What Are the Benefits of Dream Therapy?

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  • Written By: Geisha A. Legazpi
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2019
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For most people, dreams contain meaningful, intentional, and actual messages that are related to the events of their lives. There are also a number of accounts regarding scientific problems that have been resolved and literary works that have been developed as a result of a dream. Some research works, however, suggest that dreams are a reflection of the problems experienced by the dreamer in real life, and dream therapy is used to facilitate the emotional resolution of these problems. Other benefits of dream therapy include the perception of a person’s everyday needs, wishes, and desires, as well as the understanding of his or her imagination.

The occurrence of dreams during sleep has long been a controversial subject. Ancient Egyptians discussed and interpreted dreams, while ancient Greeks believed that they were messages from the gods. Greek scholars such as Hippocrates and Aristotle, however, believed that dreams reveal physiological information about forthcoming bodily disorders. These beliefs were eventually forgotten due to lack of scientific evidence. It was only in 1900 when Sigmund Freud, the initiator of psychoanalysis and the first to conduct a scientific analysis of the human unconscious mind, began the modern research on dreams.


Psychoanalysis consists of research into the human mind, and treatment of emotional or psychological disorders. The human mind is composed of the conscious part called the ego, the unconscious part called the id, and the conscience called the superego. There is a strong boundary among these three parts, separating the ego from disturbing thoughts in the id; the boundary, however, weakens during sleep, allowing disturbing thoughts from the id to reach the ego and inducing the superego to release warnings. These activities result in conflicts within a person and are usually manifested in his or her dreams.

The manifestations of conflicts in dreams can result in anxiety and depression, as the ego tries to maintain control by having an “agreement” with the other parts that may manifest as inhibitions that may cause abnormal behavior. In psychoanalysis, anxiety, depression, and abnormal behavior constitute the psychoneurotic symptoms. To treat these symptoms, patients should seek psychoanalytic treatment such as dream therapy. While dream content analysis involves the simple description and classification of objects in dreams, dream therapy incorporates the deep interpretation of symbolic representations in dreams.

During dream therapy, the patient reclines on a comfortable couch as the analyst is seated behind. The position of both the patient and the analyst allows the patient to concentrate on his or her thoughts without getting any distraction from the analyst. With the instruction of the analyst, the patient is allowed to say anything about his or her dreams while trying to recall painful memories or hidden desires. The analyst would then interpret the dreams and try to establish a connection between the dreams and the patient’s memories or desires.


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