Dream Interpretation

by Clinical Psychologist Stephen Brewer, PsyD


Stephen Brewer is a San Diego Psychologist and nationally syndicated columnist who helps people interpret their dreams to increase self-understanding and improve quality of life.

Have you ever had a dream that left you wondering what just happened? Your unconscious may be trying to tell you something, and the clues to understanding your dream may be in your waking life.

Sigmund Freud called dreams “the royal road to the unconscious.” The unconscious consists of deep parts of ourselves that we generally pay little attention to. Developing an understanding and awareness of one’s unconscious can lead to greater life satisfaction through self-understanding. Unfortunately, American culture seems to have trained most of us to ignore this vital aspect of ourselves, and some modern psychological theories completely discount the role of the unconscious altogether. Some people find that they don’t even dream.

How to remember your dreams.

Let’s say you wake up in the middle of the night after having a dream that left you puzzled, intrigued, or frightened. What can you do to remember your dream for later interpretation and analysis? Turning on your bedside laptop or smartphone to type a quick note is not an option since the brightness of the screen may keep you up for the rest of the night and will likely annoy your partner.

One of the easiest ways to remember your dreams is to keep a small pad of paper near your bed to write short notes. Don’t worry about providing a complete narrative – just capture the main images and emotions. Another option is to keep a voice recorder next to your bed. These are relatively cheap, and you will save a tree in the process.