Recurring Intense Dreams about Former Therapist
Many years ago I was in therapy with a psychologist. I’ll call him “Bill”. We bonded very closely…intellectually, instinctively, and there was an undeniable sensual vibe between us. I remained in weekly therapy with Bill for 6 years. We both worked hard with my issues. The therapy was excellent and productive. I know we both recognized how close we felt to each other, but neither of us ever, in any way, crossed therapeutic boundaries. At the end of my 6th year in therapy, Bill (who worked out of the VA) had some major disagreements with his supervisor over using what at that time were unusual therapy techniques (meditation, mindfulness, Buddhist philosophy, other alternatives techniques that are now highly regarded in the therapy setting…but this was the military, so nothing “weird” was acceptable). Bill was told he could resign or be fired. I went in for my usual session & Bill told me he’d resigned. The news was devastating to me and he was very upset, as well. We saw each other one more time, then he moved to another country and got married. I had almost no time to grieve the end of our therapeutic relationship, but I carried on. I was happy when I heard, sometime later, that Bill had gotten married and was having a good life. As far as I know, he retired from the military and gave up practice as a therapist when he left the U.S. Jump ahead sixteen years. For the past several months I have almost nightly dreams of being in Bill’s office. Many of his personal belongings are there and I have volunteered to organize the things in preparation for his return to this country and to his office (although in the dream I know he will only be visiting). I am excited at the anticipation of seeing him again, excited to have a session with him, and there is also a strong sexual energy to the dream, entwined with the excitement of reuniting with someone with whom I feel so close to and inspired by. Okay, so. Those dreams recur over and again. Same thing…I’m in Bill’s office, carefully organizing his belongings, waiting for his arrival. Last night, however, there was a difference in the dream. I had finished organizing Bill’s things. He arrived and seemed pleased with the work I’d done. (This dream was the first one in which he actually was in the dream.) The connection between us was a strong as ever, but by the end of the dream Bill was angry with me. I had no idea why he was angry. I awoke feeling upset and disturbed. I would like some insight into the dreams.
A: In my opinion, the best dream interpretations come from the dreamer themselves. I would suggest that you begin keeping a dream journal by your bedside and write about the dream as soon as you wake from it. Capture the content of the dream, the feeling within the dream, how you feel upon waking, etc. After you have done this for a while, read back through it and look for common themes. It might even be helpful to have a trusted friend read through it with you and have a brainstorming session.
Dreams are glimpses into our unconscious mind. They can help us gain insight into what we are going through at certain times of our life. However, they are symbolic. We may miss the message if we interpret them too literally.
Here are some questions for you to ponder: What does Bill stand for in your life? What role did he play in the past (aside from therapist)? What might be missing in your life now? What are you anticipating or looking forward to now? What areas of your life might need more organization? Have you lost an emotional or sexual connection with your husband recently? Who can you trust now?
Chances are that if you can figure out what the dream means to YOU, in the context of your current life, it may subside because it has fulfilled its purpose. Good luck with your exploration.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Counts, H. (2014). Recurring Intense Dreams about Former Therapist. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 13, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/06/recurring-intense-dreams-about-former-therapist/