The Scoop: Dreams can tell us a great deal about our wants, needs, and deeper selves. Layne Dalfen, the Dream Analyst, helps her clients and readers to solve their problems using insights from their dreams. By talking through your dreams, you can understand and make decisions about the major issues plaguing you and your relationship.
When Layne Dalfen was 21, she gave birth to a baby girl with Down Syndrome. Layne didn’t know what to do. It was the 1970s, and few people kept children with special needs, instead leaving them to be wards of the state.
In her early 20s and with little prior knowledge of her daughter’s condition, Layne knew she was ill-equipped to care for her. She placed her daughter in institutional care but didn’t know if she had made the right decision.
It was in this shaky frame of mind that Layne began having a recurring dream. She was alone on a freight elevator that had started to shake. She felt scared and unsure of what to do.
She talked through her freight elevator dream with her psychologist. They discussed the best way to solve the problem for Layne.
As Layne told me this story, she paused to ask me what I would do in this situation. I told Layne I would get low to the ground to prevent myself from falling over.
“When you don’t feel like you have your ground or something weird is going on around you, are you the type of person who takes a second to think?” she asked me.
I am that type of person. Before making a big decision, I weigh my options carefully, then move quickly. I stand by my choices and am seldom influenced by others’ opinions.
Layne had a different way of solving the problem and approaching life. “For me, the solution to the freight elevator dream was to invite people into the dream,” Layne said. “Because if I invite people in the elevator, I’m going to put weight on the floor, and it’s going to stop wobbling. And so, for me, it was about inviting my parents into the discussion about my daughter.”
Once Layne thought through her dream, she knew it was time to include her parents in the conversation about how to move forward with her relationship with her daughter. They encouraged her to maintain a relationship with her, and though she did not pursue regaining custody, they were able to have a beautiful relationship for decades.
Layne has taken her experience in dream analysis and years of study and practice to become a world-renowned analyst, speaker, and consultant in the interpretation of dreams. She helps countless dreamers learn from their subconscious in their waking lives.
“A dream is an interior problem-solving conversation,” Layne told me. Layne helps people access that conversation.
Your Dreams are Constantly Processing
Most people know that it’s important to get enough sleep. Your cells repair, your body heals itself, and your brain gets time to recharge. But what many people don’t know is that your dreams themselves are important parts of processing your day and your emotions.
In Layne’s work, she has found that while people sleep, they solve the big problems bothering them during the day. Whatever lurks in the corners of your mind during the day will come up at night when your subconscious has time to go over it.
More often than not, the issues that we avoid talking about or directly thinking through are the ones that bother us the most as we sleep. “Whatever it is that you are under-reacting to in your waking life, your unconscious is going to overreact,” Layne said.
Even if you forget the content of your dreams, you can often gauge whether your subconscious came to a resolution based on how you feel as soon as you wake up.
“If you wake up feeling relaxed and happy, you probably came to a conclusion in the dream,” Layne said. “And if you woke up sad or frustrated, you want to look at what’s going on in your life that’s making you feel a similar way.”
External Analysis Breaks the Cycle
Many people – myself included – find that at certain points in their lives, they may have the same dream over and over again. My dad still has the same dream of taking a Latin test he hadn’t studied for in high school, despite now being in middle age. While repetitive dreams can be positive, more often than not, they tell us about an issue we aren’t solving.
If you find you keep having the same dream – or even had one puzzling dream that was especially vivid – it may be a sign that you should start talking about your dream out loud. Layne believes that by talking through your dreams, you can figure out how to solve them and, by extension, the problems in your life they represent.
Layne told me the story of a woman who dreamt there were snakes all over the floor and that she “couldn’t put her foot down.” Layne asked her who in her life did she have a hard time “putting her foot down” with, and sure enough, it was her husband. The woman started working at being firmer about her wants and needs with her husband, and the dream went away.
Dreams are our subconscious’s way of telling us what we really want in our waking life, even if it goes against what feels like the comfortable or obvious course of action. But by solving the problems our dreams pose, we can close the loop between our sleeping and waking selves and live a more fulfilled life as a result.
“By taking back all your under-exercised character traits and strengthening them, you give yourself a big bag of choices when deciding how to respond to the different life situations that come up,” Layne said. “Choice is power. And how boring if you end up turning 60 or 70 and still only with your same old knee-jerk reactions to choose from!”
Find Dating Solutions With the Dream Analyst
Oftentimes, the best solution to your problems is there from the start; you’re just ignoring it because it’s uncomfortable. You may know in your gut how you feel about someone – whether it’s positive or negative – but push that feeling down.
When you start dating a new person, Layne suggests paying extra attention to your dreams. In that early stage of a relationship, your subconscious can help you get in touch with how you actually feel about this potential partner instead of just focusing on how you would like to feel about them.
Layne said she helps solve their problems, but she isn’t there to judge, only to help people make choices that are most in line with what they truly want. She recalled once working with a woman who had broken up with a boyfriend a few years before who was an alcoholic. The woman bumped into him and learned that he was sober. She considered getting back into a relationship with him, though everyone in her life told her not to.
The woman dreamt of sitting in a room with her friends and family, and everyone had a ballot but her. Layne helped her realize that she felt as though everyone else had a say in her romantic life, but she was being silenced.
The woman briefly got back with the boyfriend. Though they didn’t work out in the long term, Layne helped her realize what she wanted to do instead of just focusing on the pressures placed on her by other people.
By analyzing our dreams, we can learn about what we want and feel beneath the surface and make truly informed decisions about our lives.
“Your unconscious always has the same goal,” Layne said. “It wants you to take the interior conversation that creates the dream and to bring it outside to waking life.”