Category: Dream Symbols

What does it mean to dream about being in prison (dream interpretation / analysis – prison)

Dreaming that you are in prison is often a sign that somehow, somewhere in your life, you are trapped, or limited in doing what you want to do, or being who you are. Either through your own actions or thinking (inner interpretation), or through someone (a real person or your surroundings) preventing you from this (outer interpretation).

When you are the one locking yourself up in prison, you need to be searching for how your own limiting beliefs, thoughts about yourself or others, or your actual behaviour, currently are preventing you from e.g. being who you really are. This might be thoughts like; a person like me doesn’t wear clothes like that, or doesn’t attend yoga classes – or whatever it might be that you really want to – but prevent yourself from doing, just because it doesn’t match the idea you have of who you are supposed to be.

OR – is it someone – or something – outside yourself, that right now hinders your personal development, or in other ways prevents you from being who you are, and doing what you really want? It could be your job, a friend, or even your partner locking you up in prison. But before you fall into the trap of quickly (i.e. a bit too fast) blaming your surroundings, then be honest to yourself; could it be your own limiting beliefs that prevents you from breaking out of prison, and being yourself, also in the presence of others?

In many relationships in turns out, that projection is very active. This could be blaming the other for your own faults, or assigning highly attractive traits or skills that you yourself have to the other, without realising that these traits or skills are your own. So in this relation you might see your partner, friend or maybe colleague as enormeously creative, humorous etc. – while these are all your own traits, traits that you currently don’t live or fully use.

Also examine the dream very closely; how do you feel in the dream, or what exactly are you doing in the dream? If you sit inside a prison playing guitar (or painting, or being a geek about something), feeling enormeosly sad, this might be an illustration of how a very important musical (/creative), or “geeky” side of yourself is currently trapped inside you, typically because you don’t let this side come out. The dream would tell that you need to let this side out of prison, or you will forever feel that somehow you are not fully being who you are.

This type of dreams typically occur in periods where we feel sad, but not knowing why.  Consciously we might be saying to ourselves that we have “everything”, but in spite of this, we are inexplicably sad. If for one or the other reason we keep important sides of ourselves hidden, we will almost guaranteed walk around feeling sad.

If you dream that some one else is in prison, and that you are the prison ward, this might be illustrating how you right now are preventing this (real) person from being who he or she is (outer interpretation), or that whatever this person represents within you (i.e. a side of yoursef) is currently “imprisoned” (inner interpretation).

Michael Rohde Olsen

P.s. – Dream interpretation / dream analysis is not always an easy thing, and when you dream of being imprisoned, this almost by guarantee means something else for you than it means for someone else who also dreams of being imprisoned. A given interpretation of a dream is only correct insofar that the person who had the dream feels truly struck by that interpretation.