Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Meaning of Dreams in Carl Jung's Theory Explained

The dream is, within analytical psychology, as in psychoanalysis generally , “the king's road” leading to the understanding of the unconscious contents . However, for the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung , its interpretation and function in the psyche differs from the Freudian perspective . Jung explains in fact that “the general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance with the help of dreamlike material which, in a subtle way, restores the total balance of our entire psyche.  In this sense, the dream participates in the development of the personality and the self, at the same time as it links the subject to the vast imaginary reservoir that is the collective unconscious . According to analyst Thomas B. Kirsch, “Jung considers the dream to be a natural and normal psychic phenomenon, which describes the inner situation of the dreamer [and makes it a] spontaneous self-portrait, in symbolic form, of the present state of his unconscious. "

The contribution of Jung, then of his followers, such as Marie Louise von Franz (for whom dreams are “the voice of human instinct” ) or James Hillman , to the science of dreams is notable. Carl Gustav Jung indeed proposed a double reading, on the level of the object and the subject, while representing the dream as a dramatic process comprising phases which make it possible to shed light on its meaning, always individual but also reducible to cultural and universal issues. His method of interpretation, “  amplification  ”, thus allows oneiric messages to be compared to myths.and cultural productions from all eras. Marie Louise von Franz, for her part, studied dream symbols in dreams, while James Hillman was more interested in what this other world represents for the dreamer.

Night theater of symbols , the dream is for Jung a natural production of the unconscious, as well as the place of transformation of the personality and the way towards a becoming that Jung calls “  individuation  ”. Dreams are therefore at the heart of Jungian psychotherapy which aims, through its study and the amplification method, to relate each of the dream patterns to the human imagination, and thus to develop their meaning for the dreamer.