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Dream interpretation after Sigmund Freud: journey into the unconscious

Are dreams interpretable? And if so, what do you say about our secret desires?

Dream Interpretation reveals what our subconscious mind wants to tell us
Photo: MrPliskin / iStock
  1. Do we control our subconscious - or does it control us?
  2. Here are the most important hints for dream interpretation:
  3. A course in dreams
  4. Of the meaning and nonsense of our dreams - or why Freud was right

Sigmund Freud sees them as messages of our unconscious.

Deeper than any other scientist, Sigmund Freud immersed himself in the psyche of man - and in its abysses.

His groundbreaking discovery: "Man is not master of himself." In fact, we are unaware of many of our actions - and as a result, we often make intuitive decisions that we can not explain afterwards. At such moments, the unconscious - the most powerful force in us - has taken the helm. Until today, his enormous potential could only be deciphered.

Do we control our subconscious - or does it control us?

Our subconscious mind is what makes us different. Only a minimum of what our brain can do is conscious. The most promising path to the unconscious is for Freud the dream interpretation.

His theory is that the dreamer incorporates external stimuli such as hunger, thirst, or perhaps the ringing of the alarm clock into his dream, and that, in addition, experiences of the day as well as conscious thoughts play a role. The director of our nocturnal films, however, is the subconscious.

In our dreams, we can live out and process desires and drives. In the sleep state, the "censorship" of the superego is still effective, but not as categorical as when awake. But because the resistance of the censor exists, we often do not dream in blunt, clear form, but encrypted, in pictures. (Also exciting: Dream Interpretation: What do the pictures in the head mean?)

A successful dream interpretation allows us a fascinating insight into our unconscious and can provide helpful information in case of problems. That's why Freud called the dream interpretation the "via regia" - the royal road to the subconscious.

Here are the most important hints for dream interpretation:

Condensation : Separate thoughts are compressed and summarized. Ie. the mother, the wife and the ex-wife can appear as a single person.

Shift: An important element of the dream is made unimportant. Example: We do not dream of the death of a loved one, but of the fact that this is only late.

Representation: Here thoughts are transformed into visual images.

Symbolization : Abstract wishes and ideas are translated into dream images. For example, father and mother become king and queen, our body becomes the house.

Fearful and nightmares classify Freud as consequences of a mistake in dream processing. Desires are then not fulfilled, the I react strongly to the impulses of the id, it comes to sudden awakening and startling from sleep.

Researchers go one step further today - they believe that nightmares are a kind of training session for our psyche, so we can learn to better deal with dangers and fears. If we experience a dangerous or frightening situation during the day, we repeat the event to be better prepared next time.

A course in dreams

Even previously unrecognized diseases can be traced in time with the help of the nocturnal messages of our unconscious: The Soviet psychiatrist and dream researcher Vasily Kasatkin examined more than 10, 000 cases in the 1980s. Not only did he discover that patients dream of the pain or symptom in advance - for example, an officer had dreamed that he would be wounded in his right lower abdomen during the war. The next day, he was admitted to the hospital with acute appendicitis.

Kasatkin also noted a temporal connection between the traumatic event and the outbreak of the disease: only a few hours pass for complaints affecting the skin, neck or teeth ; for hypertension two to three months; in a brain tumor up to a year. This experience is confirmed by researchers from the German Neurological Society.

Of the meaning and nonsense of our dreams - or why Freud was right

The psychoanalyst and brain researcher Mark Solms, who teaches at the University of Cape Town, is also following in the footsteps of Freud's dream interpretation. He discovered that while dreaming brain regions are active, which make people curious and regulate his innermost needs. The difficulty of using our subconscious mind to our advantage usually involves perceiving and then understanding one's signs.

Sigmund Freud was convinced: "Dreams are the guardians of sleep, they have a purpose." Thanks to his research work, we can consciously use the ability of the brain to recapture, replay and process the experiences of the day at night for our creativity and brainstorming. Dreams are the energy of life.

For Freud they were the ticket to the most incredible adventure of his life. The journey into his unconscious. After all, almost all of his findings are based on his relentlessly honest self and dream analysis. His conclusion: "I must not reckon on the love of many people, I did not rejoice, consoled, exalted them, I did not intend it at all, just wanted to do research, solve puzzles, uncover a bit of truth have done both, not my fault and not my merit. "

Text: Christiane S. Schönemann


More about this topic can be found in the Happinez booklet "Destination" - available at the Happinez Webshop

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