Sand Tray Therapist Dream Analysis Student #2, Martha, summer 2012

by Martha
(Sand Tray Student)

Sand Tray Therapy Dream Analysis  Student #2 Picture Example

Sand Tray Therapy Dream Analysis Student #2 Picture Example

Martha’s Dream Analysis Sand Tray Therapy Activity

While creating the scene for this Dream Analysis Sand Tray Therapy project, I thought of the pattern behind several of the disturbing dreams I experienced during my 29-year marriage, which ended in divorce 11 years ago. During my marriage I used to dream every so often that my husband was leaving me for another woman. I am representing the theme of my disturbing dreams in this tray.

A miniature bride in front of a house in the left foreground represents myself and the home my husband and I had together. Opposite to myself in the right foreground is a cut-out image of an adolescent male representing my ex-husband’s emotional immaturity. Next to him is a chameleon symbolizing the many fictitious roles he assumed trying to convince everyone he was a “Nice Guy.” Behind the “Nice Guy” is a miniature gorilla representing my ex-husband’s real self.
In the middle of the scene there is a car headed in the direction of the other woman who I have placed in the center background symbolizing his departure from our marriage.

In his 1897 masterpiece Interpretation of Dreams, Freud argues that dreams are a path to our unconscious (the part of our mind that is mostly out of our awareness). Freud (1897) also argues that dreams are repressed wish-fulfillment (not just wish fulfillment). In other words, dreams, according to Freud, do not symbolize what we consciously wish, but rather the unconscious wishes, which are repressed, learned messages stored in the superego. Most of our anxiety, according to Freud's psychoanalytic theory, is found in the superego.

The superego, according to Freud, is the part of the mind that houses learned parental punishments and societal rules (should, ought to, have to). My repressed (unconscious) wish fulfillment was for me to be punished (symbolized by being betrayed) because I felt inadequate as a wife—because that is what my husband wanted me to believe. We tend to select the mate who reflects the way we feel about ourselves, and we learn to feel about ourselves in our family of origin.

After my divorce I grieved the loss of a marriage and a husband I never had and I realized then that the relationship I needed to repair was the relationship I had with myself. As Maya Angelou once said: “We begin by surviving, and then we flourish….Hello!”

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