Monday, June 1, 2009

5 Reasons to Practice Dream Interpretation: Reason 2

The International Association For The Study of Dreams is holding it's annual conference in Chicago (June, 2009). For details click the link below:

It is here that many scientists, researchers, and clinicians will share their knowledge on what dreams mean and how they can be useful in waking life. One of the main reasons for this work is to reveal coping mechanisms to waking day problems. During sleep time the brain undergoes complex neurophysiological functioning that sorts, stores, and creates new information. It is during dreaming that this new information can be accessed. We have many examples where solutions to problems are revealed (e.g. how to deal with a difficult child, or, work-related issues causing distress are solved) Examples of coping mechanisms in dream imagery are quite numerous.

The coping literature in psychology has suggested that there are 3 basic coping techniques; avoidance coping, emotion coping and problem-solving coping (Endler, 1998). If we begin with this premise, we will see that the dreaming brain will reveal to the dreamer two important aspects of coping. The first is the coping mechanism that is being employed in waking day, such as crying or yelling at others in a dream (emotion coping!). The second is a solution to a problem with a new coping pattern, such as working out an interpersonal problem in the dream, rather than crying or yelling.

Dreams can offer a rich source of information for coping with everyday problems. An interesting study would be to measure participants` coping techniques in waking day and then analyzing their dreams for possible coping techniques and solutions. This would help tap into the important phenomena of using dreams for coping.


  1. Currently my family and I are going through a very distressing time of our life, due to severe health issues of a close relative. The problems we have to face, and the distress we have to cope with, change their shape nearly from day to day.
    An interesting side of this experience is that I can ascertain how dreams reveal not only the attitude of a single dreamer in front of a problem, but even attitudes and problem solving styles of other persons in the family so much as of the whole family itself.
    In order to protect the privacy of other persons involved I cannot provide examples right now. I would just focus on the fact that these dreams are useful in advance, because they often reveal the limits of a chosen solution, so that one can bring about the necessary corrections to the course. Teresa, you have chosen a right and proper name for you book!

  2. Ho problemi di connessione ad internet e solo saltuariamente posso intervenire .
    Quando li avrò risolti , scriverò senz’altro.
    Sono senz’altro d’accordo con Massimo : il sogno può aiutarci a correggere la direzione delle nostre azioni quotidiane . Dobbiamo “solo” capire il “codice”che il sogno usa per farci presente parti del quotidiano che noi lasciavamo sullo sfondo .
    Forza Massimo ! Siamo con te!

  3. Coping with health problems, personally or with others, is certainly one of the most distressing of life's situations. It is true, as Massimo points out, that our deep connection to our own consciousness is what will guide us. Dreams are one form of conscious awareness that can connect us to our own decisions, to our coping mechanisms, and can make us aware of the people around us. In emotionally charged situations we are often consumed by our own thoughts and feelings so we are unable to connect fully with the people around us. Dream time is a time where we connect to people and events, larger than ourselves.

    Massimo, I hope your dreams will act as a guide to you and to everyone around you who may be in need of peace at this time. We are all thinking of you.....