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Dreaming about being imprisoned, locked in a room, or restrained against one's will can be a powerful dream image. What is especially notable about this type of dream situation is how we react to the circumstances. At times we may try to escape, but other times we may just acquiesce to, or even cooperate with, our captors. Much of this depends on who is holding you captive and why. If you are cooperating with a familiar captor, it may be that you feel that person's control over your life to the extent that you have no choice but to be a part of it.

Freudians may be inclined to argue that the captivity, especially if in a small room, reflects the repercussions of a dominant mother, or a return-to-the-womb type of captivity. This is a nurture-versus-power conflict. You may even experience a captor who is not your mother, but who treats you with a mixture of power and sympathy.

Jungians may be inclined to see the captivity as preventing transition to another level of maturity in the Self. In this case, the captors may represent those who have the most to lose from the growth of the prisoner.

Political captivity in a dream is a powerful image of the self against the world. Being held hostage in this way reflects the cosmic struggle of good against evil. The dreamer may see himself as a victim of circumstances beyond his or her control, or as a sacrificial offering for a conflict or cause. Many times the cause is less defined, but the dreamer may have companions or friends as co-prisoners-in this case, the relationship with the other(s) is the key element to interpret.

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