A dream comes to a particular person with their own unique story, at a particular time and in a particular context. It also comes for a reason. An consideration of all of these factors facilitates an understanding of the dream. So when exploring a dream it is important to ask: what is this dream ‘trying’ to tell me?
Some Noteworthy Aspects of Dreams
- Dream Context: this is the setting of the dream in which the place and the characters within it are introduced. This dream context (for example one’s childhood home) tells us something about the present situation of the dreamer and the relation of the dream to their current life. A good question is: why did I have this dream now? How does it relate to my present situation?
- Dream Narrative: the story itself. It is important to respect the dream as if it were a real life event. A good question is: What would it be like to be actually in this situation in my everyday life? How should I act?
- Dream Climax: In a dream, after the development of the plot, there comes some culmination: something decisive happens or something changes completely. This event can be the key message in the dream. A good question is: What is the dream trying to tell me. What do I need to know or need to give more attention to?
- Dream Series: a dream can never be taken out of the context of the whole life of the dreamer. For this reason any single dream is best understood in relation to other dreams that occur both before and after it, not only in any one night, but over a period of time. It is for this reason especially that writing down dreams can be so productive.
- Approaches to a Dream: it is important to use not only immediate associations to a dream but also the process of amplification, that is, to explore, where appropriate, collective associations for example in universal symbols of myths or fairy-tales, religious symbols and ritual, as well symbols to be found in film, TV, books, and art.
It is important most of all to explore the feeling quality of the dream. A good approach is to “live with “the dream for a while.