One of the common applications of dream analysis in psychotherapy has been ‘dream analysis’ or ‘dream work’. Psychiatrists and psychologists are having evidence that dream analysis can help to determine if the individual has experienced a traumatic event during the early childhood period. A study was conducted by Mazzoni et al (1999) to determine if dream analysis could help in studying the mental state of the individual. They found that individuals, who have denied experiencing a traumatic event during early childhood, were more confident that such an event occurred following performance of dream analysis.
From primary experimentation with dream analysis, it is suggested that this could be utilized in clinical settings (Mazzoni. 1999, & Paul Brians, 1998). In the past, the clinical psychologists have tried to use dream analysis to varying extents. Sigmund Freud found that dream analysis could be an open access to the unconscious mind. Any traumatic event that is experienced in the past would be having an effect on the unconscious, and a thorough analysis of a dream could help to determine if the individual has experienced any traumatic event in the past.
Psychoanalysis is one of the techniques in psychiatry in which the unconscious mind is studied in order to diagnose the mental state and to treat any disorder, which may exist. Psychoanalysis has been understood by scientists throughout the world and is frequently utilized in various clinical settings. Psychiatrists feel that any emotion that lies repressed would be expressed in various manners in dreams. A link exists during sleep with the unconscious. As this link is open, the most traumatizing memories would surface up and be expressed in the form of dreams.
Some of the most common type of memories that are likely to be expressed during dreams includes those of sexual abuse, physical abuse, etc. Sigmund Freud compared dreams to the music made by an artist (the unconscious self) who awakens after another artist (the individual conscious self) sleeps. Sigmund Freud was even sure that dreams could provide an answer to several queries that existed about the individual. Dreams often meant a wish fulfillment or a fear fulfillment. It could even suggest a response, reaction, reflex or a reproduction of memory.
Every dream may not mean the same thing. Many people experience what is called as ‘anxiety dreams’. This often occurs due to the very content and nature of the dream. This may be similar to the anxiety that exists during a phobia. However, it is also important to differentiate the anxiety that exists from a phobia and a dream. For example, in a phobia, an individual may fear heights and not go near the edge of a terrace. However, in a dream the individual may find himself/herself near the edge of the terrace and experience anxiety.
The anxiety from both these situations are from different sources. Freud felt dream anxiety is more often related to neurotic anxiety, often arising from the urge of fulfilling sexual desires. Frequently, the sexual desires of the individuals get transformed and express itself as anxiety situations in a dream (Mazzoni. 1999, & Paul Brians, 1998). Dream analysis has various clinical applications. An individual may develop some kind of mal-adaptation to a traumatic event in life.
A psychiatrist may not even be able to understand the cause of the mental condition, as the individual would have developed certain mal-adaptations, false beliefs, etc, with the event. During the dream analysis, the participants provided the dream and the brief reaction following the dream. The psychologist could also work on the behaviors, feelings and the thoughts that developed following the dream. Many individuals experience dreams of what events have occurred in their lives.
For example, dreams of sexual attacks may actually suggest that the individual may have been sexually attacked in the past (Mazzoni. 1999, & Paul Brians, 1998). References: G. A. Mazzoni, P. Lombardo, S. Malvagia et al. “Dream Interpretation and False Beliefs. ” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 30. 1 (1999): 45-50. http://faculty. washington. edu/eloftus/Articles/mazz. htm Paul Brians. Reading About the World, Volume 2, Third edition, Harcourt Brace College Publishing, 1998.