wanna interpret my dream?

I had a dream last night that I was in a shrink’s office.

In the middle of the session, my wife walks in and says “I want to sit in on this.” The shrink had no problem with this. And then a stranger walked in–a mother with some kids. The shrink welcomed them in too. “Come in, come in,” he said, “have a seat on the sofa.” Then some more strangers came in and the shrink welcomed them all the same.

Finally, I got fed up with it. I lashed out: “Excuse me! This is a private session! You people aren’t welcome here! Please leave!”

My wife told me I was over reacting. The shrink concurred with her.

That’s all I remember.

Do you often feel, in real life, like people lack empathy for you?


Well, that was the most obvious motif of the dream that I noticed. I can relate to that as well.

It’s weird. My wife is a very important symbol here. I often feel I can gain empathy from totally strangers more than I can those who are close to me.

You dislike your shrink and wife’s connection at your expense.

I would recommend taking your wife and shrink to another shrink to discuss your feelings of trespass, lack of privacy in your regular meetings. It might help your wife and her/your shrink to better listen to you and focus on you.

Or, you can tell your shrink this whole thing is a secular scam draining your wallet and free time, tell your wife you refuse to visit, and from now on you’ll be a man, and she the woman, and will talk to one another on your own without a overpaid and poorly qualified vouyer watching and silently judging you.

Save in cases of clear insanity, someone philosophically minded shouldn’t bother with shrinks, they are a recent offshoot of philosophy, and mostly deal in hocus pocus.

Sounds like a healthy disrespect for your shrink.
“Talking to my shrink is not really any different than talking to women and children. He/she/it just agrees with whatever they want.”


I’m not actually seeing a shrink. I think that was a necessary device planted into my dream to get the motif across.

It’s communication that’s my problem. It’s like I said to FJ: I feel more comfortable spilling my guts to strangers at a bar than I do close friends and family members. I think the reason is that strangers will come and go in my life. Whatever personal and sensitive information I divulge is useless to them, whereas if I divulge the same information to someone close to me, or someone with whom I’m in frequent contact, that information can be used against me at some later time.

I don’t trust people’s motives. I don’t trust that people, even friends and loved ones, can be completely selfless and unconditionally caring towards me.

Of course, this is not completely consistent with the symbolic imagery in the dream. I lashed out at all the intrudors into the shrink’s office. But what little I remember from the dream, I felt more insecure when my wife walked in than when the mother with her children walked in (in fact, I think I recall feeling apathetic about the mother and her children listening in to my exchange with the shrink). I remember deciding to lash out simply on principle–that regardless of how I felt, this was an invasion of my privacy and I should stand up for myself.

BTW, I agree with you CN about shrinks. I have a saying that if you think you need a shrink, you do need a shrink–IOW, as soon as you’ve given up trying to take care of yourself (and you hand over that task to someone else), you’re dysfunctioning.

Fear of resident judgment.

Not so much judgment, but exploitation of my weaknesses.

I would look at it as your are sensing that your self relation (in the dream symbolized by the relation between you and shrink) has been intruded upon by other people. So boundary issues, but at a very intimate cognitive level.

You are likely a person who introspects quite a bit, mulls over himself, his motives, his actions, his personality, his growth…etc. Into this very intimate process others are now allowed to participate, perhaps in the name of ‘truth’. IOW the shrink says it is OK for them to get involved in your own discovery and exploration of yourself. The shrink part of you thinks this. Another part of you does not like this.

Note: this may not be literally happening. Your wife may not be sitting in literally in your introspection sesssions. But her values probably are. Now when you evaluate yourself, you evaluate through her eyes, even in your own mind.

Let’s say your marriage has reached a point where this intimacy is palpable to parts of you that are scared, threatened, need to come to a new balance around them. Any number of factors could be involved. Perhaps there is a way you take other people’s points of view more seriously - and deeper into your own private psychic processes - than they do. This lack of reciprocation can begin to feel like a violation.

Let’s say that behind this is a judgment you have that if you want to be objective about growing as a person, you need to see yourself through the eyes of other people. Let’s say that judgment may be either 1) not healthy in some situations 2) is out of balance with some parts of yourself. IOW your own objectivity or sense you need to be may be a problem.

You have the other person’s view in mind along with your own. They have their position in mind. A negotiation may often end up that the middle point is between their position and the middle point between their position and yours, since you are already being objective or fair and balanced or mature - remember how often maturity or rationality is equated with seeing things through other points of view. That belief can be a hammer one hits one’s own head with.

It may be good, in real life, to challenge your wife in some way, and also strangers. To demand the same attention to your point of view and way of seeing. But right off I want to challenge the shrink, who I would guess is a symbol for your rationality, especially as you aim it at yourself.

Your client is unhappy. Your client, Gib, needs more care.

Gib; therapy slides on a continuum from personal to impersonal. The fact that more and more people are coming in, is meaningful. In the dream, inasmuch a so called de personalization is going on. Depersanilazation goes hand in hand with more collective consciousness present.

It seems like there is resentment on your part, that other people are getting in the way of a sought after more personal relationship you are wanting to establish with your wife. I’d be interested what your reaction to this interpretation might be.

Your interpretation of the shrink really strikes a cord with me–I think you’re right. This very thread is a perfect example of my making public my personal exploration and growth, and in a sense I’m saying to ILP members “Come in, come in, sit down.”

I sometimes question whether I should be doing this, but I wouldn’t say I’m struggling with it. I know there are some things I don’t want to reveal to the public, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I also question what would happen if it came to a point where I’d have to reveal personal information about others in my life. I mean, I have every right to reveal things about myself if I want to, but I don’t when it comes to others.

My wife is the first person that comes to mind. Ironically, she’s the one intruding on my sessions in my dream. I’ve revealed things about myself here at ILP that my wife doesn’t even know about.

You’re quite acute, Moreno. Like I said above, I don’t think it would be right of me to reveal too much information about my wife, but I will say about myself that I find I’m a lot more focused on what’s going on in other people’s minds in addition to my own than most people seem to be. I’ve always thought of this as an advantage though–knowledge is power and all that–and I try to use it to deal with people.

I think you’re wrong about the objectivity though. I used to try to be objective about all this–waaay long ago–but I’ve learnt since then that applying a science-like objective approach to your own mind and spiritual growth is a really shitty strategy. :slight_smile:

I dunno obe. I would love a more personal relation with my wife, but I don’t feel anyone’s getting in the way of that. In fact, I feel more free to be intimate and be personal with others than I do with my wife.

 But perhaps not entirely on a conscious level.  You may be missing some element here, that maybe you are not entirely aware of.

Well, of course, but you can say that about almost anything.

It might not be objectivity, then. It could be something like ‘fairness’.

No, that won’t do either. It has nothing to do with trying to strike a balance or equilibrium with other people–real or in my head–nothing that would require some kind of calculus to figure out what the most fair course of action is. It has everything to do with trusting my instincts and intuition.

I have watched myself go into denial–fully aware even in the moment that I was denying (I know that sounds like an oxymoron)–because my gut told me that’s what I needed to do. If there’s anything close to objectivity in this, I would call it “watching”–self-monitoring–but no doing. I let my instincts and intuition make the calls on what I do.

I become more of a strategist than a peace maker or arbiter between myself and other people. I play a game with others and with myself.

OK, but it sounds like some part of you feels like you are not setting up a boundary and that part would feel better if you did. Usually when we do not do what we need there is, somewhere, a judgment that we should…something…
should be able to handle it
should do it because that is what a [ good or adult or X] person does.

In the dream you do finally set a boundary, after allowing people to cross it.
So you are making a shift, at least in your unconscious, around this issue.
But something tells you to leave open the gates, even though, somewhere in you this makes you uncomfortable.

I tend to look for a cognitive component here. It can be functioning in a knee jerk way, but still, I think it has to have a cognitive judgment in it.

Intuition/instincts is a kind of black box. It can be a deep in tune reaction that comes out of there. Or it can be a habit.

It doesn’t mean that it is wrong to let people in this way. It does mean that some kind of internal reorganization needs to take place for you to be really comfortable with it.

Moreno, I’ve got it!

This whole thing isn’t about personal boundaries at all. It’s about marital boundaries.

With respect to my own personal issues and thoughts and feelings, etc., I’m like the therapist. I wear my heart of my sleave and I don’t mind if people want to peer into my world. But when it comes to my issues with my wife, I want others to stay out of it–for personal and ethical reasons.

It makes sense out of this:

and this:

It was the fact that personal therapy had become marital counselling that made me want to lash out. If these self-disclosures of mine ever lead to disclosing personal information about my wife, I would have to draw a line. It would be both very uncomfortable to myself and completely unethical.

That’s a nice all-encompassing interpretation that, I think, covers ever aspect of my dream.