Working with Dreams

Dreams provide a snapshot of the emotional life of the dreamer. Dreams reveal an emotional blueprint of the psyche. For instance, a 46-year-old woman dreams the following:

It was very hot outside and there was a fire. The pressure was too great and exploded a window. Some people were hurt. The dogs seemed ok.

This dream comments on the anger the woman is feeling. Her anger is "very hot," and it is causing a build-up of internal pressure. The dream suggests she needs to get a handle on her anger or there may be an "emotional explosion." Part of the therapy with her at this time would be to help her with ways to express this strong feeling of anger in a constructive manner.

On the one hand, dreams provide insight about what is happening emotionally in our current life. On the other hand, dreams can be teleological in nature. In other words, they are sometimes future-oriented. Dreams show us the person that we have the potential to become.

The following dream illustrates the future-oriented nature of some dreams:

Mr. Davis gave me a pencil-shaped long board to use. I knew it wouldn't work for me.

In this dream, the dreamer is wrestling with the idea of taking up creative writing. The dream links the pencil or symbol of writing with the man's love of surfing. It suggests that writing can be a part of his current life's journey. Also, the dream brings up his real struggles with beginning the process of creative writing. After discussing and working with this dream, the man started writing and productively incorporating this creative expressive into his life.

In one of my own significant future-oriented dreams, I dreamed the following:

Dr. Meyers was back in school getting a Master's degree and then on to a PhD. I thought it was strange for someone his age to be doing that.

At the time of the dream I had been working in the field of biology and feeling unsatisfied with the direction of my life and career. The following dream helped point the way for me into the field of psychology, which was both a new and highly rewarding direction for me.

In summary, dreams are an unfiltered and natural expression of one's emotional life and psychology. Dreams provide a glimpse into the psyche, which can reveal an emotional blueprint of a person's feeling life. Dreams can be future-oriented. They can offer guidance on your future life's path, revealing the person you can become.

Learning about your dreams is like learning a new language. It can be an extremely interesting and fulfilling means to exploring the depths of your life. Everyone dreams, and with practice, you can learn to understand this fascinating and deeply meaningful realm of your experience.