Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dream symbols could help in psychotherapy

Date:
November 8, 2012
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Dream images could provide insights into people's mental health problems and may help with their treatment, according to a psychology researcher.

Jung proposed that these archetypes were ancient images stemming from humans' collective unconscious.
Credit: Lance Storm and NASA

Dream images could provide insights into people's mental health problems and may help with their treatment, according to a psychology researcher from the University of Adelaide.

Dr Lance Storm, a Visiting Research Fellow with the University of Adelaide's School of Psychology, has been studying dream symbols (or "archetypes") and their meanings, as described by the famous psychologist and psychiatrist, Carl Jung.

In the early 1900s, Jung proposed that these archetypes were ancient images stemming from humans' collective unconscious. He believed that dream symbols carried meaning about a patient's emotional state which could improve understanding of the patient and also aid in their treatment.

In a paper about one of Dr Storm's non-clinical studies -- to be published next year in the International Journal of Jungian Studies, and currently published online -- he supports Jung's theories and recommends that dream analysis be explored further for potential clinical use.

"Jung was extremely interested in recurring imagery across a wide range of human civilizations, in art, religion, myth and dreams," says Dr Storm.

"He described the most common archetypal images as the Hero, in pursuit of goals; the Shadow, often classed as negative aspects of personality; the Anima, representing an element of femininity in the male; the Animus, representing masculinity in the female; the Wise Old Man; and the Great Mother.

"There are many hundreds of other images and symbols that arise in dreams, many of which have meanings associated with them -- such as the image of a beating heart (meaning 'charity'), or the ouroboros, which is a snake eating its own tail ('eternity'). There are symbols associated with fear, or virility, a sense of power, the need for salvation, and so on.

"In Jungian theory, these symbols are manifestations of the unconscious mind; they are a glimpse into the brain's 'unconscious code', which we believe can be decrypted," he says.

Dr Storm argues that Jung's theories have practical significance and could broaden the range of options available to patients undergoing treatment for mental health problems. "Our research suggests that instead of randomly interpreting dream symbols with educated guesswork, archetypal symbols and their related meanings can be objectively validated. This could prove useful in clinical practice," he says.

"We believe, for example, that dream analysis could help in the treatment of depression. This is a rapidly growing area of mental health concern, because depressive people are known to experience prolonged periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is directly linked with emotional processing and dreaming."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sally Bradshaw, Lance Storm. Archetypes, symbols and the apprehension of meaning. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 2012; 1 DOI: 10.1080/19409052.2012.685662

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Dream symbols could help in psychotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108104225.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2012, November 8). Dream symbols could help in psychotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108104225.htm
University of Adelaide. "Dream symbols could help in psychotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108104225.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins