Tag Archives: therapy

Dreams and PTSD: How Understanding the Symbolism of Dreams Can Help in Healing

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic event, such as a life-threatening experience, natural disasters, or even sexual or physical assault. PTSD can lead to the development of a wide range of symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and depression. For those who struggle with PTSD, it can be challenging to manage these symptoms and find ways to heal from the trauma they have experienced.

However, one powerful tool that can aid in the process of healing PTSD is dream interpretation. Dreams are an important aspect of the human experience and can provide insight into our subconscious mind. In particular, understanding the symbolism of dreams can be helpful in processing traumatic experiences and providing insights into the underlying emotions and feelings associated with the trauma.

In this article, we will explore the symbolism of dreams related to water and cars, two of the most common symbols that can appear in dreams and hold important meanings for most people. By understanding the significance of these symbols, individuals with PTSD can gain valuable insights into their subconscious mind, and ultimately, aid in their healing journey.

Water and PTSD

Water is one of the most commonly reported symbols in dreams, and it can represent a variety of things depending on the context in which it appears. Generally, water is seen as a symbol of the emotions, relationships, and the flow of life. In dreams, water can take on many forms, such as rivers, oceans, lakes, or even rain. The meaning of water in a dream can vary depending on its characteristics, such as the color, temperature, and clarity.

For individuals with PTSD, dreams of water can be particularly powerful. Trauma can create feelings of emotional overwhelm, and dreams of water can symbolize this sense of being swept away by their emotions or circumstances in their waking life. A dream of being caught in a flood or tidal wave can represent a sense of being out of control or overwhelmed by life’s challenges. It can also suggest that the dreamer needs to let go of their resistance and go with the flow of life.

Additionally, dreams of drowning or being trapped in water can symbolize the feeling of being trapped or unable to escape from the trauma. These dreams can be particularly distressing for individuals with PTSD, as they can re-trigger feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.

However, dreams of water can also provide opportunities for healing. In dreams, water can also represent renewal, cleansing, and transformation. Dreams of water can symbolize the need to let go of the past and move forward with a sense of clarity and purpose. By understanding the symbolism of water in their dreams, individuals with PTSD can gain insight into their emotions and feelings, ultimately aiding in their healing journey.

Cars and PTSD

Cars are another common symbol that can appear in dreams and hold important meanings for individuals with PTSD. Cars can represent the self, the journey of life, or how the dreamer gets from Point A to Point B. In dreams, cars can appear in various forms, such as driving a car, being a passenger, or even witnessing a car accident.

Dreams of driving a car can indicate the dreamer’s level of control over their life’s direction. If the dreamer is driving confidently, it suggests they are in control of their life and moving forward with a sense of purpose. However, if the dreamer is struggling to control the car or feeling lost, it can suggest a lack of direction or a sense of being stuck in their waking life.

For individuals with PTSD, dreams of cars can be particularly relevant, as they can symbolize the journey of healing. Dreams of driving a car can represent the progress made in healing from trauma, while dreams of being a passenger can symbolize the

Another common theme in dreams of PTSD survivors is that of being chased or pursued. These dreams often reflect the feeling of being constantly on guard and hyper-vigilant in waking life, as well as the fear of being attacked or harmed. Understanding the meaning behind these dreams can help survivors to process their emotions and experiences in a healthy way, and to develop coping strategies for dealing with PTSD symptoms.

For me, the recurring dreams about water and cars were a way for my subconscious to process the traumatic experiences I had been through. In my case, the dreams symbolized the ending of a long-term intimate relationship and the loss of control I felt as a result. By analyzing the symbols in my dreams and exploring their meanings, I was able to gain insight into my own emotions and experiences, and to begin the healing process.

Rachel Perry

If you are a PTSD survivor who is experiencing recurring dreams or nightmares, I encourage you to explore the symbolism in your dreams and to seek help from a qualified therapist or counselor. By understanding the messages in your dreams and working with a professional to process your emotions and experiences, you can begin to move forward in your healing journey.

Healing From PTSD
Coping With PTSD
Overcoming Trauma
Mental Health Support

In addition to seeking professional help, there are also practical steps that you can take to manage the symptoms of PTSD and reduce the frequency and intensity of your dreams. These can include practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, establishing a regular sleep routine, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and engaging in physical activity or exercise.

In addition to seeking professional help, there are also practical steps that you can take to manage the symptoms of PTSD and reduce the frequency and intensity of your dreams. These can include practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, establishing a regular sleep routine, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and engaging in physical activity or exercise.

It is also important to surround yourself with a supportive community of friends and family who can offer encouragement and understanding as you work through your healing process. Joining a support group or seeking out peer support from other PTSD survivors can also be a valuable source of comfort and connection.

Finally, remember that healing from PTSD is a journey that takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. With the right support and resources, it is possible to overcome the challenges of PTSD and to live a happy, healthy life.

Ultimately, understanding the symbolism in our dreams can be a powerful tool for healing from PTSD. Dreams can offer insight into our emotions and experiences, and can provide a way for our subconscious to process trauma in a healthy way. By working with a qualified therapist, practicing relaxation techniques, and building a supportive community, PTSD survivors can begin to move forward in their healing journey and live a fulfilling life.

Change is Not What you Think it is

If you think you know what change is, and you think it’s hard or challenging or one of the things people fear the most, then you might want to consider thinking about it again.

Change is just really not what you think it is.

One of the terms I’ve heard Richard Hastings use often is Changework, which as first seemed strange and I had no idea what he meant. But after studying his method closely for years I think I am at the beginning of being able to understand what he means.

Here are 5 aspects which come to mind today.

  1. Change is work.

Change is work. I think when we get that concept we are one step closer to understanding our own personal challenges and improving our lives in every area.

2. Change is a process.

When we let go of thinking of change as a catastrophic event of some sort and realize that very small shifts in thinking or acting can give us the desired outcomes over time, we can realize change is an ongoing process and not an end result in itself.

3. Change is not an individual thing.

Although we have a lot of individual control over our changework process, change is not a vacuum and it does not happen in isolation. When we change one thing in ourselves it has an effect, directly or indirectly, on everyone we are associated with. Amazing if you think about it, isn’t it?

4. Change is not scary.

Well, some people may start out thinking it is scary or having some sort of anxiety about bad things they think might happen down the road after the change. But in truth, change transforms fear. So even that can be dissolved as courage and confidence grows.

5. Change is the purpose of life.

To grow, change, and develop is the most fundamental and meaningful purpose in life. We do this by knowing our selves, by distinguishing between what leads us upwards towards excellence or what leads us downwards towards devastation. We live out our lives purpose when we pay attention to opportunities for growth and change daily.

You see, change is just not what we think it is. It’s not about just saying, “Ok, this isn’t working. I promise I’ll change.” It’s about looking deep within and understanding the root cause of a challenge and really sitting with the negative emotions and what they tend to lead you to do. Learning to process the negative emotions as they come up in a healthy and productive way which is beneficial for you and others is one of the most rewarding and meaningful things anyone can do. I know because I’ve experienced it for myself and I love sharing the insights which come from the efforts. (Rachel Perry – 28 Feb 2017)