Many of us have picked up a dream dictionary to decipher the unusual and complicated language of dreams. But it's not so easy as that.
"Dreams help us to understand our unconscious and what's going on in our psyche, and there's no cookbook answer to what something means," says John Atkinson, vice president of the C.G. Jung Society of Colorado Springs.
To help us move beyond the one-size-fits-all approach to much of today's analysis, the local Jung Society will be showing the Way of the Dream film series, featuring interviews with Marie-Louise von Franz, a well-known Jungian psychologist and scholar.
Carl Gustav Jung, the famed Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology, was a pioneer in dream analysis and research. Von Franz first met him when she was 18 and worked closely with him for more than 30 years before essentially becoming his successor. A founder of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, she wrote more than 25 books on the topics of alchemy, archetypes, fairy tales, myth and symbolism.
But beyond her tremendous intellectual work, von Franz also worked extensively with clients and their dreams, says local Jungian analyst and psychotherapist Kathryn Kuisle, Ph.D.
Von Franz interpreted more than 65,000 dreams, Kuisle says, and had "a real grasp of the unconscious and symbolism and mythology. She incorporates all of that and speaks in a way that is understandable."
The film series consists mostly of interviews between Jungian analyst Fraser Boa and von Franz as she talks about dreams and their significance. The films also include interviews with people who are approached on the street in Zurich, San Francisco and other cities to talk about their dreams.
Atkinson says that the films have not been shown publicly in Colorado Springs before, and are part of an "iconic series that you can't even buy anymore."