September 1, 2003
UCSC expert authors new guide to dream interpretation
By Jennifer McNulty
A new book on dream interpretation draws on the fields of psychology,
anthropology, and mythology to offer readers a rich yet practical resource
to explore the meaning of dreams.
|Veronica Tonay's book includes
an overview of dream research and answers the most common questions
Veronica Tonay, a UCSC psychology instructor and a licensed clinical
psychologist, wrote Every Dream Interpreted (London: Collins
& Brown Limited, 2003) for beginners and those more experienced
with the realm of dream interpretation.
It incorporates the latest research findings about the link between
waking and dreaming, and it includes a dictionary of cross-cultural
meanings of the most common symbols and elements that appear in dreams.
Research supports four theories about the relationship of dreams to
waking life, said Tonay:
Dream behavior reflects waking-life behavior, as Sigmund Freud
Dream content reflects preoccupations from waking life, as Calvin
Feelings in dreams tend to be those we are unaware of in waking
life, as Carl Jung said;
All parts of dreams reflect the dreamer, as Gestalt theorists
None of these findings are contradictory--they are each correct
about some aspect of dreams and dreaming, said Tonay. They
each speak to a different aspect of the question, What do my dreams
Those interested in dream interpretation can use dream content to reflect
on their behavior, preoccupations, and feelings in waking life, as well
as for creative inspiration, to deepen communication with loved ones,
and simply as entertainment, said Tonay, who is also the author of The
Creative Dreamer: Using Your Dreams to Unlock Your Creativity.
Dreams are always just a little ahead of whats in our conscious
mind, which makes them fascinating on many levels, said Tonay,
adding that most people remember an average of one or two dreams per
week, and about 60 percent of dreams are unpleasant.
Every Dream Interpreted presents an overview of dream research
followed by two sections: Part One answers the most common questions
about dreams, including:
Why are my dreams important?
How can I remember more of my dreams?
What kinds of dreams do most people have?
Are mens and womens dreams different?
What do flying dreams mean?
What does it mean if I have the same dream over and over again?
Part Two presents the meanings of the most common dream elements, which
are organized into four sections: the natural environment, human characters,
the animal kingdom, and buildings and other structures. This section
builds on the Jungian idea that symbols hold cultural and cross-cultural
meanings and express universal themes.
For example, it is widely known that the snake is a symbol of sexuality
and the phallus in psychoanalytic literature, but other cultures view
the snake as a symbol of the unconscious, death and rebirth, fear, illness,
The snake has several meanings, but the number is finite,
said Tonay. The question is, Which images appear in your
dreams, and can you probe their meaning to connect with the unconscious?
For psychologists, dreams are a path to the unconscious that can help
individuals learn about themselves. People all over the world
and across time have used dreams to add meaning to their lives,
said Tonay. When people find out Im a dream researcher,
they immediately tell me one of their dreams and ask me to interpret
it. Everyone is curious about their dreams.
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