Meanings of Dreams

Stanley's Dream

Aboriginal Painting

Welcome to our Meanings of Dreams page. This dream story is taken from John's case files:

'Stanley (an Aboriginal) came to see me after being referred by a psychiatrist. The official diagnosis was “Alcohol Induced Psychosis”. I found this odd given the man in front of me seemed rather alert, intelligent, and insightful. As such, I asked Stanley his thoughts about the label.

“It’s a joke” he said calmly.

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because I don’t drink.”

We both sat laughing before he went on to explain that he had been feeling very depressed of late at work. Stanley stated that he felt his current occupation was not his calling in life and that he felt himself dying inside a little every day.

“What do you want to do?” I asked.

“Paint. I am an avid painter, I paint traditional Aboriginal stuff. It keeps me in touch with my culture and I find it relaxing to the point of healing me inside.”

For the entirety of the session we discussed Stanley’s fears about making a break from a stable vocation to pursuing his passion. A few weeks later he returned.

“Since I saw you last I have been stressing out about what to do. Whether I should stay or go in my job” Stanley started excitedly.

“And?” I enquired.

“Then I had a dream about a week ago. I was visited in my sleep by an ancestor. An old man that I felt was a blood relation that I did not recognise but I knew we were close. He had a message for me.”

“What was his message, Stanley?”

“That day I had been stressing again and I was experimenting with mixing ochre [a type of crushed rock used in traditional Aboriginal art to make paint] for hours trying to get it right but I couldn’t do it. Then that night this old man, the ancestor, appeared in my dream. He didn’t say anything, he just began crushing the ochre and mixing it in a way I had never seen. It was really clear, like I was standing there with him. He also showed me where to find this certain type of ochre. The next day I drove to the spot and collected the rocks. I took them home and used the technique the old man showed me. It worked perfectly! I can now do paintings that I’ve never seen anyone else do. The ochre allows you to use a totally different technique!”

I was so pleased for Stanley. I have never seen him again. I would like to think he put his fears aside and pursued his passion. If I ever find out where he is, and with his permission, I will post it here.'

More Client Dreams

If you enjoy working out the meanings of dreams and want to read more of our real life client dreams, return to stories from the couch.

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Related Pages

* What are Dreams?

* Freud Dream Interpretation

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