreaming? Why are dreams the machine language of our unconscious?
Our brain provides a picture of areas in our waking life that need to be harmonized. Listen to Robert Hoss’s (Director and Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and Director of the DreamScience.org Foundation for research grants and advisory board of the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare) fascinating description of neuroscience of brains. Check out article by Robert Hoss at: http://www.dreamscience.org/idx_science_of_dreaming_section-3.htm
*What is the significance of color in a dream? Is it true that we only dream of what we know and what we see in life?
While people rarely recall color in dreams, all dreams originate in color. Interestingly enough, color in dreams are similar to when you highlight a book while reading. Colored items draw our attention to the most important aspect of the dream. Unlike with symbols or images, Hoss’s research (Hoss, 2005, 2006) shows that color evokes a relatively common set of neural responses, which in turn has a relationship to color. Blue, for example, claims the parasympathetic branch, whereas red excites, causes decreases and increases, in heartbeat, respiration, and other autonomic functions.
*Video: Robert Hoss demo’s how to interpret colors in our dreams?
*Video: What do the images in the dreams mean? How do you interpret dreams? Why are dream dictionaries not as accurate as using a Gestalt theory?
How to interpret a dream? What is the Dream to Freedom Process?
* Video: How is EFT used with the Dream to Freedom process?
Once you do dream work you reveal the problem, but often can’t solve the problem without addressing the anxiety brought up by your dreams. EFT is the process used in the Dream to Freedom Process to deal with any anxiety. Listen to Robert’s answer.
*Video: Why is dream work a faster path than traditional therapies when determining root problems?
Dream analysis helps you get to the core problem faster. Robert shares in the video a powerful example of how a client was helped with migraines using this process.
* Steps for interpreting your dream and symbols?
- Watch the DEMO: Robert will take you through high level process to use for dream interpretation (http://youtu.be/ua0cMchNQ-0?t=34m51s).
- Step 2: Get a print out that you can use at home here (http://dreamscience.org/articles/Hoss-Dream_to_Freedom_Journal_Article.pdf).
- Step 3: Get a demo of how to resolve a problem that your dreams are bringing up. 4 tests (surprise, rewards). http://youtu.be/ua0cMchNQ-0?t=1h3m25s.
- Step 4: Get a demo of creating a possible new ending to the dream and solve a problem that the unconscious is bringing up.
*Video: Why use Dream to Freedom instead of a Dream Dictionary?
How do you interpret symbols in dreams? What are some common symbols or themes that seem to reoccur for folks who have done your workshop? Why these dream dictionaries can mislead you? (common dreams: Falling, chase, flying, sex, teeth, test/exam, celebrity, relationship dreams, dying)