Dreams-Interviews
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Scooped by Sarah MacAllister
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Interview Problems

One more thing.

Sarah MacAllister's insight:

The student I was talking to finally e-mailed me back so I have his answers now. But he is also going to give me the e-mail of one of his professors, so that I have another professional's answers. I'm going to e-mail him today, hopefully he will get back to me soon enough. 

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Interviewee 1

Dr. Jennifer Jellison

jjelliso@waynesburg.edu

Psychology professor at Waynesburg University

Sarah MacAllister's insight:

1.     No, I do not believe we can control our dreams, because they are a subconscious action on the part of our brain.

2.    I believe our dreams can give us insight into our lives, because I believe it is during dreams that our brains are trying to solve our problems.  Sometimes remembering dreams can help us remember the solutions our brains were coming to.  I do not, however, believe that dreams are mystical glimpses into our unconscious wishes or desires.

3.    I do not know.

4.    I do not know.

5.    I do not know.

6.    Nope

7.    Because they are subconscious – below conscious awareness.

8.    If you define dreams as simply brain activity, we dream all night long, essentially.

9.    Could be either someone we’ve seen and don’t consciously remember, or a compilation of features our brain has assembled into an imaginary person.

10.  I do not know.

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Interviewee 2

Ryan Dallatore

ryan4137418@yahoo.com

Psychology student at Waynesburg University

Sarah MacAllister's insight:

Sorry this took forever. I have been so busy studying for my national licensing exam next month, classes, work, papers and internship. I packed some of the similar questions together to avoid repeating myself. Hopefully this helps you. I would be interested in hearing of any research you may have come across while doing this report. hit me up with some facts or interesting info if you get the chance. Specially anything you may have come across dealing with brain functioning and imaging when it comes to dreaming. I know research on the brain is developing constantly. 





Do you believe we can control our dreams? Why or why not? If so, how?What exactly is lucid dreaming?

    I have heard reports of people taking control of the content of their dreams. Do I think it is possible? Yes; however, I have never met anyone who has done so. I believe this would fall into the idea of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming involves awareness and being able to have a certain degree of control within dreams. As a professional therapist, my concern would be primarily based on how this skill could be utilized. Some individuals that suffer from frightening nightmares, such as survivors of trauma, may find strength through such an ability. Often times sufferers of anxiety disorders, which includes post-traumatic stress disorder, feel a lack of control in life, and to be able to take control and direct their own dreams could yield some interesting results. Being able to alter a reoccurring dream could have an impact on their emotional reality when awoken. 


    Do you believe dream therapy can help a person’s mental and/or physical being? If so, how?

Absolutely. There are different ways of looking at dreams. If we examine them from a psychoanalytic perspective, we see that the dream is composed of manifest content, the material that is experienced in the dream, and latent content, the symbolic substance that underlie the dream. Tension within the unconscious is responsible for generating the content of dreams, so it is important for the analyst to interpret these dreams. Even in other approaches to therapy that have developed in recent years, dreams can be utilized. Any insight based therapy that acknowledges the existence of an unconscious can benefit from dream work. Even when channeling the unconscious is not a priority, reflecting with clients on what they believe the characters, settings, and events in their dream means to them is helpful in many ways. It ties into the existential concept of working in the here-and-now that pushes individuals to analyze their own dreams based on the content, but also moves the individual to realize the power of their own thoughts and feelings in the moment. In my personal opinion, dreams are always highly valuable and should never be overlooked. 


     Do you believe our dreams give us insight to our own life (solving problems, dealing with tests, decisions, etc)? Why or why not?

Yes, there is almost always something to be taken from dreams. Sometimes a solution to a problem can blatantly arise in a dream. Other times, it can be much more discrete. Sometimes a dream appears to make no sense whatsoever but upon closer inspection there are fragments that can be pulled to compose the whole picture. Sometimes a difficult decision that is present in one’s own life will present itself in the dream. When looking back on the dream it may be discovered that the tension being felt in the dream is similar to that happening in ‘real’ life. Looking back at the dream, it may become clear what choice felt better in the dream and could prove to be inspirational in making that decision in life. Resistance and denial are powerful ego defenses that cause us to want to turn away from what we know to be true. Therefore, our dream life can be viewed as more pure and honest than when our ego is awake and alert in daily life. Also, it is important to note that reoccurring dreams are very significant. The repetition of a dream often is a sign that there is unfinished business somewhere packed in the dream. Reoccurring dreams are common when an individual is distressed and is even a symptom of diagnosable disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.  



    How does our brain compose dreams?
    How do we see these pictures in our sleep?

I remember reading once that most of dreams are actually projected in our minds in black and white, but there is a small amount of dreams (maybe 1/4th) that are in color. This is an area I am lacking in knowledge and have not looked into much current research regarding the brain and dreams. 


    How come we can’t always remember our dreams?

    Again, there are different theories. Some would say that you only remember parts of dreams that are significant to you in some way. Usually only parts of the dream are remembered and the meaning needs to be uncovered. However, neurological beliefs lean more towards the fact that bits and pieces of dreams that are remembered are usually from those dreams that occur closest to when we are awaking. It is almost like taking a souvenir with you to the waking world. 



Do we dream just once a night, or is it multiple dreams corresponding with the different stages of sleep?How do the different stages of sleep affect the types of dreams we have?

    There is a decent amount of dreaming going on. I believe there is a correlation between stages of sleep and the intensity of the dreams. I have not looked into any current studies though to see if there has been any updated evidence lately. 


    When we dream about people we don’t know, does the brain compose these new faces or are they all someone we’ve seen at some point before?
    

This is a tricky one and again, different theories and studies that go along with it. From what I have read and heard, the faces that we dream about are composed of features belonging to faces we have seen at some point in life. On the other hand, usually the people in our dreams are not people we can easily identify. The parts that make up the face, body type, or even other minor features are ambiguous and it is only through recalling the dream later that we are able to identify individuals and places based on features we identify them with in awoken states. Supposedly this is because the dream content is coming from the dreamer and is entirely about the dreamer. The identity of others is usually a symbolic representation; however, the feelings that are felt in a dream are usually accurate and need no interpretation. Through dreams we are given the opportunity to own these feelings.

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Interview Questions

Interview questions that I asked.

Sarah MacAllister's insight:

1. Do you believe we can control our dreams? Why or why not? If so, how?

2. Do you believe our dreams give us insight to our own life (solving problems, dealing with tests, decisions, etc)? Why or why not?

3. How does our brain compose dreams?

4. How do we see these pictures in our sleep?

5. What exactly is lucid dreaming?

6. Do you believe dream therapy can help a person’s mental and/or physical being? If so, how?

7. How come we can’t always remember our dreams?

8. Do we dream just once a night, or is it multiple dreams corresponding with the different stages of sleep?

9. When we dream about people we don’t know, does the brain compose these new faces or are they all someone we’ve seen at some point before?

10. How do the different stages of sleep affect the types of dreams we have?

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Tami Yaklich's comment, March 21, 2013 10:34 PM
You did get some good responses!