Dreams with animals in psychotherapeutic process
The study focuses on dreams in which images of animals occur. It contains a detailed analysis of three dreams coming from patients in long-term therapy. The platform for understanding of the dreams was formed by the current theory of dreaming, which defines the dream as a function serving to consolidate and integrate the emotions from waking life. The analysis of dreams itself was not biased by any psychotherapeutic school, but resulted from objective research data. It consisted of three steps. In the first step of the analysis, dream emotions were defined in accordance with the theory of continuity as real dreamers' emotions originating from waking life. In the second step, the animals in the dream were analysed on the basis of research evidence as the dreamers' own tendencies. In the third step, the preliminary interpretations were further verified in the psychotherapeutic interview itself. The synthesis of the obtained data showed that the animals in dreams can be interpreted as instinctive impulses of dreamers. It has also been suggested that the theory of continuity in the context of dream content and the symbolic function of dreams can merge into one and the same process.