Be an Interpreter
In her dream work with clients, Dr. Delaney uses a dream interview technique to help them discover the meaning in their dreams. One client was an attorney in her early 30s, divorced, who had dreamed about a black cat that would sit on her windowsill, hop into the room, raise a ruckus, then leave her in tears. Dr. Delaney asked the woman to describe the cat as if to a visitor from another planet. Cats are distant, aloof, agile, love you when they want, and take off when they want, the woman said.
"Is there anyone in your life that is like a black cat and leaves you in tears?" Dr. Delaney asked. The description fit the attorney's new boyfriend. She recognized that she picked catlike men when what she really needed was to choose someone loyal, affectionate and loving, somebody more like a dog. This realization helped her change her criteria for choosing men to date.
Patti Allen, then 27 and living in Lakewood, California, was married, pregnant with her third child, and seriously considering getting her tubes tied after giving birth. She dreamed she was in the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful evening and a concert was about to begin. In the seats far above the stage, Allen made her way down a seemingly endless aisle, squeezing past one person after another to reach her seat. She passed by a family friend she was fond of, not stopping to talk. Finally she came upon another acquaintance named Judy, who was sitting with her brand-new husband.
Judy's real-life first husband had died in a car crash, leaving her with two kids, and she had recently remarried and had two more. "The dream absolutely changed my thinking," recalled Allen, now a 56-year-old psychotherapist in Toronto. "It was telling me, don't do anything permanent because you don't know what's around the corner in life." Because of that, she chose to forgo the tubal ligation and seven years later she gave birth to her fourth child, a daughter.