Interestingly, my ex-girlfriend bought me this book years ago because of my interest in dream interpretation. Though interested in reading it, I didn’t prioritize it until I was granted permission to teach, “The Psychology of Dreams and Dreaming” at FIU this summer. The book just happened to be the same the other professor who teaches it uses. Either quite a coincidence, or perhaps it has some merit in the field. Admittedly I didn’t read it all, and only skimmed some of the chapters. After all, one rarely teaches the whole textbook. But I read the vast majority.
The text, though last published in 1994, has a very 70’s feel to it. There is a great deal about paranormal dreaming, which the author studied pretty extensively. Though often quite intriguing, I felt it went a little further than my tastes. Still, he often paints a convincing picture of the existence of such phenomena as telepathic dreaming, dreams that tell the future, and even dreams that foretell illness. I wish there were more modern evidence to support his beliefs, but anyone studying these topics currently would be laughed out of a university.
The book does a good overall job of explaining the history of dream interpretation, and one can see how interpretation has remained consistent for centuries. It also explains the body’s affect on dreaming, as well as circumstances (residue of the day, movies watched, etc.). This is done quite scientifically.
Most importantly, there is a good overview of some of the main theories. Freud gets his own chapter, as does Jung. Then there is another chapter dedicated to other theorists he deemed important. This all serves to offer the reader different perspectives and tools to begin interpreting their own dreams, or provides students with perhaps the only training they’ll have with dream work.
Overall I liked the book. There were times I felt he took his perspective too far, but many authors do. I still recommend the book as an overview of dream work and to starting conversations about dreams and what they mean.