Psychological Self-Help

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1583
continue to dream about these awful, shameful emotions and needs).
Step 3 describes self-analysis of dreams. 
Science has discovered that mammals and birds have REM (rapid
eye movements that occur with dreams) sleep but reptiles do not, so
the dreaming every 90 minutes is a natural biological rhythm. While
the eyes move vigorously (the movement can easily be seen through
the closed eye lids), the rest of the body is usually quiet. Even a 6-
month-old fetus has REM sleep. But for the first ten years of life,
children's dreams (as distinguished from nightmares) are different
from adults' dreams; their dreams are simple, usually unemotional,
and children do not usually put themselves into their dreams (Begley,
1989). Adults are almost always involved in their own dreams. Since
1952 when REM was discovered, thousands of sleepers have been
awakened by researchers and asked, "What were you dreaming?"
Dreams last 10 to 40 minutes. Men and women have about the same
emotions as they dream. The longer, more vivid and dramatic dreams
are early in the morning, shortly before awaking. Actually, most of our
dreams are common-place and dull. We remember and talk about the
more interesting ones. More dreams involve being passive or playing
than involve work or studying. 
Many more unpleasant emotions, especially fear and anger, are
expressed in dreams than pleasant emotions, although sexual arousal
is frequent during dreams (Scarr and Vander Zanden, 1984). It is a bit
puzzling to wake up from a scary or sad or violent dream with an
erection. In contrast with our frequent sexual arousal, only an
occasional dream is X-rated. Nightmares occur more often in sensitive
and creative people (Chollar, 1989); they are different from dreams or
non-REM experiences (non-REM "experiences" are short, simple, and
seem to us more like thoughts than dreaming). Bettelheim found that
he and other prisoners of German concentration camps had dreamed
of food and escape while being brutalized, but it was only after
escaping that the survivors started having nightmares about the
atrocities. Decades later they were still occasionally having nightmares
that they can not escape the horrors. Dreams and nightmares are
fascinating to most of us. We are only discussing dreams here, not
nightmares or non-REM experiences. 
Quite a lot has been recently discovered about the physiology of
dreaming. For example, during REM sleep, electrical activity from the
brain stem surges into the motor and thinking areas of the brain. This
led McCarley (1978) and Hobson (1988) to speculate that during
dreams the cortex is working very hard to make sense out of the
senseless nerve impulses it is receiving. Thus, a male might get an
erection as a result of this brain stem activity (why 85% of the time?),
then the thinking part of the brain concocts a fantastically beautiful,
very explicit, and elaborate sexual dream with a specific person to
explain the erection. As Hobson points out, you are still faced with the
same problem Freud struggled with: why does the brain make this
kind of sense--this particular image--out of an erection or some other
nerve activity? Hobson believes our drives, emotions, early memories,
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