Your associations to the dream can be the key to understanding it. Associations are whatever comes spontaneously to mind about the dream in general or any part of the dream, and should be examined separate from the dream content itself. Associations should not be "thought out" too much. They are, rather, spontaneous thoughts that come to mind and are triggered by the dream or its contents.
Associations don't need to make sense!! And they often do not seem to make sense. That is all to the good really, because you are then tapping into your unconscious processes and adding vital information about the dream's message or meaning. Your conscious thoughts or analysis, on the other hand, may only help to defend against the dream's meaning. This is why it is so helpful to talk to someone else about your dreams. An outside, objective perspective is often just what is needed to help unlock the dream's meaning.
It takes some practice sometimes to freely associate to a dream. We are so programmed in school and in life to "make sense", be "rational", and "look good" in the presence of others. And we are dealing with some sensitive stuff in our dreams! Its worth the effort of getting past the initial (or on-going) discomfort or anxiety of it all. And it can be fun sometimes as well!