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A Sample Dream Interview - Big Fish

Excerpted and edited from In Your Dreams

Matteo dreamt: "I was fishing off the coast of Sicily and had been out almost all day. I had caught a number of fish, but they were too small so I threw them back. Then I caught a big one! My friends below decks distracted me, asking if I wanted to come have a drink, and the fish got away."

I: What was the big fish in your dream like?

M: This fish was huge. It was the one I had been waiting for all day! There were lots of others, but they weren't big enough; they weren't right."

I: So, Matteo, is there anything in your life that is like fishing all day for a fish that is huge, the one you have been waiting for after having thrown back so many fish that weren't big enough?

M: That reminds me of my search for a wife! I've met a lot of women who are not quite enough for me. Yes, and recently I've been going out with a special woman and we are already in conflict. She is jealous because I go out at night with my friends about three times, maybe 4 times a week.

Maybe my dream is warning me to pay more attention to this relationship if she really is the one I want. I need to pay more attention to her than to my buddies I guess.


Did you notice?

The sample dream interview followed the basic Dream Interview Steps:

  1. Elicit a rich DESCRIPTION as if you were being interviewed from someone from another planet who makes few presumptions about your life or your thoughts and opinions.
  2. RECAPITULATE or Restate the description using only the dreamer's or your own words when you are playing both roles.
  3. Try BRIDGING the descriptions to waking experience by asking, "Is there anything in your life, or anyone, or some part of yourself THAT IS LIKE (the thing, person, action described)?

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  • Guest - Pamela H. Suitt

    Everybody has a dream in mind they always try to fill up their dreams some of them are successful and others can't reach the dream because his/her way was not right to reach the dream. But if anyone tries the heart and sole to achieve their dream in real life surely they will.if you want to share your dream or want to know others dream all you can get this and psychologically it will be helpful for you, you will be refreshed

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Animal Dream Questions from the Dream Interview Cue Card

Step One: Give (or elicit) a rich, but focused DESCRIPTION

  • What is this animal (the fish, insect, horse) like?
  • How would you describe the personality of this type of animal? (Try using 3-5 adjectives)
  • What is the specific animal in your dream like?
  • How do you feel about this animal?
  • What is the animal doing in the dream (its role, action)?
  • How do you feel about the animal and it's role in the dream?


Summarize and edit slightly your or your dreamer's description (using only the dreamer's words), making sure to include the feelings and judgements that are part of the dreamer's description. Does your recapitulation capture the essential parts of the description? Is the description rich or is it skimpy and in need of elaboration? If you are playing the role of interviewer for another dreamer, you could say something like:

  • So tell me if I have got this right: you describe this image (or feeling or theme or action) as (Recapitulate the description). Any modifications or additions?

Step Three: BRIDGE

When you are satisfied that the recap is rich enough, ask the dreamer or yourself:

  • Is there anyone in your life, any part of yourself, or anything in your life that is like this animal that you describe as (Restate the description one more time)?

This is the step that helps you "bridge" from the dream image to waking life. Because we usually understand things in words, not pictures, you will be better able to recognize how your dream is like a parable or metaphor about a particular issue in your life if you put the dream images into feeling-laden descriptive words. Once you succeed in putting the images into words, the metaphors or parallels to waking life will pop into your mind without effort. You will suddenly say, "Oh, that is just like......."

Even as a beginner, you will probably see an important situation from a new, Point of View.. This will allow you to better understand the issue, and to make better-informed decisions to take action. Until you ask, and then discover what you think and feel about a dream image, you will be borrowing someone else's meanings from reading you have done, things you have heard, or from your interpreter's projections. Claim your own dreams and your own meanings!