There are many ways to work with dreams, including many books on the subject that you may wish to explore. Dream interpretation can also be fun to do with a trusted friend or partner. Sometimes the other person sees things in us that we are slow to see or accept in ourselves. If you are doing dream analysis with another person, remember to be gentle and to suggest ideas without being pushy. Give the person time to digest what you share, and try to not become attached to the outcome.
Dream dictionaries are not necessary, but they can be a fun tool for further exploration. It’s important to interpret symbols on your own first so you’re not influenced by external ideas, but once you've exhausted your word associations, you may be curious to learn other characteristics are associated with a particular symbol. You can do this with a dream dictionary or by looking up words on the Internet. Just be sure to take in what resonates, and leave the rest behind.
Some people like to work with dream symbols by engaging in a creative process, such as creating a mind map, or using drawing or painting. All of these tools can be useful and should be explored. Try several things to find what resonates for you.
It’s helpful to create a personal inventory of the things that have happened in your life that have been emotionally difficult. Although this exercise may seem difficult, it is an important part of the process of moving toward greater health and wholeness. Remember, dreams come from your unconscious and in order to understand their meaning, you have to be open and honest with yourself. Your personal inventory does not need to be shared with anyone, unless you choose to share it. By taking a step back and exploring the details of your life, you can begin to see the larger patterns and conditions that have formed the person you are today.