By his own admission, psychologist Kevin Creegan, Ph.D. is fascinated by dreams.
“The meaning (in a dream) is there, but it’s metaphorical. It’s symbolic. They’re metaphors for something happening in your life, and perhaps you’re not prepared to deal with it,” said Creegan.
Sigmund Freud wrote, “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious,” and Creegan, a semi-retired licensed psychologist, believes dreams, in some respects, can be like an inkblot that can enable a person to impose meaning on them.
“Freud was certainly one of the people that brought up dreams as an important psychological phenomenon in terms of understanding the psyche and the self,” said Creegan.
It was a book, “Passions of the Mind: A Novel of Sigmund Freud,” written by Irving Stone that provided Creegan with the inspiration to pursue psychology, or mental health as a career.
“That got me motivated…to investigate (psychology or mental health) as a field for myself,” said Creegan.
“Part of what I got interested in, from reading that book, was about dreams and their significance, psychologically speaking.”
It was then that he began recording his own dreams in a journal.
Creegan encourages anyone with an interest in dreams to join his class, “Discover Your Dreaming Mind,” which will be held Thursdays Oct. 17 to Nov. 7, as part of the Abington Area Community Classroom’s fall schedule.
“This class is not therapy, but it is self-exploration to gain a better understanding of yourself,” said Creegan.
Keeping track of your dreams in a journal is something Creegan sees as helpful .
In fact, when Creegan began keeping track of his dreams, by recording them in a journal, he said he realized he could find meaning in them.
“Dreams can help us see the ridiculousness and absurdity of some of the things we believe or think. That’s how comedy works, because it points out the absurdity and craziness of our daily lives.”
As Creegan sees it, this is just one of the benefits of recording your dreams, another, as he puts it, is the material he gets.
“The material in dreams is representative of something about ourselves that we are typically unaware of. The dreams, per se, may not have an intrinsic meaning, but even if they don’t, we still tend to project meanings onto them that are in our mind. That’s still useful information because it means we are getting at something that’s on our mind.”
The class is designed to help people develop a practice of tracking and interpreting their dreams in a way that they can derive some useful and meaningful information. The amount of information people reveal in class about their dreams will be entirely up to them, explained Creegan.
Participants are asked to bring a pen and notebook to the class.
The class will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, 300 School St., at 7 p.m. Cost of the class is $30. Those interested can register on or before Oct. 7.
For more information, call (570) 563-2402 or (570) 954-6650, or register online at www.aacclass.org.