The science behind dreaming takes on a world of its own. The average person spends six years per lifetime dreaming, with anywhere from three to five dreams per night—most lasting at least 5 to 20 minutes, some remembered and some not. That’s why we were especially excited to hear what Lauren Lawrence, celebrity dream analyst as well as the dream columnist for the New York Daily News, had to say about this magical world.
As a dream analyst for 20+ years, when did you first discover your insightful talent for this unique craft?
I discovered my interest and natural knowing at a very young age. Friends came to me and asked me to help them understand what their dreams meant. I don’t really know how I did it, but I was always able to share insight. As a young girl, I would read dream interpretation books under the covers in my bed with a flashlight. I would read the dream, but not the answer, and would instead interpret it myself. I thought of it as playing detective—it was a game to me, a weird talent I sort of just acquired.
At one point in your career, you spent time decoding dreams of political figures for John F. Kennedy Jr’s George magazine. The column “Political Dreams” must have been fascinating. Please share a bit more detail.
Working with John was such a privilege and I was blessed to have his faith in me. I began doing the column for George in early 1999. It was based on politicians sharing their dreams with me and having me analyze them. It was very interesting indeed.
You are also the talented author of numerous books, beginning with your “Dream Keys” series published by Dell Books. The first is based on the powers of the unconscious mind, the second on love, and the third on the future. What message did you want to get across in the series?
The idea is that if you pay attention to your dreams, there is valuable knowledge to be found.
Of the seven books you have written, which is your favorite? What was the inspiration behind it?
My favorite is “Private Dreams of Public People,” a coffee-table book published by Assouline. When I first began writing the book, which is based on celebrities and their dreams, I envisioned beautiful photos of people who are in the public eye sharing their private dreams. What one does in life is reflected in the psyche, so I wanted to share that aspect in the book as well.
Your latest book, “Side Effects,” is based on poetry. Can you share a bit about it with us?
The book is based on a collection of poems I have written over the past 30 years. Many of those moments were very close to my heart, so the book is very special to me.
As the “Dream Expert to the Stars,” can you share a few of the celebrities who have come to you for dream analysis?
To name a few, Madonna, Oliver Stone, Joan Collins, Michael Douglas, Sophia Loren, Luciano Pavarotti, Anthony Quinn, and Paul McCartney.
As a psychoanalyst who specializes in dreams, you remind me of a modern-day female Sigmund Freud who unlocks the inner thoughts and desires of people through their unconscious mind. What tips can you share with our readers in regard to any hidden meanings in their dreams? How can they gain helpful insight while tapping into the magical workings of the subconscious?
The main thing is to make sure you lie still with your eyes closed once you awaken. In this way, you remain close to the unconscious world. Once you open your eyes, the stimuli take you away from your thoughts of that moment. It is good to keep a pen and paper by your bed, [so that] upon wakening, you can jot down your dream and/or the symbols you remember.
To analyze, think about the previous day and what went on. All of your thoughts reflect inward while you are dreaming, and they can relate to recent or ancient memories. Think about symbols and what they mean to you. Dreams are to the mind what exercise is to the body.
Email Lauren at email@example.com!