Existential Dream Analysis

I will illustrate the dream analysis process by examining the content of one of my dreams.  The model I am using comes from Existential Psychotherapy and the Interpretation of Dreams by Clark Moustakas, 1994,  p. 130-131.

Steps in analyzing dreams.

  1. Record the dream thoroughly
  2. Associate the dream to everything you can (using Intuition, of course!)
  3. Look for horizons or themes (using Intuition, of course!  Remember you will just Know it.)
  4. Explicate  (has this dream manifested itself in waking moments?)
  5. Develop an internal frame of reference.  How does this dream reflect one's world view.
  6. Make a Plan of action.

Record the dream [top]

I dreamt I was in a high school.  There was a long hallway (very long, stretching past where I could see) with polished black and brown checkered floors with rows of lockers all the way down.  I knew there were three adolescent males in a hallway that I wanted to talk too.  They avoided me and the only was I could see them was to look into one of those convex mirror around the corner of a hallway.  In the mirror they stood in a defiant posed with their arms crossed.

Associate and a bit of explication (hey, this isn't all linear ya know!) [top]

The fact that it was in a school would be a reflection of the fact that I was in school.  The hallway was so long because I would always be in school.  The black and brown highly polished floors I associate to my fascination with polarities.  The three adolescents I feel are representations of three clients who I see in my practicum.  I believe the fact that they are hard to talk to directly is representative of the difficulty I have reaching them in therapy.  The mirror I associate to seeing them as a reflection of myself as a teenager and not as they truly are.

Horizons [top]

Learning through the passing of polarities
Learning about my own adolescent process in order to see my clients as they truly are, rather than as a reflection of myself.
Defiance within myself in connecting with these adolescent issues.

Existential a priori[top]

Life is a learning process which involves resolving polarities to better be present for clients.

Plan of action [top]

Take a good look at what polarities need to be resolved.