I'm reading a fascinating book at the moment called The Brain That Changed Itself. The author, Norman Doidge, presents an interesting portrait of the boundless adaptability of the human brain, through a number of case studies and stories.
This (relatively) new branch of neuroscience is called neuroplasticity.
The field has had a huge impact on psychiatry, particularly psychoanalysis. Through this 'talking therapy' it's become clear that patients brains do physically change and adapt through realizations and confrontations with their subconscious:
"Analysis helps patients put their unconscious procedural memories and actions into words and into context, so they can better understand them. In the process they plastically retranscribe these procedural memories, so that they become conscious explicit memories, sometimes for the first time, and patients no longer need to "relive" or "reenact" them, especially if they were traumatic."
And of course dreams play a huge part in analysis. Dreams are in their very nature revealing because the part of our brain that processes our sexual, survival and aggressive instincts is more active and less inhibited by other systems in the brain:
"With instincts turned up and inhibitions turned down, the dreaming brain can reveal impulses that are normally blocked from awareness."