In the early days of psychology, dreams were considered very important, therapeutically. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, among others, dedicated much of their lives to understanding dreams and their function -- the role they play in our lives and how they can help.
In more recent times, the role of dreams has been played down by mainstream therapy. And yet dreams come from the unconscious mind, the part of our mind we're not usually conscious of. By paying attention to our dreams, therefore, we can become more aware of our unconscious, at which point that info becomes part of our conscious mind.
One way of accomplishing this is to keep a notepad and pen by your bed. When you wake up, jot down whatever you remember from your dream(s), even if it's just an image or two. (Some people may prefer to keep a smartphone by their bed and audio-record their comments.) Do this consistently -- each morning. With time, you may find that you're writing (or saying) more and more -- just from paying attention to dreams and taking note. Dream recall is getting activated.
There are many books on dream symbolism, and you can check them out at your local bookstore and find one you relate to. Ultimately, though, your dreams are speaking to you, and you may develop your own dream symbolism.
Either way, dreams are the unconscious's expression of knowledge, feelings, concerns, issues, hopes, and fantasies. And it can be healing -- and conducive to improved self-understanding -- to receive and process that communication.
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