• Psychoanalysis > Dream Interpretation

Dream of a Beach and Sunshine

By Dima Stefan

Interpretation of dreams is the most exciting field of psychoanalysis. Therefore, very many messages we receive - most of them in fact, are our visitors' questions on this very topic.

The problem lies elsewhere, though: in psychoanalysis, dream never rouses interest for premonition - it is less or even not at all that we deal with foreboding dreams. Secondly, such as seen from an annotated sample, dreams are interpreted from a purely technical perspective, adapted to the requirements of psychoanalysis: deciphering psychic unconscious.

Such aspects diminish nothing of the fascination dreams exert on us. Messengers of the realm of unconscious, they remain an attraction requiring ever renewed approach.

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The following dream is interpreted by one of our AROPA collaborators. The dream belongs to one of the person's subjects and we shall hereby give an abridged account.

    I dreamt I was at the seaside, on the beach. I suddenly discovered I was all alone - no more clothes or luggage. My wife had gone away or left me. I was rather confused and thinking how to overcome that embarrassing position.

The dream comes from a 35 year old married gentleman. For some time, he has been intensely thinking of separating from his wife. He nevertheless has done nothing in that respect and has no intention of doing anything, either. On first sight, the dream gives him satisfaction: the wife is the one who takes the decision to leave.

The hint to seaside, beach, etc., is easy to identify in waking life. In the evening of the dream, the dreamer watched a TV feature on some mountain climbers' preparations to climb the Himalayas. They were making preparations somewhere in the Carpathians, in winter, under rather harsh circumstances. When inquired, they admitted that such circumstances that some people would have found difficult were nothing but a piece of cake for them, just as if they had been at the seaside, on the beach.

The dream has become easy to interpret now. We can translate its content as follows: What a blessing if my wife just left of her own will, with nothing required for me to do in that respect. Her departure would certainly be relaxation to me, just as going to the seaside on holiday!

Let us notice though that the dream has no indication as to the dreamer's joy, but turns it into confusion. That is what we call reversal - a feeling transformed into its opposite.

This reversal protects the dreamer's ego, not entirely suppressed in the dream. The ego has a moral component - the super-ego, which does not allow such thoughts access to conscious mind. Dream analysis helps us understand all such aspects extensively outlined by psychoanalysis.

We may finally add that the dream brings to the fore a repeated topic in the subject's dreams: the topic of abandonment. We can see that the perspective of being forsaken does not rouse the dreamer's feelings of grief, depression, discouragement - it is real triumph that dream associations related to climbers' future performance hint to. This triumph is also the outcome of the psychoanalytical therapy the dreamer had been a subject to for over two years!

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