Dream interpretation; from traditional cultures to group psychotherapy


It’ s not surprising that both in western societies and traditional societies, dream interpretation is contextualized socially and culturally. Dream is a human experience, that is filtered through the lenses of our language, our social values, and cultural symbolism. By focusing on how dreams have been used in traditional cultures: the creative potential of dreams, the role of guide and omen, the knowledge that is gained through dreams, the passage to other dimensions and worlds; all these functions that have been analysed by many anthropologists and they allow us to look at dreams from another point of view. A dream that is told in group therapy, can underline the need and the willingness of the group to face the shared unconscious and to develop a connection with the unthinkable. There is a difference between dreaming, that can be considered as intra-psychic event and narrating a dream which by definition is an interpersonal event. In group psychoanalytic therapy, a narrated dream can be considered as a message with an un-coded personal content, or as ‘public’ material that concerns all the participants of the group.

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