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Critical Analysis of the Concept of DreamsThroughout the length of humanitys existence on earth we have wondered about dreams Do they have a purpose Are they a message from above Or is it something for your brain to do while youre snoozing Cato once said Take no heed of dreams Maybe Cato was rightFrom what science knows of dreams they occur in REM rapid eye movement sleep and are a series of images ideas emotions and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind When REM sleep was first discovered it was thought that dreams only occurred during that stage of sleep This led to many functional theories about dreaming that were based on alleged functions for REM sleep There now is reason to believe that plenty of dreams happen in non-REM NREM sleep especially late in the sleep periodBut before scientific knowledge about dreams came about people had their own idea on what dreams meant or were for In a great many societies dreams are used by shamans to diagnose illness and to enter the spiritual world In that sense shamans were the first psychoanalysts and Freud and Jung are modern-day shamans In some societies dreams are used to find game predict the weather or prophesy about the future In the early to mid 20th century however they have been used in psychotherapy although not as much in recent years when the emphasis is on short-term therapy and on thinking sensible thoughts Dreams can be an occasion for a reticent patient to talk more personally especially when we note that people do not take as much personal responsibility for their dreams as they do most of their other thoughts making dreams easier to talk about In our society dreams are also an excuse to say something intimate to someone maybe a tentative way to see if a deeper relationship is possible as in I had this great dream about you last night Finally the phrase I
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