Blending Dreamer Response with Metaphor

A 49-year-old woman dreamt that she was driving a car in which there were two other people, one male and one female. She was trying to get one of them to a place where they could get some treatment. She wasn't on the main road, yet, but was a road that would take her to the main road. As she drove, they were talking to her, and she was a bit irritated and distracted by that. Suddenly, she came to a hairpin curve, and lost control of the car. As the car went over the edge of the embankment toward a body of water below, she was unafraid and just witnessing the event.

We talked about her feelings and my own as well. There was a sense of urgency or anxiety about having to transport the people, and some annoyance that preceded her accident. In terms of theme, we decided that it was something like, "Someone is trying to help someone get somewhere, but it distracted and is not prepared for a surprising development that causes her to lose control." As we formulated the theme, the dreamer could relate to the dream immediately as a theme that often unfolds in her waking life. We discussed the responses that she made to the situation--first of all to the distractions, and then to the loss of control. We decided that she could have been clearer about her needs to stay focused on her goal rather than try to two things at once. Refusing to engage in conversation may have left her free to anticipate the hairpin curve. She was able to relate to the dreamer's behavior, because she often held back in letting people know what she needed, and thus lost a sense of her own priorities. But when it came to the loss of control, both of us were impressed with her calmness. We both felt that she typically adjusts well to setbacks, and this was an example of that resilience.

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