Example: After our first baby was born I had such nightmares my doctor gave me a tranquilliser to take before going to sleep. I have taken one at bedtime for 36 years! I am too afraid not to take it. But I still have dreams’ (Margaret S-W).

  • Although this is not a dream about being trapped, Mar­garet is trapped by fears which she never faces.
  • Such fears can stay with us a lifetime, so it is much more economical and satisfying to meet the difficulties they represent.
  • In a dream, Margaret’s fears might be represented by a trapped dream, such as the next example.

Example: I am trapped in a small brick room with no way out. I shout for someone to help me. Then either a huge bird or creature with arms tries to catch me and I scream myself awake’ (Karen S). Karen had lived through a divorce, an un­happy love affair, the loss of a baby.

  • In the dream the figure who comes after she has called for help might save her, but her fears make her reject it.
  • Perhaps Karen’s feelings about men paint them as monsters.
  • Whatever her past males may have been like, with such feelings it is Karen herself who is the prisoner and suffers loneliness.
  • Trapped dreams can also depict feelings we have about work, about lack of opportunity, and so on.
  • It must be remembered that the dream puts into images one’s own feelings about the situation, not the external thing itself.


  • imprisoned
  • cage
  • cell
  • wolj under animal
  • escape
  • holding