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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The Well explores the portal to the subconscious world through dreams

Claire Geriak
The Well at SBCC hosts a Dream Group weekly, diving into group member’s dreams and their significance. Illustration created on Canva.

The Well has recently begun hosting weekly sessions guiding groups through methods enhancing access to what is known as the dream world. This group is a place to explore the different methods used when working with dreams while asleep. 

Facilitated by City College’s mental health and personal counselor, Michaela Mujica-Steiner, the Dream Group meets every Monday; each session digs deeper into the dream world while exploring multiple different techniques. As more and more methods are being identified, the access to the dream portal grows.

The Dream Group convenes at The Well, located on the East Campus of the City College. The Well is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and provides access to resources, workshops, support groups, and events. 

The students gather together, sitting on couches and bean bags as Mujica-Steiner expresses the dominance of the dream portal we are not completely aware of. According to Mujica-Steiner, dreams are drawn up based on personal and collective aspects, and there are so many different ways to approach and comprehend different dreams we may come across.


“Dreams are very symbolic,” Mujica-Steiner said. “Anything in your dream can be associated with something else,”

Sigmund Freud, inventor and developer of the psychoanalysis technique, is a dominant influence when it comes to exploring dream methods. Freud believed that dreams are able to perform highly important functions for the unconscious mind, including uncovering clues to how the unconscious mind operates.

Freud created multiple methods that are still proved to be used today. The simplest method, free association, can be used in many different ways. Free association can be known psychology as mentally processing an image or object as a gateway to symbolize something else, without almost any obvious connection.

“Find an object that you remember from a dream,” Mujica-Steiner asked the group, turning towards their discussion. “What do you think that symbolizes?” 

Coming together as a group, the counselor suggests speaking with people around them to exchange dreams and what they might symbolize. They discussed the objects and meaning behind each memorable item. The things people remember and become the most significant.

Talking to a student nearby, each individual went into detail about a recent dream, or any dream that they’re determined to crack open. By writing symbolic terms and descriptions down in dream journals, students were able to  identify memorable objects, people, and images visualized in their dream.

Studies have shown that putting recognition on a dream, and speaking upon it can easily break it down to find what it symbolizes. Symbolically objectifying an item most recognized in a dream is an easy method to explore an unidentifiable dream. 

Mujica-Steiner expressed that over time, these methods can prove to become habits. Dream journals are a great way to understand and identify the meaning of a dream. Students are able to locate many different patterns and similarities overtime by writing down dreams in description. Methods like these can help illustrate different emotions, and strengthen your ability to work through them.

The Well’s Dream Group can be exceedingly beneficial to mental health in various ways. Analyzing dreams can help you discover your general mood and behavioral state. Dream analysis can also be immensely helpful for those dealing with depression, and anxiety.

The Dream Group is a great approach to discover the unknown strength of the dream world, as well as identify your own experiences to reflect back on yourself and mind. The Well offers numerous support groups, The Dream Group being one of the most riveting and captivating groups.

Correction: Dec. 5, 2023

This story includes grammatical or spelling corrections to a previous version.

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