Look for the 5 Ws

*taken from a Lady’s home journal article*

Still unsure of what those nightly news bulletins broadcast from your unconscious are trying to tell you? The setting or action may be a clue. For instance, according to dream therapist Karen A. Signell, coauthor of Wisdom of the Heart: Working with Women’s Dreams (Fromm International, 1998), a house in a dream often represents your own body or your basic self; flying usually indicates a sense of freedom from the limitations of everyday life; falling symbolizes loss of control; being nude means you feel exposed or vulnerable.


However, cautions Phyllis Koch-Sheras, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Charlottesville, Virginia, and coauthor of The Dream Sharing Sourcebook (Lowell House, 1995), “Dream symbols can have a number of meanings, so it’s up to you to interpret what they represent.” Her advice? Write down your dream in the present tense and give it a title. Then, use a technique she calls “The five W’s” to decipher its message:


  • Who are the main characters?
  • What is the theme?
  • When and where does the action take place?
  • And why are you having the dream now? “Why now?” is usually the clincher, she says, since many dreams spring from recent significant events.

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