Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dream Work for Busy People

Bolle etiliche by Scaramuzzino at Flickr Creative Commons

I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind. ~~Emily Bronte

Jung spoke reverently of his Big Dreams. "Big Dreams" are dreams that feel important, memorable, significant, or impactful. Sometimes it feels transcendent and sometimes it is a nightmare. Sometimes a big dream is a dream that has stayed with us from childhood.

What all big dreams have in common is a powerful central image (CI) that carries the lasting emotional oomph and makes the "big" dream big. The CI is always visual (as images tend to be).

Even though most of us are happy to work with and explore our average dreams, a big dream holds our fascination and some people work for years on understanding them. The traditional Freudian approach to working with dreams is to free associate to each element of a dream (every piece of a dream is equally important) while looking for the common thread, which is often an underlying emotional concern.

But for us busy people, a striking Central Image is a good place to understand a dream and connect with the underlying emotions and concerns. The CI carries the emotional power, even when there doesn't seem to be any emotion in the dream.


Ernest Hartmann (March 2008). The Central Image Makes 'Big' Dreams Big: The Central Image as the Emotional Heart of the Dream, in Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams.


satomblablabla said...

Hi, I found you thru kathy's blog...
and how fortunate. I am a big lover of dreams. I took a very cool psych course from a professor who loved Jung and talked a lot about his theories and dreams.

I dream a lot... I like to write them down and analyze them. Hmmm... I should post one of them and YOU could analyze it for me! That'd be cool.

DreamDoc said...

Hi and thanks for visiting! I have been working with my dreams since I was a teen and I LOVE it. I had a great professor in graduate school who did a whole semester on dreams. Very cool.

If you post a dream on your blog, I'd love to help you analyze it.

Nick's Blog said...

So what do you think it means when I dream my teeth fall out? LOL I really do dream this quite often for some reason. Then I told my best friend (she's actually a psychologist herself) and she called me and said she dreamed it that night after I told her I did.

DreamDoc said...

I think it has to do with powerlessness or losing your power. I think of teeth as giving you the possibility of nourishing yourself, breaking things down. I'll do a little research on that one and get back to you.