Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

A Series of Dreams About Failing Tests Rescues Damien From Ruining His Life

February 22nd, 2016 Comments Off on A Series of Dreams About Failing Tests Rescues Damien From Ruining His Life

Anger, Stress and Anxiety Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships


west los angeles expert dream analysis


Damien's Dreams Prevent Him From Ruining His LIfe – part 4

Settling into married life felt good. Damien was content and very relieved that he had got that part of his life sorted out. But now he was having problems at work. He was making errors on tasks that he routinely did with no difficulty. His confidence cracked and his stress levels went through the roof. His rhythm became disturbed and he couldn’t get back on track to do things on time, and that jarred even more on his perfectionistic attitude. Irritable when he got home, he found it hard to tell his wife about his ‘failures’ and deprived himself of comfort and understanding.

Fearful for his reputation and job, Damien had a series of scary dreams about being tested for exams, just like he felt tested in his life at the time. These dreams were instrumental in getting his confidence back and performing adequately.

The first dream shows how he is on the brink of an emotional crisis

dream interpretation west los angeles

The pendulum swings from over confidence to an expectation of failure

“I was studying for my final biology exam. I was in lab tech school. It was just before 8 and I thought I had time to visit my spiritual guide. So I walked to his house to say hi. Then I saw my mother and brother come in but I didn’t stay to talk. I knew I had to go to school to do my test on time. I thought I had time to walk, but as I walked and walked I saw that it was 8:10. I wondered if I should go back to the spiritual guide’s house and get my car. But I decided to keep walking. Then it was 8:30 and I thought I should get an Uber. Everyone could see how upset I was, and how I failed.  I was trying to download the app and was getting very frustrated and anxious. My whole life was about to be ruined. Then I woke up. “

Damien was shaken by the stark precipice of success versus failure he encountered in his dream – dependent on his ability to use judgement and make the right choices, which he isn’t sure he can do. Discussing the dream in therapy, Damien was able to see how scared he was in his real life that he may not succeed. The dream shows him that when he becomes over confident, he loses his balanced center. He over estimates what is possible and doesn’t check into his inner core to make sure he is adequately prepared psychologically.

We analyzed the dream together by talking about the symbols that came up

He knows he needs to check in with his spiritual guide (a symbol of his inner wisdom) but doesn’t quite do so. Then he ignores both his family members both of whom symbolize his broken link with his core self, putting his whole future on the line. He shuns the female part of him (his mother, the grounding and nurturing part of his soul); and he doesn’t greet the male part of him (his brother) the strong rational dependent part of his core self. The act of dismissing these two balanced parts of him put him in jeopardy. He becomes frustrated, looking for something outside himself to rescue him (the Uber application). But it doesn’t work. In the dream he feels exposed and judged by those around him – a symbol of his waking self being ashamed of his lack of judgment and overconfidence. He is being made to feel how bad things get when he loses touch with his authentic self that has the wisdom to guide him.

The message this dream is offering is one of learning to access, tune in and attend to his inner soul which will guide him into making the right choices for his well-being, rather than looking outside of himself to be rescued from possible failure.

Focused exclusively on the part of him that was involved with his new marriage, he had broken loose from his center, heady with the success of his relationship. The dream gives him a scare so that he reunites with his inner core and use his inner guide and all parts of himself to be a success.

los angeles expert dream analysis

Damien didn’t take the dream message seriously and within a few weeks he had a nightmare to drive the point home.

“I was doing a test in school and I didn’t pass. The dean called me and he was crying and said sorry he couldn’t do anything about it. If I took it again and failed I would be thrown out of med school and that would be the end of everything. I had to put more effort into it and not get distracted.  I wouldn’t have a good life and no career. It was a nightmare and when I woke up I was so happy it wasn’t real. It was a huge relief.”

Talking about his relief, Damien realized that his nightmare could become a reality if he didn’t pay attention to balancing his inner self. He wouldn’t be anything if he just assumed that things would work out without the link to his ‘guide’ that could keep him nourished and stable. His reliance once again on an outside force to rescue him (the dean) wasn’t going to work.

The experience of failure in the dream came to remind him that he hadn’t fully absorbed the lesson in the prior dream. Damien tends to hand over his authority to someone else and suffers as a result. So this dream is an even sharper reminder that he has to tune in and trust his inner guide who will ensure that he will pass life’s tests as and when they come along.

This time Damien took the message to heart and his next dream exemplified it.

“I was walking from school up a hiking trail to a mountain. There was a museum there like the The views were spectacular. It was open and there were lots of people there. It was magnificent. The museum had stuff that people had made from the past and I thought about how they did it and that that person in that time touched this.”

We talked of the place of learning that brought back memories of being there for 10 years as a student. He had gone there to study and it felt like a home. Damien is now showing signs that he is tuning into himself (home) as a source of wisdom because it’s a place where he learned and matured.

He described the museum as being a place of respect – that keeps history and shows what people did in the past, where one can see what they once worked on. Damien is learning to respect his own personal history and development, respecting it and honoring it, instead of always looking to someone or something outside of himself to guide him.

In the dream he enjoyed the scenery and good views indicating that it made him feel free, good, and alive. So we can see how Damien is in touch with his own internal scenery that liberates him and brings him vitality.

dream interpretation therapy west los angeles

The need to be perfect rocked Damien's boat, threatening to capsize his boat and throw him into choppy seas

In the next few weeks, Damien experienced several triggers at work that shook his confidence, propelling him towards trying to be perfect and please everyone around him. He was going back to what was familiar – yet irritated that he couldn’t maintain his inner calm. Another dream came along to help him feel solid again.

“I am in high school, and have to do a math test but feel like I’m not prepared. My wife is with me. I see a booth where you can take a practice test that predicts how well you do on the real thing. I took it and got 95%. That was good and I knew that I could do it. It was empowering.”

We noticed that the good feelings Damien had after this dream were very different to the fear and panic at the end of the previous dreams. Something has shifted inside him that points to a greater sense of self-trust as he keeps putting himself to the test. He seems to continue to need proof that he is okay and isn’t just lazy and dependent like his father and brother.

He wants to be sure that he has what it takes for his future, needing to ‘practice,’ get assurance and relieve his anxiety.

The symbol of Math is probably related to ‘adding and subtracting’ things in his life. Almost as if he is sorting out what’s useful and discarding what gets in the way. In real life he is ‘adding’ other activities in his personal life like picking up his interest in comic books. His wife is with him in the dream suggesting that he is identifying more with his adult self and less with his family of origin that had held him back. But unfortunately he only gets it right 95% of the time. Ninety-five is an odd number indicating he still has a way to go to make his life more even and wholesome

Damien is fortunate to work on his inner core with a therapist who helps him understand the value and power of his dreams. You can too.

In part 5 I’ll show you how Damien struggled with his journey towards greater confidence and more self-trust in his life, as his dreams continued to illuminate his progress as he navigated fears of not being perfect, constantly needing proof of his ability to pass life’s tests.


Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF:' Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

How a dream can help you overcome the fear of making your own choices (Damien's dreams, part 1)

How a dream about an aligator helped Damien choose between his girlfriend and his mother ( Damien's dreams, part 2)

How a dream about an interview helped Damien trust himself ( Damien's dreams, part 3)


Disclaimer: this article is for educational and informational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have when reading the material or following the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.

Dream About Failing an Interview Helped Damien Trust Himself (Part 3 of Damien’s story)

April 24th, 2015 Comments Off on Dream About Failing an Interview Helped Damien Trust Himself (Part 3 of Damien’s story)


Dream Analysis To Help With Anger and Stress Management

West Los Angeles Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy


After a great deal of doubt and uncertainty about choosing the right woman to marry, Damien finally married his fiancé. He felt peaceful and solid. The pendulum that swung between his attachment towards his mother and that toward Leila kept still. Working on the dream images about the day of his execution and that of the alligator had soothed his conflicted soul and allowed him to make the choice that had been so stressful.

The first few weeks of marriage were good. The couple settled into a routine as he went back to work and Leila became a home maker. He enjoyed being welcomed home with a nice meal. Talking to his mate about his challenges at the lab where he worked was relieving. Having company watching TV and a warm receptive body next to him at night was comforting.

But three months into the marriage, Damien found himself wanting to do his own thing after the evening meal.

He went back to doing the solitary things he used to do before he got married. Leila read books about married life and fed him information about what couples should do at certain points in their marriage – such as have sex three to four times a week in their first six months together. They were supposed go out with other couples twice a week, and visit in-laws at least once a month.

Damien and Leila operated on rules rather than on what they spontaneously felt and wanted. He became restless and started looking outside the relationship for stimulation and fulfillment. He wanted to learn more about money, cosmology and geophysics. The joy he first felt on going home after work dissipated, and he was hungry for something else.

Until he had this dream and we worked on it in his therapy.

“I was on a scooter following two policemen up a mountain. My scooter was semi motorized and half the foot type one.  At the top of the mountain was this big building. It was like a business building, rectangular with several floors. It was black. When I got there I was in a black suit. I went in for an interview. I thought there would be just a few others but the hall was full of people and they were looking at me. I was given an assignment. I had a syringe in a black bag. It had medicine in it but I didn’t know that. I was told to go out into the forest around the building and find the medication that needed to go in the syringe. I was out there for 4 hours and couldn’t find anything, Then I thought I found it and went back inside the building. The interview was over. I was told I had failed, because the medication was already in the syringe and I should have known that.”


west los angeles psychotherapy and dream interpretation

Damien was shocked as he told me his dream.

He couldn’t get over the fact that he had lost an important opportunity because he didn’t realize that he “already had the answer.” We likened this to his experience of the marriage – that he saw it as a job that needed doing, without realizing that it was already done and all he had to do was recognize it and use it to feed his soul, but, that he didn’t trust himself.

Similarly he and his wife sought rules about how they should conduct their marriage so that they were within the bounds of normality as if they had no sense of it in their bones. No wonder it wasn’t working! There was no juice in the books his wife read or in the cosmos he was chasing for answers to personal contentment. The dream demonstrated that he already possessed the things that were potentially fulfilling – all he had to do was recognize it, develop the emotional desire to see it, trust it and use it.

The color black is a prominent feature in the dream – his black suit, and the black building, showing how everything on the outside is black. He is unable to see his authentic self through his black suit. Nor can he see through to the real workings of the building (a representation of him that is rule bound with the rectangular hard angled exterior) because it is black. The dream illuminates his insides – showing  him that he has a reliable core, despite past bad experiences – it’s okay to trust his instincts and his desires, his intuition and his beliefs.


expert dream analysis west los angeles

He didn’t need to climb a hill follow two policemen to motivate him into being whatever his fate had in store. That suggests that he is now ready to give up depending on parental figures (the policeman). He didn’t need to be his own judge and jury like the people interviewing and judging him. He had already made it.

The scooter he drove was part manual and part motorized indicating that Damien was partially on the way to automating his way of operating in the world, making it less burdensome – trusting that the machine would work.  TRUST in his core self was the issue at stake and he came face to face with it in this dream.

Damien is learning to trust his gut in his waking life, but he is struggling with being an emotional intimacy with his wife. The next dream will bring that drama on stage..


Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF:' Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

How a Dream Can Help You Overcome Your Fear Of Making Your Own Choices    (part 1 of Damien's story)

How a Dream About and Aligator Helpd Damien Chose Between His Mother and His Fiance  (part 2 of Damien's story)

How Your Dream Can Free You From Trying to Win Your Parents Approval

Disclaimer: this article is for educational and informational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have when reading the material or following the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.

How a Dream about an Alligator Helped Damien Choose Between His Mother and his Girfriend! Part 2

January 27th, 2015 Comments Off on How a Dream about an Alligator Helped Damien Choose Between His Mother and his Girfriend! Part 2

Dream Analysis To Help With Anger and Stress Management


west los angeles dream analysis

The dream that helped Damien understand the trap he was in, fearing commitment and choices was the first of a series that helped him prepare to propose to his girlfriend and adjust his relationship with his mother. Now he was ready to propose, but how would his mother react?

The eldest of three children, Damien felt responsible for his mother’s welfare. His younger siblings were in college and his father wasn’t reliable. Damien enjoyed getting advice on ‘the right thing to do,’ from his mother, who also took care of him in ways that made their bond special.

He knew his mother wanted him to marry a girl that came from the same ethnic and religious background. There was nothing more important to him than his prospective wife and mother getting along. Would his mother approve of Leila? Would they find a way of relating without making him choose between them? Would Leila be okay with him visiting his mother after church every Sunday? Would Leila be okay with him continuing  to take care of his mother’s car insurance payments?


west los angeles dream interpretation


Then came a dream that illuminated his predicament and helped answered his question, freeing him from his self-imposed dilemmas – just like the teepee cage in the last dream.

“I was walking and saw a baby alligator. It was still attached to its mother with tissue that looked like a placenta. It didn’t hatch out of an egg.  There were zoo keepers and then there was an alligator tail coming out of my chest. It was taken out and even though there was a hole, I felt good.”

Damien associated alligators with hard skin that is Impenetrable” so he can’t get out, nor can others get in to help him. As we explored the image in the dream, Damien talked about the hard skin being a barrier to connecting with others. He noticed that he felt disconnected and awkward in groups. He was also having trouble connecting with Leila, torn between his affiliation with his mother and his girlfriend.

west los angeles therapy with dream interpretation


This is what we made of the dream in his therapy, using the context of is life at that time as the backdrop.

Alligators are reptiles that live in water and on land. Damien’s psyche was showing him that he is operating as a reptile. He can live in a state of unawareness, represented by the water, or he can live on land – but he can’t survive if he is still attached to his mother’s placenta!

Both the water and the placenta show his anxiety about being his ‘own man. Damien feared that without the basic nurturance from the placenta, and the womb like existence of the water he wouldn’t be able to survive successfully.

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The image of hope came via the image of the bit of alligator tail that was coming out of his chest.

The remnant of alligator tail symbolized the beginnings of his awareness of his own capability and wish to prove it. He is given hope that he can take himself out of his entrenched reptilian mode and live freely making choices and decisions for his life – not just being seduced by care taking and then discover that he has given over charge of his life to others.

This dream stayed with Damien for weeks.

We related his resistance to changing his ways to the ‘hard skin’ of the alligator. We connected his tendency to get carried away with his work, ignoring his personal life with being in the water, oblivious to reality. He also made the link between his growing unease with being treated like a child by his mother.

The image of pulling out the remnants of the alligator tail from his chest gave Damien the confidence he needed to propose to Leila even if it meant he would have to give up the care of his mother. His conflict about having to choose between his mother and Leila (the water or the land) dissolved. He became a fully-fledged mammal, shedding his reptilian self.

Leila accepted his proposal with excitement and much happiness. Damien was relieved and felt like he was finally getting on the path of achieving his masculine identity. He told his parents that he was engaged and welcomed his mother getting involved in the wedding plans. He was fulfilling his manly role and that felt good.

What Damien hadn’t anticipated was his mother would make a last ditch attempt to keep the placenta attached. She began giving him gifts of personal care items- reflecting an intimacy that was inappropriate for an adult male and his mother. He didn’t want to hurt her by refusing them, nor overrule her on the choice of wedding stationary she was ordering.

Reminders of the tail remnant he pulled out of his chest in therapy were immensely powerful in helping Damien find his strength to tell his mother what he wanted and what he didn’t. He cut the placenta and survived. She backed down and he didn’t feel guilty.   

Damien had many days and nights of doubt about his choice of wife. As he became more self-assured and realized that making choices and commitments (being on land without being attached to the placenta) didn’t mess up his life, he approached his wedding ‘knowing’ this was the right thing for him. The hard alligator skin was no longer needed to protect him from taking risks. He owned his warm bloodedness fully. What a gift of a dream from his psyche!


Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF:' Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

How a Dream Can Help You Overcome Your Fear Of Making Your Own Choices    (part 1 of Damien's story)

How Your Dream Can Free You From Trying to Get Your Parent's Approval

How Your Dream Can Help You Overcome Bad Memories That Keep You Stuck


Disclaimer: this article is for educational and informational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have when reading the material or following the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.







How a Dream Can Help You Overcome Your Fear of Making Your Own Choices

January 12th, 2015 Comments Off on How a Dream Can Help You Overcome Your Fear of Making Your Own Choices

Dream Analysis To Help With Anger and Stress Management

making choice

Three months before his wedding 35 year-old Damien came home from working as a lab technician tired, grumpy and dreading the thought of having to propose to his girlfriend or else lose her. He hated the idea of making that decision only to find that there were better fish in the sea. He thought very highly of 32-year-old Physical Therapist Leila, but didn’t want to make that final commitment. It felt like he was imprisoning himself for life. The stress was unbearable.

Earlier that day he had felt pressurized to rush results out of his path lab to the surgeons and doctors in the hospital that demanded instant identification of the tissue and blood samples they sent in truck loads. He was concerned about the accuracy of the results, but also about annoying the medical personnel if he didn’t do things at their pace. He imagined the head of the laboratory being angry with his pace of work, and replacing him. All this anxiety and fear made him wound up in a tight ball, trying to be perfect and please everyone else except himself. He was trapped. Nothing felt good and there was no way out!


clawing out of a cage

Until he had this dream:

“I am in a tavern like in medieval times. I am in a cage that is like a tepee. It’s the day of my execution and I can feel the fire under be being lit. I feel trapped but then I see that the door is open and I step out. There are witches there and the give me a good meal. They say I deserve it because it’s the day of my execution. But I say it’s not going to happen and enjoy the meal.”

Damien’s dream was very disturbing to him, depicting his imminent death.

But then he discussed it with me in therapy and we understood the important message it was giving him about his own ability to feel in control and get out of his trap.

This is what we made of the dream.

The cage is what he puts himself into when he feels he has no choice – no exit strategy. His sense of having to propose and rush his lab work was like the heat of the fire in the dream, pressuring him to act. In real life he can’t see that the cage belongs to him and the door is always open – he can choose to step in or get burned alive.

But the cage is situated in a place of fun, a tavern, where people come to relax and socialize. It suggests that Damien can't allow himself to have fun with people and socialize on an equal basis. He either has to be their slave or take care of them.

Damien has problems in making decisions. It’s hard for him to just have fun – so he has to put himself in a cage to force himself to do more serious things like marry which he wants, but which also involve commitment and no turning back. The witches represent the voices inside him, telling him he has no choice and must accept his demise.

The word witch is also an echo of the word 'which' – depicting choice, that is so hard for Damien.

If he has something nice like the meal the witches offer him, he has to pay the price of death: so the choice is impossible to make. If he chooses the good meal, he gets killed by the fire the witches have lit. If he chooses to get out of the cage his core self gets annihilated by having to please everyone else. When he feels the ‘heat’ from other people to do what they want, the cage feels like a sanctuary. But soon the cage feels oppressive, killing him with its fire. So he wants out – only to find that he is in a different cage of having to take care of others.

pressing reset button and starting afresh

What did Damien learn from this dream analysis?

The idea of choice had always been hard for Damien. His whole life had been prefaced by having to be a “good boy”, doing the “right thing” to be given a pat on the back and accepted into the world of those that mattered. Despite talking about it several times, it wasn’t until his unconscious gave him the image of the open cage and the fire with the threat of dying that he began to own his right to decide what he wanted. He was so amazed that the cage door was open, that he could go out at any time, he kept repeating that part of the dream as if to absorb that it was up to him to walk out or die! It was as if new life had been breathed into him. He was being given permission from his unconscious to take care of himself with feeling guilty, panicked or ashamed.

Within the next few weeks,Damien gave himself permission to leave work at the regular time rather than work late into the night just to please others, or save his job (not get killed). He started to enjoy his time in the evening and looked forward to sharing himself with his fiancé. He was more available for the relationship and proposed to Leila. She accepted. At first Damien was content. But soon he  began to fear that Leila would just take over and make him her slave. He also began to get stressed over his mother's reaction. So tune in to the next blog post and discover how his next dream helped him over this huge hurdle.

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2014

AUTHOR OF:' Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

Dreams show you how you hold yourself back and sabotage your success

How your dream reveals your inner terrorist that makes your life hell

Is guilt the stick that motivates you into action?

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond

Dreams show you how you hold yourself back and sabotage your success

October 14th, 2013 Comments Off on Dreams show you how you hold yourself back and sabotage your success

Returning from a trip abroad, thirty-seven-year-old Natalie was full of enthusiasm and energy to kick start her career in the creative arts. She had jotted down a ton of ideas including doing a workshop online about writing comedy scripts; doing improvisation, teaching acting at night school and finishing a script that she started 2 years ago. But within four days she wanted to do anything but tackle her list. She wanted to talk to friends, go to a spa, do yoga and cook, but not move forward with her career steps.

Tired of this up and down pattern of excitement followed by a crash, Natalie was acutely aware of her shame and disappointment, despite working on herself for some years. No matter what steps she took and how determined she was, she went from feeling full of desire and motivation to feeling listless when it came to her scripts, workshops, etc.

It all felt too much to manage.

clawing out of a cage

Then a dream came along that helped her understand what was holding her back.

She dreamt that she got a job in a hair salon. She was new and had little experience. A member of the band ‘Kiss’ came into the salon. He had long black wavy hair and wanted it straightened. He was in a hurry and Natalie wasn’t sure she could get it done in time. She used a flat iron that she knew wasn’t the most appropriate for this job but persisted anyway. As her client got impatient and was about to leave the manager of the salon came over and told her to get on with the job and she then complained about not having the right tool. The manager got angry with her and told her that she could have asked for it, before directing her to the front desk where the correct flat iron was located.

Natalie explored her dream with me and noticed that she was feeling as if she were new at the game of working for money, just like she had been in the dream. She also felt as if she was starting from scratch, lost and unable to do what she needed to execute her goals, just as her dream portrayed.

But Natalie learned something important about herself from her dream.

She discovered that she ‘knew’ what the right tool was but refused to ask for it or get it without someone else pushing her.  As we talked further it became apparent that Natalie discarded the parts of her that ‘knew’ what to do and how to do it in real life, so that each time she started a fresh it felt as if she was at square one, without a road map or hiking gear. Feeling overwhelmed and scared she would just give up and her career aspirations would die off.

I helped Natalie appreciate that she had a great many resources including knowledge and skill that she hid from herself because it involved her using her energy and motivation to activate them to serve her purpose. It wasn’t that she was lazy, it was that she just didn’t want to do the work for herself. She wanted someone else to step in and do it so she felt cared for and not alone in taking care of herself.


west los angeles expert dream analysis

The images in the dream proved really central in helping Natalie gain insight into those parts of her that sabotaged her success.

We discussed the image of the flat iron, and found a rich seam of material that Natalie used to help paint a more in depth picture of why she kept getting stuck in the same place.

First we played with the word ‘flat.’ We talked about ‘flat as in a linear line,’ ‘flat-lining’ as on a medical monitor, and a tire having a flat! All these ways of new images of ‘flat’ gave Natalie a sense of how she wanted a lifeless learning experience, with no bumps or grooves along the way. I also noted that she wanted to drive herself forward with no air in her tires, despite having a great body and engine in terms of her intelligence and talents. Natalie recalled how things had come so easily to her in school that she never had to put any work into it, and wanted that same experience in her adult life. She didn’t want to use her resources in the fullest way possible, and so her tires would deflate, stopping her from progressing.

Then we moved on to the word ‘iron.’ Natalie associated it with a steel grip, a rigid determination to do something irrespective of its effects or repercussions. She mentioned how fearful she was of doing things that would be outside her chosen field, making her rigidly stick to a narrow path, excluding experiences that could enhance and enrich her career in the creative arts.

I added that a lack of iron was a sign of anemia, a cause of weakness and lethargy. Without the right kind of iron (like the right tool in the dream) she would be lifeless and unable to manage her jobs. That she couldn’t actually ‘grip’ the parts of her that could coalesce and make her goals a reality.


relationship advice psychotherapy Los Angeles, dealing with envy and jealousy

We shifted to talking about ‘ironing’ and the first thin that Natalie thought of was that of ‘ironing out wrinkles.’

She immediately connected to the part of her that had to iron out wrinkles that sabotaged her career success. She had to iron out the problems that stood in her way, that of disavowing her talents, skills and knowledge when her motivation was present, AND losing touch with her motivation when she owned her talents.

The dream continued to give us food for Natalie to chew on in her therapy. She began to see how she separated her motivation from her talents and scuppered her chances of a good future. She is now in the process of integrating those two parts of her and take real steps towards earning a living at what she was good at.

You might also like:

Your dreams can show you how you censor yourself and spoil your happiness

How to use dreams to benefit your waking life

How your dreams can help you overcome bad memories that keep you stuck

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.


Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D

Is overwhelming guilt making your life a misery?

August 30th, 2012 Comments Off on Is overwhelming guilt making your life a misery?

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles psychotherapy for extreme guilt that ruins your life


The Call That Ended Everything

The call came at 1:00 a.m. The call that never should have come. The call that Bruce would have moved heaven and earth to prevent. The call that ended everything when an apologetic voice dealt the fatal blow – his wife had suffered a heart attack at work and died.

Relentless Guilt Tortured Him

Bruce went through the motions as the autopsy, funeral and aftermath took their course. He allowed friends and relatives to take care of the arrangements, acting as an obedient robot. He lost his appetite and had trouble sleeping. The pills his doctor prescribed forced his shocked mind and body to switch off. He was glad when exhaustion took over, so he could get a break from the relentless guilt that tortured his every waking moment.

west los angeles psychotherapy for difficulty guilt about selfishness


How Could He Have Been So Selfish?

How could that innocent beauty have been ripped away so soon? Why did she have to die so young when she had never harmed a soul? Why had he taken advantage of her sweet trusting nature and cheated on her whenever he was tempted? Why hadn't he thanked her more sincerely for the secure and stable home she had given him? Why had he been so selfish and refused to have a child? Why had he not given her one iota as much as she had given him?

Diet Of Recriminations

Bruce lived on a diet of self-loathing and recrimination. It took the edge off the guilt so he could continue living. He exiled himself from his community of neighbors and friends because he couldn't face what he imagined would be their accusatory looks and harsh judgments.

A New Companion Wants More Than He Can Give

Loneliness, and an abhorrence of his own company led him to find another companion. He got through the depressing days and nights of his first year of widower hood by the good grace and kindness of his new lady friend. But she wanted more of him than just his company. Giving her more was like sacrilege, so he gave just enough to keep her in his life. The rest of the time he was the loyal and grateful husband to his dead wife that he failed to be during her life time.

Nightmares Haunt Him

A year later his house was exactly the same as the morning his wife died. Bruce turned it into a shrine and worshiped at it's feet hoping to expiate his guilt and alleviate his remorse. He was plagued with horrific nightmares of being chased in jungles, thrown overboard from ships, crashing in a plane and being set on fire. He always woke up just before he was about to die, but the intense images and sensations stayed with him long afterwards. Life awake was not much better than life in the land of violent punishing dreams.


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Bruce Wants Absolution

A wish for relief from the incessant nightmares provided an acceptable reason for him to seek psychotherapy. He wanted absolution. As Bruce talked about his life it became apparent that guilt was no stranger to him. He was guilty that he left his meager childhood home for a better life while the rest of the family lived like paupers. He was guilty about stealing his wife away from her first lover. He was guilty about not visiting his mother when she was dying, and for failing to get his veterinary license after six attempts at the exams.

Seeing The Big Picture

Putting his guilt into words allowed us to examine the cloth and feel the weave of the material he confessed. Slowly but surely Bruce learned that his perceptions were more than a little skewed. He had sent money home for his brother's education. His wife chose to leave her lover and marry Bruce. His mother had died unexpectedly as he was on route to her sick bed. His wife had agreed not to have children. He had worked three jobs while studying to be a Vet, making studying difficult. He rescued stray cats and dogs and donated money to animal shelters.


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Grief Fogs Up The Lens

Grief and loss made him color his past behaviors with selfish intentions and mean spiritedness. His goodness and decency were lost to him until he began to hear me reflect them back to him. He learned to accept that he was cut from a cloth that could wash out its stains and still be fit for wear. As he made room for his kind traits Bruce dreamt of his wife coming down to him in the form of an angel, holding her arms out in a loving manner. He felt the joy of being reunited with a warm and loving wife.

The Antidote to Guilt

A small dose of guilt is useful when it serves to prick your conscience into doing the right thing. An overdose of guilt is a pernicious force that rots you from the inside out. It mangles your memory of the past and blurs your vision of the future. Bruce discovered that forgiving himself was the only effective antidote to his self-induced poisoning.

A dream predicts your ability to trust in your own talents

August 29th, 2012 Comments Off on A dream predicts your ability to trust in your own talents

Using dreams to help you manage your personal challenges by Dr. Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles expert dream analysis to build self-trust

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.


Remember Donna who was conflicted about whether to focus on her looks or her career? She had a harsh censor inside her head that said she had to make impossible choices and virtually paralyzed her. Until   the security guard in her dream helped her to see that she could be both smart and good looking.

The dream again

 Donna dreamed that she lived in a beautiful stylish apartment building that had excellent security. She saw a young blond good looking woman approach the security desk claiming to be Donna. But Donna was already in her own apartment! She watched the security guard allow the impostor in without checking the records. Donna showed her anger to the security guard who didn't know what she was doing wrong. Donna was furious that this bone headed security guard would be so lax. She was even more furious that the security guard had no concern about not doing a good job.

Three days later the dream came true

Donna was asked to do an acting part for a commercial. Normally she would have felt ugly, heavy, unattractive and not fit for the role. But after her dream she allowed her fellow actor to put his arm around her without thinking that she was disgusting to him. She didn't go through her usual checklist of all the reasons why she shouldn't be hired, and that she was only being used to make a point about fat people.

west los angeles expert dream interpretation to help express your talents

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Donna is comfortable with herself and shines

Behaving as a balanced security guard she was able to feel good in her own skin. Donna was in the moment and enjoying the job. She was relaxed, had fun and saw that no one was making fun or her, no one was making her out to be stupid, or putting her in any category. Donna saw herself as the others saw her – smart and sexy, funny and serious, hard working and willing to take risks.

Donna learns to be natural and it works!

Donna's dream about the security guard made her ready for this experience. It showed her that she can trust people's view of her and be the wonderful talented person that she was. Without having the dream and working on it with me, Donna might well have blown the whole thing.

How your dream can remove your blind spots and propel you to success

August 27th, 2012 Comments Off on How your dream can remove your blind spots and propel you to success

Using dreams to help you manage your personal challenges by Dr. Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles expert dream analysis to help you find  success

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

No Money, No Job, No Future in Sight

After years of thankless work as a furniture restorer, forty year old Maggie took the plunge and became an entrepreneur. Her investment capital consisted of experience and hope. Business was so bad that she didn't have enough gas money to provide clients with estimates.

The Dream Comes To Show The Way

Then she remembered a dream she had a year ago in which she was at a countryside railway station, living on the platform with one suitcase. The suitcase fell onto the tracks and an approaching train smashed everything inside- clothes, shoes and personal stuff. She felt naked and embarrassed. Later she was expected at a celebrity party taking place in a large house. She was dressed in a poorly matched loaned outfit. Everyone admired her as a well known artist.

Using The Dream Key To Success

The dream portrayed her future with vivid accuracy. Maggie's leap into penniless self-employment was symbolized by the train smashing her belongings and leaving her naked. As Maggie recalled the dream, she did something she had never done before. She put aside the shame that prevented her from asking for help, and accepted rides, ate with neighbors and borrowed tools.

The dream voice said "If you want to be a successful artist, let people 'clothe' you with the support you need."

Maggie's dream gave her the key to a treasure chest that was buried under layers of pride. At the time of greatest need Maggie used the key. She threw away her stubborn independence and let the dream empower, reassure and guide her along her chosen path.

west los angeles expert dream interpretation to give you clarity about your pathway to success

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Building A Bright Future

Maggie forged friendships that sustained her during the early days of setting up her business. She found that people were full of ideas for marketing in the community. They included her in their womens groups, where she was able to show samples of her work and get word of mouth referrals. She was introduced to interior decorators and designers who gave her projects to work on. A whole new world of opportunity opened up to her. She had setbacks too. At these times she was able to ask for and get support from her network of contacts. It sustained her and kept her hope afloat.

Maggie is very grateful to her dream for showing her the blind spot that was preventing her from having a successful life. She continues to record her dreams and pay attention to their messages. When She gets in her own way, her dreams get her back on the right track.


Dreams that help you grieve and reconcile with estranged family members

August 27th, 2012 Comments Off on Dreams that help you grieve and reconcile with estranged family members

Using dreams to help you manage your personal challenges by Dr. Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles expert dream interpretation

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.


Family Rifts Get Shaken Up By A Dream

Andrea hadn't spoken to her mother for the past twenty years. She adored her father and found him supportive when she left for Australia with her new husband . The rift with her mother remained unreconciled despite Andrea's divorce. One morning she awoke remembering a dream that gave her a deep sense of peace.

The Dream Of Life and Death

Andrea dreamt that she was looking into the yard of a two story house where a dead Oak tree had fallen. Fairies were going in and out of its hollow interior. She turned around to look inside the house and then back at the yard. This time the dead Oak was replaced by a fresh Willow tree. She was happy to see life blooming again.

The Dream Comforted as it Foretold of Loss

The next day Andrea heard that her father had died the same day she had her peaceful dream. The parent that nourished Andrea during her emotional storms had now died, just as the old Oak in the dream. Andrea's dream came to foretell her loss, comfort her and help her grieve.

west los angeles expert dream interpretation for dreams of death and loss

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.


Healing Old Wounds Through Regeneration

Even though her solid rock of a father had passed, Andrea still needed to repair the breach with her mother, the source of her life. Trees are symbols of life sustained by deep roots. Her dream showed her that as one dies another flourishes, just as the Willow took the place of the dead Oak in the dream.

Forging New Bonds That Can Withstand Storms

Andrea's created a new connection with her mother. Just like the Willow their relationship was strong, but flexible. Just like the Willow it could bend and sway in a storm, not snap and break as before. The old brittle mother-daughter relationship became a pliable cord, that was strong and able to handle pressure.

west los angeles expert dream interpretation for healing of relationship wounds

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.


The Dream That Kept On Giving

Andrea healed two deep wounds by attending to her dream- the death of her father and the broken connection with her mother. Honoring her dream allowed her unconscious to act as a healer, a mediator, a strengthener and a comforter. Andrea could have been orphaned if she didn't welcome this dream and use its messages. She had already 'lost' a mother, and then her father died. By interacting with her dream she was able to grieve without falling apart, and reclaim the lost relationship with her mother, keeping her connected to her family roots.


How your dream can help you lose weight when nothing else works

August 23rd, 2012 Comments Off on How your dream can help you lose weight when nothing else works

Using dreams to help you manage your personal challenges by Dr. Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles expert dream interpretation to help with your weight problems


Donna weight feels like a repulsive birthmark!

Donna's struggle with her weight never ends. She always thinks of herself as fat and ugly. Whatever she does to control it never lasts and she is left feeling worse than ever before. When things are going badly for her she feels even fatter and uglier and just wants to walk away from her disgusting body. At rough times when nothing seems to be going right she feels that this is some punishment that she has to suffer just for being who she is. In fact she thinks it's like a repulsive birthmark that is stamped on her and can never be hidden or got rid of.

Donna's painful memories seemed never ending!

Donna began remembering awful things that happened to her as a child and how she couldn't tell anyone. She had to "stuff it" if she wanted to keep the peace and be allowed to stay with her mother and stepfather. The memories were painful and made her feel dirty and unacceptable.

A long hair dream disturbs Donna

It was during one of these bad times that Donna had a dream where she was pulling out hair from her mouth. The hair strands just went on and on and on. There was no end to it. It felt awful when she woke up.


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Dead hair shows Donna her weighty emotional gunk

What does the long long hair coming out of her insides mean? Hair is a dead product. Coming out of her mouth it was Donna's waste. Like the memories of her unhappy childhood, the hair just went on and on. Donna was being given an image of how much gunk she had stored inside her, that was making her fatter than she needed to be. By recalling her childhood and understanding it with me, she was able to get a vision of what her emotional stomach was storing. She got a dream picture of it all coming out, and a jolt as to just how much there was to discover, process and let go of.

Slimness and beauty push out the hair and give Donna hope

Immediately after the hair dream, Donna dreamed that she was in Sweden with a friend, and was putting on weight. She stopped putting on weight when she felt she was just right. Her friend showed Donna pictures of her from a previous time when she was much thinner. Donna was astounded that she could ever have been slim and beautiful.

The second dream gives Donna hope that her wish to be thinner has a basis in reality. The photograph is how she once was before she had to store her wretched childhood experiences as fat. Donna's unconscious healer is giving her an image that she can believe in, showing her the real inner beauty she had lost touch with. She is being told that she can eat and control herself, just as she did in the dream – that she isn't doomed to be fat and ugly. Stopping the eating in the dream when she got to a comfortable size tells her that she can find her ideal weight and stay there.

Choice Replaces the Sense of Being Doomed

Donna is beginning to identify with the part of her that can choose her weight. As she worked on her dreams with me, she gained more confidence in herself as a beautiful person inside and outside. She is having more good moments in her life when she can feel worthwhile and lovable.