The Five Dream Parts
As Dr. Gayle Delaney states in her fine book Breakthrough Dreaming, there are five parts to a dream that need to be explored: The settings, people or animals, objects, feelings and actions. To correctly interpret a dream, you should ask questions about each of these five sections:
First, take each section and isolate it, talking about it separately. Examine all the settings in the dream as a group; then all the people (or animals) as a group; then talk about all the objects, followed by all the different feelings and concluding with the different actions and interactions of the dreamer with these other parts.
Second, the dreamer needs to describe and compare what the setting/ person/ object/ feeling/ action is like both in reality and in the dream, The differences between reality and the dream will be an important clue as to the symbol's correct meaning.
Third, what does the setting/ person/ object/ feeling/ action symbolize to the dreamer? Usually there will be a main characteristic that will stand out, that will provide the key meaning to the symbol.
Fourth, how do you feel about the setting/ person/ object/ feeling/ action? Surprisingly enough, feelings are one of the key elements to correct dream interpretation. Does the symbol or setting fill you with joy or dread? The feelings about each of the dream parts is often the best map to arriving at the proper dream interpretation.
Fifth, as a dream interviewer, you will be constantly trying to help the dreamer make an application to his own life. That means constantly comparing each dream piece to reality, but without forcing a meaning on the dreamer.
And last comes the summary, taking everything you have discussed and suggested, and seeing if it all fits. If it does, then the dream interpretation is probably correct.