Dream interpretation is a subject of fascination for many, but Dr. Lauri Loewenberg is the real expert. Holding doctorate in archetypal psychology, she can make sense of just about any dream, given the right contextual information and you can interpret your own, too, with a few tips from her new book, “Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams, Change Your Life.”
Loewenberg says that dreams should be treated as advice you give to yourself.
“Dreams are basically a conversation with the self,” she says. “Everything in your dream is about you and about your life. If you dream that a co-worker dies or a family member dies, we think, oh my gosh, they might die, when in fact it’s something about you that’s dying off or changing.”
But if dreams are so specific to each person, then why do so many of us have dreams about the same things, like teeth falling out or flying?
“Look at your dreams as a language,” says Loewenberg. “They’re really metaphors for your life because this is how we communicate when we talk to each other. We use metaphors. It’s a picture language. The difference is that the dream brings it to life and puts you in it.”
Loewenberg suggests keeping a journal in which you describe your dreams right after they happen and to look closely to the day before the dream in order to figure out what it means.
“I’ve found that your day and your dream are always connected. Always,” she says. “You can always connect the dots between what happened in the dream and what happened that day.”
Q. Are nightmares a good thing?
A. It’s constructive criticism. It’s kind of a slap in the face that says “hey, wake up” this issue really needs to be taken care of already.
Q. Do you believe dreams can be prophetic?
A. I hear a lot of people who have pretty compelling stories about how their dreams did kind of show them the future. I do leave myself open to that, but also the scientist in me is still skeptical because we do, as part of human nature, tend to draw the bulls-eye around the arrow.
Q. What’s the best way to have a lucid dream?
A. When you set your alarm, set it to 20 or 30 minutes earlier than you need to wake you up. When it goes off, hit the snooze button and then in that 20 to 30 minutes, you will drift back into sleep but you’re not going to get deep enough to the point where you’ll lose your consciousness.