Dream analysis is very useful in psychology as it shows us what is going on in the deepest levels of consciousness. In therapy we can tell if a person is progressing by analysing the dream content that the subject is experiencing.
If a client is still having nightmares or unpleasant dreams then they are having difficulty working through their problems, and you will know that even if everything appearsto be running smoothly (at this moment in time) such progress will not be permanent as the mind is still wrestling with the deepest fears or irrationalities.
Dreams are to primitive men what the Bible is to us. Dreams have been valued since long before Joseph and his coat of many colours. Ancient Egyptians took healing in the Great Pyramids and much of this involved sleep and dream work. Aristotle, in 350 BC compared dreams to the reflections in water, suggesting we should look for similarities with conscious life.
When working with dreams it is essential that a holistic profile of the individual is taken into account and that dreams are not taken literally. Because they are highly symbolic, they can express deep seated physical health problems and issues of mind and spirit that need resolution, revealing information that is not available to the conscious mind.
In the Ancient Greek and Roman Empires rituals were performed to bring healing. One such ritual involved animal sacrifice, usually a ram, which the dreamer would sleep on the skin of. Evening prayers and chants were held and seekers would ask Aesculapius to bring them healing dreams. (Aesculapius was a healer who lived during the 11th century BC and was later made the god of healing). When Aesculapius appeared in the dream state he would tell of the medicine and treatment needed. Some times his daughter Hygeia would appear to perform psychic surgery.
Related Articles and Guides
Jungian Psychology, Functions and Word Association - An Essential Guide to Understanding Dreams