The best books on dream interpretation

The Books I Picked & Why

The History of Last Night's Dream: Discovering the Hidden Path to the Soul

By Rodger Kamenetz

The History of Last Night's Dream: Discovering the Hidden Path to the Soul

Why this book?

This book introduces the reader to Marc Bregman - a postman turned dream interpreter whose approach breaks through intellectual interpretations of dreams to the emotional experience of your predicament in life. Dreams show you the path out of your predicament – usually through connecting with what used to be called “your inner child” but here is redefined as being childlike in your sense of adventure and mystery in life. 

The method shown in this book goes far beyond dream interpretation to using a dream to heal your life, your relationships, your career confusions, and more. The images in the dream are medicine and can be recalled to offer healing in your waking life. Full disclosure – Marc Bregman was my dream therapist for several years, I found him through this book.


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Dreams and Healing: A Succinct and Lively Interpretation of Dreams

By John A. Sanford

Dreams and Healing: A Succinct and Lively Interpretation of Dreams

Why this book?

This book establishes that throughout history and cultures, dreams have been seen as essential tools in healing mental, physical, and social problems. While many dreams may be “housekeeping” or processing the day’s events, the author persuades that dreams come for a purpose. The author provides in-depth case studies of dreams that transform the lives of dreamers. Dreams offer direction toward finding your own path against collective expectations. One of the case studies in the book shows how dreams guide a 20-year-old college student to make decisions his parents didn’t approve of. Another is a case study of a woman whose dreams guide her to go back to get a college degree late in life.


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The Dreammaker's Apprentice: Using Heightened States of Consciousness to Interpret Dreams

By Arnold Mindell

The Dreammaker's Apprentice: Using Heightened States of Consciousness to Interpret Dreams

Why this book?

This book broadens the understanding of dream interpretation to include the Aboriginal Australian’s idea of Dreamtime. The “dreammaker” is the creator of both waking life and the source of nighttime dreams. The author Arnold Mindell blends ideas of dreamtime, quantum physics, and Jungian psychology to interpret life events, body symptoms as well as mental health problems. The breakthrough idea here is that the dreammaker can also be found in waking life and can be interpreted even at the micro-level of what he calls flirts. These are quickly passing life experiences that catch our eye - from a momentary pain, to an uncanny emotion or a bizarre personal encounter. He helps the reader to see all of these as expressions of dreamtime and offers tools for interpreting both these “flirts” and nighttime dreams.


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Dream Work: Techniques for Discovering the Creative Power in Dreams

By Jeremy Taylor

Dream Work: Techniques for Discovering the Creative Power in Dreams

Why this book?

I picked Dream Work because it is “one-stop shopping” meaning it is a comprehensive and thorough review of many different approaches to dream interpretation. I particularly like the quick tips he offers if you don’t want to delve into theory. For example, he recommends you create a title for a dream which is effective in increasing your insight quickly. He also has guidance for working with fragments of dreams and offers a powerful case study of how one small dream fragment of remembering “pastel” colors opened up a new career direction for a dreamer. While many dreamers find dream fragments to be frustrating he shows how these can be condensed and edited “telegrams.” Other quick tips he offers are asking questions about a dream such as “What might happen if I did this in the real world?”


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Knock Knock Dream Journal

By Knock Knock

Knock Knock Dream Journal

Why this book?

I included this book because the most important part of dream interpretation is recording your dreams. This journal has space for your to write a title for the dream as recommended in the previous book Dream Work. In addition to writing out the dream, there are boxes to check off the category of dream – from a nightmare to mundane - and a checklist to note the prevailing emotion. There is space to draw images from the dream and a section to reflect and try an interpretation. You can use any of these features and the journal, by offering space and checkboxes, deepens engagement with the dream, and may offer directions you wouldn’t have thought of by yourself.


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