Tag Archives: interpersonal dream interpretation

Dream Condensation and the Many Different Levels of Dreams

The Many Different Levels of Dreams
The Many Different Levels of Dreams


Dream Information 299:
Dreams have many levels:

(1) The intrapsychic level involves the psychodynamic processes within the person themselves. At this first level, each person or creature in the dream represents a part of the dreamer’s psyche. Females signal the dreamer’s emotions, while males are associated with behavior. One can literally think of the characters/creatures/animals in a dream representing different parts of the dreamer’s psyche–either an emotional (female) or an action (male) part of the psyche.

This is at once the most difficult and most fruitful level of dream interpretation. One has to discipline oneself to see this level because the natural human tendency is to go to the second and interpersonal level of dream interpretation. At this first level, it is hard to see each character in the dream as part of the dreamer because one enters an endless hall of mirrors. For example, at the first level, the dreamer’s wife in the dream typically represents the emotional part of the dreamer’s mind that deals with his wife. (to be continued)

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Stabbed in the Back

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Dream 279: Stabbed in the Back
A 26-year-old woman dreamed that her boyfriend stabbed her in the back.
Interpretation
At the first level of dream interpretation, each character in the dream is a part of the dreamer’s mind. The first level is the most difficult and the most productive. Men tend to be associated with action parts of the mind, while women go with more emotional parts of the psyche.

So at the first level her actions are attacking her emotions. She recently was upset over her boyfriend starting to drink again, and it frightened her what whe might do to him which included physical retaliation. She feared she might do some rash and drastic action based on how she felt emotionally.

The back supports us. The dream is using the back as a metaphor for psychological support. She felt that his drinking again was a major disruption of her personal support system. She literally felt “stabbed in the back.”

This latter observation is the second or interpersonal level of dream interpretation. Usually it is the dreamer who is most accurate at this level. The dream interpreter simply does not have enough access to all the interpersonal details like the dreamer does. When the first and second levels are both true, as in this case, we call it condensation. The dream packs the maximum amount of information it can into the smallest space.

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