Many believe our dreams mean something, validating issues that are occurring in our waking lives. Others think dreams are just random cut and paste memories, discharge of the brains activity as we sleep. Neurologist Sigmund Freud of the late 19th century, was definitely in the belief camp. In fact, you could say he was the camp leader. His published book The Interpretations of Dreams made ripples in the medical world throughout the 20th century, bringing it to mainstream psychology. Dream Therapy developed shortly thereafter, and flourished to popularity in the 1900s. Today, dream therapy is a sought-after method of treatment used by holistic practitioners worldwide.
The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.
Long before all that though, the interpretation of dreams was actually practiced by ancient Greeks, Egyptians and shamans alike. They believed dreams held prophecies and could bring healing. Even the bible tells stories of the prophetic power of dreams. Joseph anyone?
After counting sheep…
What happens to our brain when we sleep is still somewhat of a mystery to doctors and scientists. We do know that our brains are extraordinarily active for an organ that’s figuratively meant to “shut down” when the lights go out. It’s interesting to contemplate that while we’re unconscious, we’re awake in our dreams, and while we are resting, our brain is doing diligent memory filing among a staggering amount of other things. Did you know? Everybody dreams every night, unless suffering a certain type of brain injury. For those who claim they never dream, they simply don’t remember them when they wake up.
By conditioning ourselves to remember and meticulously document our dreams, they can be better analysed by a practitioner who is qualified in dream therapy. People seek dream therapy for a number of reasons; recurring dreams, nightmares, inexplicable experiences like dream premonitions, pure curiosity, phenomenons like lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis or enlightenment by having ones subconscious decoded using various methods.
This therapy is a known tool in the holistic world for helping people better understand themselves, their past, their emotions and their surroundings. By exposing the many possible meanings within our seemingly random dreams, we can perhaps sharpen our instincts and discover the interconnectivity between the conscious and subconscious mind. It is said that all is revealed, all is known and all is processed in the subconscious. If we can somehow gain even just a little bit of insight into that side of our brains, through the analysation of dreams, then we can start to make groundwork in our consciousness.
Self-knowledge is essential not only to writing, but to doing almost anything really well. It allows you to work through from a deep place – from the deep, dark corners of your subconscious mind.
During my research into dream therapy and it’s effectiveness, I came across some rather fascinating client recounts. One particular correspondence stood out, and I have been given permission to share this particular email in this post.
Melissa Wight, 43, from Wisconsin, USA writes:
“It was kind of funny how my realisation came about, I was expecting some sort of great reveal or magic tarot reading that would show me my future, instead it was the process itself that did the trick, not the result of the treatment in my personal opinion. I am so thankful for seeking out that lady when I did, because it saved me from myself and a marriage destined to fail.
I had been having this recurring disturbing dream, not quite a nightmare thankfully. I wouldn’t wake up scared, just disturbed and sort of like ”what the f****?” you know the ones. I won’t describe it, it’s honestly too much of a long story and definitely too personal. Anyhow, I had never been much of a dreamer really before having this one stubborn series of events played out as I slept. Of course, like we all do these days I took to google and searched for reasons this was happening. Every result told me something different and I ended up more frustrated than I was before. Let’s just say this dream wasn’t a pleasant one and each morning I seemed to have developed more fatigue and anxiety than the previous night. It’s like it drained it out of me. Bare in mind this had been going on for weeks at this point so I was getting a bit concerned.
Well it turned out the internet was useful for one thing because I did find a lady who offered free online consultations for a number of treatments including dream therapy. Hey! So I thought I’d go ahead and try it I mean, what did I have to lose, right? I didn’t even have to leave my house. We did the consultation over Skype (which wasn’t as weird as I expected it to be) and I instantly felt comfortable with her and blabbed about my life in a nutshell and my recurring dream.
I did have a few more sessions with her after that, but one of the things I was told to do was keep a ‘dream journal.’ I don’t know why but I didn’t tell my husband any of this. He didn’t even know about the dream either. I found myself having to become more and more secretive with my journal entries. I would wake up at 5am and hurry to the bathroom where I kept my booklet under the hamper (somewhere he’d never go.. you know men.) Eventually I had a pretty amazing story line with pictures and it seemed I had documented the whole dream start to finish in damn good detail.
In one of our therapy sessions the lady asked why I felt it was so important to hide it all from my husband. I thought about that pretty hard. This man was supposed to be my best friend, lover, protector, someone I could trust and grow old with. I knew him well enough and felt he’d never understand and might even be angry with what I was doing. The lady had said that my dream seemed to be like a warning of some sort. Like an exit you keep missing on the road or the words you can’t quite catch from someone yelling to you from a different room. You know what I mean? Like it’s there, you just can’t quite see it or understand it. Well I had somewhat of an epiphany that night and just decided to take a break. Yep, just like that.
My husband didn’t think too much of it, he knew I had been exhausted lately and he’d been getting irritated with me. He agreed a holiday would be good for me. But in reality, I needed a break from our marriage. I made plans and went to go stay with one of my dear friends across the country. The first night in her apartment I didn’t have the dream, nor the night after that or the following two weeks after that.
To cut a way too long story short, I think my subconscious was alerting me that I needed to get away from my husband. For what reason exactly I don’t know, but I do know from day one of being married to him I was never fully at peace and happy with my decision. I found it so odd that the first night out of our house, I didn’t have the dream. I know that couldn’t be just coincidence.
By the way, 18 months later and I’m happier than can be. Life hasn’t been all peaches but I feel like I’m more myself now than I ever was married to that man. Funny how things work out, the therapy didn’t magically expose something mysterious or dramatic, but it did make me look twice at my situation, and I know for a fact that life is way too short to waste it with the wrong people. Oh, and I still haven’t had that dream since.”
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