Journal entree #2 Topic: Dreams and their meanings.
Relating to class topic on: Theories and purposes of dreaming.
Author: John Suler, Ph.D.
Article(s) name: Working (and playing) with Dreams & A Dreams Worth.
Publication date:June 1995, Revised Feb 1997 (Working and playing with Dreams).
January 1996 (A Dream's Worth) Dreams are interesting and require alot of imagination, however what makes us dream and why do we dream ansd most importantly what do these sometimes strange and uncomprehendable dreams mean. Well on the topic of a dreams purpose, Sigmund Freud who analyzed his clients dreams through therapy believed that our dreams were ways to satisfy are wishes and disiers. For example a person who is having financial difficulty in life might dream about sucess and fame and becoming very wealthy. Basically our dreams are a way to escape the harsh reality of life and enjoy pleasures while asleep. Rosalind Cartwright believed in another theory, that are dreams are ways that provide us with the oppertunities to sole any problems that arose durring our time awake.
Like if I were to go to work and get into an argument with my boss and left work that day with nothing resolved, I would most likely dream about the situation and while dreaming try to descover ways ro resolve my problem. For example, I could dream that my boss and I were involved in that same argument however instead of me leaving the argument unresolved I would try and figure out ways to solve it. And the third theory that was introduce to me in class was the J. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley's theory "that dreams are simply the by-product of burst of activity emanatating from subcortical area's in the brain" (Hobson, 1988; Hobson and McCarley, 1977; McCarley, 1994) (p.145 Textebook: Psychology- Themes and Variations). What Hobson and McCarley mean is that our dreams in contrast to Freud and Cartwright's theories have nothing to do with emotions and pleasures, however deals with the neurons firing periodically in the lower brain centers, witch then send signals to the cortex and then the cortex supposedly constructs a dream to make sense of these signals.
Now that we know why we dream how can we interperate them? Interpreting dreams are like uncovering a hidden treasure, there could be many hidding places however it's up to you to chose witch path to take inorder to uncover the treasure. And just like there are many ways to uncover the meanings of dreams there are many different possible meanings to a dream. Many different people see dreams in many different ways, like in the article "A Dream's Worth" Suler presented to his students in his undergraduate psychotherapy course, a simple dream that was told to him by one of his clients and asked them to come up with the meaning for it. In the dream his client was wearing a white shirt and a purple tie. The students let thier imaginations go and tried to uncover what thins dream meant. They associated the purple tie with "royalty, bruises, choking, etc.." the tie with "formal attire, tied up , confining, etc..."; the purple tie with "unconventional"; the white with clean, pure, "good", etc.."; the shirt with "covered up, tucked in, etc.."; the white shirt with "conventional, boring, etc.."; the white shirt and purple tie with "unusual combination, unconventional, tie really stands out, etc.."; and the depletion with "there's nobody eles in the dream, nothings happening, it's static, etc...". After recieving all of the students possible meanings for the dream he then proceded to explain what the dream really meant, and by putting all of there possible meanings together they were very close in discovering the true meaning. The client was a homosexual witch gave meaning to the purple tie however was afraid to come out of the closet witch gave meaning to the tie. However he was also very boring witch gave meaning to the white shirt. Alot of things can help us determine the meaning of our dreams, but we must take the time out to annalize them and use our imagination.
I had a dream were I was being chased by a hungry lion, and I would run and run and as soon as the lion would jump at me ready to bit my head off I would wake up, and I had this dream many times. Suler says that in order for me to interpret me dream I must analize it first. Suler also states like Cartwright that my dream maybe showing me a problem or an issue that may need to be resolved, or it could be caused by anxiety or fear. Setting and location also play a big role in interpreting dreams.
So it's clear to see that the purpose of our our dreams may varry aswell as the reasons behind why we dream because everyone is different and hold different ideas inside thiere mind