Dream Interpretation: What is the Meaning of Dreams?


Dreams are unique experiences that happen in our minds while we’re sleeping and are combined of various thoughts, sensations and images. Even though many great minds have tried to explain the meaning of dreams, including the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and the famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, we are still have with nothing in specific but a few theories on dreams and their meanings. These two have defined the world of psychology, yet they have different theories on dreams and their meanings.

Dream Interpretation

The contribution to our understanding of the human mind of Freud and Jung are of indispensable value, as they have helped in the development of psychological treatments for a variety of human conditions. At the beginning, Jung was a student of Freud and so they shared same beliefs and theories. Over the years, everything changed and Jung became world-wide known for his own contribution to the field of psychology. One of their biggest challenges was to find the meaning behind dreams, so they both developed different theories.

Meanings of Dreams According to Freud

The world’s most famous psychiatrist believed that dreams are a wish fulfillment. After self-analyzing himself for years, in 1901, Sigmund Freud published his own book “The Interpretation of Dreams”. At first, his book was published in only 600 copies and it didn’t sell out for 8 years. In Freud’s lifetime, the book was released in seven more editions and it became a massive success. The book was very long and complex, so Freud has also written an abridged version.

After completing his self-analysis, Freud started exploring the influence of unconscious thought processes on a variety of aspects of human behavior. He found out that the sexual desires in childhood, repressed from the conscious mind, are the most powerful forces. His theory explained that the force of life is driven by sexuality and our unconscious that is consisted of thoughts, feelings and experiences of resulting unfulfilled sexual desires. His method of dreams interpretation is by interpreting symbols.

Meanings of Dreams According to Jung

Today, we’re much more open to Jung’s theories on dreams and his analysis. Unlike Freud, who believed that dreams are just manifestation of our deepest, darkest and unfulfilled sexual desires that are within us, Jung offered a simpler and more reasonable approach. According to Jung, there is more to life than sexuality and life’s a journey of constant search for meaning. One of the reasons why the student and the mentor parted ways was that Jung stated that sexuality is not that important and instead focused on collective unconscious, the part of the unconscious that contains memories, forgotten experiences and undeveloped ideas.

Jung’s theory on dreams was that anyone of us can interpret our own dreams and find the meaning behind each and every one of them. Also, he says that not every symbol we see in our dreams means that we have an unfulfilled sexual desire. Like Freud, Jung also believed that interpretation of dreams can help enter the unconscious part of a human mind. But unlike Freud, he believed that not all dreams are of sexual nature. Instead, Jung believed that dreams contain a plenty of different meanings that only the dreamer could interpret for themselves.

Goran Nikolov is a content writer of Protista, a website where you can find a lot of interesting lists. He is from Macedonia and has a passion to write lists about everything that surrounds him, especially about sports, health, music, technology and history. Goran loves to play basketball in his free time, enjoys playing on his guitar and sharing his thoughts with others.