Some of us think that dreams are mysterious and some of us are ridiculous. In fact, dreams or in other words dreams are the speech of our sleeping selves. Speaking of the self means that there is a conscious self, which definition takes us away from the concept of the unconscious, because self means consciousness.
While studying dreams as therapists, we strive to learn our client’s feelings and thoughts comprehensively and completely. However, sometimes our clients may want to paint a different picture because they are not ready to face it or because they have not yet become aware of it, and they may give misleading information. At this point, studying dreams is beneficial in terms of seeing the aspects of ourselves and our client that they are not aware of.
According to the Phenomenological Dream-Self Model, dreams are; It is a very valuable information that shows the state of the person, all kinds of difficulties he experiences and how he copes with them. It is the duty of us therapists to see this valuable information correctly and to keep it away from symbolic meanings that will distract the person from his/her feelings. We listen to the emotion described in the dream from the mouth of the dreamer, without adding any interpretation. In this model, we know that the dream is one of the tools that directly shows the person in his simplest form, what he is feeling, exactly as he is. Since consciousness is not different from the waking state, the events and emotions in our dreams are just reflections of our daily life. For this reason, we therapists first try to understand the emotion in the dream, and then we examine the question of whether this emotion is in contrast or parallel to our waking state. Even if it is parallel or contradictory, this is valuable information and its study is beneficial in terms of increasing the awareness of the individual. Thus, we can say that dreams are the reality itself or its mirror.
Unlike theories such as psychoanalysis, dream therapy offers a new, understandable and useful perspective.
Although dreams have always been the focus of attention throughout the history of modern psychotherapy, its application in psychotherapy has not become widespread. Today, the number of psychotherapists working with dreams is quite limited. The biggest reason for this situation is that it works and an effective dream model has not been developed. The biggest obstacle to this is wrong assumptions about dreams. It is the belief that dreams are completely different from waking mental activities and that dreams are of unconscious origin.
In the “Phenomenological Dream Self Model”, a clear self is manifested in dreams, as in waking. Instead of approaching dreams as a coded text of unconscious origin, it is necessary to approach them as the activity of a conscious self so that dreams are easier to understand. Just as we are awake, our self speaks, senses and interprets by itself while asleep. Contrary to what Freud advocated, the “Phenomenological Dream Self Model” cares and values the apparent content of the dream. The person who sees the dream is not passive but active. The therapist works collaboratively with the client to reveal the meaning of the content of the dream. Again, unlike Freud, he does not need the concept of the unconscious. If there is clearly a self in the dream and this self is self-conscious and the dream is to be understood in terms of the dream self, why need the concept of the unconscious?
Dream studies with the “Phenomenological Dream Self Model” often show the therapist clearly and accurately what the client’s primary problems and conflicts are. Because most of the dreams of people seeking therapeutic help are related to problems and conflicts. Dream therapy provides a clear understanding of how people experience these problems emotionally, both in terms of waking and dream self. Throughout the therapy process, the therapist observes that the dream self does not filter out its emotions as much as the waking self, but simply experiences them. Thus, the client understands what he does with his problems and conflicts, his attitude towards them, and how he tries to solve them. It also determines when and how the client should be supported with dream therapy. The course of the therapy process and the effectiveness of the therapeutic work are clearly revealed by dream work.
The purpose of dream studies is to hear what is said in the dream and to compare the client with his inner voice, in short, to listen to the client while he is asleep.