Hypnosis and Dreams Part 2

Dreams are one of the most fascinating aspects of our lives. During the day we work, play, drive in traffic, shop or any of a hundred other things. But then we close our eyes and suddenly we are flying like an angel across the ocean, having a romantic getaway, washing a dog with two heads or smoking a 7-foot cigar (and in waking life we don’t even smoke!) What is this fantastic world that we surrender to when we lay down to sleep?

People have been fascinated and led by dreams almost from the dawn of recorded history. Sacred texts point to dreams as a place where the gods and humans interacted, and decisions were made in dreams that affected the rise and fall of nations. World-changing ideas and great art have come from dreams, and answers to puzzling questions bubble up from the depths of the subconscious mind.

As someone who’s been on the journey of intentional transformation most of my adult life, I’ve studied dreams in depth and know their value. As a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist I’ve come to see that dreams offer us a way to access your subconscious mind in ways that are not easily available otherwise. When you sleep your conscious mind relaxes and the subconscious mind is free to play! So I ask clients to keep a dream journal and bring their “hottest” dreams into the session so we can discover what’s lying just below the surface.

One way to work with dreams is to use the TTAQ method. I learned this some years ago and it’s a simple and fun way to interact with dreams. It’s best to keep a dream journal by your bedside so as soon as you wake from a powerful dream you can write it down. Here’s how to use TTAQ to understand your dreams a bit better.

T- Title. After writing down your dream come up with a title for it. It may be the craziest title in the world like, “Poodle Makes Ice Cream Cone,” but even that is instructive. Don’t let the title go to waste.

T- Theme. What is the theme of this dream? Is it about change, or forgiveness? Does it focus on a work problem that has been plaguing you for some time? Feel the theme more than think it, but engage the dream at the thematic level.

A-Affect. What feeling does this dream evoke for you? Do you wake up sad, or angry, aroused or happy? Remember, the subconscious mind speaks in symbols and feelings, so don’t ignore the feeling that the dream ushers in.

Q-Question. What question does this dream ask of you? One client had a dream that asked “when are you going to let her go?” Another’s dream asked “why haven’t you tried to eat better?” Whatever the question, let it come and pay attention to the answer. Sometimes the resistance to the question is as instructive as the question itself.

The study and use of dreams to activate powerful change is fascinating and practical. If you’d like to begin the process of change that you’ve been putting off, I’m ready to help you launch your journey. And just maybe we’ll have fun in your dream world as well!

Dr. David James

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