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Patricia Garfield: Women's Bodies, Women's Dreams

Women's Bodies, Women's Dreams

by Patricia Garfield, Ph.D. 

In Creative Dreaming, Patricia Garfield gave us the hands-on skill we need to make our dreams work for us in everyday life. Now in Women’s Bodies, Women’s Dreams, she takes her dream research a dramatic step further. For the very first time, here is a unique and controversial theory of why women dream differently than men—and how their dreams reflect the on-going changes in their bodies and in their lives.
An emotional and spiritual journey through the seasons of a woman’s life, this illuminating book reveals, chapter-by-chapter, the role dreams play in each stage of a woman’s development—and how they can help her adjust healthily and calmly to her changing body and emotional state. Here, too, are the recurrent dream symbols that appear with each new life passage—and what they mean. Compelling and enlightening, this book provides the prescription for understanding our dreams, our bodies, our lives. Written by a dream expert with the most extensive dream log ever recorded—over 20,000 in all—it will guide the way to well-being and emotional health for women everywhere.
Excerpt from the Preface of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Dreams
Women’s dreams are special: their dreams change as their bodies change. I have watched this transformation in my own dreams over almost forty years. The subject of dreams has intrigued me since childhood—some of my earliest memories are of dreams. Shortly after I reached puberty at thirteen, I began recording into diaries the vivid images from my nightly adventures. At that time my mother was avidly reading the works of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung; at the dinner cable, she described their ideas regarding dreams. Curious to see whether my own dreams were messages to myself, I started to write them down and associate to the images within them. I found that, with each dream, I learned something new about my emotional responses to everyday life.
This practice of dreamwork became so rewarding that I have continued it ever since. From about age fourteen to my current age of fifty—three, I have continued to record my dreams and to contemplate the symbolism of their pictures. At first the entries in my dream journal were sporadic—only when something struck me as important was it given permanent form. There are a mere handful of dream entries for 1948; in 1949, when I turned fifteen, there are nearly one hundred dreams described and dated. For almost forty years my dream journal has been a constant companion. As I married, became a mother, divorced and remarried, I found that my dreams were a source of self-reflection and understanding. They helped support me through difficult times.


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