A Way to Work with Dream Symbols

The Amplification technique is derived from the dream interpretation approach of Carl Jung.  It is a simple, but valuable way of working with the symbols without doing the injustice of saying at the first opportunity, “Of course, this symbol means…”  Amplification is an attempt to expand the dreamer’s associations to, and familiarity with, the symbol, without subjecting the symbol to a cut-and-dried intellectual translation.

If, for example, a person dreamed about a fish, an intellectual approach would be to discern that abstract meaning of fish, ex. “Fish means the Christ.”  However, using amplification, the dreamer would instead ask himself, “What is a fish?” or “What does a fish do?” or :”What does a fish remind me of?” or “what do I like or dislike about a fish?”  In this way, the dreamer becomes more and more familiar with the peculiarities of the symbol that may have been overlooked by a pre-emptive intellectual translation.

Example:  “Fish are slippery and fast.  Most of the time they are invisible, but when they come into view, they are beautiful silvery things that reflect light.  They have a mind of their own and are shy.  The have voracious appetites when they come into the shallows to feed.  What I dislike about fish is that they are hard to catch.”

The Amplification technique is especially helpful in working with personal symbols, whose meaning is almost entirely linked to one’s personal associations.  Yet it can and should be used with archetypal symbols as well, for we all have different associations to them.

The 5-Step Approach to Dream Interpretation    Finding the Theme of a Dream

Dream Recall Techniques