Individuals Should Not Blame Themselves For Their Dreams

Dreams have always fascinated humans. Other creatures dream also. Anyone who has watched their cat or dog go through a "happy" or "scary" dream has no doubt that we all dream. Maybe even frogs dream of delicious flies or frightening encounters with predators. I know one thing that my tom cat dreams about, but I would have to be careful how it was put into print.

People's dreams are usually not simple or full of universal easy to interpret symbols.  Dreams have a different meaning to each person, and if the dream is repeated it can have a different hierarchy of meanings each time it is dreamt.  The human mind usually uses each of our dream symbols to express many feelings, some of which may be hidden under layers of different feeling.  For example a dream about someone succeeding at a task can also sometimes be anger directed at someone who has subtly or overtly forbidden us to have that success.  The "success" dream can even be a nightmare, a frightening dream in which we do something that we wish to but are too afraid to do in real life and we may find ourselves waking up in a panic attack or being very "sleepy" the next day because the anxiety-laden nightmare(s) did not let us deeply and fully sleep.

People can feel very guilty for their dreams such as when dreaming about having sensual contact with someone or some kind of person that their conscious mind would not easily accept or with whom they would not really have such contact, but possible need to "torment" themselves about.

Hostile dreams towards loved people may anxiously perturb people who do not accept that dreams are often just a discharge valve for feelings that we would not or cannot allow ourselves to experience when we are awake.

A hostile dream may actually just be an expression of fear about something that we cannot accept ourselves even thinking about, much less doing.

Dreams are best understood when worked through, sometimes from many different emotional angles, with such as an insightful interpersonal psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Individual Sessions where all the attention can be given to the dreamer and verbally interpreted and explored in the depth of their individual life's history.

Dream interpretation is an interactive discussion with the patient and not a fortune cookie of obvious simple meaning, although sometimes a dream is very clear and easy to understand, and may be an acceptable wish-dream.

Dreams that disturb you are about feelings that disturb you, as you know, but any dream that bothers us is worth exploring and talking about.  Unless we feel comfortable and secure about our dreams they cannot be accepted as the poetic meanings that we are giving ourself.




by Dr. Lehrer