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August 02, 2014 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Personality

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Lost dreams...and what they mean
Question:

I always have pleasant dreams and usually can remember at least one dream each night. What does it mean when you dream that you are lost. For example, I will be returning from school and get lost, even though I've traveled this route for years.

Sometimes, when I'm in a building going from one room to the next, I get lost even though I've gone between these rooms numerous times. I haven't had these dreams lately but I have had them in the past.

Stan (65)

Answer:

Recurring dreams are fascinating. They seem to suggest that one's unconscious is attempting to resolve something by bringing it into consciousness again and again through recollections of the same or similar dreams.

What do you think your "lost" dream means? I really mean that; your interpretation will always be more valid than mine will. But, since you've asked me for mine, I will give you some thoughts. See what feels "right" for you. It may be significant that you have not had these dreams lately. Perhaps you are less "lost" now than you were at some other time. Part of your dream has to do with recognizing a route or a place, but becoming lost none-the-less. How might that dynamic apply to real-life situations you have encountered? When have you felt "lost" in familiar surroundings?

It might be that, earlier in your life - when these dreams were occurring - you felt "lost" although you were quite familiar with your situation or surroundings. You have reached retirement age; perhaps you had these dreams when you were working at an unfulfilling job and felt "lost". Or, maybe you felt "lost" as retirement approached. Maybe you felt "lost" for a while, until you adjusted and found meaning and value in your life, unrelated to work. Or, perhaps these dreams hint at uncertainties you might have had as you aged. You are a "senior citizen". Maybe some part of you had difficulties adjusting to that and the fact of your mortality. Contemplating death and one's mortality is enough to make anyone feel "lost"!

It seems as though you have consciously and unconsciously resolved many of your fears and insecurities. I'd be interested to know when the "lost" dreams stopped and if they stopped abruptly. You are no longer "lost". Did something happen in your "real life" to cause this shift inside you? Sometimes maturation - in and of itself - can cause this type of shift to happen. But I'm curious - did something happen to you or a loved one which helped you "find" you?

Pleasant dreams.

Margaret "Peg" Burr , MA, MFT

This question was answered by Margaret "Peg" Burr . She is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC34374) with a private practice in Santa Clarita (near Los Angeles). She performs psychodynamic psychotherapy with individual adult clients as well as couples, teens, and families. She also runs groups for adults and adolescents. Her specialty area is Object Relations Systems Theory. This branch of psychodynamic psychotherapy uses a client's interpersonal relationships as windows into his or her intrapsychic structure.

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