In short – Yes and Yes!
If I’m looking for something deeply personal in my psyche, I need look no further than my dreams. Imagine billions of dream catchers snagging dreams around the world. Then imagine all dreams are shaken loose from the tangled webs - not one would look like another.
Dreams are so personal that they resemble snowflakes. Every dream is unique and contains the dreamer’s personal dream language. In fact, dreams are made up of our thoughts and feelings along with everything else that goes into our daily experience. We generally don’t question the benefit of sharing our daily thoughts and feelings with our friends, partners, children, and spouses and, in fact, we find it quite beneficial. So why is it that we often question the validity of dream sharing?
Maybe deep down, some of us are still not convinced that sharing dreams can lead to heightened insight. Others may question the validity that dreams are really reflections of our unconscious minds. Finally, perhaps we intuitively know just how personal they are and fear sharing them will reveal parts of ourselves we wish to keep hidden.
So, what are dreams really made of? Are they just recycled psychic waste? Are they a disposal system for meaningless data collected over the day? Maybe they are only random thoughts and feelings that have no connection to reality. Perhaps they are just psychic “cookies” or records of our individual browsing histories that need to be deleted daily from our brains to make room for new data?
This is similar to what Dr. Allan Hobson of Harvard Medical School thought years ago, and in fact, referred to dream work as the “the mystique of fortune cookie dream interpretation.“ He has since changed his view and now believes that “… the emotions and feeling experienced in a dream can be viewed as the brains 'best attempt' to communicate information to itself in a fractured state of awareness, as a means of preparing itself for waking consciousness the following day.” By exploring these emotions in an integrated state of wakeful awareness, Hobson believes it may be possible to gain insight into what our brain was preparing itself for.
Dr. Michio Kaku, Physics Professor at City College and City University in New York defines consciousness as “the process of creating a model of the world using multiple feedback loops in various parameters.” Dr. Hobson believes it may be possible to gain insight into what our brain needs to prepare for the next day. Combining the theories of these two gifted researchers would lead me to believe that dreams could be a significant source of feedback that helps us to prepare for each new day. We store all sensory information that floods our brains during the day, process it, and use it to form a working model of how to react to and live with what the future has in store for us.
So, yes, dreams are very personal and yes, there is a benefit of sharing them with individuals trained in dream work.
We just might gain insight into what we need to prepare for, confront, think about, problem solve, and otherwise deal with in the coming days. In this way, dreams can help us better cope with our environments and survive whatever life throws at us. In this sense, dreams are not only necessary for survival but also help us with our capacity to thrive in the world.