What are dreams?
Dreams are the recall of the feelings, thoughts, images and stories from when we are asleep, from a special state of consciousness we reach in slumber.
Many people think that dreams are illogical and bizarre but of no consequence, but indeed, there is a very substantial body of research proving that dreams make a lot of sense once we understand their language – that of associations and metaphors. Understanding and working with dreams in the right way not only helps us maintain our well-being; it also helps us change inappropriate beliefs that keep us stuck in unhealthy behaviors.
Dream interpretation is thousands of years old – the written works of the world’s religions are all full of stories of dreams being dreamed, told and understood to guide the dreamer. Psychoanalysis bases much of its work on dream analysis. Today, there is a growing movement in the United States toward training practitioners in lay dream interpretation in the Jungian tradition, especially through the Haden Institute in North Carolina.
My own training as a practitioner has been with two well-known experts in this field: Susan Sims Smith, Anglican priest and Jungian analyst, and instructor at the Haden Institute; and Bob J. Hoss, Executive Officer and former President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, also an instructor at the Haden Institute. Both are acclaimed lecturers on dream interpretation.
What to expect?
I will not tell you what your dream means; no serious practitioner can. Dreams are made up of your own personal inventory of symbols, so that a dream about a dog means one thing to me, because I have always enjoyed them as pets, but a dream about a dog can mean something else to you because you were bitten by one as a child and have a phobia about them. Therefore, my work is to guide you to come to realize what the dream is about, and what it is trying to tell you.
“I just wanted to thank you for the astonishing appointment we had today. I didn’t have the faintest idea that such a short dream could mean anything much, and certainly not as much as I discovered today, but it all rings so true. I have been thinking all afternoon and with these new insights I get why I have had so much trouble at work with my boss.”
– Khulood A.
Before the first appointment, I ask clients to write down the narrative of their dreams in the present tense, with plenty of margin on the page to allow room for notes.
I will then ask you questions to list your associations with all elements of the dream, and explore the metaphors with you, to see what possible links could be with your waking life.
That work done, you will probably already have a fair idea of what the general subject is and the overall tenor of the dream.
The next step is to answer six “magic” questions that will help take understanding of the dream to the deeper level; I will use hypnosis to ensure you are fully relaxed, calm and confident. It is often in this part that clients can see important steps they can undertake in their personal development.