Therapy of dreaming… sounds odd perhaps?
Well, Freud called dreaming ‘the royal road to the subconscious’
We forget dreams when we wake up, and there’s a reason for this, and that is to prevent us confusing them with reality.
I remember reading from a biography of Keith Richards about the fact that he used to keep by his bed a tape recorder to record guitar riffs that came to him in his dreams. The story is that the riff to satisfaction was recorded in one of these night sessions, and he had completely forgotten that he had written it until he listened back to it on the tape recorder.
It’s this idea of Christopher Bollas’s ‘unthought known’ a phrase he coined from Freud who reported a patient saying something ‘ to the effect that he had always known something but he had never thought of it.’
How many unthought knowns do you recognise in your own thinking? Those things on the edge of awareness or consciousness.
The science is therefore that dreams are the brain’s way of creating solutions to problems. That when we sleep, we process, much the same as we do in hypnosis.
The science supports this…
In dreams, if the smell of rotten eggs is sprayed into the nose of smokers directly after the smell of cigarettes, they will feel less of an urge to smoke.
PTSD sufferers have noticed a lessening of symptoms in the waking state after positive smells were introduced after trauma triggers during sleep.
So this is further evidence that memories are malleable, that they are changed as they are used, that they can be overridden.
And most importantly that they are interwoven with dreams and dream content.
A little science can serve to underpin the art of working with for example dream interpretation or dreaming in trance or the idea of the subconscious as a benevolent problem solver.
If we accept the principle of the subconscious or unconscious mind, then the therapy of dreaming must surely be worth a little more exploration?