Dream analyst, David Rivinus, uses a simple five-step technique to help dreamers understand the symbols of their dreams. According to him, the technique is thorough, easy to learn and works well. He claims that it also avoids the two extreme approaches to dream interpretation that lead to the most common problems in dream analysis.
One problematic approach is the simplistic drugstore-book technique. He recommends steering clear of any document suggesting that a specific symbol always means the same thing: lightning always symbolizes inspiration. “Dreams are an extension of the dreamer’s own subconscious, and the symbols in dreams directly reflect that particular dreamer’s thought process and experience,” he says. According to Rivinus, a dreamer who has spent his life enjoying beautiful electric storms from the safety of an enclosed porch will have a radically different feeling about lightning than someone who has actually been struck by it.
At the same time, he recommends not getting too complicated. “You don’t need to be a specialist in Freudian psycho-sexual theory to interpret dreams,” he says. He points out that, in odd ways, the two extreme approaches make the same mistake; they both lock the dreamer into a preconceived notion of a symbol’s meaning. For example, according to strict Freudians, women are inherently envious of male sexual organs. “That is a ludicrous assumption under any circumstances,” he says, “and it can be especially misleading if a sexual symbol arises in a dream.” He feels it is far better to guide the dreamer through that dreamer’s own thought process, and as a facilitator to keep his assumptions to himself.
“What I try to do is to get the dreamer to think about the metaphoric meaning of any symbol.” According to Rivinus, a crucial part of his technique is simply asking the neutral question, “Tell me about it.” If a dreamer dreams about a car, Rivinus will ask him to, “Tell me about a car.” According to Rivinus, a typical response might be, “A car’s the thing that takes you from one place to another.” But if the dreamer has been injured in an automobile accident, that experience could elicit a radically different kind of answer. “The results are far more accurate if you let the dreamer tell you what a symbol means, rather than imposing your own interpretation on it.”
For more information, visit www.teacherofdreams.com