Friday, May 24, 2013

About Dream Dictionaries.......

While dream dictionaries are fun to read and fun to consult, they do not have any grounding in reseach methods nor have they been found to accurately reflect a dreamer's waking life. Though we all would like it to be that easy, that we just look up an image and get it's meaning, we have to actually do a dream interpretation on our own dream imagery to get meaning. For example, if a phobic person dreams of dogs and a dog lover dreams of dogs then each person will have a different meaning attached to that image. One may have the meaning of "fear" but the other will have the meaning of "love". We just cannot have a list of images and their meanings in a global way. Therefore, in clinical and applied practice we only use scientifically tested dream interpretations to gain meaning from our dreams and we never tell other people what their dreams mean. We ensure that they do the interpretation for themselves. Given this information, how is The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation helpful in clinical practice and for use by the general public? Please respond to the previous person's post rather than starting a new topic.

64 comments:

  1. I think it makes perfect sense as to why dream dictionaries would not be an efficient source for dream interpretation but on the other hand; the story telling method of dream interpretation is useful for both clinical practice and for the general public. It is very easy to use with provided worksheets, and uses a simple instructional format. This method can also be done individually which is quite beneficial for everyone, especially those who prefer to keep their dreams totally private. But it can also be used in a clinical setting where a therapist may be there to simply guide the individual through the process. This method is useful because it allows the dreamer to generate their own words and associations from their dream as well as develop their own story based on these words. They are not looking up words or symbols in a mass textbook (like a dream dictionary) or having a professional make associations for them. The idea that the individual is creating their own interpretation throughout the entire process makes the interpretation more successful. The message and insight gained from the storytelling method is completely personal and independent to that specific dreamer. This method of dream interpretation also helps to narrow down feelings experienced by the dreamer, and by making these associations it helps the dreamer to really relate these feelings to real life experiences. Overall TSM really helps to bring individual feelings to the conscious level and illustrate reasons why an individual may be feeling a certain way. Most importantly TSM emphasizes that the meanings behind our dreams cannot be generalized, each symbol is different for each person and everyone will gain their own individual insight.

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    1. I believe that it is completely valid to believe that dream dictionaries are not efficient means of dream interpretation. As in the example given the symbolism of a dog in a dream could mean totally different things depending on the individual. Therefore, dream dictionaries do not allow for individualization in dream interpretation, and should not be relied upon. I found TSM was extremely easy to follow, and actually something that was shown to us in one of my high school classes. I think TSM allows for self-discovery which therefore allows the individual to determine what their dream meant rather than just looking it up in a dream dictionary. I agree with the post above, TSM allows for the individual to make their own personal interpretation that is personal. The individual can use their interpretation to make necessary changes in their daily life if needed, or provide insight on a tough decision. TSM is a valid and testable measure that allows for self-discovery. This is helpful in clinical practice as TSM can show the progress the individual is making with their dream interpretation and the actions they take in their waking life.

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    2. Dream dictionaries are not strong enough to be valid. Dreams are extremely subjective and cannot be defined with a simple set of imagery. The TSM is a much more useful approach since it understands the subjectivity of dreams and uses that to make personal interpretations of the dream as opposed to attempting to search of a dream in a completely objective book

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    3. Samantha BayntonMay 24, 2013 at 7:31 AM

      By using TSM the dream will become a story relevant to the dreamer and then relations can be made to their waking day life. If an individual were to use a dream dictionary, the same direct links to their waking day life would be quite different as it usually provides the dreamer with only one meaning. Research has shown that TSM leads to discovery at least 80% of the time if the worksheet is followed correctly. Having said this, again, by using a dream dictionary there may not be a discovery since it isn’t personalized. The worksheet provides a structure that guides the dreamer to dream discovery whereas; the dream dictionary would be simple stated. The dream dictionary would not allow for the individual to make associations and create a personal story.

      The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is beneficial and helpful in clinical practice and for the use by the general public because as Amanda Bartsch states above, it is easy to follow the instructions, as they are straightforward. In addition, it is not time consuming and the TSM can be used on a daily basis without much interruption to an individual’s day. As Lindsay Blain states above, this method is especially beneficial to those individual’s who prefer to keep their dreams totally private as they can complete the worksheet on their own. In addition, in a clinical setting therapists can guide the individual through the TSM process. Overall, TSM guides an individual towards discovery, insights, and provides valuable information to the conscious level.

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    4. I agree with Evan Rodgers’ statement that dream dictionaries are not valid due to the subjectivity of dreams. He also mentions that the Storytelling Method (STM) is helpful because it allows for subjectivity in dream images by allowing for personal interpretation, which I also strongly agree with. In clinical practice the STM can be used by the clinician to guide clients to make interpretations about their own dreams and therefore better their waking life by hopefully resolving issues they may have been unaware of. In this way the clinician is not interpreting the dream for them, but is there to help them deal with any feelings that may arise from this interpretation.

      This method is also helpful to the general public. Personally, I have never interpreted my dreams before completing the STM for this class recently. I found this technique extremely helpful due to the fact that it helped me become aware of how I can improve my waking life and resolve issues that I have been struggling with. Therefore, the STM can also improve the quality of life for the general public by helping people face their perhaps subconscious issues and problems.

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    5. Nathylova NesmonMay 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      Hi Barrett,

      Just like you, I have never interpreted my dreams before doing the Storytelling Method. I found it to be very insightful in revealing my subconscious, or perhaps unresolved emotions. As a result, it leads to me having a need to take actions in resolving those emotions.

      The subjectivity of dream interpretations is what makes it meaningful to the dreamer. Dream dictionaries on the other hand will fail to provide the personal aspect of the interpretations for that individual.

      The Storytelling Method is also extremely easy and it is a fun way to discover more about yourself. It is helpful for general practice in the sense that it allow individuals to discover more about themselves first, and seek help from a clinician in relation to their interpretation if necessary. In terms of the general public, it leads to healthier lifestyles, and more emotionally stable individuals.

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    6. Angelica Palillo-BucknallMay 25, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      I have always wondered about dream dictionaries but have never purchased one because of the reasons Professor DeCicco mentioned in the above question. I believed they would be inaccurate because if two people had reoccurring dreams of falling, a dream dictionary would have one answer for both people, when in fact, each person live completely different waking lives and may continue having this dream due to specific waking events. If two people are dreaming of falling, it could be associated to failing or making the wrong choice, for example, in waking life a person may feels as though they are headed down the wrong path in their marriage while another person may be struggling in their career. Since these examples are two completely different waking life events, either can affect the dreaming mind and one explanation would not be an accurate representation of the dream.

      I completely agree with you when you mentioned that you found the Storytelling Method fun and easy to use@ I too was able to make discoveries with this method and it came very easily to me. I am glad you found this too Nathy! With this method, a dreamer is better able to understand which waking day events are affecting their dreaming minds and this is so interesting to me! When completing the assignment I was shocked at how much insight this method had to offer and how eager it made me into wanting to make dream discoveries.

      A clinician would find this useful because they would be able to see how willing a patient is in wanting to find discoveries and whether or not discovery comes easily to them or if they are finding it difficult. If they find discovery difficult to achieve, clinicians can begin helping dreamers by moving to other methods of dream discovery. Each time people make discoveries using the Storytelling Method, clinicians can use their achievements as support in the effectiveness of this method. This method is beneficial to the public because it is fun, easy and most importantly private and confidential. The dreamer can choose to keep the information gained from their dream personal and private, or can choose to share the information. This creates a sense of comfort in using this method because people do not feel pressured to divulge personal feelings or emotions to anyone unless they choose too and they can freely explore their dreaming mind without hesitation.

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    7. After using The Story Telling Method, I do agree that this is a good way for clinicians to use in practice. Dream Dictionaries are very general and give general descriptions of objects and situations that may not apply to everyone. The Storytelling Method is subjective and it can be individualized according to what the person who had the dream feels about the object or situation.
      I personally have used dream dictionaries in the past to try and interpret my dreams. I have often found that the meanings that are given do not apply to me and would be something that would never come to mind. When I used the dream dictionary, I was not aware of The Storytelling Method. After using the Storytelling Method, I found that I could find meaning and insight to a dream that I had.

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    8. Danielle LachanceMay 26, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Having used dream dictionaries in the past I found them not only unreliable, but also terribly misleading. Interpretations for symbols and images within the same dream had contradicted one another as much as interpretations for the same symbols and images varied from one dream dictionary to the next.
      In contrast to dream dictionaries, I think the Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is as helpful in clinical settings as it is for the general public in that it is both reliable and insightful. As has been mentioned, discovery is achieved 80% of the time, and the user-friendly instructions help guide dreamers to interpretations in roughly the same amount of time it would take to search for a wide range of dream symbols in a dream dictionary, but with more accurate and profound results. Since the dreamer is the interpreter, symbols are less confused and provide even greater insight than any professional or close friend could achieve because of the personal and unique nature of the dreams. For instance, I had a dream where I was protectively carrying two large eggs and a close friend suggested that the dream might signify my desire to have children. Though that didn't resonate with me intuitively, it wasn't until I used TSM that I gained a surprising amount of insight and discovered the eggs signified unhatched artistic endeavours.
      The Storytelling Method also aims to interpret the dream as a whole instead of focusing on a few symbols and images and possibly overlooking others that are as valuable to the interpretation as the rest, if not more. Even if dream dictionaries provided relatively reliable insight into its symbols, a dreamer who only searches for one or two symbols risks losing the full potential of the discovery. I was surprised to find that even a colour in a dream I interpreted using TSM offered incredible insight.
      Though dream dictionaries offer a sort of entertainment, TSM is helpful in a number of settings because it is not only therapeutic and insightful, but can also be motivational and inspirational.

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    9. Katherine MortonMay 28, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      I agree with Danielle's ideas on the TSM. Similarly, I have looked at a dream dictionary in the past and found it humorous and amusing, but that is about all the use I got from it. I found using the TSM to be very insightful, but easy to do for an individual who is just beginning to do dream analysis.

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  2. I also like Carly Barrett had never interpreted my dreams before completing the STM for this class. I too found this technique very useful, for it showed me that my dreams have meaning and are relevant to my waking life. The STM also helped me understand things in my waking life, specifically things I need to change.

    I have talked to a couple of my friends about this course, and when they hear I am in a dreaming course, they immediately ask what does it mean when this happens in my dream, for example my teeth falling out. I believe the idea of dream dictionaries has given us false understanding that an image in a dream can mean only one thing. The STM is good technique that anyone can use, because it is straightforward and only five steps. I can help one to try and understand the meaning and relevance behind their own dreams. In addition, we have learned that the STM is a starting point to dream interpretation, that there other dream interpretation to build off of to help us understand further the significance of our dreams.

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    1. Using the Story Telling Method to interpreting your dreams is easy and fun. There are steps to follow directly and this means that anyone can use this method, not only clinicians with experience or specific knowledge.
      I had never used this method of dream interpretation before and I thought it led to some discoveries to what my dreams actually were trying to tell me. I agree with Carly that dream dictionaries have no real evidence and are just mainstream ideas that the general public use. In order to know what your dreams are telling you, the person themselves must find the meaning.
      By using this method it forces the person to write down their own dream and think about it for a while. While working through the steps provided dream meaning comes to you, if not right away then possibly go back and read the dream over.
      One step I found very difficult to do was to write the story from the words used in the list of step 3b. I am not sure if it was difficult because I am not creative in making up stories or what?
      I am looking forward to trying the other dream interpretation techniques in this course and see if more meaning can be brought out through my own dreams.

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    2. Carly, many people I know have been asking me the same thing! Dreams seem to be a source of curiousity for many of us as we all experience them, whether we remember them or not!
      It would be interesting to compile research regarding common dreams (i.e. teeth falling out) if there is any. It would also be interesting to see some examples of the STM from others. The Giant Compass provides an example, but I would be interested in seeing a variety of examples for people that both found meaning/discovery and did not. The TSM method is nice because it is easy to follow, and can be done individually. Speaking from my own experience, it did lead to some interesting insights, so I would definately suggest it as a method for others.

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    3. Samantha BayntonMay 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      As Andrea Hennings states above, I also found it difficult to write a story from the words used in the list of step 3B. I don't think this step has much to do with being creative. I think this step unfolds as you connect the words in each sentence which will then begin to make sense to the dreamer. The Giant Compass explains that the story is created from the mind, emotions, and experiences of the dreamer so therefore, the story should just develop as you make further connections. While completing my assignment, I had to rewrite my story four times and then finally I had a story that related to my waking day life.

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    4. I am completely on the same page with the above comments in that, dream dictionaries are not not strong enough to be valid as mentioned by Evan Rodgers. Also dream dictionaries are not efficient enough for dream interpretation due to the fact that dreams are subjective therefore there can't be a simple set of imagery used to define our dreams. Acquiring the ability to interpret your dreams is a powerful tool, and no one is a better expert at interpreting your dreams than yourself. Thus, dream dictionaries take away from the individuality and creativity that comes with interpreting one's dreams. Something so simple as dreaming about dogs as mentioned earlier, can definitely be interpreted in a dream between two people in completely different ways, because these individuals have different experiences and live two separate lives.
      The Storytelling Method on the other hand is used to bridge dream imagery to waking day circumstances for the dreamer. This method allows the dreamer to create a meaningful story based on their dream. The freedom and creativity they have when interpreting their dream is completely subjective. The dreamer makes their own words and associations from their dreams, thus developing a story. There are no set in stone symbols in a dream dictionary that is used. Interpretation of one’s dream is completely independent to the individual. True feelings emerge from using TSM and these often relate to experiences in waking day life. Overall, TSM emphasizes the individuality and creativity of the dreamer, and demonstrates how dream interpretation is subjective to everyone, and dreams cannot be generalized, as everyone is different.

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    5. I found the storytelling method very simple and easy to follow. I believe that this is an important aspect to dream interpretation methods as this needs to be done on an individualized basis. The storytelling method lays out the steps in a logical way which makes it easy to follow and develop the steps for each persons dream. Although there are easy to follow steps to the storytelling method, I found it difficult to develop a meaningful story when using the associated words. Eventually I had a story that I was able to relate to my waking life, but I found it difficult to put the words together to make a story in which made sense to me. Overall, I liked the storytelling method and found it easy to use as a first time dream interpreter.

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    6. Michelle McGrathMay 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      I agree with Jaymi as I also found the Storytelling Method simple and easy to follow. This would be beneficial in clinical practice because people could complete the interpretation easily and not feel intimidated by a lengthy, complicated method. I appreciated that although the method was simple, the depth of discovery and insight uncovered is limitless and completely up to the person doing the interpretation. People can invest as much time and thought into the interpretation as they feel is needed and use their discovery in whatever way they feel best.I think people would respond very well to this method as it provides them simple, clear steps to guide their own self-reflection and analysis.

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    7. Bethany de KoningMay 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      The story telling method is great for clinical practice and the general public. Firstly, because it has been researched and tested, it can be used clinically as a reliable method for dream interpretation. Secondly, it is very easy to use which is great for the general public. The story telling method allows the public user to be in control of their own interpretation instead of looking up an image and a corresponding interpretation that may not apply to that user. The story telling method allows the users to take control of their own interpretation and it is great for clinical use as well as psychiatrists can guide users through the steps and be comforted in the knowledge that it has been tested and proven to be an effective dream interpretation tool.

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    8. Hi Bethany!

      I agree with you that TSM is very easy to use by the general public that is scientifically proven. The steps on the worksheet explain what we need to interpret our own dream step by step. I really like the fact that it is only for me not for anyone else. Some of my dreams does not make any sense and some of them are embarrassing to share. I did not have to worry about describing my dreams and worry about what other people would think about my dreams. I like TSM because it helps me to expend my understanding of my own dream and interpret. Also, it helps me to bridge my dreams to my walking life.

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    9. Hi Andrea Hennings!

      I agree with you. Even though the steps of TSM are very easy to follow I had to think a lot for completing step 3 b and step 4. I also wonder it might be different or easy if I use TSM in my own language instead of English (English is my second language). In that sense, I would like to know if the results of TSM might different for those who are creative in writing or poor in writing for native speaker or people whose English as a second language. What about using TSM including drawing instead of only writing?

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    10. Ashleigh-Anne GureckasMay 24, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      Given this information, how is The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation helpful in clinical practice and for use by the general public?

      Personal association and interpretation of a dream is the most important part of understanding how a dream is connected and meaningful to the dreamer. Dream dictionaries are very bias in a way that they only provide one answer to a dream subject and that meaning does not necessarily relate to the truthful meaning and connection of the dreamer to the subject. The storytelling method allows people to write out their dream, and then make personally meaningful associations from words and phrases regarding the dream to further understand meaning and insight about the dream. It is a method that allows personal reflection, and dream dictionaries are not personal what so ever. Using a dream dictionary is a way of letting someone else dictate how you should think, rather than using a dream interpretation method like TSM to discover your own interpretation and meaning. I personally believe that we are the only ones who can understand our dream reflections, because only we ourselves can unlock the clues to our subconscious, because we have the most information about our lives, emotions, spirituality, and daily life events.

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  3. First of all, I have to admit that I did not know that there is such a thing "dream dictionary". For the previous discussion topic, I mentioned that it would be nice to have a "dream dictionary", but now I can see why it would be a problem for some cases. If the dream dictionary has not been scientifically proven, the results would not be accurate. Moreover, dreams are very personal and they are associated with dreamer's individual lives. Therefore, it would be wrong to have a definite meaning for a one specific dream for everyone because not everyone thinks the same nor has the same life.

    The Storytelling Method (TSM) is one of the scientifically proven dream interpretation methods that can be used clinically. It has four steps of worksheet that are provided in "The Giant Compass" by Teresa L. DeCicco. It is very easy to follow and safe because you describe your own dream and also interpret your own dream yourself. It does not have to be seen by anyone else if you do not want to share your dreams. Therefore, a dreamer can freely describe their own dreams without worrying about exposure to someone else. By using TSM, dreamers can discover what their dreams mean to them in their walking lives. One dream can have more than one meaning depends on how the dreamers interpret their dreams.

    After I used TSM, I experienced how my dreams were related to my walking life and also I felt very comfortable to use it because I knew that it was only for myself not for anyone else. This method is very easy to follow and does not take long time. If I had to share my dreams with someone else, I would not be able to describe all my dreams as detail as with TSM. Does anyone have the same feeling as I do?

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    1. Mijung, I understand your difficulty in describing dreams to others. I often find it easier to describe a feeling I got rather than the exact imagery. For image identification a universal dream dictionary would be nice (in theory). I have to admit, I have read them before. And yes, they are all different. It makes complete sense (especially with Professor DeCicco's phobia example)that dream interpretations are relative to the dreamer's context.
      Nevertheless, for some reason I thought that there was some scientific merit to the dream dictionary. I thought that they were based off of universally accepted symbols within a society. For example, in our society a picture of a red hand held palm forward means stop.
      It is in step 3(b) of The Story Telling Method of Dream Interpretation (DeCicco, 2008) where the difference lies. In this step the dreamer identifies key concepts of the dream and assigns feelings to them. So, the "red hand" may have made an appearance, and may have indicated "stop" as our society would expect. But now I understand that it's how the dreamer feels about "stop" that relates to waking life and not the "stop" in itself.

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    2. The storytelling method is useful for clinical practice and by the general public because it is centered on the dreamer. In this method, the dreamer is the one to determine the meaning of the dream, and the dreamer is the one that is able to connect their dream to their waking life. This is beneficial because a third party person does not know all the details of the dreamers dream, as they did not experience the emotions and images involved. Also, a third party person will most likely not know enough details of the dreamers life to be able to make connections to the dreamers waking life. Therefore, having the primary source work through, and make their own connections is very beneficial.

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    3. The Storytelling Method (TSM) of Dream Interpretation is useful even by the general public because it allows the user to individualize their dream interpretation. TSM if followed through using the proper procedure and worksheets, allows the dreamer to focus and narrow their dream to ideas that are significant to them. TSM is simple, easy to use, and is 80% successful in reaching discovery as indicated in Decicco`s (2012) online lecture notes. TSM begins with revisiting the dream and putting it in writing to allow the dreamer to see key words that are important to them as indicated by underlying them. Allowing the individual to freely choose what is significant to them is key in relating their dream to their waking lives. The next worksheet begins the analysis of their dream content by writing down words that they think of immediately after seeing their underlined key words. The dreamers combine their personality, personal experiences, and use their cognitive body of knowledge to develop a story with the new words. As a result of using the dreamer`s own imagination to develop a story, the story should be unique and meaningful only to them that relates to their dream. TSM procedure includes questions to help specify topics of interest to the dreamer, allowing the individual to freely develop insight to the important message in their dream. As opposed to dream dictionaries which are one-dimensional, generalized, and inaccurate, TSM when applied helps dreamers understanding their dream and imagery in how it relates to them personally based on their life circumstances. Everyone is different, it seems consistent that our dreams would be, making dream dictionaries simply a fad and unreliable way to interpret dreams.

      Decicco, T. (2012). Assignment 1: The Storytelling Method Overview [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from Module 2 Online on Blackboard.

      DeCicco, T.L. (2008). The Giant Compass. South Carolina, USA: Malito Press.

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    4. I entirely agree with you Shirley. The TSM is great for its uniqueness and how it is personalised to each individual dreamer. It allows the dreamer to interpret their own dreams so effectively because the dreamer is already fully or at least partially aware of all of the things in their life that are effecting them emotionally or physically: current relationships, work or school, or recent news that was stressful, or even a sprained ankle. The TSM here seems to be very useful and effective, but it is entirely reliant on the compliance of the dreamer because the therapist is not allowed to interpret the dream. This can be quite limiting if the dreamer is not willing to do the interpretation and is yet suffering in their dreams or could benefit greatly from discovering things about their dreams. There are forms of therapy that do not require the patient to interpret aspects of themselves and are yet effective in helping the patient because the therapist is able to interpret things for them. It would be optimal if there was a true Dream Dictionary, but until there is one the TSM is the best method to use for interpreting and helping individuals with their dreams.

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    5. The storytelling method does allow for an understanding of the dream past in the general context of what happened in the dream. The nature of the dream may be subliminal or in terms of a metaphor that does not exactly tell you the information that you want to know. By TSM analysis you can find correlations and attributions to the story you create. Since the story is different from the dream it allows you to contrast the actual events of the dream and the contents of the created story.
      Since the story telling method allows you to tailor your specific dream to your own events and experiences, it is like a personal dream dictionary.
      I think it could be appropriate to keep your own personal dream dictionary. Therefore, when you have a dream it can make it easier for interpretation and attribution.
      As many have you have already stated, the story telling method is just comfortable to use because you don't have to share personal information with other people, you can just discovery things about yourself on your own.

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    6. I agree. One of the most beneficial elements of the Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is that the dreamer can complete the method without assistance. This naturally allows for a more accurate dream interpretation as there is no reason for the dreamer to hold back any information/emotion (i.e. from a clinician).

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    7. I agree with Heidi in that I think that people in the right situation and given they really wanted to obtain something from dream interpretation wouldn't alter or withhold too much information. Although, I think it would be very interesting to look at how subjectivity may affect dream interpretations if it does occur see how maybe some unconscious things are hidden by our conscious fears etc.

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    8. Hi for some reason this keeps pushing my name out and wont let me post unless I am under anonymous. My name is Rachel Hannigan just so that I get credit for the posts.

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  4. There are a bunch of wise tales about dreams. When growing up I can remember being terrified of dreaming about dying because someone once told me that if you die in your dream you would die in waking life. Simple rules or tricks to determine meaning of a dream do not rely on sound research. Dreams are complex and highly personalized. No one event or image means the same thing to more than one person. Even the same image can have different meanings to the same person, dependent on the emotions in the dream. After using the Storytelling Method of dream interpretation I am learning that the meaning of a dream maybe potentially different then what actually happened in the dream. Images in dreams provoke certain thoughts or emotions to reach a deeper meaning. For instance, the woman who likes dogs may feel a sense of happiness or love when dogs appear in her dreams. The true meaning of the dream may have nothing to do with a dog but may represent something else that is making her happy in her waking life. The Storytelling Method is easy to use for the general public. It is not a stressful process and only takes a short amount of time. The worksheets are easy to follow and allow for individuality in the dream interpretation process. The Storytelling Method does not provide guidance in the meaning of images in dreams but guides the dreamer’s thought process so they can discover true meaning themselves.

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    2. Courtney FriedrichMay 25, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      Hi Jessica,
      I totally remember being told, and even believing the wives tales around dreaming. When I was young I experienced a lot of those "falling" dreams, and was always terrified I was going to die from dreaming. I wish I had the ability to interpret my dreams back then. I agree that no event or image will mean the same thing for one person to the next, in both real life and dreams. This means that one persons interpretation of their dream will differ from an outsiders interpretation of that dream. For this exact reason, dream dictionaries would never be a successful or accurate tool in clinical practices. The story-telling method, however, allows the dreamer to assess the dream on a fully emotional level. I believe that the story-telling method of dream interpretation is so successful in clinical practices solely for the fact that it assess the underlying emotions, particularly through word association. By picking out the significant words, and using word association without using the context of the dream, you can help determine the deep emotional meaning. It is also great because it is easy to use for the general public since you only have to fill out the worksheet, which is easy to follow.

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  5. From my understanding, I believe dreams are re-creations of past experiences, memory consolidation, and past information. Therefore, dream dictionaries would not be applicable for use in a clinical setting or for the general public because everyone has a different sense of perception, different cognition, and different cross-cultural beliefs, values, and customs. The story telling method allows the dreamer to dissect the components of their dream to re-create a story that is only understandable to them. This allows for better patient-physician communication, and allows the patient to be largely involved in their treatment. STM allows the individual to apply themselves, and generally the more the patient becomes involved in their own treatment the better the prognosis becomes. Therefore, the STM is an invaluable tool for dream interpretation, and treatment success when analyzing dream for insightful ideas in a clinical setting. When the dreamer interprets the dream, it allows the clinician to make appropriate diagnostic advice to help the individual in their waking day life. The instructions and worksheets for the story telling method are fairly easy to use, and can be completed in absence of a clinical setting. With practice I am sure that the storytelling method adjunct with other methods can provide insight to waking day events. Dreams are largely ignored these days because people usually do not have the information or the resources to effectively complete dream interpretation. STM allows the individual to get a comprehensive dream interpretation without much effort, and in a creative manner.

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  6. As Jessica stated in her post, dreams are very personalized and the storytelling method of dream interpretation provides the dreamer with the ability to discover the meaning of their dreams. I too believe this is an important aspect of the storytelling method’s use in the general public. Individuals of the general public are able to readily use this easy method in their approach to interpreting their dreams. This method is also useful in clinical practice. Using this method, clinicians are able to aid dreamers in more accurately finding meaning from their dreams. Rather than the clinician telling the dreamer what their dreams mean, the dreamer is responsible for determining the meaning of their dream. This leads to more accurate results as the it is only the dreamer that can know what images in their dream represent in their waking life.

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  7. Maureen PartridgeMay 26, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    I admit, I have been guilty of using dream dictionaries in the past, as I have always had vivid, detailed dreams. Especially when the dreams are scary, or disturbing I think we all look for a quick and simple reason why we would dream such a horrible thing. However after completing my first dream interpretation through The Story Telling Method it has become remarkably clear how ridiculous they are! Using The Story Telling Method of Dream Interpretation in clinical practice, and for the general public requires using each dreamers direct thoughts, perspectives, emotions and past experiences to decipher and decode exactly what each individual dreamer is dreaming about. It's a much more personal, intimate, and relative way towards learning about oneself and the meanings of one's own dreams. As we have seen in using TSM what each person associates with the individual images will be different for each dream, and each person. It makes perfect sense to use a logical, factual, individualized therapy like The Story Telling Method of Dream Interpretation in looking for answers into our personal, relational, emotional, physical and spiritual issues.

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    1. (Maggie) Stephanie SobleMay 26, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      I completely agree with you Maureen. I too have looked inside "Dream Dictionaries" for meaning, or looked something up online so figure out symbols that would appear in a dream and I may not know why. But again, like you, on completion of the TSM, I realized how individual a dream is and that I am the only person who can find true meaning in it and how it relates to my own waking life thoughts and emotions. Even now, when I tell people I am taking a Dreams and Dreaming course, they always ask me what their dream means! And every time I have to say to them, "well, what does it mean for you?". It's interesting that so many people, myself included before this course, assumed that dreams can be interpreted by others, or by books and online sources, when really we should be looking within ourselves.

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  8. I do agree that a dream dictionary would be very hard to form as imagery has very different meanings for different people. For an example a vision of being underwater for a diver may mean exploration and activity while someone who is unable to swim could see it as a sign of drowning. I found that the story telling method allowed me to use my own thoughts and believes to guide me through discovering how my dream represented certain aspects of my waking life. It is a very individual based analysis rather than creating a generalization it focuses solely on each individual and their specific dream. As a whole it allows individuals the ability to be able to even analyze their own dreams and come to reasonable conclusions as to what the dream represents in their waking life. I found the concept of taking words out of each sentence and seeing how the words you match with them to make a story highly increase the likelihood you will create a story that somehow represents your waking life. In my assignment it really wasn't until I wrote that short story that I truly was able to develop the meaning that the dream had to my waking life.

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  9. Samantha EllertonMay 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I agree in that The Storytelling Method is very good for individual meaning, as it allows the dreamers to connect the important words from their dreams to a word that they feel appropriate, establishing a further personal meaning than the one already presented in the dream. I think this method is much more effective than dream dictionaries as stated above due to the obvious misconceptions that dream dictionaries can have in conveying meanings-- as for each particular person a location/object/person has its own connection to the dreamer.

    When going through the process of The Storytelling Method personally I found that I was able to come to a deeper sense of discovery versus if I had not gone through it at all. I therefore think this process displays the individual meanings in connection with each individual dreamer which can then help with the future interpretation of dreams for all dreamers.

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    1. I agree with the above comments that dream dictionaries are unreliable for overall scientific dream discovery for they lead to misconceptions of individual meaning of a dream; since they imply that an object has only one meaning behind why a dreamer dreamt it.
      Imagery within a dream must be interpreted at an individual bases for everyone has had different experiences and associations with particular objects or places. Though our senses can identify on a global and cultural bases, each individual has a separate and unique history which biases our opinion on these objects and places.
      The storytelling method is effective in discovery and giving meaning at an individual level of these objects and places for it always for individuals to discover and apply meaning themselves to these objects. People will have unique interpretations of words and depending on the current events and situations occurring in their lives, will be more inclined, if not guided to choose words which will express their current emotions and thoughts. By then putting these words together to form a story, allows for greater transformation of these words to be interpreted as meaningful to the individual. Thus, as mentioned in a clinical setting, discovery cannot be made by the therapist; discovery must be made by the individual. Only can the person who dreamt the images can true interpret the meaning behind the images within the dream, not some dream dictionary which believe they have standardize what certain object mean.

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  10. I agree that the idea of dream dictionaries containing globally accepted themes and their common meanings is fundamentally flawed due to the fact that it completely disregards the subjective nature of dreams and dreaming itself. As different symbols/themes mean very different things to different individuals, the use of a dream dictionary may be problematic in that it can lead an individual to a shallow and perhaps incorrect interpretation of their dream. For example, I took a look at some of the dream dictionaries that are available online, found a random entry, and learned that "to see a cake in your dream indicates that you need to learn to share and allocate your workload instead of trying to do everything yourself" (DreamMoods.com). This is such a narrow interpretation, as it does not take into account the cake's unique incorporation into the dream. If the dreamer were a baker, for instance, the cake would symbolise something very different than for somebody who rarely eats the dessert, etc. Although there are many symbols that we hold collectively as a society, information from dream journals must be taken cautiously and evaluated critically.

    It is for this reason that The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is helpful in clinical practice and for use by the general public. In contrast to dream dictionaries that contain very specific interpretations, TSM allows the dreamer to interpret their dream in a way that incorporates their own experiences and emotions. As a result, the dreamer will be led to a more well-rounded interpretation of their dream that may be used in order to better understand what is going on in their own lives. This extends to clinical work in that clinicians may use the information that is learned about their patients through their dreams in order to establish a plan of action to help them in their waking lives. In my opinion, the most significant feature of dreams is that they are completely unique to the individual, which is why The Storytelling Method, which allows for this subjectivity, is so valuable.

    ~ Ellen Coombs

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    1. (Maggie) Stephanie SobleMay 26, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      As with many of the postings on this topic, I agree that The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is a unique method of dream interpretation that helps lead the dreamer to their own discoveries of the meanings of their dreams. The content found in dreams are so individualized and personal that to use a Dream Dictionary to stamp a generic meaning to each symbol that is found within a dream would not be helpful to the dreamer, nor conducive to relevant discovery that would affect and be representative of the dreamer's waking life.

      The TSM is helpful in both clinical practice as well as with the general public because of its easy-to-use method, as well as it is very private, safe and allows for each person who uses this method to have a very individualized experience at interpreting their own dreams. This will hopefully allow these dreamers, whether working with this method in a clinical capacity or for interest's sake, to have dream discovery and learn about their conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings about their waking life. A Dream Dictionary will not be able to tell a person what they feel about their job, love life, family relationships, financial circumstances or job security/insecurity. As we have have all learned, the dreamer is the expert on their own own dream interpretation and the meaning those interpretations hold for them.

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    2. Breanne McErleanMay 26, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      As dreams appear as mental images connected to create a story, each dream is unique to that individual creating the dream. The Story Telling Method help to link these mysterious and sometimes choppy images to waking day life events. Our dream are created as a self reflection of our most inner desires. By identifying all the key elements of the dream, individuals can make significant discoveries by correlating these words to their lives. Due to the easy use of the Story Telling Method individuals, whether in a personal or clinical setting, are more likely to use it on a regular basis. By using it regularly individuals can make better associations between dream and waking life. Writing out the dream then creating a personal story from the world association allows the individual to unconsciously inform itself of its underlying issues. These insights lead to discoveries in the individuals waking life furthering the individuals life and happiness.

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    3. The storytelling method of dream interpretation is useful in clinical practice and for use by the general public because it is a fairly simple but efficient method of dream interpretation. This method forces the dreaming individual to explore the possible meaning behind the scenes and emotions experienced during a dream. Through this process the individual must take their waking life and waking emotions into consideration to attempt to understand the meaning behind the dream. As the example demonstrated, 2 individuals could have a similar dream or a similar symbol in their dream but have it represent two completely seperate meanings. These meanings can only be dicovered and understood by the individual themselves. The storytelling method is a simple way for the individual to make these discoveries through understanding their dreams. As discussed dream disctionaries make the assumption that certain symbols or dreams will have the same emaning for all people and as the course has already discussed several times, this is simply not the case. Dreams are individual to the dreamers feelings, life experiences and emotions, which a dream dictionary cannot provide.

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    4. I agree with you Holly when you mentioned how “simple and efficient” the Storytelling Method is to use, particularly for the general public. This method can be applied in a scientific and clinical way right from the home of the dreamer. Other benefits of TMS and its use by the public are that it is not time consuming, and that it can be used regularly and without interruption in one’s daily routine (DeCicco, 2008). Furthermore, this method has been known to benefit a wide range of people over long periods of time. For example, the text states TMS is so easy that it can assist people who suffer from physical pain, family dynamics issues, relationship issues, romantic relationships, employment situations or even addictions (DeCicco, 2008).

      The second important benefit of TMS use by the general public relates to dream dictionaries. Like you said Holly, dictionaries assume that a particular symbol has a standardized meaning for all dreamers; which is not the case. However, TMS allows the individual to interpret their dreams for themselves, therefore attributing their own meaning to the short story derived from the dream. The symbols and connections they make between waking life events and dream life are therefore subjective to the individual, as they should be.

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  11. The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is helpful in clinical practice and for use by the general public for several reasons. Dream dictionaries are generic. The life experiences of one dreamer can differ vastly from those of another. The unconscious mind is influenced by experiences that occur within the individual’s waking life therefore generic dictionaries are inadequate. It is important that dream interpretations are catered to the dreamer as an individual. When using the Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation there is no generic/pre-prepared interpretation of the dream. The resources for dream interpretation are gathered from within the individual who had initially experienced the dream. The interpretation will vary from person to person based upon the unique meaning the dream has to them. The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation would be useful within a clinical setting as it would encourage an interactive approach to dream interpretation.

    The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is also useful because it can be carried out by the individual who experienced the dream without them requiring extensive assistance. If we tried to interpret others dreams for them we could end up manipulating them to take certain action/feel certain emotions based on our own biases, or what we (i.e. their friend, clinician, family member) would like them to think/feel. The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is especially useful for members of the general public who cannot afford to visit a clinician as it allows them to gather insight into their dreams at little to no cost.

    It is not just the desires and biases of others that can influence the interpretation of dreams. The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation is a helpful tool because it has been scientifically tested to provide accurate and relevant results. Scientific testing reduces the likelihood of a weak test being distributed that would allow the dreamer’s personal biases to influence their interpretation. Personal biases could affect an interpretation in many ways, but a simple example is that of the aforementioned ‘woman carrying two pigs’ heads.’ It is difficult to believe that the woman would have labeled herself as pig-headed had she not conducted a scientifically tested method of dream interpretation forcing her to face her personal weaknesses.

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  12. The storytelling method of dream interpretation can be useful for both clinical practice and the general public because the method is straightforward and easy to follow.

    In clinical practice it would help the psychologist discover information from the patient's subconscious that may be revealing itself in their dreams. Through a process of leading the patient through discovery, with the use of this method, the psychologist would investigate the elements of the dream. The dream dictionary does not reflect the context of items represented in a dream and therefore the symbols/meanings attached to these items may be further removed from their actual significance.

    For the general public this method of dream interpretation provides individuals with a formula to follow to extract significant elements from their own dreams. This can help individuals understand the feelings evoked by significant dreams and it can also reflect their personal level of significance and reaction to common things.

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  13. I agree with all the general comments everyone is making about how dreams are personal and have different meanings for indiviuals.
    For those having problems with the short story part of the interpretation, try to write the story as fast as possible. Don't over think it. I believe that creating the story should be instinctive, in order to help you bring out the hidden meaning of the dream.
    This, for me, is one of the reasons this method is likely so succesful in clinical practice. It is a way for people who are not great at dream interpretation to be guided by a professional. The therapist could encourage more instinctive, quicker responses. Being on a time crunch would likely help people come up with meanings they would not think of if they were pondering it for a long period.
    Think of it this way, if the meaning of the dream was instantly clear to the dreamer, then we would not need any method of dream interpretation at all. Instead, this method helps you to try to walk that careful line of dragging information from your subconscious to your conscious, using your dream as the bridge.
    Then, after practice with a therapist, or much personal practice, this method becomes a very quick and meaningful way to gain waking life insights.

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  14. As a nursing student, I believe in methods and techniques that are proven through scientific study. Since dream dictionaries have no scientific evidence to back them up, I don't believe that they should be used in clinical practice. I also don't think that individuals should use dream dictionaries to interpret their own dreams because individuals are the only ones who can interpret their dreams, not a general dictionary and not a psychologist. The Story Telling Method is an easy to use worksheet which requires minimal instruction from the psychologist. The patient can read the instructions without influence and can fill in the worksheet without outside influence as well. This is important because it allows the individual to be able to link their dreams to their own waking lives. This is the most important part of dream interpretation after all. I believe the Storytelliing Method is useful because it has scientific evidence to back up its use, its easy to use for the patient and the psychologist can lead the patient to an interpretation instead of creating the interpretation for them.

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  15. After completing my own dream interpretation using the storytelling method I have found surprising results that could be helpful not only to clinicians but also to the person who experienced the dream. Not only is the storytelling method easy and quite fast to use it provides insight, or at least for me, instantly. The method can help beginner dream interpreters become used to interpreting dreams as well as provide quick insight to their dreams. I was surprised at how easy it was for myself to come to discovery about my dream because my dream seemed very bizarre. This was a helpful method because it gave me insight into my life and emotions that I did not realize still existed. The storytelling method could also be helpful for clinical practice because patients can do the interpretation themselves and then the clinicians can discuss what the patient "discovered". This method could be helpful to progress therapy and help both the clinician and patient come to insight into issues in the patients life. This method gives each and every person a different meaning to their dreams even if people have the same/ similar dreams. The storytelling method gives each unique person their own unique interpretation for their unique dream. Everyone is different so a dream dictionary just isn't going to be useful for a person interested in interpreting their dreams. People need a method that caters to a person's own personality, emotions and waking life.

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  16. I agree with the previous comment and many other comments that because a dream dictionary is telling you "this is what it means, no ifs, ands or buts.." then the
    interpretation becomes biased and unreliable so methods such as the Storytelling Method are definitely more reliable. I like that the TSM has specific steps and rules on how to follow those steps but nothing is telling you what your dream means or what it SHOULD mean. This allows the dream to be related to the personality of the dreamer, without restrictions and tips.

    Because there isn't just one right answer for what a dream means, then there can't be things such as dream dictionaries or psychologists just telling people what their dreams mean.
    I have also noticed that the way a dream feels or is experienced by one person is different than the way its understood by another person listening or reading about the dream. If you describe your dream out to a friend, they are going to picture it different than what you actually saw while you were dreaming it, therefore interpretation is best done by yourself. The TSM definitely does its job with this.

    The only thing I see wrong with the Storytelling Method is that I don't believe all those unconscious feelings or thoughts we have will come out in interpretation because if they are things we are unaware of, then we are not likely to think that is what our dream means. For example, if I am unaware of the feeling of guilt I possess for something I did a year ago, then I am unlikely to think a dream is telling me about this guilt I feel. Because this guilt is an unconscious feeling, I probably won't even think of it when interpreting my dream.

    Overall, I do believe the TSM method is something that can be practiced and will help people get better and better at understanding their own dreams. Nobody knows yourself better than you so you are your best bet at interpreting your own dreams correctly.

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  17. The TSM is a good technique for interpreting dreams because it can tell the dreamer why they are having specific dreams and perhaps the feelings connected to them. This method is beneficial for the individual to understand some parts of their dreams by using the steps to understand what their dream may mean or the underlining feelings the individual is experiencing.After doing the STM method I feel it did bring me some insight to my re occurring dream, using the selected words and making the story did tell me some things that i was unable to understand without using the method. The TSM method was also quick and essential. One more reason I feel the TSM is the right strategy is because for clinical reasons it allows the individual to assess themselves and understand their dreams more. As for the dream dictionaries I do not feel they can provide enough concrete evidence of our dreams, one reason being is because like stated above from my fellow colleague everyone interprets dreams differently. One person dreaming about a specific topic or event will not match up with another persons dream of that topic or event. These books that say this means this and that means that cannot prove much, because dreams are unique to the individual, they are not universal. However dream books may give limited insight they can provide some interesting views, yet ultimately I feel STM does provide the best information on dream interpretation within the individual.

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  18. I agree that people need a method that caters to their own personality, emotions and waking life when interpreting their dreams. Unlike dream dictionaries the storytelling method allows someone to work with their dream rather than generalizing it and looking it up. By working with a dream when using the storytelling method it allows the person to get a unique interpretation of their dream, regardless if someone had a similar dream. The storytelling method can be very helpful to the general public because it helps the dreamer gain insight about themselves which they cannot do from waking life. The insight one gains from using the storytelling method could also be helpful for clinicians because it allows them to gain a better understanding of their patients issues because it is coming from their unconscious.

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  19. As Erin also mentioned, I agree that dream dictionaries are not the best method for dream interpretation. Every individual has their own set of characteristics that influence interpretation, and therefore not every dream scene has the same meaning for every person. This makes dream dictionaries a very unreliable method of interpretation.

    By using The Storytelling Method, individuals can effectively interpret their own dreams. However, this method must be used by the dreamer as there are so many variations in individual understanding. Even just explaining a dream scene to another individual does not do the dream justice. Every person brings their own meaning to dreams and therefore psychologists cannot interpret insight for the dreamer.

    When using The Storytelling Method, I struggle to be confident in my own interpretation. In step 4 of the process, I can come up with multiple stories that have significant meaning for myself. Each of these stories relates to a variety of different emotions and I get confused in choosing the right interpretation. I guess in an ideal world, I would use all of the stories and associated emotions to make multiple waking life changes.

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  20. The Storytelling Method of dream interpretation is helpful in clinical practice and for use by the general public. As stated in the discussion question above, looking up the meaning of an image seen in a dream may not help to get meaning from the dream. Using the dream imagery steps from one's own dream and interpreting them will help to seek out the answers to our dreams. Because certain images or scenes seen in a dream would mean different things to each person, dreams must be interpreted individually. Hence.
    The Storytelling Method of dream interpretation is most helpful to clinical practice and the general public because much information and insight can be gathered from the information interpreted from someone's dreams. Using this method makes the dream interpretation more personal and increases the likelihood of connections being make to the waking life.

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  21. The Storytelling Method is used over dream dictionaries when it comes to interpreting the dream and connecting it to the dreamer’s waking life. The reason for this is because a dream dictionary will not provide the individual with their personal dream interpretation. Every dream is unique because every person is unique. One dream that may seem the same may not be the same to the dreamer. The TSM interpretation allows for the dreamer to fully understand the meaning of their dream and to connect it to their waking life. This is something that a dream dictionary is unable to do. The TSM is used in clinical practice and also by the general public because it is not a complex process. It is easily understood and easy to reach discovery using this method. The great thing about TSM is that pretty much anyone can use it. It is a simple way to lead most people to discovery. It uncovers the meaning of each symbol and important aspect in each scene of a dream. Only the dreamer can fully uncover these aspects. This is why dream dictionaries are not as useful because they do not personally relate to the individual and their waking life like TSM does. TSM is helpful in both clinical practices and by the general public because it helps the dreamer understand their dream and relate it to their waking life.

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    1. I agree with the above comment that the story telling method may give more input than a dream dictionary. In my opinion, the story telling method uses more subjective symbolism, since what each word represents is unique to the dreamer, however in a dream dictionary,symbolism is more objective since it tells you that many people could have the same phenomena occur in their dream and get the same meaning regarding what their dream is telling them.

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    2. I have used a dream dictionary in the past and found that different events within the same dream contradict eachother and often have no relationship to any of the events in my life. They're interesting for a good laugh or just for pleasure reading more so than for interpreting what your dreams mean to your life. The Story telling method provided me with great insight, mostly because I couldn't lead the interpretation to where I thought I would go. Pulling out the main words from your dream story and coming up with words you associate with them and creating a story from that was very insightful and brought me to an insight on a dream for which I would never have come up with on my own, but nevertheless completely relevant to my life! Having me come up with an interpretation was more valuable than a third party who doesn't have any idea about me or my life.

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  22. I also agree with the comments made above. A dream dictionary is far to subjective to interpret an individuals dreams. It is near impossible to resonate one particular theory for why individuals are dreaming about a certain sequence of events. Not only is there no strong clinical evidence to support dream dictionaries, but there is also no way to ensure that individuals experience the same emotions during certain experiences. The TSM serves as a method to allow individuals to find a much more relational meaning to their dreams. This allows us to interpret how our dreams are affected by our waking lives on an individual level, rather then presenting subjective ideas.

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  23. Dream diaries are not useful tools to help the dreamer to gain further insight into their waking day life. Firstly, they often reflect events that are continuous from the everyday life. However due to the bias of the dreamer if not further method is used to gain appropriate insight not true meaning can be determined. Like the dog example listed above some individuals will have different interpretations or meanings behind their dreams, but a dream diary is not enough to understand the root meanings.

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    1. Katherine MortonMay 28, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      I agree that dream diaries are not so helpful. They can be interesting, but their information can not be taken to literally. A dreams meaning is dependent on the situation and the specific individual, and can not easily be explained in a book. A book such as this is a start, but can be misleading.

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  24. Having a dream diary in important so that the individual is able to have an accurate account of how they felt immediately following the dream so that they are not influenced by external variables such as what other people may intrepretate their dream to mean.
    By having the diary you are able to go back to the dream and process what it means afetr other experiences, situations and dreams provide a different view point onthe same material.

    Without the diary the dreams recall of the dream could be influenced and provide an inappropriate interpreataion of the material in the dream.

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  25. I agree that the dream dictionary can not be trusted in decipher a dream that is unique to the individual. A dream dictionary excludes important matters such as language and culture so it is unknown how it the meaning can be universal. Also what one person perceives can be very different than another, not to mention how life events shapes how we view things.

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