This is a clinical therapeutic method for dealing with mental disturbances. He considered dreams as extra information that the patient was unable to convey to the analyst during the waking state.
Dream Psychology, first published in , and translated by MD Eder, is a definitive work which changed the climate of treatments and handling of different neuroses and dysfunctional people. The book is divided into nine chapters. In many of them, Freud uses his own dreams as subjects for interpretation, while in others, he uses his patients' dreams to elucidate his theories of psychoanalysis. While some of the theories may no longer be relevant or valid in today's world, this book is indeed one of the foundation stones of Freudian psychoanalysis and marked a water-shed in the attitude towards dreams.
He refuted the purely medical and purely spiritual interpretations that had been prevalent till then and proposed a completely new theory. Some of the most interesting parts of the book deal with symbols and language in dreams. Freud developed a standard system of symbols and their actual meaning based on his studies and used it to interpret and decode what his patient was really thinking and conveying.
Many of the dreams he recounts were analyzed in the context of Victorian attitudes towards sexuality, repressed desires and unfulfilled wishes. By analyzing and understanding these dreams, Freud's patients were able to get a better understanding of their underlying, unexpressed motives and this set them on the path to healing. We spend nearly one third of our lives sleeping and during some of that time we dream.
Some dreams are vivid enough to be remembered, others are forgotten the moment we wake. This book is an interesting and thought-provoking read that appeals to both people interested in psychology and the casual reader. From the dawn of human consciousness, dreams have always fascinated us. Repetitive, intrusive nightmares following a trauma often contain symbolic themes that mirror the original trauma and relate to threat to life , threat of abandonment or death , or loss of identity.
Although exploration of these themes in psychotherapy can promote improved personal adjustment, the nightmares may continue to persist despite any symbolic interpretation. Systematic desensitization , for example, as part of a multidimensional treatment for PTSD, may be of special help in reducing traumatic reenactment. If you have multiple recurring nightmares, select just one for the IRT process and use the process every night until the nightmare has been resolved; when that nightmare has been resolved, repeat the process for other nightmares.
Write out the text of the nightmare. Tell the story, no matter how frightening, in as much detail as you can remember. Create a new ending for the nightmare story and write it out. Be careful, however, to make the new ending peaceful. Remember that the nightmare is grounded in emotions such as raw anger that have been provoked by a trauma. A woman had been raped. She had a recurring nightmare of being pursued by a dark figure. In the nightmare, she ran and ran, and, each each time the nightmare recurred, she always woke up, sweating and gasping for breath, at the same point.
So she decided, as a new ending, to stop running and confront the figure.
She asked what it was. She woke up. And the nightmare never returned. Rehearse the new version of the story in your imagination each night just before going to sleep. Do this as close as possible to your falling asleep without any other activity between the rehearsal and sleep. Perform a relaxation exercise. Do this immediately after the rehearsal, as a way to fall asleep peacefully.
Dream interpretation as a field of psychological study took off in , when Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams, laying the foundation for . To understand dreams, we must interpret them as if they were written in secret code. But what if there's no code, and we've been reading into a.
You may use any technique with which you are familiar. If you need to learn a relaxation technique, try Progressive Muscle Relaxation. One component of a night terror such as this is called sleep paralysis ; modern science attributes the physiological mechanism of such paralysis to a natural protective function of the brain which prevents the body from thrashing around during periods of sleep, called Rapid Eye Movement REM sleep, when dreams occur.
Nevertheless, a scientific explanation of sleep paralysis does not offer any insight into the symbolic meaning of such an experience. Why should the experience feel smothering and terrifying? In medieval folklore this experience was attributed to an incubus , a demon said to lie on and seduce sleeping women. A demon causing a corresponding experience for a man was called a succubus.
Now, a modern psychological explanation of these experiences begins with a close look at two meaningful words: smothering and seduction. Nevertheless, every infant is destined to become an independently functioning adult, and to achieve this independence the growing child must be separated from the mother.
But because contemporary culture invariably confuses sexuality with love , these fantasies of envelopment become fantasies of sexual seduction. Just as infantile envelopment in a mother can also be stifling and smothering, adult seduction has its own dark side of smothering. Sexual seduction, at its psychological core, really is a matter of manipulation by the desire of another.
And when seen in its raw reality, manipulation is far from being blissful. Imagine a place where there is no justice and no truth, only unbridled hedonism, a preoccupation with personal satisfaction even to the point of causing pain to others.
Imagine being vulnerable to being seized and used by any other being who stumbles upon you. Scream all you want and no one will hear you because everyone else is screaming too. Mardi Gras in Rio? Well, not exactly.
This horrifying place is the place of the demonic. S ometimes people complain of having disturbing dreams with unpleasant images, despite leading a seemingly peaceful waking life. First, the dreams could be unconscious advice.
Maybe in some way you are betraying yourself, forgetting something, or not fulfilling a potential. For example, persons on the edge of a midlife career change may have dreams about being in school and searching for a missing classroom, or they may find themselves in a class about to take a final exam while realizing that they completely forgot to attend the class all year.
Imagine, for example, that you are embezzling the bank for which you work. Then you start having dreams about burglars breaking into your home. Well, the dreams are simply a depiction of something happening to you that is similar to the hurt or moral injury you are inflicting on someone else. Third, the dreams could be hints of a repressed trauma.
As I say above, nightmares often accompany the emotional pain of a traumatic event experienced in adulthood. Fourth, the dreams could be psychic premonitions.
This is a rare phenomenon, but it does happen to some persons.