Sometimes you have dreams that are so vivid and that move you in such a way, that you wake up still feeling the effects and thinking “surely, this is significant”. Do dreams and art therapy go together? Absolutely! They are both products of the subconscious, and both provide lots of symbolic material for you to examine. You can think of a dream like a piece of art that your brain makes while you’re sleeping.
There are three reasons why we dream:
-The first is physical sensations. Maybe you are lying on your arm and squishing it, or you are hungry or thirsty. What you are feeling in your body can come out in your dreams.
-The second reason is wish fulfillment. Your dreams can cue you in to things that are missing in your life. If you have needs that are going unmet, your dream life will reflect this.
-The third reason is processing information and problem solving. Your brain takes in a huge amount of information during your waking hours, and it uses the time that you are sleeping to integrate and process all that raw data.
In order to understand what your dreams are trying to tell you, it can be useful to understand how dreams work. Sorting information and problems solving is important, but so is staying asleep. Dreams can’t be too stimulating, or they wake you up. Your brain will create symbols or substitutes for things so it can run scenarios and problem solve without interrupting sleep. Of course, it doesn’t always hit the mark. This is what happens when you have a nightmare. The symbols you make are too intense! It’s worth putting in the time to get to know your dreams, because they are a useful therapeutic tool. Learning to understand them can give you insight and help you problem solve. Working with dreams can also be fun and rewarding. You will be amazed and amused at the ways your subconscious chooses to get messages across.