Techniques for Understanding Your Dreams

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Title Your Dream

1. Title Give your dream a meaningful title.

2. Reflection How does this title reflect happenings in your life?

3. Contemplate Mull over the dream title for the rest of the day.

4. Understanding of Dream What do you think the dream might be telling you?

5. Action What steps do you want to take based upon the understanding you reached about the dream?


Dream: I stand in my living room as someone tries to open my front door. I am afraid. Someone looks in and sees that someone is there and then closes the door without ever showing his face. Then I see the door open from the garage to the kitchen. I still cannot move. A man walks in and looks around, ignoring me. I am afraid.

Title: Invasion of Me

How Title Reflects My Life: I m feeling invaded and ignored by my partner.

Insight from Contemplation: After mulling it over, I am struck by my not doing anything when I am being invaded and ignored. After all, someone has broken into my house (me?), and I’m just standing there!

Understanding of Dream: Maybe the dream is reflecting my relationship—but more importantly, that I’m not taking good care of myself.

Action: Maybe the first step is just to recognize what I feel and how I react in relation to my partner. I plan to write about the time yesterday when he and I got into it. Maybe I should consider getting some therapy; I don’t know.

Working with Key Words

1. Identify key words. Circle 3 to 5 key words in your dream that seem to evoke a special response. Pay attention to how you feel when reading the dream. You may feel sensations in your body or have a feeling to select a particular word. Don’t just select major symbols in the dream—look for words that evoke personal associations. You can also circle short phrases.

2. Write sentences using the key words. For each circled word, write sentences about how the word reflects your life. The sentences should be meaningful about you and should be about yourself, not the word. Write as many sentences as you can. When you have written the last sentence, write one more. This sentence is often the inspiration that will help you understand the dream.

3. Understanding the dream. Read over the sentences and ask yourself,“What seems to be going on here?” Write about this in your journal.

4. Act on the dream guidance. What action will you take based on your understanding of the dream?


Dream: John and I are driving to several places looking for food. People stop and talk to us, but all I want to do is get something to eat. Finally we come to a restaurant, and there is a big bowl of vegetables and some fruit. It feels real healthy. I like this and want to eat it. But John doesn’t. I decide to stay and eat the vegetables and fruit. John goes to look for food elsewhere.

Key Words: Food, Healthy, John goes


I need more emotional food in my life.

I seem to be searching endlessly to get nurtured (food) in my life.

I am not getting enough emotional food in my relationship with John.

Let’s face it, I am not getting my needs met, my emotional, physical, and spiritual food; not in this relationship with John and not in my life.

Gosh, there is a place where I can find “food.”

I have not been feeling physically healthy lately.

I have been thinking about modifying my diet towards eating more vegetables.

My relationship with John is not healthy.

I always eat junk when I’m upset about my relationship with John.

John goes
When I am honest with myself, John is always leaving me on physical and emotional levels.

John goes wherever he wants, without regard to my needs.

John goes and does things that hurt me.

I need to see John goes from me, it won't stop, & I have to get my needs met elsewhere.

Understanding the dream:
The dream appears to be telling me that my relationship with John is not a healthy one and that I need to get my emotional, physical, and spiritual nourishment elsewhere. The dream might also suggest a health problem—a problem that might be exacerbated by the problem relationship with John. If I keep looking for what is good and healthy for me, I will find it—even if that means that John and I won’t be together anymore.

I plan to talk about my relationship problem with my support group and write about my feelings in my journal. And I need to look at the possibility of ending my relationship with John. I might also get an appointment with my physician to check out my health—just in case.

Turning Your Dream Into Questions

Turn every happening, feeling and thought into a question. No matter how unintelligible the dream seems, you can get insight just by turning the dream symbols and actions into questions.

1. Turn Dream Process into Questions Start at the beginning of your dream and select a symbol, sentence, or section of the dream. Ask a question about this in relation to your life. Continue through the dream, turning the symbols, sentences, or sections into questions about your life.

2. Understanding of Dream What do you think the dream might be telling you?

3. Action What steps do you want to take based upon the understanding you reached about the dream?


Dream: I am in my car with two other people. We are going to take a big exam. But when we get to the parking lot, there is a security guard who won’t let us enter because he says we don’t have enough people with us in the car to get a parking space. We can see that there are plenty of spaces. I decide to enter a different way.

Are you currently involved with two other people? Going somewhere with two people?

Are you currently involved in a big life event, a big exam, a big test of yourself in some way; something you have to pass to get what you want?

Is somebody not letting you in to do something?

Is there someone or a group who is controlling your access to something?

Do you have people on your side but not enough to get what you want?

here another way to get what you want?

Understanding of Dream:
As I answered the questions, I thought my dream reflected action that I am taking against some powerful people. I don’t have enough people on my side. I am not successfully getting what I want from the powerful people.

I am going to get more people (with power) on my side. I also need to use different approaches/strategies than I am currently using.