For example, if you dreamed that you were being chased by an ominous creature through the dark streets of a strange city, that would be the manifest content of the dream. What that dream might actually mean, or the interpretation of its symbolic meaning, would be considered the latent content. In this case, a dream analyst might suggest that the manifest content of your dream suggests that you are running from something in your life or worried about an upcoming change in your life.
Until recently, most psychoanalytic dream researchers have followed Freud's theoretical approach by interpreting dreams as one's unconscious desires. Currently, most modern day psychologists are concerned with "tracing out the metaphoric meanings of dreams rather than investigating what they might be expressing more literally with social and personal experience" (Hollan, 2009, p. 313). Trauma researchers especially have focused their efforts on patients' experiences with nightmares, reoccurring memories, and flashbacks as unique manifestations of psychiatric disorders, particularly PTSD. A few previous research studies including Barrett (1996) have delineated a strong pattern of post-traumatic nightmares, in which the dreams follow an extremely close reenactment to a particular event. These updated analytic techniques expand on Freud’s theoretical framework and provide a more holistic approach of dream understanding.
From the moment we’re born, every single one of us receives societal programming: parental, media, peer. Very few of us have a true idea of what our authentic essence is and what it truly desires to thrive. Manifesting starts with taking deep inventory of that programming we’re raised with, then getting into your authentic essence and asking yourself what you truly want—and, finally, breaking the mold of what limits you from achieving that.