Frederick (Fritz) Perls is considered the “father” of Gestalt Therapy. The basic concept of Gestalt Perls believed that unresolved conflicts from the past had a great deal of influence upon present behavior, and that these conflicts needed to be “worked through” (Perls, 1969). Dreams were a cornerstone of this type of therapy because of the energy and reference work it provides to help people better understand the present.
When working with myself, my patients often discover just how powerful dreams can be when seeking insight into our day-to-day lives and possible hidden issues that we can’t see within the present. You see, Fritz Perls felt that dreams were highly symbolic and made extensive use of interpretation and I couldn’t agree more. I believe dreams are a subjective presentation of the person and that there is a sense of wholeness in every image. By using dreams as a part of therapy, we can better connect to the meaning of what may be parts of ourselves that are veiled or living within a fantasy during waking life. The meanings have to be carefully talked about, sometimes even talked through using an empty chair as a “third” party. And we can always evaluate the idea of the intrapsychic dream landscape. For example, was that angry dog really someone angry at you or yourself angry at a situation.
Dreams are powerful and there are many ways to decipher what they do and do not mean. I tend to believe our unconscious mind is always trying to help our conscious lives by providing clues to not only unraveling what is nagging us, but by presenting options for us to address, work through and then discover how to apply solutions in everyday life.
If you’re just as fascinated by dreams as I, let’s talk. I have plenty more information to provide to you and consultations are always welcomed. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for daily updates on this and other subjects related to Gestalt therapy.