Whatever you put into the dream must be what is in you.” - Fritz Perls.

Dreams are fascinating, mysterious – and often beautiful. They can be humorous, frightening, and strange. If we can listen in to what our dreams are saying, they will inevitably and invariably tell us something you didn't already know. And dreams are abundant. We have four or five of them every night. Many people think they ‘don’t dream’ – it’s not that you’re not dreaming, you’re just not remembering them.

Essential Dreamwork

Essential Dreamwork

Jung said something like the unconscious can track future events in the same way that a meteorologist can predict the weather. It's not really magic. It's just that the unconscious is picking up subtle information that the conscious mind may not be tracking, and because it's absorbing a wealth of information, it can offer a prediction about something that's going to happen in the future, and sometimes those images come through in dreams. Sometimes it's a physical condition or ailment that we might first get an inkling of in a dream.

If you’re interested in self-growth or even just curious about how your mind works, then having an understanding of your dreams can be a helpful way to understand yourself a bit better. There are many different approaches to dream work and ways you can work you’re your dreams, the best way to start is to develop your dream recall and then start keeping a dream diary. (Later on in this article, I explain ways to remember your dreams.)

In the meantime, here are 10 good reasons why dreamwork is a really useful approach to have in your armoury:

1)    Dreams almost always tell us something we don’t already know

2)    They arise regardless every night, several times a night from the unconscious, and provide us with commentary on our conscious life, life issues, circumstances of the dreamer and myriad other things

3)    Dreams are part of how the psyche self-regulates and aid in the individuation process and connect us with the Self

4)    Dreams help the dreamer create an alliance with and access to the unconscious and are the easiest way to access the unconscious

5)    You can support your own psychological wellbeing by learning how to attend to your dreams

6)    Dreams support healing and wholeness by building up ego capacity.

7)    Dreams can be diagnostic and can indicate a corrective to a life course.

8)    Dreams tell us how we feel about past experiences – things that might still be coming up for us and that might be because there’s still some healing or closure to be had

9)    Some people can also have precognitive dreams – call them highly intuitive or psychic, but these dreams can reveal information about future events

10) Dreams can be a place to go when you’re trying to resolve something out of your awareness.

Dream Recall

The more we can get into the habit of remembering our dreams, this does a couple of things. Firstly we become more familiar with our dream landscape, dream signs and themes which means that we’re more likely to develop our self-awareness. Secondly, the subconscious mind sends us helpful dreams and by recalling our dreams, and even writing them down, our subconscious recognises that we’re listening.

Five ways to boost dream recall…


  1. Intention: Set intention to recall your dreams before you start dreaming. Before bed and as you fall asleep: Tonight, I remember my dreams. I have excellent dream recall
  2. Wake up during a dream cycle: If you want to remember your dreams, try waking yourself during a dream period so that the dream is fresh in your mind. (The last two hours of your sleep cycle are when your longest dream periods occur)
  3. Listen to your body: Often, the memories of our dreams are felt in our bodies rather than our minds so explore feelings in your body that you wake up with e.g. woke with a feeling of happiness in my belly
  4. Detective work: If you recall just one fact or feeling from your dream, you can work backwards from that point, eventually gathering the rest of the dream. When awake, ask yourself: Where was I? What was I just doing? How do I feel?
  5. Don’t give up on your dream: Often they come back to you over breakfast or in the shower, sometimes even the following afternoon. Give yourself space to remember.

Dreams are a gift. They are like that magic cupboard under the stairs or that broom cupboard filled with odds and sods - we’ve all got one – and it can contain lots of useful and beautiful things that have perhaps been stored away and we may have long forgotten that we had. Sometimes that cupboard needs a spring clean and there may be spiders and other things we’ve stored away because we no longer want to look at them, and that’s OK – because the great thing is – if we learn to understand what’s in there, and take notice, we can see what treasures, and troubles, we can work with. Dreams do so much for us. They store important memories and things you've learned, remove unimportant memories, and sort through complicated thoughts and feelings They can tell us so much. We can understand ourselves better if we take notice of our dreams.

By Leah Larwood