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Dream Therapy

A dream is an effort by the subconscious mind to communicate with the conscious mind. The subconscious mind never sleeps; it is the permanent recorder of all events in your life, whether you are awake or asleep. The conscious mind rests when the body sleeps, seeking to relieve stress, tension, worry, etc.

While the conscious mind is sleeping, the subconscious tries to communicate with the conscious mind by sending it visual images and other information. Unfortunately, the sleeping conscious mind is unable to understand all that information, so the dream often appears confusing or even apprehensive.  

From the perspective of a soul therapy, it is important to recognize that “dream therapy” and “dream interpretation” are two completely different concepts. If you search either concept on the internet, they are typically treated as one and the same. This stems from Sigmund Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text. (Here is a good website that discusses Freud’s approach, but it also combines the two terms as being synonomous). Perhaps a more correct term for Freud’s approach would be ‘dream interpretation therapy’.

Dream interpretation compares key words or key aspects of your dreams to commonly accepted interpretations. For example, water suggests being rebirth, a reawakening, or a need for emotional release; flying suggests an out-of-body-experience. As more and more parts of the dream are interpreted, a general understanding of the dream may occur, allowing the interpreter to estimate the overall meaning and message of the dream. These interpretations may apply in the majority of situations, but not all.

A critical component of dream interpretation is just that…it is an interpretation. With a skilled interpreter, the interpretation may be fairly accurate. With a less skilled interpreter, critical aspects of the dream may be completely overlooked or misinterpreted. And there is always the potential that your dream does not “fit the norm,” which means that it does not fit nicely into the box of “commonly accepted interpretations.”

Dream interpretation is an excellent form of dream therapy. If the interpreter is both skilled and accurate, the client gains a higher perspective about some specific aspect of his or her life, thereby experiencing some degree of healing, understanding, or awareness. Therein lies its therapeutic value.

For many people, dream interpretation does not answer their questions—it fails to explain the deeper meaning of the dream. For those situations, dream therapy takes on a different, more formal perspective, which directly involves the subconscious and alert conscious minds working together in harmony.

With formal dream therapy, the objective is to relieve any fear associated with the dream and to promote a greater understanding of the information being relayed by the subconscious mind. The therapist places the client into an altered state of consciousness, during which the subconscious replays the dream. The conscious mind is no longer asleep, allowing it to receive all of the detail of the dream and to analyze what it is receiving. At the same time, the therapist guides the client to a greater level or higher perspective of understanding by asking key, nondirective questions. The client responds from the conscious mind, although the answers are most often provided directly from the subconscious mind. In other words, the conscious mind serves as an interpreter between the client’s subconscious and the therapist, relating and interpreting visual images, emotions, etc. This form of therapy recognizes that there is no better interpreter of a dream than the subconscious mind which sent the dream.

“Thank you for participating in The Soul Channel!” — John