“Broken-down Car” Dream & Dream Interpretation

“Broken-down Car”

A male patient of mine shared this dream with me a few years ago.  Rick was suffering from depression.  He had lost his job due to downsizing, his relationship with his partner was shaky, and in order to cope was eating more and exercising less.  He tried many fad diets but nothing seemed to work.  The more weight he gained, the more depressed he became.  He felt out of control.  In the dream, Rick buys a brand new Volkswagen that doesn’t work.  He tries to have it fixed but it just won’t run and he feel angry and frustrated. He decides that if he had the right keys to the car, it might run properly so he searches for the keys all through the house.  When he finally finds the keys, the car still won’t run.  He ends up returning the new car to the dealer.  He wakes up feeling horrible and even more depressed.


The car is representative of the “Body” – the vehicle that carries you and lets you “run”. One of Rick’s major frustrations was about his physical appearance.  The Volkswagen is representative of Rick’s physical body.  No matter how hard he tries to fix it, (through diets and exercise), he remains overweight and feels like he can’t be “fixed”. Searching for the keys in the house represents Rick searching for new ways to correct what he perceived is his biggest problem – losing weight with new diets, new exercise routines etc., the feeling that if only I had the right tools to make it run, it would work.

The message is clear – rather than buying a new Volkswagen ( a new body), concentrate on the present “self”. Forget the new diets, the new exercise. Focus less on new trends to fix the physical, and concentrate more on the inner-self.  When Rick started working on his real issues (fear over his job loss, anxiety about relationship), the weight loss started happening without him even realizing it.

Becoming whole on the inside changed his need to overcompensate with food, and the results were amazing! Again, the unconscious spoke volumes: going out and buying a new “self” isn’t going to change anything, Instead, stop what isn’t working and look inside at what can be fixed.