Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What we know so far........

After studying some of the scientific literature on dreams, we know how dreams relate to waking life based on comparisons to normative data. That is, a sample of dreams are compared to a large sample of "norms". Research has linked specific dream imagery to waking life circumstances. For example, we know that the dreams of people will a specific illness differ from people without that illness. Research has also examined dream meaning and has found valuable and useful techniques for clinical practice. Dream therapy has become a mainstream tool for both therapist-guided and self-guided therapies. Knowing what you know now about dreams, dream research, and dream therapy, how has this changed your paradigm of the science of dreaming and consciousness (if it has at all!)?

49 comments:

  1. There has been a definite shift for me in terms of how I look at dream interpretation and it's influence on therapeutic practices. Before this class began, I was of the mind set that dream imagery could serve as a communication tool for the dreamer and those who have past on. This is owing to my mother who since I was young was convinced that she could communicate with her family and friends through dreams.

    What I understand now is that the images that my mother is seeing are more than likely her interpretation of what her family and friends would say to help her with life struggles. In this way, my mother is using self-therapy through those who have past to help her.

    The link to dreams and mental/physical illness has helped me better understand the link between the body and the mind. This was a profound discovery for me, as I have always experienced nightmares and strange dream imagery. To be given the tools to look at the types of dreams that I have had, I am able to better understand and relate those images to myself. What this knowledge had demonstrated is that in a therapeutic setting, these tools can help others realize the same things.

    In chapter 12 of The Giant Compass, consciousness and self awareness was talked about as something that can be achieved through dream interpretation. Aside from mental and physical illness, being self-awareness is something that all individuals should attempt to achieve.

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  2. At the beginning of this course, I was very skeptical about dream interpretation. I wasn’t sure how studies could be conducted on dreaming, and I really didn’t think that the studies could be ‘scientific’ because I hadn’t heard of any valid or reliable measures of dreaming. It wasn’t until I actually tried a few of the dream interpretation techniques that I actually believed how useful they could be. Now that I’ve read research articles about different aspects of dreams, dreaming, and dream therapy, I realize that it can be studied in a scientific manner, and that studying dreams allows us to have a better understanding of the practical uses for dream interpretation.

    I would say that I am no longer skeptical about dream interpretation, especially in empirical research. I still read research articles critically, however now I am more open to try to understand the subject matter even more, rather than simply dismissing it right away as I used to.

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    1. It was something I thought only needed science in order to be credible, but there is really science involved with the theories like continuity theory, and TSM methods. These are definitely useful tools in dream interpretation.
      This made me become aware too of how quickly I can be to judge something before I really understand it.

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  3. I have always had a fascination with dreams and once bought a "dream dictionary" to try to make sense of my various dream imagery.
    I was not aware of how dreams had been studied historically and scientifically or the vast amount of research that has been conducted on dream interpretation. I have often wanted to be a part of a study on dreams where I could enter a sleep lab and have someone help to interpret my dreams.
    Before taking this course I had sometimes tried to interpret my dreams, and was seldom able to make a connection between my dreams and the events of my waking day. Since taking this course and learning about the history behind the study of dreams, I am further fascinated.
    Through dream interpretation using TSM and The 2A Method, as well as practicing MDR, I am now able to make sense of my own dreams and how they apply to my waking life. I would still love to be part of a study in dream interpretation, especially if it would add to empirical data in support of dream research and the use of dream interpretation in clinical practice.
    I am not sure that my paradigm has changed at all, because I still believe in the study of dreaming and conciousness, maybe even more so now...
    What has changed is my knowledge of how valuable dream therapy can be to patients suffering from physical and mental illneses in clinical practice. More people need to be made aware of these valuable therapy options which could improve their health and well-being.
    Knowing what I know now about dreams, dream research and dream therapy I want to share my knowledge with others!

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  4. After reading the texts, I realized that dreams are taking more seriously than I thought at the beginning of the course. I took the course mainly to interpret my own dreams, but I was not aware of how long people have been studying dreams and the dream world.

    Regarding dreams in general, I would have never guessed that dreams could alert someone that they were physically ill. This not only shocked me, but made me aware of how beneficial it is to interpret our dreams. Dreams can be used to help soldiers and cancer patients through recovery. This statement would have never crossed my mind. I believed that dreams were a connection of our personalities and behaviours, but I did not know that dreams were that connected.

    Dream research has come so far since Freud. I found it quite a stretch to think of something like a suitcase to be a sexual object, and I am glad most other theorists took a different route. The number of researchers talked about in the Van de Castle text was outstanding.

    The DeCicco text showed me just how many ways there are to interpret dreams. At the beginning of this class, I believed that we would just be writing our dreams in a journal and interpreting them from there. I found the Storytelling Method helpful in interpreting dreams, and have shared my knowledge from the texts about dreams to my family and friends. I also encourage my family to interpret their dreams with the template from the DeCicco book.

    Overall, I believe that everyone should try to interpret their dreams. It doesn't take long with the TSM, and it is incredibly beneficial to the mental and physical state of the dreamer.

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    1. I too did not realize how long dream research had been used until I started putting together how Freud used dreams, for example. It is definitely something that needs to be brought to more light with clinical practice as it is proven to lead to meaningful discoveries. It is the patient telling the clinician what is meaningful to them and not the clinician telling the patient what the problem could be.

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    2. Lindsay and Logan,
      I agree with both of you. I also didn't realize how dreams had been discussed in other cultures and how they had been researched for a long time. I blame my skepticism for stopping me from looking into dream research sooner. I too had a dream dictionary, which seemed really 'fluffy' to me (made up, not scientific, etc.). I figured that if this type of literature was published about dreams, then how could they be studied scientifically at all? Now I realize that the Projective Method took years to develop, and went through various changes until it was researched and associated with discovery. I'm starting to wish I wasn't such a skeptical person!

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  5. When I first blogged about science and dreaming, I believed that pairing a science factor with dream research would just be useful to make it more credible. But after readings and personal research, you need the science in order to test theories and methods like TSM, and MDR. These methods are crucial in order to find the dream discovery and waking day interpretations. I learned from TSM that what you dream does not have to directly relate to waking life. There are many interpretations to the dreamer that would cause a discovery.
    Therefore, I believe dream research to be a key feature in the scientific realm, as it can be useful for even clinical settings too.
    Also another reason why you need science, is because of theories like the continuity theory which says that what you think, feel, etc during waking day, will transfer over to dreaming states.

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  6. I have always considered dream imagery to be a link to one's mental health, thoughts, feelings, one's subconscious and the manifestation of waking day experiences. I did not previously know the depth, quantity and quality of dream research and data, nor that normative data sets existed in such a specific manner.
    Though I believe dream therapy is a useful tool in discovery, it should also be used in conjunction with other therapies, and discovery should be considered in context.
    -Charlotte Marcotte

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  7. I have found what I have learned so far about dreams and dream therapy through this course and other psychology courses, quite interesting. One of the research papers I considered when writing my research paper looked at common beliefs of University students in regards to their dream imagery. That is, do people think dreams are relevant and a continuation of everyday life or are they just random thoughts. I found this interesting because I don’t remember a lot of my dreams and the ones I do remember are always quite random and I rarely find my dreams relate to my waking life. However, after taking this course and considering how my dreams can be interpreted to lead to discovery I have an entirely different view on my dream imagery and how it connects to my waking life.

    Furthermore, in relation to clinical practise it is interesting to learn that comparisons can be made to normative data that links specific dream imagery to particular waking life circumstances such as certain health issues. The previous post talked about how she was not aware of the extensive research that has been done on dreams. And to me, as well, I found this overwhelming amount of literature and dream information interesting. This new information has definitely inspired me to change my beliefs about the dreams I experience and learn to relate them to my waking life and benefit from what my dreams tell me.

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  8. Originally I was very skeptical of the field of dream research. In one of my original posts on this blog site I actually stated that I doubted dreams would differ in any real objective way from one illness to the next (although I did believe illnesses had a significant impact on dreams). I think this course has opened my eyes to the importance of having an open mind about all subject areas as long as research in the area is conducted in a real and scientific way. It is clear from the research I have read in regards to dreams that dream science can be studied in a scientific way and that the benefits of dream therapy and the like are real, repeatable and objectively scientific.

    I think that for future students of my ilk the fastest way to build interest in the field is to present the studies that clearly outline the benefits of dream therapy to human kind as this is what made me really realize that this is an important science (especially because I believe a lot current psychological research misses the point of the science, which should be to benefit the masses). Regardless of whether or not we perfectly understand a phenomenon, the fact that our knowledge can be applied and can be a positive influence on human lives remains the end goal of all psychological research in my opinion and in this regard dream science has proven its necessity.

    Evan Mitchell

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  9. I was skeptical because I was unaware of the science behind it. Since it isn't covered in many psychology text books or talked about as a credible part of psychology by many people, I didn't believe it could be as therapeutic for people as I have learned it can be. It seems that dream therapy can be very helpful in patient's recoveries from cancer patients to patients with mental disorders. I wasn't aware of all the theories involved with dream psychology such as the Continuity Theory, which I realized I find very interesting and wish I had discovered the psychology of dreaming sooner.

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  10. Idon't think that when people grow up, they will become morebroad-minded and can accept everything. Conversely, I think it's aselecting process, knowing what's the most important and what's theleast. And then be a simple man. nike free udsalg

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  11. As with many others, I was very skeptical about dream "science" before taking this course. I didn't believe dreams and the dreaming process could be objectively and scientifically studied, however my opinions have somewhat changed. I now see from reading empirical research that dreams do indeed relate to waking life, and they can be studied using various proven methods. I found it interesting that there are different methods of dream interpretation, each digging deeper into the meaning than the previous method. I now know that dreams are related to one's health, well-being, and everyday functioning. I find it very interesting that those with mental illness display certain kinds of dream imagery. I still, however, struggle with the notion that dreams can be used to diagnose mental disorder. The idea here is that depressed people have different dream imagery than non-depressed people. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I don't understand how you can differentiate those with mental disorders from those without. How can one prove that depressed people have dream imagery that a "normal" person could NEVER have? And how do you know a "normal" person has never had this kind of imagery? This is something I still struggle with.

    I now realize that dreams are very useful in clinical settings, for example in couples therapy. I found it interesting that a therapist can guide couples through dream interpretation on their sexual dreams to discover any issues in their relationship, and make the proper adjustments to their daily lives. I think that this is very beneficial, because it gives the couples an active role in the therapy, rather than just a therapist listening to their issues.

    Overall, I do believe dream science has a long way to go until it is fully appreciated and understood by the general public, as people are generally resistant to change. I think once the public is informed that dream dictionaries are pretty well useless, and that validated methods must be used, there will be a paradigm shift.

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  12. Megan MacDougallJune 14, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    My concept of the science of dreaming and consciousness prior to taking this class was very limited. I was completely unaware of how much can be discovered from dreams for instance, learning about an illness your body has through dreams before noticing the symptoms in waking day life. I know have a greater appreciation for the study of dreams because I have learnt that there is a significant amount of science involved. I have taken the Sleep and Arousal class offered at Trent previously and we only touched upon the topic of dreams for one lecture and there was no mention of how much discovery can be made from dream analysis. Therefore I am glad to have taken this Dreams and Dreaming class because I have learnt so much in regards to interpreting dreams and discovering a whole new appreciation for the science of dream research.

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  13. I agree with Megan McDougall that, “my concept of the science of dreaming and consciousness prior to taking this class was very limited.” I also agree with Lauren Ostrowski, “As with many others, I was very skeptical about dream "science" before taking this course. I didn't believe dreams and the dreaming process could be objectively and scientifically studied.” I find that that looking into dream research it definitely changed my paradigm of the science of dreaming and consciousness. Before enrolling in this course I had not realized how significant and life changing it can be to look into your dreams. Dream research has shown me how there is a mind-body connection and how the brain is still active during sleep even though many people think this is a time where the mind shuts down and stops working. Dream research has made me realize that dreams are a time to find out problems ongoing in your life, problems you may not have even been aware of through the subconscious mind coming out in your dreams. Dream research has proven to me that dreams do mean something and that each dream is significant to the dreamer themselves portraying real waking day life situation, giving clues on areas that need to be resolved in your life and giving you a direction in life to take. Research into the dreaming mind demonstrates how we can use our dreams to resolve nightmares, for personal growth and illumination, for wishful fulfillments, to see if you have a disorder or a possible sickness and many more interesting and significant life changing waking day connections. Overall dream research has shown me that dreams represent a connection with our own true deeper nature and that through interpretation and discovery it may provide answers to many of our religious, personal, cultural and relationship challenges.
    Throughout having the experience to do dream therapy I have found how influential it can be. In the course we researched a variety of different dream interpretation methods each one digging into a deeper meaning of dream discovery. Dream interpretation methods demonstrate how we can find discovery into our waking day life dreams and how it can better your overall life. Dreams represent many things and to get a true understanding of what your dream means to you dream interpretation can help. As stated throughout research and text the storytelling method (80% discovery success) is the best method to use for beginners. However to find deeper meanings into your dream you can do so through using more difficult dream interpretation methods like, meditative dream re-entry (MDR) method. Dream interpretation is good because it is something that is easy to use and everyone can do it and everyone can find discovery (most of the time). Dream interpretation in my life has shown me many conflicting issues I had in my life that I was not even aware of. For only taking this course for a short time I have learned so much about myself and learned about things I need to resolve in my waking day life. Dream interpretation has truly made me a better person through discovering negative elements about myself that I needed to resolve. Without taking this course and doing dream interpretation I never would have recognized what my dreams were telling me and the connections they had to my waking day life. Without this realization for myself I may have lost my lifelong partner as well as made myself distant from many important people in my life. I am thankful for opening myself up to this course, for researching dream research and for doing dream interpretations throughout the class.
    The class truly changed my paradigm on dreams, the research behind discovery in dreams and how powerful your consciousness can be in your life. Most important the class changed my paradigms on dreams for me, in the realization that dreams provide us with a ‘direct link’ to the unconscious allowing a much larger perspective for us about our lives than our physical senses, bringing about self exploration and discoveries.
    ~~Abby Ross

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  14. Much of my skepticism still remains after taking the course, though some literature does seem interesting now.

    Specifically, after talking with other professors and professionals about the idea of prodromal dreams, there seems to be some potential there for further research. The idea that the human body is subconsciously aware of new illnesses before symptoms arise seemed silly at first but now it doesn't seem so far off.

    As another professor noted to me, there have been dogs trained to smell cancer in humans before symptoms appear. Believing that the human body might also be able to detect this wouldn't be so unreasonable.

    However, I personally remain skeptical about dream interpretation research. I am confused by the fact that so much research aims to "link dream imagery to waking life" because it is already assumed in mainstream dream understanding that dream imagery comes from memory anyway.

    Also, I find the concept of discovery somewhat troubling. I think that the initial intention of dream interpretation is to understand what your dreams and all that they represent are telling you. But when I see how these different methods work, I can't help but feel like dream interpretation is simply the person superimposing their own troubles onto dreams that act as blank slates. I mean that it feels as though we're not interpreting dreams but rather simply venting our current thoughts, subconscious or otherwise.

    This would still explain why dream therapy has some success rates. Although, if what I said above is true, it would seem that dream therapy is really more of a placebo to get people talking rather than an actual analysis of dreams. I'm still reconciling these ideas though, and needless to say, the course has given me much to think about!

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  15. The course brought to my attention how I can so easily be apprehensive about certain topics and their credibility.

    For instance, I wasn't sure I would make much out of our dream interpretation labs but I made many discoveries. After our first lab I was particularly keen to try another because I felt I made gains where prior to the course I couldn't make sense of my dream.

    I also think that after looking at articles for our research paper it helped solidify my belief for dream research because the procedures taken were so scientific in nature and not at all just made up or luck/chance. An example would be the continuity hypothesis or the connection between dream imagery and one's health.

    I think I will continue to use these techniques outlined in Professor DeCicco's The Giant Compass because they have helped me personally with my dreams.

    It has also become an area of psychology I find myself much more interested in prior to beginning this course.

    -Samantha Lewer

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  16. The research I've read along with the course material have helped me to understand the science and statistics that go into the study of dreaming. I previously knew very little about the study of dreams and this course certainly allowed me to see the quantification of dreams. However, I do not believe that the interpretation methods themselves changed my view of dreams at all. Perhaps this is because I already put much thought into my dreams and so the methods I learned here only reiterated what I had taught myself. I have always believed that dreams are important indicators of a persons health and what I have learned in the past weeks supports this. Though I do continue to believe that some dreams hold no more meaning for the dreamer other than "perhaps you should abstain from gorging yourself on treats before bed next time."

    Alya Al-Joundi

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  17. Morgan Gail Stykel (0388819)June 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Knowing what I know about dreams now has changed my paradigm of the science of dreaming and consciousness. Before taking this course I was very skeptical about dreams, and thought people made up a lot of what they claimed to be dream re-call. Now, however, I believe that people do in fact remember their dreams and it is possible to teach yourself to have dream recall. Furthermore, I learned that dream imagery is very informative into one’s life. I can interpret my dreams in order to help me decide between tough decisions (such as if I should apply to medical or law school after I graduate). I can also use my dreams to understand my health and how treatment is working. I now believe that, if taken seriously by people, dream research can be very useful in today’s society.
    My favorite dream interpretation was the projective method. I found it very insightful. The research project allowed me to recognize how my empirical research concerns itself with dreams; I was surprised to find a number of articles which support the use of dream therapy.

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  18. In a number of ways this course has changed some of my previous conceptions about how useful dreams would be in the clinical world. It's interesting to see how dreams can show someone about not only how healthy they are but also if a treatment is working on the patient as well. Seeing how much dreams has changed from beginning ideas about it being about demons and god, to being just about sexuality to the more modern understanding that we have about it now with better reliability and validity makes me look forward to seeing further research in the field later.

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  19. Christine McAteerJune 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    This course and the research I have read has helped me understand the more complex meanings that can be involved in our dreams. It has changed the way i see my dreams and go about thinking of them. I used to take them in the most literal sense, if I had a dream where i was running from the cops i would assume it was just a crazy dream that had to do with a tv show i watched where they were running from the cops. I have learnt that there can and for the most part is valuable meanings to our dreams and they can help us in understand situations and problems we are facing in our lives.
    I think I am going to start looking at my dreams with more of a scientific approach now. If I have a strange dream that is bugging me or I am feeling overwhemled in life I can use my dreams to help me determine what it might be about and how to go about dealing with the situation.
    I can see this field of research becoming very popular in the near future especially with this new tv show awake.

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  20. Steffanie PorterJune 14, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    It has always been obvious to me that my dreams related to my waking day actions, thoughts and emotions. I have been able to see the imagery and understand its association to my waking day life. My dreams are generally very literal and replay my waking day life with slight variations, so I can easily compare the details and analyze them for meaning. I did not know that this was a science necessarily, and I think that most people don't realize that there is a science to dreaming because it seems so conversational.

    This course has given me information on how therapists help those who cannot decipher their dreams so easily, especially those with a special situation (i.e. physical and mental illness, those who survived a traumatic event like soldiers).

    I did not know that there were so many techniques that can help someone gain insight. I also did not know that dreams can indicate health issues or signs of recovery. That was my favourite factoid of the course!

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  21. I look at dreaming more as an important aspect of life instead of ignoring my dreams. I started to realize that dreams tell of a story which you are in, listening to your dreams can guide you through life with little doubt, but when disagreeing or ignoring your dreams can lead to some hard times. I now realize that dreams are something more than a fantasy your brain has during sleep, but more of a push towards what you really want in life. This course has really altered my opinion of dreams and how they can be used within counciling. i find myself more positive towards dreams than i was.

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  22. Prior to the start of this course, I did not know that there were any scientifically tested methods of dream analysis. As someone who never really remembers my dreams, I had always thought that dreams did not have any real or applicable meanings. Like others have said, I too didn’t realize how seriously dreams were being taken. I have taken courses where I have learned about what the brain is doing during sleep and why, but I had never thought beyond that. After everything that has been discussed in this course, I now believe that dreaming is more than just activity in the sleeping brain. Learning about and actually testing out the scientific methods of dream interpretation on my own dreams has made me understand that dreams are very much applicable to one’s waking life. While I have been able to get some sort of discovery on the dreams that were used on each of the interpretation methods, I still have a lot of mundane and seemingly unimportant dreams that I cannot seem to get meaning from. Because of this, I find myself still being a little bit skeptical of everything that dream interpretation is said to be able to tell about one’s life. However, this course has definitely made me reconsider my views of the importance of dreams.

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  23. How dreams, dream research and dream therapy has changed my paradigm of science of dreaming and consciousness in the amount of scientific data and support there is for dreams. Some on the relationships or concepts about dreaming and consciousness I knew a bit before starting the class. However, what this class made me realize was how much scientific methods and evidence there is to show this relationship in certain things between dreaming and waking life. Scientific method such as the TSM and the 2a method shows a literal breakdown for me in the interpretation of dreams. This was exciting to learn, and I discovered more meanings in my dreams and how they relate to my waking life with these scientific methods. This course has changed my paradigm in relation to the science of dreaming and consciousness in mediation I did not know meditation has an effect or relationship with dreaming. This class has opened my eyes to the mediation and the benefits s as well. I also learned about other theories and different ways of looking at dream and dream interpretation this shifted my paradigm as well.

    Erin Hillier

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  24. The information and research that I have read regarding the topic of dreams and dreaming have opened my eyes to many new things, specifically the meaning that is derived from our own dreams. Up until the beginning of this class I had no idea how much we can learn from our own dreams. The emotions and realizations that I gained from this experience really made me aware that such a little thing like a dream really isn't such a little thing at all.
    The ways in which therapists can now use dream therapy as a method for not only diagnosis but treatment as well for many different things is amazing. This (relatively) new form of therapy is beneficial for many people and is something that can simply be done in your own home at your own pace.
    After learning the different methods of dream therapy, I now know that the images and scenes within my dreams are very important. In the future and as I have done in the last few weeks paying attention to my dreams more closely will be a priority for me. With the discovery and insight that I gained from the techniques used in this class I learned a lot about myself and the people around me.

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  25. I feel that I am less skeptical now, but still not fully on the dream discovery band wagon if you know what I mean. I feel that, scientifically, you can support the idea that dreams for people with mental illness or disease are different from those who are healthy controls; however, I still dont feel convinced that dream discovery through methods such as TSM or MDR is a science in itself. It is highly personalized, subjective, and has no meaning to anyone but the individual. It may be useful and helpful on some level, but that doesn't make it science.

    For example, TSM uses word association to make a story and then asks if that story has any meaning for you. Well I hope it does, because I chose the words and then I wrote the story using the same brain that came up with the dream. If it didn't have meaning I'd be more curious as to why. I'm not saying its not helpful for some people. But it doesn't prove that there's hidden meaning behind every dream. I don't need a technique to tell me I dream about plane crashes because I'm terrified of planes. That just makes sense. Or that I had a nightmare because I watched a scary movie before bed. I guess i'm just still not fully convinced that dreams are anything more than the brain's reaction to and/or replaying of life experiences or events.

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  26. I now understand and believe a lot more about dreaming then previously believed. I always thought that dreaming had parts of our waking day experiences incorporated within them, however, I did not know that dreams were so deep and full of our emotions and feelings. After trying the dream techniques and researching them I have realized that they actually do work with helping to understand waking day discoveries. I am now less skeptical of dreaming therapy. I believe now that dream research can be conducted and be very useful and beneficial for many people, including myself in a scientific way.

    -Amanda Edwards

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  27. Ashley HutchingsJune 17, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    This has completely changed my paradigm of the science of dreaming and consciousness. I was told by someone along time ago that the dreams you have actually mean the opposite in waking life. My mom had a "dream dictionary" that would tell you the opposite of what your dream meant. For example, if you were to dream that you were cheating on your spouse, that means that your spouse is cheating on you. Since learning about dreams this does not make any sense at all since dreams have a lot to do with the unconscious mind. I was not aware that dreams were studied historically and scientifically. I did not know about any dream interpretation methods such as The Storytelling Method (TSM), The 2A Method, and Meditative Dream Re-Entry (MDR). I am now able to interpret my dreams using TSM and The 2A Method, but with MDR I need more practice with the meditation. I am fascinated with how your dreams reflect your waking life. I never knew how useful dream therapy can be for patients suffering from health issues whether it be physically or mentally. Furthermore, I think dream therapy should be implemented in aspects of patients' care because it has the ability to improve their health and well-being. The knowledge that I have gained in this course I have shared with other because I find it so interesting. If there was an opportunity to take a course like this again I would. I enjoyed learning about dreams, dream therapy, and dream research! :)

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  28. Everything that I thought that I understood about dream analysis has changed after taking this class! I had previously believed that dreams were rooted in fantasy and had little to do with the waking life of the dreamer. I had heard that some dreams had a universal symbolism that related to emotions of the dreamer in waking life, but I now know that this isn't always true either.
    After being enlightened to what dreams really are and using the four techniques that we have learned in this class, I find myself being eager to go to sleep at night, not to rest, but to dream in order to gain a deeper discovery of the relationship of those dreams to my waking life.
    It has been interesting to pass along this knowledge to other friends and family members who have related their dreams as well. Any tool that can help gain a deeper understanding of ones self is valuable, but dream analysis has been a relatively easy and interesting one!

    Shauna Conway

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  29. Janine LownsbroughJune 17, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Before taking this course, I have always been fascinated with dreams, because unlike many people I talked to about it I did believe that there was some relevance and importance to dreams, and they are not just random images. I have a friend that swears by her dream dictionary, and whenever I had a weird dream I would tell her about it and she would interpret the images by whatever the dictionary said. I am happy to now know that these dictionaries generalize the images and make them generic meanings. It is very helpful to know and realize that different things we dream about have different meanings for each individual. This makes so much more sense after this course.
    I was however skeptical going into this course, because it seemed as though dream interpreters would be able to lead the dreamers dream recall in a certain direction so that they would be able to find relevance and feel better. And in the beginning of this course when I started reading about the different methods of dream interpretation, I had very little confidence that I would be able to get any meaning out of it at all. I even felt silly going through the exercises because I didn't see how they could work. I was very shocked after completing the first one that it did in fact give me insight. Now, I have been telling and recommending it to everyone that they write down their dream, and read about how to properly interpret dreams so that they too can see what may be bothering them in their waking day life.
    This area of research fascinates me even more now, and I am enjoying reading the articles of what is being done to discover more about dreams. I look forward to becoming more proficient in analyzing and interpreting my dreams, because I feel that once I make discoveries, it helps me greatly in making decisions in my every day life.

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  30. This course has been incredibly fascinating. The interpretation methods are completely the opposite of what I had expected. I received a Dream Dictionary as a present years ago. I cannot say I entirely believed what the Dream Dictionary was claiming, but I accepted that as the only type of truth to dream meaning, which isn't saying much. This course has really turned things around for me. I love how much science can really be tied into dreaming. The methods taught to us will be something that I continue to incorporate into my life and encourage others to incorporate into theirs. Learning meditation was also so interesting to me, I didn't expect there to be so little to it. Dreaming interpretation is a holistic approach to wellness. Cannot wait for the advanced dreaming course if it's offered soon.
    -Margaret-Anne Warr

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  31. I have always been very interested in dreams and what they mean, so through experience I was able to interpret dreams fairly well before I began this course. Although, I began to realize that dreams are way deeper than I originally thought. Yes, I was able to interpret the general meaning of dreams, but it was only through using methods like meditative dream re-entry and the 2A Method that I understood how much deeper dreams were connected to the unconscious. I have learned a lot of facts and theories about dreams that I did not know, like how dreams are able to tell if a person is sick and responding to treatment well. In conclusion, I knew dreams were important before this course, but I did not know to what extent, or how useful they are for therapy, sickness and overall health.

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  32. Jennifer Cheznowski 0376917June 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    I believe that everyone can interpret dreams in a sense, however I also belie that they are more difficult to interpret than one may think. With styles such as the 2A and dream re-entry, they can help to interpret a deeper meaning of dreams.

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  33. I think learning what I have in ths course has certainly changed my opinion of dream research as a science. Prior to this course I would have thought that studying a persons dreams was merely for personal insight and an extra resource simply out of interest for people. I however did not look at it as something that was "scientific". After going through this course and learning that dreams are linked to human experiences in so many ways, I see how it is important to study dreams. Psychologically gaining insight helps us in many ways, and it has also been proven as a valuable treatment option for mental disorders. Similar to any other theory under study, like that of Freud's or Skinner's for example, we see the connection. After reading how dreams are so varibale per person really tapps into its psychological component, and how gaining understandings on such things can answer questions and in turn improve lives.

    It is interesting to me now having gained some knowledge on dream therapy how different I feel about my own dreams, and about others dreams when they share them with me. I have a different perspective, rather than laughing off a bizarre dream, I am interested to know what it means for me and what it is in my waking life good or bad that may be causing it. I now have a very different respect for those who spend their lives researching dreams and appreciate its practice.

    -Nicole Hinan

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  34. Jazmine EtchellsJune 17, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    I think, as many of us agree, that having this knowledge has changed my perspective and approach towards what dreams mean, what my dreams mean to me, and how dreaming in general reflects stimuli and scenarios from waking life. My expansion on the understanding of what dreams are illustrating and how they are connected to my waking life has shifted my views towards the importance and purpose of dreams. Knowing that there is empirical evidence to support the connection, and find the similarities, between waking life and dreaming state gives a dreamer a sense of comfort in the fact that dreams hold scientific importance. Using these new techniques, both professionally and personally, can lead to growth in one’s life. For example, knowing that individuals suffering from depression will experience much darker imagery and different imagery than do people not suffering from depression can help the diagnosis of that illness. Also, having used various dream interpretation methods throughout the past couple of months, it has changed not only my perspective on the meaning of dreams but also how I apply them to my waking life. I now use a daily dream journal and allow myself to find the deeper, sometimes hidden, meaning or cause in which the dream stems from. This knowledge has changed my life, not only in how I approach dream scenarios and situations but also about how I evaluate the emotions I’m truly feeling. I find that using the 2A Method of Dream Interpretation to be the most beneficial as many of my dreams contain confusing emotional cues. My views on dreams have shifted, now attributing great importance and insight to dreams and dreaming, and using this knowledge to guide me during my waking life.

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  35. Before this course, I did not view dreams as possessing such valuable information about one’s waking day. I basically believed that dreams were simply an unimportant, strange visual sequence of the previous day’s events/thoughts. Because of this view, I did not know that interpreting one’s dreams could lead to discovery and potentially resolve a waking day issue or concern. I believe that the various dream interpretation techniques used throughout the course would be incredibly beneficial for anyone, especially for therapeutic purposes. I now know from experience that the dream interpretation process can reveal some pretty significant information about the self that one may not be aware of, or may simply not pay enough attention to in waking day; this information may then allow one to make appropriate changes in life. Knowing what I know now about dreams, I certainly take my dreams more seriously concerning how they relate to my waking day.

    -Lindsey Martin

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  36. Lindsey, you have perfectly described how I am feeling at this point in the course; I am surprised to have discovered how dreams and dreaming are connected to our waking lives. The dream interpretations have made me recognize that our dreams present us with an opportunity to evaluate the circumstances of our everyday lives. Prior to having practiced these techniques, I perceived my dreams as strange and confusing. I did not dedicate any time or energy into trying to understand them. This course has enabled me to gain valuable insight about my waking life through the interpretation of my dreams. This has made me appreciate my dreams and to feel disappointed when I awake from a dreamless night.

    Alicia Holding

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  37. This course has changed my paradigm of dreaming. I knew dreams can relate to waking life, I did not know how truly related it is. If someone pays enough attention to there dream they can use it to help solve any waking day issues or use it to determine whether something is wrong. The different dream interpretation techniques have taught me how to gain insight from my dreams. You can find out simple stuff about your dreams or you can use a more advance technique to go further. I did not know this stuff before but I do now. I will be continuing to remember my dreams because of the valuable insight I could receive.
    - Sarah McFadden

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  38. At the beginning of the course I really had no preconceived notions about the science of dreaming. I had a blank slate in regards to knowledge of dream science. However, I too have curiously looked through dream dictionaries in the past and felt skeptical about them. I knew intuitively that one symbol couldn’t possibly mean the same thing for every person who ever dreamed of it. I was delighted to learn that contemporary dream theory respects the autonomy and uniqueness of individuals. I am also pleased to learn that there are dream interpretation techniques that are scientifically tested, and therefore difficult to repute. What is amazing to me about the dream interpretation methods used in this course, is that anyone can use them and the likelihood of discovery is high. I did not know that dream interpretation could be as easy as working through self-guided worksheets. I thought the Van de Castle text was excellent. It provided such a holistic overview of the various ways humankind has perceived dreaming. If anything, I have come to appreciate the scientific paradigm more as a result of this course. And on a personal level, I have become inspired to learn more about creative dreaming and how to guide my own dreams simply for the joy of it. I love waking up from a good dream and having the feelings stay with me all day. I love that there is still mystery in dream science.
    Lindsay Dixon

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  39. As mentioned in the previous post, I also had no knowledge about the subject of dreams before I took this course. Before I took this course, I was under the impression that a particular type of dream would mean the same thing for every person that dreams it, no matter what type of person they are. After taking this course, I was surprised to find out that the meanings of a commonly dreamt dream can differ for everyone. I also did not know before this course that dreams differ between males and females, adults and children, people with and without mental disorders, etc. This course helped me realize that dreams are a lot more complex and interesting than I had previously thought. It was also comforting for me to learn that dreams can be used as a tool to help people cope with their waking life, even if they have terrifying dreams. I am glad to know that there are different dream interpretation methods out there for people to access because through this course, I have learned that dreams and waking life are a lot more closely connected than I thought they were.
    -Sarah Aseerwatham

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  40. I must admit, like some other people in this course, that I still remain slightly skeptical of the value of dream interpretation. I see some similarities between dream research and, for instance, people's interpretations of Nostradamus' predictions. The ambiguity allows for multiple interpretations in hindsight. So which interpretation is valid and which is simply the person trying to fit the "discovery" to the dream. However, the information provided in this course has broadened my views slightly and I can acknowledge that some aspects of dream interpretation are very thought-provoking and worthy of further research. Thus, while I am still skeptical, this course has definitely opened my mind to the possibilities that dream research has to offer.

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  41. Before this course I never really examined my dreams and never really thought of them as being helpful in treating patients on a clinical level. Through this course I found it most interesting to write down my own dreams and relate them to my waking life. Through my personal experience of analyzing my own dreams in this course i have come to realize that dream analysis can be really helpful for patients. I think analyzing ones dreams can have real benefits in understanding ones waking life emotions, events, concerns, questions and underlying issues.

    I would be more interested in future research and finding out how dreams relate to people in many other aspects of life. I definitely find more merit in dreams and dreaming as a scientific paradigm. I find it very interesting that people with certain illnesses have different dreams than people who are "normal." I would be more interested in research that also looked at dreams of people from various countries and compared the dream differences based on culture.

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  42. I feel that my idea of dream interpretation has grown immensely. I found it hard to believe at first that there was a science involved in interpreting dreams and that each dream has individual meaning. When I was younger I did have night terrors for a very long time and we were never able to figure out why. My grandmother and I used to talk about our dreams a lot and we used internet dream dictionaries to try and figure out what they meant.

    I now realise the same dream could be dreamt by two people and have completely different meanings and discoveries to be found. Now that I have read quite a bit of the literature confirming that there is science supporting the link between dreams and waking life, I feel much more confident in dream interpretation as a method to better your waking life. Its no longer something to just believe without facts, and thus I feel confident that dream interpretation is reliable and valid.

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  43. Stephanie WottonJune 17, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    As the above posters I have also had a definite shift in my attitude toward dream interpretation as a useful clinical tool. I, at first, was very skeptical about the study of dreams being scientific and helpful in navigating an individuals waking day emotions, activities, relationships and decisions. I now realize that while dream imagery may be the same for a number of people, each person will draw a unique meaning from the dream which may lead to personal discovery and a shift in the individuals waking day life. I now realize that dream interpretation is not simply a matter of assigning meaning to each individual image or theme based on an outlined guide, such as the internet dictionaries mentioned above, but a that dream imagery is a deeply personal reflection of the dreamers waking day life. These revelations have led me to the conclusion that dream interpretation can be a valuable clinical tool in guiding waking day life to lead to a healthier, happier individual.

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  44. In addition to the previous blogs, I also was quite skeptical about dream therapy and how our dreams really impacted our waking day lives. Before being introduced to the various dream interpretation tools, I did not believe that our dreams had any valuable connection to our lives, however after completing the assigned labs I have come to realize the credibility that these dream interpretation tools provide. Using the storytelling method and the meditative dream re-entry approaches, for instance, I have gained great insight into my dreams and have been made aware of somethings that I may have been subconsciously suppressing within my waking day life. With my personal experience with dream interpretation, I believe that it has shifted my thinking regarding dream therapy and its credibility towards being a valid therapy.

    -Emily Nyboer

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  45. Before this course I was interested in dream analysis; however, I wasn’t sure how theories could be scientifically supported. There are so many dream interpretation books out there that tell you what your dreams mean about a specific thing. Reading the Van de Castle and DeCicco textbooks has made me realize that the image of the dream is not necessarily literal.

    I was also very skeptic about the Meditation Dream Re-Entry method. My initial thought was that people would start making things up as they tried to re-enter the dream. After meditating for almost a month and trying it myself, I realized how powerful it is. The meditation really helps you focus on your dream and get answers to anything you were questioning in your dream.

    Now I know that dream research has a lot of research behind it. There are so many different methods that can be used for a specific type of dream. For example, the Storytelling Method can be used by anyone to get general information of dream interpretation, while the Meditation Dream Re-Entry can be used for reoccurring dreams. This course really made me appreciate and want to look more into dream research.

    Kristin Vieira

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  46. I definitely feel different about dreams and the importance of dreams have on us as humans because prior to this dreams always seemed a mystery. Though as of today I see what dreams offer us and how influential they are to us. Dreams allow us to see the interaction between waking life and unconscious mind. Allowing for us to realize how dreams are affected by our waking life if we feel positive or negative throughout our life are dreams will reflect those behaviors. Furthermore, dreams allow us to interpret things much differently than just considering them as a confusing or unrelated event. Though considering the methods we also learned give us the ability to break down our dreams and make us feel much more confident about what our dreams in explaining the meaning. The methods are hands on where you don’t really need a psychologist, clinicians, or any other professional advisor as the methods are more of a “do it yourself” kind a procedure because the method instruct you that no bodies dreams are wrong and no one can say that there bad dreams. This course has opened my eyes and gave me a different perspective about my dreams. Also gave me more confidence to speak about my dream to others for suggestions and possible reasoning’s to consider. Therefore, knowing how important dreams are to us and what they mean to us I know always look forward on to hearing others dreams and advising them on possible methods they too can use to give understanding to their dream.

    Daniel Dosen 0322318

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