The Meaning of Dreams According to Sigmund Freud

The famous psychoanalyst and philosopher Sigmund Freud invested many years of his research in analyzing the meaning of dreams, this research can be seen reflected in his famous book published in 1899 entitled " The Interpretation of Dreams ".

This book was a bridge between psychology and other studies on the dream world since it affirmed that there was a great mental component in them: the expression of the subconscious . If you want to know the meaning of dreams according to Sigmund Freud , we recommend that you continue reading this article. In it you will find everything you need to know about the work and philosophy related to the dreams of this curious author.

Freud's Interpretation of Dreams

Before talking about one of the most famous books of the Austrian psychoanalyst, it is important to comment that this is based on the theory of psychoanalysis, this theory affirms the existence of mental processes beyond our conscious thought. If you want to know more about this theory, we recommend you read this article on Freud's iceberg metaphor .

In Freud's own words:

"Dreams are the first link in a series of psychic formations (...) their value is more theoretical than practical and they can help us to explain the genesis of phobias, neuroses and obsessive ideas (...) Each dream is revealed as a formation full of meaning to which a precise place can be assigned in conscious activity "

This fragment adapted from his book gives us an idea of ​​the main axis of his theory: for Sigmund Freud , dreams are an expression of the subconscious world and that the motivation for this dream activity is the fulfillment of instincts and desires that have not been seen satisfied on the day. That is, they are attempts by the unconscious to satisfy and resolve what has not been carried out consciously.

For example , sometimes we dream of resolving a conflict with someone or we dream that we are achieving goals that, in our opinion, are unattainable. According to Freud's theory, this is because a non-conscious part of our brain seeks to solve our problems during the hours when the conscious mind is " deactivated ".

Dream Theory - How are they interpreted?

Sigmund Freud considers that " every dream is interpretable " that is, everything we dream about has a message from our subconscious. If you want to interpret what you have dreamed according to the meaning of dreams according to Sigmund Freud , you must first analyze what elements appear and what weight they have in your life.

Exercise of psychological interpretation of dreams

To be able to analyze what you have dreamed, you need a paper, a pen and to remember well the content of the dream. Write down what you have dreamed of as soon as you get up, since as time goes by we forget. It is also important to note how we have felt during the dream (if we have felt happy, fearful, if we have been upset ...).

Once we have everything written down, we must ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Who was in the dream?
  • What was I facing?
  • How has the conflict ended?
  • How do I feel after the dream?

With this interpretation, we can go beyond looking for meanings to the figures that appear (such as looking for the meaning of dreaming about snakes ) and we can analyze the psychological content of dreams.

Dream interpretation: examples

Next, we are going to present three examples of recurring dreams in humans and we are going to interpret them according to Freud's theory of psychoanalysis:

Meaning of dreaming that we fall

According to the most recent evolutionary theories, there are those who affirm that this dream may be a residue of the fear that our ancestors had to sleep in the open. However, according to psychoanalysis, the meaning of dreaming that we fall lies in a delicate situation in our daily life that causes us discomfort and certain vertigo, such as the fear of making an important decision.

Meaning of flying in dreams

On the other hand, flying is usually a symbol of freedom and independence. According to Sigmund Freud's interpretation of dreams, dreaming that we are flying is usually related to a repressed urge to be independent and autonomous people.

Other scholars claim that this dream may be a reflection that we have freed ourselves from an important burden in our conscious life. Therefore, we feel so light that we are able to fly in our subconscious.

Meaning of being persecuted in dreams

Finally, one of the most recurring dreams we have is to be chased. The concept seems quite clear: being persecuted generates a feeling of anguish and discomfort in the face of something that we have not yet faced, so we run away and turn our backs on something or someone in the dream. If you have dreamed of being persecuted, think about whether there is some kind of conflict that you must face.