Listen to the podcast here:
Decoding Your Dream: Finding Solutions To Problems with Layne Dalfen
I have with me Layne Dalfen and she founded The Dream Interpretation Center in Montreal in 1997. She’s been studying dreams for 45 years. She’s been a lecturer for the Counseling students at Concordia University in Montreal since 2005. She’s been a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams since 1997. She combines insights from Freud and Adler and Jung. Her focus is introducing the general public the value of decoding their dreams. She has easy to grasp ideas on how to do this and to uncover the solutions to our current issues that appear in our dreams every night. Her books are the first shorter volume titled Have A Great Dream: Book 1; The Overview and Book 2; A Deeper Discussion. We’re excited to be here to find out more about what the clues are in our dreams. Layne, welcome.
Thank you for inviting me, Terri.
One of the reasons I’m jazzed about this interview is I wake up often in the middle of the night or in the morning and I’m like, “What did that dream mean? That’s weird. I don’t get how it goes together.” I’d been trying to research dreams on my own for many years. How did you even get into this? I’m curious.
I’m 66. I have four lovely daughters. My eldest passed away a couple of years ago. She was born two weeks after my 21st birthday with Down Syndrome. At the time understandably, I became depressed. I was fortunate to obtain the care of a New Yorker, a brilliant psychoanalyst. That was the first place I learned that actively we are problem-solving in our dreams. Before we go deep, at the first level the dream is about a specific current issue that you are attempting to problem solve this week. The amazing news is that the solution to something that’s bugging you arrives in your unconscious before it gets to your conscious. If only you could understand what you’re trying to steer yourself, you can propel your problem-solving skills. I went on to study four basic fathers of psychology and how they looked at dreams from a Gestalt perspective. I studied Alfred Adler and dream analysis and Carl Jung dream analysis. I studied Freud later, but my initial introduction to Freud was that I experienced him before I studied him.
Dreams are helping us solve current problems. I never heard of that and that fascinates me. We have a dream. We can’t make sense of it, how does that translate into our understanding of the message from the dream and what we do?The solution to something that's bugging you arrives in your unconscious before it gets to your conscious. Click To Tweet
I’m going to give you a one picture dream because it’s going to tell you everything. I’m even going to go deep. You’re going to get the backdrop of why I’m doing what I do. This is the deepest I’m going to go. When we come into the world, we come in whole. We have a plethora of potential. We could be giving, we could be selfish and we can be shy or assertive. We can be a hero, a chicken. Maybe you were the comedian in the family. Maybe you were the more serious person. We come in with everything and the people that bring us up teach us that it’s better to be one way than another way.
For example, if you’re brought up in a home with a bunch of siblings. You probably got the message that it’s not okay to be selfish because you hear sentences like, “Go share your toys with your brother. Go look after your sister.” Your whole life experiences of sharing your parent’s attention and conversely, if you’re brought up as an only child, you don’t have to share your parent’s attention or your toys. You get exercised in looking after yourself and maybe under-exercised in giving. I’m not saying this about every person. I’m saying that it’s natural that if you were brought up in homeless siblings, it’s possible that you might be one of those people we all know, including me, who has trouble saying no. You always say yes to people because you’ve become over-exercised in accommodating. It’s not part of your personality that you’ve exercised a lot. It’s not a good or a bad or a right or wrong. It’s much more appropriateness is my response to now’s situation or now’s person. Is my response appropriate to the situation or is it my knee jerk response?
I’ll tell you a fast dream from Steven who’s dreaming that he’s climbing up the ladder and it’s filled with paper all over. Crossing the steps, he’s having trouble getting up the ladder. At the top is his college roommate who he hasn’t even seen in 25 years. The dream was about that Steven has a bunch of paper everywhere on his desk and he wants to do his work. He wants to catch up his work. He uses the ladder like the corporate ladder. His friends invite him to go see a movie the day before the dream. He being more comfortable accommodating people didn’t pay attention to himself and said that he would go to a movie when it’s not even what he wants to do. He dreams this ladder dream with his college roommate at the top of the ladder encouraging him up and using symbols point of entry.
Steven, quickly tell me the first two or three things that come to your mind when you think about that roommate. This was Steven’s language. He said he was a real selfish, take care of me first guy. That’s the part of Steven’s personality that he needed to access at that particular time because going to a movie and accommodating his friends isn’t the appropriate response for what Steven’s needs are. Because he understood the language of the metaphor, he understood that he needed to access that under-exercised shadowy part of his personality and took the opportunity to go to the gym with that aspect of his personality for the first time. He woke up and told his friends, “I’m sorry. I’m not going to join you guys for a movie because I need to be at my office catching up on my work.”
That’s the first I’ve really gotten it. I’ve read dream books. I’ve gone online when I’ve had a dream, but I didn’t see how a dream-related to something I was currently working through or processing.
If you want to do Freud, if you want to go deeper, then you can start asking yourself or I ask the dreamers who want to dig deeper. I might ask them, “Where do you think that accommodating thing comes from? Where do you think you first felt like that?” You can travel back with Freud’s free association to where your knee-jerk reactions come from. You don’t want to turn 70 and still be responding to people in situations with your same old knee-jerk reaction.
We want to be empowered. We want to be conscious. We don’t want to be doing what we did that triggered us in the past and continuing our life with it. Is there anything we can do that helps us remember our dreams?
I started doing this one-minute dream tidbits where I’ll give you under a minute and I did two of them on dream recall. One of the best things you can do is intention. Make a decision that you want to remember a dream and leave paper and pen beside the bed. You could even try and imagine yourself reaching for the pen in the morning to write something down. As I illustrated with Steven’s dream, you don’t need a big long story with a beginning, middle and an end. One picture does say 1,000 words. Another exercise you can do is to sit in a chair and look around the room. Take note of the paintings, the pictures and the furniture. Close your eyes and walk around the room in your mind’s eye and then open your eyes. This opening and closing and imagining and picturing, that’s the same facility your brain needs for dream recall. Sometimes I wake up and say to myself, “Where was I?”You don't need a big long story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. One picture really does say a thousand words. Click To Tweet
How do people get your books? Where do they get them from? How do they connect with you? This is such a fascinating topic that will help all of us interpreting our dreams and understanding what we’re processing.
The books are the same title as my site which is HaveAGreatDream.com. Both books are called Have A Great Dream. The first one is about 100 pages including the pictures to give you the overview of what we’ve been discussing now. If you want to look deeper into the dream, the second book is Have A Great Dream: Book 2; A Deeper Discussion.
I want to thank you. This has been fascinating and eye-opening, and it’s funny but I can’t wait to go to sleep to see what happens. For the audience, go over to Layne’s website. We talk about this a lot here at the show. The best domain names are long tail and give a result. Layne Dalfen has HaveAGreatDream.com. It’s a perfect title, great website. Grab the books. I wish that you all have a great dream. Layne, thank you so much for being a guest here at the show.
Thank you for inviting me, Terri. It was fun.
For the audience, I have two gifts for you. You get a free membership at HeartrepreneurAcademy.com. Make sure you go over to Heartrepreneur Academy. Go under the Start Here button and you will get thousands and thousands of dollars of free courses. It’s my gift to you for being an audience. Don’t forget to join our Facebook group. We’ve got more than 8,000 members already, which are over at Heartrepreneurs With Terri Levine. It’s a Facebook community, we’re super active and we’d love to have you. Thanks for reading this episode with my guest, Layne Dalfen.
- The Dream Interpretation Center
- Have A Great Dream: Book 1; The Overview
- Book 2; A Deeper Discussion
- Heartrepreneurs With Terri Levine – Facebook Community
About Layne Dalfen
Layne Dalfen founded The Dream Interpretation Center in Montreal in 1997. She has been a lecturer for the Counselling students at Concordia University in Montreal since 2005. Her interest in dreams stems from her early experience in Freudian analysis where dream work was the primary tool. She later studied at The Gestalt Counselling and Training Center Certificate Program in Montreal, and Adlerian principles with Dr. Leo Gold of The Alfred Adler Institute in New York. She has been a member of The International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) since 1997, and was a Board of Directors member from 2005-2009, where she has had the opportunity to lecture in The US, Canada and Europe. Combining insight from Freud, Adler, Jung and Perls Gestalt Psychology, her focus is introducing the general public to the value of decoding their dreams. She does this by teaching easy-to-grasp ideas about how to uncover the solutions to our current issues that appear in our dreams every night. She has appeared on over 150 radio shows across America and has been featured on numerous TV networks. Layne has written articles for magazines both in Canada and The US. Layne is also well known at Rancho La Puerta Spa in Mexico. During her lectures, as well as through her books Have a Great Dream; Book 1; The Overview: Decoding Your Dreams To Discover Your Full Potential, and its companion work Have a Great Dream; Book 2; A Deeper Discussion, Dalfen’s goal is to introduce the general public to the value of understanding their dreams.