Does it happen often? This is the scientific explanation for this phenomenon of the unconscious.
The history of psychology, and especially of the psychoanalytic tradition that began with Sigmund Freud , is closely related to the interpretation of dreams. This makes many people wonder what it means to dream of the same person every night , or at least with a relatively high frequency.
To answer this question, one must first understand what people like Freud understood dreams to be and what contemporary psychology linked to neurosciences understands by them.
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Freud and the interpretation of dreams
For the father of psychoanalysis, dreams were a way in which the unconscious manifests itself indirectly in our thoughts. From this point of view, a good part of what we dream is actually a set of symbols about sensations and thoughts that have been confined to the unconscious because they are too stressful or unbearable to be processed by the conscious mind.
According to Freud, a portion of the contents of the unconscious that our mind tries to repress so that its existence is not very noticeable are not in themselves traumatic memories, but desires and thoughts that must be hidden due to their immoral implications.
This has a lot to do with the theory of ego structures , according to which there is an entity called It linked to the most basic and emotional desires and impulses, another called Superego that represents all the norms and moral impositions linked to the idea of perfection. , and another called I that arbitrates the relationship between the other two so that we do not enter into a crisis.
Thus, the dreams could be expressing repressed desires , and this would be noticeable in the case of dreaming a lot about the same person.
Does this mean that there is sexual desire?
Although Freudian psychoanalysis is known for placing great emphasis on human sexuality understood as psychological energy that motivates us to behave in a certain way and not in another, this does not imply that dreaming of the same person every night means that we desire them, from this point of view. psychodynamic tradition. For example, it could mean that we would like to take revenge on that person, or that that figure is actually the symbol that serves to represent an abstract idea.
This means that, from psychoanalysis, there is no single, simple and universal answer to the question of what it means to always dream of someone . Historically, finding an answer was one of the main tasks of psychoanalysts, and that could mean that several sessions had to pass before reaching a conclusion. In other words, it was examined on a case-by-case basis, since one of the characteristics of symbols is that they can be interpreted in infinite possible ways.
Thus, to find the correct interpretation it was necessary to know the entire psychological background of a person until certain tendencies or reasonable explanations were detected from an analysis of the whole.
All this starting from the paradigm of psychoanalysis, of course. Now… what does current psychology say about it?
A science-based interpretation
Contemporary psychology, unlike psychoanalysis, is based on the scientific method, which means that it aspires to create scientific theories from falsifiable hypotheses. This means that all those explanations that are so abstract and imprecise that they cannot be refuted from the contrast with reality are rejected. And the psychoanalytic account of the human mind is highly abstract and based on claims that cannot be proven, as criticized by the philosopher of science Karl Popper.
That is why, for the subject at hand, the explanation for the fact that we dream a lot about a person is relatively simple. We dream of that person because we keep the memory of her alive and we often think about her or the concepts associated with her.
There are neither repressed desires, nor memories blocked by something called “consciousness”: there is simply a phase of sleep in which memories of concepts that are already in our brain are “activated” in a relatively chaotic way, creating strange sequences of ideas. . And, the more times the groups of neurons that “turn on” at the same time evoke a concept are activated, the more likely it is that this will happen again in the future.
A matter of attention
What happens in our dreams is not a reflection of our repressed desires, but, in a general sense, of what we attach importance to in an abstract sense. For this reason, for example, in many of them we dream that our life or that of someone important is in danger, since death is something that worries us and that leaves a deep mark in our memory from experiences related to this concept. The same happens with the people close to us: we think a lot about them, and this is reflected in their frequency of appearance in dreams.
Of course, the importance that we give to these elements does not tell us anything about what we want to do or about those specific concerns that populate our mind, because for this it would be necessary for a part of our nervous system to “encode” coded messages. that only manifest when sleeping; something that does not make sense or is useful.
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So now you know: if you dream a lot about a person, don’t worry about trying to unravel hidden meanings about possible traumas or desires that aren’t really there. If there’s nothing to indicate you have a problem, chances are you don’t; as simple as that .
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