The rise of dream therapy

‘The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.’ So said Freud in 1899 as the world was about to tip over into the dream obsessed twentieth century and its many decades of tortured introspection. For years, Freud has been roundly discredited. But it seems that, even if Freud remains unfashionable, his belief in the meaning of dreams is making a return, namely in the form of dream retreats and therapies marketed at our pandemic-addled subconscious. Whilst it was once formerly the duty of the long-suffering spouse to listen to last night’s dream – naked in an exam, driving down the

The importance of daydreams

I miss daydreaming. It’s a small problem to have in a pandemic, but it nags at me. Laptop, cooker, home-school, broom. ‘Mum, Mum, Mumma, Mum… You’re not looking, Mum. You have to look!’ The gap between things seems to have disappeared. There’s no time to drift and wander. I look at my phone too much, and sometimes I have the strange feeling my brain is suffocating. And I might not have thought this worth mentioning were it not for a new book, When Brains Dream, by a pair of American sleep scientists, Antonio Zadra and Robert Stickgold. Bob and Tony, they call themselves throughout the book, and if they’re right,