HYDERABAD: A few psychiatrists and psychologists in the city are resorting to dream interpretation techniques to understand sub-normal patients better; they say dreams tell what a person can’t, which is needed to cure neurosis.
Have you ever had one of those dreams that feature you being chased by a known or unknown aggressor or an animal and wondered why? Well, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr Sona Kakar has an interpretation to offer for it. She says, “The dream is about something that’s terrifying you in real life. What we ignore or suppress in our life appears in symbolic language in the form of dreams.” These dreams surely have a lot to divulge about what’s happening in the subconscious mind. It helps psychoanalysts understand the patient’s root cause of concern and tailor the therapy they plan on offering accordingly.
We all know that Austrian psychotherapist Sigmund Freud laid the foundation for psychotherapy and was keen on dream interpretation for treating sub-normal patients. His works, though critical, have evolved and the traditional practice of dream interpretation surfaced yet again. And for good reason. “We are not using the same old techniques of dream interpretation. Nobody has the time to carry out hours-long sessions as Freud did. But dream analysis is the tool that helps me understand the patient’s needs and problems better,” Dr Sona Kakar added.
“Mental illness is prevalent, but the problem is most of the patients are not honest with the therapist. Patients not being honest delays the healing process,” says Dr Venkata Subbaiah, a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, Erragadda.
Whenever Dr Subbaiah sniffs dishonesty in his patients, he asks them about their dreams. “Dreams show how the subconscious perceives reality as it is; not as they put it when they tell me how they feel. With dreams, we can find the underlying cause of psychic problems, which is mostly fear or suppressed traumatic childhood memories.”
“Our psyche rests between dreams and reality. Dreams occur to us to show us what we don’t see or what we don’t want to see. Psyche is a threshold that shapes our perception, affects our mood and helps us understand ourselves,” Dr Subbaiah explained in brief. He added, “It requires an ocean of understanding, and time, so most practitioners don’t delve into past dreams but focus on what is causing the problem to the patient in reality and address it.”
Both Dr Kakar and Dr Subbaiah unanimously agree that dreams could help anyone understand themselves better. We may not be able to interpret them, but we get the gist of what we’ve missed or what’s bothering us now.