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Thread: Dream Analysis

  1. #1
    MissMuffins's Avatar
    MissMuffins is offline Senior Member
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    Dream Analysis

    So, what do y'all think about dream analysis?

    I recently had a very odd dream, which prompted me to look into dream analysis. I became so interested in it that I bought a book and decided to start keeping a dream journal, although I haven't begun doing so yet.

    The dreams I've recalled all utilized different symbols, but had the common themes of preparing to embrace change and shedding things that I don't need to keep in my life.

    The grumpy guy frequently has odd and very vivid dreams. When I became interested in dream analysis and started talking about some of my dreams with him, he began asking me "I wonder what your dream book would say about that?"

    He's had several dreams lately that involve letting the past be the past with his ex wife and moving on. I don't interpret this as an indication of anything in our relationship--that would be akin to doing a tarot reading to find out how he feels about me--but I am glad that he's finding peace. (I only do tarot for myself, to seek insight into my situation or behavior. I find it to be a very helpful set of prompts when I need to see & think about things from a different context than the whacked-out crap I grew up with.)

    He was a little disturbed by having dreams with his ex wife in them. In most dreams, the people in your dreams usually represent a different aspect of yourself. He was relieved that I didn't get upset about it; apparently he was a little worried that I'd take it like "he's having dreams about her and not about me." (What does that say about his previous relationship experience?) I just said I think that one dream is a conversation he would have with her face-to-face if he could, and another dream is message for him, from himself.

    I bought The Dream Book by Betty Bethards, but if you're not up for buying a book yet, An Online Guide To Dream Interpretation is pretty informative.

    Seriously--what do y'all think?

    MM
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    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

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    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    I think that dream analysis is important because dreams are sometimes the by product of unconscious processing of information, emotions and concerns. Analyzing dreams can help us learn about ourselves, our past, our present, and guide us towards our future.

    I see it like leaving a software running that will show you amazing results the next day when you come back in the office.

    However, I do not believe in books for that, because our symbology is individual and different. It is like trying to read a book in another language.
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    Some of my dreams are very easy to interpret.. my subconscious is testing my recent decisions to see if they're the right ones. Others, I have NO idea.... I think the mind just likes to keep itself amused whilst the body rests.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuffins View Post
    So, what do y'all think about dream analysis?
    The cognitive approach to dream analysis makes sense to me. (Treating dreams as distorted perception and cognitive processing due to limited sensory input while the dreamer is asleep).

    Freudian and Jungian dream analysis involves a number of untestable assumptions.

    SW
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    Wow, have things changed in the 2+ years since I opened this thread!

    I didn't start the dream journal, but I still vividly recall my dream which prompted it.

    slowworm, I think Jungian and Fruedian dream analysis amount to a crock of hooey. I'm not familiar with the cognitive approach.

    For a long time, I've been of the mind that there are several types of dreams. I think *most* dreams are just the individual's mind sorting through and making sense of the day's events, and don't "mean" anything. I've read that some behavioral physicians and neuroscientists believe that this "sorting" is part of how people forget unimportant things and remember what they need remember.

    I also believe that dreams can have a spiritual component. That type of dream analysis is different than therapeutic dream analysis.

    Lovey, formerly known as "the grumpy guy", continues to frequently have very vivid dreams. Many of those dreams are nightmares featuring verbal or physical abuse from his father.

    Late this evening, he told me that last night he had another nightmare about his dad. It woke him up, upset. He said it didn't have anything to do with him being unusually quiet today.

    I looked online and found that among those adults who experience frequent nightmares, the majority of the nightmares are attributed to three causes: post-traumatic stress disorder, side effects of medication and stress/anxiety. Given that Lovey survived an abusive childhood and has been plagued by nightmares his entire adult life, I feel it's reasonable to suspect there's a little PTSD going on and that's what's behind most of the nightmares.

    Behavioral medicine recommends re-imagining the nightmare as a situation the individual controls. The conversation or events unfold with the individual handling the situation differently than it usually plays out in the dream--they're strong enough to win the fight, they fly instead of fall, they've got the right comeback to end the argument, etc.

    I think that sometimes our dreams serve as vehicles for working out whatever unfinished business exists with people who've passed away.

    I also think that "ghosts" are people trapped in between this existence and the next by guilty consciences and/or unfinished business, and sometimes they are allowed to reach out to us through our dreams so they can settle their business and move on to find peace.

    With those thoughts in mind, I suggested to Lovey that while he's awake, he can imagine that same conversation as it should have gone instead of the argument that it was. Imagine his dad telling him to his face all the things he never said to Lovey but told all their friends: how proud of Lovey he was, how good at things he thought Lovey was, etc.

    He and I have talked about this several times before, because he can't make sense of how a dad whom he knows loved him so much was also so...horrible. (I, on the other hand, don't have this much inner turmoil regarding my own dad. I do struggle with my feelings about my mom.) Until I realized how much it hurt him when I said so, I was pretty open about my feeling that I wouldn't have had much use for his father. When I realized it was doing the same thing to him as when someone badmouths me or my ex to our sons, I stopped. Once I told Lovey, "I think your dad did love you, but was just so messed-up he didn't know how to tell you."

    I asked him: now that his dad's dead and spent the past 20 years wherever it is that people like him go after they die, if his dad had the chance to come back and talk to Lovey the right way, would he? Lovey said, "Yes, I really think he would."

    I hope that next time Lovey has a dream about his dad, the dad he sees in his dream is the dad who held 5-year-old Lovey in his lap, arms around him, holding Lovey close to his heart, and sat up all night to watch the stock and protect little Lovey from an unexpected, severe summer storm that blew in while they were on the trail and camping rough. Maybe, just maybe, *that* dad will tell grown-up Lovey how much he loved him, and Lovey can finally "bury" the violently abusive, foul-mouthed, drunken a-hole dad for good.

    MM
    Last edited by MissMuffins; 02-02-2014 at 05:17 AM. Reason: fixed typos & finished a thought
    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

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    I hope so too, MM. That's a really sad story. Lee has a poor relationship with his parents too, though they were never physically abusive. His mother was emotionally manipulative (she still would be if he was prepared to let her) and his Dad was just mostly absent (and they divorced when Lee was a kid). I like his Dad, he's lovely, but he doesn't keep in touch with us except through brief Facebook contact. I had a falling out with his mother earlier in our relationship, but we've built a rather rickety bridge since then. She doesn't keep in touch with us, except through brief Facebook contact (FB is a curse sometimes as well as a blessing!!). Lee doesn't seem to be emotionally invested in his family at all. I'm not aware that he dreams about them at all. What you said about it hurting Lovey when you bad-mouthed his father though made me wonder if it might hurt Lee when I join him in bad-mouthing his mother. My mother is a PITA sometimes but I'm uncomfortable if anyone agrees with me on that, except maybe my siblings or my own kids. I have tried putting a positive spin on it when he has told me about her behaviour (he lived back in her home for a couple of periods the year before last when he was working in the town where she lived) and he isn't responsive to that. He's even had his younger brother come online on Skype to tell me that he's not exaggerating (Really looking forward to his folks all coming to our wedding!!!!)

    As for dream analysis, I find it quite fascinating. I do think books on it are of limited usefulness as, like someone already said, the meaning of the symbols in dreams are very personal. However, there are some types of symbols that seem to be pretty widely applicable. I think dreams can often tell us stuff we're not consciously accepting of that is going on in our own heads. When I was still with my ex-husband I had about 10 years (possible longer) of regular, very vivid filmic dreams of escape (often involving Nazis - my ex is a German teacher, and like most Germanophiles, has a horrified fascination with WW2). Evenutally I accepted the meaning of these dreams, but they didn't stop until I left him. I seldom remember my dreams these days, which makes me sad in a way because I've always had very linear dreams that are almost like films, and I miss them because they are often very exciting. But I'm happy at the moment and have few stresses, so I guess I don't need to remember my dreams.

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