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Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

I am noticing a lot of posted dreams where we have given interpretations but there is not a follow-up by the person who posted the dream. Of course this has happened often in the past and although I wish everyone would give their thoughts to each interpreted post, that is not always the case. I believe if anyone of us gives of our time to be of help, the least we could expect is a follow-up.

Two suggestions. One is to contact the person who makes a post about the interpretation, if there is not a follow-up within a timely manner. Since that can be time consuming I would let the person providing the interpretation make that effort.

Second, and this is extreme, is to ban from the Forum anyone who receives an interpretation and does not supply a follow-up in a timely manner. I would not make it a permanent ban but limit their participation for a period of time. I don't know if this will improve the results of posting a follow-up but I do think we need to have everyone share in their participation.

You probably have noticed my 'Notice' in the head of the page about providing a follow-up post. Perhaps I should give notice that any interpretation that does not receive a follow-up will be on 'probation', or some wording to that extent.

What do you think? Your input will help decide how to proceed on this matter.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 57 Murfreesboro, Tn.

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Hi Gerard,

I'd tend to adopt a tolerant attitude about these things; life can become so demanding at times. I know, for example, that I recently have had limited feedback in getting to the bottom of lucid dreams I've had (the dream I posted seemed to fall off the radar), and I admit there are extended periods when I don't visit the forum b/c of other demands. When my son died, for example, nothing else mattered for a long time.

But this is a wonderful community, and it provides an invaluable service to people all over the world.

However, sometimes issues of context make writing about our dreams almost impossible. Maybe sometimes an interpretation doesn't ring true to the dreamer, who may not wish to hurt someone who kindly gave the dream his/her consideration.

But I wish there were some way to encourage people to reply when possible. I know, for example, that it helps me to be more sensitive to the symbols in dreams when I receive feedback about an interpretation.

And thanks for all you do. I hope you know that your work is highly appreciated by so many people that you'll never number them all. It is a rare person who is blessed enough to say that Gerard!

Happy Birthday too; it seems that the calendar has turned another year over for you. I hope your day was very enjoyable :-)

Best wishes,
Jim/Pryzm

P.S. How would it be if we had forums where we could discuss dream themes, such as death, anima, animus, etc.? People might feel freer to discuss personal issues if their own struggles were not the focus of the discussion.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 48, Nashville

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Jim,
Thanks for the sentiments on my birthday. Getting closer to the big 60 isn't something I really look forward to but hey, one more day of wisdom to celebrate. Of course the older I get the harder it is to get the old engine warmed up and running on all cylinders. But I do feel fortunate that I have discovered my 'bliss' and do look forward to that day when I will be able to put all my efforts toward dreams and the psyche.

I appreciate your thoughts and do agree that a tolerant attitude is the most desired approach. Perhaps the 'term' ban was the wrong choice of words and I would never ban someone for not providing a follow-up. Perhaps it would be best to add to each interpretation the notice I have in the heading
'NOTICE: After a dream has been interpreted, a follow-up response to the interpretation is requested'.

I do sometimes get frustrated not receiving a follow-up to an interpretation. It takes time to thoroughly analyze a dream and the contributors do so with an intent to assist the dreamer understand the dream, and themselves. Of course not everyone has the interest in their dreams as we do at the Forum. The above statement may be what is needed to get more responses.
What do you think?

I have given thought to your suggestion about a forum to discuss dream themes. It would be very easy to do. The biggest hurdle is having the time to give to it. But like you I believe it would be a popular thing to do and more important helpful for so many who need a venue to express personal issues. It has been said and I tend to agree, many feel better about themselves when they are able to open up and have someone listen. That would indeed be a great service to give to others.

On another subject. Are you a native Nashvillian. I may have asked that question before but hey, at 57 the memory is not what it used to be. I'm in Murfreesboro but was born and raised in East Nashville. I love the town {Nashville} but it is busting at the seams with the tremendous growth over the past 20 years.
If you are a native you probably remember the old Tennessee theatre. I was an usher there back in the early 60s. That is really stating my age. And I attended Hume Fogg before it became a magnet school for smart kids.

Gerard {Jerry}

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Hi Jerry,

Getting older is wonderful isn't it? In a multivalent way, of course. :-)

I agree with you completely that some remark encouraging a reply is expected when one receives a dream interpretation! I've had to do significant work on some of the dreams I've looked at, sometimes to make sure I quote Jung or Campbell correctly, and sometimes to do research on things I need to learn in order to do (hopefully!) a good job on the interpretation.

I know my deepest reward may be an alchemical process whereby I become a deeper person, but some feedback from the dreamer would certainly help with that too! So anything you might say to encourage a reply would be great in my opinion.

As far as the dream theme forum, that's certainly not a pressing need of mine. I've had several dreams tho, that I was too embarrassed to post in the dream forum (well here's one; what the heck: in one dream, I was about to be castrated by three men. Each had a knife (only one was necessary of course :-)) that was very triangular in shape. There were a lot of repetitions of the theme of three in the dream. I guess I'm getting too old to be embarrassed by much! But in the dream I felt very embarrassed and vulnerable to be exposed, and that may have kept me from posting too. Anyway, I wonder if some people might prefer to ask about a theme such as castration anxiety rather than to say "Can you believe what I just dreamed about?" On the whole tho, people who visit your site seem EXTREMELY willing to do what is difficult for me, so it may be entirely unnecessary to create a new forum.

And no, I'm not a Nashville native, but I've lived here over ten years now and it's starting to feel like home (I was an Air Force brat and therefore a nomad in my early days). And I really like it here. If one of us is ever near the other's area, I think. it would be great to get together for lunch or coffee if that would work for you.

Well I need to get my nose back on a particular grindstone; I hope you're having a great day.

Best Regards!
Jim

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Three men + you = 4. a traditionnal quaternity pattern. Still, quaternity is usually the conjunctio of 2 males + 2 females and there is no female in the dream. My guess is that these men armed with their ritual knives are trying to transform a male into the missing female element of the quaternity … what do you think ?

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Just to add a couple of thoughts to the discussion, I also find it disappointing when a person doesn’t reply to an interpretation but I try to remember the basic fact that in reality the Web isn’t the best place for dream interpretation since it’s not a “face to face” interaction. It’s a good way (at least on this site) because otherwise most people just wouldn’t have access to a reliable interpretation that could perhaps change their life in some important way, but there are a few difficult problems with Web interpretations.

As you know, without adequate background information for example it can be a very tricky proposition to correctly interpret a dream. The Jungian approach includes the idea that sometimes it’s just not a good idea to provide a dream interpretation at a given time because the person’s ego may not be up to absorbing the blow as it were.

So sometimes I comfort myself with the idea that no matter how tactful I was in outlining a difficult truth that the dream seemed to be communicating, the person may have received an unexpected insight into his or her life situation that was very hard to swallow and therefore may not have felt up to responding.

Perhaps phrasing the request for a reply in such a way to suggest that while the interpreter would very much like to receive a reply to help evaluate how accurate the interpretation was and to correct any errors or misunderstandings, we would fully understand if a person chose not to for some personal reason for example. This might even tend to lower the person’s defences and encourage them to respond after all which would keep the communication open if indeed there had been a severe reaction to a given interpretation.

They might also take to the idea of responding via e-mail to a special address if they were assured that the reply would never be posted and no follow-up reply would be sent to them if they indicated not wanting one. That way, Gerard or someone else could perhaps forward the comments or a summary directly to the interpreter for his or her information.

Anyway all this might be getting too complicated and is just a suggestion which might hopefully stimulate others to respond as well with their ideas.

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

CBS,
Thanks for your thoughts. You have made some very valid points, some of which I have tried in the past. It can be frustrating to provide insights to a dream and not get a response. It is very hard to provide an interpretation without adequate background knowledge and if there are not follow-ups to an interpretation there is little chance of getting to the message of the dream {although I do find it amazing how close one can get to the dream message just from the dream post}. We can only do as much as we can with each dream. The dreamer has to take some responsibility also.

Gerard

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Jim,
Yes, I would love to meet and have a cup of coffee and discussion. Let's plan on it in the near future. Drop me an e-mail and we can discuss it further.

Gerard {Jerry}

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Many people are going to post their dream on many forums. For instance I have. I went with one at first but only got one not particularly helpful responce. I'm sure people are interested in an interpretation, obviously. If they post it at several places and get a good number of responces elsewhere they will most likely stay there I think.

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

BodomAfterMidnight,
There are several dream forums available for posting on the internet and most offer differentiating 'opinions' as to interpreting dreams. But the goal is to get to the source of the message the dream is trying to communicate to the dreamer. Although there are those dreams that I or other Forum contributors can get a 'feel' for and provide an adequate interpretation from the dream itself, more often it requires additional personal information from the dreamer before a proper interpretation can be given. That is why it is so important that the dreamer provide a follow-up to an interpretation, or questions about the dream. If you are posting a dream just for the fun of it, well those at the Forum take it more seriously than that. If you are posting a dream to discover the true message {the dream is all about the dreamer} then you will find helping hands here, at the Dream Forum. It takes co-operation from all involved and when that happens the dreamer most often leaves with a better understanding of their dream as well as them self. And that makes us all feel we are providing a public service, and a good deed.

One other point that is important about dream forums. What method do they use in interpreting dreams? I am convinced from many years of hosting this forum that Jung's approach is far superior to any other method. It is psychology of dreams and Jung got it right.

Gerard

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Well not knowing anything about Dream Interpretation other than my own personal thoughts, I'm not sure what method they use.

I agree with your point totally. However what I'm saying is, this is the internet. People want fast responces, they may post, wait for a reply and forget to favourite/bookmark the page. Then never return. Some may read the interpretation and not like it(ie they already have an idea of what they WANT the dream to mean), therfore not respond.

What I'm trying to say is, I've run message boards before and know you get these "1 post" visiters who seem genuine, but never return. I'm not sure there is any way to avoid these problems.

The internet is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get!

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Hi Gerard + All

We know that the best interpretations are generated when we dialogue with someone else ,,, in some way ,, about the dream. The dreams meanings are often released in our phrases etc.

As a courtesy, (dare I say respect these days ?) to the person who posts an interpretation it is very reasonable to request feedback.
Feedback from the dreamer, confirms the accuracy of the interpreation and allows expansion or further review.
Otherwise we can just post drivel and think the interpretations are great ie: the interpreter likes the interpretation they have created.

It is reasonable to request via emai to the dreamer a reply.

These off Forum emails can be mis-repersented and so I think they should be generated from the site or the interpreter via the site.

Thanks Jerry, this Forum is great
Justin

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

BodomAfterMidnight ,
I agree with some of your thoughts about those who post at forums and never return. I believe they are looking for a 'quick fix' and are not genuinely interested in dreams {as you state about fast responses}. And there is not much one can do about that. But I feel it important that there is a follow-up to an interpretation if only a post saying thank you. Often the person making a post forgets about it.

But the real intent is to get to the true message of the dream. That often requires follow-up posts to answer questions or address the interpretation. Most who post their dreams at the Dream Forum are women who are at mid-life. They are seeking answers not only to their dreams but also to meaning, reasoning and the inner search. These visitors most often post a follow-up response. Often there are many posts after that, a dialog is begun and the end process is their is more clarity for the dreamer about their dream{s} {and also for those who provided advice or an interpretation}. The whole experience is a learning device for all.

Gerard

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Justin,
Thanks so much for your valued comments. If only we could get others to understand that dream interpretation is a process and not just a one time post and commentary. But, alas, we can only do so much. I am thankful for all the positive responses to this and other posts by those who visit the forum {there are many more people than I had realized who visit on a regular basis, even though they may not add their comments}.

And I again want to thank you, Justin, and Kathy for your time and efforts. Without your help there would not be a forum, it is just too much for one person to handle {but that is a positive, we do get a lot of visitors}. As you know, discovering what dreams are trying to communicate is also discovering something about oneself. Often those discovers lead to other discoveries and the process of examination begins. That is often the first step to that the important 'inner search' that ultimately must be confronted in every life, and often at mid-life.

If I may infringe on your response I want to add a few comments about the Dream Forum and why we are doing what we do.

I want to re-emphasis the intent of providing this help with interpreting dreams. It is done so in a manner that is consistent with the hero's adventure; it is as much a spiritual endeavor, giving of oneself, and our learned knowledge, to help others discover what we have discovered. And that is, within us all are those differencing aspects of the psyche which embodies who we truly are, beyond the ego centered self that most are focused on. Left undiscovered these aspects can take on a negativity that can be controlling in the waking life. But by discovering and understanding these 'unconscious' aspects they become positive, providing new information about oneself that can break the 'chains' that bounds one to the negative aspects. The intent from myself, Kathy, Justin and the other contributors is to share what we have discovered in our studies of Jungian psyche. It is not only something we love doing, it is part of that process that the 'hero of myth' would require. It is a psychological undertaking by the dreamer and the interpreter. And when the dreamer experiences that 'AH! HA!' moment from the result of an interpretation, our work has been a success. That is our reward, and is what we hope to accomplish with each and every interpretation. It is not only from the heart but also from the soul.

Psyche is Greek for soul.

Gerard

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Funny to note that I gave an interpretation in this very thread and never recieved an answer either

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Hello All,

And I want to apologize for not staying with this thread, especially to you, Lucius. My fault completely!

I mentioned a dream I had years as an example of something I was reluctant to post at the time, and now I don't remember the dream that clearly. I didn't post it as something I needed an interpretation on (but thank you!) but rather as an example of something it would be acutely embarrassing to post. Maybe having it dissected by the world on Gerard's site would be the only thing more embarrassing... (j/k)

But I do agree with you, Lucius (Leyendecker?) that the number of times the number three appeared in the dream (I didn't mention them all btw; the dream was almost like being stuck in a hall of mirrors where the theme was three!) suggests the number four.

But maybe not! Here's a link to discussion of the theme of three that I found on the MDS site: http://www.soulfuture.com/dream_dictionary/symbols_t/three_dream_dictionary.asp. And on MDS, the number three is described as denoting completeness and fulfillment. Or perhaps something that is nearly but not quite complete.

And the castration symbol, according to MDS, can have to do with removing obstacles that inhibit a fulfilling sex life - a sexual rebirth, in a way.

At the time of the dream, I was definitely going thru a rebirth process, a very painful one, b/c the end of a loving relationship, layoff after 9/11, relocation to find a new job, and other difficulties.

After several years have passed, I have to say I'm fairly pleased with the rebirth I experienced. It has certainly changed my outlook on life! More about the dream though, would be difficult to recall. But thank you again for your interpretation; please feel free to follow up if you like. I won't drop the ball this time!

Best Regards,
Jim

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

this is why i give short answers and elaborate after I see the dreamer follows up and responds.

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Re: Interpretations and No Follow-Up Response

Hi Jim,

Thanks for posting this site I did not know.

Interpretating dreams without knowing the dreamer personnaly is extremely difficult and can more than often lead to misinterpretation. The particular emotional state one had while dreaming is particularly important and it is probably what vanishes first.

I remember having dreams which were actually horrible nightmares (people being skinned, etc…) but which did not frighten me all that much. It took me a while to find out that these horrible dreams were FILMS. And this linked marvellously with personal issues in relation with creativity.

I work with a dream analyst since a year now and the only dreams she wants to hear are 'fresh material', which reflects my current psychological state.

And guess what my dreams recently told me ? STOP analysing others people's dreams and work on your own ! Too bad, I started enjoying it…

Cheers

Lucius

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