5 Steps to Interpret Your Dreams

Here a method of introspection as playful as fertile, developed for Psychologies by Patrick Bertoliatti, trained in Jungian analysis and gestalt therapy. Follow the guide.

Flavia Mazelin Salvi

In most cultures, dreams are messages sent by ancestors, gods or the universe, which must be deciphered to better lead one's personal life or the affairs of the community to which one belongs. In our western culture, the dream is no longer considered prophetic, it is one of the great voices through which the unconscious is heard. For Freud, who sees it as a "rebus", his interpretation is even the "royal road leading to the knowledge of the unconscious in psychic life". On this point, Jung does not contradict it, but he expands the notion of the unconscious, apprehended at the individual level, to a collective unconscious, defined as a kind of databank common to humanity and populated by archetypes. For Fritz Perls and Erich Fromm, the founders of gestalt therapy, each stage of the dream is a projection of "unconscious parts" of the individual or a way of speaking about what can not be said openly. In all cases, the dreamer is apprehended as a director who writes and turns a film, out of the consciousness of the sleeper. When he wakes up, he will be given scenes, dialogues, sometimes the entire production, which he will let slip or share as we tell a story, or that he will try to understand alone or with the help of a professional.

Patrick Bertoliatti, trained in Jungian analysis and gestalt therapy, has been working on dreams for more than twenty years, and his passion as a therapist and researcher has never wavered. "They conceal our desires and our fears, but they can also reveal unknown facets of the self, new avenues to explore in his life, resources just waiting to be activated, he explains.They allow us to join a dynamic of widening our possibilities By analyzing them, the dreamer learns to let himself be guided by the overcoming of his difficulties, to make an interior reconciliation and then to reach what can be seen as the true "I". In this approach, which Jung called the process of individuation, the unconscious is apprehended as a partner with whom to establish a dialogue. At the end of this one, the dreamer will be able both to see more clearly in him and to take a place more in line with his deep, sometimes forgotten, aspirations. The method of decoding that Patrick Bertoliatti has developed for Psychologies magazine is obviously not a substitute for an analysis done with a professional, "but it can allow everyone to experience introspection as well. playful than fruitful ".

Encourage and remember your dreams

Before embarking on the interpretation of your dreams, it is important to adopt the right frame of mind, which allows you to welcome and retain them. Start by placing a notebook and a pen on your bedside table. The first step is the relaxation of the body and mind. Before going into sleep (we will have avoided heavy and late dinners as well as exciting substances), make several deep breaths and gradually release all the muscles of your body. Once relaxed, repeat yourself several times: "Tonight, I want to dream and remember my dreams." As soon as you wake up, write down your dream, staying as faithful as possible in your story, as it appears. Do not rationalize, do not censor, do not try to write a "beautiful" text. And above all, write in the present tense.

Sequence your story

Date your dream and give it a title. This title, which is already an interpretation, will express, by condensing it, your feelings. He will concentrate, like a title of novel or film, the atmosphere and the dominant theme of your dream. Describe it accurately. Decor, characters, situations staged, words and emotions expressed ... Try not to omit anything. Like in a painting, every detail counts.


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