By Gillian Holloway
Dreams say what they mean, but they don’t say it in daytime language.
I think all of us have wondered about our dreams and their meanings Some dreams are easily deciphered but others leave us puzzled. Throughout my adult life, I’ve tried to journal my dreams but have never been able to keep up the practice for very long. I’m back at it now and went in search of a book that could help give insight into at least the psychological part of the conundrum. And although not everyone remembers their dreams, all healthy humans (who are not taking some drug that interferes in some way), dream every night.
Author Gillian Holloway, Ph.D., has been working with dreams for decades. Having collected over 28,000 modern dreams and their analyses, she has produced a guide for the modern introspective person looking to learn and grow by observing their dreams.
As many of us recognize, dreams have their own language and becoming familiar with the language allows a deep, penetrating awareness of what’s going on in the submerged iceberg-sized layer of our subconscious. But so does having a basic understanding about how dreams operate in general.
There are life stage dreams- so that teenagers or elders are prone to certain kinds of dreams. Similarly, certain personality types also are more likely to experience certain sorts or categories of dreams. Men and women have different dream themes and settings for dreams. Your choice of profession will also influence your dreamscape. Dreams are largely symbolic and not to be taken literally. This is especially true of death. Death is usually about endings, not actual physical death. Dreams are often overly graphic and disturbing so that they get our attention. Giving them that attention tends to diffuse them. In the same way, recurring dreams shout out for further exploration. But beware-dreaming of a high-school lost love does not mean you should look him up on Facebook!
Some of the many areas explored in the book can be seen by quickly perusing the chapter headings.
Ch 1: The Dream You Can’t Forget
Ch 2: Recurring Elements in Your Dreams
Ch 3: Sex, Romance, Relationships
Ch4: Understanding the Characters in Dreams
Ch5: Dream Symbols
Ch6: Human Body
Ch7: Home & Other Dwellings
Ch 8: Cars
Ch9: Travel: (Planes, Boats, Trains)
Ch10: Water and Other Dream Settings
Ch 11: Animals
Ch13: Psychic Dreams
The book is well-written and easy to understand. Many sections are fascinating. For me, the book brought back memories of long forgotten dreams, as well as moments when I felt I’d never had a certain kind of “commonly” reported dream. I think everyone could benefit from reading the book. It could also spark some lively conversation if you start to ask others about their dream world.
Dreams are an experience we all have. We can choose to become conscious of them and use them as tools or we can ignore them. It’s a life choice we make. In counseling clients, the author has found that dream analysis is where she has seen the fastest and most effective results therapeutically.