Discover the Healing Power of Your Dreams
Everybody dreams. Regardless of whether you remember several dreams a night, or recall your dreams rarely, if ever, the ubiquity of our dreams is one of the many things that connects us together as human beings.
However, while we all share the experience of having dreams on a nightly basis, the dreams themselves, the feelings they cause, and our interpretations of their meaning are very individual and personal events.
Scientists continue to debate whether or not dreams have any inherent meaning. But most people who work with dreams, myself included, find that dreams can be very meaningful experiences.
Understanding your dreams can help you learn more about your feelings, thoughts, behaviors, motives, and values. Many find that dreams help them solve their problems. Furthermore, artists, writers, and scientists often garner powerful creative insights and ideas from their dreams.
Dreamwork vs. Dream Interpretation
"Working with dreams" means remembering and exploring our dreams with a focus on their deeper meanings. This involves exploring the meaning and value of our dreams through mythology, symbols, archetypes, personality types, and many esoteric systems that engage us through our imagination and soul.
Dreams may have a variety of meanings, depending on the subjective and objective levels being explored.
Dreamwork differs from classical dream interpretation in that the aim of dreamwork is to explore the various images and emotions that a dream presents and evokes without attempting to come up with a single, unique meaning for a dream.
Some dream experts theorize that there are typical or archetypal dreams and dream elements that persist across different persons, cultures, and times. Usually, however, the same image or symbol will have different meanings for different people.
For example, a tiger in a dream can mean one thing to a person of Chinese descent, another to a business man, something quite different to a zoologist, and something altogether different again to a child whose favorite toy is a stuffed tiger.
Therefore, books which give specific meanings for specific dream images or symbols ("dream dictionaries") are not usually very helpful. By contemplating what each dream element means to you, by looking for parallels between these associations and what is happening in your waking life, and by being patient and persistent, you can learn to better understand your dreams.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your dreams reflect your own underlying thoughts and feelings, and that the people, actions, settings, and emotions in your dreams are personal to you.
Are You or Your Children Experiencing Nightmares?
Nightmares are very common among children and fairly common among adults. Nightmares are commonly caused by stress, traumatic experiences, emotional difficulties, drugs, medications, or illness. Further, stopping certain medications suddenly may cause nightmares.
Some people have frequent nightmares that seem unrelated to their waking lives. If this sounds familiar, you may be more open, sensitive, trusting, and emotional than average.
Regardless of the cause of nightmares, psychotherapy and dreamwork can help you understand the underlying meanings hidden in them. This in turn can help you overcome psychological obstacles in your waking life, as well as allow you to sleep peacefully at night.
Having the Same Dream Over and Over Again?
Recurrent dreams may be treated as any other dream. That is, one may look for parallels between the dream and the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and motives of the dreamer. Understanding the meaning of recurrent dreams often helps resolve issues the dreamer has been struggling with for years.
Regardless of the particular dream you're experiencing, psychotherapy and dreamwork can help make conscious what is unconscious. This in turn can help you overcome obstacles you may be facing during your waking hours.
Should You Keep a Dream Journal?
There is something about the phenomenon of sleep itself which makes it difficult to remember what occurred while we're sleeping. Sometimes a dream is suddenly remembered later in the day or on another day, suggesting that the memory is not totally lost but for some reason is very hard to retrieve.
Because most dreams are forgotten unless they are written down, it can be helpful to keep a dream diary. Doing so is recommended so that you have the ability to reflect on your many dreams over a long period of time and get the truest picture of your unique dream life.
When keeping a dream journal, you should wake up each morning with plenty of time to devote to remembering the previous night's dreams. Write down as much as you can remember each morning along with the date. Then review your journal on a regular basis to determine if any subconscious patterns are present that you were previously unaware of.
Regularly keeping a dream journal is an important aspect of dreamwork. Dream diaries allow you to remember more dreams on a more consistent basis, while also allowing you to track your progress and understanding over the course of time.
Create the Life of Your Dreams!
Through the dreamwork I've done with numerous clients, I've found that understanding our dreams leads to a deeper understanding of self and our unique role in the world. This understanding is a key to the natural healing process. It also allows us to overcome life's obstacles and reclaim our wholeness.
A tenet of the dreamwork I do is that each person has his or her own dream "language." Any given place, person, object, or symbol can differ in its meaning from dreamer to dreamer and also from time to time in the dreamer's ongoing life situation. Therefore, when I help a client understand a dream through dreamwork, I adopt an attitude of "not knowing."
I reserve all judgments about a client's dreams. I wait until the dream description is complete before offering any comments or insights. My clients often come to a deeper understanding of a dream by themselves simply by sharing their dream experience.
Appreciation of the validity or insightfulness of any comment from a dreamwork session can come later, sometimes days after the end of the session. But, regardless of the time it takes, I have found that dreamwork facilitates self-understanding and self-acceptance. These are critical components of the healing work I do with clients. Dreamwork truly helps me to help my clients achieve the life of their dreams!
For more information about dreamwork or to schedule an initial consultation, please feel free to contact me:
Haleh Rambod, MFT
2111 Geer Road, Suite 505-507
Turlock, CA 95382
4100 Moorpark Avenue, Suite 106
San Jose CA, 95117