Jungian-based depth psychotherapy in Media, PA.


carl jung dreams

C. G. Jung

”Dreams are the guiding words of the soul. Why should I henceforth not love my dreams and not make their riddling images into objects of my daily consideration? ”

The ideas of Carl Jung remain as fresh and innovative today as when he penned them at the beginning of the 20th century. He posited that the soul has its own innate drive and trajectory. Dreams carry meaning that transcends our narrow conscious understanding and forms a living link that connects all the humans that have lived before us. Dreams also guide us toward a vital future. Wholeness, not perfection, is the goal of psychotherapy and life.

Wouldn't you want to learn from a man who articulated these ideas over 100 years ago?

Carl Jung, M.D. (1875 - 1961), was a renowned psychiatrist who lived at the turn of the twentieth century, a time when the tenets of modern psychology were being formulated. He was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, M.D. (1856 - 1939), with whom he was invited to lecture at Clark University in America regarding his theories of the structure and function of the psyche, human development, and the treatment of mental disorders.


Function of Dreaming

  1. To orient the dreamer to unacknowledged aspects of the self.
  2. Compensatory - to help achieve psychic equilibrium.
  3. Prospective - to have a guiding influence.
  4. To offer images through which healing is possible.

Motivation for Dreaming

Goes beyond wish fulfillment to include all other concerns, questions and aspirations.

Fundamentals of dreaming old couple sleepinig
Concept of the Unconscious c jung

Concept of the Unconscious

The Unconscious consists of 2 parts:
  1. The Personal Unconscious - Repository of higher aspirations as well as instinctual needs.
  2. The Collective Unconscious - that part of our unconscious that has been genetically determined, that is not directly knowable, and that manifests itself through archetypal images.

Contents of Unconscious:
  1. The unknown but not unknowable.
  2. The unknown that we are ignorant of and that we defend ourselves against knowing.
Fixed vs Universal Symbols

There are no fixed symbols in the personal unconscious.

Structure of the Dream

The "manifest facade" is the dream. No disguise is intended.

Language of the Dream

Imagery as archaic figurative mode of thought.

Role of Current Life Situation

Day residue opens up an area not attended to while awake. Emphasis is on the present predicament of the dreamer.

Background of Working with Dream Images

  • Associations from the personal unconscious.
  • Amplification via archetypes in the collective unconscious.
Technique of Working with Dream Images

Jungian Dream Interpretation

”The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.”

- Carl Jung

The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man (1933)

The Major Steps in the Jungian Approach to Dream Interpretation

1. State the dream text in terms of structure; examine for completeness.

2. Establish the dream context, the situational material in which the dream is embedded. The context is composed of:

  • Amplifications of the dream images, which may include:

Personal associations,

Information from the dreamers environment, and/ or

Archetypal parallels;

  • Themes interconnecting the amplifications, and
  • The immediate and long-term conscious situation of the dreamer;
  • The dream series in which the dream occurs.

3. Review the appropriate attitudes to bring to dream interpretation:

  • Nothing can be assumed regarding the meaning of the dream or of specific images.
  • The dream is not a disguise but a set of psychic facts.
  • The dream probably does not tell the dreamer what to do.
  • Awareness of the personality characteristics of the dreamer and the interpreter.

4. Characterize the dream images as objective or subjective.

5. Consider the dream’s compensatory function.

  • Identify the problem or complex with which the dream is concerned.
  • Ascertain the relevant conscious situation of the dreamer.
  • Consider whether the dream images and the psychic development of the dreamer require a reductive or constructive characterization.
  • Consider whether the dream compensates by opposing, modifying, or confirming the relevant conscious situation; or
  • Whether the dream is non-compensatory: prospective, traumatic, telepathic, or prophetic.

6. Hypothesize an interpretation by translating the dream language in relation to the relevant conscious situation of the dreamer, test it against the dream facts, modify where necessary, and state the interpretation briefly.

7. Verify the interpretation with the patient’s ”inner tuning fork” and/or ”resonance” wit the interpretation feeling ”right.”

Variations in Approach

The variations occur primarily in the part of the procedure that is emphasized. For example, one analyst will rely more on an intuitive impression of the dream’s meaning; another, on gathering detailed amplifications. Always, however, the conditions of the immediate therapeutic situation determine the completeness of the procedure and of each interpretation.

Jungian approach to dream interpretation

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” C. G. Jung