Trying to understand your dreams?
Have you recently had a dream that is causing you confusion? Did you dream about a friend, family member or love interest? Are you having the dreams, over and over, and aren’t sure what they mean?
If the answer is yes, you wouldn’t be alone. As a therapist in Chicago who works with clients around dream material, I can tell you this is a topic that comes up frequently in counseling.
Many people believe dreams are conduits to the subconscious. Others think they are nothing more than the residue of the day, manifested through the sleeping state.
Personally, I believe what you see in your dreams holds great meaning. This is particularly true if you are going through a difficult period, such as the loss of a loved one or stressful life transition.
Related: Dreams about a crush – decoded
But here is the thing – dreams can’t be taken literally. Instead, they should be viewed through the lens of symbolism. Adopting this mindset can help you to more clearly “see” what the material is all about, contextualized by events that have happened in your life.
My own theoretical approach to dream analysis is integrative, drawing upon tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy and infused with Jungian teachings.
What Your Dreams May Mean
A lot of people are curious about what their dreams represent. Because I don’t know your personal situation, I can only speak to possible themes that are common in dream analysis.
- Unfinished business from the past
- A desire for change
- Hidden emotions that are buried deep inside your mind
- Anxiety and fears
- Job and career worries
- Sexual desires
- Grief and loss
- Problems with self-esteem
- Desires and wishes
- Relapse fears around addiction
What happens in dream therapy?
You probably are wondering what exactly happens in dream therapy? The answer is not as complicated as you might think. First, it is important to know that dream analysis is part of a comprehensive approach to counseling and isn’t a stand-alone therapy on its own.
In other words, the material you share from your dreams is discussed in the context of other happening in your life – or have happened (meaning your past).
As you share with me the content of your dreams, I will listen intently. Occasionally, I’ll ask you some questions as a way of sparking insight.
As part of the dynamic, I may employ aspects of image rehearsal therapy (IRT). That’s a $10.00 term used to describe a cognitive behavioral therapy technique used to reframe your mind’s narrative.
Homework is often given as part of the work. This may mean keeping a dream journal and revisiting themes as a way of uncovering their meaning.
How can dream therapy benefit me?
One of the main pluses of dream therapy is how it can promote balance between your conscious and subconscious mind. Think of this as a kind of bridge between the two worlds.
What is your background?
I received my Ph.D. in Psychology from Northcentral University. I’m a licensed psychotherapist in the State of Illinois and a Board-Certified Hypnotherapist through the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (NBCCH).
I teach graduate and undergraduate college courses in human behavior and psychology with a specific emphasis on dreams.
Finally, I’ve studied and written about dreams, including their symbols, for the better part of 20-years. For reasons that I am not fully aware, I’ve gravitated towards this field of study. In short, peoples dreams fascinate me.
You can learn more about my background here.
Do you use hypnotherapy in dream therapy?
The simple answer is no. That said, we may employ aspects of hypnotherapy, such as guided imagery, as part of the counseling process.
How therapy happens will largely depend on your unique situation. I customized my approach based on where you are at and your specific needs.
You can learn more about hypnotherapy on this page.
What are your fees for therapy?
Please visit my fees page to learn more.
How can I learn more?
If you are curious about how dream analysis as part of general talk-therapy may benefit you, feel free to give me a call at 773.704.5300. You can also send me a confidential note here.