Karen A. Smyers Ph.D.
Jungian Analyst
Former President, Western Massachusetts Association of Jungian Psychology















I came upon a heavy door, and opened it. Beyond it, I discovered a stone stairway that led down into the cellar.
--C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections



Dream analysis is one of the tools used by depth psychology. However, in contrast to Freud's notion that the dream is censored, a disguised wish-fulfillment, Jung thought that the dream is a natural product of the psyche, which speaks straightforwardly. However, it speaks in a language of images, not words or linear logic, so it takes special work to learn to understand this language. The purpose of the dream is to compensate, balance and complete our one-sided view of ourselves by providing the other side of the story.

Again, interpretation is a very individual matter. If two persons have the same dream, while the symbols might be universal, the meaning of the dream will be different for each person, depending on their stage of life, typology, and present situation.
And more than a single dream, a series of dreams can present a clearer picture of what the psyche is trying to say. They can repeat a message over and over when a person is stuck, and transform as the message is understood and integrated.

Working with one's dreams can be a very profound experience. Intensely personal, and yet partaking of the universal patterns of humankind, dreams are what Jungian Anthony Stevens aptly terms “private myths.”


A dream that is not understood remains a mere occurrence; understood, it becomes a living experience.
--C.G. Jung (CW 16:252)