Dreams: Matter of analysis, catharsis, or just an illusion of the brain?

Brain Herbert stated, “Dreams are as simple or complicated as the Dreamer.” Dreams can be compelling, mysterious, and thought-provoking aspects of an individual’s consciousness or mind. Attempting to understand what they mean or how to interpret them is an even more appealing mystery to unravel. Experts over the years have found ways to understand the underlying principle, patterns, symbolic representation related to dreams.

Sigmund Freud laid the foundation of dream analysis and took the concept to the masses with his book “Interpretation of Dreams (1899)”. Freud stated that “the interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.” which laid the foundation of dream analysis.

He believed that dreams are not accidents; they always have reason and meaning. The dream analysis technique uses the manifest content with the free association to help the client explore the repressed material and uncover the meaning of dreams.


A dream is a natural process through which we store, process, regulate or illuminate important memories, thoughts, and feelings. They are essentially a door, a pathway into our mind and consciousness. Let’s dissect the concept of dreams further from a variety of experts of the mind:


Carl Jung believed that the dreamer would unlock the meaning behind it, and only when it is in sync with their belief does the interpretation see fit. Here, dreams are an attempt of expression and not a disguised wish. Free association and amplification are techniques used to interpret dreams.

Carl Jung

Gestalt therapeutic approach considers Dreams as existential messages to ourselves. Messages are explored in the therapeutic space while acting out the parts of the dreams.

Gestalt perspective

The existential art approach emphasized the importance of the imagery and symbols of dreams. The therapist aids in this self-discovery via art form and restrains any interpretation.

Existential art perspective