Adaptive theory speculates that species-wide sleep patterns developed as a way of adapting to the environment. Grazing animals, for example, sleep relatively few hours a day in short bursts. According to adaptive theory, this is a response to the necessity of constant alertness for predators.
By way of contrast, animals with few natural enemies, such as opossums and gorillas, sleep up to fifteen hours per day. Adaptive theory hypothesizes that the sleep pattern of human beings developed after the species began living in caves, which offered protection from encounters with powerful nighttime predators.... adaptive theory dream meaning
J.A. Hadfield, in his book Dreams and Nightmares (Pelican 1954), puts forward what he calls a biological theory of dreams. He says the function of dreams is that, by reproducing difficult or unsolved situations or experiences, the dream aids a solving or resolution of the problems. He gives the example of a man climbing a cliff who slips fractionally. He then may dream of actually falling and waking terrified. Subsequently the dream recurs, but in each he tries out a different behaviour, such as clasping for a branch, until he manages to act appropriately to avert the disaster. He sums up by saying dreams stand in the place of experience. They make us relive areas of anxious or difficult experience. They thus help problem solving. But they not only look back at past behaviour, they act just like thinking in considering future plans and needs. ... biological dream theory dream meaning
Jung, Hadfield and several other dream researchers believe the dream process is linked with homoeostasis or self regulation (see Man and His Symbols, Jung; Dreams and Nightmares, Hadfield; Mind and Movement, Crisp). This means that the process underlying dream production helps keep psychological balance, just as homoeostasis keeps body functions balanced. Put bluntly, dreams are said to compensate for conscious attitudes and personality traits. So the coldly intellectual man would have dreams expressive of feelings and the irrational, as pan of a compensatory process; the ascetic might dream of sensuous pleasures; and the lonely unloved child dreams of affection and comfon. Although dreams can be seen as self regulatory, this narrower view of compensation is only seen in a few dreams. See computers and dreams; sleep movements; science and dreams; sleep walking. ... compensatory theory dream meaning
The Oedipus complex is one of Freud’s best-known and most influential theories in the realm of dream interpretation. The term refers to a group of largely unconscious ideas and feelings that focus on the desire to possess the parent of the opposite sex and eliminate that of the same sex. The complex is named after the mythical Oedipus, who killed his father and then married his mother without knowing they were his parents. When Oedipus discovered the truth, he felt full of remorse and even though he was not personally responsible for the crimes, he gouged out his own eyes and wandered blind and exiled.
Although the term is now applied to both men and women, at first it only referred to the male version of the complex. In women, the Electra complex was said to exist. In the myth of Electra, she masterminded the murder of her mother to avenge her father’s death. According to Freud, the Oedipus and Electra complexes are universal phenomena, being responsible for much unconscious guilt and for dreams that focus on the death of a parent or lover.
Jung saw the world of dreams and relationships quite differently.
He rejected Freud’s heavy emphasis on sexuality and the Oedipus and Electra complexes as a key to interpretation. For Jung, dreams were not just a way of helping us to understand conflicts and anxieties, but also a way to encourage the creative unfolding and development of a person’s whole potential. Jung developed a theory called the ’soul image’, in relation to the human need to create a sense of wholeness. The soul image tends to be an archetypal image. The symbols that represent the soul image often appear in dreams that involve intimacy with the opposite sex, but they can also be represented in countless other ways. For example, the sea is feminine in dreams as it is associated with waters of the womb and the earth is also feminine.
Symbols of masculinity can appear in dreams as bulls or lions or any other phallic symbol, such as a tall building. Jung felt that dreams can be used to discover and explore soul images to help us become a fuller and more balanced person.... influential relationship theories dream meaning
Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937) suggested that dreams are all about wish-fulfillment because they allow the dreamer to have skills and powers denied to him or her in waking life. According to Adler, ‘the purpose of dreams must be in the feelings they arouse.’
Gestalt psychologist Fritz Perls (1893-1970) believed that dreams project hidden aspects of our personalities and the best way to interpret them is to use a non-interpretative interviewing technique. In other words, you ask your dream character or object what they are trying to say. Then you try to adopt the dream’s mindset and answer the questions.
Australian dream expert Gayle Delaney suggests using an interviewing technique that addresses questions such as ‘how did the dream make you feel?’ or ‘how can you connect your dream with your waking life?’
Some dream theorists believe dreams deal with problems we can’t solve in waking life and offer solutions. Looking at them in the light of waking day, and believing them to be full of insight, we may sometimes come up with new ideas or insights while studying and interpreting them.
Thanks to the work of Jung and Freud and other influential dream theorists, dream interpretation is now accessible to everyone. It’s as popular today as it has ever been, with people from all walks of life using dreams as unique and personal sources of guidance and inspiration, or as tools for change, growth and personal development. As we’ve seen, there are many approaches to the study and interpretation of dreams and you’ll find a fusion of all of these in this book.... other important dream theorists dream meaning