How To Analyze Dreams & Unusual Life Experiences

Mary H/ July 27, 2013/ Paul Brenner, MD, PhD

(Original Post from Dr. Brenner’s personal Blog, July 27, 2013)

Maria Bowen, Carl Roger’s leading psychotherapist in Person Centered Therapy, taught me the most simple method for analyzing dreams.  Maria died far too soon but changed my life by bringing dreams into reality and making the waking state into a dream.

1)  Give the dream or an unusual experience of the day a title.
2)  Write down your emotions sequentially that resulted from this experience.
3)  Make the experience into a Chinese proverb:  Confucius says, ” He/She who… ”  and finish the proverb based on this unusual dream or experience. Example:  He who teaches dream analysis, should make sure he does it for himself.
4)  Since step (3) is in the third person, now make it personal by restating the proverb with ” I ” instead of ” He ” or “She “.
Example: If I am going to teach a method, I better practice it.
5)  If you are analyzing a dream, ask yourself what happened in the last 24-48 hours to give you this dream.   This is not necessary if it was an unusual experience of the day.
6)  Give yourself an affirmation based on your understanding of steps ( 3) and (4).  Example: I will analyze unusual dreams and experiences.
7)  Write  the affirmation on paper or a stone and carry the wisdom with you for at least a day.

I do this with all my cancer clients.  I have them make their cancer into a dream and use this process, and it is amazing how this process empowers them.  Every experience we have becomes a guide post for understanding and appreciating this gift of life we have been given.