Have you ever wondered what your dreams mean?

On this page you will get three points of view about the meanings of dreams!

Welcome!  What we want to accomplish on this page is for people to think about their dreams and what they may mean.  This page talks a lot about Freud, but we do touch on Carl Jung, and Fritz Perls.  We hope you enjoy this page.




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Sigmund Freud

Dr. Sigmund Freud's photo

"When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it." Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud practiced psychoanalysis.  Freud became scientifically interested in dreams because his patients mentioned their dreams during free association and because he believed dreams were related to psychopathological conditions.  Freud analyzed dreams by free association, in doing so he found that free associations were an explanation for dreams. 

Freud had his own ideas about dreams.  Freud brought us the psychoanalytic view of interpreting dreams.  In his book Erotic Wishes and Dreams, Freud talks about his views on dream symbolism and how he believes that our dreams depict what we fantasize about.  He also said that while we are awake our sexual desires are repressed, but when we are asleep our sexual desires come alive in our dreams.

Freud said that dreams have two meanings.  The first is the manifest content,  this is the dream itself.  The second is the latent content, which is less obvious.  The latent content is the underlying meaning of the dream. The manifest content often fails to "make sense" to the dreamer.  But, the latent content  are the ideas that come from free association of the manifest content.  Freud believed dreams occur in a dream work, which is a three step process in which dreams originate.  The first process is displacement.  Displacement happens when the psychic energy of the latent content is displaced to a more emotional context that is more neutral, the manifest content.  The second is condensation, this is when several latent meanings are symbolized by one image in the manifest content.  Third of all, concrete representation that is represented by real sensations in manifest content. Freud considers the latent dream as being what the dream actually means in relation to sex.  The manifest dream the content appears to be "innocently nonsexual."

Freud also emphasized the wish-fulfillment hypothesis.  Freud believed all dreams are fulfillments of wishes.  He believed dreams depict our sexual needs and fantasies.  The objects in our dreams are symbols for something sexual.  While awake our conscious represses sexual desires.  But, when our unconscious is in operation (while sleeping) these repressed thoughts are released in our dreams.

Carl Jung

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.-- Carl Jung

Carl Jung was born in  1875.  He was a follower of Freud then later broke from him to form a neo-Freudian school.  He thought that Freud went overboard with sexuality in his theories.  Jung died in 1961.

Dream interpretation by Jung focuses on "taking up the context."  What this means is making sure that meaning of all salient features of the dream for the dreamer is determined by the associations of the dreamer.  Dreams fail to obey our will but almost always stands in fragment opposition to our conscious intentions. 

Examining the context is supposed to be simple.  The interpretation of the dream needs psychological empathy, intuition, and knowledge of the world and man.  Jung has two unconsciousness.  The first is the collective unconscious is deeper than the personal unconsciousness.  The "big and meaningful" dreams come from the collective unconscious.  These dreams mostly occur during critical periods of our life.  An example of these dreams are early childhood, puberty, and beginning middle age.  The second is the personal unconscious.  These dreams are surface dreams.  More of the day to day dreams.  The kind of dreams where someone saw a cow and car and then that night that person dreamt about a cow and a car.  Personal unconscious dreams are the ones that someone dreams about what they saw during the day.  The "big" dream uses collective features because it has to express an eternal human problem that repeats itself, not just as a personal imbalance.  Jung considers the dream fundamentally as a natural expression of the unconscious psychic process.  It provides an X-ray of the unconscious.  Unlike Freud, Jung could not see the dream as only "satisfaction of desires" (wish-fulfillments).  The main and general function of dreams are to try to restore our psychological balance. 

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung at Clark in 1909.

Fritz Perls

"The only difference between the wise man and the fool is  that the wise man knows he is playing". -Fritz Perls, founder of Clinical Gestalt psychotherapy

Fritz Perls was the founder of Clinical Gestalt psychology.  Gestalt is the German meaning of "whole", "pattern", or a configuration.  Perls views contain existentialism.  Existentialism is a philosophy based on individual existence and personal responsibility for acts of free will without the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. Using Gestalt psychology the therapist uses one main technique. The main technique used is to focus on what the person is trying to avoid or what the individual is reluctant to face.The main point in Gestalt interpretation that we will mainly focus on to interpret a dream is, the dream is a projection of rejected or disowned parts of the dreamerís personality.  In other words, a person dreams about things they do not acknowledge or accept about themselves.

A Dream Interpretation

Here is a dream that one of the creators of this web page had.

It was late in the evening and my brother was about to go to work. The only problem that I had with the situation was that I wanted to use the car that night.My brother and I came to an agreement. I was going to take him to work and drop him off and I would pick him up. In the dream my brother worked at the twenty-four hour Super K-Mart near our house. Before we left I called my boyfriend, Angelo, to inform him that I would be at his house after I dropped my brother off. My brother and I left, we were driving a long distance but I did not understand why because his job was no more than five minutes from where we lived. While we were on the way to his job I saw this young man that was walking and holding a baby. The young man and I made direct eye contact and I got the chills all over. He looked at me as if he wanted me to help him, at least that was what it felt like. Then, I drove straight down the street we were on for about another mile. We came to a stop sign and I made a right turn but while I was turning I realized it was not the correct street because we were too far from home.My brother told me to turn around but I was not listening because I was looking out of the window and saw the same guy that I saw before holding a baby.I was trying to figure out how he got so far by walking. I then turned around. But, now my brother and I were on a motorcycle, before we were in a car.From the corner of my eye I saw a different man running towards my brother and I.He seemed to be coming closer and closer.I yelled to my brother to watch out.The next thing that happened was that my brother was gone, the guy hit my brother and all of a sudden my brother disappeared. Then, the man grabbed me and tried to sexually assault me.I woke the next morning, while I was in the dream, in an unfamiliar house.The strange thing is, in the bed next to the one I was in was the guy I kept seeing with the baby.I tried to get out of the house, but I did not know where I was.On a desk I found a cell phone.I tried to call 911 but it did not work.The next person I called was my boyfriend.I told him what happened and the next thing I knew he found me.

Freud's Interpretation

An interpretation of the dream from Sigmund Freudís notions is using Freudian dream analysis.It seems as though I want my boyfriend and I to be together but there is another route that I want to go down before I make my decision.This is represented by the journey in the car and how long the route to dropping my brother off and going to my boyfriendís house.The young man I kept seeing that was holding the baby is a wish fulfillment.I supposedly want to bear this manís child. But, at the same time I have a fantasy about being assault or violated in an aggressive manner.According to the part in the dream where I woke up in the bed next to the guy that was holding the baby, I probably had my sexually fantasy fulfilled.Then, when I realized that was all I wanted so I called my boyfriend and everything worked out as if none of the other events happened.

Jung's Interpretation

An interpretation of the dream from Carl Jung's point of view is in the beginning of the dream I was upset that my brother wanted the car and I wanted the car and then we came to an agreement that I would drop him off and pick him up from work.  Jung would say that part of the dream was comprise in order to balance my state of mind.   Unlike personal dreams this is dream is a "big" dream or a meaningful dream according to Jung.  The dream occurred during a critical phase of my life.  I had just turned eighteen and I was now facing adult responsibilities.  Jung would say that becoming an adult and starting a new chapter in my life caused me to have this "big" dream.  Jung also says that dreams need to have empathy.  I was empathizing with the young man who had the baby.  I wanted to help him, but I couldn't.  Jung also says that dreams contain knowledge.  I knew I needed to get out of the unfamiliar house.  I tried to leave but could not.  I then found a cell phone and tried to call 911, the 911 did not work.  I then called my boyfriend because I knew that he would always help me in any time of need. 

Perls' Interpretation

From an emotional standpoint the dream may seem totally different from the other two interpretations as did the Freudian differed from the Gestalt interpretation.In the beginning of the dream my brother and I were taking a long journey in a car which according to Hartmann is a metaphor for the course of a relationship.The trip represents a long relationship I am in with either my brother or boyfriend.The point in the dream where my brother all of a sudden disappeared represents guilt because I was driving and if I did not make a wrong turn this would not have happened.I probably am feeling guilt about something that happened to my brother. After he disappeared I was assaulted which can be a metaphor for feeling helpless and/or vulnerable. The bottom line for the dream is I probably feel helpless, scared, and guilty which might correlate with some of the things in my long relationship.


This is an interest site of Freud that you may enjoy.

Here is a link to Jung that you may find interesting.

For more on Fritz check out this site.
Here is another site for Carl Jung.
We hope you enjoy this site on S. Freud.