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C. How To Learn from Your Dreams

Narrator: This is Science Today. Psychologist Virginia Tonay of the University of California, Santa Cruz leads dream workshops, guiding people to find out more about themselves through their dreams. She says you don't need a workshop, though -- just a determination to remember your dreams, and a pad and pen on the bedside table.

Tonay: Write down as soon as you wake up, because you only have three seconds once you open your eyes to remember the dream. So even if you can only get a few words down, right down whatever you can remember, then fill it out later in the day. Get a series of dreams, so not just one or two, because they don't tend to be real representative.

Narrator: Tonay says a series of 10 or so dreams should work fine -- although the more the better.

Tonay: And then start looking in that series for themes that occur again and again and again. 134 And then looking to see how the themes relate to what's going on in life, usually through the emotion in the dream. Identifying the emotion, and identifying where you are either stuck or threatened or blocked. And then what you did next, what happened right before, what happened after.

Narrator: Which will give you a clue as to how you're handling similar situations in your waking life -- and perhaps how you should change. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.