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Free Association dream interpreting and Anxiety


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*preface - I am not advocating dream interpretation as a therapy or even as something legit, just asking questions about it and sharing experiences*

 

Has anyone else had experience working with a therapist on looking at their dreams to determine possible sources of anxiety?

 

I ask because I used to work with someone a lot about this. I found that for me, trying to find associations between things in my dreams and real life proved to be a good stepping stone to finding out what things in my life were subconsciously bothering me.

 

It is starting to bother me that since I moved to the community I live in, which has an urban wolf problem,  I have been having more and more nightmares about wolves - and previously in my life, dreams about wolves were always good dreams that I looked forward to. I feel for the first time in my life I am getting a phobia about wolves that wasn't there before and I feel like it is starting to severely restrict my freedom to do the things I consider normal in my own home town - like walk the dog on a trail. I feel comfortable in the bush everywhere but here, and it frustrates me.

 

So I am wondering if my nigtmares about wolves are actually about wolves or if my subconscious is just using my real-life fear of wolves to express some other, deeper anxiety that I don't want to be aware of.

 

Thoughts? Anyone else done dream interpreting and/or free association in therapy?

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I've occasionally used the site dreammoods.com to interpret dreams.  There is a search option for you to look up keywords.  Of course dreams are always specific to the person dreaming, but I do find the website helpful.  

 

Here are the results for searching "wolves"  

 

 

 

To see a wolf in your dream symbolizes survival, beauty, solitude, mystery, self-confidence and pride. You are able to keep your composure in a variety of social circumstances and blend into any situation with ease and grace. You are also a loner by choice. Negatively, the wolf represents hostility, aggression, or sneakiness. It may reflect an uncontrollable situation or an all-consuming force in your life. This could point to an obsession, an addiction or something that is beyond your control.
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I don't usually use any kind of dream dictionary to analyze dreams. Free association means you have to find out what each thing in your dream means to you personally, based on your personal experiences and often the last context in which you experienced it in real life. I was just curious if anyone here had done free association dream therapy before with their therapists, apparently not too many.

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I'm reasonably good at interpreting dreams. But other than myself, I can only interpret for friends. And being current with what is going on in their lives is crucial. I can usually interpret well enough that my friends are surprised, and continue to ask me to interpret their dreams. But, for instance, I couldn't do it if a total strange walked up to me and asked.

 

I don't pay attention to the "symbolism" on dream sites or books. I also don't explicitly pay attention to Freud. I am sure that on some level I am using what I know, having read several of his books when I was working on my unfinished undergraduate thesis.

 

I don't think there is any thing that I will uncover to deal with anxiety. I have anxious dreams, but they are not very common, and they are usually situational.

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