Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Modern Psychologist and the Old Relationship Advice Tool: Your Dreams

Yes, it is true these days too: Relationship Advice and Marriage Counseling processes do benefit from your dreams...

In order to understand how and why, let us first explain the first term: 'Day Residue'. A large part of the content of dreams is related to occurrences going on in our lives during the day; they referred to as Day Residue.

And now to the second term: 'Dream Interpretation'. Modern theories of dream analysis frequently focus on the person’s interpretation of the dream rather than on the inherent symbolism (Freud) or the expression of archetypes (Jung). From this view: dreams are an internal replacement for external stimulation.

However, for Freud: dreams are the “Royal road to the unconscious”. Manifest content: refers to the overt story of the dream. Latent content: is the hidden, usually unconscious, message. According to Freud, these messages were expressed indirectly because they were threatening or shocking to the conscious personality. This assumption is the link between the traditional Dream Theory material and current modern counseling processes.
Dream interpretation is therefore a valuable counseling component since it can pinpoint to the larger framework: the roots deep in the psyche or within daily life. Dream images and associations are most instrumental in personal problem solving. Since every person is responsible for their own growth, progression, and health the solutions are many times inside their mind or spiritual domain.

The meanings of dream symbols and themes can be common or complex; will cross cultural, social and interpersonal boundaries and have distinctly different interpretations for each dreamer. Freud suggests that the main and common subjects and issues in our dreams are: human body and persons within our surroundings, parents, children, siblings, birth, and death. The main and common messages: a male is often represented as a building with regularly shaped sides. The female is represented as a building with porches, cupolas, wings, etc.; these are appendages for grasping onto and holding close. The birth experience is usually represented in water. Death is often represented as a journey.
As is true of the theory in general, Freud used most of his symbols to represent sexual ideas and objects. The number 3, for example, is a substitute for the male genitals.
Words that indicate penetration may also indicate penises—i.e., knives, swords, or tools. Any object or event that fights against gravity symbolized penile erections.
Female genitals, on the other hand, were represented by objects that enclose a space: pits, caverns, boxes, jars, luggage, pockets, mouths, and shoes, for example.

But… in order to be a good counselor and a responsible client we always remember Freud’s warning: “Oftentimes a cigar is only a cigar.”
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