Does Dream Interpretation Really Work? Essay, Research Paper
Dreaming is one of our most intimate experiences. Every dream, every night, is very unique. Our dream world, however confusing, frightening, or even sexy, reveals all of our secrets. Every human emotion and experience can be reflected in our dreams. They mirror our deepest desires, hopes, fears, and fantasies. Our hidden self, the one we try to keep from the outside world, emerges from our subconscious. We see ourselves in the raw, sometimes quite literally. It?s this complete exposure that makes our dreams so important (Grant 1).
A dream is defined as a thought or imaginary transaction that occupies the mind during sleep, but many people never know what their dreams actually mean, or do they?
Dreams have always fascinated man. Our ancestors believed that dreams were messages from the gods, and interpreters of dreams were visited much as doctors are today. Times may have changed, but the fascination of dreams still remains. Many famous people have put forward theories of dream interpretation (Grant 1).
Interpreting dreams can help us understand ourselves and help us solve problems. A dream can warn potential danger. Things that trouble us frequently crystallize in a dream. Some dreams even predict the future. But can anyone ever tell what he or she dreams about and why?
Dream interpretation plays a big part in the dream world. Many philosophers have different ways of interpreting dreams, but do these methods actually work? It?s up to you and your subconscious, to determine whether or not you choose to believe it. Sigmund Freud believes that ?dreams were vital keys to unlock the mysteries of an individual?s personality, motivations, and the overall psyche? (www.dreamloverinc.com). Many people have followed Freud?s theory for many years, while others choose to believe in theories of their own. Freud?s theory of dreams included many thoughts and ideas on how to understand and interpret your dreams. He states:
Dreams do have meaning and are not just random events. They all have causes,
Which generally come from emotionally charged life events. The themes and issues that are experienced in dreams are so emotionally charged and threatening to the
ego that the individual cannot deal with them directly. The dream is a fa?ade which
disguises anxiety or guilt, provoking thoughts and feelings. In order to understand
the dream, the individual must attempt to look past the fa?ade and discover the real
issue in the dream, but psychoanalytical techniques can also be used to interpret
On the other hand, some researchers say that there is much more involved in interpreting dreams. While Freud has his own theory, many famous people such as Grant and Zolar, have written dream dictionaries, which may help interpret your dreams better. Although they may be fun and helpful, do they really work? One articles states that you need a technique rather than a dictionary and an outlook rather than an answer, when you deal with your dreams. Your dreams may be a guide if you see your life as a growth process. It will point out something that you may have disregarded in your rush of thing. Dreams may also point out a disagreement or choice you to need to make. It may even tell you that that one thing is very important for you to do and think about (www.lyricalworks.com).
One example of this theory comes from ?The Illustrated Dream Dictionary.? If you look up the word ?love? in this dictionary it will tell you that if you dream of falling in love, someone loves you and will tell you very soon. If love passes you by, it is in fact a sign that you will soon be married (Grant 35). According to the book ?20,000 Dreams Interpreted,? love means many more things. If you dream of being in love, you will live a happy life. If you dream of being loved, prosperity is ahead. The question, which one are people supposed to believe (Zolar 203)?
While most dream researchers think it is worthwhile to remember your dreams, there has been evidence that states something else. Some think that dreams are not important and are not worth remembering. It says that unless you find your dreams fascinating, fun, or imaginatively stimulating, don?t be afraid to forget about them. If they bother you or leave you perplexed, then why mess with them.
Can anyone really forget about his or her dreams? Although Freud may think that no one can forget about dreams, there are methods that can help you in dream recall. Michael and Elizabeth Thiessen state in their article ?Dream Central,? that when you sleep, your mind tends to drift off in many different directions. The visions in your head may lead to dreaming, but you first must go about a good sleeping manner, which is helpful in dream recall. ?What you do before you go to sleep can make a big difference in what you can recall? (Hartmann 142). An important factor to achieve a good nights sleep is relaxation. A comfortable bed and soothing music can help you sleep better. Once you are comfortable, pay attention to the main issues on your mind. This will give you an idea as to what your dream may be. Keeping your mind on one particular issue will help you recall your dreams more clearly. Sometimes it may be hard for a person to remember their dreams. It has been found that ?people who sleep less than six hours are much less likely to recall their dreams? (Hartmann 142). The more sleep you get, the more dreams you will be able to recall.