Psychotherapeutic processes deal with psychological problems, ranging From mild ones like a depressed mood, to more subtle ones like interpretation of dreams to more controversial problems like dissociative identity disorder. Denied emotions (not admitting or voicing one's emotions to the therapist) is a root cause of many psychological problems as honest communication is the numero uno factor for the psychotherapeutic process to work. Emotional honesty can be a difficult task for the client or patient.
Psychotherapists make analysis of dreams a significant part of their work. It is tempting to wish petulantly that the unconscious would speak to us more clearly as significance of many dreams eludes us. But dreams that can be interpreted provide helpful information like warnings of personal pitfalls; solution guides to problems; sources of necessary information and judgement; as direction-finders when we feel lost; as pointers to the way we need to go when we are floundering and the message always seems to be one designed to nurture spiritual growth.
The unconscious may communicate to us when we are awake with as much elegance and beneficence as when we are asleep, although in a slightly different Form of 'idle thoughts' or oven fragments of thought. As with dreams. we pay these idle thoughts no attention and cast them aside as insignificant. Hence patients in psychoanalysis are instructed to say everything, however insignificant, that comes in their minds. Idle thoughts provide us with insight into ourselves and others.
The seemingly alien and unwanted quality is characteristic of unconscious material and its manner of presentation to the conscious mind. This and the associated resistance of the conscious mind led Freud to perceive the unconscious as a repository of the primitive, the antisocial and the evil within us. He tended to assume that mantel illness somehow resided in the unconscious as a demon in the subterranean depths of our mind. To Carl Jung fell the responsibility of correcting this which he did through his work “The Wisdom of the Unconscious." As he concluded, mental illness is not a product of the unconscious but a phenomenon or consciousness or a disordered relationship between conscious and unconscious. Consider the matter of repression. Freud discovered in his patients sexual desires and hostile feelings of which they were unaware but which were making them ill. Because these desires and feelings resided in the unconscious, the notion arose that it was the unconscious that caused mental illness. But why were these desires and feelings in the unconscious in the first place? Why were they repressed? The answer is that the conscious mind did not want them. And it is in this not wanting, this disowning, that the problem lies.
If a paragraph were to be inserted between the first and the second paragraphs, it would most likely deal with which of the following?
- Dreams can be instrumental in gauging a person's emotional slate.
- Emotions are, very often, the substance of a person's idle thoughts.
- It is very difficult to gauge emotional honesty.
- Dreams often, are indicative of emotions that remain unexpressed.