Why Do We Dream? Free Online Course | Human Givens

Why do we dream?

Joe Griffin reviews past theories and new research findings (which add further evidence for his own theory) as he tells the riveting story of how he solved the mystery of our dreams...


Why does Nature select certain experiences to be the subject of our dreams? Why do they feel so meaningful to us? And what purpose do they serve?

The renowned Irish psychologist Joe Griffin's illuminating lecture answers these questions and many more as he takes us through the story of how he solved the mystery of why we dream – and discovered at the same time the significance of dreaming for our mental health.

In the 20 years since Griffin first published his hypothesis, every new piece of dream and sleep research has substantiated it – none has contradicted it.

In this talk, he examines the evidence and explains why other dream theories fail to come up with satisfactory answers. (His own 12 year research project was prompted by the realisation that the discovery of the REM state in 1953 meant Freudian and Jungian dream theories were 'dead in the water'.)

Whilst describing his own experiments and the key 'light bulb' moments which finally helped him solve this age-old mystery, he takes us on a fasincating exploration of the significance of various scientific findings in the field – some previously overlooked – before demonstrating how his expectation fulfilment theory of dreams succinctly pulls them together into a powerful explanation that makes absolute evolutionary and common sense. Nature, as ever, has been clever and economical.


Other subjects covered include:

The auto-symbolic process; why all dreams have to be metaphorical to prevent false memories building up; metaphorical pattern-matching; why we evolved to suppress emotions; why dreaming was Nature's way of conserving energy; why dreaming evolved to maintain the integrity of mammalian instincts; the connection between unfulfilled emotional expectations and nightmares; dream predictions; and why all mammals dream.


If you've found this talk interesting, you might like to find out more:

The many insights and practical applications that have stemmed from Griffin's highly original work intro why we dream have huge significance for us all – and they have been quietly revolutionising the successful treatment of mental health and behavioural problems for years through the human givens approach to psychology, psychotherapy and education, co-founded by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell. 

(You can read more about the new insights stemming from the approach here.)

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About the Tutor

Joe Griffin

Joe Griffin B.SC.Hons (Psych), M.PHIL. (Psych), AFBPsS, FHGI is a psychologist with many years' experience both in psychotherapeutic practice and in training psychotherapists - over the last 20 years thousands of health professionals have enjoyed his practical workshops and seminars on effective psychotherapy for treating anxiety related disorders, depression, trauma and addiction.

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Reviews (4)

Why do we dream?

Brenhin

Absolutely fascinating!

Fascinating - makes a lot of sense

Lisa

I found this really interesting - Joe obviously spent a lot of time researching his ideas which have major implications for our understanding of the human mind – everything has a purpose in Nature, and this explanation of the role dreaming plays i...

Read More

Why do we dream?

Syd

Why do we dream?

Brenhin

Absolutely fascinating!

Fascinating - makes a lot of sense

Lisa

I found this really interesting - Joe obviously spent a lot of time researching his ideas which have major implications for our understanding of the human mind – everything has a purpose in Nature, and this explanation of the role dreaming plays i...

Read More

Why do we dream?

Syd

Insight into REM sleep and theories

Louise

Enjoyed the varied research and also hearing about the experiments carried out to understanding why we dream and the metaphorical aspect.