Dreams are the creations of our unconscious mind. Their basic purpose is to bring harmony to our everyday dilemmas. Most of us forget our dreams but occasionally we remember snippets and vaguely remember the rest as being rather weird. Just as your body repairs and restores itself while sleeping, your mind needs the same kind of reset. It needs to temper all those frustrations created by unresolved expectations so as to start the new day refreshed.

Dreams appear to us in the form of metaphors, usually with a random cast of characters and objects that we can only puzzle at. They can sometimes be distressing, and even frightening.  But to our imagination, dreams are simply a way to make sense in a dramatic way of something that is going on in our lives. 

If you sometimes remember your dreams, you've observed how your imagination can be as powerful as that of any Hollywood director, using your senses and emotions to intensify the experience. You might have woken up with sweating, racing heartbeat, jumpiness, even yelling. Your imagination is capable of all that, from the tamest to the wildest of reactions. And all the while, it is simply trying to figure out how to work out something that is happening in your life. A recurring dream is simply our mind trying to find clarity in a 'recurring' issue that may go back to earlier time in our lives.

Hypnotherapists love to work with dreams and can help the client gain important insights, even if the client only remembers the barest of snippets.  If a client wants to work on a dream, I usually encourage them to jot down their dream the minute they awaken, or as we all know, the details instantly evaporate. Using the techniques of Gestalt, working with distressing dreams is  a fast-track way of uncovering and resolving the issues that are troubling the dreamer in real life. Being in a hypnotic trance, feeling safe and totally supported, it’s much easier for a subject to be open to new insights and to move that conflict to the next and final step: resolution. And it doesn't take months of therapy: One or two sessions is all that is needed. And all the while, the client is aware, awake, able to add input and clarity. 

Ellen McNally, Hong Kong

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