“The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance
by producing dream material that re-establishes, in a subtle way,
the total psychic equilibrium.” – Carl Jung
What Is the Purpose of Dream Work?
Dream work can enhance the therapeutic work by creating deeper intimacy and understanding within yourself. Dreams come in service of health and wholeness, and the generic message of every remembered dream is to wake up and pay attention.
There is a potentially creative, positive, useful, effective, elegant role for the dream’s waking mind to play in the further unfolding of ALL the issues that are given symbolic shape in the dream.
Language of Dream Imagery
We will tap into the wisdom of your dreams by understanding the language of the dream imagery being presented. This imagery comes from the unconscious (the material in our mind that we are not aware of most of the time) as symbols, and the work is to understand the meaning of these symbols and how they apply to your life.
Jungian analyst Marion Woodman says, “The more you work with your dreams and your unconscious, and honor it, the more you understand it and it understands you. When you develop a relationship with your psyche this way, you begin to carry that energy into your life and your relationships.”
There are common symbols we can lean on for information and their connection to deepening our awareness, such as the house which represents the psyche, a structure (like a building) in your dream is the personality, bodies of water can be the unconscious (the ocean is collective unconscious and a pool or smaller body of water is the personal unconscious), and many more.
Also, the location of the dream is often important information, because it can direct us to the area of work that might be calling our attention, such as having the dream at your childhood or current home or work. Additionally, sometimes our dreams are pointing to a myth, a fairy tale, a literary, historical, or religious reference. For example, we might be living out a fairy tale, such as Cinderella, in our intimate partner relationships and not be aware of the varying issues that need understanding.
If you are interested in working with your dreams, I recommend keeping a dream journal by your bed and capture your dreams when you wake up. When recording your dreams, include the following: the date, as much detail as you can, any significant events happening in your life such as something that happened that day or significant world events, and feelings.
Let’s start your journey to a deeper understanding of your dreams.