Reply To: Working with dreams?
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Yes your subconscious treats real and imagined the same way but dreams are not imaginations as such. So…
Re Dreams I personally cannot recommend working with dream info as the purpose of dreams is not known. It might be that dreams are your minds way of healing itself, which is why you feel better after a good nights sleep. I regard dreams as your minds way of talking to itself in it's own language. this language is unique to you and foreign to everyone else. Also this language is imagery symbolic and not linguistic and therefore very difficult to translate. However the feelings behind the dreams are more universal and perhaps usable. It might be that you can use this dream info as a “way into” your causative trauma that is not available any other way.
Another way of looking at dreams is this: Your mind never stops working it is always taking in and processing information from your senses which also never stop. When you sleep your conscious mind “rests” as your sensory input slows down (eyes closed, warm, quiet) but your subconscious keeps on going. Information previously taken in not fully processed or made internal sense of is re-accessed and stored when you are dreaming. Information taken in from your senses is taken in, in chunks it can use (memes) and stored away immedatly, if it cannot it is stored in a temporary place until it can be made sense of later, that later is called dreaming.
I must confess this way of looking at dreams is mine, but since nobody else knows, then I regard it as at least one way of viewing it. Hopefully you can use it.
Anxiety I see as being caught between two opposing feelings or flip-flopping between them. At the most basic level there are two types of feelings. Those that make you move away, eg fears and those that make you move towards, eg love, curiosity. If you want something and also fear it, then you are anxious until this duality is resolved, one way or the other. If say when you were a baby and you saw some thing you wanted (babies are innately curious) you desperately wanted to play with it, but you found it was say hot or cold or surprised you, you then cried for your mother, but supposing she did not come for you straight away, a terrifying thing for a baby, being alone. You still want this thing but are afraid of it. Should a similar circumstance happen again soon, then you are on your way to being locked into anxiety. A minor thing for your parents at the time but with perhaps long lasting effects for you.
Panic is a more out of control anxiety or fear, and agoraphobia a genralised fear of just about anything outside of your self or your control. Your subconscious tries to protect you by making you stay within bounds of what it considers “safe”. I see both of these as following on from the GAD, panic where you temporarily “boil over” and the other a way of trying to keep”a lid on it”.
Hopefully this lot has given you a way of understanding how the “engine” works so that you can use the PSTEC tools in the toolbox more effectively.