Research Paper on Dreams

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Dream Interpretation:
How it Can Lead to a Happier and Healthier Life.
Everyone in the world has had at least one dream in their lifetime. Most people do not think much about the dreams that they have, unless they are recurring. Dreaming is “a series of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during REM sleep.” Most people today wake up from a dream or nightmare saying, “thank god that was a dream,” or “too bad that was just a dream.” Many times these dreams or nightmares have more meaning than we may think. If people took more time to consider the meaning behind the dreams they have, then dream interpretation could be used as a means to help resolve issues in our awaken lives, including helping to treat many psychiatric disorders, phobias, and more, therefore helping people to lead happier and healthier life’s. This paper reviews the theories of dreams of probably the two most important and influential people in the study of dream interpretation, and then discusses another psychiatrist’s own point of view on dreaming that he composed with extensive research on both Freud and Jung’s theories. Although these three theories differ, they all back up the same idea that understanding our dreams can help us to understand ourselves, and live a much happier and fulfilled life. Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in the Czech Republic, and had a specialized degree in psychiatry. He had many works in his life, but in 1896 he came up with the study of the mental (as opposed to physical) causes of mental disorders, which he named “psychoanalysis.” Freud was known as “the father of psychoanalysis.” (1) In 1899 he wrote his most famous work, The Interpretation of Dreams, and switched his main focus to analyzing dreams. Sigmund Freud was very aware of the importance of our dreams, and always referred to them as a “royal road” to interpreting the unconscious state of mind. He considered dreams to be a window into our unconscious, where our fears, desires and emotions that we may be repressing while we are awake, are brought to the surface through dreams. He thought of dreams as a sort of “wish fulfillment,” where the good dreams we have are representative of something we want to happen, and the negative ones (nightmares) are showing us what we do not want to happen. Freud broke dreams up into two different types of content; manifest and latent, manifest being the literal dreams that we have, and latent meaning what the dream images and symbols represent. He thought of the latent content more and considered it much more important. He reputed that dreams were expressed as a way to resolve a conflict, sometimes from a recent event and sometimes from something that the person has been repressing from their past. Freud resulted that often times our conscious mind tries to deny the messages of our dreams by repressing them. Like those times that you know you had a dream but just cannot seem to remember what it was about. Often time dreams are illustrations of an encounter or secret that we would rather keep hidden. Someone who has been abused in their childhood may have repressed this knowledge or someone who faced a traumatic loss or event may have pushed this deep down inside them, and they may have dreams that are trying to push this information forward so that they can process it. Recurring dreams frequently occur with people who have faced a traumatic incident or incidents. If the subject of dreams was more widely known about people could use their dreams as a way to figure out the root of a serious psychiatric disorder. Freud’s main technique for evaluating dreams was “free association.” With this technique the dreamer can learn to analyze their own dreams. When using this technique, it is not important to focus on the actual content of the dream, but the emotions that come up when recalling this dream. Each emotion that comes up needs to be considered, this is a time to get out basically anything that...
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