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Dream Experiences Accompanying My Week-long Near-death Experience (Invited Presenter)
Dr. Alexander will discuss the nature of consciousness from his background as a neurosurgeon, after having a visually, emotionally and spiritually rich near-death-experience while in a seven-day coma with his neocortex essentially shut down; a state from which he should have recalled nothing. Based on his medical background and this experience, as well as similar ones reported by thousands of others including some of his own patients, he will discuss the question of the “hard problem of consciousness” as well as the enigma of quantum mechanics. These professional and personal perspectives promise to challenge our thinking about the nature of mental imagery, dreaming and our very existence.
The personal experience which changed his own thinking began in 2008 when Eben suddenly became ill with acute bacterial meningitis and spent seven days in a coma, on a ventilator. It was a rare case (spontaneous E. coli meningitis in an adult, less than a one in 10,000,000 annual incidence) and beyond the medical team’s efforts to find a cause and force a turnaround in what at first seemed to be an irreversible death-spiral with diminishing chances for survival and virtually no chance for recovery. CT scans revealed global neocortical involvement (no cortical activity) and the neurological examinations were consistent with diffuse cortical damage. On the seventh day, the medical team was discussing cessation of antibiotics, to “let nature take its course.” To everyone’s surprise, Eben opened his eyes and started to come back. Based on his medical knowledge and a near complete cortical shut-down a patient should recall “nothing” and no one would recover from such an illness to the point of discussing their memories. However, he found to his own surprise that he remembered an elaborate and rich odyssey from deep within coma, similar to other transcendental near-death experiences, which comprised more than 20,000 words by the time he had written it all out. His meningitis had been so severe that his original memories from within coma did not include any recollections whatsoever from his life before coma yet he found himself in a lengthy and profound spiritual experience that took him beyond space and time to what seemed like the origin of all existence.
Beverley ‘Bjo’ Ashwill
Finding Repetitive Elements and Patterns in Dreams using Computer Aided Content Analysis Methods (Paper)
I look for patterns using word count frequencies and comparisons between a large base set and smaller subsets of dreams. My inspiration is based on the work of Hall/Van de Castle and Domhoff. In 1996, I created a software package (DreamSpinner) that used dream narratives and “link” or connect each single word to one or more categories. These categories became many.
The good news in using a computer assisted linking system was that I only had to link a dream once and I could forever examine any kind of search of categories I could want. The bad news was that the linking process took as much or perhaps a bit more time than the manual Hall/Van de Castle content analysis coding; it was still laborious to input on the front end. Computer speed and magic happened at the end of the process.
I was finding patterns I wasn’t even searching for. Unfortunately, I fell into a vat of thousands of patterns: chaos. How can I make any sense of this? I asked my dreams to help. My dreams spoke of patterns within patterns and words within words. One image showed a complex banjo with strings to pluck that created a huge matrix, like Indra’s Net. Each dream is one node of an infinite amount of nodes. Within each dream are elements that exist within all the dreams as one giant dream narrative of my life. I hypothesized that perhaps everyone’s dreams would be seen to have these same elements and patterns within them, like atoms and sub-atomic particles make up all matter.
My search began with a series of dreams that held one common image or metaphor; to watch it as it changes over time. What I learned, of course, is that one metaphor is used in infinite ways to convey specific information about many things. I looked at a set of horse dreams. I found numerous subsets of patterns within dreams that contain a horse. I found that “A horse is a horse of course, unless it is a horse of a different color.”
In this lecture, I hope to show you the Dream Net in all of its infinite splendor, using a single dreamer series and a group series of dreams where 32 dreamers were focused on one task. I will explore different computer aided methods of getting that information: Coding, Linking, Word Frequency Counts and Cluster Analysis. You can look at a single dream (a node or jewel in Indra’s Net) or look at the nodes as a subset or look at the entire set of dreams; perhaps even a huge set of dreams of many dreamers. I hope the audience will be dreamers interested in the patterns in their own dreams, as well as researchers exploring patterns and structures of dreams.
1. To be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different content analysis methods.
2. To be able to analyze different patterns within dream sets.
3. To be able to assess the significance level of repetitive elements found in dreams of different dreamers centered on a specific task such as in PsiberDreaming contests.
1. Name one strength or one weakness of any content analysis method.
2. Name one pattern within dream sets.
3. List one way of knowing if a frequency count is equal to, less than or more than “the norm.”
Beverly ‘Bjo’ Ashwill
From Illness and Disability to Health and Wholeness (Presentation within symposium, “New Directions for Dreams in Health Settings”)
I counsel people with disabilities of all types in the small nonprofit CIL (Center for Independent Living) which advocates for equalizing people with disabilities and people who are TBA’s (Temporarily Able-Bodied). I am also a person who has decades of experience being disabled. It is because of these experiences that I have been able to grow and learn as much as I have about integration, acceptance, love and compassion.
I believe that illness and disability are a natural and normal processes of life, as is death. It is the embodiment of the Shadow elements living within our physical self. The good news is that it is the Shadow that carries the treasure, the gift. It is the key to finding the barriers we hold in our body, mind and spirit selves. Author and psychotherapist Arnold Mindell believes that we carry the dream metaphors (somatic processes) in our bodies as well as dream about them.
One of the first barriers we must deal with is the cultural biases we are taught about people with disabilities or those who are ill. This pervades the traditional medical model, religious institutions and schools. It sets us up as two separate groups: the “normal” people and the sick or “handicapped”. It is a terrible blow to a person’s self image and sense of self worth when we leave the land of the Temporarily Able-Bodied and become one of “them.”
One of the many gifts we gain from illness and disability, while we troop, kicking and screaming, through the five stages of grief, is how much opportunity we have to grapple with life’s developmental process toward integration of the body, mind and spirit system. We are all on that journey, all along the spectrum from illness and disability to health and wholeness. I believe the speed of the journey is kicked into a faster pace when we experience any type of shadow or dark events in our lives.
I think that in order to talk about healing serious disease physically, we must tackle the larger issues of self actualization as well as spiritual/psychological issues. This is regardless of how healthy or unhealthy anyone is on the continuum of dis-ease and health and wholeness.
I will explore my dreams, looking specifically at important healing dreams when I incubated dreams about my physical health, and will compare them with spontaneous dreams I had during serious physical and emotional distress.
I will compare them with “regular” dreams about the mundane working, relationship and play worlds. What differences and similarities do I find? How can we recognize the healing dream, or are they all healing dreams?
1. To be able to identify different aspects that indicate a healing dream.
2. To be able to describe different cultural biases about illness and disability.
3. To be able to compare and contrast incubated dreams, spontaneous healing dreams and “mundane” dreams.
1. Name one metaphor pattern that could signal a healing dream (you might consider your own personal metaphor patterns or imagine one of a client, etc).
2. Describe one important cultural bias about illness and disability.
3. List one difference between incubated and spontaneous dreams.
Nick Atlas The Fountain of Youth: Dreaming, Kundalini and the Clear Light (Poster)
One way to mindfully proceed beyond the ebb and flow of dream phenomena is to advance the waking consciousness of a lucid dream toward the superconsciousness of non-dual perception. The realization of non-duality is often preceded and accompanied by the expedited arousal of kundalini, a unique sense of balance, equilibrium, and kinesthetic and audial/visual participation in “clear light.” While meditators within various traditions may wait a lifetime for such an experience, the dream state offers the unique privilege of accelerating this quantum leap in one’s philosophical, psychological and spiritual evolution.
Among the themes discussed in this presentation will be: 1) specific dream yoga practices that serve to catalyze this process; 2) auto-ethnographic and phenomenological analyses of the event itself; 3) personal and cultural implications of participation in such an event; and 4) relevant literature and future avenues for research. Additional topics will include the interrelationship between inspiration, extrasensory perception, “boundary thinness,” liminal states of consciousness and exceptional experience, as well as bodymind “centering” and meaning-making from both traditional yogic and western perspectives. Of particular interest will be the radical questioning of a presupposed monophasic cultural mythology—in which ordinary, waking life is considered the only “real” state—versus an alternative polyphasic worldview—in which dreaming, liminal and meditative states are given equal if not greater weight in our conceiving of reality. Finally, we will examine the consequences of cultivating the polyphasic mind in the 21st century and share stories from our personal experience.
This presentation is intended for all audiences and is geared toward increasing attendees’ knowledge about dream research and theories as well as increasing spiritual or psychic awareness.
1. Identify the processes and constituents present in the transcendence of dream imagery.
2. Examine specific dream yoga practices that prepare the dreamer for non-dual participation.
3. Critique the presupposed monophasic worldview versus a polyphasic alternative.
1. Can you identify the major components present in the transcendence of dream imagery?
2. Are you able to practice some aspects of dream yoga on your own?
3. Can you describe the differences between monophasic and polyphasic worldviews?
Poetry and Truth through the Purple People Eater (Paper)
This presentation is a report on the pioneering of a new pedagogy designed to challenge students to use and improve their memory, increase their awareness of logical fallacies and tacitly embedded contradiction(s) and sensitize them to the deeply symbolic nature of thought in all its expressions (math, logos, music, picture, and motor skills). The concepts were created by the author from in situ research at a senior level (ESL) course in Storytelling at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea’s premier university for foreign languages and translation.
1. How a short narrative can be explored at length in classroom instruction.
2. How to stimulate different functions of consciousness with narrative.
3. How to become a creative in situ researcher.
1. How do I teach from myth, parables or dreams?
2. How do I work with stories in a graded fashion exploiting a variety of mental functions?
3. How do I trust the learning process so as to invite myself and students to become our own resource?
Deirdre Barrett and co authors Malcolm Grayson, Angela Oh, Charlotte Ruby, and Zach SogoloA Content Analysis of Dion McGregor’s Sleep Talking Episodes (Paper)
Sleep talking ranges from simple monosyllabic utterances to episodes of over 100 words. The talking may be unintelligible mumbles or fully articulated. Laughing, singing, and sobbing while asleep have all been recorded in the lab (Arkin, 1978). Talking can occur during REM sleep, nonREM sleep or during a mixture of stage 1 and alpha activity (Rechshaffen et al, 1962) The lifetime prevalence of sleep-talking is 60% but more of this occurs in childhood.
Dion McGregor was born in 1922. Dion was told that he talked in his sleep as a child but it is unknown whether this was a nightly event until the 1950’s when he shared a crowded NYC apartment. A roommate, Mike Barr, arranged with Dion’s cooperation to record Dion’s sleep-talking through this period which occurred most nights for several years. Most of McGregors utterances were greater than 100 words, and most recounted some sort of narrative albeit often surreal or goofy. Griffins, midgets, vagina dentata, and a trip to the moon turn up in his wild stories. Most of the episodes were monologues, but in a few instances he spoke as 2 or 3 characters.
The one time McGregor was in a sleep lab, his talking was documented to come from an atypical Stage 1 state with overlap of alpha EEG. The fact that it arose from this atypical sleep state and that, like sleep-talkers, McGregor only rarely remembered a dream associated with the episodes of speech makes it questionable whether they should be referred to as “dreams.” However, they represent some sort of sleep experience, narrated while it was occurring rather than later–and that fact makes it an interesting comparison with reverted dreams. Random House published a collection of some of the monologues, and at Decca Records a recording of some. Two CD’s with other tracks have followed more recently, and recordings exist for more of the somniloquies.
For the present study, raters coded McGregor’s narratives on the Hall and Van de Castle (1966) scales for emotions, characters, aggression, friendliness, good/fortune, sexuality, success, failure, and striving. Inter-rater reliability was trained and evaluated, so a single rater’s results can be used for analysis. McGregor’s narrative codings are compared to the original Hall and van de Castle male norms. These findings are discussed in terms of what they may mean of the cognitive state in which McGregor functioned compared to that of recalled dreams.
Arkin, A.M. (1978) Sleep talking: In A M Arkin, J S Antrobus & S. J Ellman (eds) The id in sleep: Psychology and Physiology. P. 513-532. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Hall, Calvin & Van de Castle, Robert (1966) The Content Analysis of Dreams. NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Rechshaffen, A. Goodenough, D. & Shapiro, A. (1962) Patterns of sleep talking. Archives of General Psychiatry, 7, 418-426.
1. To be able to name what state(s) of sleep talking occur(s) in.
2. To be able to describe what was atypical about the sleep talking of Dion McGregor.
3. To be able to identify similarities and differences between McGregor’s sleep talking and normative dream content.
1. Name one of the states in which sleep talking can occur.
2. What is one atypical characteristic of the sleep talking of Dion McGregor?
3. Identify one similarity or one difference between McGregor’s sleep talking and normative dream content.
Using Hypnosis to Work with Dreams (Workshop)
There are a variety of ways of combining hypnosis and dreamwork for the mutual enhancement of each. One can use hypnotic suggestions that a person will experience a dream in the trance state–either as an open ended suggestion or with the suggestion that they dream about a certain topic–and these “hypnotic dreams” have been found to be similar enough to nocturnal dreams (Barrett, 1979) to be worked with using many of the same techniques usually applied to nocturnal dreams. One can also work with previous nocturnal dreams during a hypnotic trance in ways parallel to Jung’s “active imagination” techniques to continue, elaborate on, or explore the meaning of the dream.
Research by Charles Tart (1964) has found that hypnotic suggestions can be used to influence future nocturnal dream content, and Joe Dane (1985) demonstrated that hypnotic suggestions can increase the frequency of laboratory verified lucid dreams. Many people have also utilized hypnotic and self-hypnotic suggestions for increased dream recall.
The workshop will cover all of these techniques and include experiential exercises with several of them. It would be appropriate for both individuals interested in working with their own dreams and for professional therapists interested in acquiring more techniques for helping clients to explore their dreams.
Barrett, D.L., The Hypnotic Dream: Its Relation to Nocturnal Dreams and Waking Fantasies.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 88, p. 584-591.
Dane, J., A Comparison of Waking Instructions and Post-Hypnotic Suggestions for Lucid Dream Induction. Dissertation, 1985, Georgia State University. (Univ. Microfilms Int. #8503800)
Tart, C. T., A comparison of suggested dreams occurring in hypnosis and sleep. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1964, Vol 12.
1. To be able to describe differences between hypnotic dreams, night dreams, and day dreams.
2. To be able to identify ways that hypnosis can be used to work with night time dreams.
3. To be able to describe how hypnotic dreams can be used in therapy or self-exploration.
1. Name one difference between the content of Hypnotic dreams and Nighttime dreams.
2. Identify one way that hypnosis can be used to work with night time dreams.
3. Briefly describe a typical hypnotic suggestion to enhance dream recall.
Karen J. Bartnicki
So What Do You Do When You Think You Are Dreaming of Psi Information? (Presentation within panel, “Extraordinary Dreaming Experiences and their Impact on Consciousness”)
In my own experience, I learned to not let the backlash of dream reporting stop me, and have contacted the FBI and other agencies over the past several years when I have had a dream that I felt was relevant to a well-publicized event. I have to report that I have heard back from only one or two police agencies that responded to my “dream input,” but appreciated their replies. It meant that they were taking “dream reporters” more seriously.
I do believe that we have an obligation to honor the truth of dreaming in all facets of our lives, and at the same time to acknowledge the “nebulousness” and uncertainty of the meaning of a dream. When we do this, we both confirm our convictions in the power of dreaming, and also acknowledge the uncertainty of a particular dream’s meaning. In my estimation, this does nothing to diminish the power of dreams, but rather presents the truth we are receiving within the limits of what we may or may not know. Better to present the truth as we receive it, and hope that it contributes to solving a problem with the skill and input of others. To withhold dream information, for me anyway, is to stand by and allow a crime or devastating deception to ensue. I believe that this is an irresponsible thing to do.
1. To understand the power of dream Psi.
2. To understand the complexity of dream interpretation.
3. To understand the social/cultural resistance to Psi information.
1. Name three examples of dream Psi given in this presentation.
2. Name three ways to interpret a dream as presented in this session (subjective, objective, cultural).
3. Name three resistances to Psi information.
Mandala Drawing Techniques as a Method of Understanding Dream Symbols. (Workshop)
Mandala drawing technique is a creative method of opening an energy-laden powerful dream-symbol to get a deeper understanding of the symbol. We will begin the workshop with a brief introduction to Mandalas. For thousands of years the Mandala has been used all over the world to focus awareness. Jung used the Mandala drawing technique to come closer to the Self revealing itself. This workshop gives you a method of uncovering the meaning of your most energy-laden dream symbols in a creative way. First you reproduce the original dream-symbol within a circle. The circle can be understood as a window towards the Self. You color the result and then you reproduce the essential symbols of the first drawing in a new circle and change the picture as you feel free to associate. You keep working like this and through the transformation process the deeper meaning of the symbol shows itself after a shorter or longer series of drawings. When you reach the end product you will know. The transformation process makes it possible to understand obstacles or qualities and in this way awareness can open. At the end of the workshop small groups share their transformation processes and finally a few examples will be shown in plenum. The workshop will be limited to approximately 20 people. The technique requires no specific creative skills, just a wish to express oneself.
1. Experiencing the way of opening a symbol by Mandala drawing.
2. Experiencing the power of creative dream work.
3. Experiencing the transformation of symbols into knowledge and solution.
1. What is a Mandala?
2. How did Jung use the Mandala to describe his model of the personality?
3. How to use the Mandala technique as a door opener to your dream.
The Seven States of Consciousness (Paper)
Mystics from many cultures throughout history have described their spiritual experiences. In this presentation I will clarify the seven different states of consciousness as they are described by iconography and other examples from the Christian mystic tradition such as Theresa of Avila and Francis of Assisi. The Tibetan Dzogchen tradition and the Indian mystic Ramana Maharshi represent other cultural approaches, showing the same spiritual experiences.
By using the knowledge of the subtle anatomy of man we will see how a spiritual development can take place step by step ending up with non-duality, leaving the ego in the background, leaving more space for the self to develop and even moving beyond the self.
For example, monks and nuns by their monastic vows accept poverty, celibacy and obedience, representing the development of the three lowest chakras, fighting and rejecting the influence of the ego and sexual libido, the shadow or Satan, ending up with communion with the divine or Unio Mystica in the crown chakra. On the road to this enlightenment I will describe different dreams and experiences as told by the Christian mystics, and I will show the seven stages as described by iconography.
I will explain a way of developing consciousness using five essential topics: Knowledge of here and now by awareness of the physical body, breathing, apperception (neutrally at the same time looking at yourself from inside and from outside in a state of double pointed consciousness) , heart contact (by working with feelings such as gratitude, care, forgiveness) and a wide aspect of creativity, an approach called “the empathy star”, developed by the Danish philosopher and Dzogchen master Jes Bertelsen .
Finally I will give you some examples of my own dreams, as beginners’ steps on the way.
1. To be able to describe the development of consciousness.
2. To be able to describe iconography and Christian mystics, as well as the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition.
3. To be able to list the essential approaches to developing consciousness.
1. Identify one of the seven states of consciousness.
2. Briefly describe the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition.
3. Name one useful approach to developing consciousness.
Nightly Messages Reveal Inner Thoughts……. (Paper)
The essence of this paper is to explore the dreams of people of all ages who have found themselves at one point or another admitted to medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals or, as the teenagers the author presently works with, in behavioral health residential facilities for a misuse of drugs, sex or other so called inappropriate behaviors. We will hear sample stories of several people who have had dreams while in the middle of such stressful situations, and will explore how the messages of their dreams have help to heal and guide them on their path of recovery.
A friend of mine, who is a nurse, told me a story once of a patient she had in the hospital. No one wanted to work with this man because he was mean and was very crabby. They were unable to look past his external expression to see the sadness that lingered within him. She knew that she needed to honor her vow of service and to break the ice, so she asked the patient if he ever remembered his dreams. In their conversation he revealed to her a dream that he had been having. As she looked into his eyes, she asked him if he had been contemplating suicide. His eyes filled with tears. He held her hand and asked her how she knew.
Often we are too noisy in our conscious minds, our outer physical world, to hear the inner messages of our soul, our subconscious mind, being given to us. Our subconscious mind uses our nighttime dreams to communicate what is important for us to hear. Our subconscious mind has the power to reveal to us the states of our thoughts and emotions as well as our health. When we are able to acknowledge the importance of these nighttime videos, and are able to decode them, we can understand the attitudes that may cause health difficulties as well as provide cures for the turmoil we may be experiencing.
Before my mother was diagnosed with diabetes, she had a dream in which a cousin of hers was backing out of her sister’s driveway and was hit by another car. When my mother woke up from the dream she was startled enough to tell me the dream. I knew from my studies of dreams that this dream was talking about her mother’s health. She ignored my intuitive thoughts, which were that she was significantly ill. Approximately three months after my mother had this dream she was hospitalized for extremely high sugar levels. She later died from complications related to her diabetes.
It is my hope that through the weekly dream circles which will be conducted, those who are a part of these dream circles will receive messages that will aid them to reach for objectivity, forgiveness, understanding, and wholeness. It is also my desire to share with those participating in this study the ever-growing need for hope and the never-ending possibilities.
1. Identify at least two common symbols that appear in dreams when one is physically ill or when emotionally distressed.
2. Explain how environmental and peer pressure can affect the images and emotion of dreams when experiencing disaster.
3. Describe how incubating dreams can be used to resolve emotional turmoil and give solutions for improved mental, emotional and physical health.
1. Can you identify at least two common dream symbols when you have experienced a personal crisis either through the loss of physical health or during emotional distress?
2. Can you name or identify one common characteristic of a health dream?
3. Can you identify the emotion in dreams after witnessing disaster?
Dream Maps: A Way of Drawing You into the Dream (Workshop)
To paraphrase Carl Jung as he was working on the art for the Red Book; “I tried to draw a dream again, but something else appeared.”
Dream Maps are simple line drawings made by the dreamer to depict the essential visual (and often poetic) elements in a dream. What they do is give us a visual way to enter the dream and keep the focus clear as we open up the deeper meanings of the dreams. Dreams start often as visual elements that tell a story, so why not reconnect to that essential nonverbal depth? In this experiential workshop we will chose dreams from the group and we will all do a simple quick rough sketch of the dream as we see it. The dreamer then will place his/her drawing in front of us, and we will then use a few modalities, including Archetypal Projective Dreamwork, Gestalt and Dream Theatre, to open up these incredible missives from the deep as we use the drawings as a map that keeps the dream centered in a way not possible in word-centric dreamwork. Often, synchronicities and unconscious things that our hands have drawn on the paper will surprise us. Color, spacing, size, and placement of elements on the page will, at times, reveal things to the dreamer not thought of before. My experience in conducting this lively workshop is that there is a large amount of humor and deep emotion that accompanies this amazing work. Join me. We will spend about 20 minutes on lecture and set up, and the rest of the time will be used for the work.
1. Describe a Dream Map
2. Demonstrate the use of dream maps by drawing one of your own dreams.
3. List one connection between a visual element in a dream map of your own dream and a new understanding you did not have before this process.
1. What is a Dream Map?
2. Can you draw a dream map of your own dream, or another dreamer’s dream?
3. Can you describe the connection between something you drew in the dream map to a cognitive understanding that you did not previously have?
Walter Berry and David Jenkins
Dreams: The Verbal and the Visual (Morning Dream Group)
David Jenkins, PhD, works extensively with story and narrative in his dreamwork. Walter Berry, MA, works extensively with the visual elements in his. When you bring these two approaches together, amazing things happen. David elicits the story in your dreams, finding ways to understand the narrative within the dream and to allow new elements that make the dream stand up and talk. Walter has you draw the dream (no experience necessary), and explores where the visual elements lead us as we closely examine what the hand gives us that the conscious mind hasn’t. What you have drawn will seem simple and crude, but you will be amazed what appears on that paper by the time the group finishes with it. Between these two approaches, the verbal and the visual, you—and the group—will find connections that would not be seen with either approach separately. When we work together over several mornings, other kinds of associations will stand out. You might find your dream story developing a life of its own. You might find recurring elements in your drawings that point to a deeper truth. The excitement of working with multiple dreams and multiple approaches gives you an experience of your dream that you cannot get from any one dimension of dream work.
1. Describe the role of narrative in dream work.
2. Describe the contribution of drawing the dream to the understanding of the dream.
3. Demonstrate the connection between the narrative and the visual by listing at least one element in a dream that can be described in both a narrative and visual form.
1. What is the narrative in a dream?
2. Can you make a drawing of a dream that includes all the major visual elements in the dream?
3. Can you describe the connection between the visual and the narrative elements of a dream?
Josh Black and co-author Teresa DeCicco
Examining Dreams, Dream Content, and Meaning in Bereavement (Presentation within Symposium, “Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies Applied to Dream Research: Soldiers, the Bereaved, with Meditation, and the Stroop Task”)
The dreams that occur in bereavement have been mainly overlooked in the psychological literature. This study focuses on the most memorable and the most recent dreams of the bereaved that contain imagery of the deceased. The different categories of dreams that Garfield (1996) had proposed which contained the deceased as a character were investigated (e.g. Dying Again, Passionate Encounter, Daily-Activity, etc.) with both the most memorable and the most recent dreams. The most recent dreams categories were investigated with their current grief scores on the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief (TRIG-Present). Furthermore, the most recent dreams were investigated via content analysis and The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation (TSM) developed by DeCicco (2007). Content analysis was conducted both on the most recent dreams and on the discovery of the dreams which were both found to have correlations to the grief scores. Hypotheses, preliminary findings, and implications for counselling the bereaved will be discussed.
1. To be able to list dream themes that have been reported when imagery of the deceased is present in a dream.
2. To be able to describe the Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation.
3. To be able to name dream categories that were correlated with a low grief score.
1. What is one dream theme that has been reported when the deceased are present in a dream?
2. Briefly describe the Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation.
3. Name one dream category that was correlated with a low grief score.
Mark Blagrove and co-author Chris Edwards
ssessing Insight Obtained During an Ullman Dream Appreciation Group (Hot-off-the-Press)
The purpose of the investigation was to examine whether dreams can be used to obtain “insight.” The research used the Dream Appreciation procedure, devised by Montague Ullman (2006).
Nine individuals participated in the study (eight female and one male) and two researchers were involved in the process. Participants completed an “Attitudes to Dreams” questionnaire at the start of the session, so as to enable the correlation between ATD prior to the “Dream Appreciation” session and “insight” and group process variables recorded after working with the dream using the Ullman procedure. Participants volunteered to share a dream with the researchers during the “Dream Appreciation” session. The “Dream Appreciation” session was transcribed to allow thematic analysis of the developments in the discussion. At the conclusion of the discussion, participants completed the “Gains from Dream Interpretation” questionnaire (with factors including dream exploration and action orientated gains; Heaton et al. 1998) and selected questions presented by Kuiken (1995) entitled, “Questionnaire Items Reflecting Deepened Self-Perception.” Participants answered a few questions vocally, regarding “insight” during the dream discussion and the last remembered “insight” experience prior to the dream discussion.
One aspect of data analysis included the calculation of the number of words in each dream that could be related to waking life events or concerns by the dreamer during the session. These data were collected from transcripts created from audio recordings of the dream discussions.
We will report all variables from these questionnaires. These included the following 3 items: “I will use things that I learned in this dream interpretation in my life,” (mean score: 6.22), “I learned things that I would not have thought of on my own” (mean score: 8.67) and “my dream reminded me of events that occurred in my past” (mean score: 6.44). In the follow-up questions requiring vocal answers, four out of nine participants sought clarification about what was meant by “insight”, and 8 out of 9 participants described the attainment of “insight” experience during the Ullman “Dream Appreciation” group procedure.
The results indicate that the Ullman procedure of “Dream Appreciation” can be effective in facilitating “insightful” experiences such as a novel understanding of connection between dream experiences and waking life experiences. In discussion we will recommend that future work in this field distinguishes between insight about the way that the dream can be related to waking life and insight about waking life, caused by the exploration of the dream.
Cernovsky.Z.Z. (1984) “Dream Recall and Attitude Towards Dreams” Perceptual and Motor Skills, 58, 911-914
Heaton. K.J., Hill.C.E. , Petersen.D.A , Rochlen.A.B. , Zack.J.S. (1998) “A comparison of Therapist-Facilitated and Self-guided Dream Interpretation Sessions” Journal of Counselling Psychology,45, 1, 115-122
Hill.C.E (1996) “Working with Dreams in Psychotherapy” The Guildford Press
Kuiken.D (1995) “Dreams and Feeling Regulation”, Dreaming, 5, 3, 129-159
Ullman.M (2006) “Appreciating Dreams” Cosmo-On-Demand Books
1. To appreciate the details of the Ullman dream appreciation procedure.
2. To appreciate how group outcome and process variables, and insight, can be assessed.
3. To appreciate how insight about the dream differs from insight about one’s waking life.
1. How many stages are there in the Ullman dream appreciation procedure?
2. How can group outcome and process variables, and insight, be assessed?
3. Why does insight about the dream differ from insight about one’s waking life?
Dream Research: From Freud to Neuroscience (Keynote address)
This address first describes the evidence for a relationship of dream content to waking life events and concerns. This is followed by descriptions of models from neuroscience for a brain basis to dreaming, including the dopaminergic reward system, the default network, and memory consolidation during sleep.
There is then a discussion of how this scientific work relates to claims that the examination, or appreciation, of one’s own dreams can result in insight and a furtherance of self-knowledge. Although theoretical justifications for these claims for insight caused by dream content can be proposed, there are difficulties in testing such claims, and examples of how this testing might be done are given. It is argued that the question of whether dreams can promote insight is separate from the question of whether we have evolved to have dreams. Freud’s work on dreams is used to illustrate the independence of these two important questions. It is argued finally that whether the examination of one’s dreams can be beneficial is not dependent on there being an evolutionarily adaptive function for dreaming.
Blagrove, M. (2011). Distinguishing continuity/discontinuity, function and insight when investigating dream content. International Journal of Dream Research, 4, 45-47.
Blagrove, M., Fouquet, N.C., Henley-Einion, J.A., Pace-Schott, E.F., Davies, A.C., Neuschaffer, J.L., & Turnbull, O.H. (2011). Assessing the dream-lag effect for REM and NREM stage 2 dreams. PLoS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026708.
Blagrove, M., Ruby, P., & Eichenlaub, J-B. (2013). Dreams are made of memories, but maybe not for memory: Commentary on Llewellyn’s target article “Such stuff as dreams are made on? Elaborative encoding, the ancient art of memory and the hippocampus.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
1. To be able to describe the relationship between dream content and waking life experiences and concerns.
2. To be able to explain how claims for increased self-knowledge or insight following dream appreciation might be justified theoretically, and tested empirically.
3. To be able to discuss how the question of whether the examination of dreams can further self-knowledge is orthogonal to the question of whether dreaming has an evolutionarily adaptive function.
1. Name one feature of the relationship between dream content and waking life experiences and concerns.
2. Specify one way that claims for increased self-knowledge or insight following dream appreciation be justified theoretically, and tested empirically.
3. Is the question of whether the examination of dreams can further self-knowledge orthogonal to the question of whether dreaming has an evolutionarily adaptive function?
Mark Blagrove and Gloria Sturzenacker
“If this were my dream ……” “Well, it isn’t!” A Discussion of the Uses and Misuses of the ITWMD Technique. (Workshop)
In the first 15 minutes of this workshop the presenters will:
1. Describe the stages of the group dream appreciation method of Montague Ullman, following his (2006) book Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach.
2. Describe Ullman’s rationale for a brief early stage in his method that uses the ITWMD technique, and how his method limits projection to that stage and one at the end.
3. Describe Ullman’s recommendations for how the dream is returned to the dreamer, after the ITWMD stage.
4. Propose that overuse and inappropriate use of the ITWMD phrase can occur in dream groups.
5. Give examples of ways in which there can be appropriate and inappropriate phrasing of projective statements by dream group members.
In the remaining 45 minutes of the workshop audience members will discuss what they see as appropriate and inappropriate uses of the ITWMD technique.
Reference: Ullman M. (2006) Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach. Cosimo Books.
1. To be able to list the stages of the Ullman group dream appreciation method.
2. To be able to describe Ullman’s rationale and recommendations for use of the ITWMD technique.
3. To be able to summarize concerns regarding possible overuse and misuse of the ITWMD technique.
1. How many stages and sub-stages are there in the Ullman dream appreciation method?
2. Briefly describe Ullman’s rationale for the ITWMD technique.
3. Provide one example of an appropriate use of the ITWMD technique.
Mark Blagrove and co-authors J.-B. Eichenlaub, M.Phelan, L. Ryder, P.Lewis, G.Gaskell, and M.Walker
The Relative Incorporation of Waking Events, Emotional Waking Events, and Current Concerns into Dreams: Implications for the Memory Consolidation Function of Sleep. (Paper)
Forty participants kept a daily log for 14 days. On the log participants recorded up to five major activities from the day, up to five emotional or personal events from the day (which could be very brief), and up to five current concerns from the day. (Log design was taken from Fosse et al., 2003.) They also recorded a dream diary, starting on the night of the first day, and finishing on the night of day 14. Two weeks after the daily log and dream diary were completed participants compared all daily logs to all dream reports and identified any correspondences between item on the logs and any part of the dream content. The correspondence rating design was taken from Blagrove et al. (2011) but was modified so as to allow several correspondences to be identified between a log record and a dream report, rather than just one summary correspondence score. The level of correspondence was rated on a scale from 1 to 8. We compared the relative incorporation of the 3 types of daily log items into dreams, so as to test the hypothesis that current concerns will be incorporated into dreams more frequently than major activities or personal/emotional events. Contrary to the hypothesis, major daily activities are incorporated into dreams more than current concerns. The time course across two weeks of incorporation of these waking life sources into dreams is also reported.
Blagrove M, Fouquet NC, Henley-Einion JA, Pace-Schott EF, Davies AC, Neuschaffer JL, & Turnbull OH (2011). Assessing the dream-lag effect for REM and NREM stage 2 dreams. PLoS One, 6(10):e26708.
Fosse MJ, Fosse R, Hobson JA, & Stickgold RJ (2003). Dreaming and episodic memory: a functional dissociation? J Cogn Neurosci, 15, 1-9.
1. To be able to describe the proposal that dream content may reflect memory consolidation during sleep.
2. To be able to discuss the hypothesis that waking life sources are differentially incorporated into dreams.
3. To be able to explain the method used for assessing the timescale of incorporation of waking life memory sources into dreams.
1. Name one stage of sleep that has been associated with the consolidation of memories.
2. True or false: Major daily activities are incorporated into dreams more often than current concerns?
3. Briefly, what is the time course of the incorporation of waking life memory sources into dreams?
Ullman Morning Dream Group (Morning Dream Group)
This group will follow the Ullman dream group approach. Dream interpretation will be performed in that the dreamer will be aided in drawing connections between the recent waking life and the dream. The “ultimate authority” on the meaning of that interpretation will be the dreamer, and only very limited speculation by dream group members on what the dream means to them will be allowed. The group and the group leader will adhere to the IASD Ethics statement.
One member of the group will describe a recent dream. The dreamer and the other members of the group will engage in discussion that follows the stages of the Ullman dream appreciation technique.
The dream group will last 60 minutes. Approximately 10 minutes will be didactic; this portion will introduce the stages of the Ullman method. The group will be run in accordance with professional safety and ethical constraints.
1. To understand the stages of the Ullman group dream appreciation method.
2. To understand the interaction between safety and curiosity in an Ullman dream group.
3. To understand the aim of drawing connections between waking life and dream content.
1. How many stages and sub-stages are there in the Ullman dream appreciation method?
2. Why is it preferred to have a recent dream for consideration in the group?
3. What is the orchestration stage of the Ullman method?
The Body Speaks — Health Guidance in Dreams (Interactive lecture)
In this presentation, Dr. Joy Bloom will offer the method of Dream Counseling and Integration which she developed at the ARE and has taught for ten years. Dr. Bloom’s method draws from the wellsprings of Gestalt Therapy, Jungian Theory, Marion Woodman’s Leadership Training Program (which emphasized integrating dreams with body and voice work), Edgar Cayce’s dreamwork tradition, and thirty-five years of clinical experience.
Beginning with a thirty minute didactic presentation, the seven-step Dream Counseling method will be explained, with special attention to identifying symbols and themes in a dream which are likely to point to messages from the body. For the final sixty minutes of the workshop Dr. Bloom will work with a volunteer dreamer from the audience to demonstrate some of the techniques she uses to guide the dreamer in “embodying” the dream through sensory awareness, movement, and Gestalt-style dialogue with chosen symbols from the dream. This sixty minute experiential portion will be conducted with utmost care for the dreamer’s emotional safety, dignity, and personal boundaries. Audience members will be encouraged to participate by contributing their questions and ideas during specific stages of the dreamwork, always in a spirit of kindness, respect, and reasonable brevity! The experiential dreamwork session will conclude with the dreamer having discerned the guidance – the “medicine” – from the dream and identified some practical steps to take in healing.
This lecture is suitable for all conference attendees, since it is designed to enhance both personal growth and clinical skill in the exploration of dreams.
1. List three symbols in dreams which are likely to represent the body.
2. Describe two ways to use body symbols to improve the dreamer’s health.
3. Clearly discern the corrective health guidance suggested by the dream.
1. Can you name three dream symbols which are likely to represent the body?
2. Can you describe two ways a dreamer can use body symbols to improve health?
3. Can you describe a good way to discern the corrective health guidance suggested by the dream?
Hermeneutic of Creation: A Method of Exploring Dreams (Special event)
Interpreting dreams often satisfies the desire to arrive at some definitive or firm conclusions. Interpretation adds a measure of solidity to what, in essence, is a fluid process. In this presentation the dream is approached as an enigma; an automatic, fluid and creative process. This approach to dreams calls for cultivation of an open mind, fluidity and flexibility, receptivity and non-attachment to outcomes.
In this non-interpretative approach the dream remains a creation that is constantly changing and evolving. The dream is viewed as a fragment of a larger picture, and to access the complexity of the dreaming mind, the dreamer co-participates in a creative action. In this approach, a creative and intuitive space is fostered so that dreams can reveal their potential. This form of inquiry refrains from directing the outcome, and encourages us to be comfortable with the unknown.
Epistemology (ways of knowing) combined with uncertainty (openness to not knowing), points to a way of knowing about not knowing. Taking dreams into the poetic space through automatism allows a non-interpretative way of being and embodying the dream. By nurturing an attitude of openness towards possibilities, epistemic uncertainty encourages the dreamer to examine core assumptions and beliefs. Through this attitude of uncertainty, one is prepared to be with the metamorphosis of dream imagery, the changing of emotions and open to new possibilities.
1. Learn how to approach dreams from a creative perspective.
2. Learn poetic ways of approaching dreams.
3. Practice a non-interpretative perspective toward dreams.
1. Can you examine your core assumptions about dreams?
2. Can you identify ways of non-interpretive approaches to dreams?
3. Can you describe poetic synthesis and how dream themes can be clustered into new forms?
Fariba Bogzaran and Daniel Deslauriers
Integral Dream Practice (Workshop )
Integral Dreaming proposes a holistic approach to dreaming; that is, a theory of dreaming that brings together contemporary science, ancient practices and an evolutionary view of dreams. The theory is a contemporary response to our complex dream ecology: how to be with dreams in a way that best reflects the multifaceted nature of our being.
Integral Dreaming challenges single theories and invites us to review our assumptions about interpretation and our perspective towards dream practice. It encourages us to integrate science, phenomenology, creativity, and the body within the dreaming experience. After briefly introducing the core principles of Integral Dreaming, this workshop will focus specifically on the philosophy of practice that informed Integral Dream Practice.
Integral Dream Practice (IDP) is an approach that emphasizes the dreamer’s creative participation, reflective capacities, and mindful awareness in working with dreams. It employs creative modalities to address a single dream, usually unfolding over time. In this workshop the two phases of Integral Dream Practice will be introduced: the Reflexive and Reflective phases. Two methods of re-entry will be introduced: Dream indwelling and dream movement. Dream indwelling is an occasion to unfold a contemplative presence toward the dream image, by attending to the feeling or mood that accompanies each particular image, becoming aware of thoughts and emotions, and watching where they lead. Presence is also a particular skill inside the evanescence of the flow of consciousness. The same dream will be explored with a second re-entry using the sound of the rhythmic drum and embodying the dream through movement. A reflective phase will follow that consists of automatic writing and clustering themes.
The workshop will devote 20% of the time to didactic material introducing the theory and core principles of Integral Dreaming, 20% in group discussion and 60% will be experiential. The target level is beginning, intermediate to advanced. Prior knowledge about the field of dreams is required to gain the full benefit of this transdisciplinary approach.
This presentation aims at 1) Introducing Integral Dreaming; 2) fostering reflection of participants’ of their approach to dreams and how to incorporate new approaches; 3) allowing participants to engage with their own creative process by working with different aspects of Integral Dream Practice.
1. Identify the core principles of the integral approach to dreams.
2. List the two main phases of Integral Dreaming Practice.
3. Apply the first phase of Integral Dreaming Practice to a personal dream.
1. Can you identify the core principles of the integral approach to dreams?
2. Can you describe two main phases of Integral Dreaming Practice (IDP)?
3. Can you assess the value of the Reflexive phase of the IDP when applied to a personal dream?
Phenomenology of Light in Transition to Hyperspace Lucidity (Presentation within Symposium,” Light and Enlightenment in Dreams”)
Hyperspace Lucidity (Bogzaran, 1996) is a particular transpersonal experience within sleep where the dream and the dreamer transform into a nondual (unity) consciousness beyond time and space. Hyperspace Lucidity (HL) can occur in any sleep state from hypnagogia to hypnopompia. The experience might take place in a non-lucid dream state; however within the experience of full Hyperspace Lucidity, the dreamer is fully lucid.
The transition from dream narrative to experience of light or void to Hyperspace Lucidity is the key transformational experience. Either the dreamer is capable of sustaining the transition or remains within dream narrative. In Hyperspace Lucidity, the symbolic narration of dream is moved into a dimension where there is no recognizable imagery, core belief, dream ego, or any conceptual reference to the known. In this state of consciousness the physical body is also impacted by the intensity of the experience.
HL is a movement from duality to nonduality, form to formlessness, time to timelessness. These experiences, though they vary from individual to individual, have a common thematic cluster which could be considered as a non-representational archetype.
This paper takes a phenomenological view of this particular movement from one state of consciousness to the next within lucid dreams.
The paper focuses on the experiences of light within the transitional space from narrative lucid dreams to Hyperspace Lucidity. Drawing upon the author’s fifty years of experience exploring these states of consciousness and on her ongoing research, the paper sheds light on the nature of these experiences and their impact on the dreamers waking and dreaming life.
1. Identify hyperspace lucidity from other experiences in sleep.
2. Learn the phenomenology of light in lucid dream.
3. Recognize experiences of hyperspace lucidity in other sleep states.
1. Can you identify the experience of Hyperspace Lucidity?
2. Can you describe the difference between dreams of light and experience of light in Hyperspace Lucidity?
3. Can you describe the transition experiences from HL experiences?
Stephen V. Bowles, Paul T. Bartone, Davina Hardaway, Sarah Hawley, and Amber Shriver
Severely Injured Service Members’ and their Spouses’ Sleep Experience (Hot-off-the-Press)
There has been a continued need to understand the sleep and hardiness resilience of combat-injured service members and their spouses. It is necessary to take into account the role of problematic dreams for injured service members and their spouses. Nightmares are one of the DSM-IV-TR criteria for diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (APA, 2000) and are frightening or disturbing dreams. In a sample of combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD, 52% experienced nightmares frequently (Gellis et al., 2010). In a study comparing injured and non-injured service members, results indicated that physical injuries are a major risk factor for the development of PTSD symptoms (Koren, Norman, Cohen, Berman & Klein, 2005). PTSD symptoms are mentally re-experiencing the event, avoiding associated stimuli and increased arousal from a traumatic event.
Hardiness is an individual personality trait characterized by one’s ability to accept the changes and challenges that life presents, a high commitment to work and life, and a strong feeling of control (Bartone, 1999). In service members with combat exposure, high levels of hardiness have been associated with moderating combat stress (Bartone, 1999). Hardiness is measured by resilience, and is comprised of three dimensions: Commitment, Control, and Challenge (Eid et al., 2007). Since hardiness is associated with overcoming stressful events in a productive manner (Eid et al., 2007), we are interested in how a combat-injured service member, who is more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD (Koren et al., 2005), and their spouse, would compare in levels of hardiness and negative dreams. The present research explores the connection of resiliency in relation to nightmares in combat-injured Service Members and their spouses.
In our study, injured service members and their spouses (N=40) completed questionnaires which included the following measures: The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index – Appendix (Germain et al., 2005)(note: one item was not used); PTSD Checklist (PCL-M, PCL-C) (Weathers & Ford, 1996); Work-Life Well-Being Instrument (Bowles et al., 2008); and resilience, measured as hardiness on the Dispositional Resilience Scale (DSR15-R) – Hardiness (Bartone, 2007). Severely wounded soldiers in this sample were experiencing difficulty falling asleep in the aftermath of their combat injury. Older service members experience more disturbing dreams (r = .33, p<.05). Service members low in hardiness resilience take longer to fall asleep (r = -.36, p<.02), and also have more troubling dreams ( r= -.36, p<.02). Overall, sleep problems are related to higher PTSD item scores ( r= .71, p<.001). In a hierarchical regression analysis, after controlling for age and sex, sleep disturbance predicts PTSD item scores, but hardiness is not significant (overall model, F= (37,4) = 13.7, p < .001; R-square = .59). Prior hardiness resilience training may assist those severely injured in mitigating sleep disturbance to include negative dreams.
1. Identify some characteristics of nightmares.
2. Identify the main symptom categories of PTSD.
3. List the three dimensions of resilience hardiness.
1. Can you describe the main characteristics of nightmares?
2. Can you identify which cluster of PTSD symptoms contains nightmares?
3. Can you define the dimensions of resilience hardiness?
The Content of Ecstatic Trance Experiences: IASD Attendees vs. Undergraduate College Students (Paper)
Ecstatic Trance is an altered state of consciousness different from the dream state, the hypnotic state and other altered states in that it is induced by stimulating the nervous system with such sounds as the beat of rapid drumming, rattling or hands clapping. This altered state, with its origin in the trance experiences of ancient and contemporary shamans, has been researched by the anthropologist Felicitas Goodman, who discovered that besides the rapid stimulation of the nervous system, body posture has an important and significant effect on the trance state. Though each altered state provides a journey into the unconscious mind, the state of hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation, a state where the parasympathetic nervous system, the relaxation response, dominates. The state of ecstatic trance is unusual in that blood pressure drops, a parasympathetic response, while pulse rate increases, a sympathetic response. This paradoxical condition has been associated with the preliminary stages of dying, thus explaining why shamans often consider their trance experiences death experiences.
Goodman’s research led her to search through the art of ancient and contemporary indigenous people to find about fifty different postures that she believed were used by shamans. While using these postures with rapid auditory stimulation of the nervous system, she found that the posture in which the person sat, stood or lay had a specific effect on the content of the person’s ecstatic trance experience. Some postures brought healing energy into the body, other postures led to spirit travel experiences, whether into the upper world, the earthly realm or the lower world, and others were for metamorphosis or shape-shifting. Some postures were for divination while others were for initiation, the experience of death and rebirth.
I first replicated her work with these postures at the 2007 Sonoma IASD conference as a morning dream group and found validation for her work. I have since used the postures in a number of different settings, including a group of undergraduate college students at Pennsylvania’s Juniata College. I happened to use the same posture, the Hallstatt Warrior Posture for journeying into the realm of the dead, for this group of 38 undergraduate students in 2010 as well as 30 attendees at the IASD Chicago conference in 2009. The experiences of the IASD attendees as compared to the undergraduate students were very different, containing much more metaphoric content, reflecting the IASD attendees’ focus/experience with dreaming and altered states of consciousness as compared to the more minimal experiences of the undergraduate students, who were less likely to have experience with altered states of consciousness. It was apparent though, as seen with several of the students who continued in one of my groups, that they were quickly able to gain more metaphoric content within their experiences with only a few sessions of entering ecstatic trance. Those who have experienced and learned to value altered states of consciousness more readily attain the expected trance experiences than novices to altered states.
1. To be able to identify differences and advantages of using the altered state of ecstatic trance as compared to the altered states of dreaming and of hypnosis.
2. To be able to explain the differences between the ecstatic trance experiences of IASD conference attendees and undergraduate college students.
3. To be able to list a number of suggestions that can be made to undergraduate college students to assist them in attaining sufficient trance.
1. What is one of the differences between the altered state of consciousness of ecstatic trance and the altered states of dreaming and of hypnosis?
2. What is one difference between the ecstatic trance experiences of IASD conference attendees and undergraduate college students?
3. What is one way to lead the undergraduate college students in attaining sufficient depth of trance to experience journeying into the underworld?
Using Ecstatic Trance for Healing and Spiritual Growth (Morning Dream Group)
Felicitas Goodman before her death spent many years as an anthropologist studying ecstatic trance and the body postures found in ancient and primitive art and in contemporary shamanic practices of healing. She identified several dozen postures that she found produced specific ecstatic trance experiences. By collecting the experiences from the participants in her workshops while using these postures in ecstatic trance – that is trance induced by stimulation of the nervous system with a rapid beat of a drum or shaking of a rattle – she determined that specific postures have specific effects on the ecstatic experience. Some postures were used for bringing healing energy into the person, and others were for divination in answering questions and providing information about the future. Other postures were for spirit travel into the upper/sky world, while some were for journeying into the underworld, and some were for traveling within the earthly realm. Some postures were for metamorphosis or shape-shifting, offering the journeyer a new perspective on life, and some postures produced a death and rebirth experience: the death of some dysfunctional aspect of the self, followed by the birth of healthier ways of thinking or living.
From my many years of experience with analytic hypnotherapy, I realized that a specific sequence of these postures can attain the same goal as such hypnotherapy: a divination posture for defining the nature of the problem or what is inhibiting personal growth, followed by an underworld posture of going into the unconscious mind to uncover the source of the problem, and then a death-rebirth posture for facilitating personal change. Rather than the therapist giving verbal direction to this process, the direction is offered by what the body expresses in the particular posture used. As a certified instructor for the Cuyamungue Institute founded by Felicitas Goodman, I will lead this morning dream group in experiencing this sequence of posture work and to discover how these experiences can promote healing, spiritual growth and even going beyond by accessing the universal mind.
1. Participants will experience shamanic postures for divination to define a direction or goal for healing and spiritual growth, whether for themselves or for clients.
2. Participants will experience the shamanic postures for journeying into the underworld to uncover those personal issues limiting health or personal growth, whether for themselves or for clients.
3. Participants will experience the ecstatic posture for promoting the death of dysfunctional habits, ways of experiencing the world and the birth of new and healthier ways of life, whether for themselves or for clients.
1. What are the characteristics of a divination posture?
2. What are the characteristics of an underworld posture?
3. What are the characteristics of a death/rebirth posture?
Oneiric Animation – New Production Techniques for the Communication of Unconscious Imagery (Poster)
In 1963, Jean Mitry noted the ability of film to offer an alternate reality to the viewer that is detached and independent of its physical form (the film and screen) thereby distancing film from reality (where perception is bound to real objects) and moving the cinema experience closer to that of mental imagery – or a dream. The traditional features of animation such as the ability to disrupt Cartesian space, the ability to distort time and the optional adherence to regular laws of physics, mutation, animacy and metamorphosis offer the potential to extend this move away from reality, and more readily communicate the dream experience.
Both filmmaking and traditional animation processes involve a highly organised and rigorous process of production which may inhibit the communication of mental images or dreams without great effort to intermediate the process; the dream material or unconscious image impulses are brought into full consciousness for production.
This poster will present a brief history and theoretical position for oneiric animation and explore the potential for emerging animation techniques to be utilised in the production of moving image experiences which minimise this rigorous conscious reflection and refinement. The goal of this research is to develop new techniques which extend surrealist automatism by adding the temporal dimension, and provide new opportunities for recording and expressing unconscious and dreamed image impulses as art.
1. Identify one animated film from the oneiric tradition.
2. Describe the process and types of psychic automatism outlined by Andre Breton in the 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism.
3. Identify potential limitations inherent in the use of animation for unconscious arts.
1. Can you name one animated film which communicates as if in a dream?
2. Can you identify the two main types of psychic automatism and outline the preparation and process for producing these art forms? s
3. Can you describe aspects of the digital animation process which require close conscious attention and revision? How might these be adapted?
Patricia M. Bulkley and co-author Kelly Bulkeley
The Big Dreams of Childhood: A Jungian Method of Interpretation (Paper)
This presentation will teach attendees how to understand and appreciate the “big dreams” of childhood, rare but intensely memorable dreams that make a lifelong impact on a child’s psychological and spiritual development. There have been other studies of children’s dreams in general, but ours is one of the first to focus on these particular dreams, which blaze themselves into children’s memories and remain a haunting, often inspiring presence throughout their lives. We show parents, teachers, therapists, and anyone interested in these kinds of dreams how to analyze and interpret them in a way that reveals their deep roots in the collective unconscious of the human species.
Combining the archetypal psychology of Carl Jung with current research in neuroscience and evolutionary biology, we explain how the development of children’s brains predisposes them to intensely creative dreaming. While acknowledging that a complete interpretation of any dream requires personal input from the dreamer, we show attendees how to identify recurrent patterns in dreams that reflect the evolutionary wisdom guiding the healthy growth of every child’s mind and imagination. “Big” dreams in childhood tap directly into that primal wisdom, and the goal of our presentation is to help attendees connect with the wisdom of their own dreams and the dreams of their children. We wholeheartedly agree with Jung when he referred to big dreams as “the richest jewels in the treasure house of the soul.” We don’t advocate for any specific religious perspective, but we do discuss the fact that big dreams often impact children in ways that prompt them to wonder about religious issues and spiritual questions. We offer practical advice about how parents can best communicate with their children about these dimensions of their dreams, and how to cultivate their children’s fullest imaginative potential.
1. To be able to summarize the nature and patterns of “Big Dreams.”
2. To be able to analyze the role of Big Dreams in children’s psychological and spiritual development.
3. To be able to explain a Jungian method for interpreting Big Dreams.
1. In a few words, describe the nature of “Big Dreams.”
2. Briefly state the role of Big Dreams in children’s psychological and spiritual development.
3. Name one component of a Jungian method for interpreting Big Dreams.
Dream Diagnosis of Cancer and Clinical Correlation (Special event)
Modern medicine emphasizes high tech diagnostic methods such as MRI and laboratory tests, with little credence given to intuitive approaches to the acquisition of knowledge about disease. However, dreams have provided useful information in medical diagnosis for centuries, from ancient shamanic traditions to the healing temples of Asclepius. Shamans would dream intentionally for ailing tribal members, as well as interpret dreams that occurred during a healing crisis. Pilgrims to asclepieia would incubate dreams overnight in the temples and report them to a priest the next day.
This presentation was inspired by two dreams of having cancer which the author had that correlated with the later diagnosis of cancer in other people. These dreams were precognitive, but did not contribute to making the actual medical diagnosis. Subsequently, three friends of the author had precognitive dreams of cancer that led directly to discovery and diagnosis of the tumors using conventional medical techniques. These prompted a review of the available literature on the subject, including the book Healing Dreams by Marc Ian Barasch.
The first of the author’s dreams was of a brain tumor one week before the diagnosis of a renal tumor in the author’s father. The dream content reflected shock at the presence of cancer since there was no previous symptom or suspicion of disease, which correlated with the actual circumstances of the diagnosis. It was on the left side of the brain which has a cortex and medulla, much like the kidney in the abdomen where the tumor was also on the left side. The names were the same since the author was named after his father. The dream was forgotten until a dream diary review after the diagnosis.
The second dream was of the author having lung cancer. As a result of the previous experience, it was assumed that the dream was about someone else. Since there were no symptoms, a sense of expectant curiosity was maintained. A few weeks later during a meditation workshop, a friend introduced another of the participants to the author saying “He is just like you,” meaning he was also a radiologist. He said he was attending the workshop to help cope with the stress of being recently diagnosed with lung cancer. The author subsequently had a chest X-ray which was normal. Following these experiences, two of the author’s friends had dreams of breast cancer that prompted them to get mammograms.
One of them had a negative mammogram, but insisted that the radiologist perform an ultrasound which diagnosed the tumor. A third friend had dreams of cancer of the tongue with an initial negative biopsy. The diagnosis was made on a repeat biopsy prompted by another dream. Author Marc Ian Barasch’s dream diagnosis of his own thyroid cancer led him to review the literature on dream diagnosis in his book, providing inspiration for further research.
1. To be able to name a kind of cancer in women that has been precognitively diagnosed through dreams.
2. To be able to list types of head and neck cancer that have been precognitively diagnosed through dreams.
3. To be able to list historical methods of dream diagnosis.
1. What kind of cancer in women has been precognitively diagnosed through dreams?
2. Name one type of head and neck cancer that has been precognitively diagnosed through dreams.
3. Name one historical method of dream diagnosis.
Jean M. Campbell
DreamWork/BodyWork: A Therapeutic Model for Healing Trauma (Workshop)
Psychotherapists, social workers, and practitioners who work with body-related therapies understand that all people experience trauma. For those in the healing professions, DreamWork/BodyWork demonstrates a model for empowering the dreamer, while simultaneously providing a path for understanding both the trauma and its resolution. DreamWork/BodyWork combines the body’s natural understanding of the dream with a therapeutic approach to physically moving toward health.
1. To experience how the body holds and records information, and how that information can be accessed.
2. To see how dreams and personal imagery contain the information necessary to allow healing.
3. To learn something about the process of healing through DreamWork/BodyWork.
1. How does the body hold and record the information from our dreams?
2. How do our dreams and personal imagery contain the information necessary to healing?
3. What is DreamWork/BodyWork?
Manlio Caporali and Marco Zanasi, and co-authors Enzo Fortuna, Tiziana Corteccioni, Anna Maria Magazzino, Maria Vagena, Laura Bianchini, Michelangelo Lupone, and Alberto Siracusano
Interactive Music Therapy and Dream Activity in Psychosis (Poster)
A theater therapy program has been kept active in the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” for six years. Last year we proposed to integrate the theater therapy with a music therapy program (specifically named “interactive”) which included the participation of the research team of CRM (Centre Music Research) that is working with the university staff. In this program we have also collected dream material and have evaluated data. The interaction with musical instruments is continuing this year and seems to be useful in the follow-up of patients with schizophrenia.
1. Theater therapy as a method of rehabilitation.
2. Schizophrenic disorders and rehabilitation.
3. Dreams as stages of the rehabilitation process.
1. Can music therapy change the course of a schizophrenic disorder?
2. May music therapy as a rehabilitation program only benefit a schizophrenic disorder?
3. Are dreams the key to understand the development of a rehabilitation treatment?
Michelle Carr and co-authors L-P Marquis and T. Nielsen
Dream Bizarreness and Sensory Experience as Measures of REM-Dependent Associative Processing (Paper)
Introduction: Using a nap paradigm, we compared group (NREM/REM) performance on an emotional or neutral Word Associations Task. Dream features of emotional intensity, sensory experience, and bizarreness were collected for comparison with performance.
Methods: Subjects were given a 2-hour sleep opportunity and awakened about 80 minutes after sleep onset, either in descending Stage 2, or 10 minutes into REM. All subjects completed dream reports and a questionnaire. A 6-item Word Associations task, with 3 emotional words and 3 neutral words, was given four times: one hour prior to sleep (Baseline), immediately upon awakening (Carryover), and twice 30 minutes after awakening (Post and Primed). For the Primed version of the task, subjects associated to 6 words that had been memorized prior to sleep. All subjects’ associate words were scored for typicality according to published norms.
Results: A repeated-measures ANOVA for atypicality of emotional word associates showed an interaction between task performance over time and (REM/NREM) groups (F(3, 117)=5.85, p=.001). Within the NREM group, there was no performance change over time (baseline=.689±.16, carryover=.694±.134, postsleep=.666±.204, primed=.628±.211). Within the REM group (baseline=.675±.184, carryover=.622±.231, postsleep=.606±.179, primed=.796±.131), the primed score was higher than all other times (baseline vs primed F(1,39)=6.06 p=.018, carryover vs. primed F(1,39)=15.39 p=.0003, post vs. primed F(1,39)=18.33 p=.0001). Between groups, the REM group scored higher only for the primed words (F(1,39)=9.55, p=.004). Analysis of the neutral words showed no significant differences between or within groups. Within NREM subjects, t-tests found no significant differences on task performance between groups with high vs. low dreamed emotion, bizarreness, or sensory experience. Within the REM group, a group with high dream bizarreness (6.57±1.94, n=14) vs. low-bizarreness (1.71 ±.488, n=7), showed a trend towards higher atypicality of emotional word associates on the primed task (high=.833±.129, low=.722±.106, T(19)=-1.96, p=.064). A high-sensory (20.8±3.68, n=14) vs. low-sensory group (9.29±4.6, n=7) also scored higher on emotional words of the primed task (high=.841±.129, low=.706±.083, T(19)=2.51, p=.021). There was no difference between a high-emotion group (11.083±2.64, n=12) and a low-emotion group (4.556±2.128, n=9) on the primed task, although there was a difference between these groups on the carryover task (high=.718±.183, low=.494±.236, T(19)=-2.45, p=.024).
Discussion: Results show that REM sleep is linked to associative memory, as evidenced by higher atypicality scores on the primed task. Effects were seen only in response to the emotional words, supporting theories that emotional memories may be “tagged” for consolidation in REM sleep. There was no difference between groups on the carryover task, although within the REM group higher dreamed emotion resulted in higher scores. Dreamed emotion, then, may be adaptive for post-REM-sleep mental processing. Further, dream bizarreness and sensory experience were associated with higher scores on the primed task for the REM but not the NREM group. This research underscores the relevance of dream variables in studies of sleep and learning.
Funding: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Dream Science Foundation (DSF)/ International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD).
1. To be able to summarize current findings on REM sleep and associative memory function.
2. To be able to describe the role of emotion in REM sleep memory consolidation.
3. To be able to explain the relationship between dream variables and associative memory.
1. Name one way that the REM group performed differently than the NREM group on the Word Associations task.
2. Name one of the dream variables that played a role in REM-sleep associative memory consolidation.
3. Identify one dream variable that was relevant to the carry-over effect.
Michelle Carr and co-author T. Nielsen
Mental Imagery of Wake and Sleep and Its Relation to Boundary Thinness (Paper)
Introduction: It is established that dream characteristics differ between sleep stages; the current study assessed whether such differences also occur during daytime naps. We also compared daydream and dream mentation sampled from either NREM or REM sleep and assessed whether boundary thinness is correlated with more bizarre, sensory, and emotional dreams and daydreams.
Methods: Subjects came to the laboratory for a daytime nap study with dream and daydream reports. For daydream collection, subjects were instructed to sit with eyes closed for 2 minutes, then give a typed mentation report and respond to a scaled questionnaire on bizarreness, intensity of emotion , and sensory experience (visual, auditory, and movement components). They were then given a 2-hour nap opportunity and were awakened either in descending stage 2, or 10 minutes into the first REM cycle, whichever occurred closer to 80 minutes after sleep onset. Subjects then completed a dream report and questionnaire. Boundary thinness was measured by the short version Boundary Questionnaire.
Results: REM dreams (N=21), compared with NREM dreams (N=20), had higher scores for emotion (REM=8.29±4.07, NREM=5.4±3.23, z-adjusted=-2.304, p=.021), sensory experience (REM=16.95±6.79, NREM=10.85±6.3, p=.004), and bizarreness (REM=4.95±2.84, NREM=2.95±2.26, z-adjusted= -2.448, p=.014). Emotion did not differentiate daydreams (7.95±3.87) from REM dreams (8.29±4.07, p=.73), but decreased from daydreams (8.15 ±3.45) to NREM dreams (5.40±3.23, Wilcoxon z=2.57, p=.01). Sensory experience tended to increase from daydreams (13.67±4.05) to REM dreams (16.95±6.79, T32.6=-1.90, p-2-sided=.066) and tended to decrease to NREM dreams (daydream=14.00±5.43, NREM=10.85±6.31, T38 =1.69, p-2-sided=.099). Bizarreness increased from daydreams (2.48 ±1.4) to REM dreams (4.95±2.83, Wilcoxon z=3.12, p=.002), but not to NREM dreams (daydream=2.80±1.54, NREM=2.95 ±2.26, Wilcoxon z= .245, p=.81). Subjects with thinner boundaries (boundary=42.68±5.24, N=30) compared with thicker boundaries (boundary=28.26±6.07, N=19) scored higher on daydream bizarreness (thin=3.07±1.72, thick=2.05±.97, T46.5=-2.63, p-2-sided=.011), sensory experience (thin=15.33±4.57, thick=11.16±4.98, T47 =-3.01 p=.004), and emotional intensity (thin=9.00±3.64, thick=6.79±2.53, T47=-2.31, p=.025). In NREM dreams, thinner boundaries correlated with higher bizarreness (r=.4851, p=.041, n=18); this was not the case for REM dreams (r=.1255, p=.620, n=18).
Discussion: This study extended to brief daytime naps the findings that REM dreams are more bizarre, emotional, and sensory than NREM dreams. Comparisons with waking mentation clarified that dream attributes are not uniformly enhanced in REM and inhibited by NREM; bizarreness is low in daydreams and NREM sleep, but increases in REM dreams. Emotion is high in daydreams and REM sleep, but inhibited in NREM sleep. Sensory experience is both enhanced in REM and inhibited in NREM sleep. These results point to different state-dependent mechanisms involved in production of mentation. Thinner-boundaried subjects had more bizarreness in daydreams and NREM dreams, as well as more sensory experience and emotion in daydreams, but there were no significant effects with REM dreams. It is possible that NREM dreams are more sensitive to dream enhancing traits. Dream variables may first be mediated by state (wake, NREM, REM), and then influenced by trait factors, in this case, boundary thinness.
Funding Sources: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Dream Science Foundation (DSF) / International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD).
1. To be able to describe the relationship between boundary thinness and daydream mentation.
2. To be able to describe the changes in mentation from wake to NREM sleep.
3. To be able to compare and contrast REM and NREM dreams.
1. Is boundary thinness correlated with more or less bizarreness in daydreams and NREM dreams?
2. Describe one change in mentation from wake to NREM sleep.
3. True or false: Emotion is high in daydreams and REM sleep, but inhibited in NREM sleep.
The Experience of Waking Dreams (Paper)
Waking dreams are spontaneous visual experiences that are similar to dream experiences, yet occur while a person is awake. The visual objects seen by the person seem to be in the external world, although they are not necessarily of the external world. The visual objects are sometimes experienced as part of an ethereal or liminal world superimposed on the everyday external world. In some cases, they are felt or heard by the person as external to their body and the felt experience occurs in conjunction with a vision external or internal to the mind.
These waking dreams are generally referred to as hallucinations and are defined as psychosis-related disorders in most contemporary schools of psychology. Similarly, Dr. Carl G. Jung regarded visual and other hallucinations as phenomena expressing positive symptomology of psychosis. Fortunately, however, he also recognized a variation of these seemingly hallucinatory experiences that he called “visions” or waking dreams when they occurred to healthy people. His view was that waking dreams, as well as dreams that occur during sleep, contribute meaningful experience and healthy psychological development by bringing psychic balance and, from this balance, greater levels of consciousness and wholeness to people who have them. He thought this occurred through a re-structuring of a person’s ego as a result of the power and meaningfulness of the vision experiences.
Jung personally experienced waking dreams throughout his life. They culminated late in his life as ecstatic experiences of consciousness accompanied by embodied feelings of all- encompassing love. Jung was certain that the process of the attainment of the levels of consciousness that waking dreams engender is the birthright and purpose of a human life. In this way, waking dreams can lead to the progression of psychological growth towards the person’s full developmental potential, which Jung called individuation. From this vantage point, a person might achieve a life of living in the world uniquely whole, and interrelate more fully with others and society through this individual realization of personal uniqueness. Conversely, lesser consciousness engenders subjectivity in relationship to oneself and others. He felt this obscures a person’s engagement with the world. De-emphasis of waking dream experiences may miss an opportunity that a person receives from the collective unconscious to fully develop into integrated wholeness.
This presentation will share the results of a qualitative study of the experience of waking dreams as understood through the lens of Jungian psychology, using narrative inquiry and alchemical hermeneutics methodologies. The presentation will describe aspects of the spontaneous vision experiences of five people who lived in and identified with Western culture (e.g., the United States, Canada, and Europe) and had no personal or familial history of psychosis or psychotic-related illnesses. Each participant reported a clear sense of self prior to, during, and after the visions. Additionally, each participant felt that their spontaneous visions were tremendously meaningful, significant experiences that led them to a greater sense of well-being and life satisfaction. Six themes common to each participant that emerged from their narratives and their implications will be discussed.
1. To be able to explain the attributes of a waking dream.
2. To be able to list themes common to waking dream experiences.
3. To be able to identify the typology common in people who have waking dream experiences.
1. Describe one of the attributes of a waking dream.
2. Identify one of the six themes common to waking dream experiences.
3. Briefly, what is the typology common to people who experience waking dreams?
Dream “Prescriptions” from the Akashic Records (Paper)
In the early 1900’s, well-known psychic Edgar Cayce, sometimes known as the “sleeping prophet,” reported information from a trance-like state to improve the health and well-being of people wanting to become more whole. As described on the Edgar Cayce Foundation website (the Association for Research and Enlightenment or ARE), the readings came from “an etheric source of information, called the ‘Akashic Records,’ which is apparently some kind of universal database for every thought, word, or deed that has ever transpired in the earth…” The website also describes Cayce’s ability to put aside the conscious mind so that the information could be given: “In this state the conscious mind becomes subjugated to the subconscious, superconscious or soul mind; and may and does communicate with like minds, and the subconscious or soul force becomes universal…”
Although subject to a person’s own beliefs, intuitive reports have served people around the world. A significant number of these readings recommend that the individual remember and record dreams, using the knowledge obtained in the dream-state for health and healing. In some cases, individuals are counseled to interpret the dreams, and in others, counsel is given to become lucid or use dreams to understand one’s life purpose. Sometimes the simple act of increasing awareness of the dream-state produces greater health.
In light of this Conference being a unique cooperation between IASD and the ARE, this presentation will describe some of the principles and examples of this interesting aspect of Cayce’s work. Much of what will be presented comes from more recent experiences at the School of Metaphysics which has developed a method of Intuitive Reports similar to the readings performed by Edgar Cayce. Past Life reports from the Akashic Records and Intuitive Health Analyses are done by a reader-conductor team. The reader is “asleep” and reports the knowledge directly from the etheric source, much as Edgar Cayce did. The intent is that the opinions or value judgements of the person “reporting” the information do not interfere with the knowledge being retrieved.
This presentation will describe the Akashic Records and the Intuitive Health Aura, where they are located, how the knowledge is obtained from that etheric source, and will give examples of specific intuitive reports that recommend dreams. This knowledge is designed for the individual and at the same time has universal applications.
1. To be able to describe the Akashic Records and Health Aura, showing a diagram of the mind and where the knowledge is derived.
2. To be able to explain the purpose of using intuitive research for holistic healing.
3. To be able to list examples of intuitive “prescriptions” that recommend dreams for spiritual and psychological health.
1. Briefly explain what the Akashic Records and Health Aura are.
2. Name one purpose for using intuitive research for holistic healing.
3. What is one example of an intuitive “prescription” that recommends dreams for spiritual and psychological health?
To Dream the Impossible Dream … The Quest to Become Lucid (Paper)
I have been recording and working with my dreams for 35 years, but have only occasionally had lucid dreams. In the last year, two “big dreams” gave me advice to master lucid dreaming. One of those dreams told me that if I had mastered lucid dreaming I could completely surrender and would no longer be afraid of death. This dream inspired me to practice more diligently to increase my ability to become lucid at will.
At the 2012 IASD Conference, when attending a presentation on lucid dreaming by proficient lucid dreamers Robert Waggoner, pasQuale Ourtane-Krul, and Beverly d’Urso, it occurred to me that I don’t identify myself as “a lucid dreamer” as they do, even though I have had some lucid dreams. I wondered if this identification might be a significant factor in increasing the frequency of lucidity.
Since that time, I have been on a quest to follow the advice of my own dreams and master lucid dreaming. I have been focusing on a symbol or totem that was given to me in my dream to aid me in this mastery. I am also using methods of concentration and visualization I have learned through the School of Metaphysics, along with some of the practices suggested in Robert Waggoner’s book Lucid Dreaming, and recommendations from lucid dreamers who attend the PsiberDreaming conference. Recently I have also been following Ryan Hurd’s Lucid Immersion program.
At this writing, I have induced a couple of lucid dreams, and hope that the months leading up to the June 2013 conference will yield greater results in my quest to become a lucid dreamer! I hope to identify the factors necessary to go from haphazard and spontaneous lucid dreaming to having greater command of the ability to cause lucidity in the dream state.
This presentation will relate experiences from my own dreams, including the two that gave me the initial advice, and other dreams that inform me about the process of developing lucidity. It will reference the resources I am using to learn how to increase my lucidity.
Note that the title of this presentation was inspired by the song “The Impossible Dream” from the musical The Man of La Mancha, quoted here in part:
To dream the impossible dream
This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest
To reach the unreachable star
I hope in this presentation to show that nothing is impossible in the world of dreams, and as Robert Browning wrote, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”
1. Explain the purpose for this quest to master lucid dreaming.
2. List three methods for incubating the desire to become lucid in dreams.
3. Describe the “big dream” that gave advice about lucid dreaming.
1. Can you explain a purpose for lucid dreaming?
2. Can you list three methods for incubating lucid dreams?
3. Can you describe the “big dream” that gave advice about lucid dreaming and how its message might apply to other dreamers?
Stephanie Claudatos and Tracey L. Kahan
Different Cognitive Processes Predict Positive Versus Negative Emotion in Dreaming (Poster)
We investigated the relationship between participants’ ratings of emotion and cognition in dreams they reported in a two-week, home-based dream journal study. 144 female undergraduates with good dream recall reported a total of 788 dreams upon morning awakening that met our word count criterion of > 24 words. After completing a narrative dream report, participants assessed the sensory, affective, cognitive, and structural features of the dream experience using the Subjective Experiences Rating Scale (SERS)(Kahan, 1994; Kahan & LaBerge, 2011).
Participants’ ratings for the forty-one SERS questions were used to compute ten summary variables, based on the ten factors that emerged in a prior principal components factor analysis of the SERS. The ten summary variables included eight process-oriented variables: vision, audition, movement, minor senses (smell, touch, taste), negative emotion (mood-related), negative emotion (fear-related), positive emotion, and two content-oriented variables (events/actions, and locations).
Correlational analysis of the ten factors revealed that ratings of cognition were more strongly associated with negative than with positive emotion, suggesting that cognitive activities (e.g., thinking, planning, evaluating, remembering) are especially likely to occur in dreaming in association with negative emotion. This finding is consonant with the hypothesis that high-order cognition, especially reflective awareness, is likely to be triggered by intense negative emotion (Wolman & Kozmova , 2006).
This presentation further investigates the relationship between the reported cognitive and affective features of dreaming. Stepwise regression analysis was used to determine what combination of cognitive items (original SERS variables) best predict scores for the three emotion factors.
Overall, the regression analyses revealed a strong relationship between cognition and emotion, with the specific set of cognitive predictors varying for the three types of emotion. Mood-related negative emotion was more strongly related to cognitive processes involved in self-monitoring (evaluating, attending to inner world, attending to outer world, thinking) whereas fear-related negative emotion was strongly related to executive processes (planning) as well as self-monitoring (attending in, attending out). Positive emotion was predicted by a combination of social-cognitive processes (talking, listening), monitoring (‘evaluating’), and imagining.
These results are consistent with the assertion that dreaming is characterized by the same range of cognitive skills, including high-order cognitive skills, as waking (e.g., Kahan & LaBerge, 1996; 2011). Further, these findings suggest that dreaming includes both the monitoring and evaluating of one’s emotions as well as efforts to regulate emotion when one experiences fear or anxiety (Cartwright, 1991; Kramer, 1993; Levin & Nielsen, 2009).
1. To investigate the relationship between emotion and cognition in dreaming.
2. Highlight the value of affirmative probe procedures for assessing the process features of subjective experience.
3. To deepen our understanding of dream phenomenology.
1. Identify one way the relationship between cognition and emotion in dreaming for positive and negative emotions.
2. Describe the major characteristics of ‘affirmative probe procedures’ (in the study of dream phenomenology).
3. List two questions that are at the forefront of phenomenological studies of dreaming.
Barbara O’Guinn Condron
American Bardo: Reading and Writing the Akashic Records (Paper)
In the Tibetan teachings the “transitional state” between waking and sleeping, between one life and the next, is described as “bardo.” In this etheric space exist the Celtic Summerlands, the Egyptian Hall of Records, and the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime. These are cultural images of what occurs before physical life and after physical death.
“The combination of unique personal insight and interpersonally observable and repeatable experience,” writes Ervin Lazslo in Science and the Akashic Field, “gives us the best assurance we can have that we are on the right track.” This is where dreams can be the doorways into the infinite possibilities of what scientists call parallel universes. Parallel universes open our awareness of time, just as a dream may seem like a lifetime yet only last for minutes, or take us into past lives or probable future ones.
Akasha is a Sanskrit word signifying the radiation or brilliance in all-pervasive space. Established ideas describing the Akashic Field as a vacuum-based holofield are evolving. Physicist William Tiller (Stanford) says, “The thoughts that one creates generate patterns at the mind level of nature.” His ideas of the universe as a kind of holodeck “created by the integration of all living things” is illustrated through our waking and sleeping dreams. Tiller’s holodeck appeared in Barbara’s dreams before she read about it.
During the Global Lucid Dreaming Experiment of 2008, Barbara was introduced to “The Hallways” in a lucid dream taking place in an expensive hotel near the beach. These hallways would surface four years later in a series of dreams she sees as representative of the Akashic Record. The Akashic Record is the enduring impression in the cosmic information field of all that happens in space and time. Barbara has given a service known as Intuitive Reports (including past life accounts from the Akashic Record) through the School of Metaphysics since 1977. Her work studying thousands of dreams reveals a “Dream Consciousness Circuit”, a significant development in the American Bardo.
By dreaming lucidly, we need not wait until physical death overtakes us to understand the bardo. We can integrate our waking experiences with the infinite possibility of higher consciousness through the relativity of the messages in our dreams. Barbara will teach you how past lives can impact present realities through reading and writing your Akashic Records, consciously.
1. Recognize and define the bardo of dreaming as a natural and revelatory intuitive function of the mind.
2. Describe three sequential elements of dreamtime experience.
3. Illustrate the relevance of past life recall as a function of the Dream Consciousness Circuit©.
1. Can you define the bardo of dreaming as an intuitive function?
2. Are you able to list three sequential elements of dreamtime?
3. Can you illustrate the relevance of past life recall as a function of dream lucidity?
Daniel R. Condron
After Death Communication (Paper)
Daniel Condron will be presenting his experiences of after death communication. The experiences given of communication are firstly with his father, and secondly with an 82 year old friend after she left the body, i.e., passed away, deceased. Thirdly, Daniel will also present his experience of after death communication with the family dog, named Sir. In the case of Daniel’s father, Daniel was physically present at the time of death. He was also present at the time of death of the family dog. Daniel was not physically present in the third instance, the death of his friend Martha. Yet Martha also appeared to Daniel shortly after her death. These three experiences of after death communication, and how they changed his life, will be offered in this presentation.
This knowledge is valuable and useful to other people in aiding them to understand the continuum of consciousness, how everyone is important, and how people can find greater peace following the loss of a loved one. Concerning those who have transitioned/passed away, this presentation will offer the speaker’s experiences and insights into meeting others in the dream state as well as through heightened sensory abilities and mental attention. The presenter will offer his experiences and ways of perceiving and communicating with those who have passed on/transitioned. The use of meditative awareness as an aid to heightened perception will be offered for those who desire greater insight or experience into this area.
1. List three attributes of after death communication.
2. Compare and contrast the characteristics of after death communication through the waking state vs the dream state.
3. Describe three possible effects of after death communication on dreams and the perspective on life.
1. Can you name three attributes of after death communication?
2. List two characteristics of after death communication of the waking state versus the dream state.
3. Can you describe two techniques that may enhance after death communication?
Destiny: Dreaming Ourselves into a Future Time (Paper)
When Dr. Stanley Krippner heard Hezekiah Condron’s Dalai Lama Dream, he said, “It’s a very interesting dream with a lot of aspects to it.” Author Robert Moss commented that it might be foretelling something Kie or someone else “will need to do in the future.” If Carl Jung had heard Kie’s dream, he might have called it a “little dream” with “big dream” implications.
Between the ages of 12 and 14, Kie attended four teachings given by H.H. the Dalai Lama of Tibet. These led to his first full-length film, Why Does the Dalai Lama Matter to You? Two days shy of finishing that film, the years of recording Kie’s dreams, drawing pictures, and encouraging lucid dreaming merged in a dream where he saw himself, over 30 years in the future, in the position to help choose the next Dalai Lama.
Whether Hezekiah will choose a future spiritual leader or become one himself, remains to be lived. What is certain is that this dream made such an impression upon him that he remembered it and shared it with his friends and loved ones.
Dream researcher Kelly Bulkeley writes, “At least once or twice in life, often in childhood, most people have a dream that strikes them with unusual power and intensity, a dream so realistic and otherworldly that it burns a lasting impression into their memory.” The Dalai Lama Dream is one of these. The Peace Egg Dream is another.
Three weeks after Kie premiered The Dream Mystery: An American Teen’s Search for Dream Elders at the IASD Conference in Asheville, he had another big dream. This one followed a presentation he gave, to adults three and four times his age, during an annual Peace Ambassador Gathering at the Peace Dome in Missouri. At 15, he taught visionary principles that he demonstrates. Kie’s “Peace Egg” dream followed. It offers insight into the connection between choices made in the moment and those made with foresight far beyond our own selves. It illuminates the fine balance between what we imagine from conscious impulse and what may be a higher spiritual purpose for our lives revealed in our dreaming.
Does being raised in a culture that values dreaming affect the content of our dreams? Eighteen year-old Hezekiah Condron has an answer because he has lived it. His parents, Barbara and Daniel, are authors and spiritual teachers well-versed in lucid dreaming, recording and interpreting dreams. They agree when Bulkeley says, “As a parent, you can never be sure when your child is going to have a big dream. But you can be ready.”
Part of that readiness is Kie’s schooling at the College of Metaphysics (USA) by a host of professionals in a wide range of fields. All of them study and interpret their dreams as a daily discipline. In this culture, the entire community honors and is prepared to receive “big dreams.”
1 Demonstrate how big dreams reflect waking visionary thinking.
2 Illustrate how the culture and expectations in a child’s environment awakens them to the wisdom and power of dreaming.
3 Show how being in the presence of spiritual people influences dreams.
1 Can you give one example of a big dream that reflects visionary thinking?
2 Can you describe one way that a child’s environment stimulates their interest in dreams?
3 Can you give one example of a dream that was influenced by being in the presence of a Spiritual Leader?
The Second Life (Video event)
When dreaming becomes a problem, what’s a parent to do? A film by Hezekiah Condron.
What do Patricia Garfield, Stanley Krippner, Robert Moss, and Beverly D’Urso have in common? They all started remembering dreams before the age of 13, and those dreams shaped their adult lives. So how do we inspire an adult society to value the ancient and very personal connection to its ability to dream?
The Second Life is seventeen-year-old Hezekiah Condron’s answer.
Kie deftly weaves his fictional storyline of two troubled dreamers with insights provided from seventeen experts in the field of dreams. When seven-year-old Grace mourns the loss of her beloved pet, Sam, her mother helplessly stands by watching her daughter retreat from everyday life. Twenty-four-year-old Matt fights a nagging fear that his recurring dreams of car trouble will come true leaving him stranded in an unfamiliar countryside. Both seek help from Dr. Blair Rush, a therapist whose thinking is turned upside down when he realizes the two people he seeks to help are experiencing shared dreaming. Kie has assembled an impressive list of experts to bridge the gap between the dreaming and waking worlds. Those interviewed for this film bring clarity and reflection from years of experience in the field.
Alan Siegel, Asst. Clinical Professor UC Berkeley
Amy Hardie, director of The Edge of Dreaming
Ann Wiseman, author of Nightmare Help
Barbara O’Guinn Condron, creator of www.dreamschool.org
Robert Hoss, Founding Director of the Dream Science Foundation
Curtiss Hoffman, Anthropology Dept. at Bridgewater University (MA)
Dale Graff, Former Director of Project Stargate
Daniel R. Condron, author of 2012, 2013 and Beyond Time
Jeremy Taylor, Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work (MIPD)
Jim Emery, Yoga instructor
Laurel Clark, author of Intuitive Dreaming
Lee Irwin, Professor of Religious Studies, College of Charleston (NC)
Massimo Schinco, author of The Composer’s Dream
Patricia Garfield, author of Creative Dreaming
Rita Dwyer, IASD Founding Life Member
Robert van de Castle, author of Our Dreaming Mind
Stanley Krippner, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School
Dreams can take us out of the present moment. They can trap us in a past we’d rather forget or a future we fear will happen. How do we cope? When do we start paying attention to our dreams and what do we tell our children when dreams come calling in the middle of their night? The film will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Kie and including one of the stars of the film, one of the composers, one of the dream experts, and one of his parents. This is a unique opportunity to view this film that is destined to change the way people view the importance of dreams.
1. Introduce six ways to influence/change the outcome of dreams through waking life choices.
2. Illustrate how night time dream experiences can limit waking behavior.
3. Describe three impacts of waking experiences upon content of night time dreams.
1. Can you list three ways to influence or change the outcome of dreams through waking life choices?
2. Are you able to track how night time dream experiences can direct waking behavior?
3. Can you trace three ways waking experiences influence night dream content?
The Dharma of Dreams: Enlightenment, Nonduality, and Transrational Dreamwork (Paper)
The meta-game of spirituality is the awakening game. From anonymous tribal shamans to the founders of the great religious traditions, the theme of awakening from the dream is a consistent one. Awakening is a common metaphor for the moment when consciousness reflects back upon itself and realizes that it is only consciousness, or when the God that manifests as a temporal and temporary human form looks in the mirror and remembers its true nature. This is also sometimes called enlightenment, realization or pure awareness. It seems to be an experience we are hardwired to seek and may be the mystical foundation of all religions.
There are two common ways of viewing the phenomenon of dreaming that we might characterize as either pre-rational, or rational. The pre-rational perspective is that of the classical shaman: when we dream we travel to another place and meet with spirits or the inhabitants of that realm. In essence this perspective holds that there is a separate “there” to which we can travel. The rational perspective basically holds that there is no “there” there. It splits into a bio-mechanical model which sees dreams as the brain’s attempt to construct order out of the random firing of neurons and the psychological model that sees dreams as a kind of Rosetta stone to the individual unconscious.
This lecture proposes a third transrational perspective which views dreams as the dialogue between the contracted egoic sense of self that we habitually experience as our waking selves and the expanded sense of the divine or undifferentiated consciousness. This dialogue is played out on the stage of an infinitely diverse and changing landscape populated with all the things to which we, as narrowly defined and separate identities, cling.
There are four aspects of dreaming that we all experience regularly that are analogous to the great nondual teachings. The first of these is the unified origin of phenomenon. How is it that a fully convincing reality arises from the consciousness of a single dreamer? The second aspect is the malleability of form. How is it that, perceptually, one person, place, or thing can so easily become some other person, place, or thing? Why does this not interrupt the dream? The third aspect is the plasticity of identity. We sometimes dream as the selves we recognize from waking life, but just as frequently, we dream as different selves or even dream with no particular sense of self. Finally, the fourth aspect of dreaming is the elasticity of time. How is it that seconds in dreamtime can feel like hours or days or longer?
This lecture will draw parallels between what we experience in dreams and the great nondual teaching traditions of Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, and the Tao. We will explore a kind of dreamwork that shifts the emphasis from the content of our dreams to the phenomenon of dreaming itself. By applying the traditional techniques of nondual teaching (direct inquiry and pointing out instructions), participants will come to understand the direct dharma of dreaming.
1. Participants will understand the distinction between the pre-rational, the rational, and the transrational approaches to dreams and dreaming.
2. Participants will understand the relationship between the states of consciousness we call waking, dreaming, and deep dreamless sleep and the gross, subtle, and causal states of consciousness described in the Vedantic tradition.
3. Participants will learn to shift attention from the content of the dream to the phenomenon of the dream as it provides guidance to awakening to our true nature.
1. What are three ways of working with dreams that represent pre-rational, rational, and transrational approaches?
2. How do the states of consciousness we experience in most 24-hour cycles reflect the traditional idea of awakening to our true non-dual nature?
3. How is the phenomenon of the dreaming world (or experience) constantly pointing us in the direction of realization, liberation and enlightenment?
Allyson L. Dale and co-authors Nicolle Miller and Teresa DeCicco
Dream Imagery and Discovery in Relation to Overseas Military Service (Presentation within Symposium, “Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies Applied to Dream Research: Soldiers, the Bereaved, with Meditation, and the Stroop Task”)
Discovery is the process in which the dreamer connects dream imagery to meaningful waking day circumstances. This study extends previous research on the dreams of Canadian soldiers to discovery from the dream, via The Storytelling Method of dream interpretation. This study also examines the relationship of length of service in the military overseas to dream content and discovery categories. Participants included 25 Canadian male soldiers with operational experience in Afghanistan. Each participant filled out The Storytelling Method worksheet and discovery passages were coded following Hall and Van de Castle content analysis guidelines. Many significant relationships were found among both content and discovery categories for soldiers that were relevant and meaningful and support the continuity hypothesis. Regression analyses reveal that certain categories of discovery are significantly predicted by dream content categories. For example, weapons in dream imagery significantly predicted discovery about overseas tours. Finally, time spent overseas was correlated with relevant categories for both dream content and discovery, including discovery about aggressive behaviors.
1. To be able to assess the discovery categories of war imagery for soldiers with overseas experience.
2. To be able to name the content categories that predict discovery of aggression for soldiers.
3. To be able to list the content and discovery categories correlated with time spent overseas.
1. Name one discovery category of war imagery for soldiers with overseas experience.
2. Name one content category that predicts discovery about aggressive behaviors for soldiers.
3. Name one discovery category correlated with total months spent overseas.
Allyson L. Dale and co-authors Joseph De Koninck and Monique Lortie-Lussier
Ontogenetic Patterns for Interactions and Emotions Across the Lifespan in Women`s Dreams (Paper)
The present study extends and supports previous research on the developmental differences in women`s dreams across the lifespan. The current research was conducted with a large sample (N = 375) across 5 age groups 12-17, 18-24, 25-39, 40-64, and 65-85. One dream per participant was scored by two independent judges, with inter-rater reliability, using the Hall and Van de Castle (1966) method of content analysis. Trend analyses revealed a significant linear decrease across age groups, from adolescence to old age, for interaction dream categories including friendly interactions and dreamer as victim of aggression. For emotions, there was a quadratic trend for total frequency of emotions and for anger specifically. These ontogenetic trends reflect continuity with psycho-social changes in women’s lives and are consistent with the continuity hypothesis between waking and dreaming experiences. Limitations as well as future research, examining gender differences in developmental trends with male participants, are discussed.
1. To be able to explain what happens to total frequency of emotions in womens’ dreams across the lifespan.
2. To be able to identify whether the dreams of women across the lifespan support the continuity hypothesis of waking and dreaming experiences.
3. To be able to list the types of dream interaction categories that decrease across the lifespan for women.
1. Was the trend of total frequency of emotions across the lifespan for womens’ dreams linear or quadratic?
2. Do the dreams of women across the lifespan support the continuity hypothesis of waking and dreaming experiences?
3. List one type of dream interaction category that decreases across the lifespan for women.
Solution Oriented Dream Decoding: Therapeutic Dreaming (Workshop)
Attempting to understand a dream’s meaning is exactly like trying to do a puzzle. You try one piece. It doesn’t fit, so you try another. I call these attempts different points of entry, using the theories and frameworks of Perls, Freud, Jung and Adler with each try. I will explain the different points of entry I use, with the goal of better understanding the dream’s meaning. Participants will learn how to discover what point of entry works best for a particular dream, or is the most comfortable for the dreamer. I will teach ways to look at and work with symbols, emotions, and noticing the atmosphere in the dream space.The workshop will run from between one and a half to 2 hours (preferably 2 hours) and begin with a short lecture. I will pass out notes on the lecture portion to each group member so they can relax and focus on the discussion rather than the note-taking. Once the current issue the dream is addressing is uncovered, solutions to the problem as they may be presented in the dream become the focus of discussion. In this section, I have two goals.
As we so often focus on the negative or frightening aspect of a dream, one goal is to show participants how to recognize and apply the strength in the dream. Very often the dream actually discloses the solution to the problem. I will also look at polarities that present themselves and how we might benefit from noticing and working with them.
My second goal is to help dreamers see the solutions our subconscious introduces before our conscious mind catches the message. In my use of an eclectic approach to understanding our dreams, I strongly emphasize practical methodology and individually directed results over abstract theory. For example, I will ask the dreamer questions such as: What familiar stories, fables, movies, or characters come to your mind when you think about the story and people in this dream? What do these stories or characters have to teach you about your current situation? We will then attempt to understand the dream of a volunteer from the group with the participants using an “If this were my dream” format. The group will help define the layers of the dream using these different approaches, as the dreamer connects to each level of the dream. I will reserve 15-20 minutes at the end of the workshop to reexamine the process and answer questions or engage in discussion.
1. To be able to use specific questions you can ask yourself in order to attach the dream to a current issue in your life you are attempting to problem-solve.
2. To gain the tools you need to find possible solutions to your current waking-life situation as they appear in the dream.
3. To analyze how to decode those solutions using different approaches.
1. Can you suggest some questions you can ask yourself to help attach the dream to an issue in your life you are attempting to problem-solve?
2. Can you name some tools you learned that you can use to find possible solutions to your current waking-life situation as they appear in the dream?
3. Can you discuss how to decode those solutions using different approaches?
Claude L. Desloges
Honoring the Mystery of Dreams (Paper)
The Centre de réalisation de soi L’Arc-en-Ciel was founded thirty years ago in the spirit of Delphi’s Know Thyself. Since its inception, dreams have played a central role on the path to self-knowledge and spiritual awakening. A ten-day winter retreat held in December 2012 will be used as a case study to illustrate how dreams and dreamwork mesh with other practices such as yoga, meditation, and contact with the elements of nature, in a global, experiential approach emphasizing group processes.
1. To be able to describe how dreams can be used in a self-knowledge endeavor.
2. To be able to identify linkages and mutual reinforcement of dream practices with other related practices of the approach.
3. To be able to utilize / integrate aspects of the described approach in personal and professional practices.
1. Name one way of using dreams in a self-knowledge endeavor.
2. Briefly describe one aspect in which dreams mesh with other practices and mutually enhance each other.
3. Mention one aspect of the described approach that you would want to integrate or reintegrate in your personal or professional practice.
Gaëlle Dumel and co-authors Vickie Lamoureux, Michelle Carr, and Tore Nielsen
Do Low Dream Recallers Really Dream Less? (Poster)
Introduction. According to Belicki (1986), 15% of individuals claim to never recall dreams. It remains unclear if this is due to biological limitation, sociopsychological factors, or is an artifact of measuring dream recall frequency (DRF). The aim of the present research project was to examine if self-reported low dream recallers do, in fact, recall less dream content using either laboratory or dream diary methods of dream collection. The present abstract reports only our use of retrospective and prospective measures of DRF as applied to cohorts of low and high recallers. We expected that both low recallers and high recallers would retrospectively mis-estimate their prospective DRF.
Methods. Ten healthy males (mean age: 23.5±3.81yrs) and nine healthy females (mean age: 22.67±3.08) participated. They first retrospectively estimated their DRF as number of dreams recalled per week (Nbr_Wk). This retrospective estimate of DRF was used to separate subjects into two groups: low recallers (N=8, DRF ≤ 1/week) and high recallers (N = 11, DRF ≥ 2/week). They also responded to a DRF item in a Dream Questionnaire (DQ): “How often do you remember your dreams in the morning?” The response choices were: Rarely (1 to 12 times per year), sometimes (1 to 4 times per month), usually (1 to 3 times per week), always (4 to 7 times per week). Subjects also kept a home dream diary over a 2-week period. Prospective measures for each subject were the mean number (M_Nbr) and the mean clarity (M_Clar) of dream recall over the 2 weeks. Each subject also filled out the Inventory of Dreams: Experiences and Attitudes (IDEA).
Results. A 2 x 2 Manova with Sex and Group as independent variables and 3 dream recall measures, 1 retrospective (DQ) and 2 prospective (M_Nbr, M_Clar) as dependant variables, revealed a significant overall effect for Group (Hotelling`s T=1.428, F3,12=5.712, p=.012). Univariate analyses revealed significant Group effects for the retrospective measure (DQ: F1,14=15.15, p=.002), indicating a lower DRF for low recallers. However, neither prospective measure showed a similar group difference: (M_Nbr: F1,14=1.91, p=0.189; M_Clar: F1,14=0.22, p=0.645). There was also one marginal Sex effect for this analysis; females tended to have better dream recall clarity than males (M_Clar: F1,14=4.31, p = .057). There were no Group x Sex interactions.
Discussion. The results suggest that self-reported low dream recallers are capable of recalling dreams as well as self-reported high dream recallers—at least using a 2-week home diary recall task. One possible explanation for these findings is that low recallers are simply poor estimators of their actual recall. Another, more likely explanation is that execution of the dream diary task increased subjects’ interest toward dreaming which, for low recallers, increased their access to their dreams. High recallers may have already attained a ceiling in both their interest in dreams and ability to recall them. We will examine this possibility further with analyses of group differences on the IDEA. We will also investigate more subtle between-groups differences in dream recall using dreams collected from laboratory REM sleep awakenings.
1. Define a low dream recaller.
2. Understand the difference between retrospective and prospective measures of dream recall frequency.
3. Identify sex differences in the estimation of DRF.
1. What does it mean to be a low dream recaller?
2. What is the difference between retrospective and prospective measures of dream recall frequency?
3. Are there sex differences in the estimation of DRF?
Light Dreams Leading to Experiences of Soul/ Spirit (Presentation within Symposium,” Light and Enlightenment in Dreams”)
As moving pictures are sustained by a beam of light coming from the projection booth of a movie house, so are all of us sustained by the Cosmic Beam, The Divine Light pouring from the projection booth of Eternity.” Paramahansa Yogananda
Background: Historically, despite different cultural belief systems, dreams of light were often considered to be supernatural connections with spirit. These dreams were taken seriously, with consequences for individuals and whole nations. Some “big dreams” are also called “cosmic dreams”, and many incorporate the light of Spirit.
Russian mystic P.D. Ouspensky (1878-1947) believed that dreams of this sort “disclose to us the mysteries of being, show the governing laws of life, and bring us into contact with higher forces.” They serve as catalysts, opening our soul’s path to enlightenment.
Example: The Tunnel of Light Dream in which a 41 year-old man felt he was given a glimpse of his own mortality which led to a radical change in his life.
Those who have had Near Death Experiences (NDEs) often experience brilliant light, but there can also be a contrasting darkness. Example: In Dr. Eben Alexander’s popular book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, he wrote: “Later, when I was back here in the world, I found a quotation by the 17th-century Christian poet Henry Vaughan that came close to describing this place—this vast, inky-black core that was the home of the Divine itself: “There is, some say, in God a deep but dazzling darkness.”
Examples of this contrast of light and darkness appear in the extraordinary dreams of a mother who had premonitory dreams of the death of her young son. These dreams occurred once a week for three weeks before his death.
The Message (First Dream): I am in a place I do not recognize, somewhere high in the heavens, not on Earth. It is a place filled with light. The light is comforting, restful and replenishing…
Eric’s Coffin (Second week): I am in some kind of void. All is black, calm and silent. Even though I see nothing, I sense a gentle but powerful presence. I have the impression that it is God. He sends me strength through His Spirit, and he tells me that Eric is dead…
The Funeral (Third week): I am in church. All is dark, yet I am not alone; an invisible presence is with me. It gives me a sense of security…
Life Goes On (Seven days after his death): I am in a room filled with light. There are no walls and no doors. Eric is lying in bed. I sit in a chair next to my son. We join hands and laugh at the joy of being together…
For four years, she doesn’t remember her dreams. Then one night she has a dream from Eric telling her to move on and live her life to the fullest without cheating herself.
ADC (After Death Communication) and NDE dreams can be very helpful in grief and bereavement counseling, providing those who mourn believe in the possibility that their loved ones are still able to communicate with them after death.
1. To show the connection of light in dreams to spiritual enlightenment.
2. To explore the presence of light and darkness in cosmic dreams.
3. To explore the presence of psi abilities in dreams of light.
1. Can dreams of light lead to spiritual enlightenment. If so, how?
2. Give an example of the presence of both light and darkness in a single dream.
3. What are ADCs and how may they provide comfort to those who are bereaved?
Pre-Cognitive Dreaming (Paper)
In 2011, researchers at the University of Vienna realized the “Gedanken” (delayed-choice entanglement swapping) experiment, originally formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000 [Ma, 2012]. The collected data has demonstrated that a future decision can influence a past event through quantum entanglement. The historical experiment has shown that entanglement can function not only through space but also through time.
In this paper the author suggests that pre-cognitive dreaming can be rationally explained through a philosophic extension of quantum physics into the realm of thought. He has collected case study and experimental data on pre-cognitive dreams from a multitude of sources to sustain this hypothesis. Much of his contemporary statistical data is based on Stanley Krippner’s experiments at the Maimonides Medical Center Dream Research Laboratory and Bem’s paper [Bem, 2011]. Krippner’s and Bem’s results show that pre-cognitive dreaming is a phenomenon that extends beyond mere chance probability, as some have suggested [Wiseman, 2011].
Researchers at the Icelandic Dream Center have performed similar experiments and have concluded that over 40% of the population has recently experienced at least one pre-cognitive dream [Bjarnadóttir, 2003]. Knowing this, the author proceeded to collect data on various experiments performed in quantum physics, specifically entanglement and non-locality [Ma, 2012]. He then turned to neuroscience and psychology, which have yet to incorporate the post-modern understanding of quantum physics into their respective working theories. Consequently, neuroscience and psychology still view quantum physics with considerable detachment and disinterest. However, recent experiments performed at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in the Netherlands have questioned that position [Anderson, 2009]. Based on these developments he has constructed a philosophical model that posits thoughts within the quantum realm of entanglement.
Given that dreams are, at least to some extent, if not entirely, the product of our daily thought patterns (as common experience would attest), it follows that the many dream phenomenon (including pre-cognitive dreaming) must be subjugated to quantum laws. In this view, pre-cognitive dreams are authenticated as a fundamental part of human experience.
Anderson, Mark. “Is Quantum Mechanics Controlling Your Thoughts?” Discover Magazine. Discover, 13 Jan. 2009. Web. 15 Feb. 2013.
Bem, Daryl J. “Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 400 (2011): 407-25. Print.
Bjarnadóttir, Björg. “Icelandic¡ Dream Center.” DraumasetriÃ° SkuggsjÃ¡. B. Bjarnadóttir, 2003. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
Krippner, Stanley, and K. Zirinsky. “An Experiment in Dreams, Clairvoyance, and Telepathy.” The A.R.E. Journal 6.1 (1971): 12-16. Print.
Krippner, Stanley. Dreamtime and Dreamwork: Decoding the Language of the Night. Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, 1990. Print.
Ma, Xiao-song, Stefan Zotter, Johannes Kofler, Rupert Ursin, Thomas Jennewein, Caslav Brunkner, and Anton Zellinger. “Experimental Delayed-choice Entanglement Swapping.” Nature. Nature Physics, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2013.
Ullman, M., and S. Krippner. “A Laboratory Approach to the Nocturnal Dimension of Paranormal Experience: Report of a Confirmatory Study Using the REM Monitoring Technique.” Biological Psychiatry 1 (1969): 259-70. Print.
Ullman, Montague, Stanley Krippner, and Alan Vaughan. Dream Telepathy: Experiments in Nocturnal ESP. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1989. Print.
Wiseman, Richard. “Can Dreams Predict the Future?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 21 Feb. 2011. Web. 15 Feb. 2013.
1. Compare and contrast the different historic interpretation of pre-cognitive dreaming.
2. Become familiar with the most recent developments in dream and pre-cognitive research.
3. Become aware of the role that quantum physics plays in pre-cognition and dream research.
1. Can you name the three dominant historic interpretations regarding pre-cognition and dreaming?
2. Are you able to identify the two most controversial pre-cognitive recent dream research developments?
3. Can you explain why quantum physics plays a pivotal role in the development of pre-cognition and dream research?
Waking Dream Therapy: A Therapeutic Use of Night Dreams where Mental Imagery and Dream Imagery Converge (AASMI) (Workshop)
In Waking Dream, the seeker re-enters the dream through a light trance induction (not hypnotic) recreating hypnopompic consciousness – that level between sleep and waking life. The waking dream guide then takes him/her on a downward journey utilizing some vertical element of the person’s dream that he/she feels is significant and or striking. This is where mental imagery and waking dream process meet in an active exploration of self and levels of consciousness. This delving down is tantamount to a descent into self where discoveries about self are made rather quickly.
After these revelations are experienced an upward journey can ensue toward freedom and transcendence of a spiritual nature. Finally, the seeker goes through an education phase to come back to everyday reality, having experienced some degree of transformation. Thereafter, the seeker is taught to independently continue this process by him or herself for furthering inner development and to gain a clearer perception of reality.
The vertical axis – up and down – has been associated with and described as the axis or direction of freedom, both since antiquity and cross-culturally. For instance, in my long experience of investigating dreams, dreams of flying seem to connect with the movement toward freedom, in the same way as those where the dreamer descends deep down into the earth. The exploration of these two directions, by re-entering the dream experience while awake, has been employed in certain Western traditions (Greece and Israel) as well as certain tribal ones in South America and the South Pacific. This state of consciousness is distinctly different from meditation and hypnosis. It is a state of hyper-attentiveness and hyper-arousal that is sustained over a long period of time.
Workshop methods employed: Dr. Epstein’s Waking Dream Therapy. Activities: Participants can volunteer to undergo a waking dream. The dreamer is the final arbiter of his/her experience. Workshop – 2 hours. (One hour and 15 minutes experiential, 30 minutes didactic, 15 minutes group discussion/Q and A.)
1. Describe how to explore a night dream while awake in clear consciousness.
2. Describe the vertical axis of freedom found in dreams.
3. Identify the types of information dreams can reveal to us to inform our daily lives.
1. Can you outline the steps to engage in a waking dream?
2. Can you describe the differences between ascending and descending the axis of freedom in a dream?
3. Give an example of information gleaned from a waking dream that can transform daily life experience.
Abdul Aziz Farhad
Dream Therapy (Paper)
Dreaming is defined as the psychic activity of the sleeper, inasmuch as he is asleep. Hence every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance.
The concept of the dream was held in prehistoric ages by primitive people, and later many philosophers and psychologists, like Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung, tried to study dreams. In spite of thousands of years of endeavor, little progress has been made in the scientific understanding of dreams.
Therapeutic and growth interventions can be effectively made based on ongoing dream analysis. The dreamer and the dream can be analyzed and classified through objectifying the dream.
The main objective of the present review is to understand the history of dreams, the process of dream interviewing, and the limitation of dream interviewing.
This presentation will also describe the use of dreams in psychotherapy and the utilization of dreams in recovery from addiction.
1. Knowledge of historical achievements in dream therapy.
2. Knowledge of how dreams are used for problem solving.
3. Knowledge of steps and common pitfalls of dream interviewing.
1. Can you name three dream professionals in history who have made significant breakthroughs in dream therapy?
2. What are the three basic principles of dream interviewing?
3. In what ways do dreams help in treatment of addictions?
Testing the Applicability of Dynamic System Theory in Dream Report Analysis (Paper)
The question is put forward whether dreams could be treated as dynamic systems. Earlier mathematical hypotheses on brain activity – and dreaming – as dynamic systems were difficult to verify (e.g. Crick & Mitchison, 1983, Hopfield & Tank, 1985). Formal dynamic system properties, i.e. System, Components, Variables, Dynamic System, and State Change (Haddad & Chellabboina, 2008) are summarized here. Dynamic systems assume some mathematical laws that describe the state changes of the system. Of course, such mathematical laws are not directly accessible in dream research. Our goal is to check which dream system components can be defined and how to measure them. By means of statistical data analysis of long term series of dream report characteristics, we reconstruct time dependent, repeatable and testable patterns in dream reports, which fit into the pattern of a Dynamic System.
It is argued that the following system components are relevant to a dream system: Memory, Causality, Sensory Experience, Language, Ambient Input, and Recombination. It is noted that these system components have evolved during entirely different timescales, and presumably act at different hierarchic levels.
This study considers some aspects of modern evolutionary theory as well. Modern evolutionary theory states that in addition to classical Darwinian theory 1: Evolutionary processes can be characterized as essentially non-linear dynamic processes, which unpredictably influence biological units at different hierarchic biological levels (Arnold & Fristrup, 1982; Lieberman & Vrba, 1995); and 2: In complex organic systems the character of evolutionary processes may well be non-adaptive random transitions (Fernández & Lynch, 2011). In our opinion these modern extensions of evolutionary theory are relevant to understanding features such as randomness in dreaming.
The Dynamic Dream System (DDS) model considers dreams – as reported – as an amalgamation of a complex of hierarchically organized features. These features have evolved with different rates, different characteristics and different effects during phylogeny as well as ontogeny, but all together are necessary to constitute a dream report.
Some examples of the non-linear statistical evaluation of dream characteristics are presented on the basis of long term time series analysis of dreams of the present author. In one example time dependent characteristics of memories as input for dreams, according to the continuity hypothesis, are discussed. Although the range of memories recognized in dreams ranges from days to tens of years, a significant part of “old” memories is refreshed in the days or weeks before the dream occurred. The second example demonstrates how non-linear approaches match the process of dream forgetting better than linear approaches.
Arnold A. J. & Fristrup, K. 1982.The theory of evolution by natural selection: a hierarchical expansion. Paleobiology113-129.
Crick, F. & Mitchison, G.,1983. The function of dream sleep. Nature 304 (5922): 111–4.
Haddad, W.M., & Chellabboina, V.S., 2008. Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Control: A Lyapunov-Based Approach.
Hopfield, J.J., &, D.W., 1985. Neural computation of decisions in optimization problems. Biological Cybernetics 52, 141–152.
Fernández A., & Lynch. M., 2011. Non-adaptive origins of interactome complexity. Nature 474, 502–505.
Lieberman B. S., & Vrba, E.S., 1995. Hierarchy theory, selection, and sorting: a hylogenetic perspective. BioScience 45:394-399.
1. Introduction to Dynamic Systems.
2. Application of Dynamic System theory to dream report analysis.
3. Understand nonlinear processes in dream.
1. Do you understand the structure of Dynamic Systems?
2. Could you explain the advantages of dynamic dream analysis?
3. Could you give at least one example of the application of nonlinear approaches to dream analysis?
Jayne Gackenbach and co-author Carson Flockhart
Nightmare Protection Thesis of Video Game Play in First Responders (Poster)
It has been hypothesized that video game play during the day may act as protection from fears during sleep, which are sufficient to disturb sleep. In this research program we have examined the dreams of heavy video game players. While most are male and play combat-centric games, this has not always been the case in this program of work. In any event, we have found in some data that nightmares are less often reported among heavy players, when controlling for sex, or if no difference in incidence, the response of the game playing dreamer to the self-identified nightmare has been positive.
The nightmare protection thesis was based upon the concept that defensive rehearsal in at least combat-centric video game play, if done repeatedly over a long period of time, would result in well learned defensive responses. These would generalize to altered states, in this case dreams. This process is similar to the imagery rehearsal technique for treating nightmares.
Also supporting the thesis is the numbing towards violence associated with serious combat-centric game play which could result in a lessened nightmarish experience in the dream. Finally, it has been pointed out that there is a critical window of time following trauma where post-trauma memories can be interfered with by engaging in a visuospatial cognitive task. Video game play is one such task.
In two studies, one on military gamers and a replication and extension to students who experienced trauma, we found support for a qualified nightmare protection function of video game play. In these studies the classic predictors of nightmares were controlled, emotional reactivity and past history of trauma, allowing for the play of video games to be considered regarding any nightmarish type of dream content. The thesis seems clearest for males playing combat-centric games. However, female high-end gamers were surprisingly the most troubled by nightmares. This can be interpreted both by sex role inconsistency – playing combat games is not a traditional female type of play – and game genre female high end games experience.
In this second replication, we administered the same set of questionnaires to primary and secondary first responders online through prescreening of a university subject pool and through website solicitation. The same pattern of results as with the student population was observed. As before, emotional reactivity and history of trauma were controlled for in the ANCOVA’s of sex x game play groups on subscales of the dream content analysis using a threat simulation scale. That is, high end male first responder gamers, who focus primarily on combat-centric games, were found to show less overall threat and fewer targets of threat in their dreams than high end female first responder gamers. The opposite was true for low end first responder gamers; more threat in the males’ dreams than the females. Differences in results in the three studies testing the nightmare protection thesis of game play will also be examined.
1. Test the nightmare protection thesis of video game play.
2. Learn how gaming may or may not help first responders exposure to trauma in the course of their work in terms of subsequent dreams.
3. Consider differences between the three samples where the nightmare protection thesis was examined.
1. What is the nightmare protection thesis of video game play?
2. Does gaming help first responders exposure to trauma in the course of their work in terms of subsequent dreams?
3. What is one difference between the three samples where the nightmare protection thesis was examined?
Jayne Gackenbach and co-authors Keyfer Mathewson and Carson Flockhart
Gaming, Social Media and Nightmares (Hot-off-the-Press)
While our group has been investigating the association between gaming and nightmares or nightmarish content in dreams, we have not considered the role of social media. The time has come with the widespread and pervasive use of such media to consider if simply being in a virtual world where you have some control of the “variables” is sufficient for nightmare protection or if the specific activity of game play, i.e. rehearsal of combat readiness, is needed. This inquiry was undertaken with about 700 primarily undergraduate students at a western Canadian university. Preliminary data analysis (n=94) is discussed herein. Three gaming and three social media frequency variables were considered along with history of nightmares, self-assessment of a reported dream as a nightmare, and judges coding of threat simulation in the same dream. These variables were entered into a varimax rotated factor analysis. Nightmares were not expected to be associated with gaming and indeed factor one loaded frequency of game play, playing in the 24 hours prior to filling out the survey and using social media game sites with the dream they reported as not being a nightmare. The three social media variables (Facebook, twitter, or other nongame social media) frequency of use loaded together on the second factor with none of the nightmare variables. The third factor loaded the lack of frequent Facebook use with higher average monthly nightmares, more likely to report this dream as a nightmare, and the coded dream threat as not being objective. This is surprising as we had a ceiling effect with frequency of Facebook use. About two thirds of this subsample, where threat in dreams was coded, reported Facebook use several times a day with another 18% reporting it as a daily occurrence. While the expected gamer finding was supported, what is new here is that those that do not embrace Facebook to the extent of their peers also report more distress in dreams. These data are preliminary and full data analysis on nightmares, threat simulation coding and social media/gaming use will be reported.
1. Understand the nightmare protection thesis associated with video game play.
2. Know the association between high end social media use of a variety of types and nightmares.
3. Explain how the lack of use of the most popular social media, Facebook, might be associated with nightmares.
1. What is the nightmare protection thesis as associated to video game play?
2. What is the association between high end social media use of a variety of types and nightmares?
3. How might the lack of use of the most popular social media, Facebook, be associated with nightmares?
Jayne Gackenbach and Arielle Boyes
Social Media, Gaming and Typical Dreams (Paper)
We have been examining the effects of high use of virtual worlds during the day on subsequent nighttime dreams, focusing on video game players. (For review see Gackenbach, 2012.) It can be argued that their experiences are the most immersive and interactive of the various forms of electronic media engagement. However, as media becomes increasingly social, the engagement of nongamers through social media websites, such as Facebook, has significantly increased. Thus in this study we examine the typical dreams of both gamers and social media users.
Coutts (2008) proposed that dreams allow us to make tentative modifications to our schemas. Dreams also allow us to test out social situations for these modifications. We believe that, as with gaming, the recent boom in social media use is causing us to re-evaluate and accommodate new schemas. This is done through dreaming. Additionally, dreams have been found to follow patterns similar to oral reports of salient autobiographic events (Nahari, Glicksohn, & Nachson, 2009). Social media has become a type of autobiographical narrative and thus may overlap with dreams.
While data collection continues, to date we have over 500 respondents to a questionnaire combining media use details with various dream information. This data was collected primarily at a western Canadian university. The survey consisted of questions on video game play, social media use, cell phone texting, Nielsen’s typical dreams questionnaire and the short version of Hartmann’s boundary questionnaire. These are the data that will be presented. Additional information being gathered includes a recent dream, self-reported emotions about the dream and self-reported identification of dream type.
In a preliminary factor analysis of the first 120 respondents’, social media use associations to typical dream items loaded on separate factors from gaming questions and typical dreams. Cell phone texting was not included in this first round of factor analyses nor were boundary questions. With the larger sample size, all gaming, social media, and cell phone use items will be examined, along with typical dreams and boundaries.
1. To be able to name types of social media use.
2. To be able to list types of video game play profiles.
3. To be able to explain the association of social media and video game play to typical dream content.
1. Name one type of social media use.
2. What is one way that hard core gaming is different than lighter gaming?
3. Name one type of typical dream regularly reported by gamers.
Jayne Gackenbach, Arielle Boyes and Sarah Gahr
Social Media Use vs Video Game Play: Hall and Van de Castle Content Analysis of Dreams (Poster)
As technology use has become increasingly pervasive, it is of interest to examine heavy social media users compared to high end video game players in terms of the content of a recent dream gathered from each group. We would expect gamers to evidence more aggression and less pro-social interactions, while we would expect the opposite of high end social media users. We collected over 500 surveys from students at a Western Canadian University who varied along these dimensions. Of the first 127 randomly chosen dreams which were content analyzed using the Hall and Van de Castle (HVDC) system, two extreme media use groups were identified. Those who were Gamers (n=23) (males=19; females=4) reported playing from several times a week to daily and had played a video game in the 24 hours prior to taking the survey. (Almost all the games were combat-centric.) The second group was identified as high social media users (n=33) (males=3; females=30). They reported infrequent gaming (average less than once a month to once a month) but frequent social media use, i.e., daily Facebook plus daily to several times a week twitter, tumblr or instgram use. Not surprisingly these media use groups fell along sex lines, therefore they were separately compared to the HVDC norms as a function of sex. The major finding was that there were 11 differences from the male norms for the gamers and nine differences from the female norms for the social media group. Using Domhoff and Schneider’s system of data entry there are 25 possible statistical tests that can be done.
In terms of the social interaction percentages the gamers, as hypothesized, had higher aggression/friendliness percents and higher physical aggression compared to the male norms. But as shown in our earlier work there was no difference in aggressor percent nor in dreams with at least one aggression.
The social media users, relative to the female norms, were also higher on the aggression/friendliness percent but did not differ in the physical aggression percent or the other two variables involving aggression. In terms of prosocial interactions, there was no difference from the same sex norms for either group for befriender percent. Both media use groups dreams were coded as having fewer dreams with at least one incident of friendliness. The social interaction ratios showed some differences as a function of media use groups. Specifically, the friendliness per character index was lower for the gamers than the male norms, but this was also the case for the social media users relative to the female norms. We can conclude with this minimal data set that the only difference between the media groups, relative to their norms, was in terms of a bit more aggression in the gamers. With that one exception it seems that their differences from the norms are more generational than type of media used.
1. Understand what constitutes high end social media use and video game play.
2. Know which dream content would be expected to be the most sensitive to media use.
3. Comprehend why dreams reflect generational differences in media use more than the use of specific media.
1. What constitutes high end social media use and video game play?
2. Which dream content would be expected to be the most sensitive to media use?
3. Why do dreams reflect generational differences in media use more than the use of specific media?
Franklin J. Galvin
A Series of Transference Dreams of a Patient from a Jungian Perspective (Paper)
The dreams of a 75 year old female patient will be presented as an illustration of the development and changes over time of the phenomenon of the transference relationship between this patient and myself. Included will be the relevant biographical and interpersonal material which allowed for the easy development of a particularly strong transference relationship to occur. Material from Carl Jung’s writings on the psychology of the transference will also be presented including the ten plates from the alchemical text, “Rosarium Philosophorum,” which Jung used to illustrate the workings of the transference phenomenon. In a culminating transference dream this patient incorporated many elements from this series which had been briefly shown to her in a prior session.
1. To be able to define the transference phenomenon.
2. To be able to identify an example of a transference dream.
3. To be able to list archetypes involved in a Jungian approach to transference.
1. Briefly state what is meant by the transference in the analytic sense.
2. Briefly describe an example of a transference dream from the material presented.
3. State one archetype involved in a Jungian approach to transference.
Franklin J. Galvin
Toward an Architecture of the Dream II (Paper)
The architecture of the dream suggested in this paper consists of three essential elements: the experienced image, the experienced underlying emotion, and the experienced and agreed upon meaning we give to these. I suggest that the members of IASD begin to compile a kind of catalog of the central image and those of others with whom we share dreams, along with the underlying emotion and one possible meaning. If we were to gather our own significant dreams, and the significant dreams of those with whom we do dreamwork and know well, in this way and in large numbers, we could begin to correlate the images with their meanings and with the emotions underlying our nighttime experiences. This could be an invaluable storehouse of dreams based on our shared efforts and yet individually experienced dreamwork. Significant dreams from eight patients in psychotherapy will be presented along with the three essential components of each dream as suggested above and ending with a table summarizing these elements.
1. To be able to list the essential components making up the architecture of the dream.
2. To be able to name an example from the material presented of these three components.
3. To be able to identify an example from the material presented of a central image and its meaning along with the reasoning behind it.
1. List one of the essential components making up the architecture of the dream.
2. From the presented material, give one example of the component you listed in question 1.
3. From the presented material, briefly name one example of a central image, its meaning, and the reasoning behind this.
The Dream Castle Garden (Paper)
This presentation involves a biography of Frances Hodgson Burnett and her dreams. It shows how they relate to her books, plays, and magazine articles, making her the most famous American writer of her time. We examine how Burnett’s relationship with her two sons and two husbands influenced her work. She found solace and inspiration in the New Thought philosophy that also affected not only her stance in life, but also her themes. Three of her classic children’s books are favorites of most children of her and current generations, thus spreading the insight she derived from her own dreams.
1. To be able to summarize the principle of creative dream work in literature as exemplified by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic book, The Secret Garden.
2. To be able to identify three features in Burnett’s dreams of her dead son that inspired her last work, The Lost Prince.
3. To be able to explain the basic concept of “New Thought” as it appeared in Burnett’s dreams and in the plots of most of her work (some 40 novels, plays, short stories and articles).
1. Briefly state how Burnett’s dreams of gardens lead to her classic book The Secret Garden.
2. Identify one feature in Burnett’s dreams of her dead son that inspired her last work, The Lost Prince.
3. Name one characteristic of the philosophic system of “New Thought” that appeared in Burnett’s dreams and the plots in most of her work.
Dreams: Theater of our Inner World (Workshop)
In this group, attendees will be introduced to a way of working with dreams utilizing the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model developed by Richard Schwartz. This model views the mind not as a unitary entity, but as made up of multiple and often differing subparts that are both interconnected and autonomous from each other, each having specific characteristics, styles of communication, intentions and feelings. This model sees the Self, another aspect present in all human beings, as different from the parts. When the Self is fully differentiated from the parts, the person describes a feeling of well being, “feeling centered,” totally energized and in the present.
The Self is not a passive state; on the contrary, it can be an active leader for the system, leading it to its optimal functioning, due to its clarity and ability to be compassionate and understanding towards all parts. Instead of forcing the parts to change, it will heal and release them from their extreme and self-protective roles. Because the Self is the natural leader of the system, the goal of this model is to help the person differentiate the Self from the parts and regain its leadership status.
Initially, the person will tell the dream and describe specific feelings, sensations and characteristics. The dreamer is then asked to go inwards, preferably by closing his or her eyes and noticing which image (or part of that person) stands out in the dream. Because other parts may have strong reactions to that part, such as fear, anger or even fascination, the dreamer is directed to ask those parts to step aside so as not to interfere with the Self’s ability to be curious and compassionate and thus work with the dream image. Once the Self is differentiated, it can interact with the dream image by asking it to explore its perspective about other dream images and by asking it to describe itself, in order to know what it wants from the person and what it fears would happen if it were not there. The Self can also help resolve polarizations between dream images by helping the parts to compromise and understand their exaggerated assumptions about the opposing part. After this process is repeated with all the different dream images, the leader will then help the person tie together all the meanings found in the dream and discover what parts of the person feel, think and act like the dream image. This process facilitates our recognition of the parts manifested in our preconceived ideas, feelings and judgments and more clearly perceive them as layers of identification that stops us from reaching a more balanced and harmonious inner system.
After a brief presentation of this model, workshop participants will have the opportunity to witness and discuss live demonstrations of this work and learn the basic difference between this approach and other approaches to dream work.
1. Summarize the basic premises of the Internal Family System (IFS) model.
2. Describe the steps used in the intrapsychic systemic model of dream work.
3. Differentiate this model from other dream work approaches.
1. Describe the basic premises of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model.
2. Describe the basic steps of the intrapsychic systemic approach model of dream work.
3. Differentiate the intrapsychic systemic model of dream work from other dream work approaches
Robert P. Gongloff
Dream as Story: Exploring the Themes of Your Dreams (Workshop)
Summary: Themes reflect the major issues going on in one’s life. A theme is the important message, idea, or perception that a dream is attempting to bring to your conscious mind. Benefits of using the theme-oriented approach: (1) The dreamer gets to the core issues presented by the dream quickly; (2) The dream group tends to relate more to the dream rather than to the dreamer, thus providing more safety for the dreamer; and (3) The theme provides a context or framework within which the dream symbols can be explored.
Specific methods or techniques: In the workshop, the leader will present a quick overview of dream group ethics, then go into detail about what themes are and how to determine them. Generally, the method involves addressing some key questions about the dream, such as: What is the basic activity going on in the dream? What are the main characters doing in the dream? What is the major issue concerning the characters? What is the apparent or presumed motivation of the characters that causes them to act this way? Theme statements are best determined when they are personalized, stated in the present tense, and don’t just restate the words or actions from the dream. To help participants understand these techniques, I will offer at least one example of a dream that has been explored in a former dream group or workshop, including some suggested theme statements.
Activities: Following explanations of the process with examples, the group will collectively explore a dream offered by a group member. Then the group members will be encouraged to explore individual dreams with a partner or small group. In each case, the basic process involves the following steps: each person wishing to explore a dream will present the dream without interruption; listeners will be given time to ask the dreamer for clarification on points in the dream; they will then offer suggestions on possible themes based on their versions of the dream, incorporating the techniques described above. After all the participants have determined dream themes, the leader will present several methods for taking positive action in their waking lives to deal with the issues raised in their dreams. Time permitting, participants will again meet with their partners or small groups to collectively brainstorm specific actions.
Approximate times for didactic presentation, group discussion, and workshop techniques: Instruction on what themes are and how to determine (didactic): 25 minutes; Example (didactic): 5 minutes; Collective exploration of a dream (workshop; group discussion): 30 minutes; Instruction on steps for working a dream using this technique (didactic): 5 minutes; Exploration of individual dreams, with partner (workshop): 25 minutes; Sharing of individual dreams (group discussion): 10 minutes; Instruction on basic honoring methods (didactic): 10 minutes; Sharing of honoring options concerning individual dreams (group discussion): 10 minutes.
Audience: for all audiences. Aim: to provide a supplemental technique for use by psychotherapists, therapy practitioners, clinicians, and graduate students, as well as for personal growth of dreamworkers.
1. Understanding of what themes are, specifically dream themes.
2. Knowledge of how to determine the themes or recurring patterns of one’s own dreams or dreams of clients.
3. Understanding of how knowledge of dream themes and patterns can help dreamwork clients gain insights into potential solutions for unresolved issues or patterns of behavior in waking life.
1. Briefly describe what is meant by a dream theme.
2. Briefly describe the two of the basic steps in determining the theme of a dream.
3. Name one way that determining dream themes and patterns can lead to insights or breakthroughs in working with waking life behavioral patterns.
Robert P. Gongloff
Exploring the Heart of the Dream (Morning Dream Group)
Themes reflect the major issues going on in one’s life. A theme is the important message, idea, or perception that a dream is attempting to bring to your conscious mind.
Specific methods or techniques to be utilized: In the dream group, the leader will present a quick overview of dream group ethics, then explain what themes are and how to determine them. Generally, the method involves addressing some key questions about the dream, such as: What is the basic activity going on in the dream? What are the main characters doing in the dream? What is the major issue concerning the characters? What is the apparent or presumed motivation of the characters that causes them to act this way? Theme statements are best determined when they are personalized, stated in the present tense, and don’t just restate the words or actions from the dream.
Activities in which attendees will be encouraged to participate: Each group member wishing to explore a dream will present the dream to the group, without interruption. Group members will be given time to ask the dreamer for clarification on points in the dream. They will then offer suggestions on possible themes based on their versions of the dream, incorporating the techniques described above. The dreamer will then be invited to share group insights.
In many cases, determining the theme alone has been found to be sufficient for providing a good “aha” for the dreamer. Due to time constraints, it is my intention not to go any farther into the dream than the theme itself. Participants will be invited to share whether any of the suggested themes relate to waking life themes, but will be encouraged to go deeper into the dream (symbology, art work, etc.) at a later time.
Participants in dream study groups using these theme-oriented techniques have realized several benefits: 1. The dreamer gets to the core issues presented by the dream quickly. 2. The dream group tends to relate more to the dream rather than to the dreamer, thus providing more safety for the dreamer. 3. The theme provides a context or framework within which the dream symbols can be explored.
1. Understanding of what themes are, specifically dream themes.
2. Knowledge of how to determine the themes of one’s own dreams.
3. Knowledge of how to share dreams and dream themes in a safe and non-intrusive group setting.
1. What is a dream theme?
2. What are the basic steps in determining the theme of a dream?
3. How can I share what might reveal deeply personal and intimate aspects of my life and the lives of others while still insuring each dreamer’s dignity and integrity?
David Gordon and Dani Vedros
Mindful Dreaming: Five Core Lessons in Mindfulness our Dream Mentors Teach Us (Workshop)
This workshop is based on abundant evidence that relief from our symptoms and suffering—whether in psychotherapy or everyday life—results from the healing of what Jung termed the “tension of opposites”—the tension between ego strategies conditioned by family and society versus the guiding presence and values of our wiser Self. This tension is expressed in five archetypal or universal conflicts present throughout our dreams—and equally present in the daily dramas of waking life.
Mindful Dreaming teaches how dreams implore us to release one of five habitual ego strategies and to embrace instead a corresponding healing value of our Self. This conflict between ego and Self is healed through practicing mindfulness of the tension in our dreams between: distraction and solitude (stillness); control and humility; self-judgment and compassion; attachment and letting go; impatience and embrace of the present moment. In addition, when we practice mindfulness of these conflicts in waking life, our dreams illustrate the progress we are making in this effort—for better or worse.
In this workshop we devote the first 30 minutes—approximately 25% of the workshop—to a didactic presentation of the above paradigm. The remainder of the workshop focuses on group discussion as we work with dreams volunteered by participants. The dreamwork process—a modified Taylor format—is never intrusive and group members are required to own all discussion of a dream as projection: “If this were my dream… .”
Workshop intended for continuing education at all levels of professional experience. Aim of workshop: To increase personal self-awareness and emotional growth of attendees; increase attendees’ knowledge about dream theory; train licensed mental health professionals and graduate students about efficacy of dream work in clinical practice.
1. Identify five core ego strategies present in dreams and waking life.
2. Identify five core values of the Self.
3. Understand why practicing mindfulness of these conflicts facilitates release from our suffering.
1. Can you name the five ego strategies that must be released for relief of symptoms?
2. Can you name the five core healing values of the Self?
3. Can you name the two types of dreams in which the presence of ego strategies is negligible or absent?
The Poetic Dream: Using Dreams to Create on the Page (Workshop)
Dreams contain all the elements of a great piece of literature: Metaphor, symbolism, vivid imagery, humor, emotional catharsis, pathos, puns, and personification. Thus, it is no surprise that classical and contemporary poets and writers from Coleridge to Clifton to King have used dreams and visions to craft their works. Dreams can offer new writers and experienced scribes alike first drafts, prompts, or plots for their writing.
In this workshop we will draw from literature, personal experience, and research on the dreaming brain to explore the intersections between dreams and writing. We will also consider how dreaming can serve the writer, and how writing can serve the dreamer. We will then look to our own dreams with pen in hand to find ready texts that can be crafted into poems or other creative literary expressions.
The presenter will introduce participants to the terrain of the creative flow between writing and dreaming. We will look at ways that writing appears in dreams, the ways dreams appear in writing, and ways that writers can use dreams to enhance their creative expression. Then participants will write dream poems and other creative pieces using simple but evocative exercises. Learning and sharing will take place in a structured, safe, fun, and inviting environment.
Approximately one-quarter of the workshop will be dedicated to didactic learning, and about three quarters of the time participants will be engaged in hands-on, experiential learning. We will use various writing techniques and prompts to help access our creative potential and insights into our dreams. Participants will work in large and small groups to write and share their work.
This is an introductory level workshop that is open to all participants. The aim of this workshop is to increase personal self-awareness and emotional growth of attendees, and to increase creative and spiritual awareness and abilities through writing and dreamwork.
1. List at least three reasons that dreams and dreamwork are beneficial to the creative writing process.
2. List three things that dreams and literature have in common.
3. Utilize various prompts and techniques to incorporate dreams into the writing process.
1. Can you list at least three reasons that dreams and dreamwork are beneficial to the creative writing process?
2. Can you name three things that dreams and literature have in common?
3. Can you describe at least two techniques that can be used to incorporate dreams into the writing process?
Dale E. Graff
Awake and Dreaming Experiences that Portend of Unexpected Transitions (Paper)
Dreams can present information about someone’s unexpected sudden transition (i.e., death). The individual’s identity and timing of the transition may be apparent in, or deduced from, the dream’s imagery, dynamics and overall content. This presentation reviews dreams from personal records, accounts from colleagues and published sources including material from 9/11 precognitions. Insight is provided on how to (1) recognize spontaneous precognitive transition dreams; (2) know if the precognition is inevitable or not, (3) prepare for the imminent situation and (4) communicate, or not, the dream message to others. Waking experiences can provide precognitive transition information in the form of a synchronicity or as an attention-calling visual or other sensory perception that conveys the message. Examples of waking imagery transition precognitions include “mind birds” or various animals as described by Australian Aborigines and other cultures. A waking precognitive image resembles a fragment of a dream since it appears independent of any context or background. These experiences suggest that precognitive dreams and precognitive waking imagery have similar origins and can be symbolic or literal.
This presentation includes a review of the benefits of any precognitive experience, not only those involving unexpected transitions. Recommendations are made on how to experience precognitive dreams, synchronicities and precognitive waking images routinely for a variety of situations, including health and safety alerts.
1. Cite three types of dream images that can be indicators of a precognitive transition dream.
2. Summarize three strategies that help increase the occurrence and recognition of precognitive dreams.
3. Identify three benefits of routinely experiencing waking and dream precognitions.
1. Can you name three types of images that characterize precognitive transition dreams?
2. Are you able to incorporate at least three strategies in your personal dreamwork that increase the recognition of and occurrence of precognitive dreaming?
3. Can you explain why routinely experiencing waking and dreaming precognitions is advantageous?
The Problem of the Dream as “Knowledge”: Imaginality as an Emerging 21st Century Discourse (Paper)
Ancient peoples accepted dreams as information given by divine sources. When Freud brought dreams back to our attention he reinvested the meaning of dreams as “knowledge”—of a sort—if properly decoded. Freud’s metaphor was to understand the dream as an attempt at honesty with oneself. Carl G. Jung also saw the dream as a vehicle for conveying knowledge; the dominant Jungian metaphor was to read the dream as providing “balance” for the dreamer. But the late 20th century was not kind to Freud and Jung. The demands of empiricism do not allow for the observation of subjective experience; there is no epistemological category for shared subjectivity.
This paper will consider the problem of culturally investing in dreams as avenues to knowledge and will explore (largely with the help of the work of Tom Cheetham) Henry Cobin’s understanding of the ‘alam al-mithal,’ which Corbin translated as the imaginal.
Imaginality is the ability to put ourselves into a frame of thinking which, for the 21st century first-world person, borders somewhere between mildly uncomfortable and outright silly. The argument to be made is that the problem is not with construction of the concept of the imaginal, but rather the ontological limitations of the worldview into which it is being introduced. The problem is the limitation of “rationality.” To engage the imaginal, to foster imaginality, is to enter into an “interworld,” a place “where the spiritual takes body and the body becomes spiritual” (Corbin); it is in part to accept as reality a realm of shared subjectivity by rethinking the dichotomies of real/unreal; actual/imaginary; rational/irrational.
By way of example of what living with imaginality looks like I will engage Black Elk’s vision as reported in John G. Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks. Both the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Muhammad report experiencing very real journeys that took them far from what both they and we consider (consensual) reality—the objective daylight thinking and reasoning world. It is from Islam that the concept of the imaginal is taken; Muslims believe that the Prophet’s “Night Journey” happened, but he was not taken up to a world where one can follow on a tour bus with a camera. Black Elk’s report has the advantage of being remarkably detailed in its rendering and easily engaged: we can consider “where” Black Elk went; what he learned and appropriated as knowledge there; and what the consequences were of his experience. After this we can consider the value of sustaining imaginality in our own engagements with dreams.
1. Analyze the idea of the “imaginal” (‘alam al-mithal) as a category of perception and experience generally left unacknowledged by contemporary first-world cultures.
2. Describe the rational/irrational trap of first world scientific culture which makes it highly difficult to engage the imaginal.
3. Utilize and explain Black Elk’s vision from Black Elk Speaks as an instance of engaging the imaginal realm for the purpose of the acquisition of knowledge.
1. How is the “imaginal” and “imaginality” completely different from the merely “imaginary”?
2. Why should we be unsatisfied with understanding experience as either rational or irrational (why do we need a third category)?
3. What was Black Elk’s vision and how does understanding it help us to understand “imaginality”?
Diane E. Greig
Dream Experiences of Intense Light and Color (Presentation within symposium, “The Lucidity of Light: Light as an Expression of Creative and Transformative Consciousness in Dreams”)
Lucid dream experiences with intense light and color are often ineffable, inviting states of awareness that span physical and spiritual dimensions. The presence of the light—color intensity, symmetry, abstract forms, elegance, and space/time shifts—connect the dreamer to transpersonal layers of consciousness, encouraging personal transformation and permanent shifts in worldview. Through the process of surrendering, one may have intense lucid light dream experiences without ego inflation or being overwhelmed. In surrendering, the dreamer comes to know a relational and dynamic quality with the light that suggests a co-creative process. The presence of the light and colors, and the feeling states invoked, along with intuitions and thoughts, will be discussed through a series of lucid and non-lucid dreams, meditative visions/images and artwork. For the dreamer, this series of golden light dreams brings beauty, warmth, joy, clarity, and a sense of the fundamental subtlety and simplicity of all life into perspective. The dreamer discovers meaningfulness in the personal transformative impact of intense light dream experiences, moving towards a more compassionate all-encompassing view of life. Additionally, these dreams may well reflect the forces of change at the edge of the collective unconscious. Therefore, discovering ways to put into language and describe these ineffable, elegant and non-dual states is crucial.
1. To be able to explain the experience of intense light and color in lucid and non-lucid dreams which is currently held in cultural shadow.
2. To be able to describe how a dreamer may describe/illustrate ineffable transpersonal dream experiences in order that awareness is increased and the knowledge gained may be integrated further.
3. To be able to discuss how experiences may reflect profound psychological shifts in the individual and in turn, the emerging collective psyche.
1. Briefly characterize the experience of intense light and color in dreams.
2. Give an example of what a series of intense light and color dreams may reflect about the dreamer’s worldview and emerging collective psyche.
3. Briefly, how may awareness and integration of knowledge about such dreams increase the value the dominant culture places on dreams?
Shudarshana Gupta and co-author Clara E. Hill
Earliest Remembered Dreams versus Recent Remembered Dreams (Paper)
Aim: This study is to compare the effects of working with Earliest Remembered Dreams (ERD) of individuals to more recently remembered dreams (RRD). A limited body of research examining the characteristics of ERDs (Bulkeley et al., 2005) suggests that many individuals remember a dream from between the age of 3-12 years, and these dreams are very often vivid and intense with powerful physical and emotional carryover effects. We therefore speculate that it might be valuable to work with ERDs in a therapeutic setting. ERDs might facilitate an exploration of salient aspects of the dreamer such as their early emotional life, neglected strengths, and desires. However ERDs have never been compared with RRDs to examine if differences exist in their therapeutic value. The present study addresses this gap in the literature.
Method: Each participant was involved in one session with an ERD and one session with an RRD, using the Hill (1996, 2004) cognitive experiential model of dream work. The vividness and emotional intensity of both types of dreams was assessed. The session outcome of each of these sessions was compared.
Results: The study shows that the ERDs reported by volunteer clients (23 females and 2 males), had occurred between the age range of 4 and 11years, with the mean age for ERD as 7.17 years. ERDs were also 4 times more likely to be nightmares and 2.6 times more likely to be recurrent dreams when compared to RRDs. In terms of session outcome, working with both ERDs and RRDs were found to be equally effective; however the salience of the dream was a significant predictor of the benefit reported by clients.
Discussion: The implications of working with both ERDs and RRDs will be discussed.
1. To be able to compare and contrast the characteristics of early versus recent dreams.
2. To be able to compare the effects of working with early and recent dreams in therapy.
3. To be able to name factors that predict the session outcome of a dreamwork session.
1. Identify one way that early dreams tend to differ from recent dreams.
2. Name one way that early dream work helps clients differently than recent dream work.
3. Briefly, what impact does the salience of dreams have on the outcome of a dreamwork session?
Awakening to an Expanded Reality through Lucid Dreaming (Presentation within symposium, “‘Space’, Time and Lucid Dreaming: Connections to Modern Physics)
Lucid dreaming is a catalyst for the exploration and transformation of the human psyche – transforming our perceptions, our consciousness and, ultimately, awakening us to a deeper and fuller reality, beyond dreaming. Documented experiences of lucid dreaming suggest (so far) that the idea of space and time as constants is illusory. Indeed, lucid dream experiences can lead to what the Tibetan Dream Yogis call ‘the dreamless state,’ a transcendental experience in which there are no images, no sense of time or space, only ‘clear light.’ We can experience a changing sense of time and space in a single dream and over the course of an extended cycle of dreams covering several years.
As we become free of our psychological blocks, fear, scripts and our assumptions about who or what we are, the spaces and the images in the dream open up, time dilates and the dreamscapes become more colourful and more beautiful. Some lucid dreamers have related experiences of timelessness and a sense of the omnipresent. Some have reported the changing dream space as a change into another reality, a higher spatial dimension. Furthermore, as the vibratory nature of our consciousness changes, we may perceive progressive levels of light of incredible brilliance, disclosing subtler realities that are held within our psyche. This seems to parallel the writings of the well known physicist Dr David Bohm, a protégé of Albert Einstein, when he spoke of the implicate state of light and matter whereby higher or subtler dimensions of light/energy/matter are enfolded within each other. Simultaneously, we can experience profound changes in our feelings in dreams that can even develop into ecstatic states. These experiences lead us to a greater sense of who we are and our relationship to the universe. They broaden our sense of what is ‘real.’
This presentation will map out four distinct levels of experience as encountered in lucid dreaming from the psychological, personalised lucid dream state of the grosser level through increasingly subtle levels, culminating in the most subtle experience of the ‘dreamless state.’ Dream examples will be used to illustrate this model.
1. To be able to describe how lucid dreaming leads to changes in our state of consciousness and our perceptions of space and time.
2. To be able to explain the relationship between our psychological state, our feelings and our perception of space, time, light and color in lucid dreams.
3. To be able to describe four fundamentally different states or levels of experience as encountered in lucid dreaming.
1. Name one lucid dream example that suggests that the dreamer’s perception of space and time has changed.
2. Briefly, how do our psychological state and our feelings affect our perception of space, time, light and color in lucid dreams?
3. Describe one state or level of experience encountered in lucid dreaming.
The Phenomenology of Light as Experienced in the Process of Spiritual Awakening (Presentation within symposium, “The Lucidity of Light: Light as an Expression of Creative and Transformative Consciousness in Dreams”)
Phenomenological studies of light in lucid and non-lucid dreams show that both the quantity and quality of light experienced in the dreams increases as we probe deeper into our inner world. We also observe an increase in the variety and intensity of colour, ultimately leading to the experience of blackness or ‘black light.’ Throughout this process the ‘light phenomena’ in dreams impact the dreamer to the extent that a very different, and more profound, sense of self and of reality is experienced. This contrasts markedly with our current, everyday perceptions of ourselves and of the world as separable objects. Such experiences are heightened in lucid dreaming, indeed it would seem that we can awaken in our lucid dreams to the counterparts of our five physical senses, i.e. inner sight, inner sound, inner smell, inner taste and inner touch.
This presentation will explore the impact upon the dreamer of the different kinds of light that are encountered in lucid dreams as an expression of our creative and transformative consciousness. Examples will be given of lucid dreamers becoming aware of different kinds of light in their dreams, and, in particular, of the phenomenon of pure, intense light, without images, accompanied by a sense of bliss and of being beyond any sense of time and space or orientation.
1. To be able to discuss the significance of the intensity of light and colors in dreams.
2. To be able to identify the different forms of light that can appear in the context of a long-term series dream cycle.
3. To be able to describe how the impact of light on a dreamer’s psyche can facilitate psycho-spiritual development.
1. Briefly, what do intense light and colors indicate in dreams?
2. Provide one example from a series of dreams that suggests a connection between the appearance of light and psycho-spiritual development. (You may draw on your own dreams for an example, reference those of a client, or imagine an example.)
3. Name one way that we can use our understanding of light in dreams to facilitate psycho-spiritual healing in dream work.
Castles in the Sand (Presentation within symposium, “Long Term Journal Keeping: Lifetime Learning”)
In keeping with the theme of the whole conference, and inspired by the song lyrics from “Castles in the Sand” by The Philosopher Kings, Joan Harthan will present her reflections and observations of the occurrence of sand in her dreams.
Built a perfect house in a perfect town
dreamt a perfect dream and it all fell down …
and tides roll in, and waves get closer
the night was over
but we get stronger every time
we build our castles in the sand
…built a perfect house in perfect town
dreamt a perfect dream and it all fell down . . ..”
She will explore the possible meanings for sand as a concept as it has appeared in her twenty three years of dream journals and show how even seemingly insignificant dreams can be a call to action in waking life. She will describe how she has played with dream sand to build her own castles and will take you on a journey across the beaches of dreams to see which castles still stand and which have been washed away by the tides of time. As in her previous panel presentation, in which she explored the significance of drains in her dreams (2010), it promises to be an entertaining and enlightening presentation whose aim is to highlight the usefulness of regular dream journaling.
1. Understand how dreams can be a call to action.
2. Understand how dreams can be used to aid understanding of self and others
3. Understand the many possible meanings for sand as a symbol/concept in dreams.
E valuation questions:
1. Why is it so useful to keep a regular dream journal?
2. How does dream journaling enable you to gain a better understanding of a particular dream symbol?
3. How do you interpret sand in your dreams?
Dreaming is a Form of Mental Functioning: The Most Connective and Creative Form (Presentation within symposium, “Jung and Neuroscience”)
Dr. Hartmann and his collaborators have been studying what Jung called “big dreams” for some time. For various research studies we defined “big dreams” as either “memorable” dreams, “important” dreams, “especially significant” dreams, or “impactful” dreams. In each case they found that the “big dreams” were characterized by significantly higher Central Image Intensity than control groups of dreams — thus more powerful imagery. The intensity of the dream’s Central Image (CI) appears to be a measure of emotional arousal or emotional power. The Central Image of the dream captures the underlying emotion, and is in the simplest case a picture-metaphor of the underlying emotional state. They did not find clear differences in Content Analysis scoring of these dreams. This paper discusses these studies and also presents a possible neurobiology of “big dreams.” A big dream may involve: especially strong amygdala activation; especially strong interaction of amygdala, hippocampus, striatum, and cortex; and an especially wide spread of activation in the cortex.
The target level of the audience “is intermediate to advanced,” and the aim of the presentation is “to increase attendees’ knowledge about dream research and theories.”
1. To be able to explain how “big dreams” are defined.
2. To be able to summarize studies of the Central Image as related to emotion in dreams.
3. To be able to discuss how “big dreams” were characterized by significantly higher Central Image Intensity than control groups.
1. Name one attribute of a “big dream” as described by Jung.
2. Give one reason why the Central Image is important to studying “big dreams.”
3. Name one way that the emotion of the dreamer is presented in any dream.
The Central Imagery of the Dream (and Daydream) is Driven by Underlying Emotion (Presentation within symposium, “Understanding the Dream through an Understanding of Mental Imagery”)
This talk will summarize a number of studies of the Central Image (CI) of the dream, and present some new material relating the CI to thick vs thin boundaries, and to works of art, especially poetry. Our studies show that, using blind scoring, the CI is more intense (powerful) in “Big ” dreams, using four different ways of defining “Big” dreams. The CI is more intense after a personal trauma, and after a societal trauma such as the attacks of 9/11/01. The CI is also more intense in persons reporting abuse, and it is more intense in people characterized by Thin Boundaries. CI intensity appears to be related to underlying emotion and emotional arousal, and in the clearest cases the CI pictures the underlying emotion. The scoring of “Emotion Pictured by the CI” shows changes in expected directions, but not in all cases: for instance the dreams after 9/11 included very some powerful CIs picturing positive emotions.
Our studies indicate that the dream is always a new creation, not a simple replay of waking events. The dream combines old material in new ways, guided by emotion. This is almost identical to the definition of creating a work of art. Thus the dream can be considered a beginning of a work of art. The CI of the dream, translating emotion into imagery, is similar to the “Objective Correlative” in poetry and other arts. The presentation will end with a brief discussion of this carrying over of emotion into imagery, which Dr. Hartmann calls Thymophor. It is an important unit of artistic creativity, which we have approached by studying the dream, but which can be approached in many other ways.
1. To be able to state what the Central Image (CI) of a dream refers to.
2. To be able to explain why the experience of trauma or the trait of thin boundaries can intensify the CI.
3. To be able to describe how emotion can be translated into visual imagery both in dreams and in artworks.
1. Briefly state what the Central Image of a dream refers to.
2. True or false: The CI is more intense after a personal or societal trauma and more intense in people characterized by Thin Boundaries.
3. Briefly mention how emotion can be translated into dreams in a way similar to how emotion can be translated into artworks.
Dream Lectio: A Workshop on Lectio Divina for Personal and Group Dreamwork (Workshop)
Lectio Divina is an ancient contemplative method of reading and listening to texts. The method was popularized by the Benedictine monastics and it has sectarian and non-sectarian approaches in its modern use. The method involves reading a text in four movements with four goals for each movement. Movement one is Lectio, which is reading and listening for a specific word or brief phrase. Movement two is Meditation, which involves paying close attention to the effect of that word on one’s emotions and physical sensations in that particular moment. Movement Three is Oratio/Prayer/Intentions, which involves speaking to the word or image or to the forces behind the image. Movement Four is Contemplation, which can involve revisiting the other three movements, sitting in silence, or setting a clear and specific intention and action for the next few days. In Dream Lectio, the text is the dream of the individual. In group dream lectio, a facilitator guides the group to select a dream which then becomes the dream of the group. The dream is read or presented to the group and the group walks through each movement. At the end of the fourth movement, there is time for feedback and sharing.
1. Participants will be able to define lectio divina.
2. Participants will know the four movements of lectio divina.
3. Participants will be able to state in one sentence an intention or specific action to be taken.
1. What is lectio divina?
2. What are the four movements of lectio divina?
3. What is one specific intention or action that I can take?
El Llibre Vermell: Inspiration for the Red Book? (Poster)
During the Summer of 2012, while at music camp, I was introduced to a curious 13th century manuscript entitled El Llibre Vermell (the Red Book) from the monastery of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain. This work contains instructions for religious pilgrims to the shrine of the Virgin Mary there, including ten musical compositions which our group learned and performed. I was immediately struck by the similarity of both the text and the illustrations to those in C. G. Jung’s Red Book, which of course has the same title. I learned that the Llibre Vermell was first published in modern European languages in 1923, just around the time that Jung was transcribing his original Black Books of dreams into what would become the Red Book. In fact, Jung’s wife Emma actually visited Montserrat, and knowing his passion for Medieval illuminated manuscripts she may have brought back a copy.
In my poster, I will show comparative illustrations from the two works, to explore the possible connections between the two. I will propose that Jung was directly inspired by this Medieval work in his writing and illustration of the Red Book.
1) To explore the historical connections between El Llibre Vermell and the Red Book.
2) To explore the thematic connections between El Llibre Vermell and the Red Book.
3) To understand how historical research, aided by synchronicity, can reveal hitherto unsuspected connections.
1) What is the historical connection between El Llibre Vermell and the Red Book?
2) Is the thematic similarity between these two works convincing?
3) How might I make use of synchronicities to undertake historic research?
The Gilgamesh Cantata: A Dream-Based Musical Composition (Arts special event)
While attending a week-long music camp in August of 2010, I spent my free time reading the recently published Red Book, which I’d acquired at the 2010 IASD conference. Both the texts and the images influenced my dreaming profoundly; I would be awakened in the middle of the night to read it, only to find that I was reading the dream I myself had just experienced. Or I would discover a hook to the passage I’d just read in a conversation I would have the following day.
In The Red Book, Jung details a series of three nights of dreaming from mid-January of 1914, in which he encountered the Babylonian hero Gilgamesh (called at that time by him “Izdubar” due to a misreading of the cuneiform) whom he brought up to date on all that had transpired during the intervening 4,000 years. This mortally wounded the hero, and Jung felt sorry for him, so he convinced Gilgamesh that he was a fantasy. This enabled him to condense the hero to a tiny size which he put inside of an egg, which he then took to a nearby village for healing. The text then provides a series of incantations to heal the wounded hero, all from Jung’s dreams.
Starting immediately on the night after my return from the music camp, I had a series of dreams in which I was commissioned to write an a capella cantata for four voices (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) using the incantations as text, translated from the Swiss-German into the language of the Gilgamesh Epic, the Middle Babylonian dialect of Akkadian. This language, which I learned in graduate school, is quite dead; apart from a small number of scholars it has not been spoken, let alone sung, in over 2300 years! The translation took me the better part of the Fall of 2010. Also starting in the Fall of 2010, I took a series of four college-level courses in music theory, so I would have a better idea of what I was doing – although in many cases the dreams moved the music forward in terms which the classes simply helped me to understand better.
I also started to receive dream-derived themes upon which to base it, as well as specific instructions as to the order of presentation and the integration of the themes, and instances of performances of the cantata. To date, I have had a total of 98 dreams relating to this work, containing 64 themes, 23 dreams about how to organize the themes, 13 dreams in which I give or am given explanations of the work, and 15 dreams in which performances of parts of the cantata take place. Some of the themes were melodic lines; others turned out to be counterpoint or harmonizations under the melody line.
In this presentation, I explore the creative process by which the cantata came to completion, and I also provide some video/audio performances of portions of the cantata.
1. To understand how dreams influence the creative process.
2. To learn how one can differentiate dreams which address creativity from “ordinary” dreaming.
3. To explore the relationship between Jung’s Red Book and the author’s creative process.
1. Do I understand better what types of dreams are likely to address the creative process?
2. How is precise record-keeping of assistance in developing dream-derived creativity?
3. How might I use the information gained from this presentation in my own creative process?
Lucid Dreaming as a Technique in Psychotherapy (Paper)
Lucid Dreaming is a well known and very intriguing state of mind or (altered) state of consciousness. Altered states of consciousness are a basic tool in psychotherapy. We have started to investigate the brain and have tried to find neurophysiological correlates of lucid dreaming; we have proven its use for learning sports and movements, and we have shown that lucid dreaming is a potent tool for overcoming nightmares. The next logical step is to investigate lucid dreaming as a tool for psychotherapy per se.
This presentation will lead you through several psychotherapeutic schools and thoughts and elaborate on how lucid dreaming might fight in each school of thoughts and explain its similarities, its differences and its boundaries. It will focus on Gestalt therapy, Gestalt theory and Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy trying to investigate the lucid dreaming as a new tool for psychotherapy in the framework of Gestalt and in the framework of hypnosis.
This presentation will lead you through several psychotherapeutic schools of thought and elaborate how lucid dreaming might fit into each of them, explaining its similarities, its differences and its boundaries. The presentation will focus on Gestalt therapy, Gestalt theory, hypnosis and hypnotherapy in trying to investigate lucid dreaming as a new tool for psychotherapy in the framework of Gestalt and hypnosis.
The presenter will also discuss the potential and possible limitations of lucid dreaming in psychotherapy and self growth by elaborating on several psychiatric illnesses such as addiction, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, psychosis, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders where lucid dreaming might be useful or to be avoided, e.g. narcissistic personality disorder.
She will highlight her thoughts with descriptions of cases from her private practice as a Gestalt therapist and a hypnotherapist and from research projects investigating lucid dreaming as a tool for overcoming nightmares, both in “ordinary” nightmare sufferers and in patients with PTSD. She will also report on how the clients learned lucid dreaming and how they often acted according to their “problem” in their lucid dreams.
She will try to list possible ways of using the lucid dream in psychotherapy. The presentation of this very exciting topic closes with open discussion, as this is just the beginning of thinking about lucid dreaming as a tool for psychotherapy.
1. To be able to list different names for lucid dreaming.
2. To be able to name the potential uses and limitations of lucid dreaming as a tool in psychotherapy.
3. Describe psychiatric illnesses that might improve with lucid dreaming and elaborate on why that might be.
1. Briefly describe possible differences between lucid dreaming, Klartraum and Dream of Clarity.
2. Name one potential limitation for lucid dreaming as a tool for psychotherapy.
3. Name one psychiatric illness that could improve with lucid dreaming.
Dream Light; The Bio-sign of Insight and Transcendence (Presentation within symposium,” Light and Enlightenment in Dreams”)
Jung (1971) theorized that dreams bring about insight which compensates our misconceptions, enabling us to transcend our existing state to achieve another state of awareness. Hartmann (2011) makes a similar observation; that dreams operate much like the brain learns, weaving new material into established memory and making new connections which reveal new perspectives and insights. If we look at the unusual state of the dreaming brain and the processing activity thought to be taking place, we can observe some of that activity in the dream story and content. We can also observe how light seems to appear at moments of new awareness, insight and transcendence – when the dream appears to reinforce the learning with an emotionally rewarding moment of color and light.
PET and brain scan studies (Hobson 2003; Maquet 1996; Braun 1997; Nofzinger 1997; Maquet 2000/2005) have shown an unusual mix of activity and inactivity during REM sleep when most of our vivid dreams take place. Demodulated regions include executive functions and working memory, typically associated with waking conscious experience. Activated regions include those which process information unconsciously or preceding conscious awareness. Our limbic region is highly activated, leading researchers to believe that emotion “orchestrates” the dream plot (Dang-Vu 2007). Certain immediately adjacent frontal regions (involved in reward and goal based analogical decision making) are also active. Activity in the visual association cortex (Hobson 2003) provides dream images which are picture associations representing feelings, memories and concepts being processed within. These findings are supportive of Jung’s contention that dreams express concepts, “not as a rational thought but as a symbol, an emotionally charged pictorial language” (Jung 1971). Hartmann considers these symbolic representations to take the form of picture-metaphor, picturing one concept as emotionally similar to another. If what we see in our dreams pictorially represents processing events taking place, then the appearance of light should metaphorically represent a processing event as well. Some common metaphors for light come to mind: “I see the light” or “flash of insight” or “divine light”; or the light might even represent the physical/electrical connection of a new neural pathway.
So what might be taking place in a dream which would produce insight and thus light? In theory, five distinct self-regulation, resolution and learning functions can be observed in dreams, in which the active regions in the dreaming brain appear (from waking studies) to have the capacity to perform: 1) conflict detection; 2) resolution initiation and mediation; 3) imagining and testing goal directed scenarios; 4) providing cues and insights to influence the action; and 5) emotionally reinforced learning. The fifth action, emotional reinforcement, can be observed when a dream scenario has made new connection and achieved expectation; usually when the dream ego accepts and acts in accord with the insight and cues it has been given. The dream appears to self-reward, to positively reinforce the action. This is often accompanied by color and light and at times beautiful sound. Multiple examples are provided.
1. Understand how some of the recent advances in neuroimaging and the resultant findings have set the stage for light as a visual representation of dream activity where new connections are taking place.
2. Understand how to observe this theoretical processing activity taking place within a dream.
3. Understand how light might appear as a picture metaphor for moments of new connection, insight, transcendence and emotionally reinforced learning.
1. Name one brain center which is highly active during REM which emotionally orchestrates the dream plot.
2. Name one thing that a picture-metaphor represents.
3. Name one processing activity that light in a dream might be representative of.
Dreamwork takes Lessons from Neuroscience (Workshop)
This workshop presents an approach for working with dreams which is oriented around what we understand of the activity taking place in REM state dreaming. It might be considered ”working with dreams the way your dreaming brain works with dreams.” Participants will be taught a step-by-step protocol which integrates research findings with techniques derived from Gestalt and Jungian practice. The protocol is designed for the clinician or practitioner as well as personal work. It is an excellent opportunity not only to learn a way to apply the principles of Gestalt practice and Jungian theory to dreamwork, but how doing so might be consistent with research observation.
The workshop begins with a brief minute 30 minute lecture which orients the participants to recent findings in the neuroscience of dreaming, how these findings support certain psychological theories on the functions of dreaming, and finally how all this can be observed in our dreams and used as a means of working with the dream. It teaches participants to use the protocol by first demonstrating it with a case example. The main experiential work then begins by providing the participants with a worksheet and taking them step-by-step through the protocol as a group, each one applying it to one of their own dreams. Sharing is optional.
The dreamwork protocol contains three parts: exploration, discovery and closure. The exploration phase focuses on the nature of the dream imagery as picture-metaphor and how it expresses the “unconscious aspect of a conscious event” (Jung 1971, 1973). This discovery phase continues with the principle that the dream places the “feeling-state of the dreamer directly into an image” (Hartmann 2011) and employs a scripted Gestalt based technique (Perls 1969; Hoss 2005) to reveal the emotional content. The closure phase combines Jung’s theory of compensation and the transcendent function of dreams with supporting observation from research (Hobson 2003), to explore cues within the dream that might aid resolution and closure. The approach is aligned with the IASD Ethics Policy since all meaning from the dream comes from the dreamer.
Partial list of references:
• Hartmann, E. (2011). The Nature and Functions of Dreaming, Oxford University Press
• Hobson, J. A., Pace-Schott, E. F., Stickgold, R. (2003). Dreaming and the brain: toward a cognitive neuroscience of conscious states. In E.F. Pace-Schott, M. Solms, M. Blagrove, S. Harnad (Eds.), Sleep and Dreaming (pp 18, 19, 31-36). New York, USA, Cambridge University Press.
• Hoss, R. (2005). Dream Language: Self-Understanding through Imagery and Color. Ashland, OR: Innersource
• Jung, C. G. (1973). Man and His Symbols (pp 5, 30). New York: Dell Publishing, paper
• Jung, C. G. (1971) The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell, The Viking Press, N.Y. 1971
• Perls, F. (1969). Gestalt Therapy Verbatim. Moab, UT: Real People Press.
Audience target level = intermediate to advanced.
Aim = threefold: training professionals; knowledge about dream research and theories; and self-awareness.
1. To be able to describe how recent studies in neuroscience support various psychological theories on the functions of dreaming, and how that insight can be used to work with our dreams.
2. To be able to apply Gestalt role-play to reveal emotional issues that a dream is dealing with.
3. To be able to transcendent function (Jung) or adaptive learning process might be observed in a dreams and how it might aid in closure.
1. Briefly describe the importance of picture-metaphor in working with the dream narrative.
2. Identify one statement in the suggested Gestalt role-play script that is useful for identifying emotional memories that may have stimulated the dream.
3. Name one of the three cues that aid in observing new connections and insight within a dream.
Recent Neurological Studies Supportive of Jung’s Theories on Dreaming (Presentation within symposium, “Jung and Neuroscience”)
This presentation focuses on three of Jung’s theories and observations on the functions of dreams and cites various research studies suggestive of neurological support, providing supporting observations from dream case examples
On the unconscious origin of dreams, Jung stated: “Dreams are the most readily accessible expression of the unconscious,” and “the unconscious processes obtruding on consciousness” (Jung 1971). He also stated that “In dreams the unconscious aspect of an event is revealed” (Jung 1973). Support for the unconscious origin of dreaming can be found in REM state PET and brain scan studies (Hobson et.al. 2002/2003; Maquet et.al. 1996; Braun et.al. 1997; Nofzinger et.al. 1997; Maquet 2000/2005).
Regions shown to be demodulated during REM primarily relate to executive functions and the waking conscious experience. Regions with high activation are generally those which process information below the threshold of awareness or preceding conscious awareness. Dream organization around the unconscious aspect of a waking event, with the exclusion of the explicit replay of that event, may result from deactivated regions involved in conscious reflection and episodic/working memory, while limbic regions (which access and process emotional memories) are highly activated.
On emotionally charged symbolic imagery, Jung stated that dreams express concepts, “not as a rational thought but as a symbol, an emotionally charged pictorial language.” This may be due to the active visual association cortex which forms imagery associations with emotions, memories and concepts being processed within. The Right Inferior Parietal Cortex organizes these visual representations into a dream space (Hobson 2002, 2003). The emotional charge is consistent with the findings that “dreams selectively process emotionally relevant memories via interplay between the cortex and the limbic system” (Seligman & Yellen 1987); and that the amygdala “orchestrates” the dream plot (Dang-Vu et. al. 2007).
On Compensation and the Transcendent Function, Jung stated that the general function of dreams is to “restore psychological balance by producing material that re-establishes psychic equilibrium.” He further indicated that dreams recognize and compensate for our misconceptions to “bring the conscious mind back to reality and warn of the dangers of our present course” (Jung 1973). He considered this “Transcendent Function” an aspect of the self-regulation that makes transition from one attitude to another organically possible – manifesting as a new attitude (Jung 1971). Hartmann (2011) makes a similar observation; that dreams operate much like the brain learns – weaving new material into established memory – making new connections expressed in picture-metaphors that reveal new perspectives and insights. Five distinct self-regulation, restoration and learning functions are discussed, which can be observed in dreams: 1) conflict detection; 2) resolution initiation and mediation; 3) imagining and testing goal directed scenarios; 4) providing cues to influence the action; and 5) emotional reinforcement and possible adaptive learning.
The paper cites studies on certain REM active regions (Anterior Cingulate; Medial Prefrontal Cortex; Basal Ganglion; Insula; and Orbofrontal areas) which suggest the capacity may exist for each of the 5 activities.
The target level of the audience is intermediate to advanced, and the aim of the presentation is to increase attendees’ knowledge about dream research and theories.
1. To be able to summarize how some of the recent advances in neuroimaging and the resultant findings have provided potential support for certain of Jung’s theories regarding dreaming.
2. To be able to explain why dreams present the unconscious aspect of a conscious event.
3. To be able to describe how the dreaming brain might have the capability to perform a self-regulation and restoral function.
1. Name one recent advance/finding in neuroimaging that has provided potential support for certain of Jung’s theories regarding dreaming.
2. Briefly mention one feature of the influence of the amygdala/limbic system on REM state dreams.
3. Name one of the restoral activities that were reported by this paper to be observed in dreams.
Dream Work: The Rashomon Approach (Workshop)
In Kurosawa’s film, “Rashomon,” each person recounts a series of events from his/her own perspective. The various participants’ accounts conflict. We are never sure who is telling “the truth” and we never actually learn “the truth.” The parallels to dream work are considerable. One of the key features of the dream is that no one in the waking world can contradict the dreamer’s account. In the group, one important way of working is for each member to tell the dream as though it were his/her own dream. The results can be quite startling. Not only does the dreamer resonate to some of these narratives, but group members can identify with the dream and become deeply involved in its resolution.
Group members assist the dreamer by taking on the dream situation. They retell the events they heard as they now experience them with all the variations and consider how they might handle it. Rather than aiming for a consensus as to what the dream means, we want each member to discover his or her own unique view of the dream, as exemplified by Akira Kurasawa’s masterpiece Rashomon. We expect that when the theme of the dream recurs (as it is almost bound to), the dreamer will have access to more resources and hence the experience of future dreams will be different.
This workshop both teaches and demonstrates an innovative, noninterpretive approach to dream work which can be used by therapists and lay dream group leaders. We will use Gestalt, variations on the “If it were my dream…” technique, the “Movie method,” Completion, and other techniques. See Jenkin’s websites, DreamReplay.com and DreamOfTheWeek.com for a discussion of many of the techniques.
Depending upon the dream, the workshop will include the following techniques: Gestalt: Participants will be asked to describe the dream from different perspectives. For example, if a dream involved the dreamer and her father, someone would be asked to imagine what the dream was like for the father.
Narrative: Participants will be asked to imagine continuations of the story of the dream or alterations in the narrative. For example they might be asked to offer an alternative narrative in which the outcome of the dream was more successful for the dreamer.
Movie method: Participants will be asked to consider the dream as though it were a film script and to consider specific directors, actors, actresses and to consider how the dream might be rewritten as a Hollywood (or Independent) script.
Within the format of the workshop, all participants will be encouraged to share their own opinions and to offer anything they feel is pertinent to the dream. Optionally, to facilitate participation, we will break into small groups to discuss particular dreams. Specifically, attendees will be encouraged to consider what particular problem or opportunity the dream focuses upon. Within that context, the attendees will be asked to consider how they would respond to that problem or opportunity.
1. To compare different perspectives within the dream.
2. To assess how Gestalt techniques differ from interpretive approaches to dream work, providing therapists numerous tools to work with a dream.
3. To demonstrate the similarities and differences between dreams and movies
1. In what way is the movie Rashomon similar to dream work?
2. How do you gather different Gestalt perspectives on a dream?
3. How is standard Gestalt used in dream work?
Dream Progress: Waiting for the Next Dream (Paper)
When you are doing effective dreamwork, how does that manifest in future dreams? We will examine the ways in which the effect of our dreamwork can change succeeding dreams. The results can be startling, fascinating and add a new layer to the interpretation we made in waking life. Essentially, we have the power to “stir the pot”; so to speak, to teach our dream ego to do something different. But that is all. We can predict with confidence, as it were, that we can have no idea how our dream life will respond to the dream work and dream interpretation made during waking life. The progress of our dream avatar is always a delight to unfold.
1. To be able to name the kinds of effects dream work can have on dream life.
2. To be able to compare dreams and define dream progress.
3. To be able to intervene in (non lucid) dream situations.
1. Name one kind of effect dream work can have on dream life.
2. Briefly, what constitutes dream progress?
3. Name one way to intervene in (non lucid) dream situations.
Mary Whitefeather Joyce
Drumming into Dreaming (Special event)
A drum is a sacred article that is used for journeying to help oneself or to help others, especially for healing. While medicines (spiritual helpers), such as the spirit of Horse, can be used in conjunction with the drum to make journeying easier and faster, even in its own right the drum will carry you into the dream for journeying.
When you strike the drum with a beater, the beat draws our attention, helping to still the mind-chatter. Let your mind become focused upon the beat. With our mind out of the way, the resonance of the drum’s vibrations can then cause the mind to shift from the normal waking beta state into an alpha state; that of daydreaming and mental relaxation.
The shifting into this relaxed state is accomplished by the vibration of the drum and results in a sleepy state of wakefulness or a light dreaming state. The drum is the vehicle of ascension to the higher dimensions of illumination, which can be experienced in the resonating, pulsating vibration of the drum. The sacred vibrations of our drums will revitalize and activate the harmony throughout the sacred medicine wheel. In our drumming into dreaming meditation, and in the vibration, we can ask Spirit or pray that our dreams of healing mother earth be heard by all our ancestors.
Drumming into dreaming can help us to connect with our higher selves, our guardian angels, our spirit guides, our power animals, and expand our consciousness and dreaming journey. Drumming can help us to bring back insight and help to nourish and heal our inner self. It can be our gateway to extraordinary adventure. We can receive spiritual revelations directly.
It can restore our positive energy.
Feel the pulse of your heart, feel the heartbeat of mother earth, and feel the sacredness of your being. Please join us and bring your hand drum!
1. Connect with higher self.
2. Expand consciousness.
3. Nourish and heal inner self.
Mary Whitefeather Joyce
Prayers, Peace and Healing for the Children of Gaza (Presentation within panel, “Extraordinary Dreaming Experiences and their Impact on Consciousness”)
In 2012, I had a series of prophetic dreams. Most of if not all were three months before what was known as: “Operation Pillar of Cloud”, which began on November 14 and lasted until November 21, 2012, when a ceasefire was declared.
My first dream was on September 18. In this dream, I am floating above, seeing something about another shooting incident, a large loss of life. In another scene, there are what appear to be drones, missiles, bombs in the air around a school, soldiers off in the distance on the right side, appearing to be the military. Something is very strange about this scene. It seems the guard/military are not who they “appear” to be. It appears they are bombing the school, they are not helping or protecting it.
The second dream was on September 30. I am floating above. A poisonous, toxic gas, chemical was released into the atmosphere and an entire neighborhood had to stay indoors. There were what appeared to be grayish black eerie looking clouds, foggy mist in the sky, in the air.
Also in September I had a dream of an angel who came to me and said, “There will be large loss of life soon, be ready to help guide the children into the light.”
In my third dream, I see catastrophic flooding that affected several states. I noted that flood water reached eight feet. I saw what I described as a huge long wooden boat like Noah’s Ark.
In the fourth dream, I see huge eerie black clouds and a tornado, and what appeared as remote control airplanes, torpedo type missiles, which were drones, and I heard and saw explosions off in the distance.
In other dreams I am with college students protesting.
When I had time to read my recent dream journals, I noticed that there were so many other previous dreams further back in the summer of 2012 that were connected. All these dream images and my thoughts were so many pieces of the puzzle, so many images connecting, and that made me think of another dreamer in our group, Carolde. She gave me her permission to quote her. She said, “Dreams, and keeping track of their meaning and what the messages are for us, is a 24/7 job!”
Many days during and after the so-called “cease-fire” there were numerous news reports confirming so many of my dreams. I was experiencing so much déjà vu, flashes of images of childrens’ faces that seemed so familiar, but I could not understand where they were from until I was sitting at my computer and reading my Facebook page, seeing so many pictures and images from TV media news reports of the carnage of missiles raining down in Gaza/Palestine that lasted eight days. It was at that very moment of seeing the pictures of the dead children that I knew these were the images from my dreams. I could not stop crying. I cried for days, every day until this carnage stopped.
1. Understand the importance of keeping a dream journal.
2. Gain an appreciation for seeking messages dreams are attempting to convey.
3. Knowledge that precognitive dreams are a possibility.
1. What benefits did the presenter gain from maintaining a dream journal?
2. What information did the presenter’s dreams provide for her?
3. What evidence did the presenter acquire that suggested her dreams were precognitive?
Tracey Kahan and Stephanie Claudatos
Phenomenal Features of Dreams Reported and Rated upon Morning Awakening (Paper)
This study extends work on dream phenomenology (e.g., Snyder, 1970; Strauch & Meier, 1996) by investigating relationships among phenomenal features. In a two-week, home-based dream journal study, 144 female undergraduates with good dream recall reported a total of 816 dreams upon morning awakening. After completing a narrative dream report, participants assessed the sensory, affective, cognitive, and structural features of the dream experience using the Subjective Experiences Rating Scale (SERS)(Kahan, 1994; Kahan & LaBerge, 2011). Participants’ ratings for the forty-one SERS questions were used to compute ten summary variables, based on the ten factors that emerged in a prior principle components factors analysis of the SERS. The ten summary variables included eight process-oriented variables: vision, audition, movement, minor senses (smell, touch, taste), negative emotion (mood-related), negative emotion (fear-related), positive emotion, and two content-oriented variables (events/actions, and locations).
Partial correlation analysis was used to assess the strength of the linear relationships among the ten features, controlling for participants’ global rating of how well each dream was recalled and the number of words in the narrative report (word count). A robust pattern of significant intercorrelations was observed. Assuming the null hypothesis is correct (with alpha set at .05) we would expect between 2-3 correlations to be significant by chance alone. Of the possible 45 correlations, 37 were significant at p < .01 or p < .001 (30 were significant at p < .001 and 7 were significant at p < .01). These findings indicate strong internal consistency within the measure. Further, the present results replicate and extend those obtained in a prior study that used the sensory, cognitive, and structural features sections of the SERS (Kahan & LaBerge, 2011). Like Kahan and LaBerge, we observed a stronger relationship among the process features of dreams (sensory, affective, and cognitive) than between the process features and the structural features (events, actions, locations). This pattern reinforces the distinction made in prior studies between process and content features of subjective experience (Bulkeley & Kahan, 2008; Kahan, 1994; Kahan & LaBerge, 2011).
An additional noteworthy finding was that ratings of cognition were more strongly associated with negative than with positive emotion, suggesting that cognitive activities (e.g., thinking, planning, evaluating, remembering) are especially likely to occur in dreaming in association with negative emotion. This finding is consonant with the hypothesis that high-order cognition, especially reflective awareness, is likely to be triggered by intense negative emotion (Wolman & Kozmovà , 2006).
1. To be able to list benefits of using affirmative probe measures, such as the Subjective Experiences Rating Scale (SERS), to assess phenomenal features of reported dreams.
2. To be able to describe the relationships among phenomenal features (sensory, affective, cognitive, structural) of dreams reported by college women with good dream recall.
3. To be able to identify the distinction between process and content features of subjective experience and why this distinction may be important to theories of dream generation.
1. What is one reason the Subjective Experiences Rating Scale (SERS) is useful in assessing the subjective qualities of dreams.
2. True or false: Cognitive activities (e.g., thinking, planning, evaluating, remembering) are especially likely to occur in dreaming in association with negative emotion?
3. Identify one reason it is helpful, when theorizing about dreaming, to distinguish between phenomenal features related to ‘how’ we dream (i.e., process features) and phenomenal features related to ‘what’ we dream (i.e., content features).
Neuroscience Looks at Aspects of the Self, the Brain Basis of Self, and the Emergence of Self (Presentation within symposium, “Jung and Neuroscience”)
We will first ask what we mean by the self, and then examine different ways of defining the self. We can think of the self as giving us a feeling of knowing and a feeling that there is a sense of self as the owner of the experience. A sense of self includes a feeling of unity, continuity, embodiment and social interaction.
Among the different ways of defining the self there is Jung’s definition, which states that the conscious and unconscious complement themselves in a totality called the Self. Our Self, according to Jung, is who we really are, the known and the unknown, the integrated and that which is yet to be integrated. The Self is realized as the product of individuation that in the Jungian view is the conscious coming to terms with one’s own inner center, or self, the process of integrating one’s personality. We then ask how neuroscience defines the self and answer that neuroscience defines the self as emerging from the neural activity of our brains; taking into account that neural activity of the brain itself evolves when the self interacts with other selves. Several brain networks that are activated when we think about the self, our self, our personality traits, and when we recall autobiographical memories, are midline cortical areas that include the precuneus, the medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulate cortex and, in general, the whole posterior medial cortex and anterior insula cortex. We can also learn about the brain basis of the self by studying patients who have disturbances in their self-representation. We do this by taking note of which specific brain areas malfunction. We will see how a brain lesion can radically alter a sense of self. In this way, each disorder becomes a window on a specific aspect of the self.
Finally, we also speculate on how self-organization can contribute to our understanding on how the self emerges from the collective behavior of individual neurons as they interact and synergetically join into cooperative networks in the brain, eventually emerging as consciousness, and a sense of self.
The target level of the audience is intermediate to advanced, and the aim of the presentation is to increase attendees’ knowledge about dream research and theories.
1. To be able to summarize what neuroscience has to say about the brain basis of the self and how the self may be an emergent property of on-going brain activity.
2. To be able to identify the brain regions that contribute to the construction of the self.
3. To be able to explain how the self is constructed during three states of consciousness: awake and focused, awake and daydreaming, sleep and dreaming.
1. Name one brain region that contributes to the construction of self.
2. Briefly what is one characteristic of self-organization?
3. Does acceptance that the dream is real, while in the dream, help the self to evolve or is it a deterrent to that evolution?
David L. Kahn
Genetically Modified Humans (Paper)
Our dreams tell us much about our physical health, including dietary needs. On individual and societal levels might our dreams have messages for us about the direction we are headed?
While many countries have banned or restricted genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food supply, major food distributors in the United States have quietly increased these poisons into our food to the point that it has contaminated most of what we eat. In the November, 2012 election California voted on Proposition 37, which would have required food distributors to label products that contain GMOs. That proposition was defeated after millions of dollars was poured into advertising against the proposition by the companies that most profit from using genetically modified food. More complicated still is that many of these companies are major political lobbyists, and former executives from these companies can now be found holding prominent government positions. As if that isn’t enough many of the so-called health food companies, some of whom even advertise on their products that they don’t use GMOs as a matter of principle, are actually subsidiaries of larger food companies who financially opposed Proposition 37.
Numerous studies have linked GMOs to significant health risks including cancer, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and a rapidly increasing percentage of people with food allergies. Are all of these diseases actually disorders, or could it be that our bodies are simply trying to heal themselves from constant attack by toxic products?
On the flip side there are a growing number of people choosing to eat organically grown food and/or food that is certified by the Non-GMO Project. Social networking sites such as Facebook have a significant presence of grassroots campaigns against GMOs, along with support for companies who pledge not to use them.
1. Learn what genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are.
2. Understand the controversy related to GMOs.
3. Recognize some symbolisms that may appear in diet related dreams.
1. What evidence is there to support that GMOs are creating major health risks?
2. Can you indicate any dream content that contrasts healthy versus toxic food?
3. How might dietary warnings appear in a dream?
Dream Analysis by Examining Handwriting Strokes (Workshop)
Do the words in your hand-written dreams show anger, temper, irritation, defiance, resentment, jealousy, aggression, worry, secrecy, self-deceit, caution, stubbornness, repression, procrastination, manipulation, need for more space, sensitivity to criticism, desire for more attention, self-consciousness around others, yielding to someone else’s wishes, or quickness to argue? Does your writing show optimism, pessimism, diplomacy, quick thinking, slow thinking, immature thinking, the need to be more deliberate in your thinking, desire for change, the need for more physical action, the need to reign in your action to be more precise, the need to talk or a preference to stay quiet? Are you showing yourself you don’t want sole responsibility for what you’re doing and you need to ask for help? Do your dream objects hold strokes of imagination, self-control, generosity, tolerance, determination, persistence, high goals, low goals, initiative, independent thinking, high self-esteem, or low self-esteem? Are you showing signs of being frank and open-minded, or are you being evasive, narrow minded, intolerant, or domineering? Are there clues of something you want to acquire or something you’re anxious to hold on to? Do the strokes show reacting with strong emotion or do they show self protective social withdrawal, desire to be alone, dwelling in the past, self blame, self pity, depression, rejection, or vanity that you’re better than others can possibly comprehend?
Handwriting, like every other movement of our bodies, originates in the brain. In the process of writing, the brain inserts unconscious strokes into our letter formations. The system of handwriting analysis called Graphoanalysis (trademark held by IGAS, igas.com) has empirically tested over 100 specific strokes to correspond to specific personality traits. Each of these strokes has been shown to exist in over 1000 individuals with that particular personality trait before it’s adopted into the system. When you hand-write a dream, you unconsciously insert these strokes of specific emotions and desires into specific spots. Knowing the specific emotions and desires you attach to specific objects in your dream is helpful in unlocking the dream’s meaning for you.
Discover how these emotions reveal themselves in handwriting. During the workshop, the presenter will explain these strokes and their meanings for use in your own dream analysis. Participants should bring a sample of their own handwriting and a handwritten dream. The strongest dream clues are strokes that are not in your usual handwriting. During the second half you will list traits that are usual for you, compare and contrast your usual writing with the way you wrote your dream, then list traits that are strong messages to help you interpret your dream.
1. Identify at least three personality traits in handwriting.
2. Compare and contrast different formations of the same letter to give a different meaning.
3. List at least three handwriting clues in their own handwritten dream.
1. Can you identify at least three personality traits in handwriting?
2. Are you able to explain the difference between a t with a high t-bar and a t with a low t-bar, or variations in another letter?
3. Can you list at least three handwriting clues in your handwritten dream?
Boundary in the Tree Test and Dream Recall (Paper)
Introduction: According to previous studies, a trunk apex of the tree drawn in a Baum test (Koch, 1949) is usually closed by itself or covered with a crown (Closed type apical termination, CAT). An open-ended trunk without any cover (Open type apical termination, OAT) has rarely been observed among the normal population (less than 5 percent), while it has also been revealed that in specific patient groups such as schizophrenia, cancer, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus with poor blood sugar control, and elderly people over sixty, the percentage of those who drew a tree with OAT tend to be higher (about 10 to 30 percent). Because OAT has no barrier to prevent an invasion from the outside and a leak from the inside, it might correspond to a kind of thin boundary which might be shared among these groups. Based on this hypothesis and Hartmann’s well-researched findings that there is an overall significant relationship between thinness of boundaries and frequency of dream recall, we assumed that those who draw a tree with OAT will recall dreams more easily than CAT.
Subjects: Sixty-three patients were randomly selected out of those who were admitted to the surgical unit in a General Hospital on July 2002 and on September 2003. Among them, 55 patients who drew a Baum were the subject of this study (24 male and 31 female, including 19 gastric cancer, 17 colon cancer, 5 hepatic cancer and 14 nonmalignant disease).
How we collected and analyzed the data: First, we had an interview with each of the patients about their illness, appetite, and anything that might be causing stress, so as to establish a rapport. The subjects were then asked about their dream. If they seemed hesitant to talk about it, they were not forced to do so. Finally, they were asked to draw a fruit tree (Baum test). The dream recall and type of tree results were analyzed by chi-square.
Results: Nineteen patients drew a tree with OAT (35%) and twenty nine patients with CAT (52%). It was difficult to determine the type of the other seven pictures because of their structure, and these were excluded from this study. Among OAT, 9 out of 19 patients (47%) did not recall any dreams compared to 9 out of 29 (31%) among CAT. OAT patients reported non-frightening dreams significantly much less frequently than CAT (5% vs. 34%). On the other hand, OAT patients recalled fearful dreams about death or the dead more but not significantly often than CAT (26% vs. 10%).
Discussion: In terms of dream recall, the thin boundary implied by OAT might be different from the one indicated by the Boundary Questionnaire (Hartmann, 1989). The OAT patients might be inclined to recall fewer dreams or, if any, fearful dreams on death and the dead.
1. To be able to list the types of apical termination in the Tree Test.
2. To be able to compare dream recall in the open type apical termination group to that in the closed type group.
3. To be able to describe the features of dream recall in the open type apical termination group.
1. Identify one characteristic that differentiates the open type apical termination from the closed type.
2. Briefly mention the relationship between thinness of boundaries and frequency of dream recall.
3. True or false: The percentage of dream recall in the subjects with open type apical termination was lower than it was for those with closed type?
Dreams and Daydreams: Similar Influences of Goal Commitments on Mental Content (Presentation within symposium, “Understanding the Dream through an Understanding of Mental Imagery”)
The categorical imperative for human survival, as for all other animal species, is successful goal pursuit. It follows that everything about humans, including the flow of thoughts and dreams, must have evolved in its service. Research on thought content, both in the laboratory and in everyday life, has shown that goals sensitize an individual to cues of these goals, leading to preferential attention to and recall of these cues, to differential skin conductance responses, and to goal-related thought content. Similarly, the presence of goal-related cues has been shown to delay responses to other classes of cues, as demonstrated in lexical measures and in Stroop tests that use words or pictorial cues with alcohol or general goal-related content. This cognitive biasing effect for one’s own goals is far stronger than for cues of other people’s goals. Consistent with these findings, auditory cues related to a sleeper’s goals introduced during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep influence dream content significantly more strongly than do such cues related to other people’s goals. Furthermore, when individuals before sleep are instructed to dream about particular topics, those topics are incorporated into dreams significantly more often if the topics are related to the sleeper’s own goals as contrasted with others’ goals. Goal-relatedness of cues is therefore shown to affect waking thought and other cognitive activity in a way similar to their effect on dream content. The findings of motivational and volitional influences on dream content would appear inconsistent with some aspects of extended activation-synthesis theory of dream content. They are consistent with the goal theory of current concerns.
1. To be able to explain how goals serve to sensitize an individual to cues related to the goals.
2. To be able to describe how effects of cuing are stronger for personal goals than others goals.
3. To be able to summarize the effect of goal-related cuing on cognitions in general and dreams in particular.
1. Briefly explain the effect of goal-related cuing on dreams.
2. Briefly describe how goals serve to sensitize an individual to cues related to the goals.
3. Are effects of cuing stronger for personal goals than other goals?
A Journey of Dreams and the Tarot: A Tarot Dream Interpretation Workshop (Workshop)
Dreams are like short stories or myths that are revealed to us every night. They have messages that are robustly layered and it can take years for the whole meaning to be revealed. The Tarot can be utilized as an additional method of dream analysis in order to unlock these messages. The Tarot, especially the Major Arcana, is a pictorial mythology that represents humanity’s journey. It allows for the subconscious to continue communication with the dreamer during an awakened state through imagery, symbolism, synchronicity and the significance of the cards. The images of both dreams and the Major Arcana are archetypal in nature and connect one to the thread of Consciousness.
The workshop will begin by sharing the mythology of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. It will provide the audience information on symbols and meanings of the cards that will aid them in interpreting dreams. The second portion of the workshop will focus on dream interpretation for two participants with an interactive group discussion (30% didactic / 70% workshop). Lauren Schneider’s Tarotpy© method will be used with the Tarot to analyze the participants’ dreams. Vastly different from traditional Tarot readings, Tarotpy© puts the process into the hands of the dreamers. The dreamers choose the deck/s to use. They choose what the layout will look like and what the placements will mean. They touch the cards to intuit which ones will give them the information requested. This hands-on approach can lead to synchronicities in choices and gives the dreamer a tool to directly communicate with the Conscious thread of infinite knowledge. The Tarotpy© method requires the dreamer to intuit the number of cards they need to answer a question related to the dream, create a layout of the cards, and then assign questions or names to each placement.
[Note: This process will be done with the dream participants prior to the workshop, allowing time for the PowerPoint slides to be prepared for the audience. It will also allow the dreamer to not feel rushed in the Tarotpy© process. The participants will be randomly selected by responding to a bulletin, and WILL NOT see the faces of the chosen cards until the day of the workshop.]
Each dream participant will begin by sharing their dream, and then will explain their choices as I walk the audience through the process. When the dreamer’s cards are revealed, they will be the first to analyze the overall theme and initial feelings of what it means in relation to the dream question and placement names. The audience will then be invited to share suggestions on how the cards can pertain to the dream using Ullman’s idiolect. The “ultimate authority” on the meaning of the dream will be the participating dreamer. As the presenter I will guide and moderate this portion ensuring that the dreamer has a safe environment, as well as offering an additional perspective on the meanings associated with the Tarot.
1. Participants will learn a method of using visual imagery on cards to further explore and gain insight to a dream.
2. Participants will learn the skills to practice developing their intuitive abilities in order to interpret symbolic and archetypal imagery.
3. Participants will learn a step-by-step method of creating a layout to analyze their dreams using the Tarot.
1. Describe the method of using tarot cards to unlock layers of meaning from your dreams.
2. Describe ways in which symbolic imagery of cards may be used to facilitate meaningful insights and broaden perspective with dreams.
3. What possible connections might synchronistic experiences in waking life, and the use of divination tools, bring to our understanding of dreaming consciousness?
Dreamers as Agents Making Strategizing Efforts Exemplify Core Aggregate of Executive Function in Non-Lucid Dreaming (Paper)
This presentation of published research (Kozmova, 2012) focuses on elucidating the core aggregate of executive function in non-lucid dreaming. As such, the research complements preceding postulates of loss of psychological agency and higher order cognition in non-lucid dreaming (Hobson, Pace-Schott, & Stickgold, 2000; Hobson & Voss, 2010). Non-lucid dreaming has been defined as populated by perceptions and emotions at the expense of secondary consciousness (Hobson, 2009).
The existence of secondary consciousness or secondary thought processes—the dreamer’s capacity to use, in a rational way, his or her own thinking during non-lucid dreaming—has been demonstrated by Wolman and Kozmova (2007). The present study builds upon and expands the notion of higher order cognition in non-lucid dreaming and was guided by the following question: “What are the scope and purpose of thinking/strategizing efforts as one of three previously identified direct mental problem-solving modalities (Kozmovα, 2008, 2012) that some dreamers are capable of using to resolve the novelties of felt-need situations encountered during non-lucid dreaming?”
The research used 979 archived “agency dreams” (Hill, Spangler, Sim, & Baumann, 2007), as distinguished from “descriptive dreams” (Kozmova, 2008), from male and female dreamers aged 20 to 70 years from Argentina, Brazil, England, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States (Kozmova, 2008). The dreams analyzed by the method of grounded theory (Glaser & Straus, 1967) contained difficult, dilemmatic, or intriguing situations that dreamers proceeded to resolve.
For secondary analysis by the method of grounded theory (Straus & Glaser, 1967) 85 instances of already coded and saturated types of thought processes, in which dreamers mentally strategized solutions to their predicaments, were selected. The 85 occurrences of specific secondary thought processes were delineated as (a) progression of problem-solving (four varieties); (b) in the context of life threatening situations (four varieties) and intrapersonal, interpersonal, and inter-object problematic situations (30 varieties); and (c) types of thought processes and their attributes (47 varieties).
The results, in the form of taxonomy of delimited higher order thought processes, describe a core aggregate of executive function that consists of eight types of executive thought processes: (a) analytical, (b) decision-making, (c) defense mechanisms, (d) evaluative, (e) goal-oriented/goal-directed, (f) interpretative, (g) motivational, and (h) self-determinative.
The subsequent substantive grounded theory proposes four purposes for dreamers’ demonstration of strategizing efforts within the scope of higher order cognitive skills: (a) information gathering; (b) judgment; (c) protection and maximizing chances for success; and (d) exercising volition, agency, and autonomy. The data-based explanatory model of executive higher order cognition in non-lucid dreaming proposes that first the dreamer becomes an “independent recipient of impressions” in a mode of primary consciousness and then acts as an “independent center of initiative” (Kohut & Wolf, 1978, p. 414) in a mode of secondary consciousness. These strategizing mental activities demonstrate the existence of executive function and challenge the notion of non-lucid dreamers being passively aware of perceptions and emotions. The question then arises of how to reconcile the notion of state dependency of consciousness (Hobson et al., 2000) with the phenomenology of higher order cognition in non-lucid dreaming.
1. To be able to list differences between an “agency dream” and a “descriptive dream.”
2. To be able to name aspects of grounded theory that differentiate it from other research methods.
3. To be able to identify the thought processes of core aggregate of executive function some dreamers are capable of using in non-lucid dreaming.
1. What is one main difference between an “agency dream” and a “descriptive dream”?
2. Name one way that the method of grounded theory differs from hypothesis testing.
3. Identify one executive thought process some dreamers are capable of using in non-lucid dreaming.
Milton Kramer and co-author Myron Glucksman
The Predictive Value of the Clinical Manifest Dream Report (Paper)
The interpretation of dreams remains of interest to people. Freud was of the opinion that the dream was a hidden expression of the concerns of the dreamer, while Jung saw the dream as a revelatory expression of the dreamer’s preoccupations. Freud labeled the dream report as the manifest dream [MDR] and the meaning revealed through associative interpretation as the latent dream thoughts [LDT]. Many clinicians have reported anecdotally of the usefulness of the MDR.
To examine and establish the potential clinical usefulness of studying the MDR we undertook five studies of clinically recovered dreams. We first examined whether looking at early and late MDR would allow us to distinguish improved from unimproved psychotherapy patients; second using the first and last MDR we attempted to rank order the degree of improvement of a group of patients; third we rated the first and last reported MDR of a group of patients for the presence and valence of affect, and whether the valence frequencies changed across treatment, to see if the dream could be affect driven; fourth, we rated the initial MDR from a group of patients for the presence and valence of affect, major psychodynamic theme, and whether the MDR was predictive of the core psychodynamic issues; and fifth, and last, the initial and last MDR of a group of patients who had improved in therapy were revaluated for affect valence, dream narrative and psychodynamic formulation.
We found that in study one that we were able to distinguish improved from unimproved perfectly and that we could teach psychiatric residents to do it as well. In the second study our rank order correlation of degree of improvement was R= .45 with a p =0.69. The third study showed us that we [the authors, one of whom was the therapist of the patients] were able to reliably score affect as present or absent 94% of the time and whether it was positive or negative 100% of the time. Affect was present in only 58% of MDR; including associations 98% had affect. The initial MDR was more negative [77%] than positive [19%]; the final MDR was more positive [53%] than negative [47%]. In the fourth study, we found 44% of MDR had affect; including associations 97% had affect and the affect rating of the initial MDR had a scoring reliability of 88%. The initial MDR had more negative [74%] than positive [26%] affect. There was acceptable agreement on the psychodynamic theme of the MDR [87%] and the therapist judged the theme as predictive of the patients’ core psychodynamic issues. In the fifth study we found that the initial MDR contained more negative [43%] than positive [3%] affect. The last MDRs contained more positive [23%] affect than the initial MDR but still had more negative [37%] affect. The affect difference was statistically significant. Dream narratives were 13% positive in the initial MDR, and increased to 40% in the last MDR. Psychodynamic formulations were 10% positive in the initial MDR, and 33% positive in the last MDR, a significant difference.
The findings of these studies demonstrate that there is a correlation between MDR variables and clinical improvement during treatment.
1. To be able to assess the value of utilizing the clinical dream report to evaluate the progress of a patient in psychotherapy.
2. To be able to assess the role of affect in accounting for change in patients in psychotherapy.
3. To be able to assess the predictive value of the initial dream report in predicting the patient’s core psychodynamic issues.
1. Name one way you can use clinical dream reports to evaluate the patient’s progress in psychotherapy.
2. Name one way that the dream be viewed to explain the possibility that it is central to change in psychotherapy.
3. Is the scoring of various dream report variables reliable?
A Neuromythological Approach to Working with Dreams (Presentation within symposium, “Jung and Neuroscience”)
Carl Jung brought the topic of mythology into psychotherapy, and he wrote about his own “personal myth.” One approach to dreamwork is the identification of the functional or dysfunctional personal myth (or belief system) embedded in the dream. This personal myth usually is implicit or explicit in what Hartmann calls the “central image” of the dream. In addition, it typically serves as the “chaotic attractor” that self-organizes material drawn to it by the sleeping brain’s neural networks. Jung’s perspective on dreams is remarkably congruent with many findings in neuroscience as well as the self-regulatory processes that typify contemporary dream theory and research.
The target level of the audience is intermediate to advanced, and the aim of the presentation is to increase attendees’ knowledge about dream research and theories.
1. To be able to explain how Carl Jung brought the topic of mythology into psychotherapy.
2. To be able to summarize why we think mythically.
3. To be able to list the stages through which myths evolve.
1. Name one of the four sources of personal myth.
2. Name one way in which dreams help transform personal myths.
3. Name one of the five stages through which myths evolve.
Analogous Action Structures, Reflective Awareness, and Dream Impact (Paper)
Kuiken (2008) proposed that dream discontinuities (e.g., unexpected setting changes) mark the onset of dream theme transformations. Thus, marking discontinuities in dreams enables the identification of theme transformations within the dream and, potentially, anticipation of the effects of those transformations on post-dream thoughts and feelings. We will report the results of a study that examined theme variations across discontinuous dream episodes in impactful dreams.
In a set of 42 impactful dreams, we found that most (62%) had a structure in which analogous actions occurred across a series of thematically linked (but narratively discontinuous) episodes. Although dreams with this analogous action structure were evident equally often in mundane dreams, nightmares, existential dreams, and transcendent dreams, mundane dreams were more likely than impactful dreams (nightmares, existential dreams, and transcendent dreams ) to shift from positive affect to negative affect across episodes. Also, mundane dreams and transcendent dreams were more likely than nightmares and existential dreams to contain intrusive episodes that depart from their analogous action structure. By implication, nightmares and existential dreams more regularly involve recurrent expressions of the same dominant affective theme (involving fear and sadness, respectively) across discontinuous but thematically linked dream episodes.
Because nightmares and existential dreams have contrasting effects on post-dream thoughts and feelings (cf. Kuiken et al. 2006), it is important to compare and contrast the transformations that are evident across these dreams’ episodes. Analyses to date indicate that, in both nightmares and existential dreams, a character with a vague “presence” in the dream becomes an active and visible character who engages the dreamer, often aggressively. Also, at the conclusions of both nightmares and existential dreams, the emotion in the last episode (fear, anger) is carried over into immediate post-dream consciousness. While, as in previous studies, we observed greater self-perceptual depth following existential dreams than following nightmares, existential dreams without the analogous action structure were more likely to involve dream lucidity, whereas existential dreams with the analogous action structure did not involve dream lucidity at all. We suggest that the analogous action structure in existential dreams reflects loss-pain related monitoring of conflicting response alternatives (cf. Kuiken, Chudleigh, & Racher, 2010). This form of reflective awareness during existential dreams, like the intimations of lucidity that also occur in that dream type, leads to (1) the persistence of the dominant emotion (sadness) during the transition to wakefulness; (2) dream enacting behaviours during the transition to wakefulness (cf. Nielsen & Kuiken, submitted); and (3) immediate shifts in the dreamer’s sense of self even prior to “interpretation.”
1. To be able to identify analogous action structures in dreams.
2. To be able to name theme transformations.
3. To be able to compare nightmares and existential dreams.
1. Briefly, what is an analogous action structure?
2. Name one to the transformations that characterize dreams with an analogous action structure.
3. What is one difference between a nightmare and an existential dream?
Robert G. Kunzendorf
The Utilization of Dream Depictions—from Surrealist Art to Personality Research (Paper)
The presented research is the product of a five-year interdisciplinary experiment—an artistic experiment and a psychological experiment—focused on dream imagery. Inspired by the prevalence of dream imagery and “dream logic” in surrealist art, UML Art Professor James Veatch and I instructed 100 art students to visually recall a dream from beginning to end as if it were a movie and to notice the movie-frames/dream-frames containing critical changes in action, then to create a digital image resembling each “dream frame” and, finally, use their digitally imaged “dream frames” to create a surrealist collage.
At least two of the resulting collages seem to capture the surreality envisioned in actual works of surrealist art, as conferees attending this presentation will see. Inspired additionally by the psychological problem of studying other minds, I examined correlations between the 100 digitized dreams’ visual aspects and the personality traits and emotions of the students who dreamed and digitized them. Most of the correlational findings point to relationships that are readily observed in exemplary digital images of art students’ dreams (as conferees will see), but are not necessarily discoverable in the students’ verbal descriptions of those dreams. In one correlational finding, for example, “dream frames” which were deemed “visually surreal” by independent raters tended to come from art students with thinner boundaries. In another example, “dream frames” which were deemed more “yellowish” tended to come from art students with a more hostile personality—consistent with the ancient Greek doctrine of four humors and its association of the choleric or hostile temperament with the humor known as “yellow bile.” In still another example, “dream frames” containing a faceless man tended to come from art students experiencing death anxiety.
Visual examples of these and other correlational findings will be presented, and theoretical interpretations of all such findings will be discussed.
1. To be able to name differences between a verbal description and a visual depiction of the same dream.
2. To be able to describe manifestations of dream content and dream logic in surrealist artworks.
3. To be able to identify some of the relationships between a dream’s content and the dreamer’s personality.
1. Name one difference between a verbal description and a visual depiction of the same dream.
2. Briefly describe manifestations of dream content and dream logic in surrealist artworks.
3. Identify one relationship between a dream’s content and the dreamer’s personality.
Treasures from the Deep – Attending to Archetypal Images in Our Dreams (Morning Dream Group)
This is a group open to all dreamers who have a dream with an archetypal image to share for our common learning.
The aim of our work together is to increase personal spiritual and emotional awareness of our changing more-than-personal present context illuminated in the presented dreams, and what by way of individual opportunities they may open to each participant for his or her own unique personal response.
Specific Methods or Techniques: An eclectic method of dreamwork will be utilized within the framework of projective group dream work informed by the work of C.G. Jung. By their participation, participants agree to speak for themselves in making any interpretative remarks prefaced with comments to others such as “in my imagined version of your dream.” In addition, participants agree that information shared in the group will only be shared outside the group under the condition that it maintains anonymity, unless permission is otherwise given by the originating person. Participants also agree to respect any and all requests for specific shared material to be kept confidential.
Activities may vary depending on the presented dreams and available time. The predominant forms will be individual dreamwork and group discussion. Once the process for sharing has been modeled, depending on group size it may be necessary at some points to divide into subgroups as required by time constraints. Individual work may include dream incubation, drawing, meditation or the creation of story or poetry, as well as some suggestions about what to bring to the next session from the night’s dreaming.
Approximately 15% or less of the group time is planned for didactic introduction/lecture versus experiential work with/by the participants.
1. Differentiate layers of the psyche as described by C. G. Jung.
2. Explain the connection between the archetypal image and the more-than-personal layer(s) of the psyche.
3. Utilize a method of dream incubation that may invite new dreams to elaborate the meaningfulness of past dreams for discernment and/or guidance.
1. Can you name at least three layers of the unconscious that C.G. Jung understood as more than personal?
2. Are you able to explain how an archetypal image speaks in a dream from a more-than-personal layer of the unconscious?
3. Can you describe a method of dream incubation a dreamer might utilize to invite new dreams which may elaborate the meaningfulness of past dreams for discernment and/or guidance?
Change and Individuation with DreamSynergy™ (Morning Dream Group)
DreamSynergy: each aspect of a dream and group working together and contributing to the insight that is waiting to be discovered, producing a total effect greater than the sum of the individual elements.
Justina Lasley will lead the dream group in a way that ensures that we respect the sacredness of the dream and the dreamer. The group will establish trust among its members by honoring the integrity of the dream, the ultimate authority of the dreamer sharing the dream, and the confidentiality of the dreamwork.
She will use DreamSynergy™, an eclectic blend of dreamwork that she has developed over the past twenty years so that participants can gain a varied experience of group dream work. We will look at the emotions of the previous day and relate those to the emotions and energy of the dreams shared. Character study will help the dreamers in understanding aspects of their individual personalities, including stumbling blocks to personal growth. All of the exercises shared will lead to a better understanding of the individual and will express each person’s authentic and creative nature.
Each day we will have a very brief meditation leading into our sacred space. Daily, every participant will work though a short personal exercise so that each dream is honored. This work will then be incorporated into the group work. The presenter will then facilitate the group process of finding personal and universal meaning in a dream (or dreams).
Each dream will be ritualized in a manner chosen by the dreamer. The dream group will be experiential in nature. Information sharing will involve less than 10% of the time each day.
1. List three new techniques you might use to uncover the message and guidance of dreams.
2. Explain how emotions can be explored within the dream group to further personal growth.
3. Assess the use of dream characters in understanding the actions and reactions you choose in waking life.
1. What new effective ways of working with dreams were used during the week?
2. Why is a focus on emotions so important in self development?
3. What did I learn to move me forward in my personal growth and development?
DreamSynergy™: Dreams + Action = Change (Workshop)
We come to the IASD conference because we are intrigued with dreams in some way. We don’t have to be convinced that dreams are worth investigating. Perhaps through dreamwork you have individually changed, watched others transform, or you have found through research that dreams do have functions and that they indeed can change lives.
Dreams have value and the ability to move you and others toward the authentic fully-functioning Self. This workshop will move you from theory to application. It is one thing to believe in dreams and another to reap the rewards that are offered to each of us every night.
For over 20 years, Justina Lasley has been privileged to guide, participate and witness transformation in her dream groups and individual clients. You will get a glimpse of how dreams influenced her challenging personal journey, as well as the transformational journeys of clients.
DreamSynergy™, an innovative process of working with dreams, incorporates her own and other respected theories and techniques. This all-inclusive process simplifies the practice of finding meaning and using that meaning to facilitate change in your life, as well as in the lives of your clients. Applying the DreamSynergy™ process facilitates change in areas such as mental and physical well being (illness, hospice care, PTSD), relationships, finances, career, and creativity.
During our workshop, you will learn to apply the step by step DreamSynergy™ process to enhance lives – yours and/or others. This method bridges the gap between all areas and techniques of dreamwork so that you and your clients will have a tested and result-oriented approach to finding value from dreams. Justina encourages you to come with a dream of your own to process. Join her for some aha moments!
1. Explain the DreamSynergy approach to Dreamwork.
2. List various techniques that lead to understanding dreams and facilitating change.
3. Develop an understanding of why and how change occurs in individual development.
1. How can I facilitate change for myself and my clients?
2. Why is a focus on emotions so important in self development?
3. What aspects of the DreamSynergy process are especially beneficial to me and my professional arena?
A Preliminary Study of Reflective Awareness in Taiwanese People’s Dreams (Hot-off-the-Press)
Recent research indicates that a certain amount of reflective awareness may occur during dreaming, and sometimes dreamers may reach a state of full lucidity (Gackenbach, 1991; LaBerge, 1985; Rossi, 1985). From the phenomenological point of view, Lee, Kuiken, and Czupryn (2007) suggest that reflective awareness in dreams can be further differentiated into a five-factor model (i.e., lucid mindfulness, dual perspectives, depersonalization, intra-dream self-awareness, and willed appearances) contributing to the development of a Dream Reflective Awareness Questionnaire (DRAQ). A further study (Lee, 2010) indicated that the DRAQ has demonstrated high reliability and construct validity.
The present study was intended to investigate reflective awareness in Taiwanese people’s dreams. Ninety undergraduate students from a Taiwanese university were the participants (28.1% females, 71.9% males, mean age = 19.0 years) for this study. Participants were first asked to describe the dream that, during the preceding three months, “most significantly influenced [their] thoughts and feelings after awakening.” They needed to describe their dreams as exactly and as fully as they could remember them, from beginning to end, in their own words, and without any interpretation or explanation. Afterwards, participants completed a 61-item DRAQ (in Chinese, translated and revised from the original long version of DRAQ; Lee et al., 2007) and another questionnaire regarding the general conditions of their dream experiences.
The results suggested that the “five-factor model of dream reflective awareness” found in previous studies based on samples from western societies, has been successfully replicated in the present study. Past research has indicated that depersonalization (a form of reflective awareness in which the dreamer’s sense of self seems unreal or strange) is associated with a failure to access memory sources, either for waking or dream memories (Lee, Kuiken, & Czupryn, in preparation). The present study also suggested that, except for depersonalization, the other four patterns of dream reflective awareness were all significantly (or at least marginally) related to characteristics of remembering and anticipating, either within dreams or beyond dream experiences. Specifically, this study also supports the idea that depersonalization might accompany a lack of important cognitive functions (such as memory and reasoning abilities) during dreaming. Moreover, depersonalization was also found to be associated with a lack of clear self-representation within dreams.
(a) Target level of audience: All
(b) Aim of presentation: Introducing findings of dream research.
Gackenbach, J. (1991). Frameworks for understanding lucid dreaming: A review. Dreaming, 1(2), 109-128.
LaBerge, S. (1985). Lucid dreaming. New York: Ballantine.
Lee, M.-N. (2010). Reflective awareness in dreams following loss and trauma. Ph.D. dissertation at University of Alberta.
Lee, M.-N., Kuiken, D., & Czupryn, J. (2007). Reflective awareness in impactful dreams and dream-induced changes. Paper presented at the 24th IASD Annual Conference, Sonoma, July 2007.
Lee, M.-N., Kuiken, D., & Czupryn, J. (in preparation). A phenomenological study of reflective awareness in dreams: Characteristics of attention, memory, and anticipation.
Rossi, E. (1985). Dreams and the growth of personality. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
1. Ability to describe the features of lucid dreaming.
2. Ability to describe different patterns of dream reflective awareness.
3. Ability to compare and contrast different patterns of dream reflective awareness.
1. Please describe what “lucid dreaming” means.
2. Please describe the five patterns of dream reflective awareness introduced in this study.
3. Please compare and contrast depersonalization vs. other patterns of reflective awareness in dreams.
Dreams Calling (Arts special event)
Vinece will share the creative gifts that have manifested in material form, over recent years, through her deepening reliance on dreams. She will demonstrate how what she calls the Creatuitive Dream Tending process profoundly impacted her life, and is tangibly contributing to new awarenesses within the evolutionary transformation taking place on a collective level.
Original inventions, music, books, photographic series and performance art—all derived from and inspired by dreams—will be presented, some of it for the first time. She will also share unusual, miraculous events and insights that occurred during her Dream Journey, including:
- Creatuitive Dream Processing as a path towards purpose, fulfillment and evolutionary development.
- Practical means to move through creative blocks to Creative Resource, with greater openings and opportunities for the “miraculous” to occur.
- Dreams and access to personal creativity, Universal Flow, Multi-Dimensional Consciousness, and the yet unknown.
- Embodying dreams for practical, Creatuitive Manifestation.
- Dreams and Vibrational Ecstatic Expression.
There will be an opportunity for discussion and interaction.
1. To inspire deeper faith in the power of dreams through demonstration and presentation.
2. To offer practical means of deriving more from the creative potential within dreams.
3. To demonstrate the power of creating a more visceral dream experience.
1. How can dreams support me more practically and creatuitively, with greater material results?
2. What is the benefit of Multi Dimensional awareness and how can dreams contribute?
3. How can I connect with dreams more viscerally and tangibly to achieve a greater sense of well being?
Bringing the Dream to Life (Workshop)
As therapists, our ability and willingness to work effectively with the dreams of others is an invaluable skill. Gestalt Therapy with its emphasis on awareness, presence, dialogue, and respect, is ideally suited for the psycho-spiritual nature of dreamwork. Using techniques from Gestalt Therapy and other compatible approaches, we make contact with the dream in its own territory and bring it to life. We do this by re-experiencing the dream in the present, by embodying various elements, dialoging with them, and occasionally, asking others to “become” part of a theater in which the dream can be enacted. Throughout the process, the integrity of the dreamer is respected and it is the dreamer who chooses how to approach his or her own dream and what meaning it has.
In this experiential workshop, participants will have an opportunity to become familiar with the orienting principles of Gestalt Therapy and how they apply to dream work. Participants will learn how to facilitate the embodiment of dream images and the contact between them, how to set up a dream theater, and how to assist the dreamer through the process. In addition, therapeutic considerations, such as contraindications for Gestalt Therapy oriented dream work, will be presented.
All attendees will be encouraged to take part in brief warm-up exercises that will assist in the embodying of dream images. One or two participants will have an opportunity to actively work on a dream of their own. In addition, all will be encouraged to participate in a demonstration of “Dream Theater.”
This workshop is suited primarily for therapists, although many dream group leaders will benefit from being familiar with these processes. Approximately one third of the workshop will be didactic and the other two thirds experiential.
1. To be able to list the orienting principles of Gestalt Therapy.
2. To be able to describe an important objective of dream dialogues.
3. To be able to identify contraindications for embodied dream work.
1. Name one orienting principles of Gestalt Therapy.
2. What is one major objective of doing dream dialogues?
3. Identify one contraindication for doing embodied dream work?
Tallulah Lyons and Wendy Pannier
Healing Power of Dreams (Morning Dream Group)
This dream group is offered for anyone interested in the relationship of dreams to healing and in the practice of dreamwork for integrative healthcare. Participants will bring their dreams and explore them for healing imagery and energy. Our premise is that all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness, and our focus will be on the integration of dis-ease and wellness. We will use a projective dream group method that we have developed with cancer dream groups over the last ten years. We will also use Guided Imagery for Dream Re-entry, another process that we have developed in our cancer groups. We totally adhere to the IASD Ethics Statement and assure that the dreamer is in control at all times and is the ultimate authority on the meanings of the dream.
Each morning we will begin with a guided meditation into a liminal space so that each participant can connect with a personal dream. We will select and explore one of the dreams in each session, seeking indication of how and where the dream is inviting the dreamer to heal and grow. We will then use a guided imagery exercise so that everyone in the group can move back into the dream and allow the dream to open their capacity to move in the direction of expanded living. Our sessions will be almost 100% experiential, but our hope is that, since this will be a gathering of dreamers who care about dreams and healing, we will also have fruitful discussions on the challenges surrounding the effort to bring dream work into standard healthcare settings.
1. Describe basic steps for dream group sharing in a healthcare setting.
2. List four steps in the dream re-entry process.
3. List three ways to integrate healing dream energy.
1. Can you describe the basic steps for dream group sharing in a healthcare setting?
2. Can you list four steps in the dream re-entry process?
3. Can you list three ways to integrate healing dream energy?
Tallulah Lyons and Wendy Pannier
New Directions for IASD’s Healthcare DreamWork Project (Presentation within symposium, “New Directions for Dreams in Health Settings”)
Members of a cancer support dream group engaged in a project to transform disturbing conflicts related to their illnesses. Each dreamer selected a personally disturbing dream. After sharing the dream in the group and engaging in a group projective process, each dreamer then used a dream re-entry process developed in the IASD Healthcare Project to move back into the experience so that the imagery and energy of the dream could begin to evolve. Over several months, each dreamer then continued working with her dream through meditation, new dreams, expressive arts, meditative movement, journaling, and intentional activities, in order to bring about change in the relationship to the disturbing issue from the initial dream.
Samples from the art projects and selections from participants’ journals demonstrate a process that is proving to be a powerful, creative way for coming into new relationship with illness and conflict. Part of the project is that the dreamer periodically returns to the original dream experience in order to confirm the growing difference between the original imagery and energy and the evolving healing imagery and energy. Examples of art and writing from this project demonstrate a compelling way to use dreams as a catalyst for ongoing healing work. Our goal is to clarify and systematize the process so that it can become a viable focus for measurable outcome.
In another project, we are developing guidelines for teaching health practitioners how to bring the healing benefits of dreams into their interactions with patients. . Our hope is to develop a manual and workshops for all levels of health practitioners in order to further this goal.
1. To be able to describe steps of a dream re-entry process.
2. To be able to summarize practices for integrating healing imagery/energy.
3. To be able to list questions about dreams that any practitioner can ask a patient.
1. Identify one step for a dream re-entry process.
2. Briefly summarize one practice for integrating healing imagery/energy.
3. List one question about dreams that any practitioner can ask a patient.
Josie Malinowski and co-author Caroline L. Horton
The Continuity Questionnaire (Poster)
The continuity between individuals’ waking lives and their dreams, which can be considered to be the ways in which waking-life experiences (e.g. Schredl & Hoffmann, 2003), thoughts, conceptions and concerns (e.g. Domhoff, 1996), and emotions (e.g. Hartmann, 1996) influence dreams, has been studied using a variety of methods, each with their benefits and flaws, such as the laboratory and dream-diary methods. However, no attempt has yet been made to measure continuity as a trait, using a self-rated questionnaire. The aims of the present study were twofold: to develop a psychometrically valid measure of continuity as a trait aspect of dreaming; and to investigate how continuity relates to various personality traits.
313 participants completed the Continuity Questionnaire (CQ), a 58-item measure of an individual’s experience of the continuity between their waking life and their dreams, and four personality measures: the Boundary Questionnaire (Hartmann, 1991); the Big Five Inventory (John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008); the Tellegan Absorption Scale (Tellegen, 1995); and attitude towards dreams (Beaulieu-Prιvost & Zadra, 2005). A principal components analysis proposed five distinct factors of continuity: ‘Continuity with Present’; ‘Continuity with Past’; ‘Similarity’; ‘Emotional Continuity’; and ‘Bizarreness’. Correlational analyses of the CQ with personality measures indicated a number of significant and nuanced relationships between the factors of continuity and the personality traits, but not with attitude towards dreams. The implications of the results in relation to continuity research are discussed.
Beaulieu-Prιvost, D. and Zadra, A. (2005). Dream recall frequency and attitude towards dreams: a reinterpretation of the relation. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 919-927.
Domhoff, G. W. (1996). Finding Meaning in Dreams: A Quantitative Approach. New York: Plenum Publishing Co.
Hartmann, E. (1991). Boundaries in the Mind. New York: Basic Books.
John, O. P., Naumann, L. P., & Soto, C. J. (2008). Paradigm shift to the integrative Big Five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and conceptual issues. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins, & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research, pp. 114-158. New York: Guilford Press.
Merckelnbach, H., Horselenberg, R., & Muris, P. (2001). The Creative Experiences Questionnaire (CEQ): a brief self-report measure of fantasy proneness. Personality and Individual Differences, 31, 987-995.
Schredl, M., & Hoffmann, F. (2003). Continuity between waking activities and dream activities. Consciousness and Cognition, 12, 298-308.
Tellegan, A. (1995). Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire™ (MPQ™). Copyright © 1995, 2003 by Auke Tellegen. Unpublished test. Used by permission of the University of Minnesota Press. All Rights Reserved.
1. Understand the rationale for using a questionnaire to measure continuity.
2. Be able to name the factors of continuity that were found.
3. Understand the relationships between the continuity factors and personality measures that were found.
1. Can you name one reason in favour of using a questionnaire to measure continuity?
2. Name all five of the factors of continuity that were found.
3. Can you name and describe the relationship between one of the factors of continuity and the personality measures?
The Way we Dream: Linguistic Creativity and the Emergence of Lexical Structures during Dream State (Paper)
Few experts have contributed to the description of the language and dream interface in human cognition (Freud, 1900; Kraepelin, 1906; Heynick, 1981, 1983, 1993; Foulkes, 1978, 1985; Arkin 1981; Hunt, 1989; Meier, 1993; States, 1998; Solms 1997; Foulkes, 1997; Kilroe, 2000; Hartmann, 2000; Hubb, 2009). The most accessible contact point between the two systems seems to be the emergence of language in dreams. Two approaches aim to describe the phenomenon.
One, rather normative and quantitative, approaches dreamspeech as a performance and classifies it in terms of its appropriateness to formal speech. Although there is no agreement among authors as to what proportion of dreams contain speech, most specialists (e.g. Freud, 1900; Heynick, 1993; Barrett, 2009) showed that when reported, linguistic expressions are generally grammatically, syntactically, and pragmatically correct. The locus of atypical language is mostly observed in the lexicon. A second approach, more descriptive and qualitative, attempts to explain the underlying processes responsible for speech generation during the dream state. One main question is: how does the linguistic system structure the dream system? Or what general conceptual principles or natural laws organize both cognitive systems?
In his Traumdeutung (1900), Freud presents a few examples of the “neologisms” generated by condensation dreamwork, a process by which the unconscious blends various dream thoughts into one common element, either shared by these thoughts or made up by the dream processes. Lakoff (1997) explains that there exist similarities between certain dream mechanisms described by Freud (1900) and the most standard processes of our conceptual system: “What [he] called symbolization, displacement, condensation, and reversal appear to be the same mechanisms that cognitive scientists refer to as conceptual metaphor, conceptual metonymy, conceptual blending, and irony.” Applying his theory to eight dream analyses, Lakoff aims to demonstrate how our most ordinary conceptual metaphor system converts our everyday life content into dream symbols.
This paper presents the results of research that aims to account for the highly sophisticated cognitive processes involved in the emergence of an atypical lexicon in dreams.
The preliminary analysis suggests that lexical idiosyncrasies are a manifestation of the speaker’s linguistic creativity, that is, the capacity to generate lexical signs, which meet both the “novelty” and “relevance” criteria (Chomsky, 1975; D’Agostino, 1984; Karkhurin, 2009; Kamplys & Vantalen 2010; Klausen, 2010). These preinventive lexical structures (Finke, Ward & Smith, 1992, 1995) might be generated by the same organisation principles found in the language system, and in nature in general (Reeves, 2011), such as conceptual blending (Fauconnier & Turner, 2002; 1995; Rubba, 2009).
The research proposes an interdisciplinary cognitive framework in psychology (creative cognition – Geneplore model: Finke, Ward & Smith, 1992, 1995) and linguistics (Fauconnier 1985, Fauconnier & Turner 2002, Lakoff & Johnson, 1980; Lakoff 1987, Evans, 2006, 2009).
A qualitative methodology involved the participation of 15 speakers who provided a dream sample containing a new lexical form, and participated in a questionnaire about the occurrence of the dream, the emergent lexical structure they reported, and their linguistic and oneiric profile.
1. To be able to summarize the results of research on lexical creativity in dreams.
2. To be able to define the framework of conceptual blending theory.
3. To be able to generalize the linguistic analysis to the structure of dream content.
1. True or false: The competency of the speaker to generate morpho-phonolocially well-formed lexical structures that keep up with the context of the dream is maintained during sleep.
2. Define the framework of Conceptual blending in one sentence.
3. What is one way that linguistic studies on dreams help us understand dream content, processes and structure?
Laura Mason Lockard
Music, Dreams, and Altered States of Consciousness (Presentation within symposium, “Dreams, Music and Consciousness”)
From a surprising pre-cognitive dream of a 1970’s hit song to relying upon dreams and altered states of consciousness to provide an ongoing supply of musical arrangements for two historical music groups, this is my story. I have experienced lucid dreams since early childhood and some of my more memorable experiences involved musical dreams. These musical dreams connect the past and future to the present in unexpected ways. Many people hear music in their dreams. But to manifest this music in waking reality dreamers must be willing to learn a method of recording it, either by using a recording device or learning to write songs heard “inside their heads” in musical notation. However this is still dream journaling! I will share techniques for taking advantage of musical creativity through dreams, both lucid and non-lucid, including incubating musical dreams, using creative imagination to work with memory fragments, and suggestions for musical lucid dream intentions.
1. List three methods of working with musical dreams.
2. Identify three suggestions to improve the quantity and quality of dreams in general.
3. Describe the process of incubating a musical dream.
1. Can you name three methods for working with musical dreams?
2. List three techniques for improving the quantity and quality of dreams in general.
3. Are you able to explain the process of incubating a musical dream?
Linda H. Mastrangelo
Animal Dreaming: A Wakeup Call from Forgotten Eden (Paper)
In his groundbreaking book, Our Dreaming Mind, psychologist, researcher, and professor Robert Van de Castle cites that adults dream of animals about 7% of the time and that children dream of them about 27% of the time. Through the presenter’s personal research, dream groups and interactions with people, she has found that the number of animal dreams in adults is probably higher now and even growing. But why?
Is it an initiation into remembering the forgotten wisdom of some ancient time? Or are they ancestors dressed in fur, gills or feathers to offer medicine or initiation into the mysteries? Or perhaps they are here to warn us of a planet in danger, crying to be honored and taken seriously. We Westerners lack a cosmology that shapes who we are as a people and ultimately how we treat the planet. So perhaps it’s through dreaming that animals need to make contact with us: an indigenous practice we still engage with. And like the darkness in shamans’ caves, as Joseph Campbell stated, the animals are ‘awakening within us’ in the dreamtime.
Linda says that all these explanations are more than possible, but also believes there is something more going on with these extraordinary creatures of the dreamtime. In this presentation, the meaning of animals in dreams will be explored through the lens of indigenous science, ancient mythology, transpersonal psychology and recent wildlife studies, along with her own personal dreams. Her hope is not to dissect these animals as one would in a lab, but rather be openly engaged and playful with them in their natural habitat like a Margaret Mead or Jane Goodall. She believes in this willingness to face our fears, be astounded by Nature and more importantly be humbled by Her in terms of understanding ourselves and our place in the Universe.
1. Identify types of animal dreams.
2. Compare current animal dreaming phenomena with indigenous practices/mythology.
3. Describe techniques to further explore animal dreams and their deeper meanings.
1. Can you identify three types of animal dreams?
2. Are you able to compare certain characteristics of modern day phenomena with indigenous practices/mythology?
3. Can you describe techniques to deepen the exploration and meanings of animal dreams?
Throw Like a Girl: Using Facilitated Dream Circles to Empower Girls to Hold onto Their True Selves and Resist the Dangerous Pressures of Contemporary Adolescence as They Transition into Womanhood (Paper)
Contemporary society is telling us something about how we bring young women to maturity. It is not working for them or for us. Notwithstanding a century of strengthening women’s position in society through suffrage, advocacy and consciousness-raising, it is apparent that we are still a culture rife with destructive, threatening messages that undermine the independence and self-actualization of girls. We are still in a culture that trivializes and impedes the effective empowerment of the feminine aspect of the human experience and enterprise. Increases in life-threatening eating disorders, teen suicides, clinical depression, girl-violence, sex-trafficking and secularization of minors are all alarming evidence of the mortal consequences at stake in this issue. These are mortal consequences for individual girls, and as the number of individuals lost reaches critical mass, the greater social collective suffers mortal consequences as well. How do we empower girls to withstand these destructive messages? What do they need to hold onto, develop, and effectively mature their authentic selves in a way that promotes their self-actualization and ultimately transforms society into a fully-nurturing rather than girl-threatening environment?
Presenter Jane Maxfield has designed a unique eight-week program for newly adolescent girls which combines
• the gender psychology research of feminist ethicist and psychologist Carol Gilligan and her colleagues
• the projective dream-work process originally designed by psychologist Montague Ullman
• the gender literary-anthropology research of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, German scholar Valarie Pardez, and others
• the art herstorical research of Marija Gimbutas, Barbara G. Walker and others
• and Jane Maxfield’s own art as a spiritual practice.
The presentation will provide an overview of the construction and design of the Throw Like a Girl program, and will share the anecdotal and statistical data resulting from the experience of the prototype group of girls. Data included will measure the near-term effect that participating in an eight-week dream circle had on girls’ self-awareness, self-efficacy, and their perception of positive peer and adult support. Intended for ALL conference attendees, the aim of this presentation is to increase awareness of the possibilities of using dream work groups to promote psycho-spiritual-emotional health in adolescent girls.
1. To be able to describe the potential for dream work to empower girls to resist destructive forces and actualize a healthy psycho-spiritual-emotional adolescence.
2. To be able to identify commonalities between themes in The Frog Prince fairytale and the gender psychology research of feminist ethicist and psychologist, Carol Gilligan.
3. To be able to explain commonalities between the language of dreams and the language of authentic fairytales.
1. Briefly describe the core drama facing adolescent girls as identified by Carol Gilligan.
2. Name one way that participating in a facilitated dream circle could benefit an adolescent girl.
3. Identify one critical design concern that needs to be addressed before working with girls and dreams.
Is Dreaming the Key to Post-Modern Physics? (Presentation within symposium, “‘Space’, Time and Lucid Dreaming: Connections to Modern Physics)
Traditionally, psychology and physics are often considered to have little overlap. However, Pauli’s description of the principle of complementarity in quantum physics had some impact on the model of the psyche and personality developed by his colleague and therapist, Carl Jung. Pauli also used his dreams to understand the importance of the mathematical underpinnings of quantum mechanics and their connection with the larger aspects of the psyche or Self.
Ullmann and Globus used ideas from quantum physics (and particularly the views of David Bohm) to guide their later models of dreaming. Quantum theory and experiments have forced us to accept that nature is inherently probabilistic and not deterministic.
This symposium gives evidence of how dreams – especially lucid dreams – may allow us to interact with the field of probabilities or the inner framework of reality. In dreams, the time from mentation to experience is drastically shortened compared to waking physical reality, so lucidity allows us the ability to perform experiments that are either impossible or take too long in waking reality.
In both of the pillars of modern physics, relativity and quantum theory, “the observer” plays an important role not recognized in classical (Newtonian) physics. In relativity, time is no longer an absolute concept, but different observers each have their own personal time. Even the order of events may be interchanged for different observers. In quantum theory, the probable outcomes are usually infinite and “the observer” is involved in the choice of observation which selects the actual outcome from the “space” of probabilities (called Hilbert space), even the qualities of the object or event under consideration – e.g. whether “it” appears as a particle or a wave. Also, the many worlds interpretation of quantum theory suggests (and relativity requires) the concept of a multiverse.
The experiences discussed in this symposium should be understood as normal and expected with modest expansions of current ideas in modern physics. Specifically, experiences in lucid dreams suggest that we may experience multiple time lines (sometimes simultaneously) as well as different branches of the probable worlds.
Recent research has shown that dream content can be correlated with waking experiences from a specific number of days in the recent past. Anecdotal evidence will be presented that suggests that future research should include an analysis of future “day residue” as well. We know that dreams help us to examine possible future scenarios, but is it possible that we can actually experience probable futures? These and other non-standard-time experiences of lucid dreamers might be called “out-of-time” experiences.
Our current understanding of the nature of time, space, and energy has required a unification of two seemingly unrelated fields: cosmology and microphysics. The experiences mentioned in this symposium suggest that a first-person approach to the fundamental questions about the nature of waking reality may be beneficial or even required. Our experiences in some dream states, particularly lucid dream states, may be one of our best tools for the next unification of matter, energy, and consciousness as well as for our self-individuation.
1. To be able to identify some of the past uses of dreams by physicists or of physics by dream theorists.
2. To be able to describe how modern physics (quantum theory or relativity) suggests that physical reality is based on an inner framework of reality and why physical reality is fundamentally probabilistic not deterministic.
3. To be able to explain how a first-person science is possible and that lucid dreams may be used to explore this inner framework.
1. Identify one of the past uses of dreams by physicists or of physics by dream theorists.
2. Briefly describe how modern physics (quantum theory and relativity) suggests that physical reality is based on an inner framework of reality OR that physical reality is fundamentally probabilistic not deterministic.
3. Briefly state how dreams can be used to explore the fundamental nature of reality or give evidence of such a possibility.
Nicolle Miller and co-author Teresa DeCicco
Assessing the Effects of Meditation on Dream Imagery, Depression and Anxiety (Presentation within Symposium, “Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies Applied to Dream Research: Soldiers, the Bereaved, with Meditation, and the Stroop Task”)
Waking day depression has been found to be linked to patterns of dream imagery (Jones & DeCicco, 2009; King & DeCicco, 2007; Schredl et al., 2009). Similarly, anxiety is also linked to specific images in dreams (DeCicco, et al, 2012; Jones & DeCicco, 2009; Zansi et al., 2011). Past research has also found that dream work can, in fact, be beneficial for decreasing depression and anxiety levels (DeCicco et al., 2010; Jones & DeCicco, 2010). Another important protocol for the treatment of mood fluctuations is meditation, which can help regulate mood and help with sleep patterns (Burns, et al., 2011; Lovas & Barsky, 2010, Schreiner & Malcolm, 2008). Past research has not yet examined the relationship among depression, anxiety, dream imagery and meditation.
The current study examined the effects of meditation on waking day depression levels (BDI), trait anxiety levels (BAI-T) and dream imagery. Twenty-two participants were tested for depression and trait anxiety prior to being taught a form of basic meditation. Participants also provided one recent dream before beginning meditation (pre-test condition). They were given a 10-minute meditation on-line and a journal to document the morning and evening meditation sessions. The post-test condition involved measuring depression and anxiety levels, and providing another recent dream. All participants also conducted a dream interpretation, using The Storytelling Method (DeCicco, T. L., 2009), for discovery on both pre- and post-dreams. All pre- and post-dreams were then scored for depressive and anxious imagery, and scored as low, moderate and high levels. It was predicted that moderate to high levels of anxiety would decrease in both inventory scores as well as anxious dream imagery, post meditation practice. Similarly, depressive scores were predicted to decrease with the practice of meditation in both inventory and dream imagery scores, for participants initially scoring moderate to high.
Results are consistent with previous research in that mood levels changed over the course of the meditation period. Also, dream imagery changed for the both depression and anxiety imagery, such as scene changes and animals in dreams. Implications for future research are discussed as well as applications of dream work and meditation in clinical and applied practice.
1. To be able to name the effects of meditation on anxiety, depression and dream imagery in university students.
2. To be able to identify dream imagery that will assist in predicting anxiety and depression.
3. To be able to summarize the benefits of using dream journals in clinical practice.
1. Name one of the main effects of meditation on anxiety, depression and dream imagery in university students.
2. Identify one type of dream imagery that helps predict anxiety or depression.
3. Briefly summarize one benefit of using dream journals in a clinical practice.
Anthony Murkar and co-author Carlyle Smith
Electrophysiological Measures of Meaningfulness in Dream Imagery (Presentation within Symposium, “Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies Applied to Dream Research: Soldiers, the Bereaved, with Meditation, and the Stroop Task”)
One question of current scientific study in the field of sleep state mentation (dreaming) involves the concept of dream meaning – do dreams contain content which is meaningful to the dreamer? A number of studies have presented ideas and findings that are in contradiction in this respect (DeCicco, 2007; Hobson, 1988), although Hobson’s model accommodates the notion that dreams may be meaningful in some way to the dreamer upon waking. Dominant neuropsychological theories of dream generation, though powerful in their explanation of various dream phenomena, are in many cases not strongly supported by empirical research findings. A model of dream generation was proposed based on the synthesis of research from the fields of sleep and dream research. Since emotionally significant material naturally emerges from the model, various tasks were created to assess whether dreams do contain imagery which is meaningful to the dreamer. Findings suggested that measures of Electrodermal Response (EDR) were significantly higher for dream-tasks than neutral tasks, and Stroop response times were significantly slower for dream-tasks than neutral tasks. Findings were in support of the idea that dream imagery is meaningful for the dreamer.
1. To be able to identify the usefulness of physiological and cognitive measures for the study of dreams, as well as how neurological theories of dream generation relate to meaningfulness.
2. To be able to identify how current and previous research has attempted to explain the problem of whether there exists meaningfulness in dream imagery.
3. To be able to summarize new methodologies for conducting research using participant dream reports.
1. Name one piece of evidence that suggests that dream imagery contains information that is meaningful to the dreamer.
2. Identify one benefit of current dominant neurological explanations of dreaming in terms of explaining various dream phenomena.
3. What is one limitation of these models for explaining dream phenomena?
Safety in Dream Groups: The Clearness Committee as Model (Paper)
Safety in dream groups is of paramount concern for those who participate in them, particularly those new to dream work and dream groups. This concern for safety is echoed in the opening sentences of the IASD ethics statement. Various dream workers, dream group leaders, and dream group participants themselves would benefit from the insights about safety and respect that are found in the Quaker Clearness Committee. The more the IASD can spread the word about the value of dreams and the safety that can surround working with dreams, the more readiness there may be in our culture to pay attention to dreams.
The Quaker Clearness Committee offers a model which can help set the tone for a dream group that is trustworthy and safe. The Clearness Committee should not be copied word for word, but it should be looked at as offering models of the kinds of boundaries that might be set up around each dreamer and participant. Those of us working with dreams in groups have encountered a variety of people and responses to dreams. This model, when used as inspiration to set the ground rules for dream groups, allows both the freedom of the dreamer and the respect for the dream that can further the aims of the group.
This paper presentation will introduce the Clearness Committee and give some historical background to it. The Clearness Committee began in the 1660’s as a specific method for discernment when facing a decision. It has seen a renewal of interest among the last generation or two of Quakers, as well as others seeking a model for group spiritual direction. It is this use of the Clearness Committee in group spiritual direction that makes it relevant in the area of dream groups. The Clearness Committee provides specific guidelines for the focus person, as well as for the other participants in the Clearness Committee. In the crossover to dream groups, the guidelines for the focus person become applied to the dreamer who is sharing their dream, and the guidelines for the participants are applied to the other members of the group. The specific wording of the Clearness Committee will be changed in such a way as to clarify its applicability to dream groups.
1. To be able to articulate why emotional safety in dream groups is of utmost importance.
2. To be able to describe principles and insights from Clearness Committee guidelines and practice.
3. To be able to apply Clearness Committee principles to dream groups.
1. What was one issue discussed today about dream group safety?
2. Briefly describe the guiding principles of Clearness Committees.
3. Name one way that Clearness Committee principles can guide us in establishing and running dream groups.
Lucid Dreaming Before Freud: The 19th Century History of Lucid Dreaming in the United States and Great Britain (Paper)
The history of lucid dreaming in the United States and Great Britain is more pervasive than has been previously assumed. This paper will present some of the findings of the author’s dissertation, which represents the first extensive investigation of historical English language references to lucid dreaming.
Early mainstream 19th century assumptions about the nature of dream consciousness were heavily informed by the 18th century Enlightenment ideal of venerating reason at the expense of the imagination. The most authoritative Enlightenment writers dismissed dreams as a form of disturbed thinking, similar to drunkenness and madness. At the same time, Romanticism, animal magnetism, phrenology, and other early 19th century movements challenged reductionist models of dreaming.
By the middle of the 19th century, several themes associated with Victorianism were dramatically altering foundational assumptions about the dream state. In particular, the rise of logical positivism and Spencerian Darwinism helped to extend the reach of experimental science more deeply into the domain of subjective experience. Exploring dreams in an experimental context led to a more permeable understanding of the relationship between waking and dreaming consciousness.
This emergence of more fluid paradigms of dream consciousness reached a critical mass around 1880, in the midst of an explosion of cultural and scientific interest in hypnotism, mediumship, multiple personalities, and other manifestations of altered states of consciousness. The physician and hypnotherapist Hyppolite Bernheim, the theosophist Madame Blavatsky, the psychical researcher Frederic Myers, and others created a theoretical foundation for a new generation to explore the lucid dream state with greater depth and meaning.
Over the next several decades, an abundance of references to the lucid dreams state appeared in a variety of fields, including literature, psychology, physiology, occultism, psychical research, and various reference materials. This unprecedented interest in lucid dreaming was eclipsed and eventually forgotten as Freudian and Behaviorist theories rose to prominence in the early 20th century. The contemporary relevance of this largely forgotten era of lucid dreaming will be considered.
1. To identify some of the most significant 18th century trends contributing to the historical development of lucid dreaming in the 19th century.
2. To describe some of the most important themes and figures associated with lucid dreaming in the 19th century.
3. To understand some of the major reasons for the decline of interest in lucid dreaming in the early 20th century.
1. What are some of the most significant 18th century trends contributing to the historical development of lucid dreaming in the 19th century?
2. What are some of the most important themes and figures associated with lucid dreaming in the 19th century?
3. What are some of the major reasons for the decline of interest in lucid dreaming in the early 20th century?
Van Eeden’s Secret: On the Centennial of the Publication of “A Study of Dreams” (Paper)
“The solution to the secret of our lives is in our dreams.” Frederik van Eeden made this provocative claim in his autobiographical novel The Bride of Dreams. A century has elapsed since van Eeden presented his ideas on lucid dreaming through this novel and his better known paper A Study of Dreams. Surprisingly, one searches in vain for discussions of, or even references to, the details of van Eeden’s proposed solution to life’s secret. One reason for this conspicuous silence is the fact that The Bride of Dreams has been almost completely ignored as a source of information on van Eeden’s lucid dreaming theory.
Reasons explaining the relative lack of scholarly interest in van Eeden’s ideas on dreaming will be explored. One obvious factor is his marginalization resulting from being associated with psychical research. This marginalization is perpetuated by modern perceptions of van Eeden that fail to place him in a historical context. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, van Eeden was an internationally renowned figure who had attained the highest levels of distinction as a social reformer, poet, novelist, literary critic, hypnotherapist, and philosopher of language. Significantly, van Eeden draws explicitly from his polymathic background when constructing and presenting his lucid dreaming theory.
Situating van Eeden in a broader historical context illuminates the need for the field of lucid dreaming to explore his ideas more thoroughly. A summary of some of the lesser known yet highly relevant aspects of van Eeden’s lucid dreaming theory will be presented.
1. To place Frederik van Eeden’s lucid dreaming ideas within a broader historical context.
2. To outline several lesser known aspects of van Eeden’s lucid dreaming theory.
3. To explore reasons why van Eeden’s writings have not been examined in greater detail by modern lucid dreaming scholars.
1. What was van Eeden’s proposed solution to the secret of life?
2. Describe van Eeden’s views on the significance of dreaming.
3. What factors contributed to the marginalization of van Eeden’s writings?
What Lucid Dreamers Can Learn from Emanuel Swedenborg (Paper)
The author’s dissertation on the history of lucid dreaming in the United States and the United Kingdom produced many unexpected findings. One of the most curious was the discovery that the figure who arguably played the most pivotal role in the historical development of Western lucid dreaming is almost never mentioned in modern accounts of lucid dreaming’s history.
Emanuel Swedenborg was an 18th century Swedish scientist, philosopher, visionary, and statesman. Many of his ideas profoundly shaped the course of Western alternative spirituality. His conscious exploration of dreams and visions directly influenced a wide array of 19th century movements, including the marked increase of popular interest in lucid dreaming in the 1890s and early 1900s.
In his own lifetime, Swedenborg gained a significant amount of prestige as a scientist. However, while in his fifties, a series of life-altering dreams and visions prompted him to devote the last thirty years of his life to directly investigating spiritual realms. Throughout this time period he exhaustively and consciously explored his dreams and visions, with both the analytical rigor of a scientist and the intuitive insight of a mystic. This paper will offer some suggestions about the relevance of Swedenborg’s dreams and visions to the modern lucid dreaming community.
1. To describe Swedenborg’s place in the Western history of lucid dreaming.
2. To identify the particular ways in which Swedenborg explored dreams and visions.
3. To identify some of the ways in which Swedenborg’s writings are relevant to the modern lucid dreaming community.
1. What is Swedenborg’s place in the Western history of lucid dreaming?
2. What are some of the particular ways in which Swedenborg explored dreams and visions?
3. What are some of the ways in which Swedenborg’s writings are relevant to the modern lucid dreaming community?
The session will consist of a brief introduction to the presenter’s research and meditations on waking dreams and features a meditation workshop utilizing a water droplet painting technique. The technique fosters development in mediating the liminal space between sleep and wakefulness; visually, this is represented through darkness and light.
Specific methods or techniques include a Mandala meditation and a Heart Rhythm meditation. In the Mandala meditation, participants should naturally fall into a rhythm of transferring water droplets to a paper surface. This harmonious practice serves as a Heart Rhythm meditation. No dream interpretation will be provided, but attendees will be guided into a self-directed exercise to relieve stress/anxiety. Attendees are encouraged to share reflections of their mandala-making experience before the session concludes.
1. To understand concepts of the abject and the sublime.
2. To develop an understanding of how one’s dreamscape can function as a Kantian sublime, and the implications of this possibility.
3. To exercise a (new) meditative art method – water droplet mandalas and ‘Sublimations’ to alleviate anxiety.
1. Can you define the basic attributes of “abject” and “sublime”?
2. Can you recount (share) a dream that elicits the Kantian sublime?
3. What was your experience of the meditation? (no wrong answer)
Seeing the Dream: Yogic and Shamanic Insight into Dream Work (Workshop)
Dr. Paul presents the role and development of inner-seeing – as known and practiced by the shaman or yogic dreamer – for the dream interpreter or dream worker, as a way of working safely and accurately with varied dreams, including extraordinary dreams and shadow dreams.
Yogic knowledge and shamanic experience reveal and affirm the potential and ability of “seeing the dream” of another. This inner-seeing ability is described by Desert Cahuilla Medicine Woman Ruby Modesto in her book Not for Innocent Ears. The basic subtle-physics from yogic traditions of Seeing the Dream will be described.
Techniques presented to and experienced by participants in this workshop will include: ancient and modern dharanas, using visual and mental exercises for expanding consciousness and perception; and mutual-dream gestalt sharing and reporting techniques. Guided group experiences as well as the option for partnering will be given. Instructions will be given for continued self-training as a daily practice. The role and the potential application of Ganzfeld and sound in sensitizing and exploring inner-seeing will be introduced.
Principles and guidelines for discriminating between universal dream forms and personal forms, including shadow figures, will be presented. This knowledge and discrimination skill has implications for dream-shadow work, lucid dreaming and nightmare interpretation and resolution. Certain risks of some common approaches for dealing with shadow or dark figures in dreams will be presented from yogic and shamanic perspectives, and yogic alternatives will be given.In this dream work the dream interpretation facilitator collaborates with or guides the dreamer in “co-seeing” what the dreamer has yet to see or realize, assisting the dreamer to discriminate and decide whether dreams or dream figures are of a universal reality or a personal nature. With the rising popularity of lucid dreaming and treatment of nightmares, shamanic dream work, active imagination and shadow work, the principles and skills presented are considered crucial for today’s modern dream worker.
This presentation is for all levels of participants. The presentation is designed to: increase personal self-awareness and growth; increase knowledge about dream theory and dream research; and train licensed mental health professionals and graduate students about using dreams in clinical practice
1. Identify one yoga tradition, ancient or modern, presented in this presentation that adds to our knowledge of seeing the dream.
2. Describe two risks of not differentiating universal dream elements from personal dream elements.
3. Describe a yogic principle presented as a safe skill and technique to apply to an encounter with a shadow figure or persona in dreamwork.
1. Can you identify one yoga tradition, ancient or modern, presented in this presentation that adds to our knowledge of seeing the dream?
2. Can you describe two risks of not differentiating universal dream elements from personal dream elements?
3. Can you describe a yogic principle presented as a safe skill and technique to apply to an encounter with a shadow figure or persona in dreamwork?
Wojciech Owczarski and co-author Monika Żółkoś
Dreams of the Excluded: Therapeutic Effects of the Dreams of Nursing Homes Residents (Paper)
Our presentation will reveal the results of research on the therapeutic potential of dreams carried out among elderly people from nursing homes. We have examined 100 (42 men and 58 women) nursing home residents using quantitative analysis (Hall/Van de Castle coding system) and qualitative analysis. The results show clearly that their dreams differ from the Hall and Van de Castle norms, especially with respect to a considerably more frequent appearance of familiar and friendly characters (usually close family members), and positive emotions. This fact, contrasting with the feeling of loneliness and failure declared by most of the residents, suggests that their dreams perform the simplest possible therapeutic function – the dreams do not enable the dreamers to adjust to their new life situation, but, by denying the present situation, they “bring” the dreamers to their happy past.
A definite majority of the dreams (no matter whether considered by the dreamers as helpful to cope with their present situation or not) covers meetings with their close ones (alive or not) and most often describe memories of real events. What is interesting is that these memories are very rarely nostalgic or unhappy for the dreamers – much more often they make them more comfortable and happier in their present situation. It seems that to accept successfully a situation of exclusion – being put into a nursing home – depends on the effectiveness of transferring one’s interest from the present and the future to the past, and that dreams can be really helpful with this.
1. To be able to list the characteristics of nursing homes residents’ dreams differing from the norm established by Calvin Hall and Robert Van de Castle.
2. To be able to describe and explain the therapeutic influence of dreams on nursing homes residents.
3. To be able to compare the life situation and attitude of those who find their dreams helpful and therapeutic to those who do not.
1. Name one difference between the dreams of nursing homes residents and the norm established by Calvin Hall and Robert Van de Castle.
2. True or false: The dreams of nursing home residents helped the dreamer adjust to his or her new life situation.
3. Briefly describe how the nursing homes residents’ belief in therapeutic role of their dreams influences their view of their own life situation.
Dream Mapping (Paper)
Dream Mapping is a technique adaptable to all approaches of dreamwork. It is suitable for psychotherapy, dream groups, and personal development for individuals, mutual dreamers and people in close relationships. It is based in the assumptions that all perceptual experience consists of an interplay between objective and subjective reality and that Dreaming is the underlying neural processing of all perceptual data, whether it is internally or externally generated. This definition of Dreaming is inclusive of all perceptual experience of which dreaming, the remembered-sleeping experience, is only a small piece. This perceptual experience is being reconciled both consciously and unconsciously all of the time. Dream Mapping encourages conscious reconciliation of our objective and subjective perception. This results in an appreciation for our lived-reality and it is truly larger-than-life.
Dream Mapping explores this perceptual frontier, illuminating relationships-of-meaning at multiple levels. It is an encounter at the interface between the landscape and dreamscape, the hard and soft realities. This technique is a process that is ongoing because it is essentially charting your unfolding life. Its main value is that it is also mapping the yet-to-be-known or emergent aspects and allows you, over time, to move more gracefully as you navigate through these waters. It helps us get a handle on what is unknown in our experience and to know where it is even if we haven’t found its meaning yet. In other words, it gives us a direction as we navigate. It encourages active dreaming, lucid dreaming, and mutual dreaming if used in community. It is designed for and works best with series of dreams including nightmares, Big Dreams, and explorations of your ongoing lived-reality experience.
1. To be able to list uses for maps.
2. To be able to define the dreaming culture concept of “Big Dream.”
3. To be able to distinguish between “lived-reality” and the conventional understanding of “reality.”
1. What is one use for maps?
2. Briefly explain the dreaming culture concept of “Big Dream.”
3. Name one thing that distinguishes “lived-reality” from the conventional understanding of “reality.”
Richard F Paseman
Dreams, Glossolalia, and Individuation (Paper)
Glossolalia or “speaking in tongues” is a cross-cultural phenomenon that has occurred during the performance of sacred rituals throughout recorded history. Known to shamans, oracles, aboriginals, prophets and Pentecostals, glossolalia is a powerful state of altered consciousness on a continuum with dreams, visions, and ecstatic trances.
Carl Jung regarded glossolalia as a genuine religious experience of the numinous. Connection with the archetypal realm through the chrism of speaking in tongues facilitates integration of personality. During glossolalia there is a direct personal experience of non-physical reality transcendent of time and space. The collective unconscious breaks through into consciousness with a dreamlike awareness of divinity and wholeness. Although auditory vocalization may be typical, there are glossolalists who give silent expression to their experience. There have been reports of individuals speaking in tongues while asleep as well as those who dreamed they were doing so. The manifestation of tongues is not a language in need of rational translation; rather it is a trans-rational utterance rising from the unconscious psyche. The insights of depth psychology are helpful in bringing a spiritual interpretation to the one who speaks in tongues. Contributions from the field of neurobiology are also beginning to demonstrate how the practice of glossolalia appears to differ significantly from meditation and prayer practices. Saint Paul stated “those who speak in tongues utter mysteries in the Spirit.”
This presentation will explore speaking in tongues as a correlate to the spiritual mysteries of dreamtime. A gentle introduction to the primary forms and archetypes of glossolalia will provide an understanding of how this altered state of consciousness functions as a healing force to bring about individuation. Techniques of psychospiritual dreamwork for the “interpretation of tongues” will be presented.
1. Participants will be able to describe how glossolalia is an altered state of consciousness on a continuum with dreams, visions and ecstatic trances.
2. Participants will be able to discuss the archetypal symbology of glossolalia and the process by which it may promote integration of personality.
3. Participants will be able to identify and explain various techniques of psychospiritual dreamwork applicable to the “interpretation of speaking in tongues.”
1. Are you able to describe how glossolalia is an altered state of consciousness on a continuum with dreams, visions and ecstatic trances?
2. Can you discuss the archetypal symbology of glossolalia and the process by which it may promote integration of personality? 3. Are you able to identify and explain various techniques of psychospiritual dreamwork applicable to the “interpretation of speaking in tongues?
Richard F Paseman
Dream Waters: The Mystical Sea of Shlomo (Paper)
Tradition relates that while Jacob was alone in the wilderness of Luz, he dreamed of heaven and earth connected by a celestial staircase. In dreamtime he not only saw the angelic messengers ascending and descending but also foresaw the great Temple of Solomon. For that reason Jacob renamed the location Bethel – the House of God. Throughout a lifetime, dreams bring us mythological awareness that the material world and the unseen realms of Spirit are not disparate entities but are integrated within us. Each time we reenter the landscape of dreams there is interaction with transcendent realities revealing unknown aspects of personality that enable us to say with Jacob, “God was in this place and I did not know it.”
This presentation will focus on one archetypal theme of transformation – spiritual death and rebirth – as a means of revealing inner movement from a “place in the wilderness” to the deep realization that spiritually we are the “house of God.” Located at the entrance to Solomon’s Temple was a bronze laver of enormous proportions for ritual cleansing. This was the brazen Sea of Shlomo (Solomon) symbolic of the Israelites’ safe passage from bondage through the sea of ending and “rebirth” in the land of Canaan. Mythologically, our journey to the Promised Land and into the Temple requires passing through the dream waters of the mystical sea by which we, too, die and are reborn. Synchronistically, the name Solomon means “God’s peace,” and the Sea of Shlomo is a watery connection between Jacob’s dream in the wilderness and the divine peace to be found within our own interior Temple.
Depth psychology not only amplifies the narratives of sacred writings, it provides a vital methodology for correlating holy mythos with the integration of personality.
1. Participants will be able to describe how Jacob’s dream is a psychospiritual paradigm for our own journey of personal transformation.
2. Participants will be able to discuss the archetypal symbology of the mystical Sea of Shlomo and the process by which it promotes integration of personality.
3. Participants will be able to explain how insights from depth psychology amplify the sacred writings and help to correlate holy mythos with the integration of personality.
1. Are you able to describe how Jacob’s dream is a psychospiritual paradigm for our own journey of personal transformation? 2. Can you discuss the archetypal symbology of the mystical Sea of Shlomo and the process by which it promotes integration of personality?
3. Are you able to explain how insights from depth psychology amplify the sacred writings and help to correlate holy mythos with the integration of personality?
Is There an Afterlife — for Dream Journals? (Presentation within symposium, “Long Term Journal Keeping: Lifetime Learning”)
The question of what may become of our dream journals is one that many of us have wondered about and some of us have decided upon. Cynthia Pearson will survey some of the answers that various journal keepers have arrived at, and then explore some basic principles and concerns for undecided dreamers.
One principle is that a dream journal is personal property, and to many dreamers, it is valuable property. Some would like to leave their dream journals as a legacy to the loved ones who survive them. However, the question arises that content that may have held great meaning for us while we were living our lives may have little or no meaning for those who survive us.
Another concern is privacy. It has been observed by journal keeping panelists that often “the best data go unpublished.” That is, dreams can and do offer startling revelations about our most intimate and personal concerns, but few dreamers are willing to expose these occurrences to others.
Another issue is that handwritten journals can take up a lot of room. Some of us have many years worth of dreams in “hard copy,” so that passing them on to others brings with it a demand for a great deal of storage space. Many dreamers hope that their journals might be put to good use by dream researchers, now or in the future. We will explore how those objectives might be met, and discuss what technology may be able to provide to us as it gallops ahead.
1. Understanding that our dream journals are personal property that will survive us.
2. Considering reasons for journal keepers to make plans of their journals.
3. Options of journal keepers in managing the future of their dream journals.
1. Why do our dream journals deserve our attention before we leave them behind?
2. Are there options for dreamers who wish to offer their journals for research?
3. How may technology change the way we think about conserving our journals?
Dreaming Into the Rain Forest: Toward a Living Relationship with Mother Earth (Paper)
In his book The Great Work, deep ecologist Thomas Berry, reflecting on the present ecological crisis, issues a call for all humanity to remember how to dream the dream of the Earth by tapping into the wisdom and psychic energy contained in such classic archetypes as the Great Journey, the Cosmic Tree, the Great Mother, and Death-Rebirth. Over Christmas break 2010-2011, I set out to investigate what it might mean to dream the dream of the Earth by accompanying a group of Wilmington College (Ohio) tropical ecology students on a two week field research trip to Costa Rica. Offering to serve as the “dream keeper” for the group, the author invited all his fellow travelers to explore with him how dream experience might mediate this journey and encounter with the beauty, complexity, and mystery of exotic tropical ecosystems that most students had encountered only through media images and photographs before the trip.
In his IASD presentation for 2013, Stephen Potthoff would like to invite the audience to join him in reflecting upon the various ways dream experience might facilitate a process of reconnection and healing in the human relationship to the natural world. In what ways, as Berry suggests, does the encounter with the outer world of nature activate the inner one, and how might dream experience contribute to the healing and transformation of our relationship to the Earth?
1. Explain the role archetypal symbols play in Thomas Berry’s project of dreaming the dream of the Earth.
2. Name three archetypes you see represented in the dream experience of the Wilmington College Costa Rica tropical ecology group.
3. Imagine three ways dream experience might inform efforts to transform the broken human relationship to the natural and living world.
1. Can you explain the role archetypal symbols play in Thomas Berry’s project of dreaming the dream of the Earth?
2. Can you name three archetypes you see represented in the dream experience of the Wilmington College Costa Rica tropical ecology group?
3. Can you imagine three ways dream experience might inform efforts to transform the broken human relationship to the natural and living world?
Dominic J. Potts and Mena E. Potts
Our Habitual and Unthinking Language-Usage Subliminally Influences Our Construction, Deconstruction and Understanding of Dreams (Paper)
From the dawn of primitive conversation, over 5000 years ago in the ancient Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia (Iraq), language has come to be infused with cathected memory-related experiences and attendant emotional feelings. Collaborating neuroscientists have demonstrated that language is inhabited by “dynamic” subliminal connotations, emanating from, or associated with, memories lurking in the shrouded penumbra of our perceptual faculty.
It is the hypothesis of the presenters that this “dynamic” in language operates subliminally below our threshold of conscious awareness to influence our construction and deconstruction of dreams. Consequently, the language we habitually and unthinkingly use to describe and relate our dreams can subliminally affect our perception and interpretation of the dream and our resultant understanding and reaction to it, without our realization of the impetus our language exerts.
This hypothesis finds some “footing” in scientific brain/mind research, notably in the work of Charles Fisher, whose sleep/dream studies demonstrated that subliminally-imaged stimuli [linguistically translated] were preconsciously active in dream formation.
The theme of this presentation is: “Our language affects our consciousness and reaction.” It is the thesis here that our habitual language selection creates what the presenters have coined “a linguistic prism” through which our waking and dream experiences are filtered. The nature of this “linguistic prism,” which is configured by the language we habitually, unthinkingly and autonomically employ, can significantly affect how we perceive, analyze, understand and react to the world about us, including our nocturnal world of dreams.
Our “understanding” of both waking and dreaming experiences, therefore, can be expansive or restrictive, as shaped by the depth, breadth and composition of our language. This observation is succinctly summed up by the brilliant Austrian-British philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein: “My language is the limitation of my understanding.”
The language in our “linguistic prism,” as the presenters have coined it, harbors subliminal undercurrents and overtones that can influence our perceptions, assessments, understanding and behavioral reaction to our dreams. Accordingly, the language we use to describe and understand our dream experiences can influence the fortunes and misfortunes that follow from our understanding and reaction to the dreams.
The presenters will discuss research in communication and behavioral psychology that bears on their thesis, commencing with the classic “Yale Studies in Communication and Attitude Change,” conducted in 1951. Those studies demonstrated that language content, selection and arrangement affect understanding, attitude and reaction of the subjects: changing the internal sequence of words in a message, or substituting words in the message, produced different interpretations, reactions and attitudes in the subjects tested.
The works of Carl Hovland, Sterling professor of psychology at Yale, semanticists S.I. Hayakawa and Benjamin Whorf, psychologists Joseph Le Doux and Steven Pinker, neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D., neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield, M.D., and neuroscientists Richard M. Restak and Wilson Bryan Key, M.D., will be used to illustrate how language affects reaction. Ipso facto, the language we select to describe our dreams correspondingly changes our understanding and reaction to dreams. A paper with references will be distributed.
1. To be able to define a “linguistic prism” as it refers to the way we perceive, analyze and understand our human experience.
2. To be able to identify two primary requisites that comprise our communicational faculty.
3. To be able to describe the conclusions of the 1951 classical “Yale Studies” laboratory experiments (The Communication and Attitude Change Program), led by Carl Hovland, professor of psychology, as they pertain to interpretation and understanding of communications.
1. Can you define the “linguistic prism” as the presenters have coined it?
2. Can you describe the two primary requisites that comprise our communicational faculty?
3. Can you describe the conclusions of the 1951“classical Yale Studies” laboratory experiments (Communication and Attitude Change Program) and name the professor Carl Hoveland who led the program?
Dance the Part (Workshop)
From the beginning of recorded history we find evidence of dance. It seems that our original relationship to dance was worship and healing. Furthermore, the purpose in dance was to enter the consciousness or become the spirit of the sun, moon, or various animal and plant life. Through these dance rituals, our ancestors believed that connecting and understanding the spirits within nature would empower them with abilities such as courage and compassion, as well as reveal insights into the future.
Julia Ray is a spirit dancer, dreamworker, yoga teacher, group movement guide and DJ practicing in Toronto. She believes in the powerful potential of merging dreams and dance as a way of self-reflection, personal growth and creating a personal relationship with elements of the unconscious.
Julia will guide participants through a dance ritual helping them to enter the consciousness of a dream figure from their own dreams, using Dr. Chris Sowton’s Dreamreading Method. If ‘interpretation’ happens within this method, it is done by the dreamer.
Connecting to the dream by dancing the part is a direct way of diving into the heart of the dream. The process involves helping the dreamer identify with a dream figure through their body, using the dance. By embodying the figure and acting it out in the dance, we gain a deeper understanding of the figure’s emotions, motivations and purpose.
Through this process we are asking the dreamer to consider the possibility that a figure in their dream may represent an aspect of him or herself or an external aspect of their environment. If they can begin to identify with the dream figure, the connection has been made which will often create a sudden shift in perspective. Connecting to a figure with our body in dance is a deeper kind of understanding than just having the similarity pointed out to us. This amplified awareness may lead the dreamer to make a natural connection to their inner or outer life.
1. Differentiate between talking about a dream and dancing a dream.
2. Identify a significant dream figure to dance the part.
3. List practices for working with dream figures through dance.
1. What is the difference between talking about a dream and dancing a dream?
2. How does one identify a significant dream figure to dance?
3. List three practices for working with dream figures through dance.
Invasiveness or Intimacy? The Boundary Paradox in Group Dream Work from a Transpersonal Perspective (Paper)
As the sharing of dreams outside the controlled setting of the professional human service worker becomes more common, there has arisen concern over whether or not such sharing is creating more confusion than enlightenment. Especially, there is great concern about the problem of “projective contamination.” That is, when one person tells a dream, another person’s comment on the meaning of the dream may contain projective elements from the listener’s own psychodynamics that may contaminate the relationship the dreamer has with his or her own dream. This concern, and the implicit, unexamined assumptions underlying this concern, will be the focus of this presentation.
The hypothesis presented is that this concern is naive and misdirected. It will be shown that the concern represents a holdover from our culture’s assumption that the only way to get value from dreams is to “interpret” them, and that an outside observer can add significantly to that necessary process. The more universal pattern of human domination, of attempting to influence or control others as a means of self regulation, is the real concern, as this happens in many areas of life, not just in dream groups. This demonstration/presentation will propose that it would be more helpful to use the information we have gained from dreams and elsewhere to better understand the dynamics of this domination dynamic and use it explicitly when analyzing what happens when dreams are shared.
1. To be able to name the steps for employing the Dream Helper Methodology.
2. To be able to identify the differences between the goals of Dream Helper and the goals of dream “interpretation.”
3. To be able to discuss how the concern about projective contamination can be resolved through an unconscious communication model.
1. Name one step involved in setting up the Dream Helper Ceremony.
2. What is one difference between the Dream Helper approach to dream sharing and traditional “interpretation?”
3. Briefly state how the Dream Helper Ceremony resolves the problem of projective contamination.
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep (Keynote Address)
Initial discussion will focus upon the types of dreams that form a progression in dream practice. Samsaric dreams are those that arise from karmic traces onto which we project meaning. The process is similar to reading a book which is just marks on paper. Each reader will derive a different experience from the reading activity.
As progress is made in dream practice, dreams become clearer, more detailed and better remembered. As further progress is made, knowledge becomes available directly from consciousness below the level of conventional self. When one is far along the path, clear light dreams will occur that evolve from primordial prana. These dreams are not defined by the content of the dream, because there is no subjective dreamer or dream ego in a clear light dream.
Mandala Motifs in Dreams as Signs of the Self (cf. Carl G. Jung) (Workshop)
Carl G. Jung developed some comprehensive ideas about three classes of symbols in dreams: those pointing to a centre or ‘the middle’; those conveying a circle or a quality of roundness or circularity; and those containing the number four or expressing a quality of quaternity (like seeing a square). Jung wrote a book about the archetypical depth of these three classes of symbols as he recognized them in the dreams of the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. (This has been published as Part II of C. G. Jung’s Psychology and Alchemy, Volume 12 of Jung’s Collected Works, and as chapter 11 of Joseph Campbell’s The Portable Jung, New York: Penguin; in both cases with the title ‘Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy.’)
In this workshop first an introductory presentation will be given in which the ideas of Jung will be summarized and elucidated. Also practical examples will be given of the variety of possible appearances of mandala motifs. It will become clear how the recognition of mandala motifs in dreams can add new layers of meaning to regular forms of dream interpretation. After some time for questions and answers, participants will receive instructions for working with their own dreams (and mandala symbolism) in small groups. We will conclude with a plenary sharing of insights and discoveries in the group as a whole.
1. Getting to know which three symbols in dreams were considered to be ‘mandala motifs’ in dreams by G.C. Jung.
2. Understanding how each of the symbols separately expresses characteristics of the individuation process (as conceived by C.G. Jung).
3. Through examples and some practice in small groups with plenary discussion afterwards, getting a feeling for the new layers of meaning that the recognition of the symbols can add to one’s own regular forms of dream interpretation.
1. Which three symbols in dreams were considered to be ‘mandala motifs’ by Carl G. Jung?
2. How do each of the symbols signify the elementary characteristics of the individuation process (according to Jung)?
3. Which layers of meaning can the recognition of these symbols (separately and in combination) add to regular forms of dream interpretation?
Perrine Ruby and co-authors C. Blochet, J.B. Eichenlaub, O. Bertrand, D. Morlet, and A. Bidet-Caulet
Alpha Induced Activity Differs in Subjects with High and Low Dream Recall Frequency (Paper)
Despite recent advances (Wamsley et al. 2010; Dresler et al. 2011; Marzano et al. 2011), dreaming is still a poorly understood cognitive ability (Maquet and Ruby 2004; Hobson 2005; Nielsen and Stenstrom 2005). Notably, its cerebral underpinning remains unclear (Nir and Tononi 2010; Ruby 2011; Perogamvros and Schwartz 2012). Studies in cognitive psychology showed that personality (openness to experience, thin boundaries, absorption), creativity, nocturnal awakenings, and attitude toward dreams were significantly related to Dream Recall Frequency (DRF) (Schredl 2003).
These results suggest the possibility of neurophysiological trait differences between subjects with high and low DRF. To test this hypothesis we compared sleep characteristics and alpha activity of subjects with high and low DRF using polysomnographic recordings and electroencephalography (EEG). We acquired EEG from 21 channels in 36 healthy subjects while they were presented with a passive auditory oddball paradigm (frequent standard tones, rare deviant tones, and very rare novel sounds: two first-names) during wakefulness and sleep (intensity: 50 dB above the subject’s hearing level). Subjects were selected as High-recallers (DRF = 4.4 ± 1.1 dream recalls per week) and Low-recallers (DRF = 0.25 ± 0.1) using a questionnaire and an interview on sleep and dreaming habits. Despite an uncomfortable setup, the subjects’ quality of sleep was generally preserved. As expected, we found group differences in the total duration of intra-sleep wakefulness (around 15 minutes more in High-recallers), while values in both groups were still in the normal range. We also found a group difference in the alpha activity induced by first-names at Pz between 900 and 1200ms post-stimulus during wakefulness, but no group difference in REM sleep. During wakefulness the first-names induced a greater alpha decrease in High-recallers than in Low-recallers. These results confirm our hypothesis of neurophysiological trait differences in subjects with high and low DRF. According to a current hypothesis alpha rhythms would be involved in the active inhibition of the brain regions not involved in the current brain operations (reviews: Klimesch et al., 2007; Jensen & Mazaheri, 2010). Thus a decrease in alpha power in a specific brain region would correspond to a release of inhibition and an increased excitability. According to this hypothesis, in our paradigm High-recallers would process novel sounds much more than Low-recallers.
Our results support this hypothesis during wakefulness but are not conclusive during sleep. This negative result may be due to an insufficient power of the design during sleep. Another possibility is that the alpha activity induced by the stimuli during sleep lead to awakenings. In this case such awakenings may have masked the increase in alpha power in High-recallers (who experienced much more wakefulness during sleep). As a whole our results suggest that High-recallers and Low-recallers have different functional organisation of the brain. Further studies will be needed to better understand how such particular organisation of the brain in High-recallers may favor dreaming or memory encoding and/or recall of the dream.
1. To be able to state that the REM sleep hypothesis of dreaming is not sufficient to explain dream recall frequency variations.
2. To be able to state that High- and Low-recallers have different brain activities.
3. To be able to identify which brain region may show different brain activity in High and Low-recallers.
1. What is one personality characteristic associated with high dream recall frequency?
2. Briefly state which kind of brain activity differentiates High and Low-recallers.
3. Which brain region may show different brain activity in High and Low-recallers?
REM Stage Dreams: The Amazing Neuro-Psychological Phenomena (Paper)
In the pre-scientific era when people remembered their dreams they regarded them as either demonic or divine. Freud introduced the concept of the unconscious as the source of the dreams and often referred to dreams as the royal road to the unconscious. C.G. Jung considered dreams as a product of the personal unconscious, collective unconscious, and the archetype of the dreamer. William Dement, who discovered REM sleep and researched dreaming, believed that dreams contain personal messages and are linked to our emotions. Hobson and McCarley concluded that dreams are caused by random firing of neurons in the brain.
In this presentation we will explore sleep and sleep stages, including the REM stage where most dreams take place; all characteristics of this stage pertinent to dreams are discussed. Also we will review the limbic system, a center for emotions and memory. The limbic system contains the cingulate gyrus, hippocampal gyrus, hippocampus and the amygdala. The hippocampus is the main center for memory storage, while the amygdala is the main emotion generating center.
Cholinergic activation produces cortical stimulation and the REM Stage of sleep is initiated; simultaneously the skeletal muscles will be in a state of atonia (paralysis) so the dreamer cannot act out his/her dreams. During REM stage the hippocampus continually discharges impulses to the stimulated visual and auditory cortices. So the dreamer can see and hear information that has been stored in his/her memory, such memories are mixed and influenced by the person’s emotions and psychological status.
In conclusion, the psychodynamic theory, personal and collective unconscious, personalities, and the neurological models will be put together to synthesize the Neuropsychological model of dreams.
Target Audience: This presentation is suitable for an intermediate audience who is curious about the neurobiological origin of dreams. Also we will be exploring how the psychological background of the dreamer can influence the content of the dream. As the attendees become more familiar with these concepts they will be more efficient as they explore dreams of patients.
1. To be able to identify different sleep stages, their characteristics and dreams that are produced during REM stage.
2. To be able to describe specific characteristics of REM sleep.
3. To be able to analyze various components of dreams and incorporate these principles in clinical practice.
1. Name one stage of sleep and identify its main characteristics in a few words.
2. What is one characteristic of the REM stage of sleep?
3. Identify one component of dreams.
From Computer to Composer: Our Life is a Dream, Our Reality is a Description (Presentation within symposium, “Dreams, Music and Consciousness”)
Much faster than we would imagine just a pair of decades ago, Western culture’s basic assumptions are presently leaving behind views dominated by reductionism and materialism, as well as by the clear separation between the objective world “out there” and the subject who observes and describes it. Also, a perspective founded on strict determinism seems to be being replaced by forms of explanations not pretending to be complete and whose outcomes are not fully predictable; instead, the role of human decisions is going to acquire major importance. Intuition from philosophers and scholars like Henri Bergson and William James, envisioning consciousness as an infinite collective stream, seem to be making a comeback through the new paradigms, like the one proposed by Manousakis (2007). When we assume that our brain is not “the producer” of consciousness, and it works rather like the whole set of intelligence and mind-body skills that a composer implements when he creates music (dealing with focusing, selection, translation and rearrangement of an infinite array of materials), then the hypothesis of the continuity between dream and waking states of consciousness (Hartmann 2011, 2012) acquires a larger scope, with a huge fallout on our own peculiar freedom and responsibility, so that it could be appropriate to speak of “enhanced continuity.” And, of course, as ultimately the composer’s decisions are not taken by the brain, the same happens with dreams and life decisions, if we just nurture our awareness.
1. Explain what is meant by the term “enhanced continuity.”
2. Explain some basic differences between reductionist and non-materialistic perspectives when considering consciousness.
3. Recognize the role that dreams have in the “description” of reality.
1. Can you mention at least two authors in the field of philosophy and psychology who envision consciousness as a collective stream?
2. Can you describe a relevant difference between dream-working assuming the perspective of “enhanced continuity” and without doing so?
3. If our brain is not the producer of consciousness, what could its work be compared to?
Animal Dreams in a Long Dream Series (Paper)
Animal dreams have fascinated mankind from early on, ranging from interpretation by Artemidorus, the famous Greek dream interpreter, to the well-known symbolism put forward by Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung. Large student samples indicate that animals occur in about 7.5% of dreams (Van de Castle, 1983). The present study investigated the frequency and nature of animal dreams in a long dream series.
Method. Starting in September, 1984, the male participant has kept an unstructured dream diary. Dreams recorded to the end of December 2007 were included in this study (N = 8420). The dreamer had lived for several years with cats and as a child had had a hamster for a year.
Results and Discussion. Overall, 577 dreams were recorded (6.85% of the total dreams). The most common animals were: cats (N = 129), dogs (N = 108), and horses (N = 47) reflecting the waking-life experiences of the dreamer as two large student samples from the US and Germany showed a clear preponderance of dogs compared to cats. Even though hamsters were only present in ten dreams, this also reflected the effect of waking life as this species was not present in any of the other dream samples. In about 60%, there was no contact between dreamer and animal, about 20% included negative interactions (being bitten, being threatened etc.) and about 20% included positive interactions (caring for the animal, playing with the animal, animal is helpful). Spiders, other insects, and snakes were the most common animal species with negative aspects, probably reflecting phylogenetic fears (these species are also common in animal phobias). Explicitly mentioned negative emotions clearly outweigh the positive emotions, indicating that animal dreams with their emotions might reflect continuity with waking life on an emotional level – as the dreamer had never experienced these types of negative animal contacts in his waking life.
To summarize, the present study identified three possible sources for animal dreams: (1) waking life experiences, (2) innate fears about species that are dangerous for mankind, (3) waking-life emotions metaphorically depicted in animal dreams.
1. To be able to state that waking life experience is related to animal dreams.
2. To be able to summarize the frequency of positive and negative animal interactions in dreams.
3. To be able to identify the common species with negatively toned contact (spiders, other insects, and snakes).
1. Are animal dreams related to waking life experience?
2. Did dreamers interact with animals in positive interactions (like caring and playing) more often, less often, or about the same as negative interactions (like being bitten or being threatened)?
3. Name one type of animal that was most often threatening the dreamer.
Coping with Nightmares in Adults: an Online Study (Paper)
A recent representative study has shown that adult nightmare sufferers rarely seek professional help for their nightmares (Schredl, submitted). Up to now, research on what methods people with nightmares apply to cope with their nightmares in everyday life is non-existent. The present study was aimed at filling this gap.
Method. Overall, 2872 people (1779 women, 1093 men; age mean: 42.8 yrs.) were included in the study. Anja Göritz (University of Würzburg, Germany) carried out the online survey. After eliciting nightmare frequency and the most recent nightmare, the participants were asked to rate the frequency of different coping strategies (sharing the nightmare, writing the nightmare down, imagining a new ending, applying lucid dreaming, reading self-help books, seeking professional help). Lastly, they were asked what was helpful for them. The coping items were completed by 1202 participants.
Results. Sharing the nightmare was the most common coping strategy, but the average was close to the response category “sometimes.” Reading and imagining new endings were used very rarely; writing down the nightmare or seeking help from experts was very uncommon. The most helpful strategy was also sharing, followed by using lucid dreaming and imagining a new ending. Especially reading and seeking help from experts were not often mentioned as helpful in order to cope with nightmares.
Discussion. The findings of the study clearly indicate that coping strategies were applied in everyday life by people with nightmares. But in view of the nightmare frequency in this sample it seems that these attempts are not sufficient to cope with nightmares effectively. Intensifying the following three strategies are strongly recommended: informing the public about effective ways to deal with nightmares (abbreviated imagery rehearsal therapy), developing self-help programs like the internet-based approach developed by Jaap Lancee (Utrecht, Netherlands), and educating professionals, e.g., cognitive behavioral therapists, about treating nightmare sufferers with methods used by Johanna Thünker and Rainer Pietrowsky (University of Düsseldorf, Germany).
1. To be able to state the prevalence of nightmare complaints in the general population.
2. To be able to identify the most commonly used coping strategy for coping with nightmares.
3. To be able to identify the most effective coping strategy for dealing with nightmares.
1. How high is the percentage of individuals who suffer from nightmare in the general population?
2. What coping strategy is most often used for coping with nightmares?
3. What is the most effective coping strategy for dealing with nightmares?
Listening to the Dreamer (Morning Dream Group)
This approach is based on the client-centered therapy developed by Carl Rogers. Interpretations in any form are discouraged because the interpretations reveal more about the interpreter than about the dreamer. Even the dreamer herself/himself is not encouraged to use interpretative methods. The group will learn to ask open-ended questions to stimulate the dreamer to think about the links between the dream (emotions, cognitive patterns, and the way the dream ego acts) and current waking life issues. After working with the dream, group members can share their own thoughts and feelings connected to the dream’s topics.
1. Dreams are reflecting the waking life of the dreamer (continuity hypothesis).
2. A very effective way working with dreams is to stimulate the dreamer by asking open-ended questions.
3. Interpretations are not necessary to understand dreams.
E valuation questions:
1. What is the relationship between dreaming and waking on a thematic level?
2. How can the listener stimulate the dreamer to think about his/her dream?
3. Are interpretations of the dream by others essential for working with dreams?
End of Life Dreams: An Unusual Tool to Help Patients, Care Givers, and Families During their Journey (Workshop)
In this workshop, the presenter will describe various approaches to encourage a patient to discuss his/her dreams. It is important to point out that this workshop will not teach a participant to analyse a dream but rather to demonstrate how the scenarios could be used as a therapeutic tool to guide the care that is needed and to better communicate with a patient. Without interpreting the dream, universal dream symbols may be discussed but only within the context of explaining the dreamer’s feelings. Feelings evoked for the dreamer by the dream are real and can provide insight to the palliative care team, the care givers and family members in understanding how the patient is feeling, and may also be of use to help him/her in his own grieving process. The dream reaches deeply into a patient’s feelings and doesn’t lie! Respectfully listening to the dream scenario can offer the care provider with a tool to better assist the patient to communicate more freely. Taking care of a dream during the dying process could also be very helpful for the grieving process.
The presenter has collected many dream scenarios as told to her by dying patients and families in the hospice where she works as a nurse. She has published a number of these dream scenarios with Nicole Gratton as a co-author of a book entitled Dreams and Death. The book has now been translated into English. What she has found is that the dream scenarios seem to mimic what the patient is experiencing while he/she is dying.
Participants attending this workshop will gain an awareness of the importance and advantages of listening to the dreamer’s dream. The presentation is for all, since we never know when we might be in a situation where we will be with a dying person, and not know what to say.
1. To demonstrate that people at the end of life have significant dreams.
2. To provide a tool for patients to express their feelings by using their dreams.
3. To utilize dreams as a tool for care givers and families to help to enhance quality of life.
1. Could any member of the interdisciplinary team use the method of listening to a patient’s dream?
2. How can it be helpful to a family member in their own grieving process?
3. How can it be applied on a daily basis, while giving care?
Anees A. Sheikh
Dreams in Image Therapy (Presentation within symposium, “Understanding the Dream through an Understanding of Mental Imagery”)
An impressive body of experimental and clinical research has accumulated over the years, which indicates that fast and extensive emotional, psychological, and physiological changes can be effected through imagery procedures. At times the effectiveness is truly startling in both rapidity and extent of the cure. This presentation will clearly outline the various steps of the image therapy process and explain various characteristics of imagery that make it an effective therapeutic tool. While dreams are never solicited from the client by the therapist, at times the patients are enthusiastic about sharing a particular dream and are curious about the “message” that their dream might have. This presentation will discuss in detail how dreams can be meaningfully incorporated into the image therapy process and how some imagery procedures can help the clients interpret their dreams. A few case examples that illustrate the use of dreams in image therapy will be shared.
1. To be able to describe some research using imagery to change emotions and/or physiological responses.
2. To be able to summarize the steps in treatment protocols employing imagery therapy.
3. To be able to explain a case study in which dream imagery was integrated into imagery therapy.
1. Briefly describe one finding from research that used imagery to change emotional or physiological responses.
2. Identify one step in treatment protocols employing imagery therapy.
3. Briefly mention a case study in which dream imagery was integrated into imagery therapy.
Children’s Dreams: Goodnight Moon and other Sleepy Time Tales (Video event)
This multiple-award-winning HBO special explores the world of children’s dreams. Only children appear, talking about their dreams with wit and wisdom beyond their years. It includes narration by Billy Crystal and Susan Sarandon, and music by Aaron Neville, Tony Bennett and Lauryn Hill. Included are animated versions of classic children’s books including Goodnight Moon, Tar Beach, and There is a Monster in my Closet. Additional brief excerpts on Children’s Dreams will be presented from the Power of Dreams: Discovery Channel Series. A short discussion will follow.
1. To learn about common childhood dreams reported by children in their own words including dreams of grief.
2. To experience first person accounts of a blind child describing common dreams like flying and if he sees in his dream.
3. To explore the psychological and therapeutic aspects of children’s literature focusing on coping with nightmares, creativity and memory in children’s dreams and soothing pre-sleep anxiety.
1. What is one common childhood dream reported in the HBO video?
2. What is one dream theme reported by the blind child?
3. How does the protagonist in Mercer Meier’s book, Goodnight Moon, resolve his nightmares?
The Power of Dreams Video: Clinical, Research, and Creative Approaches (Video event)
This fascinating Discovery Channel program features many IASD experts with re-enactment of dream scenes with special effects by Colossal Productions. It features extended interviews with Milton Kramer, Ernest Hartmann, Robert Bosnak, Rosalind Cartwright, William Dement, Allan Hobson and others, featuring research, theory and clinical applications as well as some remarkable personal dreams, including those of Rosalind Cartwright and William Dement.
1. To become familiar with experimental procedures for dream research conducted in sleep laboratories.
2. To understand how dreams show the impact of trauma in military veterans.
3. To learn about research on the meaning and function of dreams of divorcing women.
1. What stage of sleep is most likely to result in a dream report if a person is awoken.
2. Name one way that traumatic events affect dreams.
3. Name one finding of Rosalind Cartwright’s research on the dreams of divorcing women.
Post-traumatic Dreams in Adults: Clinical and Ethical Guidelines (Workshop)
Ethical guidelines related to recovered memories have led to concerns expressed in recent publications about the abusive potential of dreamwork and the possible manipulation or confirmation of false or induced memories. This workshop provides reviews of good practice guidelines for working ethically with dreams with an emphasis on ethical handling of post-traumatic nightmares.
Evidence regarding the nature, function and incidence of post-traumatic dreams will be examined. Guidelines will be presented for developing a balanced view which does not disconfirm the prolonged impact of trauma on dream content and psychological adjustment, but at the same time is sensitive to the IASD and APA guidelines about manipulation and implantation of memory.
IASD guidelines related to clinical dream work will be presented along with relevant APA ethics guidelines. This extended clinically oriented dream ethics workshop will combine lecture, discussion, short small group discussion and role playing of case vignettes, and practical applications of IASD ethical guidelines to working clinically with dreams with a special focus on post-traumatic nightmares, recovered memories, non-intrusive interpretation guidelines, and sensitivity to cross-cultural and other special issues such as gender and disability.
This workshop may be combined with another presentation to satisfy psychotherapists’ for-credit annual ethics Continuing Education requirement. An additional two CE credit extension of this workshop will be available at registration for attendees of the workshop and will focus on IASD Ethical Guidelines, reading two short articles and taking a multiple choice exam.
1. To be able to explain the IASD ethical code as it applies to clinical work with dreams and with a focus on issues of trauma and culture.
2. To be able to discuss general ethical guidelines for using dreams in psychotherapy and dreamwork with a focus on issues of posttraumatic nightmares and memories of traumatic events.
3. To be able to summarize ethical considerations reviewed in the presentation, including non-intrusive interpretation, respect for the autonomy of the dreamer, working with projections, and blind spots of the dreamworker.
1. Name one precaution that clinicians should observe when working with trauma survivors with respect to handling possible recovered memories.
2. Name one principle related to working clinically with the dreams of an individual who is culturally different than the therapist.
3. In ASD’s ethical code for dreamwork, who has the ultimate authority for the decision to continue further exploration of a dream?
Sunset Dream Hike at First Landing State Park (Special event)
This workshop/event is intended to have a recreational and social component to balance and de-stress from the continuous indoor presentations at the conference. During a two hour long hike of about four to five miles, discussion of recurring dreams and dreams with themes of nature will be encouraged. Due to the size of the group, different walking paces, and time limit, dreams will not be interpreted or explored in depth but used as a stimulus for further understanding and exploration.
1. In a natural setting, participants will have an opportunity for discussion of professional and personal topics they are learning at the conference and a chance to make connections with other attendees with shared interests.
2. To explore dreams about the environment and nature with other conference attendees.
3. To explore important and recurring dreams with other conference presenters and participants.
Understanding and Working with Children’s Post-traumatic Nightmares (Clinical event)
Post-traumatic nightmares are a core symptom of PTSD and a public health challenge as they may exacerbate stress and anxiety symptoms. In the wake of the Newtown massacre, hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters, the need for understanding and sensitively responding to children’s post-traumatic nightmares is important for psychotherapists, educators, clergy and parents.
Important findings from clinical and experimental literature on nightmares in children will be summarized, including new findings from the 21st Century on children’s dreams and nightmares which include articles published in Dreaming. Additional topics will also include descriptions of common themes and vignettes from the dreams of children and teens; and differentiating dreams, post-traumatic nightmares and night terrors, techniques for therapeutic and diagnostic use of children’s nightmares, and a variety of approaches applicable for parents and educators.
Nightmares occur at every stage of the life cycle and are characterized by anxiety dreams which awaken the dreamer in distress and bear symbolism of chase, mortal threat, separation, abandonment, and injury to self and others. Nightmares are more prevalent during periods of developmental change and family disequilibrium and in responses to traumatic events and disrupted relationships.
Existing clinical and experimental literature on post-traumatic nightmares in children will be critically reviewed and important findings summarized. This will include clinical and experimental studies of nightmares following single event traumas such as natural disasters and chronic or long-term exposure to trauma for those children who are survivors of abuse and war-related trauma. Recurrent nightmare themes and symbolism will be described along with a methodology for assessing the psychological impact of trauma and the stages of recovery from trauma as evidenced in children’s dream reports. Effective psychotherapeutic techniques for exploring the meaning of nightmares and ameliorating the residue of anxiety that complicates the emotional impact of nightmares will be described. Techniques for eliciting and working with parents and children to address post-traumatic nightmares will be presented. Vignettes illustrating common dream themes, diagnostic use of nightmares, and psychotherapeutic usage will be presented.
1. To be able to summarize common themes and patterns in children’s posttraumatic nightmares at different points in development.
2. To be able to list treatment strategies for addressing frequent or recurrent nightmares in clinical work with children and parents.
3. To be able to describe the latest findings in research on children’s dreams in the 21st Century including papers published in the IASD journal, Dreaming.
1. Name one common nightmare theme common for children.
2. Name one way that posttraumatic nightmares differ from other nightmares and upsetting dreams in children.
3. Name one creative technique that may be useful in working with children’s nightmares.
Carlyle Smith and Donna-Marie Newfield
Dreaming About Tomorrow as an Adaptive Behaviour. Analyses of 500 “Heads-Up” (Symposium)
A substantial number of dreams seem to depict a future waking life event. These kinds of dreams appear to be experienced at least once by over 50% of individuals who pay attention to their dreams. We have examined about 500 of these “Heads-Up” (HU) dreams. The analyses include 100 dreams collected from 10 participants and compared with an equal number of their non-HU (NHU) dreams. As well, dream sets (250 and 100) from two HU dreamers have been individually analyzed and compared with Van de Castle norms. HU dream reports are clearly shorter than NHU dream reports in terms of number of words. Compared to the Van de Castle norms, there are fewer Scene Changes and Travel items, but more Communication items. There are more Negative and fewer Positive emotions. As well there are more instances of Misfortune, Good Fortune, Failure and Success.
HU dreams can be either trivial or important to the dreamer, and the waking life event can manifest on the same day as the dream or many days and weeks later. While they never provide a perfect portrayal of the subsequent life event, they do provide a remarkable number of similarities. Children can have these kinds of dreams before they have any opinions about dream theory. Many people never notice the dream – waking life connection until it is pointed out to them.
HU dreams seem to defy the space-time rules of classical physics. However, there are now alternative theories available. For example, quantum physics is currently being used to explain a number of phenomena in biology and physiology at the molecular level. These phenomena are not explainable in classical terms. Quantum physics concepts are capable of explaining HU dreaming.
It seems possible that everyone is capable of having HU dreams. In practical terms, HU dreaming can be a definite advantage when important life choices are to be made. While Darwin never spoke of such things, HU dreaming provides an adaptive advantage to the dreamer in an uncertain world.
1. To be able to list differences between “heads-up” dreams and other dreams.
2. To be able to explain Van de Castle content differences between HU and non-HU dreams
3. To be able to list several plausible theories for the existence of these types of dreams.
1. What is one difference between a “heads-up” dream and a normal (non- “heads-up”) dream?
2. Briefly explain how you would go about calculating a heads-up dream – waking life correspondence score.
3. Name one Van de Castle content category differences between HU and non-HU dreams.
Four Types of Dreams to Watch Out for in Health Care Practice (Workshop)
Dreams are currently underused in Western medicine. One of the many reasons for this is that health care practitioners are not trained to recognize dream motifs that carry important information about the dreamer’s health status and the forces that may be threatening it.
Dr Christopher Sowton has been practicing in Toronto as a naturopath and homeopath for 24 years. Throughout this time he has been paying particular attention to the dreams of his patients, integrating dreamwork into the very center of his practice. For the last seven years he has devoted much of his time to training health care practitioners of all kinds how to work with their patient’s dreams.
Christopher will begin by briefly introducing four dream motifs that health care workers should be particularly watchful for:
Driving problem dreams – which depict unhealthy (and possibly dangerous) ways that the dreamer is conducting his or her life.
Lost or orphaned children dreams – which depict the separation of the personal spirit (or inner child) from the ego that occurs following an unbearable trauma.
Harmful figure dreams – which depict a situation that is truly damaging and dangerous to the dreamer, whether it be a part of the dreamer harming from the inside, or someone in the dreamer’s life harming from the outside.
Negative repetition dreams – which depict a neural field in the dreamer’s brain that is playing itself over and over again without any useful purpose.
Then workshop participants will be asked to share dreams that may contain these types of motifs. The shared dreams may be either from their practices or from their own personal dream lives. Each dream will be discussed in an open group format, with particular focus on the following questions:
What might the dream be asking the dreamer for?
If the dreamer responded to the dream request, what implications might it have for his or her health?
Through this process participants will experience the real time application of a practical method of working with dreams in a health care setting that they can then adapt and utilize in their own work.
1. Identify three ways that driving problem dreams can give important information about the dreamer’s health and well-being. 2. Identify three ways that dreams of lost or orphaned children can give important information about the dreamer’s health and well-being.
3. Identify three ways that dreams of truly harmful figures can give important information about the dreamer’s health and well-being.
1. Can you name three ways that driving problem dreams can give important information about the dreamer’s health and well-being?
2. Can you name three ways that dreams of lost or orphaned children can give important information about the dreamer’s health and well-being?
3. Can you name three ways that dreams of truly harmful figures can give important information about the dreamer’s health and well-being?
How Can We Get Dreams Back into Medicine? (Presentation within symposium, “New Directions for Dreams in Health Settings”)
Dreams are currently underused in Western medicine. One of the many reasons for this is that health care practitioners are not trained to recognize dream motifs that carry important information about the dreamer’s health status and the forces that may be threatening it.
Dr Christopher Sowton has been practicing in Toronto as a naturopath and homeopath for 24 years. Throughout this time he has been paying particular attention to the dreams of his patients, integrating dreamwork into the very center of his practice. For the last seven years he has devoted much of his time to training health care practitioners of all kinds how to work with their patient’s dreams.
Christopher will introduce four dream motifs that health care workers should be particularly watchful for:
Driving problem dreams – which depict unhealthy (and possibly dangerous) ways that the dreamer is conducting his or her life.
Lost or orphaned children dreams – which depict the separation of the personal spirit (or inner child) from the ego that occurs following an unbearable trauma.
Harmful figure dreams – which depict a situation that is truly damaging and dangerous to the dreamer, whether it be a part of the dreamer harming from the inside, or someone in the dreamer’s life harming from the outside.
Negative repetition dreams – which depict a neural field in the dreamer’s brain that is playing itself over and over again without any useful purpose.
1. To be able to describe ways that dreams provide early health warning information.
2. To be able to list arguments for the inclusion of dreams in the health care system.
3. To be able to discuss ways that health care practitioners could educate their clients to become effective “dreamwork advocates.”
1. Describe one way that dreams provide early warning information that is relevant in health care.
2. List one argument for the inclusion of dreams in the health care system.
3. List one way that health care practitioners could educate their clients to become effective “dreamwork advocates.”
Gregory Scott Sparrow
Middle of the Night Meditation and Dream Reliving as a Way to Foster Reflectiveness and Volition in Dreams (Presentation within symposium, “Applications of a Will-Development Model to Dream Experiences”)
The traditional view of dreaming assumes that 1) the dream content is sole carrier of meaning, 2) the dream content is bizarre, and 3) the dreamer’s awareness is suppressed of necessity. All of these assumptions have been effectively overturned by recent research. At this juncture, we can reasonably assume that 1) the dream is an experience that contains meaningful visual imagery and dreamer responses alike, 2) the dream content realistically mirrors waking life concerns and scenarios, and 3) the dreamer exhibits a level of awareness and volition that is similar to that of a waking person. Given this revised view of dreaming, we can reasonably treat the dream as an interactive, co-created experience in which what the dreamer feels, thinks, and does, exerts a significant impact on the dream outcome. Obviously, if a person is able to become lucid, then he or she can elect to experiment with new responses to the emergent dream, and affect its outcome. But full lucidity remains elusive to most people on a regular basis.
Acknowledging the difficulty of inducing lucid dreams on a regular basis, in 1983 the author tested Dream Reliving as a lucid dream induction strategy, and found that the method enhanced dreamer reflectiveness and interaction, regardless of whether full lucidity was achieved. He has since employed Dream Reliving as a therapeutic intervention for healing unresolved conflict and trauma expressed by previous nightmares, and as a way to prepare for future dreams of a similar nature. In this presentation, he will present findings from two studies testing Dream Reliving, and discuss further directions for research.
1. To be able to list the assumptions associated with the traditional view of dreams.
2. To be able to list the new findings about dreams that have overturned the traditional views.
3. To be able to describe applications for Dream Reliving.
1. Name one assumption associated with the traditional view of dreams.
2. What is one new finding about dreams that has helped overturn the traditional views?
3. What is one application for Dream Reliving?
Gregory Scott Sparrow
The Importance of Situated and Non-situated Awareness In the Experience of Healing, Ecstasy and Light in Dreams (Presentation within symposium, “The Lucidity of Light: Light as an Expression of Creative and Transformative Consciousness in Dreams”)
Lucidity fosters non-situated awareness, or the ability to access past and present facts of which the non-lucid dreamer is usually unaware. This allows the dreamer to disengage from stressful repetitive scenarios such as arguing with one’s deceased parent, or taking an exam for a course already completed. Non-situated awareness clearly reduces stress by giving the dreamer access to what’s “real,” but it also enables the dreamer potentially to disengage from interpersonal or psychodynamic conflicts that remain, as yet, unresolved. If escape were sufficient, we would expect the stressful dream scenarios to subside, but many have observed that the conflict only increases to the extent that we avoid it. We see this dynamic magnified in the case of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. He or she fights going to sleep, and tries to suppress memory of the traumatic incident itself, and considers complete forgetfulness to represent the ultimate goal. Meanwhile, the dream mechanism reflects a different agenda by presenting the trauma––either in metaphorical terms or in stark, iconic reenactments––over and over again.
Clearly, something other than avoidance is required for healing to take place. In a previous presentation (IASD 2010), the author suggested that the experience of light in dreams––which might be regarded as the hallmark of internal healing and reunification––often occurs in the context of one’s stark awareness of an apparently irreconcilable conflict. This full acknowledgment of inner division, rather than dissociation from it, appears somewhat paradoxically to facilitate the emergence of forces of healing that remain unavailable in the absence of an awareness of the inner dilemma, or in the context of dissociation from it. But just as dissociation cannot be seen as sufficient for healing, neither can we hope that re-immersion in the original trauma without any additional awareness will serve any constructive purpose.
In this presentation, Scott Sparrow will describe a model of healing that addresses the bidirectional response to trauma (or unresolved conflict in general) which combines 1) the constructive dissociative benefits of lucidity with 2) reengagement with the unresolved conflict in order to facilitate healing, ecstasy, and even light.
1. To be able to articulate the difference between situated and non-situated awareness.
2. To be able to explain how lucidity, or non-situated awareness, can actually perpetuate one’s avoidance of unresolved conflict.
3. To be able to discuss how non-lucid awareness may be useful in order to support full engagement with unresolved conflict, and foster healing, ecstasy and light in dreams.
1. Briefly state the difference between situated and non-situated awareness.
2. Name one way that the experience of lucidity, or non-situated awareness, can get in the way of healing, ecstasy, and light in dreams.
3. Can non-lucidity, or situated awareness, create the conditions that may foster healing, ecstasy and light in dreams?
Gathering Dreams on Main Street (Paper)
This presentation illustrates the presenter’s approach to promoting the awareness and appreciation of dreams among members of the general public, a major stated purpose of the IASD. The approach is based on the principle of thinking globally but acting locally.
Arthur got tired of saying “Hi, how are ya?” to people and having the greeting exchange revert to a perfunctory account of the day’s weather before saying the obligatory “good seeing you” upon leaving. As a result, he transformed many brief exchanges with strangers and casual friends into meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable experiences. His way of introduction to others includes statements like, “I bet you’re a dreamer” or “Had any good dreams lately?”
When telling friends and colleagues about his dream gathering project, he’s heard comments like, “Careful, they might take you away in a straitjacket.” In direct contrast to such comments, however, members of the general public have responded positively. Most people are very aware that their dreams are meaningful. After making an introductory comment that their dreams are “weird,” in order to clear themselves as not being crazy, they share intimate details of their dream lives that result in heart-felt connections between themselves and the dream gatherer.
Arthur presents accounts of dream connections with people as diverse as a former prisoner met at a supermarket, a parent at a fruit and vegetable stand, and drug-using young people in a public park. The dreamer often achieves valuable insights as Arthur deals with the dreams as experiences parallel to waking life experiences, as opposed to an analysis of dream symbols. His stories are entertaining, sometimes humorous and, most important, illustrate beneficial aspects of dream sharing – even with complete strangers.
1. To be able to explain the types of greetings that will allow participants to meet strangers and discuss their dream lives.
2. To be able to demonstrate how dream gathering can be used to facilitate meaningful connections between strangers.
3. To be able to describe how, in just a few minutes, a novice to dream interpretation can gain valuable life insights.
1. Give one introductory phrase that can be used to approach a stranger regarding his or her dreams.
2. List one everyday location where dream sharing among strangers can be done quickly.
3. Briefly describe a dream interpretation method other than symbol analysis suitable for a novice to gain insights from dreams.
Vipers and Burrs, Spiders and Elms: An Extended Coherence Extends Again (Presentation within symposium, “Long Term Journal Keeping: Lifetime Learning”)
Gloria’s area of independent dream research is the often synchronistic ways that dreams lead to waking information, connecting many people and events in complex webs of meaning, a phenomenon she calls extended coherence (EC). It is something that goes beyond the repetition and development of dream themes across time; it has an added element that induces wonder and awe.
This presentation is mainly about one such narrative, which began with a dream in October 2002. Despite thorough and meaningful work on it in a highly skilled dream group, the dream’s deep personal meaning cracked open—forcefully and synchronistically—a month later as she acted on a hunch about wordplay in the dream by reading a novel titled with one of the words in the dream. She told the narrative up to that point at IASD’s 2006 conference.
Last August, as she prepared a paper and small survey on EC for IASD’s 11th annual PsiberDreaming Conference (PDC), this earlier narrative resurfaced and extended even further. That occurred as a result of her sending a draft of her PDC paper, which tentatively included the same story, to Cynthia Pearson, who has chaired many of the long-term journal-keeping panels at IASD conferences. Pearson responded with a recollection of her own that unexpectedly connected the story to different symbolism from a 1996 dream, further deepening the meaning of both Gloria’s 1996 and 2006 dreams.
Responses to Gloria’s PDC survey, by the way, indicated that a number of long-term journal-keepers have experienced EC.
1. Identify two characteristics of “extended coherence.”
2. Identify the precondition that might be necessary for a dreamer to become aware of extended coherence.
3. Identify a benefit the presenter has derived from extended coherence.
1. Name two characteristics of “extended coherence.”
2. What precondition might be necessary for a dreamer to become aware of extended coherence?
3. Identify a benefit the presenter has derived from extended coherence.
Isaac Yitzhak Taitz
Exorcising the Ghosts of Trauma (Poster)
“It was only a dream,” is a comforting phrase used by some parents to reassure their children of the fictional nature of their nightmare, so that they need not pay it any attention. However, childhood dreams and nightmares should not be so easily disregarded, especially in cases of trauma.
The question of the purpose of dreaming has split the field. Some researchers find dreaming to be, though personally meaningful, a functionless series of random neural firings (Blagrove, 2000; Foulkes, 1999) that only survived due to its lack of maladaptive consequences (Antrobus, 1993). Other researchers argue that dreaming serves a reactive or proactive defensive function. Hartmann’s (1998) contemporary theory of the function of dreaming contends that dreaming allows for emotional concerns to be associated with new material in a safe space, thereby integrating traumas and promoting psychological well-being. Kramer’s (1993) selective mood regulatory theory of dreaming postulates that successful dreams state then resolve an emotional issue, which leads to positive affect and no dream recall; while unsuccessful dreams must repeat addressing the unresolved issue and leave the dreamer with negative affect (i.e. recurring nightmares). Furthermore, Revonsuo (2000) claims that nightmares serve an evolutionary purpose as a threat simulator.
The latter explanations guide a theory of functional dreaming that integrates (potentially traumatic) life experiences to improve psychological health. If these theories are true, dreaming could potentially be utilized to facilitate the post-traumatic healing of developing young minds.
This review will assume the functional position, in which we discuss the research on the developmental trajectory of dreams and nightmares, their content and affective changes in reaction to trauma, as well as the current clinical interventions to treat PTSD in children and adolescents, in order to determine how the literature in dreaming can inform future, holistic interventions.
1. Map the developmental trajectory of dreaming.
2. Illustrate the impact of trauma on dreaming.
3. Propose a future dreaming-inclusive direction for clinical interventions.
1. In what ways is dreaming a protective factor?
2. How can lucid dreaming be integrated into future interventions?
3. How would content and interventions differ for traumas not covered?
Dreaming It Forward with the Theater of the Oppressed (Workshop)
This workshop is specifically for people with no theater background, although everyone is welcome. Attendees of this workshop will increase their skills in how to interact creatively in dream groups using the whole person including their bodies. The aim of the workshop is to activate the imagination and the physical body, inspire emotional and spiritual growth, and increase the attendees’ knowledge of how to use theater to transform nightmares for healing.
The workshop will begin with a brief PowerPoint presentation to share concepts of the Theater of the Oppressed, connecting social and personal liberation and healing. For example, we will consider how women in domestic violence shelters can begin to place their trauma in a larger social context in order to stop the cycle of PTSD symptoms after a trauma. This will be followed by a short dream group sharing of three nightmares. Everyone will be invited to enter the chosen dream and speak about it as if it is their own dream using the form, “In my dream…” The dreamer, as the ultimate authority on the meaning of the dream, will co-direct the ‘Dream Play’ with the facilitator. A short physical and vocal warmup to music will get everyone moving and interacting together. After enacting the nightmare, we will discuss three possible new endings for a more positive outcome. We will improvise and perform the ‘Dream Play’ several times so we have an opportunity to try out several new endings of the nightmare.
Workshop attendees will learn practiced skills in working with nightmares in dream groups using theater. They will be able to list three effective theories and practices used in the Theater of the Oppressed. Practical hints on theater improvisation and how to cast, design and direct a ‘Dream Play’ will be provided.
Rev. Bonnie has worked extensively doing theater in churches and in different community settings with people who have no background in the theater. The workshop’s intention is to make theater more accessible for people with no theater experience, but all levels of experience are welcome. ‘Dreaming It Forward’ creates a sense of community as we expand our imaginations to consider many new possibilities to nightmares both at nighttime and in our waking lives.
1. To experience the fun of physical movement and theater improvisation and experience how theater promotes creative group dream work.
2. To introduce the dreaming community to the power and effectiveness of Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed, and how rehearsing new endings to dreams is a “rehearsal for the revolution” and promotes radical personal and social liberation and transformation.
3. To encourage finding new solutions to personal and social nightmares in the daytime and in the nighttime.
1. Can you list three beginning warm up activities to do with a dream group before doing a theater improvisation of a dream?
2. Can you describe how the Theater of the Oppressed can vitalize our imaginations in order to create a new future?
3. Can you name three advantages of working with nightmares in a social context and in a group setting?
Shannon Thomas and co-authors Stephanie Claudatos and Tracey Kahan
Phenomenal Features of Lucid Versus Non-lucid Dreams (Poster)
This study investigates the qualitative differences between lucid and non-lucid dreams, as measured by the Subjective Experiences Rating Scale (SERS)(Kahan, 1994). The SERS asks participants to rate their dream experiences with respect to the prevalence (0 = none to 4 = a lot) of particular sensory, affective, and cognitive qualities. Also, participants rate structural features of the experience. The data analyzed in the present study were obtained from female undergraduates who participated in a large-scale, two-week dream journal study that employed the SERS. From this large data set, thirty-four pairs of dreams were selected. The selection criteria for ‘lucid dreams’ were dreams rated as including awareness of dreaming while dreaming (lucidity) in conjunction with a rating of no dream control. ‘Non-lucid’ dreams were those dreams rated as including no awareness of dreaming again in conjunction with a rating of no dream control. This permitted a comparison of the phenomenal features of a lucid and non-lucid dream from the same participant without the confounding feature of dream control. Further, the non-lucid dream selected for comparison was matched with the lucid dream for word count (+/- 25 words).
The major findings concerned differences in ratings of emotions. Lucid dreams (i.e. dreams rated as including at least some awareness of dreaming while dreaming) were rated as higher in positive emotion and lower in fear-related negative emotion than were non-lucid dreams (dreams rated as including no awareness of dreaming while dreaming). Lucid dreams and non-lucid dreams did not differ in mean ratings of mood-related negative emotion. Also, both lucid and non-lucid dreams were rated as including more fear-related negative emotion than mood-related negative emotion or positive emotion.
Lucid and non-lucid dreams did not differ with respect to ratings of sensory or cognitive process or structural features. These findings replicate those of past research with respect to the greater prevalence of negative emotion than positive emotion in dreams, but also indicate that a distinction should be made between different types of negative emotion. Our findings also support the claim that positive emotion is a characteristic feature of lucid dreams.
1. Describe the subjective qualities that are similar for lucid and non-lucid dreams.
2. Describe the subjective qualities that seem to differ for lucid and non-lucid dreams.
3. Describe how the subjective qualities of dreams can be reliably measured.
1. What are the subjective qualities that are similar for lucid and non-lucid dreams?
2. What are the subjective qualities that seem to differ for lucid and non-lucid dreams?
3. How can the subjective qualities of dreams be reliably measured?
A Model of Will-Development as an Observational Tool for Dream Experiences and Daily Life Mindfulness (Presentation within symposium, “Applications of a Will-Development Model to Dream Experiences”)
Psychology shows a renewed interest in human volition, as evidenced by recent books such as The Willpower Instinct (McGonigal, 2012) and Willpower (Baumeister, 2011), but this interest is largely focused on our capacity to resist impulses, and the theoretical considerations rarely are applied to dream experiences. Dreams are generally seen as experiences in which the will is absent, experiences in which one is merely reacting to the dreamscape and dream events. The obvious exception would be lucid dreaming, in which the dreamer vividly experiences his or her volitional ability to make choices that affect how the dream unfolds. But is will something you either have or you don’t? Or, is such a binary model too simplistic and would we be better served by understanding will development with a more nuanced model?
This presentation offers a five stage model for will development, and then it examines how that model can be a useful lens for viewing dream experiences – not just lucid dreams, but virtually any dream, since there may be elements of volition present even in dreams where no dramatic discovery of free choice emerges. This model is applicable not only to dreamwork but even more prominently to one’s self-assessment of daily life experiences. Applying this theoretical perspective becomes a kind of mindfulness exercise in daily life.
Stage 0 describes consciousness in which the force of volition is dormant. One is entranced by life or by the dream events. One is just reacting to circumstances, largely out of habitual, conditioned patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Stage 1 is much like what is generally called “willpower.” It is the capacity to resist, to say “no.” One’s sense of autonomy and agency is supported by this kind of negating will. Stage 2 is a more skillful will in which the autonomy and independence created by Stage 1 is retained, but now one finds a wise or skillful way to re-engage and interact with that which previously would have been only resisted. Stage 3 of will development might be labeled “empowering will” (quite distinct from “willpower”) in which the full capacities for creativity and self-expression blossom. The most basic type of lucid dreaming might be seen as one example of Stage 3 will. Stage 4 can emerge only if there is the willingness to surrender the personal empowerment of Stage 3 and allow a Transpersonal Will to find expression. In dreaming, we could see Lucid Surrender dreams as an example of Stage 4.
This presentation will report on a practical application of this model of will development, which was conducted as a 15-week self-study assignment by 14 students in one of my upper division consciousness studies course at George Mason University. We used this lens as a way of viewing and finding meaning in both dream experiences and daily life situations and challenges. The model provided a way in which to see the personal growth opportunities embedded in dreams. The presentation will highlight some case histories of the students’ work.
1. To be able to list and describe the developmental stages of will-development.
2. To be able to assess how a dream experience shows evidence of one or more stages of will.
3. To be able to design a learning experience for students or counseling clients that makes direct use of a will-development model.
1. Name one developmental stages of human volition.
2. Briefly state how a dream experience can show evidence of a stage of will (you may use an example of one of your dreams or that of a client if you wish).
3. Briefly describe how you could design a learning assignment for students OR a homework assignment for a counseling client that would make use of the will-development model as a self-observational tool.
Kevin J. Todeschi
Edgar Cayce and Dreams for Personal Guidance (Keynote address)
Everyone dreams but few individuals are aware of the fact that their dreams often provide accurate and detailed counsel into every area of one’s life: not only physical, mental, and spiritual guidance but also accurate personal guidance related to relationships, work, health, finances – even one’s personal future!
Over a period of more than 40 years, Edgar Cayce, the most documented psychic of all time, encouraged regular individuals – business professionals, housewives, students – to use dreams as a means of obtaining personal guidance in any situation. From Cayce’s perspective, not only do dreams contrast and correlate the events of waking life and provide individuals with other ways of looking at any situation, but he went a step further and claimed that it was possible to write out a specific question and obtain specific guidance on that question in the dream state!
Led by Executive Director and CEO of the Cayce work, Kevin Todeschi, you will experience an insightful new look at the wealth of personal guidance that is available to everyone. Todeschi will explore case histories from the Cayce archives, as well as personal examples that verify the availability of guidance on virtually any topic.
Todeschi is the author of more than 25 books, including several books on symbolism and interpretation, such as: The BEST Dream Book Ever, and Dream, Images and Symbols. He has worked with dreams for more than 30 years and lectured on dream interpretation on five continents. He also created the A.R.E.’s “Dream Interpretation APP,” which explores possible definitions for 1,000 common dream symbols.
1. To understand how Edgar Cayce’s work showed how dreams contrast and correlate the events of waking life and provide individuals with other ways of looking at any situation.
2. To learn how Cayce developed dream incubation techniques to assist in exploring the meaning of dreams.
3. To learn more about the case histories of dreams in the Edgar Cayce archives to understand how dreams may be beneficial in various ways.
1. Name one way that Edgar Cayce work showed how dreams contrast and correlate the events of waking life and provide individuals with other ways of looking at any situation.
2. Describe one aspect of Edgar Cayce’s dream incubation procedures.
3. Name one way that Edgar Cayce’s case histories demonstrate the usefulness of dreams for personal guidance.
Welcome to My Dream World (Arts special event)
The presenter has been keeping dream journals since 2000 or so. The dreams have been hand-written in the journal, sometimes with diagrams but usually without many visual aids. She has noticed that certain elements go easily back and forth between dreaming and waking. One such element is definitely dance/movement. She took her first dance (ballet) class in 1990. Since then, dance has been central in her emotional/spiritual life. She speculates that one of the reasons why dance appears so easily in dreams is because while dancing she engages all senses and pays full attention. While dancing she is more ‘awake’ than in the rest of her waking life. The presenter has no data of how often dreams contain dance elements, but dance dreams are fairly common. She sometimes thinks of stopping dancing, but then is called back to dance by her many dance dreams. Elements in dance dreams vary – sometimes they are rather fragmented, other times they are harder to capture, such as a dance scene by more than 20 dancers. They can often take place in a dance studio, but also in other settings such as a hotel lobby, private room, or school. The presenter’s ‘big dream’ came when she was attending a dance workshop in Napa, CA in the late 90s (when she wasn’t keeping a journal): in a church-like building with a few pillars and a high ceiling, she dances to Debussy’s La Mer, performs a few big leaps… This example was clearly supported by accurate auditory memory, but at times dance fragments come without any supporting music.
This presentation will be a collage of these dance fragments, not only with dance but also with some texts that are derived from dreams. The audience will be invited to experience the general tones, atmosphere, currents and space that the dreamer generates through dreams. Still, this will not be a reenactment of a single dream; rather, it will be a choreographic/organizational/structural effort to put these dream elements together to form a ‘big piece.’
1. List examples of dream movements.
2. Describe the use of space in dreams.
3. Describe the relationship between dream texts and dream movements.
1. What are examples of dream movements?
2. Can you describe how the dreamer uses the space in dreams?
3. Can you describe how dream texts and dream movements are related?
Katja Valli and co-authors Nils Sandman, Erkki Kronholm, Hanna M. Ollila, Antti Revonsuo, Tiina Laatikainen, and Tiina Paunio
Nightmare Prevalence among Finnish General Adult Population and WWII Veterans During 1972-2007 (Paper)
While occasional nightmares are common and usually benign, frequent nightmares can cause considerable distress and are associated with many mental health problems as well as increased suicide risk. We investigated the prevalence and correlates of nightmares among the Finnish general adult population as well as veterans of the Second World War during 1972-2007. Specifically, we explored how nightmare prevalence is affected by the gender and age of the participants, whether changes in nightmare prevalence have taken place during the study years, and how nightmare prevalence of war veterans differs from that of the general population. Among the war veterans, we also investigated the prevalence of insomnia and anxiety symptoms, which often associate to nightmares.
Data from the Finnish National FINRISK Study were used to estimate nightmare prevalence. FINRISK is a large cross-sectional health survey conducted every five years since 1972 and it includes an extensive health and lifestyle questionnaire and a physical examination for a random sample of Finnish adults. Our study uses data from eight surveys (1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007) and includes 69,813 participants, aged 25-74 years. The questions about nightmares and insomnia symptoms in FINRISK are self-assessment of frequency during the last 30 days. War veterans were identified by direct questions in the 1972 and 1977 surveys. For statistical analysis, Pearson Chi-Square, Mantel-Haenszel Chi-Square test for linear trend, and multinominal logistic regression were used.
In our sample, 3.5% of men and 4.8% of women of the general population reported frequent nightmares, a result comparable to other large scale epidemiological studies. The gender difference, however, was most profound in young adults and disappeared around 60 years of age. This is because nightmare frequency increases with age both for men and women, but the increase is larger in men. Significant correlates of frequent nightmares include insomnia, depression and stress. The prevalence of nightmares was significantly higher in war veterans than in the general population, and so were symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression. After controlling for the effect of war, the prevalence of frequent nightmares has not significantly changed from 1972 to 2007, but the number of people reporting occasional nightmares has increased by 20%.
1. To be able to describe the prevalence of frequent and occasional nightmares in the general population.
2. To be able to explain how men and women differ in nightmare prevalence.
3. To be able to summarize the effect of war experiences on nightmare prevalence.
1. How common are frequent and occasional nightmares in general population: Under 5%, about 10%, or over 15%?
2. Is the increase of nightmare frequency with age greater for men or for women?
3. In a few words, describe how exposure to war affects nightmare prevalence.
Jeanne Van Bronkhorst
Dream Appreciation in Hospice Care (Presentation within symposium, “New Directions for Dreams in Health Settings”)
When people are near the end of life they often don’t have much energy or patience for dream analysis. They have already become dependent on professional medical opinions and knowledge, which too often feels like a loss of their own personal power. Western medicine has long assumed that dreams are irrelevant to treatment, and consider most dreams compromised near the end of life by pain, illness, or medication. Hospice care has not yet developed a way to ask about dreams routinely, leaving dreamwork to those with a personal interest.
Even with all these hesitations, something miraculous happens when we get up the courage to ask about dreams. From her own work, and from conversations with other interested professionals, Jeanne Van Bronkhorst has found that asking about dreams engages us as human beings, facing together the questions of life, existence, and death.
Dreams can enrich and enliven our days right up to the end. Dreams can give those who are sick an unexpected experience of freedom and vitality. Dreams can help us begin difficult conversations we need to have with loved ones. Dreams help families and caregivers prepare for a loss, by imagining their future. Sometimes dreams remind people of past regrets, hurts, or traumatic events, but even these come with hope for reconciliation. Dreams of deceased loved family and friends help prepare the dreamer (and all who listen) for the next great leap into a mystery no one can fully comprehend.
Dream appreciation in a hospice usually takes only minutes, one part of a visit that still has to focus on immediate physical needs. The author’s work is appreciation only: she listens, asks them how the dream felt and what they think about it. She trusts them to make the connections they need, and her hope is that dream sharing allows them to experience again the control they still hold in their personal lives. Her hope is that her questions help them re-establish a link—strengthen a bond—with their inner spiritual lives.
1. To be able to explain the difference between dream analysis and dream appreciation.
2. To be able to identify different levels on which dream work can bring healing.
3. To be able to list ways that dreams can provide comfort at the end of life.
1. Identify one benefit of dream appreciation in a hospice setting.
2. Describe one level on which dream work can bring healing.
3. Describe one benefit of dreams at the end of life.
Robert Van de Castle, Matt Tabrizi, Jean-Marc Emden, and Martha Kortiak Mert
Dreams Cloud: A Website for Engaging and Benefitting Dreamers Globally (Poster)
Dreams Cloud is a company specializing in helping people around the world understand the power of dreams and their role in our lives. We provide a convenient and free solution for recording and safekeeping one’s dreams in digital dream journals. Users can also share their dreams with other dreamers, receive professional reflections on their dreams, and access resources on dreams and dreaming. Users can write their dreams or read the dreams of others in over 10 languages.
Dreams Cloud has been growing its global database of dreams by adding new features, content and tools to attract, engage, and benefit users of the service.
Other features launched by Dreams Cloud include Sound Sleep, an online white noise machine that draws many visitors to the website; new dreams-related content including short-format videos designed to stimulate the interest and curiosity of average people in dreams and dreaming; and a more interactive website that allows users to upload imagery that can help to illustrate their dreams.
Dreams Cloud has launched an active marketing program to continually attract new users. Using search engine optimization, digital marketing, public relations and social media, Dreams Cloud is generating a steady and growing stream of visitors and new users from numerous countries around the world.
DreamsCloud welcomes dream researchers to avail themselves of its ever-increasing dream databases resulting from the site improvements, marketing and increased user base described above.
1. Ability to describe the mission and activities of Dreams Cloud.
2. Ability to utilize a Dreams Cloud app or browser interface to record dreams.
3. Ability to identify characteristics of the Dreams Cloud user base.
1. Can you describe the mission of Dreams Cloud and three of its activities?
2. Are you able to describe how to use Dreams Cloud to record dreams?
3. Can you identify two characteristics of the Dreams Cloud user base?
Susanne van Doorn
A Dreamers Guide Through the Land of the Deceased (Interactive lecture)
Life and death must strike a balance in your existence. If I accept death, then my tree greens, since dying increases life. If I plunge into the death encompassing the world, then my buds break open. How much our life needs death!
— Carl Jung, The Red Book
This presentation is not about proving life after death, it is about coming to terms with the energies of life and death that must strike a balance in our existence. In doing so we will explore the land of the dead using examples out of a survey of 114 dreams about the deceased collected in Europe and America. After each step we will explore dreams together in a group discussion using the Ullman method and explore dreams of our own.
The first step in the workshop is exploring precognitive dreams about death. There is room for input and discussion among workshop attendees.
The second step will be to “go through the gate.” In exploring this old symbol of the veil between life and death we will discuss different symbols of the gate. Participants can talk about their own dreams and experiences using the Ullman method.
Third, we will discuss the life after death in dreams in the survey. What kind of activities do the deceased in dreams engage in? Where do they live in our dreams? What is the interaction between the living and the dead in dreams? Some amazingly accurate ancestral advice will also be discussed in this part.
In the fourth part of this presentation we will discuss how we can guide the dead in our dreams. We will discuss nightmares and dreams where the dreamer felt worse. To end this part we will enter a meditation to meet our guide to experience their input on dreams of the deceased.
1. To create a meditation to guide dreams about the deceased.
2. To describe different symbols in dreams about the dead.
3. To list different types of interaction between living and deceased in dreams.
1. Can you list three common symbols of dreams about the deceased?
2. Can you list the steps to transform a negative feeling about a dream into a positive one?
3. What are the ingredients of a meditation to help someone mourning a loss?
Light and Consciousness in Lucid Dreaming (Presentation within Symposium,” Light and Enlightenment in Dreams”)
Experienced lucid dreamers worldwide frequently report fascinating encounters with ‘light.’ In these encounters, the light might exist as a profound visual expression or symbol for the lucid dreamer to simply observe. On other occasions, the light might act as the specific source of communication with the lucid dreamer, offering profound teachings or advice. In still others, the light might function to heal the lucid dreamer’s emotional, spiritual or physical self.
Many such encounters occur unexpectedly, as if beyond the lucid dreamer’s knowing or waking experience and imagination. Sometimes the encounter with ‘light’ exists on numerous levels simultaneously (e.g., educational, healing, symbolic), as if it were a multi-layered expression of numinous awareness.
I experienced a lucid dreaming example of the unexpected nature of ‘light’ in 2005. One night I found myself sitting next to my oldest brother at a kitchen table in the South with a farm wife cooking beans on the stove. As the farm wife put beans on my plate, I instantly realized the improbability of this, and became lucidly aware. Sensing someone behind me in Jung’s shadow position, I turned around to see a young black woman looking at me intently. Lucidly aware, I picked her up and placed her directly in front of me, then demanded to know, “Who are you? Who are you?”
She looked me in the eye and replied, “I am a discarded aspect of yourself.” I felt a bit shocked by this statement and lucidly wondered how to respond to a discarded aspect of one’s self! Suddenly it hit me that I must completely accept her with compassion. As I began to open my heart with true acceptance to this “discarded aspect,” her image began to compress towards the central point, then suddenly became wisps of colored light that headed directly for my chest. As they entered me, I could feel the powerful energy and woke with a start.
In the morning, I felt different, but could not put my finger on it. Then a week later, it hit me. Each day that week, I had thought to myself, ‘I should try again to write a book on lucid dreaming,’ but I had discarded that project two years earlier after writing fifty pages. Suddenly I understood the lucid dream: I had accepted the discarded aspect or discarded energy from my earlier book-writing attempt. Newly energized by the light energy, I went ahead and wrote my first book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self.
Even in a simple example like this, one can speculate about a number of points. For example, do most dream figures exist as projected mental energy, which when brought to their fundamental nature would be expressed as light (or colored light)? Does seeing through projection, or totally accepting projection, cause it to revert to its natural form, light? As lucid dreamers become more experienced and aware of their projections, does this cause the instances of interacting with light to increase (instead of the projected mental energy forming into a potent symbol)?
In this presentation, a number of fascinating lucid dreaming encounters with ‘light’ will help illuminate the variety of experiences in breadth and depth. Moreover, these instances will serve to point to the fundamental nature of ‘light’ as the energetic expression of conscious awareness.
1. Understand how lucid dreamers encounter light in a variety of ways in lucid dreams.
2. Understand how light seems to act on or engage with lucid dreamers.
3. Understand how light might represent the unmasked nature of projected mental energy, which we refer to as dream symbols.
1. Name one way in which lucid dreamers encounter light, and interact with it.
2. While projected mental energy might be expressed as dream symbols, does the mental energy have a natural state, or un-projected state?
3. Why would more experienced and aware lucid dreamers report interactions with light more frequently?
Do Lucid Dreamers Manipulate Space or the Mind? (Presentation within symposium, “‘Space’, Time and Lucid Dreaming: Connections to Modern Physics)
Experienced lucid dreamers discover that they do not manipulate dream objects and settings within the lucid dream; instead, they manipulate within their conscious/unconscious mind and its projected mental overlay of beliefs, thoughts and emotions. Working with this sub-structure of mental processes, they perform extraordinary feats and learn to access larger dimensions of awareness. Similarly, in the meta-awareness of lucid dreaming (or the awareness of being aware), many lucid dreamers learn to perceive fundamental constants, such as space/time, as malleable reflections of conscious awareness, whose constancy seems based more upon waking neurological habits than the fundamental nature of awareness. While science grasps a physics of the material world, the mentally perceived/processed nature of the waking material world calls for a deeper understanding of the act of perceiving. In lucid dreaming, we see the dim outlines of a mental physics, or physics of the mental process which offers science new insights into the observation effect and our perceived reality, much as the sub-atomic dimension provides scientists new insights into matter. While Einstein showed the ‘relative’ nature of time, and by extension, space, how can one utilize space/time relativity? Does achieving conscious awareness within another framework (e.g., dreaming) allow for a new type of experimentation to actively pursue the larger realm of mental physics and consciousness? Here, an experienced lucid dreamer’s interaction with ‘space’ will serve to illustrate these basic concepts. Does space exist as distance or as something like conceptual expression? What role do feelings play in ‘perceived’ space and the experience of distance?
1. To be able to describe an example of a lucid dreamer manipulating space in the dream state.
2. To be able to explain how a heightened emotion accelerates perceived movement in the lucid dream.
3. To be able to summarize the concept of mental physics within lucid dreaming.
1. Does the experience of space in lucid dreams allow for mental manipulation of it?
2. Briefly explain how movement in lucid dream space responds to heightened emotions or feelings.
3. Does the lucid dreamer’s belief about gravity alter his or her experience of gravity in the lucid dream space?
Carol D. Warner
Consciousness, Dreaming and Witnessing: An Exploration (Presentation within panel, “Extraordinary Dreaming Experiences and their Impact on Consciousness”)
Dr. Jayne Gackenbach has conducted inspirational pioneering research into consciousness, meditation, lucidity, dreaming and witnessing, as documented on her website Spiritwatch. The presenter has had a series of experiences with witnessing, dreaming and sleep which support the research Gackenbach describes. In addition to presenting some of the research as a framework, the author will relate how, because of her meditation skills and ability to go into the state of coherence while waking or while in sleep, she easily enters the witnessing state. She has documented observations during the witnessing state which corroborate earlier research, and which also offer the possibility of a new healing paradigm.
Over 17 years ago, the author healed from a disabling illness of 15 years from which the doctors said she would never recuperate. She did this by dedicating all her dreams to healing until such time as she was healed from this horrific illness. Using dreams, meditation, and biofeedback led her spontaneously into the witnessing state. From those experiences, she was able to heal completely.
Recently, the author’s numerous experiences with witnessing have provided a lens through which to understand consciousness. When intending to “witness”, dreaming seems insignificant and of a “lesser order.” The pull to witnessing out of ordinary dreaming is experienced as almost magnetic, pulling the observing Self to the highest possible consciousness.
1. Witnessing is the state of pure consciousness while sleeping. It can be experienced as lucidity, a preliminary form of witnessing, or fully as pure consciousness within deep sleep.
2. Witnessing is defined as pure consciousness because it is consciousness without content during sleep, and is similar to the meditator ‘s experience of pure consciousness.
3. In both witnessing and lucid dreaming, the person sleeping is conscious of their state. In lucid dreaming, out of this consciousness of dreaming, there may be an attempt to manipulate the variables, or not. While witnessing, the pure consciousness of the state is ever expanding, completely sufficient to itself. Witnessing has the sense of profound peace, depth and quiet.
1. How do you define witnessing?
2. Why is witnessing defined as pure consciousness?
3. How is witnessing related to lucid dreaming?
Dream-inspired Music, Lyrics and Soundscapes (Presentation within symposium, “Dreams, Music and Consciousness”)
After a brief look at how the brain interprets music and spoken language, we will explore how sound, music and language show up in dreams, offer a hypothesis for why dreams often involve word plays, look at how dreams can provide musical inspiration, play some auditory principle demonstrations and share a medley of famous and original dream-inspired compositions.
1. Gain insight into the role of word play in dreams.
2. See how sound can be looked at as a powerful metaphorical tool.
3. Learn some basics about the neuropsychology of music and language.
1. Why do dreams frequently use word play?
2. What is some famous music that has been inspired by dreams?
3. Are music and language processed in the same part of the brain?
Championing Dreams for Lucidly Living a Deeply Fulfilling Life (Paper)
When given a fully aware choice, most people would choose events and experiences that bring them great joy, aliveness, learning, and the deepest fulfillment possible. One of the most sacred gifts we are all given here on Earth is the freedom to make choices. Decisions in life are not always so simple however, and the results they will bring are not always obvious. One challenge is that we each have important life lessons to learn along our journey, and the lessons may not always seem as fun as we’d wish while we’re in them. Furthermore, what people enjoy and find fulfilling is quite open to interpretation. Still another factor that adds spice to the choosing equation and brings variations between everyone’s paths is that our personal interests, skills, styles and needs at any given time can vary greatly. Perhaps there are significant events scattered along our path in a semi-destined way, like stops on a scavenger or treasure hunt. These events may be somewhat flexible as to when they happen, though how we handle and respond to them may well be what determines how close we eventually come to the most beautiful blueprint of our best life. Is the blueprint a fixed thing? Can dreams give us insights about what it is and how to move towards it? The presenter will explore these and many other questions, including destiny, fate and the physics of probabilities, and offer intriguing examples of how dreams can indeed give us hints about the future and how it will turn out, and therefore become a valuable inner compass along our best soul path.
1. Participants should understand the basic tenets of the “Many-World Interpretation” of quantum physics.
2. Participants will learn strategies to recognize precognitive dreams and psi dream elements, and have a new appreciation for nightmares and upsetting dreams.
3. Participants will learn about statistics and quantitative research concerning precognitive dreams.
1. What is the basic difference between the view of quantum physics’ many world interpretation of probable events and the commonly held concept of deterministic fate?
2. What is at least one way precognitive dreams often differ from other types of dreams?
3. How are precognition, telepathy, and clairvoyance directly related?
Dream Dance Circle (Special event)
You are warmly welcomed to an interactive community song/dance circle, blending cultural traditions and celebrating life and dreams through movement and music. Enjoy friendly faces and charge up your physical and dream bodies with lots of lucid dream energy! Absolutely no previous experience required – so please ignore your inner critic!
1. Learn simple songs and melodies from various traditions.
2. Learn simple community dance steps from various traditions.
3. Learn how to let go in body, mind and voice and truly enjoy oneself.
E valuation questions:
1. What is a good way to balance all the mental input that happens at the conference?
2. Can singing and dancing with a group bring a feeling of joy and freedom from social limits we sometimes put on ourselves?
3. Can singing simple repetitive melodies in combination with simple dance steps in a community setting spark profound dreams?
Trapped in a Dream: Lucid and Ludic Dreaming in Cinema (Special film event)
The success of 2010’s summer blockbuster Inception triggered a popular wave of interest in lucid and “active” (or “creative”) dreaming. But film theorists have long noted that the experience of cinema itself resembles lucid dreaming in its curious blend of active and involuntary cognitive experience; and the trapped-in-a-dream motif was already well established in outstanding examples among both mainstream and arthouse films.
Inception employs the lucid-dream paradox to add a new dimension of risk to a conventional action picture. (Shoot-‘em-ups are not enough, apparently; contemporary audiences demand to see their heroes in metaphysical peril.) The trapped-in-a-dream device is used in the manner of a Zen koan: to lead the audience into an elaborate sensory experience of the suspension of everyday assumptions about reality, illusion, and the faith we place in the evidence of our senses.
Other directors have used the same plot device to similar ends, but with distinctive differences. In two classics of horror film, Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti et al., 1945), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984), characters who are trapped in a dream turn to established therapeutic systems and concepts to resolve their nightmares and confront existential threats. (Without success, of course.) The Surrealist films Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943), and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1972) might almost be called erotic lucid dream experiences; the games they play with the viewer propose the infinite deferral of the fulfillment of unattainable desires. And in Waking Life (2001), Richard Linklater presents perhaps the cinema’s most extensive meditation on the analogy of dream and film, proposing that both can engender, through the power of illusions, puzzles incapable of resolution that may ultimately lead to a Zen-like experience of satori. In all these instances, the possibility of seeing through the illusory nature of experience is accompanied by typical nightmare anxiety over loss of identity, incorporation into another, and annihilation.
This presentation will review key scenes and devices in these films to establish a theory of the sources and consequences of the anxieties associated with the trapped-in-a-dream motif in disparate film genres. Acknowledging the influence of the views of Carl Jung, John Mack, Ernest Hartmann, and Mark Blechner, we will propose that the cinematic nightmare, like actual nightmares, can creatively subvert the limiting assumptions of rational thought and shock the dreamer/viewer into seeing the world in a fresh way—even as that experience is accompanied by feelings of confusion and dread. In this respect, we might say we should consider not only the lucid dream but the “ludic” dream—the dream that not only invites conscious reflection but actually operates as a game played within the mind.
1. To be able to summarize the trapped-in-a-dream motif as a convention that spans cinematic genres.
2. To be able to describe the analogy of dreaming and cinema through comparison of the nightmare in film and in actual dreaming experience.
3. To be able to analyze the cinematic nightmare as an artistic expression of existential anxiety over the difficulty of distinguishing reality and illusion in waking as in dreaming life.
1. Name one key philosophical issue expressed in the trapped-in-a-dream theme in cinema.
2. Describe one key psychoanalytic issue expressed in the trapped-in-a-dream theme in cinema.
3. Briefly identify one way that the cinematic nightmare is an artistic expression of existential anxiety over the difficulty of distinguishing reality and illusion in waking as in dreaming life.
From Reliving to Relieving: Using Embodied Imagination to Help Combat Veterans Move Forward (Paper)
The emotional scars of combat are more widely recognized than in the past; more information is available about post-traumatic stress disorder than ever before—partly because more of today’s veterans have been exposed to multiple deployments and have survived more life-threatening experiences than any previous group of veterans.
Still, for many returning veterans, the negative effects of war go undetected and untreated. This is especially true for individuals who appear to be highly functional and do not meet the formal criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. They may have a smoother transition back to civilian life, becoming responsible students, workers and family members; but they may also suffer nightmares and flashback memories in silence. These symptoms may reflect and reinforce a failure to realize one’s fullest personal and professional potential.
Such was the case with a high-ranking Marine who initially sought treatment because of relatively minor issues with his family. With his permission, Dr. White will present her work with him, focusing on the therapeutic role of Embodied Imagination (EI) in helping him overcome the stressful, ruminative memories of war and the indecisiveness that marked his civilian life.
In EI, Bosnak’s method of working with dreams and memories, a dream or memory environment is re-experienced in a hypnagogic state, with careful guidance and support, as a composite of its many perspectives simultaneously. While it has been used by mental health professionals to treat trauma survivors, there is scant documentation of its use with veterans.
Only in the last six months of his two-year treatment could this young man reveal the recurring intrusive memories and nightmares that left him with shame and self-questioning. Dr. White will describe how she used EI to explore a particular memory of a high-risk mission he had authorized as a commanding officer in Afghanistan. Key to this process was the embodiment of a safe or “neutral witness” perspective that contained the patient and allowed him to integrate the more difficult parts of the memory without retraumatization. During this period, he moved from his habitual guilt- and shame-filled ego perspective to a perspective that included greater self-understanding and compassion. In letting go of this aspect of his past, he was able to embrace his future by becoming more decisive. He overcame an obsession with a former girlfriend and finally left a job he’d been unhappy with for a more promising one in another state. This case history points to EI as a method that encourages post-traumatic growth (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 2012).
Finally, Dr. White will compare EI to other techniques used for nightmares. While EI is in some ways similar to these methods (e.g., imagery rehearsal therapy, Lancee, et al., 2010), its emphasis on the non-self perspective through the exploration of ego-alien images and on hewing as closely as possible to the original images appears to be unique.
This presentation is for participants of all levels. Its aim is to suggest a new approach, subject to further study, for treating combat veterans.
1. To be able to identify a characteristic of subclinical PTSD in combat veterans.
2. To be able to define the concept of a “neutral witness” in Embodied Imagination.
3. To be able to compare and contrast Embodied Imagination with Imagery Rehearsal Therapy and Lucid Dreaming as interventions for recurring nightmares.
1. Name one characteristic of subclinical PTSD in combat veterans.
2. Briefly define the concept of a “neutral witness” in Embodied Imagination.
3. What is one way that Embodied Imagination differs from Imagery Rehearsal Therapy or Lucid Dreaming as interventions for recurring nightmares?
Hippocampal Memory Reactivation in Awake and Sleep States (Invited research speaker)
By introducing arrays of microelectrodes into hippocampal, thalamic, and neocortical areas of freely behaving rodents, we have characterized the detailed structure and content of memory patterns across ensembles of individual neurons as they are formed during spatial behavior, and reactivated during quiet wakefulness and sleep. The speaker will discuss the involvement of sleep rhythms in coordinating interactions between these brain systems during memory reactivation. He will also describe recent results demonstrating the ability to influence dream content, with implications for directed memory processing during sleep.
1. To learn how the monitoring of neuronal activity during different mental states can activate memories.
2. To understand how brain systems contribute to learning, memory, spatial navigation, and decision-making and their possible involvement in neurological diseases and disorders.
3. To demonstrate the ability to influence dream content, with implications for directed memory processing during sleep.
1. By what procedure(s) was neuronal activity monitored in Dr. Wilson’s studies?
2. Name one way that brain systems contribute to learning, memory, spatial navigation, or decision-making or one aspect of their possible involvement in neurological diseases and disorders.
3. Name one way that Dr. Wilson research demonstrated the ability to influence dream content, with implications for directed memory processing during sleep.
Perspectives in Dreams and Traditional Japanese Art (Paper)
One of the most important characteristics of traditional Japanese art is that it does not have a linear perspective like post-Renaissance paintings in Western countries, but multiple perspectives. Dr. Yama will give as an example Views In and Around the City of Kyoto, genre paintings from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. These paintings depict the town area (inner Kyoto) and suburbs (outer Kyoto) from an overhead view. A Japanese art historian, Takashina (2009) writes, “The painter does not stay at one point in the air but appears to be looking down while moving freely over Kyoto…. Although the scale is small, [people and scenes in the town] are painted in minute detail, as if they were seen up close and portrayed from an ordinary perspective.” These paintings do not have one specific center but multiple perspectives, which is a characteristic of Japanese-style painting in general (Takashina, 2009). In fact, as French cultural geographer Berque (1990) mentions, this characteristic applies to Japanese arts in a broad sense, such as gardens, traditional buildings, etc. The theory behind this is that the Japanese ego develops differently than in the West, although Japan has certainly been affected by modern Western consciousness.
Japanese-style painter Kayo Yamaguchi (1899-1984), who painted mainly flowers, trees and animals, mentions that he tried to be absorbed in nature and talk with an object until they become one, meaning that the painter and the object he was painting became borderless and merged with each other. This is not a viewpoint unique to Yamaguchi, but is used by other Japanese-style artists.
In his experience of practicing psychotherapy, Dr. Yama has recognized that some of his clients have dreams in which they have multiple perspectives, moving from one to another quite naturally. As the level of consciousness in dreams lowers, the boundary between “I” and “not-I” becomes more obscure and we are able to enter another person’s perspective, escaping from an ego-centered one, much more easily than when we are awake. Generally speaking, there are several kinds of perspectives in dreams, such as the ego-centered perspective (just like when we are awake and conscious), a looking-from-outside/distant perspective with a vague ego-centered perspective, another person’s perspective and sometimes even perspectives of an animal or substance.
Dr. Yama would like to argue that there are similarities between experiences in dreams and those of Japanese painters in painting, such as multiple perspectives and merging with others. This might have to do with the fact that Japan is a polytheistic/ pantheistic culture. And he is not certain if identifying oneself with animals or even with substances in the dream is often experienced by Westerners. If so, discussion from a cultural point of view would be interesting, too.
1. To be able to list characteristics of traditional Japanese art.
2. To be able to compare the experiences of a dreamer in dreams and a Japanese-style painter.
3. To be able to describe several perspectives in dreams.
1. Name one characteristic of traditional Japanese art.
2. Mention one common characteristic of the experiences of a dreamer in dreams and a Japanese-style painter.
3. What is one perspective that has been shown to be characteristic of dreams?
Antonio Zadra and co-author Dominic Beaulieu-Prévost
The Malleability of Dream Recall: Exploring the Effects of Suggestive Techniques (Paper)
Source monitoring consists of identifying the origin of mental events. From its inception, the source monitoring paradigm suggested that dreams constitute one of the major sources of naturally-occurring false memories. However, no studies have directly examined the malleability of memories for actual dreams. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, for the first time, the impact of suggestions on subsequent dream recall. Immediate dream recall, as recorded in a sleep laboratory, was compared to long-term recall reported 2-3 weeks afterwards. Two false dream-like sequences were suggested to participants while in the sleep laboratory via a misinformation procedure, to assess whether or not these false dreams would be incorporated into subjects’ long-term recall as genuine dream experiences. Finally, standard dream recall was compared to hypnotic recall. False memories of dreams that included suggested elements were created in four out of 26 (15%) participants. The hypnotic condition did not facilitate the creation of false memories for dreams. When compared to the data obtained from classical studies of memory creation, the proportion of successful memory creations found in the present study is slightly lower. This suggests that false memories of dreams are more difficult to create than false memories of real-life events. This may be partially due to the context of minimal social influence in the present study versus maximal social influence typically found in classical studies. In summary, the data reveal that situations of misinformation can elicit false memories of specific dreams in a minority of cases and suggest that social influence affects the construction of dream memories and of memories of real-life events in similar ways.
1. To be able to describe the malleable nature of dream recall.
2. To be able to explain how the content of people’s dreams can include errors of attributions.
3. To be able to identify ways that dreams and external events can be confused.
1. Briefly state the extent to which memories of dreams are malleable.
2. Can the use of suggestive techniques impact the content of recalled dreams?
3. Can we generalize what is known about the malleability of memories of events to memories of dreams?
Lucid Surrender: The Alignment of the Individual Will with the Transpersonal/Divine Will (Presentation within symposium, “Applications of a Will-Development Model to Dream Experiences”)
Lucid Surrender dreams, characterized by an initial position of receptive and attentive willingness, illustrate the transformative interplay between the will and imagination. Examples of such dreams demonstrate the unfolding of the dreamer’s psyche through several stages of will development–from personal to transpersonal will.
The dreamer will track this development in a series of four dreams, the fourth of which, in a single dream, contains all four stages of the will sequence. These dreams suggest an alignment between the dreamer’s psyche and transpersonal will, a will that is sensitive to the influences outside of space and time and to the remembrance of the Self. In such dreams, the intent of self-reflection is to reflect the Self.
The selected dreams also demonstrate ways in which the dreamer’s will, or capacity for self-reflection, affects the dream’s development and the relationship between the dreamer and the emergent central image. In this sequence of dreams, the central image takes the form of a whirlwind or cloud—the form and qualities of which develop in tandem with the dreamer’s capacity to relate to the image from a more integrated stage of will development.
The presentation will provide a framework of the dreamer’s life context to bring to life the impact of co-creation and co-development in the dream reality on the dreamer’s waking physical reality.
Throughout the presentation, references to alchemical, yogic, Christian, Sufi, and Jewish Wisdom Traditions will be used to complement and amplify the panel’s psychological model with a psycho-spiritual perspective.
1. To be able to name the defining characteristic of Lucid Surrender.
2. To be able to describe the inter-relationship between will development and co-creation of the dream.
3. To be able to explain how a dreamer’s relationship with a central image over a series of dreams can transform in connection to the dreamer’s will development and relationship with the central image.
1. Name one of the attributes of Lucid Surrender.
2. Briefly describe the connection between “surrender” and will development.
3. Give a brief example of a dream experience, lucid or non-lucid, in which the dreamer surrenders to what is experienced as an expression of a deeper or greater will in a dream. (You may use your own dream or imagine a fictional dream.)
The Alchemy of Light, Lucidity and Consciousness (Presentation within symposium, “The Lucidity of Light: Light as an Expression of Creative and Transformative Consciousness in Dreams”)
Transformative lucid and non-lucid dreams are often marked by imagery of intense light and color. Colors in dreams indicate the presence of light. Reflecting on the nature of color, Goethe, in the introduction to his book Theory of Colours observes that ‘…the eye is formed by the light, for the light so that the inner light may meet the outer light.’ Of this inner light, Ibn Arabi, the 12th century Sufi mystic, has said that when a person is lost in “nothingness”, the Divine grants existence through color–or by extension, light. Alchemists aligned specific colors as manifestations of stages in the alchemical process of inner transformation. Sufi teachings outline a model of inner light that leads the initiate to an awareness of the Light of Mind, Soul, Spirit, and Being—the latter immortalised in the poetry of Hafiz as follows: ‘I wish I could show you, /When you are lonely or in the darkness, /The Astonishing Light /Of your own Being!’
Drawing on Wisdom Traditions such as alchemy and Sufism for an understanding of light, this presentation tracks the connection between the light forms and psycho-spiritual development depicted in a series of four lucid dreams over a seven-year span in the dreamer’s life. The selected dreams present provocative ideas about the nature of light itself and the relationship of light to the development of consciousness.
1. To be able to recognize how color and light in dreams can be indications of inner, alchemical transformation.
2. To be able to relate the appearance of colors and light to a psychological interpretation of dreams.
3. To be able to connect light forms to a spiritual perspective on dreams from alchemical traditions.
1. Give one example of a psycho-spiritually transformative encounter with color and light in your own or another person’s dream.
2. From a psychological perspective, what does the appearance of color and light indicate about the dreamer’s psychological state? (Please be brief)
3. From an alchemical perspective, how do colors and light in dreams mirror the process of spiritual transformation? Please be brief)