Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Dream Interviews

        Health | Sleep Journal

Dream Interviews: Better Interpretation

Delaney doesn't seem to care. "My goal," she says, "is to show dreamers and professionals alike that the traditional systems of dream interpretation have no place in modern dream work."

She's outraged, for example, when therapists filter every dream of every patient through the distorting bias of some rigid dream theory.

"Take the Jungian archetype of The Old Man," she says. "If you see an old man in your dream, he's supposed to represent wisdom. But it just doesn't hold up. In one person's dream, an old man might represent feebleness and decay; in another person's dream, he might represent warmth and kindness. It all depends on the dreamer."

Finding the Meaning of Your Own Dream

But if we scrap the therapist-centered method of dream analysis, who will noodle out for us the crucial cryptic messages encoded in our dreams?

Simple, says Delaney; we can do it ourselves. "You don't need a therapist and you don't need a knowledge of formal dream theory," she says. "You just need to learn how to ask yourself the right kinds of questions to help you discover what a part of you already knows."

And that, in a nutshell, is the logic behind Delaney's innovative "dream interview" technique, in which dreamers, with or without the help of a therapist, consider a series of simple, pertinent questions about their dreams. Delaney says it's the most reliable method of dream interpretation going, because it shifts the focus from therapists, who can only guess at a dream's meaning, to the dreamers themselves, who already, on some level, authentically understand their dreams because they invented them in the first place.

Delaney claims that even the most puzzling dreams can be gently and naturally unraveled by the interview technique. The benefits, she says, are substantial: You'll gain applicable insights into your work, your hopes, your loves, your life. Best of all, you can learn to do it at home.

In my next dispatch, you guessed it, we'll give the old interview method a spirited test-drive, using another of my own dreams as the subject. Could I be more vulnerable and giving with my innermost feelings, already? It's like turning my deepest primal thoughts into crash-test dummies, then parading their mangled forms shamelessly across the Internet, to be oogled by every Tom, Dick and modem-packing Harry.

But I do it, as always, for you. So I hope you'll read my next dispatch, because you're invited, if you can stand it, to join in on yet another glimpse into the ongoing, ever-fascinating, slumber-centered Mystery of Me.

  • 1
  • 2

More to Explore