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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: As the title implies, this book provides information about the scientific knowledge that exists regarding the biological foundations of dreaming and the psychological interpretation of such dreams.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a solid scientific and ethical background in the interpretation of dreams mainly for clinicians who wish to use this as a psychotherapeutic technique.
Audience: The intended audience is unique, as it is meant to be helpful to both laypersons interested in dream interpretation and to professionals who would like to use this technique in their clinical practice.
Features: The first of the book's four main sections covers the biological foundations of sleep and dreams, followed by a section on the historical and religious background of dream interpretation. The third section contains information about modern dream interpretation theorists (there are concise summaries of the dream theories of Freud, Jung, and Pearls) and the final section addresses the application of dream interpretation to psychotherapy. The coverage of nightmares, night terrors, sleep walking, and restless leg syndrome is a nice inclusion. The final chapter, addressing the use of dream interpretation in therapy, provides major techniques and case examples. Each chapter progresses naturally and has clear subheadings, as well as a concluding summary of key points.
Assessment: This is an appealing book for anyone interested in dreams and dream interpretation. It is written more at a layperson's level of understanding than that of a rigidly scientific manuscript. As such, the author's opinions and experiences come through much more than research findings, but the information is not unreasonable and the hypotheses can be quite intriguing. Overall, this is a worthwhile purchase for those who want to take a deeper look at the meaning of dreams.