Dreamwork Guidelines

Witness Interview with Dr Ian Player, Dr Gloria Gearing and Jennifer Thord-Gray on Dreams

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Although most dreams are understood to relate to specific events in the dreamer’s inner life, there are also “big” dreams. These may relate to some event in the past or may be “foretelling” what will happen in the future. Regular study of dreams helps to identify such dreams.

If the dreamer has no personal associations to a symbol, it could be what Carl Jung termed as archetypal (a symbol common to all people). Ask, “what has mankind fantasized about…. e.g. Mars, or, what has the square symbolized over the centuries.

Be sensitive to colloquialisms, for example, waking up in a falling dream, may, indicate that the dreamer should “wake up to this”.

The last sentence of a dream is extremely important – it often gives the “solution” to the conflict or problem.

Each dream is a portrait of the dreamer. The dream is a mirror that reflects your inner character, the aspects of your personality of which you are not fully aware. Always return to the dream and ask, “what does it mean to the dreamer.”

Write down your dream as soon as you awake. Do not overlook even the most insignificant detail. Go through your dream and write down every association (spontaneous thoughts) that you have of each dream image. Avoid making chain or “free” associations; always go back to the original dream image.
Note down every word, idea, picture, feeling or memory that comes into the mind. Dream symbolism is individual, what is important is always what the symbol means to the dreamer and what the dreamer has experienced with it. Dream dictionaries get you off track because they give you a static, impersonal interpretation.
Think of dream figures as actual persons living inside of you. Ask, “Where have I seen this person lately? What part of me thinks or behaves like that?” Places normally represent the emotional environment within the dreamer. Ask, “ who does this place belong to”.
Try to remember what happened yesterday, outwardly and inwardly, to make meaningful connections.
After writing down all the associations, ask, “what is the main meaning that the dream has for me and my life”. Place the dream in the context of the dreamer’s life situation.
Dreams are often extreme, trying to compensate for our lack of awareness by using dramatic imagery. The answer is usually somewhere in the middle of the conscious attitude of the ego and the unconscious attitude of the inner self.
Be aware that the unconscious has a habit of “borrowing” images from our external situation. These images from the external situation however, usually relate to inner dynamics.
85% of dreams are subjective (internal issues) – always ask “What is it in me that does that?”