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Regression Therapy for Dream Work (Interactive Presentation)
Regression Therapy is a powerful therapeutic tool that is firmly grounded in the understanding of the Law of Karma. It works by helping the clients gain a bigger picture of who they are and how they create their own Reality. Regression therapy traces the current problems to their roots in the past memories stored in the subconscious mind. The events in the past, especially traumatic memories, create karmic complexes with undischarged emotions and rigid beliefs. These complexes are carried in the subtle bodies from past lives to the womb, into childhood and throughout the current life time. They cause one to repeat similar patterns unless and until these complexes are dissolved. Dreams can be seen as doorways to the subconscious mind. When one is regressed into a recurring or traumatic or most recent dream memory, the process can open up the deeper layers of the subconscious mind. The dream by itself may not necessarily represent a past memory, though sometimes it does. However, the dream by its rich language of symbols and metaphors can point to the subconscious complexes which are not completely processed and understood. When such complexes are revisited, the client is given a chance to relive the underlying emotions and make connections between the subconscious material and the present life situation. Regression Therapy focuses on gaining understanding and self-awareness so that one is empowered to look beyond the trauma, emotional complexes, and rigid beliefs that are carried into the present from the past. It facilitates a powerful shift and transformation of current life situations through conscious choice. In a regression therapy setup, dream memory can be used as a “Bridge” to enter the subconscious complexes and work on them. The method presented is based on clinical work as a regression therapist. It evolved while working with clients on their dream memories in a regression setup. The method is gentle and the approach is non-directive in interpreting the meaning of a dream. The method constitutes the following aspects: a) How to use dream memory as a bridge; b) How to facilitate decoding the dream memory using principles of regression therapy : identification, dis-identification and transformation; c) How to facilitate relating the dream symbols to the subconscious emotions; d) How to process the subconscious emotions underlying the dream symbols; e) Relating the dream language to the real life situations; f) Shifting the limiting beliefs and exercising conscious choice. The methods are best suited for applying in a therapy setup as well as designed to be used for self-work. A third of the total time will be spent discussing the principles behind the method. The rest of the time will be spent on the practical work using the method.
- List three basic principles of Regression Therapy in relation to Dream work.
- Differentiate between accessing a dream, understanding a dream, and integrating a dream.
- Apply one method for understanding a dream, gaining a bigger picture, and enabling transformation.
Student Initiative “Sleep and Dream” Osnabrück (Paper)
In 2012, students from Osnabrück University (Germany) established a so called student initiative. This group of approximately 25 Bachelor, Master and PhD students is interested in everything related to the topics of sleep and dreaming. In my talk I will describe and illustrate our student initiative and the various things we do, such as our regular meetings, our excursions to professional sleep laboratories, our movie nights, our reading club, and our own professionally equipped sleep laboratory.
Moreover, I will talk about our first own scientific experiment in our sleep laboratory, which investigates how to induce lucid dreams in a sleep laboratory setting, and will discuss its (preliminary) results. Target audience level: For All.
- Learn who we are.
- Learn more about our various activities.
- Learn more about our scientific sleep lab studies.
Illuminated Dream Pages – Illuminating a Dream Report with Words and Images (Dreamwork workshop)
This workshop offers a hands-on approach to creating “illuminated” dream pages inspired by illuminated manuscripts of the past and contemporary practices in artists’ and writers’ journals. Participants illuminate their own dream report by enhancing key passages, adding embellishments and images, or employing other visual/verbal elements. The aim of the workshop is to animate the dream and explore it more deeply. It is appropriate for a clinical, group, or personal setting. Though we often think of “illuminated manuscripts” as decorated in gold or silver leaf, the term can refer to any decorated or illustrated manuscript. Medieval illuminators added borders, images, fancy initials, etc. to decorate the text, but also “to mark important passages, or to enhance or comment on the meaning of the text.” (British Library, online.) Jung clearly drew on this tradition in the Red Book. Like Jung, we will draw inspiration from past illuminators, but extend our reach to contemporary book artists; adding pockets, pop-ups, maps, altered pages, freewrites, etc. Participants will consider questions such as: What are the key passages? Where is the emotion? What creatures or objects are present? Who is the “I”? How can I see from another point of view? What is the setting? Questions are explored explicitly or implicitly through design decisions. Participants work for 45 minutes, then share their page(s) with a partner, using non-judgmental descriptors. They then work another 15 minutes, using an additional prompt. Finally, participants gather in a circle, view each other’s dream pages, and reflect on the process and their experiences. How does the process of creating these pages raise questions about the dream? What new ways of seeing emerge? Participants will leave with their own illuminated dream page(s) and a deeper experience of their dream.
Specific Methods: a) teaching through examples; b) techniques for adhering, adding color and line, attachments, etc.; c) introspective process questions; d) using Liz Lerman-style non-judgmental Critical Response descriptors. Dreamer will be the “ultimate authority” on dream interpretation.
Activities: 1) overview of selected images from illuminated manuscripts, Jung’s Red Book, & contemporary practices in art and writer’s journals (20 min); 2) show & tell of presenter’s dream pages & process (10 min); 3) tips for glue, drawing, pop-ups (5 min); 4) studio art-making/writing time (45 min); 5) sharing with partners (10 min); 6) extended art-making or writing from prompt (15 min); 7) sharing of ideas and final work in circle (15 min). Materials: paper, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolor, sharpies, scissors, origami papers, tissue papers, glue sticks, etc. Approx. time for didactic portion: 35 minutes. Experiential phases: 70 minutes, Final group reflection: 15 minutes. Audience: for all. Aim: to bring to life and deepen exploration of a dream through visual /verbal “illumination” of a written dream report.
- Describe three ways to “illuminate” a dream text.
- Create a dream page that is illuminated through visual art and/or writing.
- Respond to another’s work using non-judgemental descriptors.
Deborah Armstrong, Pauline Dolan, and Colleen Jones
Inner Self Work: Focusing, Imagery, Dreamwork (Dreams and Healing Workshop)
This workshop will introduce participants to the processes of Focusing, Imagery, and Dream-gardening to grow awareness of the Inner Self, as the concept is used within the Seth Material. The workshop will be principally experiential, though some didactic materials will be discussed. Focusing is a process that originated from the research and insights of Eugene Gendlin and involves an exploration of one’s inner experiences within the embodied self. Imagery of course arises as one dives into these felt senses, and Dream-gardening is a term that refers to expressive and embodied practices that are intended to grow our awareness of and engagement with our dreams. The Inner Self, as the Seth Materials suggests, consists of the entire self, a gestalt consisting of the inner self, various selves that the entity has assumed through past existences (physical and non- physical), plus all the currently incarnated selves, and all of their probable counterparts. The workshop will begin with a discussion of these concepts and processes, accompanied by a brief overview of recent developments in research that support the value of growing awareness of the Inner Self through practices that are embodied and expressive … and very importantly, how dreams may hold a special function in these practices. Following this discussion, participants will be engaged in Focusing, Imagery, and Dream-gardening practices to experience the richness of these landscapes personally.
- Describe Gendlin’s Focusing technique and its function in growing awareness and engagement with the Inner Self.
- Apply three experiences that demonstrate Dream-gardening.
- Discuss how Focusing, Imagery, and Dream-gardening grow one’s awareness and engagement with the Inner Self as it pertains to the term described within the Seth Material.
The Joys of Dreamwork in a Present Body (Dreamwork Workshop)
In this experiential workshop we use Authentic Movement as an entrance to exploring our dream and its content. The Authentic Movement method enables a direct and vivid connection to the depths of our unconscious. It assumes that the spontaneously moving body conveys a wisdom and expresses a richness of symbolic layers of meanings. It is founded on C.G. Jung’s concepts of active imagination and the collective unconscious (Chodorow 1997, Pallaro 2000). Pioneered in the 1950’s by dancer Mary Whitehouse (Whitehouse in Pallaro 2000, Frieder in Pallaro, 2007), it became further evolved by dance therapist Janet Adler and dance therapist/Jungian Analyst Joan Chodorow (Pallaro 2000, 2007). The basis is simple: a mover moves with eyes closed in the presence of an attentive witness. As a mover, your movement may begin as an impulse, thought, sensation, image or memory. It may start with images of a dream you are curious about, or you may recall your dream once you feel comfortable enough and ready to explore. You follow the thread of the impulses as they arise, bringing awareness to inner sensations that are felt in connection with your body or your movement. Spontaneity and deep inner listening may bring you into contact with your full presence and enhance the embodiment of images and sensations of your dream. The clear attention and non-judgmental presence of the witness provides a space for support and safe exploration with a receptive quality to the mover. As a witness you listen with the whole body and notice what arises in you as you see the mover. Your intention is to see the mover, as he or she is, mindful of your own interpretation or meaning. Afterwards, experiences will be thought about and shared, during which the witness has a containing function to support the mover in developing a reflective function based on the mentalization of somatic experiences (Wyman-McGinty in Pallaro 2007) that are revealed by the dream. In a 2-hour workshop, we begin in a circle for an introduction, after which you will be guided toward moving comfortably and spontaneously with clear instructions and musical warm up exercises to prepare both body and mind, and to meet each other in a playful way. Stepwise the form of Authentic Movement is introduced with a focus on dream work. This is usually done without music to listen attentively to inner impulses. You will work in pairs with the opportunity to speak about your experiences as well as creatively exchange your findings in images and words on paper. We come back into the larger circle for the closure that includes discussion of the experiences. In all cases you are your own expert, and it is your personal insights that are of great value and will lead you to the meaning of the symbolic embodiment of your dreams. The workshop will be bi-lingual (Dutch- English), and is open to all levels with a curiosity about the conscious body and the embodied mind in dream work.
- Gaining an elementary experience of Authentic Movement as such.
- Preparing the moving body as a vital and playful source for symbolic dream work.
- Using self directed movement and mindful witnessing as an awareness practice to identify meanings in your dream.
Approaching the Unknown: How Dreams Help Us Change (Dreams and Healing Workshop)
This workshop will give participants an opportunity to explore dream themes and images often associated with the dying process, and discover how such dreams can open our hearts and minds, helping to prepare us for turning points in our lives and for our own eventual deaths. Through dream sharing, discussion, and guided visualization, we will practice experiencing the fluidity of identity and reality that can occur on the threshold of deep change.
When we are faced with actual physical death, our dreams rarely describe final endings, but continue to reflect spiritual transformation and positive movement toward unknown possibilities. Dreams and dream-like experiences seem to help prepare dying people for encountering the unknown by altering and expanding their definitions of identity and reality. Such dreams often include paradoxical experiences of both resistance (where the unknown is perceived as threatening), and transcendence (where the unknown can be liberating). Dreams similar to those of dying people regularly occur at turning points in our inner or outer lives. In this workshop, we will explore such dreams using various non-interpretive approaches, with an emphasis on increasing our flexibility and openness in the face of the unknown. We will share dreams and dream-like memories, first inviting direct experience of the remembered dream (senses, emotions), then viewing this experience metaphorically and mythically (applying a projective dreamwork protocol based on Jeremy Taylor’s model), and also considering them from a shamanic perspective as reflecting real worlds and energies other than those we are familiar with in “ordinary” waking life. The dreamer will always be the final authority on his or her dream, though “authority” will not be emphasized since we’ll be inquiring into the limited and open-ended nature of our understanding.
The workshop will begin with a guided visualization that offers a gentle experience of letting go into the unknown. Then there will be a didactic overview of some themes and images associated with the dreams of those who are dying or experiencing major life transitions. Examples will be offered and opened up for discussion. Together, we will consider how approaching death or significant change makes us aware of the fluidity of the boundary between waking and dreaming, and calls into question our certainties about ourselves and our world.
During this conversation, we will be “approaching the unknown” ourselves, as participants are invited to search their dreams and memories for thresholds and passages similar to those experienced by dying people. We will reflect on our personal associations and projections connected with the images in the dream examples.
Finally, there will be a journaling exercise, using the theme of “journey into the unknown” (a common theme of death dreams): participants will write about a childhood memory of a journey as if it were a dream, and some of these “dreams” will be shared with the group and unfolded using the approaches mentioned above, as time allows.
The didactic presentation constitutes 20-25% of the workshop; discussion and dream sharing 50%; and exercises/visualizations 25-30%. The workshop is appropriate for all audiences.
- Describe at least one dream theme that commonly arises in both dreams of dying people and dreams of those experiencing critical life changes.
- Identify characteristic patterns of “approaching the unknown” in dreams and dream-like experiences.
- Discuss the role that dreams can play in preparing us to face the unknown in times of major change, loss, or death.
Using Dreams to Tap Into Inner Healing Resources (Paper)
This Powerpoint presentation will be an overview of the results of my doctoral study on Dreams & Chronic Illness, to be conducted in January/February of 2016. How might a dreamer tap their inner unconscious healing resources to influence their health via the process of dream incubation and what are some of the challenges they are likely to encounter along the way? Essentially, can the ancient art of Dream Incubation Healing (DIH) be adapted for modern times? Over the centuries within the context of medicine, dreams have been used in a number of important capacities – to predict the onset of illness, to provide prescriptions for healing and treatment of disease, to elicit complete remission or healing through the dream state itself, to diagnose medical conditions, and lastly to determine the outcome of disease. All these different types of medically oriented dreams suggest that there is an “inner physician” that can warn a person of impending physical crises, as well as help steer them towards health and wholeness (Garfield, 1992; Kasatkin, 1967; Kellogg, 2007; Moss, 1996; Sabini, 1981; Van de Castle, 1994). Furthermore, a number of researchers have demonstrated that dreams are reactive to biological functioning (Heather-Greener, 1996; King, 2007; Smith, 1984). My exploratory online study involves a mixed methods approach, examining some of the key challenges and possibilities of using a Dream Incubation Healing (DIH) protocol developed by the author to tap into the alleged wisdom and guidance of one’s self-healing capacities, often called “the inner physician.” The qualitative portion of the study involves performing a thematic analysis on the dreams submitted by participants over a 6-week period in search of health- related themes. The quantitative portion will use a repeated measures design to compare two versions of the DIH protocol, one involving ordinary non-lucid dreaming (ODH) and the other lucid dreaming (LDH). The main instrument for testing will be the SF-36v2®, a self-report health questionnaire consisting of 36 questions used to calculate a series of sub-scales that measure characteristics such as Bodily Pain, Energy/Fatigue Levels, and Physical Functioning.
Additionally, the Hall and Van de Castle content analysis scoring system (HVC) will be utilized to evaluate the dream reports in search of health and medically related themes. The primary objective of the study is to determine whether there are any significant correlations between those individuals whose dreams revealed high levels of health-related content and actual improvement/regression in health due to either of the interventions as measured by the SF-36v2® subscale scores. In the first half of the presentation I will begin with an overview of how DIH was practiced in ancient times, particularly during the classical Greek era, and then I will provide a brief overview of my research questions, methodology and procedure. The remainder of the presentation will focus on a discussion of the preliminary results from the study. All levels are welcome to attend.
- Assess how Dream Incubation Healing can be utilized by patients to cope more effectively with chronic illness and pain.
- Differentiate between lucid and non-lucid dream incubation methods/approaches to healing.
- Discuss challenges, hurdles and best practices related to designing on-line dream based research projects.
Umberto Barcaro and co-authors Anna Delogu, Marco Righi, Alessandra Virgillito, and Maria Chiara Carboncini
A Protocol for the Recognition and Analysis of Link Patterns among Episodic Dream Sources (Paper)
Introductory statement: A method is described that allows the dreamer to provide associations, and consequently to recognize episodic dream sources and links among them, according to a well-defined protocol. Detailed examples of the application of the proposed method are given; specific phenomena evidenced by the recognized link patterns are described and analyzed.
Expanded description of the presentation: The sources of dreams are generally related to episodes, both recent and remote, of the dreamer’s life, or to present concerns. These sources are connected by a complex pattern of links: indeed, a basic property of dreams is that of establishing connections (see, e.g., Hartmann, 2010). Given a dream, the study of the links among its sources can lead to a plausible explanation for their existence; in turn, this explanation can lead to interesting hypotheses about the possible significance of the dream. Barcaro et al. (2005) proposed a method for the recognition of links among sources by means of textual analysis of the dreamer’s associations with the dream, and for the graphical representation of the recognized links. The following phenomena can often be evidenced by applying this kind of analysis: existence of conceptual relationships between pairs of links; context changes that imply a reduction, or even a reverse to a positive value, of negative issues in the dreamer’s life; actual realization of context changes in the dream experience; existence of a second present concern in addition the one first provided by the dreamer. A major role is played by links (called “pervasive”) that connect more than two sources and for this reason play a basic role in the dream experience. Our research aimed to propose a simple and well-defined protocol for obtaining associations and for recognizing dream sources and links among them. According to this protocol, the dreamer was asked: (a) to write the report of a recent dream; (b) to select four or five significant words from the report; (c) to concisely associate episodes of his or her life with each of the selected words; (d) to concisely advance hypotheses about possible connections between the indicated episodes. By analyzing the written text provided by the dreamer, the above indicated phenomena could be recognized.
Detailed examples of the application of the proposed method will be given in the presentation, which will focus on the recognition of pervasive links and on the analysis of phenomena evidenced by link patterns. Examples will also be given of recognition of latent similar phenomena in artistic masterpieces (Barcaro and Paoli, 2105). Audience: for all.
 Hartmann, E. (2010). The Nature and Functions of Dreaming. New York: Oxford University Press.
 Barcaro, U., Cavallero, C., and Navona, C. (2005). A method for recognizing and describing the links among dream sources. Dreaming, 15, 271-187. doi: 10.1037/1053-07126.96.36.1991
 Barcaro, U., Paoli, M. (2015). Dreaming and Neuroaesthetics. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9: article 348. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00348
- Describe a method of recognizing possible episodic dream sources.
- Describe the general properties of link patterns among dream sources.
- Describe and discuss the phenomena that can be evidenced by the study of link patterns among dream sources.
Visionary Dreams and the Great Challenge of Our Times (Keynote Address)
What is the great challenge of our times? It is to move to a new level of consciousness, realizing we are an inseparable part of the world around us and the wider universe. It is to create a new Cosmology, offering our children a different story which will give meaning and value to their lives. It is to become whole by reconnecting matter with spirit. We live in a radically unbalanced culture structured by beliefs and habits of behaviour which are now obsolete and are showing increasing signs of collapse. The old story is fading and a new one is being born. We are in the midst of The Great Awakening: awakening to our true nature as cosmic beings temporarily incarnated on this planet. Dreams are messengers between two dimensions of reality. Visionary dreams can be our guides in this stupendous process of birthing a new civilization, free from the indescribable cruelties and power struggles which have polluted the past and still desecrate the present. In ancient Egypt and Greece, in China and South America, in Sumer, Persia and Babylon and in Hebrew culture, this visionary guidance was welcomed and honoured. In contemporary indigenous cultures it still is and they have much to teach us. The message of the visionary dream is to bring the human community into harmonious relationship with the hidden laws governing the cosmos. Our culture has become disconnected from the invisible dimension of reality, ignoring the presence of these hidden laws. Consequently, it has become impoverished and ailing, like the Old King of Alchemy.
Fortunately, in the last century, there was a great Dreamer, a psychiatrist called C.G. Jung who reconnected us with the deeper dimension of Soul which had been neglected for centuries. His understanding of the role of the dream is carried in these words: “Everywhere, at all times, in all cultures and races of which we have record, when the greatest meaning, the highest value of life that man called gods or God needed renewal and increase, the process of renewal began through a dream…”
In this talk I will share a visionary dream I had 40 years ago which changed the course of my life and helped me to understand what we have to do if we are to survive as a species and create a better world for our children. All I have understood is contained in my book, The Dream of the Cosmos: a Quest for the Soul.
- Explain how we live in a unified, connected universe.
- Describe how there’s an invisible Field of Reality that is the foundation of the physical world.
- Demonstrate how we need to wake up to our responsibility to protect the planet.
Deirdre Barrett and co-authors James Lennon and Kirsten Ziman
Content of Sleep-talking Transcripts versus Dream Accounts and Waking Language (Paper)
Sleep-talking in childhood is a frequent behavior for 14% of the population, and it is reported at least occasionally for 22-60%. In adults, frequent talkers constitute 1-5% and occasional ones 20-45%. Sleep-walking is described as “often” for 2.4% of children and “sometimes” for 6.3%. By adulthood, this drops to “sometimes” for 3.5%, and weekly for only 0.4%. Approximately 20% of “somniloquies” occur during REM sleep while 80% are associated with non-REM – the latter breaking down to 45% for stage 2 and 15% for slower wave sleep. Therefore sleep-talking approximately matches the percentage of time spent in each sleep stage. Many sleep-talkers speak exclusively from REM or from non-REM, but a few speak from both. Utterances average much longer from REM. Speech during sleep is most often accompanied by alpha activity superimposed on a profile otherwise typical for the stage of sleep that immediately preceded the utterance.
There has not been much research on the content of sleep-talking. In a previous study by our group, we compared the somniloquies of Dion McGregor, the most extensive sleep talker ever recorded, with dream content from normative male dreams on the Hall and van de Castle Content Scales (HVC) and Hobson Bizarreness Scales. The somniloquies contained more familiar characters and friends, but fewer family members. There was less aggression, friendliness, or sex in McGregor’s narratives, but much more self-negativity. There were a lower percentage of negative emotions, good fortune, and success. The somniloquies were similar to dreams on most of the bizarreness scales, but contained slightly fewer incongruities of plot, and many fewer instances of incongruity or uncertainly of thought. These findings were ambiguous as to whether detected differences were due to dreams vs. somniloquies or to Mr. McGregor’s personal idiosyncrasies vs normative males of his time. In the present study, we will compare sleep talk recordings with dreams and also with several categories of waking texts. Somniloquies will come from mp3 files posted to SleepTalkRecorder.com. They will be transcribed and then analyzed with Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count to compare with previous data from HVC normative dreams, serious and casual writing, and waking speech for differences in content similar to HVC scales – cognition, sensation, and concerns about work, achievement, home, religion, death, and also differences in frequency of parts of speech.
Arkin, A.M. (1982) Sleep Talking: Psychology and Psychophysiology. NY: Psychology Press.
Arkin ibid. Rechshaffen, A. Goodenough,D. and Shapiro, A. (1962) Patterns of sleep talking, Archives of General Psychiatry, 7, 418-426
Barrett, D., Grayson, M., Oh, A. & Sogolow, Z. (2014/2015) “A Content Analysis of Dion McGregor’s Sleep Talking Episodes.” Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, in press for Vol. 33.
Pennebaker, R., Boyd, R., Jordan, K. & Blackburn, K. (2015) The Development of Psychometric Properties of the LIWC2015, https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/31333, retrieved Nov. 20, 2015.
- List the stages of sleep during which sleep talking can occur.
- List three applications of the Linguistic Word Count.
- Compare and contrast the content of sleep talking with that of dream accounts and waking speech.
Film Dream Scenes: A Neuropsychological View (Presentation within Arts Symposium titled “Mediated Dreaming”)
Some directors use dream scenes mainly as a plot device. Others employ smoke machines and kaleidoscopic lenses to signal a dream. A rare few have identified specifics that are highly evocative of the dream experience. This presentation will examine a few notable film dreams from a neuropsychological perspective. Audience: All conference attendees.
- List three special effects commonly used in film dream scenes.
- Compare and contrast the techniques used in early vs. modern films to denote the dream state.
- Describe which film evocations of dreams best match cognitive research on dream characteristics.
Dreaming it Up (Presentation within Humanities Panel titled “Dreams without Borders: The World Dreams Peace Bridge”)
The presentation is based on a series of dreams and synchronicities that prompted the presenter to begin some creative work with children, to promote peace at home and in the community. This practical story will describe the process of honoring dreams, as it informed and guided the unfurling process. It will show how group dreaming can become a catalyst for peaceful initiatives in the waking world. The story is an adventure towards peace; sparked and inspired by shared dreams. Target Audience: for all.
- Learn how to use dreams to inspire and guide actions in the waking world.
- Learn how parents and communities can use dreams and creativity to foster peace.
- Learn how group dreaming can support dream inspired actions in the world.
Mandala Drawing Technique (Dreamwork 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 by having 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 the 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. I am familiar with the ethic statements of the IASD. I am responsible for the whole workshop and leadership and will explain how to share the painting results together in a proper way using dream interpretation showing respect to the painter.
- Try a drawing technique to unfold an essential dream-symbol
- Learn about Jung’s description of the mandala.
- Learn about other ways to draw mandalas.
Transformation Dreams; 7 Stages of Consciousness (Paper)
Mystics from many cultures and times have described their spiritual development and experiences. In this talk I will explain the transformation-process and different stages of consciousness. The starting point will be the description of the “Interior Cast le” by Theresa of Avila; and the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition, explaining the 7 stages of consciousness. The subtle anatomy of man and Jung’s terminology will also be used to illustrate transformation, looking at specific dream symbols related to the transformation in the chakras. Initiation dreams will be included as well as dreams beyond the self, ending up with non-duality. Jes Bertelsen will be a reference here.
- Describe the 7 stages of consciousness.
- Relate the process of transformation to personal development and the subtle anatomy.
- Demonstrate different dream-symbols related to development. Exemplify how they show up in dreams.
Awakening of the Spirit: Heeding the Inner Calling (Paper)
Mother Teresa received a message from God stating she was to leave the convent and help the poor while living amongst them. Buddha’s mother received a nighttime dream that she was going to be the mother of a child who would be a pure and wise being. Martin Luther King Jr. had a daytime dream that one day this country would live the meaning of the creed “we hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” We are all spirit, a supernatural force that science has attempted to access and understand. Within each of us is a plan, a blueprint of whom we are and what we are to accomplish, contribute, and learn in our lifetime. Some may say this plan is our calling, our purpose and it is what gives meaning to our existence. When we deviate from that plan, our lives often appear to be hard, unfulfilling, and sometimes filled with negativity. It is my desire to explore a variety of dreams that reflect those that have lived a life of purpose, those that have been given a second chance, and those that are given the vision of their calling. The research for this paper will explore individuals from a variety of cultures, religious backgrounds, and age groups. This research will be received through interviews spiritual leaders from varying backgrounds as well as researching historical events. We will conclude with a guided Intuitive Heart experience, giving each of the participants an opportunity to receive a vision of their calling. There will be an opportunity to share in smaller groups.
- Identify 3 symbols that are common in spiritual dreams of others such as light, rings, angels, etc.
- Explain how circumstances and conditions in the dreamer’s life are being reflected in the significant dream. (Has the dreamer recently started to meditate, attend classes in spiritual studies, practice yoga and/or had a recent emotional breakthrough?)
- How spiritual dreams reflect a growing awareness and wakefulness within the dreamer’s life.
Virginia Bennett and David Cielak
Dream Group: Dreams and the Seth Material (Morning Dream Group)
This Dream Group is based on the Seth/Jane Roberts material. We will engage in dream “play” to explore how dreams may reflect lived, inter-dimensional experiences during sleep, and how they assist us in creating our own reality and finding value fulfillment in dreaming and waking life. This Dream Group will focus on ways to explore and enhance dreaming based on the Seth material (see below). The working premise is that dreams reflect actual lived experience while we sleep, during which we engage with other dimensions and aspects of ourselves. At the same time, dreams reflect the beliefs which shape our current lives. “We create our own reality” while waking and sleeping. By looking at our dreams, our sense of selfhood can expand beyond our limited, physically-based identity. Dream “play” can invigorate the ways we find value fulfillment in both our “inner” and “outer” lives. In this Dream Group we will examine both spontaneous and incubated dreams regarding: health and well-being; “True Dreams from the Gates of Horn” – an ancient technique for guidance and direction; neuropsychological aspects of dreaming; ways to create a desired event; exploring possible counterparts and simultaneous/reincarnational selves; and dream states such as lucid dreaming. We may use any or all of the following techniques: telling dreams and group discussion; dream re-entry (a guided imagery process); role play and enactment; writing; dyad discussion; drawing; guided imagery exercises to enhance dream incubation and recall. Presenters will share their experience and examples in the use of these dream practices. In line with the Seth material, interpretation of all dreams is by the dreamer and not by the presenters.
It is not necessary for dream group participants to be familiar with the Seth Material. The dream group will be experiential and not didactic. The purpose of this morning dream group is to (1) acquaint attendees with specific exercises, derived from the Seth material, that will be useful for future use; (2) expand attendees’ view of how dreams assist us in creating our personal reality; (3) provide an experiential platform for attendees who are familiar with the Seth material to further explore and share their own experiences as related to dreams. It will be suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced level attendees. The Seth Material consists of 30 books plus additional transcripts of sessions that describe the nature of physical and metaphysical reality. Translated into many languages, over eight million copies have sold worldwide. It arose from the combined efforts of Jane Roberts, a writer and poet, her husband, Robert Butts, an artist, and Seth, who described himself as an entity no longer focused in physical reality. Jane Roberts utilized a trance state during which Seth could speak through her. The Seth material has been widely considered as a cornerstone for transpersonal development and understanding, and also for gaining skills to manifest desired outcomes. Seth’s approach to dreams contains many ways to encourage their integration into our daily lives.
- List three exercises designed to enhance dreaming.
- Differentiate the possible sources of specific dreams.
- Describe two ways that dreams can be applied for practical problem solving.
Living on the Shaky Edge of the Pacific Rim (Culture Workshop)
In the broadest sense we are nature expressing itself. C.G. Jung wrote at length about natural instincts, and the hubris of our times that negates the force of natural processes and over-values the rational to the detriment of the intuitive and imagination. Jung recognized, as have many scholars as well as indigenous people, that Western civilisation has been marked by a deep split with nature which has resulted in a commodification of resources, people, animals and environment, and to a misuse of power as power over mentality rather than power with. With the rise of postmodernism in the later part of the 20th century we have seen the growing rise of a number of counter positions to this prevailing cultural/historical perspective.
Some of the current thought leaders in a variety of fields have spear-headed initiatives that focus on the awareness of the universe—not as dead matter but as a living, self-directed, self-generating organism. From Maturana and Varela in biology, we hear the term, Autopoesis; from scientist James Lovelock, the Gaia theory. These counter perspectives posit that not only do we live in a cosmos, but we are part of a continuing creative evolutionary cosmogenesis which has structure and coherence, and is based on mutualism and cooperation, not separation and mere survival. Fritjof Capra, speaks of the ‘web of life’, Thich Nat Hahn of ‘interbeing’ and Ervin Laslo, of ‘interconnectivity.’
Cultural Historian Thomas Berry spoke of our times as the new Egozoic era, and that we are poised at a great turning point, ‘the dream drives the action. In the larger cultural complex, the dream becomes the myth and both guides and drives the action’. In times of change and transition dreams can provide insight; give rise to novel, creative emergent awareness; problem-solve; and can be anticipatory, as well as prophetic.
In this general audience workshop participants will consider in what ways can our dreams (1) help us to contemplate our relationships to nature, (2) show us the role that dreams have in guiding and informing us about issues of ecological sustainability, and (3) look at how an engagement with dreams and image can help contribute to our sense of belonging and connection. We will explore these questions using personal narratives, dream reports, guided visualisation, pair/group work and writing processes.
Specific methods or techniques to be utilised: My approach is phenomenological and emphasises narrative and intuitive inquiry. It emphasises working with dreams as personal, social and collective carriers of meaning. Through the setting of an intention and a visualisation process, participants are invited to evoke an image or to remember a dream. Participants are encouraged to individually work with the dream through a focusing process. Intuitive insights are elicited and supported through art and energy drawing. Feeling and embodying the energy of the dream is also explored through working with the language of the dream: Condensing; making thematic connections; extracting essence; finding the gems through metaphor and symbol; feeling the gestalt. A collective dream group narrative is constructed and reflections invited on personal, social and archetypal dimensions.
- Reflect on the social cultural value of dreamwork.
- Discuss 3 dream reports of nature related imagery covering (a) personal sense of relationship to land and sense of belonging, (b) nature and environmental issues, and (c) dreams of ecological crisis.
- Utilise guided writing exercises to imaginatively engage with dream imagery and explore metaphoric content.
Breathing Life into Dream Symbols (Dreamwork Workshop)
Words are great, and we hear a lot of them here at the conference, but sometimes dreams just scream out to be seen, not just heard. Part of dreamwork is working with symbols, and by actually representing the symbols and the story of the dream in a physical way, on a large piece of paper, it brings the symbols and the narrative into the sacred space that is created in the group setting. This allows the symbols themselves to have a voice in the process of unpacking these beautiful, soulful experiences we call dreams. Our goal here is to experience the dream, to find a way to invite the dream into the room with us and see how it affects us.
In this experimental workshop, we will explore dreams chosen from the group by making a Dream Map, which is a simple drawing that represents the dream (no artistic abilities necessary). The Dream Map depicts elements of the dream. Sometimes symbolic, and sometimes poetic, these drawings will be the centerpiece of working the dream and we will use that depiction to further our understanding of the dream. We will then open up the dream and its symbols using Walter Berry’s Dream Map Method, which includes Archetypal Projective dreamwork (Ullman/Taylor) and other methodologies such as Gestalt and Dream Theater. (Sometimes a dream cries out for a bit of theater). We will spend about 20 minutes or less to introduce the work and then plunge in. Using a Dream Map gives focus to elements of the dream that are often overlooked or never seen at all without this added visual, and often haunting, element. In the process of drawing the dream, quite often very surprising things appear.
Having conducted this process many times, I find that the map or depiction of the dream becomes an added member to the group and really keeps the focus on the dream instead of just the projections that always fly about the room when doing group dream work. The dreamer is the final authority in this work, and we will ask four questions of the dreamer at the end of the work: 1.Why this dream, and why this dream now? 2. I am thankful for this dream because…? 3. Is there anything new that I realize now that we have worked this dream? 4. Is there anything I can do to honor this dream in waking life?
- Describe a Dream Map.
- Demonstrate the use of Dream Maps by drawing one of your own dreams.
- List one connection between a drawn element of the dream you just made and a cognitive understanding that you did not have before this process.
Dreams and Holistic Wellbeing: Method and Findings (Presentation within Clinical Symposium titled “Transpersonal Research”)
This presentation will recap the methodology and findings from a pilot study discussed at the 2015 IASD conference. That study was qualitative research examining the experiences of people who have explored their dreams using the Waking Dream Process (Hamilton, 2014) in the context of transpersonal psychotherapy. The Waking Dream Process is a method of revisiting dreams by engaging the body and imagination to facilitate psychological integration and personal development. Twelve participants took part in semi-structured interviews and completed scales measuring changes in mental well-being and attitudes towards dreams.
Thematic Content Analysis (TCA; Anderson, 2007) drew out themes from the interview transcripts. The pilot study found that the Waking Dream Process (Hamilton, 2014) supported positive changes in mental well-being and attitudes towards dreams (Billington, 2014). The current research extends the study to a wider group of participants. The methodology and preliminary findings will be presented, and the refinement of the methodologies used in the pilot study will be discussed. The Dream Scale (Billington, 2014), a research tool for exploring psycho-spiritual well-being with regard to dreams, has been modified based on feedback from the pilot study. New developments and applications will be discussed. This presentation is intended for all, particularly those interested in research, the transpersonal, and those interested in dreamwork in psychotherapy.
- Describe the Waking Dream Process and the Dream Scale in outline.
- Identify the benefits and challenges of the Dream Scale as a data collection method.
- Discuss the implications of this study for practice and research.
Mark Blagrove and co-authors Elaine van Rijn, Alex Reid, Chris Edwards, Josie Malinowski, Paul Bennett, Jean Baptiste Eichenlaub, and Perrine Ruby
Exploration-insight from REM Dreams, NREM Dreams and Daydreams Using the Ullman Dream Group Method (Paper)
(Not for publication in IJODR, please, as full paper will be published by the time of the conference. CE, EvR and AR equal contribution, ordered at random.)
We have shown high levels of personal insight following a one hour session during which a dream is considered at length (Blagrove et al., 2010; Edwards et al., Frontiers in Psychology, 2013), using the Ullman dream appreciation technique (Ullman, 1996). Also, considering recent dream reports elicits significantly higher personal insight than does the control condition of considering a recent waking life event (Edwards et al., 2015). However, following Noreika et al. (2010), a daydream, collected in the sleep lab, may be a more closely matched control condition for a dream report: we use that comparison text for the study reported here. We recruited 31 participants, aged 18 – 30, in good health, who recall at least 3 dreams per week at home. Each participant spent 1 night in the sleep lab. There a daydream (DD) was collected after wiring up and prior to sleeping, and then a Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep dream and a non-REM stage 2 (N2) dream will be collected, the order of awakenings for the latter two sleep stages was counterbalanced. Each of the participants’ three transcripts were then considered in separate Ullman group sessions during the following week. The length of time of each session, and the length of time spent on each stage and substage of the Ullman method was calculated so as to ensure that each of the 3 conditions do not differ on these variables. At the end of each discussion participants completed the 13 item Gains from Dream Interpretation questionnaire (Heaton et al., 1998), with (day) dream substituted for dream so that the same questionnaire could be used for all three reports. The questionnaire has an Exploration-Insight subscale, assessing engagement, and insight about the dream and about waking life, from the session. Items are rated on a 1 – 9 scale, anchored as strongly disagree to strongly agree. Results: From the meta-analysis in Edwards et al. (2013), Exploration-Insight from the work of Hill of mean = 7.40. Edwards et al. (2015) had mean for dreams = 7.82 (0.84), and for control Event consideration = 7.21 (1.13). In the current study, mean for Day Dreams = 7.13 (0.99), for N2= 7.76 (0.85), and for REM dreams = 7.49 (1.01). On mixed model analysis difference between the three conditions has p=.05. Difference between the three conditions for personal insight was not significant. The Exploration-Insight difference between dreams and daydreams was mainly due to differences on GDI items 2, 12 and 13, which address learning about the dream. The lack of difference between dreams and daydreams in elicitation of personal insight may be due to the frequent incidence of references to waking life concerns in the daydreams; about 75% of all daydreams referred to current concerns of the participant. For all attendees.
Acknowledgement: Funded by Bial Foundation award to M.Blagrove, P.Ruby, J-B. Eichenlaub and C.Edwards.
- Summarize the stages of the Ullman group dream appreciation method.
- Predict how REM, NREM and daydreams might differ in outcomes from being considered in an Ullman dream group.
- Discuss results that show no difference between REM and NREM dreams in dream group outcomes, but some differences from daydreams.
Ullman Dream Appreciation Morning Dream Group (Morning Dream Group)
For all. In the session I will: 1. Describe the stages of the group dream appreciation method of Montague Ullman, following his (2006) book Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach. 2. Conduct an Ullman Dream Appreciation session adhering closely to the stages of the technique as described by Ullman, and following his requirements for safety and curiosity in the group. The IASD ethics statement will be followed at all times. The dreamer is the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream. Reference: Ullman, M. (2006). Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach. Cosimo Books.
- To describe the stages of the Ullman group dream appreciation method.
- To describe Ullman’s rationale and recommendations for a limited use of the If This Were My Dream (ITWMD) phrase.
- To describe the importance of recent waking life ‘tensions’ as the cause of dream imagery.
Cloé Blanchette-Carrière and co-authors Michelle Carr, Tyna Paquette, and Tore Nielsen
tAC Stimulation: A Method for Inducing Lucid Dreams (Paper)
Research has demonstrated both that lucid dreaming is a successful nightmare treatment (Zadra & Pihl, 1997) and that frontal transcranial alternating current (tAC) stimulation in REM sleep can trigger an increase in lucid dream-like self-awareness (Voss et al., 2014). The objective of the present study is to further validate tAC stimulation for inducing signal-verified lucid dreams with both experienced lucid dreamers and lucid dream naïve subjects. Many mental disorders are accompanied by recurrent nightmares, e.g., Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Nightmare Disorder. According to our neurocognitive model of nightmare production, nightmares are provoked by a REM sleep-related neurocognitive dysfunction implicating prefrontal and frontolimbic structures and inhibiting the associative integration of fearful memories (Nielsen & Levin, 2007). Treatment studies have demonstrated that successful nightmare treatment is accompanied by increased feelings of control over dream content and that lucid dreaming—which often includes an element of dream control—may be applied successfully to treat nightmares (Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006; Spoormaker et al., 2003; Zadra & Pihl, 1997). Voss and colleagues (2014) demonstrated that fronto-temporal tAC stimulation in REM sleep triggers an increase in lucid dream-like self-awareness among lucid dream naïve subjects, suggesting that tAC stimulation could be an especially beneficial technique for treating people with recurrent nightmares. Therefore, our objective is to conceptually replicate the Voss et al. findings in validating tAC stimulation for inducing signal-verified lucid dreams with both experienced lucid dreamers and lucid dream naïve subjects.
First we will briefly review the literature on nightmare treatment with a focus on lucid dreaming therapy. Then, we will present the Voss et al. (2014) study and describe the methodology of our replication study. Our study implicates 40 healthy participants in 2 groups: 20 lucid dreamers (LD) and 20 control (CTL) subjects who have not had lucid dreams. Subjects sleep twice in the laboratory: one morning nap with tAC current (stimulation) and one without (sham). Subjects are instructed to signal occurrences of dream lucidity with pre-arranged eye movement sequences (e.g., LRLRLR). During the stimulation nap after 2 min of uninterrupted REM sleep, we apply frontal 40Hz tAC stimulation for 2.5 min. Subjects are awakened at the end of stimulation for a dream report and to respond to questions about dream lucidity. Third, our results will be presented.
Preliminary findings with 8 subjects suggest that the stimulation nap is associated with more lucid dream recall among the LD subjects (r=0.50, p=0.10, one-tailed). Finally, we will discuss implications of the study. If tAC stimulation proves effective in inducing lucid dreaming, we will proceed to development of a new method for treating recurrent nightmares. This presentation is intended for all audiences.
- Identify brain structures that may be dysfunctional among patients with nightmares, according to a neurocognitive model of nightmares (Nielsen & Levin, 2007).
- Explain how treatment studies have demonstrated that lucid dreaming may be a successful nightmare treatment.
- Describe how dream lucidity can be considered during REM sleep episodes.
Akshya Boopalan and Elisa White
Rift Effects on Dreams: Replication and Extension (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Dreams and Video Game Play: Three Extensions”)
Avid gamers are known to have a greater sense of control in their dreams and sometimes to report more lucid dreams. Virtual Reality (VR) adds more dimensions of immersion and presence, and as VR technology is gaining in popularity the effects of the more immersive environment may have an even greater effect on gamers awake and asleep. VR tech is still in its early stages and research in how it affects our consciousness is minimal. We have been investigating gaming and the recent VR gaming interfaces effects on presence and dreams. In this our third study with VR headgear, our hypothesis is that participants who play in the immersive Oculus Rift VR will experience greater control and lucidity in their dreams both after the laboratory session and in estimates of the lucidity of a dream while in the laboratory after using the VR headgear. We used only female participants, who either played with the oculus rift, or the same games on a computer as control, and we asked for a recent dream report either before or after game play, as well as the participant’s first dream after the lab session.
This methodology is different from our previous study in that we controlled for time of dream collection in the laboratory reports. Our previous study showed some discrepancy in self-reported degree of lucidity when comparing dreams collected after the rift VR experience versus after the computer game play only experience. More lucidity was reported after a rift session than after a computer only session. Having randomly assigned participants report their most recent dreams either pre or post game should determine if the previous results were spurious or due to exposure to the VR environment.
- Identify the differences between types of digital interfaces.
- Explain how the assessment of a dream as lucid might be a function of types of reality exposure.
- Describe the impact of digital experiences on dreams.
Frank G. Bosman
Playing the Dream: On Dream and Narrative in Modern-day Digital Games (Keynote Address)
Dreams and dream-like phenomena play an interesting part in modern-day video games narratives. The narratological functions of these phenomena in video games tell us how we, as a society, think of the very nature of dreams themselves: breaking the boundaries of what is, humanly speaking, possible.
In this lecture, video games will be identified as ‘digital (interactive) playable (narrative) texts, combining insights from both ludological (the game as ludus, play) and narratological (the game as narrative, story) approaches of game study research.’ Especially, the narrative nature of video games is important: as narratives, video games communicate meaning, intentionally by the designer and spontaneously by the gamer himself.
In this framework, ‘dreams’ and dream-like phenomena in best-selling video games like The Elder’s Scroll: Skyrim, Far Cry 3, Fallout 3 and 4, and DMC: Devil May Cry can be narratologically interpreted. While self-identified as ‘dreams’ in the games themselves, they consist of various phenomena such as classic dreams, psychosis, relived memories, visions, hypnosis and near-death-experience. Important for a classification of these phenomena is the question of how the ‘dream’ is induced: naturally or artificially (mechanically, pharmaceutically, magically, religiously and/or psychologically).
Another important topic in the narratological examination of dreams in video games is the result of studies of the interconnection between gaming and dreaming. Gamers report that the dreams they have in their sleep resemble the scenery and narratives of the games they have played. Besides this, there appears to be a correlation between gaming and lucidity in dreaming.
The narratological functions of dreams in video games are, broadly speaking, to make possible what is humanly speaking impossible. Or, to put it more technically, to escape the laws of causality, and of place and time; to convey messages otherwise inconceivable; perform tasks, otherwise impossible; and to gain knowledge otherwise unreachable.
But there is more to be said. Some dream sequences in video games, however, immobilize (at least partially) the freedom of the avatar (and therefore of the controlling player), forcing an uncomfortable passivity (directly contrary to the interactive nature of video games themselves), creating some sort of semi-lucidity.
- Differentiate between ludological and narratological dimensions of the game study research.
- Differentiate between the different narratological functions of dreams and dream-like phenomena in video games.
- Discuss the nature of video games as cultural artifacts, capable of communicating implicit and explicit existential notions
Cristina Bottoni and co-authors Alessia Carleschi, Marco Zanasi, and Giuseppe Lago
A New Tool for Analysis of Dreams of People with Borderline Personality Disorder (Paper)
This work presents “dream analysis” as narration in relation to characteristics of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and in an extensive way of personality disorders (PD), based on research findings, theoretical considerations and on the Integrated Psychodynamic Psychotherapy-IPP model (Lago, 2016 in press ). Even considering the disorder as “disturbed boundaries of self and others”, in borderline personality structure we often observe a pathology of “distance” in the meaning of “spatial and psychic difficulty in reality processes always well represented in dreams of this person.” The hypothesis is that persons with BPD can have more disturbed dreams compared to healthy persons. In BPD symptoms like dissociation, fantasy proneness, cognitive failures and sleep disturbances are correlated (van Heugten, van der Kloet et al., 2014a). Also, subjects with BPD are more likely to experience dream-reality confusion (DRC) compared to people in the non-clinical population; both dissociative symptoms and fantasy proneness are related to DRC (Giesbrecht and Merckelbach, 2006). Dreams are more likely to be confused with reality, tend to be more realistic and unpleasant, and are reflected in waking behavior (Rassin et al., 2001). Generally, individuals suffering from BPD experience negative dreams, including nightmares, more often than individuals who do not have any of the characteristic symptoms of this personality disorder (Schredl et al., 2012). The dream’s content is usually negative, with high levels of emotions and protomental (Lago, 2006).This problem sometimes assumes relevance even in psychotherapy that thanks to dream’s analysis can direct to a transformation of experiential events gradually consolidated into new functions and structures, leading persons with BPD structures to a redefinition of temporo-spatial dimension of dream. Thus, a borderline condition reveals structural weaknesses in empathic relationships, and in organization of the ego system without cognitive and behavioral patterns sufficiently firm and inclusive. These levels can be highlighted in dreams brought by patients whose narrative processes are heavy loss. In order to analyse dreams according to Jungian vision (which looks at a dream as a text produced by the dreamer’s unconscious while he/she sleeps; Jung, 1945), we used processing techniques deriving from textual analysis (Gigliozzi, 1997). We see dream as a text, considering that it is reported verbally as a particular form of text which transforms the oneiric experience into an objective product. The dream while it is being dreamed is experience, not text. Our memory of that experience, whether we report it or not, is the text of a dream. Starting with these reflections, we propose a pilot work to see if the clinical data encountered support this theory.
- Describe old and new tools for analyzing dreams.
- Compare main characteristics of dreams in borderline personality disorder.
- Apply processing techniques derived from textual analysis.
Cristina Bottoni and co-authors Fulvia Adriano, Alessia Carleschi, Alina Paoletti, and Katia Bartoli
Relationships between Adult Attachment Style Ratings and Dreaming in a Non-Clinical Sample (Paper)
For Bowlby, attachment is a need present in all stages of an individual’s life cycle, and its relationships experienced in early childhood constitutes the prototype of following significant adult relations (Bowlby, 1969). In the field of studies concerning adult attachment, increasingly researches propose a new concept of internal working models suggested from the definition that Main provides about them, pointing out the importance of interpersonal and intersubjective aspects in terms both of mental representations and procedural schemes (Main, Kaplan, Cassidy, 1985; Bucci, 2011; Target, 2005). The internal processes and interactive ones can therefore be considered in their interdependence because they help to build together intra-personal reality and relationship itself (Beebe, Lachmann, 2002).It is possible to observe today an increasing interest in a link between attachment styles, mental internal representations and dream contents (McNamara, Andresen, Clark, Zborowski, Duffy, 2001; Mikulincer, Shaver, Avihou-Kanza, 2011; Selterman, Apetroaia, Waters, 2012; Camelia Adams, McWilliams, 2015). This study can be part of this research field by analyzing the relationship between attachment styles and some features of the dream such as the complexity of mental representations of Self and Others, emotional tone and intensity, and salient aspects of dreams contents. In this presentation we propose the results of an exploration of dream material in a sample of 50 healthy subjects, with a secure or insecure attachment measured by self-report instruments, aged between 20 and 50 years, through the use of the SCORS protocol (Westen, 1990) applied to narrative report of dreams and other measures of dream content.
- Summarize the current state of knowledge about the relationship between attachment styles and dreams.
- Revise previous and current results about dream and attachment.
- List at least three main tests or questionnaires used to assess dream attitude, dream content, emotions and attachment.
Understanding the Dreams of Monnica from the Perspective of Augustine (Presentation within Religious and Spiritual Symposium titled “Dreams in Spiritual Direction and Mystagogy”)
In ancient times dreams had a significant meaning. Each is told again that men and women had dreams that foretell their life and legitimize it. This we find in early Christian writers. One of them is Augustine. In the Confessions he gives to the dreams of his mother Monnica a special function. Given the autobiographical character of the Confessions, it would be obvious that he was dreaming about his life. But it is Monnica, who received the dreams about his future, in which would be a major turn. These dreams she received as a divine revelation, a gift of God.
Her dreams legitimize the turn of events that took place in his life. Augustine assigns Monnica a mystagogical function. There was a correlation between motherhood and mystagogy with her. In the literature on mystagogy, the understanding of dreams is usually ascribed to the disciple who has to develop a conscious symbolic. Monnica received her dreams not as a disciple but as a mediator. She had a prophetic mission. To fulfill this mission she had to learn how to understand the dreams from God’s perspective. According to the narratives of her dreams, we will look for the spiritual development which Monnica experienced in understanding her dreams. We will see that there is an understanding of the symbolic function of her dreams, a tropological meaning is lighting up, and a change of perspective in acting with God as other will appear centrally (anagogical understanding) in place of her own meaning. In following this dynamic development we will see that her mediation has yielded fruits: Augustine said goodbye to Manichaeism and turned to the Christian faith. In this paper we investigate the above mentioned ways of understanding dreams for contemporary practices of spiritual guidance.
- Describe the function of dreams in Antiquity.
- Differentiate four modes of understanding dreams.
- Explain the correlation between mystagogy and dreams.
Dreams and Afghan Refugees in Tehran (Presentation within Humanities Panel titled “Dreams without Borders: The World Dreams Peace Bridge”)
Dreams shared in the international World Dream Peace Bridge group have been sources of inspiration for many activities to improve peace in the different parts of the world. This presentation will explore one instance in which the presenter was assisted by the Peace Bridge to find ways to help Afghan refugees in Iran. The presenter will first give a short introduction on how the Peace Bridge has previously helped her in various ways through dreams and inspirations. Then she will present a particular case of an Afghan boy who was helped to pass through the border from Iran to Afghanistan and joined up with a volunteer group in Kabul. Target audience: For All.
- How the World Dream Peace Bridge has provided a safe place for members to share dreams with the intention of creating peace.
- Discover that dreams shared can have different layers that might not be clear when dreams are worked on individually.
- How the presenter was inspired and assisted by dreams shared on the Bridge to help one Afghan refugee boy in Iran find himself a useful place in Kabul.
The Jewish Dreaming Cornerstone of Western Culture (Paper)
Jewish religious history is a foundation stone of modern western culture and spirituality. Many of its stories are found in two other of the world’s great religions, Christianity and Islam. Every great story of the Jewish people begins with a dream.
Through dreams,major biblical figures experience revelation and move themselves and the Jewish people into new chapters of development. This presentation reviews the philosophy of dreaming put forth by the ancient Jewish people and its continued echo and relevance to the western world today. Two ancient philosophies underlie western culture: the linear, logic-based philosophy of the Greeks, and the holistic or vertical, dreaming-based philosophy of the Jews. Whereas the Greeks accepted a fixed view of a fate-ruled existence, personified by the separation between deities and mankind, the Jews conceive a fluid existence composed of inner revelation and dreaming, shown through an intimate and interactive relationship with God that is often played out in the dream world. Reviewing the presence of dreaming and inner revelation through the Jewish bible, which is the history of the Jewish people and culture, one meets a point of view of personal development that is anchored in the act of inner-gazing and dreaming. It is a point of view advocating the subjective experience, the individual journey of grappling with imperfection in an imperfect world, and the infinite possibility of transformation. This subjective, individual journey led by dreaming then forms the basis for the development of the entire Jewish culture as a community. As is stipulated by the great dreamer Joseph, his “bones”, the structure of dreaming, must accompany the Jews in their building of themselves into a cohesive nation.
This presentation will review the dreaming and inner experience of the 3 key figures whose stories anchor the Jewish experience – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob – and the resulting product of individual dreaming personified in Joseph, who brings the individual dream to the level of the communal. It is the aim of this review to provide a new perspective of the importance of dreaming in the development of western culture in history and to elevate it to a place of greater importance today. Overall, it is hoped that the review will reveal that within this fluid conception of existence lies expanded possibilities for creative re-dreaming and re-structuring of our lives as individuals and communities. The presentation is informed by the author’s own identification as a Jew, as well as over ten years’ experience studying with two Jewish teachers of Kabbalah, the esoteric arm of Judaism, including specifically the study of a 13th century Kabbalistic lineage of dream work. This author’s professional work is that of teaching this dreaming approach to Judaism, Kabbalah, and working with dreams as means of personal development. This presentation is open to all audiences.
- Describe the dreaming-based philosophy proposed by the ancient Jews and its role underpinning modern western culture.
- Discuss the dreaming-based philosophy proposed by the ancient Jews as a means of personal development.
- Discuss the relevance of the dreaming-based philosophy proposed by the ancient Jews for today’s modern individual and society.
Transforming Nightmares via a Kabbalistic Approach (Cultural Workshop)
There exist 2 categories of dreams: Resolved and Unresolved. Unresolved dreams, which include nightmares, are a signal of an unbalance in the body or life experience. Using a Kabbalistic Waking Dream approach one can identify the necessity of these dreams, and then re-enter and respond to their necessities in order to bring about resolution and restore balance.
A Kabbalistic approach to dreaming that dates to the 13th century teaches that dreams fall into one of two categories: resolved or unresolved. Resolved dreams include Great Dreams and revelation. Unresolved dreams include nightmares and busy dreams. Every unresolved dream contains a necessity; each dream is a call to respond and restore the person to a place of balance in their body and life. Learning how to identify the necessity of these dreams is the first step. Once identified, the necessity can be addressed through a Waking Dream approach.
The Waking Dream approach includes a simple re-entering of the dream while awake using a method of closing the eyes, counting backwards from 3 to 1 at each exhale, and then using the imaginal eye to re-enter the dream. Once in the dream one can use the tools of the imagination to both protect oneself and bring about transformation. The approach is quick: each Waking Dream takes no longer than a minute.
The Waking Dream puts the dreamer into direct response with her/his own images. Each necessity is addressed through images, staying with the image-based language of dreaming. Once addressed, the images change and interact. The dreamer knows when the dream has transformed by a dispelling of the negative emotions of the dream and a return to a feeling of resolution.
This workshop will begin with a brief introduction of the specific Kabbalistic and Waking Dream approach used by the author. Included will be working definitions and descriptions of the categorization of dreams, necessity of dreams, and transformation of dreams. The majority of the workshop (two-thirds) will then be participatory. Through active discussion and experiential exercises the audience will: learn what is meant by the “necessity” of the dream; identify necessities using real examples; and practice several Waking Dream exercises to address necessities and bring about their resolution.
The presentation is informed by the author’s over 10 years’ experience studying a 13th century Kabbalistic lineage of dream work as taught by the School of Images in New York City. This author’s professional work is that of teaching this dreaming approach to creative and business professionals, organizations, and businesses, working with dreams as means of personal development. This presentation is open to all audiences.
- Describe and utilize the categories of resolved and unresolved dreams.
- Identify necessities in dreams that point to an imbalance in the dreamer’s body and life.
- Utilize a Kabbalistic Waking Dream approach to interact with and respond to dreams, and to transform nightmares into clear responses.
Dreaming and the Autonomous Visionary Capacity (Presentation within Mental Imagery Symposium titled “Dreams and Imagination: Views on the Mind’s Eye”)
This presentation will describe cognitive scientific research on visual processing in sleep and show how the brain-mind system has an innate ability to spontaneously generate extremely vivid and highly memorable visual sensations during dreaming. This research sheds new light on the role of visionary dreams in religious history. Several lines of investigation contribute to the argument. One is the extensive literature in the content analysis of dreams in which visual perception is found to be the most frequently mentioned sense by far. Studies in dream content analysis have made it clear that visual perception is a common and widespread feature of ordinary dreaming. Another source is the history and etymology of various languages and the way they speak of dreaming, often referring to a process of seeing something in sleep.
Additional evidence comes from studies of the dreams of people who are blind or sight-impaired. With the help of G. William Domhoff, I have been studying the dream series (N=800) of a young sight-impaired woman, with results that correspond to previous findings and extend them in important ways. Finally, support for the concept of an “autonomous visionary capacity” comes from neuropsychological studies of the brain’s functions during sleep. Most important in this regard is the pattern during REM sleep when the primary visual processing parts of the brain (such as V1) diminish in activity, while the parts of the brain responsible for secondary visual processing (such as the medial temporal lobe and fusiform gyrus) increase in activity. Taking this body of research as a whole, it reveals intriguing new aspects of the prevalence of dream-based visionary experience in the history of religions. The presentation will discuss recurrent themes in the content of mystical dream visions, along with specialized practices and techniques that different cultures and religious traditions have developed with the intention of enhancing the visionary power of their dreams.
- Explain the many sources of research showing the importance of visual imagination in dreaming.
- Demonstrate the connection between cognitive scientific research on visual dreaming with the historical and cross-cultural study of religion.
- Identify the most specialized practices and techniques various traditions have developed to enhance the visionary power of dreaming.
Kelly Bulkeley and Deirdre Barrett
A Blind Text Analysis of a Woman’s 2,250 Dreams (Special Clinical Event)
This presentation demonstrates the use of a digital word search method to study 2,250 dreams from an adult female, gathered in a personal journal over 32 years. A “blind” analysis, using only word usage frequencies without any prior information about the dreamer, will be employed to make predictions about the participant’s waking life, including important people, emotions, and social interactions, based on the continuity hypothesis of dreaming. The word search method described in this presentation has been applied to several other dream series with predominantly accurate results. The advantage of quantitative content analysis is that it provides objective statistical results that other researchers can verify. However, the disadvantages of traditional methods of content analysis are considerable – they are slow, labor-intensive, hard to learn, and vulnerable to problems with inter-coder reliability. Particularly when the coding systems being used are untested or idiosyncratic, the results can be disappointing. Digital word search methods can provide a better alternative – they are fast, easy to use, and reliably consistent in their results.
The presentation will start with a brief overview of traditional methods of content analysis in dream research, and the need for better alternatives. Then the “Kay” series will be introduced. The source of her 32-years of dreams will be described (they were conveyed to Bulkeley by Deirdre Barrett, who served as the research intermediary between Bulkeley and Kay), as will the logistical steps involved in a word search study of her dreams. The text analysis results will be presented along with Kay’s responses to them. These results will be discussed with special focus on several areas of her waking life that were reflected especially clearly in the word usage patterns of her dreams. The findings on these topics will be of interest to anyone who wants empirical evidence of the psychological and cultural significance of dream content. If some of these blind inferences are mistaken or incomplete, the possible reasons (such as metaphorical thinking and representation) will also be discussed. This may suggest new pragmatic principles to apply in future cases of blind analysis. The presentation will be aimed at researchers and students, providing a practical demonstration of how digital word search tools can be used in the scientific study of dreams.
- Demonstrate the use of word search methods in the study of dreams.
- Illustrate the dream content patterns associated with particular life events.
- Summarize the benefits and limitations of quantitative dream content analysis.
The Future of Digitally Enhanced Dream Studies (Presentation within Arts Symposium titled “Mediated Dreaming”)
This presentation will consider the current state of using digital methods to analyze and interpret dreams. Then it will consider future potentials for improving these methods, boosting their power and precision, and making them more widely accessible. A research-based approach to digitally enhanced dream interpretation will be described that draws on the resources of the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb). Discussion will include factors of waking-dreaming continuity, principles of database design, recognizing metaphors and discontinuities, attention to ethical concerns, and practical applications in areas like therapy, coaching, art, spirituality, and lucid dreaming. Some of the best illustrations of the future benefits and dangers of dream-enhancing technology come in science fiction and fantasy stories, and excerpts from several of these cultural works of speculative fiction will accompany the research findings. Audience: All conference attendees.
- Explain the current state of using digital methods to analyze and interpret dreams.
- Discuss future potentials for improving these digital methods of working with dreams.
- Assess the various challenges (technological, conceptual, ethical) in realizing those future potentials.
Dream Recall and Political Ideology among American Adults (Poster Presentation)
This poster presentation continues a long-term project studying the role of political ideology in dream recall among American adults (Bulkeley 2012, 2008, 2002). The latest investigation focuses on three demographic surveys with a total sample size of more than 4000 participants. (The first two surveys have already been conducted, with a total of 3300 participants. The third survey will be conducted in May 2016 with @1000 participants.) The surveys were administered by YouGov, a professional opinion research firm that specializes in high-quality online polling. The participants were asked several general questions (e.g., age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education level, annual income) in addition to a question about political ideology, and also several questions involving sleep and dreaming (e.g., frequency of insomnia, dream recall, visitation dreams, dreams of lucid awareness). Although the final results will not be ready until the beginning of June, the initial findings from the first two surveys are supportive of earlier results from studies using different methods and different groups of people. People on the leftward side of the American political spectrum (who identify themselves as “Liberal” or “Very Liberal”) tend to have somewhat more insomnia, and somewhat more dream recall, than people on the rightward side of the spectrum (who identify themselves as “Conservative” or “Very Conservative”). The differences are not absolute—there are people on the left with low insomnia and low dream recall, and people on the right with high levels of both—but the trend in these studies is consistently in the direction of a more active and varied, though perhaps less restful, night life for American liberals compared to conservatives. The discussion section will consider possible explanations of these findings, along with their implications for evaluating American political culture. The discussion section will also consider the pros and cons of scientific dream researchers making their data available for public study.
Bulkeley, K. 2012. Dream Recall and Political Ideology: Results of a Demographic Survey. Dreaming 22(1): 1-9. Ibid. 2008.
American Dreamers: What Dreams Tell Us About the Political Psychology of Conservatives, Liberals, and Everyone Else. Boston: Beacon Press. Ibid. 2002.
Dream Content and Political Ideology. Dreaming 12(2): 61-78.
- Explain the importance of applying dream research methods to cultural topics like political ideology.
- Analyze the survey results comparing sleep and dream patterns with other demographic variables.
- Evaluate the significance of these findings for a better understanding of political culture in the U.S. and potentially elsewhere.
Dreams and the Children of Baghdad (Presentation within Humanities Panel titled “Dreams without Borders: The World Dreams Peace Bridge”)
Since the Peace Bridge began in 2001, over $30,000 has been raised to aid children and their families affected by war. In that context, The Crystal Birds Dream Program, an eight-week dream program, was created for the children of Baghdad, Iraq. This program will soon be shared with many others. This presentation is for all, and will explain how working with dreams has been proven to help young people move through trauma (Campbell, 2006).
- What the World Dreams Peace Bridge is.
- What the history of the Crystal Birds Dreams Program is.
- How young people involved in the trauma of war can benefit from working with dreams.
Jean Campbell and Clare R. Johnson
Creative Dreaming Through Dream Writing (Arts Workshop)
Dream images are often endowed with emotional meaning and linked to memories or associations. As such, they invite deeper discovery through writing and provide rich material for the creation of fiction (Epel 1994).Participants will be introduced to a variety of techniques for working with dream imagery to inspire creative writing, such as breathing techniques to relax the body; visualization methods for recalling powerful dream images; and flow-writing. They will practice Johnson’s transformative technique for working with dream imagery in a relaxed, meditative state: ‘Lucid Writing’ (Johnson, 2005), and Campbell’s techniques for writing from dreams (Campbell, 1980). Additionally, participants will practice transforming dream characters into fictional ones, as well as teasing out the story kernel from their own dream images. The workshop is highly experiential and will involve plenty of dream writing, with group feedback after each exercise. Participants will have the opportunity to share dream imagery and creative writing if desired. Through the different techniques and group interaction, they will discover that creative writing in the writer’s trance can become a kind of ‘waking lucid dreaming’; a safe space in which dream and nightmare images can be imaginatively explored and transformed, providing an endless source of inspiration.
- Utilize their dreams as a source for creative writing.
- Relax into a writer’s trance.
- Practice the “Lucid Writing” technique for transforming dream imagery.
Manlio Caporali and co-authors Marco Zanasi, Enzo Fortuna, Giorgio Di Lorenzo, Tiziana Corteccioni, Alice Tiralongo, Laura Bianchini, Michelangelo Lupone, and Alberto Siracusano
Psychotic Patients’ Dreams and Music Therapy (Paper)
Music therapy is a valuable and effective treatment for individuals with impaired psychological, affective, cognitive and communication skills. Results of the research and clinical evidence would seem to attest the validity of music therapy even in patients who have shown resistance to other therapeutic approaches. The sample of our study consists of four outpatients, selected in May 2014 from the day hospital at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata.” The subjects recruited (three men and a woman) were aged between 30 and 45 years (mean age of 38.25 years). They had a diagnosis of schizophrenia residual type. The patients interacted for fifteen minutes with the “Feed Drum”, an interactive musical instrument provided by the research team of CRM (Centre of Music Research). During the interactive musical experience we recorded an electroencephalogram (EEG) and after we collected dream material. From the analysis of EEG, taken before and immediately after the intervention of the interactive musical experience conducted with the “Feed Drum”, we found the following results: a greater activation of the entire right cerebral hemisphere, particularly the temporal lobe, frontal insula and the parietal lobe. Statistically significant differences (p <0.05) were in two frequency bands: delta and gamma. After the intervention of the interactive musical experience, in the delta band we found an increase in the activity of the right frontal lobe, in particular in the structures of the upper and middle frontal gyrus corresponding to Brodmann areas 9 and 10. In the gamma band we noticed a diffuse increase in the activity of all the right hemisphere, in particular, in order of activation, in structures as temporal lobe, frontal lobe, parietal lobe. In addition the patients dreamed about the interactive musical experience in the nights after. They dreamed about angels and babies expressing emotions like calm and serenity. In this preliminary study the interactive musical experience would seem to activate areas involved in brain functions such as planning, organizing, speech production, language comprehension, memory, auditory perception, processing of emotion and stimulation of mirror neurons system. The study would show the potential effectiveness of a single session of music therapy, conducted with “Feed drum,” in improving brain areas that are impaired in schizophrenia stimulating the production of dream material. Thanks to this rehabilitation program the patients could start a relationship with reality no longer mediated by symptoms of psychosis.
- Access the effects of music on the dreaming brain.
- Identify a new method for the study of dreams.
- Describe self representation of psychopathology in dreams.
Michelle Carr and co-author Tore Nielsen
Implications of Differential Susceptibility for Frequent Nightmare Sufferers (Paper)
Functional theories and empirical research regarding nightmares have largely focused on the nightmare experience itself and corresponding negative symptomology. Specifically, the presence of maladaptive personality traits and a history of adverse events suggests that nightmare sufferers may be victims of a diathesis-stress induced form of psychopathology. However, complementary evidence exists that frequent nightmare sufferers are also often characterized as creative individuals, who may report vivid, bizarre and even intensely positive dream and daydream experiences. Though empirical research exploring this positive symptomology is rare, such a paradoxical portrait suggests that frequent nightmare sufferers may be better framed within a differential-susceptibility model, asserting that these individuals are in fact sensitive and responsive to both negative and positive life experiences, which may then be reflected in nightmares, as well as other intensified and positive imagery experiences. Thus, an initial review will demonstrate clinical and empirical findings that support a diathesis-stress model, such as the presence of trait factors (e.g. alexithymia), stressors (e.g. history of trauma), and negative symptoms (e.g. anxiety, depression) found in frequent nightmare sufferers. Contrasting findings will then be presented, including recent research on boundary thinness and mirror behaviors, which suggest that nightmare sufferers may be receptive to and affected by a wide range of sensory and emotional experiences (not only stressors). Results from a recent study conducted in our laboratory will be discussed, including our findings of elevated positive and bizarre dream and daydream content, along with propensities for creative thinking, in a sample of frequent nightmare sufferers. To summarize, differential-susceptibility proposes that an increased sensitivity to both negative and positive experiences underlies the unique symptoms and imaginative richness of nightmare sufferers. Though much research remains to be done, the possibility that these individuals may benefit especially from supportive environments, and may have an adaptive edge with regard to creative expression and empathy, is particularly relevant when considering prognosis and treatment approaches. Target audience level: intermediate.
- Describe the diathesis-stress model of nightmare pathology.
- Identify traits of nightmare sufferers that fit with a differential-susceptibility model of nightmare pathology.
- Assess the relevance of differential- susceptibility for treating nightmares.
Inside Out: Exploring Dreams and Dream State (Dreamwork Workshop)
This workshop will present and facilitate experiences with consciousness and dreams based on concepts and exercises from the Seth material. The Seth material is a collection of 30 books (8,100 pages and over 3.9 million words) selling over eight million copies with a significant focus on dreams and the dream state. It contains 310 exercises and 100 recommendations. They provide a cosmology of consciousness and human existence, describing, in depth, how we create our own reality with significant emphasis on the dreams as a pillar. Notables including Chopra, Hay, Friedman, and others have endorsed the materials. Seth describes himself as an “energy personality essence.” The concepts communicated were given with the cooperation of Jane Roberts, through whom he spoke. Today, this would be referred to as “channeling.” Unfortunately however, that term may cause some to criticise the importance, validity, and functional practicality of this material. No matter how the concepts and information came into existence, it deserves exploration and review. Covering wide topics, Seth provides concepts and information about the dream state, going further than traditional scientific, psychological, and religious views.
His premise is that not only are we communicating within the dream state, we are involved in training within the dream state and learning that we “create our own reality”, and learning to awaken, to some extent, within the dream state. Seth posits we are multi-dimensional beings and what we call “dreams” represent other realities during which, in real time, we are expressing other parts of our being. Dreams (many varieties) serve many functions and are forums where we experience and choose probable events that are then experienced in waking reality. These experiences are then “downloaded” according to the beliefs, thoughts, emotions and needs of the waking consciousness and egoic self. Seth makes numerous suggestions and provides exercises and techniques to explore and understand the dream state and our multi-dimensionality.
The workshop is one third didactic and combined with guided internal and/or experiential exercises, derived from the Seth materials. The focus is to explore and expand the workshop participants dream experience. Sharing of dreams/experiences may be via a large group or a dyad. However, no interpretation will be imposed, since “only the dreamer knows the meaning of the dream.” For those participants unfamiliar with the Seth material, the information and concepts will be presented in an understandable format, with additional in-depth material offered for those already familiar with the concepts. It is a workshop for all levels of participants. Topics: Multi-Dimensional being (Pyramid exercise), purposes and functions of the dream state, Lucid and Out of Body dreaming (bring your waking consciousness with you exercise); practical ways to expand and explore the dream state (Dream Snapshot, Expanding Space, Expanding Time exercises; incubating Dreams and Health; how dreams help us create our own realities (dream creation exercise), with specific examples from the presenter’s life and possibly the audience. Ample discussion time provided. The workshop is not intended as a dogmatic or lecture presentation of the Seth material.
- List 3 basic premises of the Seth Materials in relations to dreams.
- Describe 3 ways to expand experience within the dream state.
- Identify 3 ways to practically use the dream state to enhance waking reality.
- Will write and prepare their own personal dream incubations.
Dream Sharing with “Strangers” (Paper)
When people find IASD they often describe the feeling of “coming home” and “finding one’s tribe.” I often wonder how many people are out in the world, still wandering and wondering how to find compatible dreamers. I have met people in dream groups at IASD Conferences who say they feel all alone in their home communities, that they do not know anyone else interested in dreams. Yet, everyone dreams, so it seems like there may be more dreamers wanting to find like-minded souls than there are people who discount dreams. This presentation describes some common and not-so-common ways of introducing “dream talk” to people you meet. Whether you bring dreams up in everyday social situations or set up dream circles or lectures to draw interested people, you can find ways to let people know that you pay attention to dreams and they are not crazy for wanting to talk about theirs. Laurel Clark has kept a dream journal since 1977 and spreads the word about dreams every way she can, from public speaking to writing articles and books, to bringing up the topic in everyday conversation. She shares with you some ways she has found for opening the door to those who are curious to explore their dreams. You will learn in this presentation how to listen to people and how dreams may be a response to their interests and needs. You will receive ideas about how to bring up the subject of dreams in conversations, based on research into dream inventions, inspiration, and creativity. You will hear some examples of famous dreams and everyday dreams, including some of the presenter’s healing message dreams that may be used to initiate communication about dreams. You will also be introduced to resources you can use to share dream information and spark people’s interest. You will receive a brief description of ways to set up dream discussion groups. Hopefully we can all have the courage to shine our light and meet those who need us so that we can bring about a world in which everyone shares their dreams! Target audience level: for all. Basis for presentation: practice.
- Describe five ways to introduce dreams in everyday interactions and conversation.
- Discuss ways to establish dream discussion groups in your community.
- List three or more dreams that have inspired businesses, creativity, and healing to stimulate people’s interest in dreams.
Daniel R. Condron
Dreams about Mystics, Saints and Yogis (Paper)
This presentation will offer the idea that dreams may be understood as symbolical and at times, they may also be seen to be an actual experience with a person or persons. Consideration will be given to the concept that dreams may be understood or interpreted as aspects of the dreamer, and at times, while lucid dreaming one may encounter other beings, people or entities. The presenter will offer examples from his own personal experience as well as his response to these dreams. The targeted audience is for all.
- Attendees will learn to identify when a person in a dream is an aspect of the dreamer and when the person is another being.
- Participants will be able to name 3 qualities of a lucid, visitation dream.
- Attendees will be able to describe the difference between an aspect of self in one’s dream and a visitation dream.
How to Use Our Dreams for Spiritual Growth (Paper)
Elsie Sechrist in her book Dreams, Your Magic Mirror says: « According to Edgar Cayce, unless an individual is seeking to improve his spiritual life by asking for help in terms of prayer, his dreams will primarily be a meaningless jumble. If, however, he is unselfishly seeking God’s will for him, then the higher consciousness will monitor his dreams and give him a clearer sense of direction in his daily life. There is little therapy or value in simply learning the meaning of a dream, especially if it is related to an aspect of behavior, unless an individual wants to change or improve himself. » In a lecture given at the 2013 IASD Conference, Tenzin Wangyal Rimpoche said: « If you want to have better dreams, you have to be aware, to be more conscious… Dream practice is also a wake practice. » These two ideas are key components and can be seen as the spinal column of this talk. In order to cultivate spiritual dreams, our waking life must be oriented by spiritual values and coherent behavior. The presentation is made in four parts: 1)The challenge of maintaining the highest level of consciousness available during day time; 2) Presentation of four dream experiences that illustrate how dreams can uplift our spiritual life; 3) What kind of experiences can we expect from spiritual dreaming? – some illustrations; 4)Presentation of a methodology utilized by the lecturer to cultivate spiritual dreaming: a. Control of attitude and attention; b. Spiritual exercises; c. Dream incubation; d. Dream recovery and understanding; e. Honoring the message of the dream.
- Explain some key concepts related to spiritual life.
- Identify some elements of a strategy to cultivate spiritual dreams.
- Explain the role of some tools suggested to improve our dream abilities.
Trivial Dreams, Significant Messages (Presentation within Dreamwork Panel titled “Dreams that Have Influenced my Life”)
The motivation to remember our dreams and the action of writing them, each night, are two key factors at the basis of success of the active dreamer. We can benefit from the dreams of others, but without dreams of our own that we can recall in the morning, it is difficult to analyse something from our personal experiences. Some dreams are easier to remember: those with strong emotions, universal archetypes, presence of light or guides, etc. What about dreams of our ordinary life? Despite their good intentions, why do many people (including the presenter) awaken themselves with empty hands about their dreams, with only the vague feeling that something happened? Or when they do remember their dreams, these ones seem so dull or so intricate that they don’t know what to do with them. The experience of the presenter is that there are some beliefs and attitudes that can help us to increase motivation and have a richer dream life. In her book Dream Incubation, Nicole Gratton says:
« The great sages of history have all passed down a similar message of wisdom: “Know thyself.” Each night, in our dreams, an information session is graciously offered to us regarding this self we need to know and understand. This introspective process is possible thanks to informative dreams, which can be compared to the news bulletins that are presented at regular intervals during the day. These daily information sessions open the door to a better understanding of the self. Our nature is multidimensional… According to its origin, a dream will inform us about an emotional, intellectual, or spiritual matter to be taken into consideration. »
And Mark Thurston in his book Dreams, Tonight’s Answers for Tomorrow’s Questions says that according to Edgar Cayce, we must respect two essential characteristics of dream interpretation: personal responsibility and application. According to him, any dream well interpreted will be able to influence our way of thinking, acting and feeling in any practical situation of life. And if we keep in mind that our dreams are almost always related to subjects that preoccupy us during day time, it will be easier for us to give them a better interpretation. So one of the challenges for the dreamer, if he wants to increase his motivation in dream recall and interpretation, is to convince himself to discover the link between his dreams and his daily life, and see the precious help that they give him at any level of his being. The dreamer has to discover what the presenter calls the « genius of the dream» and develop this feeling of wonder in front of the structure or the message of the dream. In doing so, he is on his way to become the pearl fisher in his dream world.
The presentation is made in three parts: 1) The challenge of maintaining motivation and discipline in dream recording; 2) Which beliefs and attitudes promote dream recall; and 3) Presentation of some examples of Trivial dreams, significant messages.
- Explain the importance of motivation and discipline in dream recording.
- Identify some beliefs and attitudes that promote dream recall.
- Identify some keys that facilitate dream interpretation.
Dreaming Autoimmunity (Presentation within Clinical Symposium titled “Transpersonal Research”)
Patients suffering from autoimmune diseases have long been known to go through a significant emotional and psychological distress during the development of their disease. Although not properly documented, evidence suggests that autoimmune patients often experience vivid dreams but seldom share this highly charged emotional material with the others (including their GP or clinicians).
Professor D’Acquisto will present the methods and preliminary findings from his study into the dreams of people suffering from autoimmune diseases and the effectiveness of dreamwork, particularly the Waking Dream Process (Hamilton, 2014), on their quality of life.
The aim of this study is to explore these dreams in dedicated sessions and to provide emotional and psychological support to these patients. This is being done in two stages. During the first stage, consisting of six one-to-one sessions, patients experience techniques such as dream association technique and the Waking Dream Process (e.g. a revisitation of the dream in a waking state). During the second stage, patients have the option to continue their dream exploration work in groups with other patients. The ultimate goal of this project is to improve the quality of life of these patients by giving them the opportunity to share and explore their dreams. The emotional and psychological benefits of the projects are being measured using the Mental Health Recovery Star form currently used in several NHS services. Professor D’Acquisto will discuss the reasons for using these methods in the context of a research project within the transpersonal paradigm.
- Describe how emotional and psychological distress is expressed in the dreams of people suffering from autoimmune disorders.
- Summarize a method for working with the dreams of patients.
- Discuss the implications of this research for physical and psychological health practitioners.
Allyson Dale and Joseph De Koninck and co-authors Monique Lortie-Lussier, Christina Wong, Raphaelle Robidoux, and Alexandre Lafrenière
Gender Differences in the Dreams of Canadians: Norms and Ontogenesis (Paper)
Introduction: The present study was a first to establish normative data for Canadian dreams for the major Hall and Van de Castle (1966) categories for a large sample. Gender dimensions in the young adult population have been investigated and compared internationally including Europe, the United States, India, and Japan. These studies have noted a predominance of aggression and a higher ratio of male characters in male dreams. The purpose of this study was to examine whether previously described gender differences in American and other cultures apply to Canadians. Additionally, the ontogenetic pattern of gender differences from adolescence to old age was investigated to determine the evolution of gender differences across the lifespan.
Method: A thorough and detailed dream diary methodology was used and participants recorded the day’s events and dreams for ten days or until two dreams were reported. For the first analysis, two dreams from 150 males and 150 females for a total of 600 dreams from young adults ranging from 18 to 24 were used. For the second analysis, one dream from 50 men and 50 women in each of five age groups (12-17, 18-24, 25-39, 40-64, 65-85), with the exception of only 31 men of 65 to 85 years, were used. Dream reports were scored by two independent judges, with high inter-rater reliability using the Hall and Van de Castle (1966) method of content analysis. Cohen’s h statistic was used to determine gender differences in young adulthood and a two way analysis of variance was used to examine gender differences from adolescence to old age.
Results: For dream gender differences in young adults, males had a higher percentage of Male characters (h = +.23, p<.001), Aggression/Friendliness (h = +.22, p = .004), Befriender (h = +.29, p = .019), and Physical aggression (h = +.35, p <.001). Females had a higher percentage of Family characters (h = -.12, p = .009), Indoor settings (h = -.15, p = .040), Negative emotions (h = -.25, p = .002), and dreams with at least one Friendliness (h = -.28, p =.001).Two way analyses of variance with gender and age as factors were used for examining the ontogenesis of gender differences. For female characters, there was a significant main effect for gender, females having more female characters. For total aggression, there was a significant main effect for both gender and age groups. Overall, males had more total aggression and adolescents had more total aggression than all other age groups. For total emotions, there was a main effect for both gender and age group. Females had more emotions and adolescents had more emotions than both young adults (18-24) and older adults (40-64).
Conclusion: Previously observed gender differences, notably for aggression and emotions seem to be robust and apply to Canadians. The very significant predominance of aggression and emotions in adolescence compared to older age groups is most interesting and requires more attention. More refined analyses may reveal distinctive characteristics in Canadian dreams.
- Identify two gender differences in dream interactions for young adult Canadians.
- Demonstrate how adolescents differ from all other age groups in terms of aggression.
- Describe the gender dimensions in dream emotions from adolescence to old age.
Allyson Dale and co-authors Alexandre Lafrenière, Raphaelle Robidoux, Karianne Lafrenière and Joseph De Koninck
Ontogenetic Trends in Daytime and Oneiric Threats (Poster Presentation)
Introductory Statement: According to the Threat Simulation Theory (TST), the experience of threatening events during wakefulness is associated with the incorporation of oneiric threats during dream episodes. The simulation of dream threats relies on the activation of the threat simulation system, a cognitive system which might have been adaptively crucial for human survival. We have tested this notion with an ontogenetic perspective.
Introduction: Throughout life, the processing of emotion-related stimuli undergoes several changes, which seem to correlate with brain maturation. Due to immature prefrontal circuits, adolescents tend to respond more emotionally than adults to daily situations. Conversely, during senescence, the limbic system shows decreased activity in response to negative stimuli. The elderly also demonstrate better emotional control and are more attentive to positive information than their younger counterparts. These changes influence the way menacing situations are experienced across the lifespan. According to the TST, it would be expected that while the prevalence of daytime threats may be stable across age, they would be processed in such a way that fewer threats would appear in dreams with age; threat severity would also decrease.
Method: The study included five groups of participants (12- 17; 18-24; 25-39; 40-64; 65-80 years old), with each group comprising 52 participants (N = 260). One dream per participant and the corresponding preceding day activities were rated, with control for word count, for quantity, type and severity of threats. Scoring was completed by two independent judges using a subset of the Dream Threat Scale.
Results: While there was no significant difference in the quantity of daytime threats across ages, there were significant ontogenetic decreases in the quantity of oneiric threats (F(1,259)= 49.18, p =.0001) including “mildly severe threats” (F(1,259)= 9.03, p =.003), “moderately severe threats” (F(1,259)= 24.99, p =.0001), and “highly severe threats” (F(1,259)= 19.54, p =.0001). Inversely, dreams without threats showed a significant ontogenetic increase with age (F(1,259)= 26.13, p =.0001). Interestingly, male adolescents reported significantly more oneiric threats (F(1,259)= 12.23, p =.001), comprising “life-threatening events” (F(1,259)= 8.27, p=.006), “socially, psychologically or financially severe threats” (F(1,259)= 5.29, p =.026),“minor threats” (F(1,259)= 4.45, p=.024) and “moderately severe threats” (F(1,259)= 9.27, p =.004) than female adolescents, who reported significantly more dreams without threats (F(1,259)= 4.16, p =.047).
Conclusion: Consistent with TST and the Continuity Hypothesis, these results suggest that waking management of threats reduces their severity and incorporation into dreams. Audience: All
- Explain the relationship between waking threats and dream threats.
- Describe the ontogenetic patterns of oneiric threat simulations.
- Discuss the potential link between brain maturation and threat simulations in dreams.
Monique Dankers – van der Spek
Dream Inquiry Using the Work of Byron Katie (Dreamwork Workshop)
‘The Work’ is a meditative process with 3 steps that guides the participant from his rational mind towards the right cerebral hemisphere where he is able to understand the dream language. During this process forgotten dream segments tend to come back and the dream is completed in a healing way. In 1986 when she was very depressed, Byron Katie Mitchell (Loving what is; 2002) discovered that she suffered when she believed her thoughts. That suffering stopped when she questioned her stressful beliefs and discovered what was really true. She called this inquiry process: ‘The Work’. This inquiry fits precisely with current research into the biology of mind, for instance that from Antonio Damasio (1999, p. 187) or Michael Gazzaninga (1998, p. 26). The self-questioning Katie discovered uses a different, less known capacity of the mind to find a way out of its self-made trap. After doing The Work, many people report an immediate sense of release and freedom from thoughts that were making them miserable. Although most of the time The Work is applied to stressful situations in waking life, Katie also mentioned its value for dream life. Experiences with my own dreams and those of clients showed: The Work enables the dreamer to understand the language of his dream. During this process forgotten dream segments tend to come back and the dream is completed in a healing way. The best way to understand The Work on dreams is to experience it; in this introductory workshop theory is less than 20%. The dreamer himself is the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream interpretation. The workshop presenter facilitates his inquiry process.
- Participants identify stressful thoughts about a (human, animal, material) dream element by filling in a worksheet with 6 questions about their dream situation.
- What about this dream angers, confuses, or disappoints you and why?
I am (emotion) at (dream element) because it …………
- How do you want it to change? I want it to……………………………………………………………
- What advice would you offer to it? It should or shouldn’t………………………………………………
- In order for you to be happy in this situation, what do you need it to think, say, feel or do?
I need it to………………………
- What do you think of the dream element in this situation? Make a list. This is……………………………
- What is it in or about this dream situation that you don’t ever want to experience again?
I don’t ever want it to……… I don’t ever want me to ………………………………………………
- Try-out of the 4 questions as a guide to meditate on the identified stressful thoughts: [1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? 3. How do you react when you believe that thought? 4. Who would you be without that thought?]
- Turnaround of the stressful thoughts in three different ways by the dreamer [to yourself; to the other; to the opposite] and search for specific examples to recognize his projections in the dream. Level: For All
- Describe stressful thoughts about their dream elements using the worksheet handout.
- Demonstrate how to inquire about these stressful thoughts by meditating on the 4 questions of ‘The Work’.
- Identify projections in the dream by listing examples for the 3 turnarounds of the stressful thoughts.
Alaya A. Dannu
Can Cultural Memory from Ancient Civilizations be Passed down through Dreams? (Paper)
“Knowledge about the past acquires the properties and functions of memory if it is related to a concept of identity.” – Jan Assman
Archaeology operates on an object-based theoretical approach, the discoveries interpreted and evaluated based on Eurocentric perceptions and assumptions. What if there was an approach that enhanced the piecing together of humanity’s ancient past that was not limited to this approach? One that explores the origins of a culture through its mythology in conjunction to dreamwork? Ancient cultures and indigenous wisdom embrace dreams and their nature in a way that is not always congruent with contemporary thought and lifestyle. The contemporary conversations about the nature of dreams and their purpose are plenty and varied, yet much appears to remain unknown. If in the past dreams provided the material to a community that created identities and forged destinies, could this phenomenon still exist in the present, even though such practices are not part of the mainstream culture? Do dreams have a way of operating in a way that allows them to provide cultural memory through the ages? Just as trauma can be passed down through generations via DNA, there is a possibility that cultural memory can also be transmitted. However, the presenter proposes that the transmission of cultural memory can be attained through dreams. The presenter will share and explore three dreams to demonstrate how it is possible to augment research with dream work that transcends contemporary thought, ties dream material to historical events, and sheds light on the process of how balance is maintained between the revelatory nature of dreams, processing, and wish fulfillment.
Reference: Astrid Erll, Ansgar Nünning (Hg.), Cultural Memory Studies. An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook, Berlin, New York 2008, S. 109-118
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using dreams as a valid source of information for field and scholarly work.
- Identify new themes within the Ancient Egyptian mythology that may have been overlooked.
- Assess how dream content actively shapes and guides the life of the dreamer to a greater understanding of her connection to this ancient civilization
Dream Poetry Reading with Open Mic (Special Event)
The special relationship between dreams and poetry deserves further attention. In contemporary poetry, dreams are a recognized source of inspiration and content. Many poets could point to at least one of their poems that is dream-related, and a significant number of poets have called upon their dream lives again and again, among them Elizabeth Alexander, Margaret Atwood, Robert Bly, Frank Bidart, André Breton, Robert Desnos, Paul Éluard, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Glück, Denise Levertov, Muriel Rukeyser, Leslie Scalapino, Anne Sexton, Diane Wakoski, and Al Young. Writing a dream poem can be a form of dreamwork, as Richard Russo has pointed out (Dreaming, 13). This session aims to focus on dream poetry through the direct experience of reading poems aloud and hearing them read by others. Poetry readings are a preferred presentation mode for many poets, a crucial supplement to the printed page and a link to poetry’s oral roots. Reading aloud gives access to the basic auditory element of poetry, and the presence of in-person readers and live audiences builds a community of interest. This dream poetry reading event will gather conference attendees who are open to poetry for an experience and exchange of dream poems, drawing upon the knowledge and understanding of many. The presenter will begin by reading a selection of half a dozen dream poems. Introductions and commentary will be brief; the emphasis will be on reading and listening. An “open mic” session will follow. Participants are encouraged to select one or two dream poems to read to the group, and to bring copies if feasible. Poems may be the reader’s own or by other poets. Poems in languages other than English may be read in the original language, but participants are asked to bring a translation or paraphrase in English. Reading is voluntary; conferees who wish to listen but not read are welcome.
- List three dream poets.
- Paraphrase one dream poem.
- Describe and discuss the participant’s experience of that poem.
Ada de Boer
Case Studies of Frequent Nightmare-sufferers. (Paper)
This paper is a presentation of the treatment of four cases of frequently occurring nightmares with mutually different causes. In all cases there were one or two recurring nightmare themes. In this presentation I examine – based on two considerations – when using IRT is useful, and when it does not make sense. In all cases, the therapy resulted in an almost complete cessation of nightmares. This proved to be stabilized in a follow-up. The causes of the nightmares and circumstances of these four clients are diverse: 1. The nightmares started at the birth of the first child and continued later on. The son of this pregnancy had the diagnosis ADHD and this fact had strong emotional impact for the parents. This certainly contributed to the persistence of the nightmares, occurring about once a week. Even after a successful EMDR treatment regarding the emotions surrounding the behavior of the client’s son, the nightmares continued. 2. The nightmares started after a divorce. The emotions surrounding the divorce were not sufficiently processed. The occurrence of nightmares was about three times a week. 3. The nightmares started after the very sudden death of the partner some years earlier. Client lived fairly isolated. She dreamed about twice a week about the death of her deceased partner. 4. The nightmares arose after abuse by a lover-boy in combination with a fragile personality structure. Successful treatment in a specialized clinic took place, but the nightmares persisted, about twice a week. In all cases there were one or two recurring nightmare themes.
Therapeutic Approach: After answering a questionnaire about nightmares and living conditions, a therapeutic program was compiled in close consultation with the client. The client consented to active participation in this program. Interventions which were used are: relaxation, bedroom decor, precepts, and Imagery Rescripting Therapy, system configuration according to the method of Hellinger, bereavement and compassionate therapy. Imagery and Rescripting Therapy is rewriting a recurring nightmare theme with a positive ending. The new dream script is then trained by active imagination. IRT is attracting growing interest and in many cases is an effective tool in dealing with frequently occurring nightmares.
In this presentation I examine when using IRT is effective, and when it does not make sense. Points of interest are: • To what extent do the recurring dream themes correspond to reality? • To what extent is the underlying emotion or trauma of the dream theme processed? If IRT is used, it is always in combination with other therapeutic tools, especially relaxation and insight-oriented therapy. I will present the four nightmare sufferers to you and give a brief description of their living conditions, the causes of their nightmare, and the therapeutic approach. In all cases, the therapy resulted in a virtually complete cessation of nightmares. This proved to be stabilized in a follow-up.
- Identify cases where the use of IRT makes sense and when it does not make sense.
- Utilize the two considerations in the choice to use IRT or not.
- Assess IRT in the context of a complete therapeutic approach.
Dreaming for the Second Half of Life (Presentation within Dreamwork Panel titled “Dreams that Have Influenced my Life”)
In her book La chaleur du coeur empêche nos corps de rouiller, (Robert Laffont, 2008), French psychologist and author Marie de Hennezel advocates the development of a new art of aging underlining the need to accept growing old without becoming old along the way. Jung himself considered the second half of life not as a period of inexorable decline but rather as a time for progressive refinement of what is essential, a time to turn one’s attention towards interiority and spirituality. Referring to the original version of “Métamorphoses de l’âme et ses symboles”, written in 1911 when he was thirty-six years old, Jung notes: “This is a critical moment because it marks the beginning of the second half of life, soften signalled by a “metanoïa,” a shift in meaning.” In the Foreword to Jung and Aging; Possibilities and Potentials for the Second Half of Life (Spring Journal Books, 2014), Dr Aryeh Maidenbaum suggests that “The years beyond midlife have the potential for being one of the most productive and satisfying periods of our lives. Although these years hold many challenges, including health concerns and physical aging, perhaps the most important challenge we face is finding or continuing to find meaning in our lives.” The presenter started dream journaling in 1979. Thirty-six years ago! Now, at 71, a curious elder wonders if and how his own dreams reflect his journey through this second half of life. The presentation will be but a brief exploration of dreaming in the second half of his life. It will highlight the potential of dreams to provide orientation, meaning and guidance.
A few significant dreams will serve as beacons for this excursion, as follows:”Follow me!” Dreams that herald the second half of life. Thirty-six years of dreaming: 1% «big» dreams, 99% «common» dreams. A vision for the journey, an eye on the next step. The Angel and Gollum. The bright and somber faces of guidance. The need to make peace with the past. Crossroad in Africa: The Luggage or the Jerry Cans. About choices and letting go. The dreamer changes along the way. So does his dreaming. And so should his “rapport” with his dreams. Silence, let the dream speak. The Non-Road Ahead. Walking is the road.”By the time I thought I had found all the answers, all the questions had changed” (Paolo Coello).
- List three aspects of aging well and how they are manifested in dreams.
- Compare with your own dreams and identify those that herald significant changes and guidance.
- Analyse, discuss, and critique the proposed relationship between big dreams and common dreams.
Sound Alchemy in Dream-work (Morning Dream Group)
Dream images present us in unexpected ways with invisible aspects of our lives, plots that are difficult for our “ego” to see and take into account. This is also true of the sounds that emerge unexpectedly from our being. Furthermore, actual experience shows that there is an intimate, dynamic, and transformative relationship between the vocal sound and the images in our dreams (and lives) … that can be made conscious and become transformative by giving outer form to inner movements through a sound emission. In addition to developing and honing hearing skills, the invitation is to experience learning to listen for – and to – the images that come with the sounds that appear with a dream and the telling of it. We will work with a sound awareness of our dream images that promises to awaken physical, emotional, mental and spiritual movements in our lives, as well as using vocal expression as a medium for our images to take on new forms and significance. We will share a way of working with dreams that is innovative, unexpected, surprisingly practical and deeply moving.
- Experientially discover the intimate, dynamic and transformative relationship between sound and images in dreams.
- Differentiate ways of listening beyond simply “content” interpretation.
- Recognize sound as an inner as well as an outer phenomena that – when worked with – can profoundly shift our relationship with the images in our dreams and the role that their themes play in our daily lives.
SOUND ALCHEMY: dream-work with Images and Sounds. (Dreamwork Workshop)
In this workshop we will provide ways of working with dreams that are imaginative: a proposal will be made of how to resonate with our dream images transformatively, by developing a sensitivity to the sounds that they awaken in us.
Participants will first learn a vocabulary to expand possibilities for consciousness, then develop and hone hearing skills: learning to listen for – and into – the new images that come with the sounds that appear with a dream, with the telling of it, and then with emitting the sounds of the feelings that appear when we work to develop a sound sensitivity and imagination.
We will use vocal expression to give outer form to inner movements, in order to be able to hear ourselves from un-expected perspectives, or different states of consciousness. Our exploration of the intimate and dynamic relationship that exists between images and sounds will show us ways to nurture the dialogue between the inner and outer dimensions of the dream experience. Joining sounds to images will lead to the images taking on new forms and significance. While emitting the sound of the feelings awakened in and by our dream images, we will experience how something that is stuck suddenly begins to flow – at the same time that we unexpectedly find vital issues that were diffuse begin to take form. These movements, happening simultaneously, make for a surprisingly moving way of working with dreams.
- Demonstrate how a sensitivity to sound in our work with images in dreams can be profoundly transformative.
- Give outer form to inner feelings and movements though sound emission, so that we can hear ourselves from unexpected perspectives that inevitably incite creativity and shifts in our ways of being in the world.
- Resonate with dream images in ways that make invisible vital themes palpable and able to become conscious.
Comparing and Contrasting the Current Theories of Dreams (Poster Presentation)
Introductory Summary: The dream of science is to uncover the secrets of nature and the universe at large. How successful has the dream of science been in uncovering the science of dreams, in addressing the big questions posed by the nature of dreaming? We will outline the numerous and prevailing dream theories, examine ways to categorize and compare the different theories proposed to explain dreams. Included are biological, physiological, psychological and phenomenological theories on dreams. The presentation will include a comparative analysis of these prevailing dream theories and the strengths and weaknesses the different theories and approaches offer. Additionally, Integral Science will be utilised to propose ways forward towards greater coherence in theories to explain dreams.
Basis: Theory: Comparative analysis of existing dreams theories and proposed approaches to move scientific understanding of dreaming forward.
Detailed Summary: Science has been quite successful in uncovering the secrets of nature and has developed powerful tools and criteria to accomplish this objective. Science has proposed answers to many of the big questions; how the universe was created (the big-bang), the age of the universe, how to explain the microscopic world (quantum mechanics) and the world of the large (general relativity).
We define the tools and criteria science utilises to discern the truth of nature. The scientific method uses evidence gathered to generate possible theories, and additionally which of these can predict further scenarios that are then validated or not. Science uses both experiment and experience or direct apprehension. Additionally Science utilises Occam’s razor and falsifiability to narrow down the list of hypotheses to a shortlist of possible contenders. Many areas of Science use tools and evidence far beyond what is present in the sensorimotor world such as mathematics and logic to further this search for truth. How successful has the dream of science been in uncovering the science of dreams, and in addressing the big questions posed by the dream-state; why do we dream, is there a meaning to dreams, how can dreams be used, and many more? A descriptive outline of the numerous major prevailing dream theories will be exhibited. We will compare and contrast all the prevailing dream theories, outlining their background, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities they provide in furthering dream research. Dream theories covered will include biological, physiological, psychological and phenomenological based theories. Additionally, we will examine the various dream theories using the principles of integral science. Integral science understands the importance of evidence from the objective and subjective, the individual and collective domains, in constructing valid hypotheses and solutions. We will conclude with an examination of the two opposing approaches that differing areas of science appear to use in finding their way to the truth, the strengths and weaknesses in these two approaches and synergies in order to progress ‘Science’ towards answering the big questions of why we dream. Target Audience: All
- Describe the criteria that science uses to construct/evaluate/shortlist theories, and how to apply this to current theories of dreams.
- Compare, contrast and evaluate the numerous current theories of dreams against the framework of integral science and scenarios where theories should be applied.
- Identify the underlying assumptions that are the basis of the major theories of dreams.
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Lucid Dreaming (Invited Research Presentation)
In contrast to the metacognitive impairments of normal dream mentation, lucid dreaming is characterized by full awareness of the current state of mind, often leading to considerable volitional control over the dream narrative. Lucid dreaming as a research topic has faced much skepticism during most of the last century, but is experiencing increasing momentum in recent years.
Neuroimaging studies demonstrate that lucid dreaming is associated with specific changes in neural activity when compared to non-lucid dreaming. In particular lateral prefrontal, frontopolar and medial parietal activations are well in line with the increased metacognitive capacity that defines lucid dreaming. 40 Hz EEG gamma power over dorsolateral prefrontal areas is increased during lucid dreaming, and 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation of this region increases lucid insight into the dream state. Anatomically, frequent experience of lucid dreaming is associated with increased grey matter in frontopolar regions, which have been related to metacognitive abilities also during wakefulness.
Lucid dreaming has a number of clinical and non-clinical applications, among them therapy of recurrent nightmares. Based on the view that dreaming can serve as a model for psychosis, lucid dreaming might open up new avenues in the therapy of metacognitive deficits in psychosis. Lucid dreaming is a rare skill, however it can be learned and trained by a variety of induction strategies from autosuggestions to transcranial current stimulation. Also, sleep fragmentation appears to increase the probability of experiencing lucid dreams, as studies of patients with narcolepsy and subjects under systematic sleep fragmentation protocols demonstrate. However, more reliable induction methods are needed to further explore the potential of lucid dreaming and its scientific study.
- Describe patterns of brain activation associated with dream lucidity during REM sleep.
- Describe factors that contribute to the frequency of lucid dreaming.
- Describe potential clinical applications of lucid dreaming.
Iain R. Edgar
Dream Literacy Workshop for Social Scientists (Theory Workshop)
The genesis of this experiential workshop on dream literacy for social science was the widespread encounter over the last century of ethnographers finding that their fieldwork contexts and informants often had radically different conceptions of the nature of reality and the dream. Indeed some anthropologists, such as Guedon (1994:23), have found that dream awareness and sharing was essential to an in-depth study of the culture they studied. Dream literacy though has been identified by Tedlock (1991) as a core skill in the study of cultures with such significantly different notions of reality and dream compared to the west. However, there are few, if any, dream theory sensitivity, practice and interpretive training programs available in the world for social science researchers. This workshop offers researchers the collaborative opportunity to experientially sensitise themselves to indigenous dreamworlds, a variety of core dream interpretative traditions, and the role of their own dreams in fieldwork and the reflexive dimension of their studies.
Workshop process: Following an introduction scanning the domains and history of the reported significance of night dreams in anthropological research, and reference to the relationship between the experience of myth and dream, a choice of exercises will be offered, with a light rhythmical drumming accompaniment:
- a) Experiential dream re-entry and amplification of either, the researcher’s remembered, or the researched person’s (respondent) reported, night dreams. Dream re-entry refers to simply remembering the dream. Dream amplification refers to seeing if you can ‘take it forward’ in your imagination with a prepared question. So, for example, if when you were in your ethnographic ‘field’ you dreamt one night of talking with an important informant but you were disturbed by bad weather, you would in this workshop take 5-10 minutes remembering the dream, the dream setting and context, and the question you have about the dream now. To take it ‘forward’ (amplification) might be ‘how would the conversation have developed if the weather had stayed good’? You then imaginatively journey via your memory of the dream asking your question.
- b) Experiential dream re-entry and amplification of a workshop partner’s dream with the partner’s question(s) concerning their original dream. Same processes as for a) but in this exercise you share your remembered night dream with your partner first and they do likewise; then together you develop a question that your partner will take into their imaginative recreation of your dream. They journey into your dream! So, for example as in a) but your partner will go back into your dream of your unfinished conversation with your informant and dialogue imaginatively with them and report back to you.
I set up the exercise facilitating pair formation, answer questions, and then gently drum the exercise for 10-15 minutes; participants will be offered the opportunity to make a colour sketch of their imaginative dream experience before talking about it with their partner/group. Dream interpretation responsibility, if exercised, is invested in the dreamer aided by some facilitated partner/group suggestion. Approximate didactic portion of workshop is one quarter. Suitable for all.
- Demonstrate the use of imaginative dream imagery in the research process.
- Analyse the relationship between their re- experienced dream imagery and thematic research aims.
- Analyse the relationship between their re-experienced dream imagery and thematic research findings, anticipated or real.
Iain R. Edgar
The Dreams of Islamic State/Daesh (Paper)
Previous research has shown that jihadis attach great importance to dreams, to the point of taking them into account in personal and strategic decision-making. This paper asks whether the same is true of Islamic State (IS). Using evidence from social media and IS publications, I review night dream accounts by IS members and supporters, seeking to assess the prominence, main themes, and reception of such accounts. Dreams appear to be at least as important to IS as to previous jihadi groups. Like other jihadis, IS activists consider dreams a potential window into the future and use them to make sense of the world, justify decisions, and claim authority. In at least one case (that of Garland, Texas attacker Elton Simpson), a dream may have informed the decision to take violent action. Several studies over the last decade have shown that militant Islamists such as al-Qaida and the Taliban make extensive use of reported night dreams to inspire, announce, and validate violent jihad (Edgar 2007; 2011). In this paper I ask whether dreams play a similar role in Islamic State (IS). Using evidence from social media and IS publications, I review night dream accounts by IS members and supporters and the discussions they generate. This is the first academic study of the significance of dreams in Islamic State ideology. As we shall see, IS members and sympathisers appear to attach considerable importance to dreams. Just as in other jihadi groups, dream accounts and discussions proliferate, and activists express belief in the predictive potential of night dreams. Dreams may also feature in decision-making processes at different levels in the organization, from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s decision to withdraw forces from Mosul in late 2014 to IS sympathizer Elton Simpson’s May 2015 attack in Garland, Texas.
The paper has three parts. First I summarize what we know about the significance of dreams in Muslim societies generally and in jihadi groups specifically. I then describe a sample of IS-related night dream accounts, before briefly discussing the connection between dreams and action. Dreams seen as true by the believer can transform perceptions of earthly defeat into the will of God and the call to greater righteous. Dreams can augur victory, legitimize defeat, and inspire or demoralise armies. Dreams and their interpretations are strategic military goods, and may be manipulated strategically; dreams confirm and legitimate radical group membership, the path of holy jihad and the destined entry to paradise, with all sins forgiven. Dreams are a form of metaphysical currency to be shared and reflected upon and redeemed in action. IS/Daesh follows in this tradition and resembles al-Qaida and Taliban in their ascribing importance to the Islamic dreamland. The examples presented here reflect the traditional Islamic separation of dreams into clear message dreams and metaphorical ones, and the tendency to see some dreams as offering information about future paradisical realms. Dreams may even be critical tipping points to the move from contemplating jihad to killing people as in the case of Elton Simpson.
- Identify key themes in the Islamic understanding of dreams.
- Analyse the core use of dreams in jihadists’ behavior.
- Critique Islamic State’s/Daesh’s use of Islamic dream interpretation.
Chris Edwards and Paul Bennett and co-authors M. Blagrove, J. Malinowski, S. McGee, A. Kennedy, and P. Ruby
Realisations during Dream or Daydream Group Sessions following Ullman’s Dream Appreciation Procedure (Paper)
Edwards et al. (2013; 2015) have previously shown that a majority of participants experience insight as a result of discussing recent dreams following the Dream Appreciation procedure of Ullman (1996). These findings were based on participant’s responses to the “Exploration-Insight” subscale of the Gains from Dream Interpretation (Heaton et al. 1998) questionnaire. The present paper reports more qualitative findings from a further study in which 31 participants were asked to write about any realisations they experienced in REM dream, N2 dream or daydream discussions following the same procedure. 16 males and 15 females, who described at least two dreams or a dream and a daydream during an overnight stay in a sleep lab, took part in a small group discussion about their dreams or daydreams using Ullman’s (1996) procedure. Each group comprised one participant and two researchers and lasted around 40 minutes. At the conclusion of each discussion, participants were given the opportunity to write about any realisations they had experienced about their self, other people, or their lives during the preceding session.
Most participants indicated that they had experienced a realisation during at least one of the discussion sessions in which they took part. 17 participants described realisations after discussing one of their N2 dreams, 23 participants described realisations after discussing one of their REM dreams and 18 participants described realisations after discussing their daydream. The results of a content analysis of participant responses, conducted by four judges, will be described. Most realisations were about the self, personal change or goal setting, novel evaluations and connections between dream or daydream and waking life. The implications of these findings will be discussed. This presentation will be suitable for all.
Edwards, C., Ruby, P. , Malinowski, J., Bennett, P., and Blagrove, M. (2013). Dreaming and insight. Front. Psychol. 4, 979. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00979
Edwards CL, Malinowski J, Ruby PM, Bennett P, Mcgee SL and Blagrove M(2015). Comparing personal insight gains due to consideration of a recent dream and consideration of a recent event using the Ullman andSchredldreamgroupmethods.Front.Psychol.6:831.doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00831
Heaton, K. J., Hill, C. E., Petersen, A., Rochlen, A. B., and Zack, J. S. (1998b). A comparison of therapist-facilitated and self-guided dream interpretation sessions. J. Couns. Psychol. 45, 115–122. doi: 10.1037/0022-0188.8.131.52
Ullman, M. (1996). Appreciating Dreams: A Group Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Critique the nature of the realisations experienced by participants during Dream Appreciation sessions.
- Summarize the findings of a content analysis of realisations experienced by participants in a large recent sleep and dreaming study.
- Utilise Ullman’s Dream Appreciation technique.
Chris Edwards and Paul Bennett and co-authors M. Blagrove, J. Malinowski, S. McGee, A. Kennedy, and P. Ruby
Thematic Analysis and Case Analysis of Dream and Event Discussion Sessions (Paper)
Edwards et al. (2013, 2015) found that most participants declared that they had experienced insight in dream discussions following Ullman’s (2006) procedure. Pennebaker, Colder & Sharpe (1990) found that expression of thoughts and feelings about a particular experience produced insight for most participants. In the present paper, we wish to address the issue of whether insight in the dream or event discussions sessions described by Edwards et al. (2015) was due to expression about experience or occurred directly because of Ullman’s procedure (1996). We will describe thematic and case analyses which traced the development of participant insights during the discussions within the study. Nine female and 2 male participants shared one recent dream experience and a description of one recent event in a small group setting. Each dream or event discussion group consisted of two researchers and one participant and the dream or event discussions and would last around 45 minutes. In the aftermath of the dream or event discussions participants were asked to describe realisations about themselves. 9 of the 11 participants described realisations in dream or event discussions. We will report themes, related to insight, which were consistent across the dream discussions, the event discussions and participant responses to post-study questions about realisations. Examples of how insights developed within particular discussions will be provided and explained. Evidence will be presented to support the argument that participants attained insight within the dream and event discussions because of the Ullman technique. This presentation is suitable for all.
Edwards, C. Ruby, P. Malinowski, J. Bennett, P., and Blagrove, M. (2013). Dreaming and insight. Front Psychol. 4, 979. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00979
Edwards, CL, Malinowski J, Ruby PM, Bennett P, Mcgee SL and Blagrove M(2015). Comparing personal insight gains due to consideration of a recent dream and consideration of a recent event using the Ullman and Schredl dream group methods. Front. Psychol. 6:831. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00831
Pennebaker, J.W., Colder, M., Sharpe, L.K (1990). Accelerating the Coping Process. J. Person. & Soc. Psyc. 58, 3 528-537 doi./10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2068
Ullman, M. (1996). Appreciating Dreams: A Group Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Critique the argument that insights obtained during dream work can be directly related to dream work procedure.
- Summarize the Dream Appreciation procedure.
- Identify insights that can derive from the Ullman procedure.
Chris Edwards, Mark Blagrove, and Elaine van Rijn, and co-authors Jean-Baptiste Eichenlaub, Alex Reid, Josie Malinowski, Paul Bennett, and Perrine Ruby
REM and Non-REM Sleep Electrophysiological Correlates (Frontal Theta Power) of Post-Sleep Insight (Poster Presentation)
We recruited 31 participants, aged 18 – 30, in good health, who recall at least 3 dreams per week at home. Each participant spent 1 night in the sleep lab. There a daydream (DD) was collected after wiring up and prior to sleeping, and then a Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep dream and a non-REM stage 2 (N2) dream, the order of awakenings for the latter two sleep stages was counterbalanced. Each of the participants’ three transcripts were then considered in separate Ullman group sessions during the following week. The length of time of each session, and the length of time spent on each stage and substage of the Ullman method (Ullman, 1996) was calculated so as to ensure that each of the 3 conditions do not differ on these variables. At the end of each discussion participants completed the 13 item Gains from Dream Interpretation questionnaire (Heaton et al., 1998), with (day) dream substituted for dream so that the same questionnaire could be used for all three reports. The questionnaire has an Exploration-Insight subscale, assessing insight resulting from the session, with questions such as “I learned more about issues in my waking life from working with the dream.” Items are rated on a 1 – 9 scale, anchored as strongly disagree to strongly agree. In Eichenlaub et al. (2014), the number of references in REM dream reports to events from the previous 2 days (that had been recorded in prospective diaries) is highly correlated with frontal EEG theta power recorded during the REM period prior to awakening. This suggests that the consolidation of memory of recent events during sleep is reflected in dream content. This study investigated the relationship between the electrophysiology of the brain state at the time of producing the dream (i.e., EEG theta power), recorded during sleep, and the level of exploration-insight that occurs from considering the dream using the Ullman technique when awake.
Acknowledgement: Funded by a Bial Foundation award to M.Blagrove, P.Ruby, J-B. Eichenlaub and C.Edwards.
Edwards, C., Malinowski, J., McGee, S., Bennett, P., Ruby, P. & Blagrove, M. (2015). Comparing personal insight gains due to consideration of a recent dream and consideration of a recent event using the Ullman and Schredl dream group methods. Frontiers in Psychology 6, 831.
Edwards, C.L., Ruby, P.M., Malinowski, J.E., Bennett, P.D., & Blagrove, M.T. (2013). Dreaming and insight. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:979. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00979.
Eichenlaub, J. van Rijn, E. Gaskell, G. Lewis, P. Maby, E. Walker, M. Boy, F., & Blagrove, M. (2014b). The occurrence of references to recent waking events in REM sleep dreams is correlated with frontal theta (conference abstract). Presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society 21st Annual Meeting, Boston, April 2014. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26 (supplement).
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 Counseling Psychology, 45, 115–122. doi: 10.1037/0022-0220.127.116.11
Ullman, M. (1996). Appreciating Dreams: A Group Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Summarise the basis for predicting that EEG frontal theta from a sleep period will be associated with level of exploration- insight resulting from discussing the dream from that period.
- Explain how frontal theta power and exploration-insight scores are derived.
- Discuss whether different predictions for REM and N2 sleep might be hypothesised.
Records of Dream Encounters with the Dead in Premodern Korea (15th-19th ct.) (Presentation within Culture Symposium titled “Selfhood in Dream Encounters with Death and the Deceased in East Asia”)
A sample of pre-modern Korean texts dealing with grief/bereavement and mentioning dreams about the dead are analyzed to see how personhood is constructed in view of and beyond the life-death barrier. Dreams about deceased loved ones belong among the most noteworthy of “significant” or “memorable” dreams (Domhoff, 2015). They have long been understood to be able to impact the dreamer at an existential level. Both as “existential dreams” (Kuiken and Sikora ,1993) and as dreams intensely engaged with a significant social relationship, such dreams (or, more correctly, the ways they are told) are rich in information about conceptualizations of personhood and the individual self. A look at pre-modern Korean accounts of dreams about deceased loved ones can thus be valuable material for re-evaluating the assumption that Sinic (i.e., Chinese and strongly China-oriented) culture puts constraints on the development of individual self-hood, especially since this assumption regularly equates “culture” with “philosophical and religious traditions,” which again strongly inform dream theories and thus can be expected to also inform dream records.
For this purpose, this paper uses a sample of texts dating from the 15th – 19th centuries that are drawn from a large full-text data-base assembling more than a thousand Collected Works written by members of the educated elite in Literary Chinese. (Note that all written philosophical discourse and most of high-brow literary production in pre-modern Korea was conducted in Literary Chinese; there is very little prose ego-documentation written in the vernacular before the late 19th century.) The sample of roughly 100 texts was produced by searching for texts that a) deal with bereavement and b) mention dreaming about the deceased; it thus contains not only accounts of “actual“ dream encounters but also expressions of unfulfilled longing for such dreams. First, the sample texts are sorted according to following parameters: dream personages and their social relationships, bereavement situation (e.g., time lapsed since death), and nature of dream experience (longed-for/actual, induced or not, lucid or not).
Next, records of “actual“ dream encounters are analyzed for the nature of the encounter, the (development of) the relationship between dreamer and dreamee as depicted in the dream record, and the effects of the dream encounter on the dreamer’s dealing with/overcoming grief as far as recounted in the text. The results are then compared to those of the “classical” study by D. Barrett (1992) on dreams about the dead, firstly for possibilities of matching the dreams with stages of resolving grief, secondly for implied conceptions of self and personhood. It is shown that, while Confucian theories of the composite nature of the soul and its gradual decomposition after death inform reflections on the dream encounters found in the texts, the dream records themselves reveal assumptions about personal integrity beyond the life-death barrier (and thus beyond the social roles that can no longer be fulfilled) that are hardly distinguishable from those of US students of the 1990s.This presentation will be accessible for a generally educated audience without specialist knowledge of Chinese cultural history (“for all”).
- Discuss the assumption that Chinese/Sinic culture has not brought forward a clear sense of the individual self.
- List characteristics of dreams about the dead in premodern Korea.
- Compare the construction of personhood in dream records of beloved deceased from premodern Korea and from a 20th century US student body.
The Recombination of Past Experiences in Dream Image Drawings and Art Work (Poster Presentation)
Most of all dream research is executed via the analysis of written dream reports, notwithstanding the fact that many dream reports are based on imaginary experiences. Recently there has been considerable progress (1) to connect neural activity and imaginary experiences directly, by confronting subjects with images, and subsequent comparison of coded brain activity during waking time and during sleep. Although in this experiment correlation was possible to a certain degree, the assumption that complete images of past experiences will re-appear in a recognizable way in dreams, may be a simplification. What if dream images are complex compositions of mixtures of experiences? And in addition, there is a fundamental creativity question: If we simply copy and paste former experiences how can we create new ideas?
In this study dream drawings were compared with past experiences, as recorded in a diary. This diary was constructed at hand of first associations with parts of the dreams. As such, each of the dream drawings presented here is accompanied with a collection of written associations, written down directly after the dream. Several artworks of the author were analyzed accordingly. It appears that many dream drawings can be decomposed into partial constituents, which are individually linked to different personal experiences in time and space. During the dream these elements are amalgamated into entirely new images. As for dream images, art works frequently show a similar construction: Past experiences, separated in time and space, are glued together and create new pieces of work. Although there are striking similarities in the genesis of dream imaginary and artwork, there are also obvious differences.
The similarities are: Both in dreams and art works, constituting experiences are time/place separated, experiences are or may be deformed, and there is in both cases an infinite number of possible combinations of thoughts and experiences. Differences are, for instance: Art works may be far more complex, the dream process is predominantly unidirectional whereas the artwork shows response feedback phenomena, there seems to be a broader source area in time and place in artwork as compared to dreams. Furthermore, dream drawings are generated instantaneously, in contrast to artworks that may last for many years. And finally, art works may be related to descriptive texts over a long period, whereas dream images and dream texts are connected almost instantaneously. Both dream drawings and artworks reflect parts of the creative process: through mixing of past experiences in the broadest sense, entirely new products may come into existence. The investigation of dream imagery has not had that long tradition of statistical research of dream texts.
(1)T. Horikawa, M. Tamaki,1 Y. Miyawaki, Y. Kamitani.2013. Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep. Science 340, 639.
- Demonstrate that dream drawings and artworks are both amalgamations of past, time and place separated experiences.
- Illustrate how for dreams and artworks the amalgamation of past experiences may result in entirely new dream images.
- Show that dreams and artworks may differ in complexity.
Dream Hike at the Dutch-German Border near Rolduc/Kerkrade (Special Event)
This special event is intended to have recreational and social components to balance and de-stress from the continuous indoor presentations of the conference. During a 2-hour long hike of about 4-5 miles discussion of dreams with themes of nature will be encouraged. Due to the size of the group and the different walking paces and time limit, dreams will be mainly used as a stimulus for further understanding and exploration, and building bridges between all conference participants that share love for nature but may be interested in different conference tracks.
- In a natural and historical highly dynamic setting, participants will have the opportunity for discussion of the professional and personal topics they are learning at the conference, and the chance to make connections with other attendees with shared interests.
- To explore dreams about the environment, nature and history with other conference attendees.
- To explore important and recurring dreams with other conference presenters and participants.
From Chaos to Coherence: The Creation of a New, Embryonic Artwork (Presentation within Artists Panel titled “Artists and their Dream Art”)
All people collect daily impressions. These impressions are not a priori organized or recognized as ready-made experiences. The mind works day and night to collect, organize, interpret, and eventually (partly) forget these experiences. Following these “Black Box” activities, sometimes surprisingly new imagery may show up from that same mind. This may eventually result, in the case of artists, in an entirely new representation: an embryonic artwork is born!
Dreams are an interesting area of study, because it allows us to take a look into that “Black Box” through a very small door that is slightly ajar. In this contribution Willem will share some examples of dream drawings, and investigates how they might have come into existence. The central theme in this presentation is the process of transformation of past experiences into new, coherent images, based on the analysis of dreams.
Learning Objective: A deepening of the understanding of the creative process by exchange and sharing of experiences of the presenter, the panel members, and the audience.
Arthur T. Funkhouser
Déjà Vu Experiences and Dream Recall Frequency (Paper)
At the end of 2004 a questionnaire was put online in order to ascertain the similarities and differences of two forms of déjà vu experience: déjà vécu (already experienced) and déjà visité (already visited). As of July, 2014, 3042 persons had submitted filled out questionnaire forms. Subsequent statistical analysis has now shown that we can be justified in viewing these as two separate experiential entities. In this talk, these two types of déjà experience will be explained and some comparisons of their similarities and differences will be presented. Also of interest are the relationships that have appeared within the data. Among the questions, for example, it was asked if the person had a theory to explain the source of their experience and dreams was offered as one possibility (i.e., déjà rêvé [already dreamed]). This explanation was favored by roughly 25% of those who filled out the questionnaire and – as expected – their answers correlated positively with their reported dream recall frequency. It is planned to leave time at the end of this talk so that those who wish to can share “déjà experiences” they have had.
- Describe three forms of déjà vu experience (déjà vécu, déjà visité, and déjà rêvé).
- Compare and contrast some of their characteristics.
- Discuss and share déjà experiences they have had (should they wish to).
Art Funkhouser and co-author Boban Eranimos
Indian Concepts and Perspectives about Dreams (Poster Presentation)
- Svpna Svapna is the dreaming state in which man enjoys the five objects of senses while all the senses are at rest and the mind (Manas) alone works. Mind itself is the subject and the object. One such concept that has been shrouded with myth and philosophy and has been rarely applied or evaluated on a scientific basis is ‘Svapna’ or dreams. The primary meaning of the word svapna is sleep. Nidrā, śayana, svāpa, svapna, and smaveśa are synonyms.
- Three avasthas of the mind: Jagrath, Svapna and Susupti Jāgrata (wakefulness), svapna (sleep or dream) and susupti (deep sleep) are three states of the Atman (Self). Besides these three, the fourth – turiya – is acknowledged by the Upanishads. Jagritaavastha is a waking consciousness: you perceive, feel, think, know and you are conscious of the external sense-universe. Svapna Avastha is the state when we are sleeping and dreaming, where the soul is sunk in its own light in the dream state, where it enjoys subtle things. Sushuptiavastha is the sleeping state without any dreams; where the dreamer has fallen into deep sleep and enjoys mere bliss. Lastly Turiya, wherein the soul is called Atman: it is the pure self conscious soul constituting the four dimensions of metaphysics and enjoys nothing but its own state and is tranquil in its singleness.
- Seven types of dreams: Acārya Caraka has categorised seven types of dreams namely, dṛṣṭa, śruta, anubhūta, prārthita, kalpita, bhāvita and doṣaja, i.e: seen, heard, experienced, pictured for inner desires, created by the fancy, manifested and created by imbalance in the doses, respectively. Dṛṣṭa is a dream of a thing seen previously in wakefulness. Feelings in sleep, when experienced by any sense organ, are termed anubhūta. Desiring any listened or experienced thing which was earnestly desirable in wakefulness is called prārthita or desired dreams. Sometimes an assumption of things which are within the range of the senses happens in the mind as imaginations. These imaginations in sleep create kalpita dreams, i.e., imagined dreams. Those dreams in which what the person saw in sleep then actually happens are called bhāvita or manifested dreams. Astrological science has given detailed description of bhāvitasvapna. According to it, dreams and signs are manifested on the palm on the basis of past deeds and are indicators of the good and bad dreams experienced in the vitiated state of vāta, pitta and kapha are called doṣaja. The mind is the perceiver and the mind itself is the perceived in the dream. The mind creates the objects without the help of any external means. It creates various curious, fantastic mixtures.
- Understand the Indian concept of Svpna.
- Become acquainted with the Indian concepts of the three avasthas of the mind.
- Learn about the seven types of dreams as conceived in Indian philosophy.
Jayne Gackenbach and co-author Cynthia Ma
Contemplative Practice versus Gaming in Mature Adults: Attention, Transpersonal and Dream Comparisons (Poster Presentation)
In a replication and extension of a series of studies (Gackenbach & Bown, 2011; Gackenbach, Swanston, & Stark, 2016; Gackenbach & Guthrie, 2016), participants complete three attention tasks before filling out a series of questionnaires on their contemplative practices, video game play habits, and dream experiences. The previous studies found that gamers out performed individuals who pray/meditate in attentional tasks. Additionally, gamers reported higher rates of controlled dreaming, while the prayer/meditation group had higher rates of lucid dreaming. The current study attempts to replicate these findings with a more diverse participant base who specialize in contemplative practice or gaming. In furthering research that can improve external validity, measures must be adapted for real world accessibility and application. Replicating the Gackenbach and Guthrie study with the general public should further validate research previously done in a university lab.
Currently, the most expedient and cost-effective way to gather diverse participants is with an Internet based survey service accessible to any person with a cell-phone or computer. Using the web questionnaire website, Qualtrics.com, the previously completed study was retooled for complete online participation in order to reach a larger participant base. However, converting an in-person study to a completely self-administered survey had its challenges. The flexibility of the online software service Qualtric made this conversion possible. The participants were given class credit for participation in the previous studies and in two of them had the unlimited ability to ask questions of the lab assistant at any time during the survey. The lab studies also included detailed picture and word instructions on how to complete the three interactive activities. In order to replicate these conditions as closely as possible, instructions on the new survey are exhaustive and infinitely clear in their descriptions, so that any questions that come up could be answered by following the on screen information and prompts.
Another challenge arises with participant recruitment to an online study. Without an incentive for those who complete the survey, it becomes much more difficult to solicit participants. In response to this problem, social media, online messaging systems, and community outreach were all means of participant recruitment. The effectiveness of these methods is directly proportional to the knowledge of preferred participants. In this case, mature (i.e., past post-secondary age) meditators and individuals who use prayer quite a lot as well as serious adult video game players are being solicited. The study is currently in the process of data collection.
- Learn about three different tests of attention skills online.
- Understand the similarities and differences between focused practices of gaming versus contemplative practices on dream attitudes among nonstudent populations.
- Appreciate how mindfulness might be related to both contemplative practice and gaming among nonstudent populations.
Jayne Gackenbach and co-author Craig Guthrie
Contemplative Practice versus Gaming (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Dreams and Video Game Play: Three Extensions”)
Based on previous research comparing gamers to those who engage in a contemplative practice on attention and dream variables (Gackenbach, Swanston & Stark, 2015), this recently completed study is a replication and extension. Three groups were prescreened for acceptable frequencies of contemplative practice, video game play or neither, as a control. The focus of the study was to compare the benefits that both video game play and contemplative practice tend to share, improved attention and increased dream lucidity. All participants reported their results from three attention tasks: change blindness, stroop effect and multiple object tracking. We found in a preliminary analysis of this new data that the gamers performed significantly better than the contemplatives or the controls on all three attention tasks. Following the attention tasks, which were conducted in groups in computer laboratories, several online questionnaires were administered. These included the Dream Intensity Inventory and the Spiritual Dreams Scale which focused on dream experiences, including various measures of dream content as well as mystical elements in dreams. Based on our previous findings, we expect that the contemplatives will be higher in dream lucidity and the gamers will be higher in control of dreams. We also examined mindfulness with two instruments, one generic and one specific to the group’s specialized activity, i.e. gaming, contemplative practice, and studying (non- gaming/non-contemplative practice). Previously Gackenbach and Bown (2011) reported gaming more associated with a specific to activity mindfulness scale and thus we expect this to be replicated. In addition, we expect contemplatives to score higher in generic mindfulness with the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills.
- Describe three different tests of attention skills.
- Explain the similarities and differences between focused practices of gaming versus contemplative practices on dream attitudes.
- Assess how mindfulness might be related to both contemplative practice and gaming.
Gaming Allows Expression of Archetypes (Presentation within Arts Symposium titled “Mediated Dreaming”)
CNN has instituted a program devoted to everyday heroes, and Dancing with the Stars has regularly featured real heroes in their dance competition. Carl Jung of course spoke about the hero archetype as one of several that are primary to the individuation process. Gackenbach and Hunt (2014) recently discussed how video game play can satisfy this need for the experience of the hero. The presenter will review this discussion and speculate upon how the increasing acceptance and participation in gaming is an expression of seeking various archetypal experiences. She will consider the implications of increases in both incidence and prevalence of gaming, as well as improvements in hardware and software, upon the users’ individuation process and by implication upon their nighttime dreams. Audience: All conference attendees.
- Discuss the prevalence of video game play in contemporary society.
- Explain how heavy media use, especially when highly engaging and interactive, effects night time dreams.
- Identify the specific effects of being a gaming hero upon subsequent dreams in terms of lucidity, control and nightmare protection.
Perceiving the World through Art (Presentation within Artists Panel titled “Artists and their Dream Art”)
Uta paints, draws, and explores various cultures. She works with pencil and brush, with earth and pigments and experiences the multiple levels of being a human. Her work shows the inner images of the outer world and dream-images that talk about her perception of the world.
Alain A. F. Gonfalone
Weight Influence on Dreams (Poster Presentation)
It is not yet clear why dreams happen. But a new theory is presented which explains the timing of the appearance of dreams.
Previous results from sleep scientists show that dreaming only occurs in certain conditions and in particular when the body is in a position where the fear of falling or the fight against weight has diminished. When we fall asleep, the brain successively reduces its sensations to external stimuli, like light, sound, contact, odor and taste. But what is new here is that the brain also reduces its control of the muscles, which work against gravity to maintain our posture and our equilibrium. A brief comparison with astronaut’s dreams, in space and in weightlessness, shows that the assumption is credible. The presentation will address a large audience and is based on evident facts understandable by all.
- The first objective is to make the presence of Gravity a conscious fact.
- The second objective is to stress the presence of gravity in our everyday life, and to show that the body is in a permanent fight with gravity.
- Third, to confirm that dreaming only occurs if the brain has reduced its sensations to the external world: light, sound, contact, odor, taste and WEIGHT.
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 will 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, the intention is 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 issues, 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; and (3) The theme provides a context or framework within which the dream symbols can be explored.
- Understanding of what themes are, specifically dream themes.
- Knowledge of how to determine the themes of one’s own dreams.
- Knowledge of how to share dreams and dream themes in a safe and non-intrusive group setting.
Robert P Gongloff
Resolving Personal Conflict through “Theme” Work (Workshop – 2 hrs)
When we look at the dream as a story and attempt to determine the basic activity displayed by the characters, we can see themes emerge. The theme is the underlying motivation or issue being dealt with by the primary players in the drama. It often represents a pattern of behavior that may be represented by the dreamer in waking life. This workshop is based on the premise that all story plots stem from conflict. Conflict is the emotional impact of the opposing impulses, desires, or tendencies we face internally each day. These opposing forces form the subject matter of our conflicts. These forces are the themes we live out in our dream lives and waking lives. Gongloff considers our conflicts and their inherent polarities to be gifts that motivate us to continually seek harmony and balance. We live in a world of polarities – love/hate, optimism/pessimism, safety/vulnerability. We normally don’t have to face the extremes of these conflicts, but in therapy situations we may see clients who only see the extremes – “my world is coming to an end because ‘my spouse left me’ or ‘I lost my job,’ or … (fill in the blank).” It is the job of the therapist or counselor to help the client see that the extremes are not the only possibilities, but that there are ways to achieve balance in one’s life. Helping someone achieve harmony and balance in life is a primary function of the therapist or counselor – and can be seen as a major function of our dreams. In this workshop, participants will learn how to determine the themes in dreams and will be given a method for using those themes to take positive action to resolve the conflicts they face in waking life. Activities: 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. Following an explanation 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. After all the participants have determined dream themes, the leader will present specifics on a method for taking positive action in their waking lives to deal with the issues – expressed as conflicts or polarities – raised in their dreams. Approximately 35- 40% of the time will be spent on didactic instruction and 60-65% on experiential work, including individual and group exploration and discussion of dreams and suggested themes. 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.
- Describe what themes are, specifically dream themes.
- Describe how to determine the themes or recurring patterns of one’s own dreams or dreams of clients.
- Explain how knowledge of dream themes and patterns can help dreamwork clients gain insights into potential solutions for unresolved issues or conflicts in waking life.
Dream Writing in the ESL/EFL Classroom (Arts Workshop)
This presentation, which is open to all, explores dream writing as a pedagogical framework for developing writing skills in both prose and verse in classrooms comprised of students with a wide spectrum of English language ability. It draws primarily from a variety of dream writing exercises and dream texts produced over a three-year period by university students in Seoul, South Korea. Such dream texts range from those generated from specific types of dreams such as taemong (birth dreams) and episodes of dream paralysis to a variety of precognitive, prodromic and recurrent dreams. Some special attention will be given to different approaches to transcribing and inscribing taemong by both Korean and non-Korean students. Group dream experiments include lucid dream meetings, healing through collective incubation, collaboration with dream-writers of the distant past, reciprocal illumination and clinical interpretation. While the therapeutic benefits of dream practice are emphasized, the primary goal is to encourage and enable students to approach their dreams as a rich source for artistic discovery, inspiration and expression: plainly stated, to produce literary art out of dreams. As all students are encouraged to focus on accuracy and detail in the daily documentation of their dreams, important questions regarding the mechanical and stylistic elements of expression arise. Are there certain elements of style and expression that are particular to the writing of dreams? What might we learn from certain typical errors and oddities of written expression that tend to emerge in the recording of dreams, but not waking life? The answers, made even more apparent through close reading and analysis of the dream texts produced by students with such diverse cultural-linguistic backgrounds, may be applied to all forms of writing, artistic and expository. Some of the issues for discussion include: clarity versus ambiguity; tense as a vehicle for immediacy of expression; and the balancing of abstraction and concretion in evocatively rendering dream-like imagery.
- Identify common errors and oddities of dream writing/documentation.
- Discuss methods of honing and improving transcription and inscription of dreams that may be applied to both literary and expository writing.
- Create a classroom/workshop environment in which students of all backgrounds feel inspired and encouraged to draw on dreams as a source for artistic production.
Earth Calling: Dreaming Our Way into Sanity? (Paper)
Our collective unconscious is a living storehouse of tribal memories. Dreams tap into this rich reservoir to promote our evolution as a species. We are being called now to reconnect to our roots and re-view our dreams through a broader cultural lens. As environmentalists are moved to speak for nature, dreamers are being called to speak for the Earth’s soul. The work of Carl Jung, Meredith Sabini, Anthony Stevens, Marion Woodman, Stephen Aizenstat and others point to the role of dreams as “first responders” to Nature’s urgent appeal. Our relationship to the Nature Archetype is illustrated by dreams from my Jungian-oriented groups in rural Ontario. This presentation on cultural dreaming is inspired by Meredith Sabini, who has spoken so movingly of feeling in her body the devastation of our boreal forests: she is not alone. I underscore the need to pay close attention to the images calling from a wounded world. The Earth Has a Soul, a collection of Jung’s writings edited by Sabini, and the work of ethnologist and Jungian analyst Anthony Stevens on the evolutionary thrust of dreams are key in providing background. I hope to encourage other dreamworkers to attune to cultural messages coming through. Often we get caught up in the personal, and neglect the cultural implications. I propose that cultural dreaming is on a spectrum – from Earth Calling dreams that tug on our hearts, to community dreams that tap us on the shoulder with practical advice. Stephen Foster’s concept of the Nature Archetype will be discussed, and Jerome Bernstein’s theory of “the borderland” – a resurgence of a felt connection to the web of all things. This dovetails with Marion Woodman’s work in restoring relationship to our instinctual depths. As Stephen Aisenstat contends, “The DNA of our individual and planetary evolution is coded in the images of dreams.” In his Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry calls for a deep, cultural therapy to heal our addiction to industrial civilization. Imagine if….we could envision millions of dream groups worldwide as cells of the Earth’s body, agents of that urgently needed cultural therapy, working together to restore us to sanity? Audience: For All. Aim: To expand our conception of cultural dreaming and to encourage eco-dream activism.
- Identify the cultural aspect of dreaming and the influence of the Nature Archetype.
- Assess the literature pertaining to eco-dream activism.
- Describe evolutionary dream theory.
Dreamasana: A Mindful Approach to Dreams (Dreamwork Workshop)
While most people think of yoga as a series of physical exercises, yoga is actually a philosophy and a way of life geared toward deepening consciousness and promoting overall health and well-being. Dreamwork, too, can be practiced for improved health, healing and overall well-being. In Dreamasana we draw from ancient teachings from the yogic traditions of mindfulness, and proper breathing and alignment, and apply those principles to the development of a daily dreamwork practice. Entering sleep and dreaming consciously is enhanced by meditation and in turn can bring us into deep states of consciousness and unification with the true Self. In addition we will look to wisdom from traditions including mindfulness, yoga, Tibetan Dream Yoga, and Jungian psychology to help create a mindful approach to dreaming and dreamwork. In this workshop principles from these traditions will be synthesized and incorporated into various exercises and practices to help participants establish a path for daily self-reflection, self-observation, and self-study. The workshop will begin with a presentation about the parallels between dreamwork and yoga. Then participants will have a chance to learn and practice simple activities such as journaling and use of active imagination to help to integrate dreamwork into daily life. In addition, meditations and breathing techniques for entering sleep consciously, and for inviting clear and powerful dreams, will be offered. By incorporating ideas and techniques from the practice of yoga into our dreamwork practice, participants will learn to bring more mental flexibility, clarity, and ease to their lives. This workshop is open to people of all physical abilities and all orientations toward dreamwork. The focus here is to create a healthy relationship with sleep and dreams; no physical postures will be taught. This workshop will adhere to IASD ethics, and at all times the dreamer will be considered the expert on his or her own dream.
- Identify at least three parallels between a dreamwork and yoga.
- Demonstrate specific meditations and breathing techniques for entering sleep consciously, and for inviting clear and powerful dreams.
- Utilize journaling and active imagination exercises to help to integrate dreamwork into daily life.
Dream Incubation: How to Program Your Dreams (Paper)
Dream incubation is an active way to enter into relationship with our dreams. This practice dates to antiquity. In ancient Greece, it was used in temples dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and doctors, to obtain guidance, resolve a problem, or even to heal various illnesses. In our day, it is also possible to practice dream incubation on your own thanks to autosuggestion, nourished by a sincere desire and a noble intention. The goal of dream incubation is to help you obtain the maximum benefit from your sleep that provides inspirations and solutions. You can then compose your own requests in order to obtain results adapted to your needs. By inducing dreams in this way, you can find effective ways to take advantage of the multiple benefits of creative sleep. To induce a dream, simply formulate an affirmation or a dream intention about some concern of the day. The intention takes the form of a positive phrase. For example, if my professional life does not meet my expectations, I would choose the following intention: “Tonight I will know what can make me happier at work.” Another possibility would be: “Tonight, I will find out a way to improve my happiness at work.” To increase the chances of obtaining a significant dream, I will write the chosen intentions in my dream journal. This act of writing recruits the capabilities of the right brain, which visually retains the requests in order to find a solution through intuition and global vision. Also, by writing down our request, we focus better on the point to be clarified. This has the effect of encouraging the success of an induced dream. Working on your dreams can become a very enjoyable game. Take the dare, have this adventure! With this approach to your exploration, you have the chance to verify the benefits of studying your dreams. You can proceed at your own pace, find a better understanding of the self, and discover your infinite potential for growth.
- Demonstrate the practical side of dreaming.
- Describe how and when to use dream incubation.
- List the conditions for success with dream incubation.
How Dreams Have Guided Me All Along my Life (Presentation within Dreamwork Panel titled “Dreams that Have Influenced my Life”)
Dreams have guided me all through my life. In three different periods they were especially helpful. At 15, after the death of my mother, her telepathic dreams helped me go through the sadness of her departure and cope with changes in my family. She gave me much advice concerning my education. At the age of twenty-eight, I started a dream journal and since then, my dreams have guided me through the challenges of life. My dream journal became the inner mirror of my emotions in order to know myself better. My dreams also provided a special laboratory for me to experiment with new attitudes or behaviour to face virtual situations in the safe environment of my inner world. Then, at forty, my dreams informed me that it was time for a career change. After being a technologist for more than 24 years with financial security it was not easy to consider the possibility of a new career. But my dreams showed me the future ahead. They inspired me to write my first book and develop workshops on dream practices. As a dream worker since 1992, I have taught hundreds of people eager to learn how to use their dreams to live better.
- Demonstrate the guiding use of dream.
- Describe the utility of a dream journal over a long period of time.
- List some examples of dream guidance.
Dreambody and the Path of Soul (Dreamwork Workshop)
Arnold Mindell introduced the term ‘dreambody’ to express the unity between mind and body and to get beyond duality. With a background as a physicist, Mindell trained as a Jungian analyst in Zurich and in his work with the dreams of his clients, discovered a meaningful connection between the symbols of their dreams and the experiences they were having in their bodies in the form of symptoms. For instance a woman who suffers from migraine headaches dreams of her head being caught in a vice. He first published his ideas in 1984 with his first book, Dreambody: The Body’s Role in Revealing the Self. Dreambody work as developed by Mindell explores a sensory grounded and subjective experience of dreams and physical symptoms. Imaginative, experiential and bodywork approaches help to reveal the dreaming wisdom of the body.
Further exploration takes Jung’s teleological paradigm all the way into the body, revealing the links between chronic symptoms, childhood dreams and ‘life myth’ (the unique pattern that underlies individual self development over time). The presenter’s own work draws a parallel between the ‘life myth’ and the ‘soul contract’ or that which we came to do on the planet this time around. This is the belief that, before birth, our souls agree to learn specific lessons in our upcoming lifetime.
This workshop will include an informative and theoretical introduction to the concept of the dreambody. Circumstances and the presence of a willing volunteer permitting, there will be demonstration of working with a symptom. Participants will be invited to explore the relevance of their own early childhood dreams, chronic illness, and other symptoms using written and experiential exercises and guided visualisation. There will be no ‘interpretation’ as such. The meaning of a particular dream or symptom can be known only by the person who experiences it. Target audience level: For all.
- Identify what is meant by Mindell’s concept of a childhood dream and its relevance to life myth.
- Apply this concept to an exploration of your own dreams and symptoms.
- Learn basic tools to for an initial exploration with clients.
Luminescent Colours in Lucid Dreams and Visions (Presentation within Lucidity Symposium titled “Luminescence in Dreams and Lucid Dreaming”)
This presentation will focus on the significance of the increasing appearance of luminescent colours, and in particular, luminescent green, in our dreams, lucid dreams and visions. One consequence of this phenomenon is that dreams soon become lucid, and then the lucid dreams become waking visions, showing the gradual emergence of a ‘resurrected’ inner world, alive with living beings, luminescent landscapes, sacred places and luminescent buildings in the landscapes. Voice messages and ‘text’ messages also initiate the beginnings of a new inner dialogue with the source of the dream, our spirit. References will be made to the classical Sufi texts that describe this inner world of ‘Hurgalya.’ Such experiences change our view of dreaming reality and of how physical and psychic healing takes place outside of the medical model. Applications to therapeutic Dreamwork will be discussed.
- Explain the significance of the appearance of luminescent colours, particularly green, in dream and lucid dreaming.
- Demonstrate how and why the emergence of a lucid luminescent dream world radically changes our perspective on dreaming.
- Describe ways of applying the knowledge of this phenomenon to therapeutic dreamwork.
Nigel Hamilton and Melinda Ziemer
Applying a Waking Dream Process to Lucid/Dreamwork (Dreamwork Workshop)
This workshop focuses on the potential effectiveness of tracking the dream narrative through the dreamer’s body, whilst exploring the dream in the waking state, i.e. the Waking Dream Technique (Hamilton, 2006). When applied over a series of dreams, the client experiences a significant awakening to a deeper, subtler sense of self and healing. This is the Waking Dream Process. A short talk discussing the significance and therapeutic use of the Waking Dream Process in relation to dreamwork will be followed by a practical demonstration, working with a participant’s dream. There will be time for questions regarding the demonstration. Guidelines for clinicians in using this technique will also be discussed. In the second half of the workshop, Melinda Ziemer will explore the Waking Dream Process as a therapeutic tool for developing reflective awareness in waking life and in dreams. Participants will have the opportunity to identify moments in dream-entry that can open up the dreamer to a deeper level of feeling, attentiveness, and awareness. Participants will also be invited to work in pairs to consider what aspects of a sample dream they would focus on in Waking Dreamwork. Dreams will not be interpreted but rather facilitated and experienced. The dreamer will then have the opportunity to apply the waking dream experience to their own lives. Approximately one third of the time will be used didactically and two thirds will provide workshop participants with the opportunity to experience and apply the teaching material.
Waking Dream Techniques: Brief Description: 1. Dreamer tells dreams to guide. Dreamer comments on how they see the dream and whether it relates to anything in their life, past or present. 2. Guide comments on notable (in their view) aspects of the dream. 3. If dreamer is happy, then they close their eyes and guide guides them through the dream, stopping to find out where the different dream images seem to be held in their body along with associated sensations/feelings. 4. This can take up to half an hour. At the end of the dreamwork, the guide sums up their (own) experience of the dream and shares their insights with the dreamer. The aim is to see what is helpful to the dreamer in terms of understanding their dream and realising what it could possibly mean. Usually by this point, the dreamer realises personally what the dream means to them.
- Describe three important features of the Waking Dream Technique.
- Identify three important prompts that can be used to facilitate the Waking Dream Technique.
- Describe two conditions when the Waking Dream Technique would be contraindicated in therapeutic work.
Dreams and the Study of Human Transformation (Presentation within Clinical Symposium titled “Transpersonal Research”)
This study of fifteen hundred dreams of fourteen people who underwent a silent, solo spiritual retreat shows that dreams can be used to monitor the stages of a psychospiritual transformation process. They can also be used to monitor and mirror the differing degrees of altered states of consciousness that are encountered in such a transformation process. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses, which were used independently of each other, arrived at the same conclusions. The results of the retreat dreams study were then compared, using the same qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis, with over a thousand dreams of a subject who did not undergo a spiritual retreat but who experienced a profound psycho-spiritual transformation over a period of two years. This person’s dreams showed three distinct cycles of transformation, each of which developed exponentially from cycle to cycle. A second comparison was made with a clinical case study taken from the collected works of C. G. Jung, which described two cycles of dreams, during a similar psycho-spiritual transformation process. The model of transformation derived from the retreat dreams study showed very similar patterns to those found in both long-term, single case studies.
Four main conclusions were drawn from this study. Firstly, dreams seem to originate from the interaction between the worldly impressions of everyday life and the innate archetypal dimensions of consciousness that lie within the human psyche. Secondly, people who undergo a psycho-spiritual transformation do so in a four stage process during which they also encounter, according to their spiritual capacity, six subtle levels of consciousness. The levels of consciousness and the stages of the process are encountered in a specific sequence or order. Thirdly, that dreams which include a spiritual or sacred dimension impact the dreamer in a way that facilitates their psycho-spiritual transformation. The fourth and most important point is that this thesis extends the pioneering work of Carl Jung by not only acknowledging the spiritual experiences in the psychological process of individuation, but also revealing and describing an inherent order of subtle spiritual steps or leaps of consciousness that the subject passes through during this process. As such the research makes a significant contribution to bridging the gulf between the traditional Eastern or spiritual views and the modem Western psychological views of the role of dreams during the process of human transformation. The result is that transformation is seen as both psychological and spiritual, or psycho-spiritual. Finally it is suggested that this model of transformation is applicable to the psychotherapeutic context. It could well serve as a basis for a new theory of dreams.
- Describe how qualitative and quantitative analyses can be used to verify the results of analysing dream data.
- Explain the four stages of transformation revealed in the study.
- Discuss the impact of the study on theory and psychotherapeutic practice.
Superconscious Individual and Collective Dreams (Presentation within Humanities Panel titled “Dreams without Borders: The World Dreams Peace Bridge”)
After more than fifty years experience of precognitive dreaming and synchronistic events the author isn’t concerned as to whether such things happen but how we understand them. The more we pay attention to our dreams the more these events either happen or are recorded. Anecdotally such events become more frequent both for individuals and groups. Peace Bridge dreamers seem often to dream in themes, not just newsy themes but ones which would seem to have no common source among them. In recent weeks there have been squares, boxes, threes (of horses, foxes, women) and triangles, none of which has anything obvious to do with the groups stated aim, world peace, but might be natural results of influences from the larger universe. The smaller group could be a holographic chip of a larger, perhaps multi-dimensioned universal group far more extended in its field of operation than the time-bound point consciousness of human waking lives. So elements of the groups dreaming could be expressions of that universal. (The threes could express a Trinity, the squares and boxes some other communication concerning the geometry of the spirit. All of it naturally expressing the groups stated aim, world peace. One might imagine a universal body being in a state of cosmic homeostasis – which must include ourselves – and not be at deadly war with itself. Thus the puzzling elements of the group dreaming may be far more relevant to the group’s aims than they realise. In a sense all human dreaming takes place within this context.) Within this larger context the group is not a fixed number of people. The author is recently back after an absence of two years due to frustrations over dream evaluation in the group and finds himself writing this edge of his world stuff in a group context. He intends to explore the dreams of the group with a view to identifying approaches to this possible universal influence, the better to facilitate the groups stated aims, and to identify avenues for further research. At this stage, and perhaps forever, they will only have their own stories to tell, as humans would appear to be both individual and universal. The ultimate story, as exemplified in the story of Christ, is a human one.
- Learn about precognitive and shared dreams, ideally with times, dates and witnesses.
- Discover that dreaming is a coherent state of mind different from the conscious mind which appears to offer the gift of healing and wholeness to the individual and the collective.
Obtaining Messages from the ‘Unconscious’ (Psi Track Opening Invited Speaker)
This talk will describe three procedures for obtaining communicated information from the ‘unconscious.’ Hearne conducted the world’s first sleep-laboratory research into lucid dreaming for his PhD (1975-78) at Liverpool University, England. He devised the ocular signalling procedure, enabling communication from within the lucid dream state. Here, he describes the momentous occasion and how it opened a portal to the inner universe of the dream. The date of that discovery (12th April) has now become international ‘lucid dreaming day’. He also invented the first ‘dream machine’ for lucidity induction.
The second method, devised by Hearne, of revealing unconscious material in dreams, is a way of externalising the internal imagery of dreams using a hypnotic tracing technique (‘hypno-oneirography’). Interesting consistencies have been observed between subjects. Examples will be displayed, especially a noticeable, consistent, scene-change effect which indicates that dreams do not progress freely and randomly, but advance by a limiting process of ‘re-arrangement of the pixels’, as if by a law of least effort. Hearne believes the ‘freeze-framed’ image sequences provide significant insight into the construction and flow of dreams.
Another way of obtaining useful, insightful, messages from within dreams is via the ‘alphabet-code’ method, devised by Hearne’s late colleague David Melbourne. Each letter has been assigned a specific, fixed, message. In this remarkable procedure, the unconscious displays a dream in which several items begin with the same initial letter. Moreover, the unconscious appears to deliberately awaken the dreamer immediately after the display so that the dreamer is made aware of the letter and its relevant message. An instructional leaflet (with the alphabetic dream code) will be provided for attendees, so that they can try out the method.
More information is available at: www.keithhearne.com. This talk is open to all.
- Identify the historical basis of lucid dream research in the sleep-laboratory, from the pioneer in the field – including the discovery of a method for the lucid dreamer to signal to the outside world by making eye-movements, and the invention of the world’s first ‘dream-machine.’
- Describe Hearne’s hypno-oneirography technique; the seemingly consistent effects between individuals; and the concept of dreams moving along by routes of constructional similarities, by an apparent law of least effort.
- Describe the alphabet-code technique for obtaining specific messages – from a fixed list – in ordinary dreams, and be able subsequently to test the procedure.
Keith Hearne and Clare Johnson
Healing Dreams and Lucid Dreamplay (Dreams and Healing Workshop)
In dreams, we come face to face with our deepest unconscious images. By connecting with dreams and working with the vivid mental imagery they create, we can guide our waking life towards greater health and happiness. Dreaming consolidates memory, establishes neural pathways, and regenerates mind and body. A large body of anecdotal evidence shows that dreams can also forewarn physical illness, integrate trauma, and solve emotional problems (Ullman & Zimmerman1979). Through practical dreamplay and lucid dreaming – where we know that we are dreaming while we are dreaming – this workshop explores how we can improve our relationships, overcome fear and anxiety, and heal ourselves.
Dr Keith Hearne, founder of the European College of Hypnotherapy, and the scientist who proved the existence of lucid dreaming in 1975, will share his practical experience and tips for guiding mental imagery to healing conclusions. He will introduce straightforward imagery techniques for attendees to try out. These will include: a symbolic-imagery way to encourage confidence, wellness, and happiness; a stepwise method for altering a negative image/thought to a positive one; a pain-jumping method to change the location of pain even ‘outside’ the body; statue anaesthesia; and a way of experiencing imaginal events for non-visualizers.
Dr Clare Johnson, creator of the therapeutic Lucid Writing technique and author of two lucid dream-inspired novels (Jay 2009, 2010), will share practical dreamplay techniques such as rewriting the dream, interviewing dream figures, and the Gestalt method of speaking from the perspective of different dream figures (Perls, 1951). She will also help participants to identify the healing energy, image or symbol in their dreams and nightmares, and show how this can be integrated into visualisations and meditations to enable progression towards greater health and wholeness (Lyons, 2012) and change entrenched behavioural patterns.
The main focus will be on practical dreamwork techniques that participants can try out for themselves in the session. However, Johnson will also cover examples of PTSD nightmares and Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (Krakow, 2001), how dreams and visualisations can help in the healing of physical illness (Barasch, 2000), and the healing potential of lucid states such as bodiless lucid dreams (Johnson 2013, 2016). Hearne will briefly describe his informational method for dealing with nightmares by changing the person’s attitude so that they actually welcome its approach, because it provides a special instant portal into the universe of lucid dreaming. There will be no “dream interpretation.” Dreams are worked with respectfully and the ultimate authority on any dreams shared in the session is the dreamer. This is a highly practical workshop, with both presenters briefly sharing personal examples of dream healing at each stage of the workshop before guiding participants into their own healing dreamplay.
- Describe three different healing dreamplay techniques.
- Explain what Imagery Rehearsal Therapy is and how it can help PTSD sufferers.
- Describe how dreams and visualisations can help in the healing of physical illness.
Signals from Inner Space: Lucid Dream Science (Presentation within Lucid Dreaming Symposium titled “Lucid Dreaming: Past, Present and Future”)
This presentation will describe Hearne’s contribution to lucidity research, which includes his 1975 devising of the ocular signalling technique during his PhD research at Hull and Liverpool Universities, England, and the many discoveries that he made as a result of that breakthrough.
The problem he faced was to find a way for the lucid dreamer, in that paradoxical state of consciousness with critical faculties within the dream, to communicate in some manner to the outside world. However, if those unusual dreams were a feature of REM (dreaming) sleep, then the known accompanying physiological effect of profound bodily paralysis would apply and block the subject’s attempts to communicate by physical actions.
Hearne will describe how at Hull University, after several failed attempts to establish a signalling technique, he made the fortunate discovery that it was in fact possible by making ocular (eye) movements. The signals acted as reliable event markers in the dream. It was then possible to identify reported experiences in the chart-record. The signalling procedure could clearly mark the Stage of sleep, and specific information could be conveyed directly by a simple pre-arranged code. Some of Hearne’s main findings were: The lucid dreams were genuine dreams occurring in Stage REM sleep; they happened in real-time; they had a duration of several minutes and usually happened towards the end of the sleep period—on average some 24 minutes after the start of a REM period; a pre-lucid REM burst, averaging 22 seconds, invariably preceded lucidity—indicating, perhaps, prior cortical stimulation; the quality of sleep on lucid dream nights was no different from control nights; the emotional level in the dream might be predetermined; the reported events corresponded closely with information signalled from within the dream.
Further items of research conducted at that time included a simulating control study—in which subjects attempted (unsuccessfully) to produce similar eye signals by cheating; questionnaire data; personality and intellectual capacity in relation to lucid dreaming. The inefficiency of the first research led Hearne to consider whether it might be feasible to artificially induce lucidity by introducing an anomaly into the dream. After much trial and error work, he found that small electrical pulses to the wrist could, during dreaming sleep (which was detected by its increased breathing rate), cause an alerting response in some people, leading to the awareness of dreaming. This resulted in the world’s first Dream Machine.
Hearne reveals that at the start of his work, with psychology just escaping from the limiting doctrine of Behaviourism, the attitude of some academics was negative and unbelieving that such dreams could exist. However, the wide media publicity, scientific papers and articles brought the reality of lucid dreaming to general attention and acceptance.
This talk is directed to a wide audience – academics or not – because Hearne believes that lucid dreaming can enrich all our lives.
- Describe the discovery of the ocular signalling technique from within lucid dreams and its significance as an event marker and method of conveying coded communication.
- List the discoveries made by Hearne in that pioneering research.
- Describe the background and invention of the first ‘dream machine.’
Bionian Dream Theory: A Paradigm Shift (Paper)
Based on the study of Winfred Bion’s publications (Bion was a Kleinian psychoanalyst, 1879-1979) and my own experience as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst working in clinical practice for more than 30 years, an overview is given of how understanding of dreams has changed in psychoanalytic practice. In contrast to Freud’s theory in which he argues that dream-work is necessary to disguise unconscious wishes, Bion considers dreaming as a filter that sorts, categorizes, and prioritizes emotional facts that are stimulated by incoming sensory stimuli. First, emotional experiences have to be made dreamable. Bion equates dreaming with unconscious waking thought and with reverie. Psychotics are not able to dream; they have visual experiences during sleep, nightmares and nocturnal hallucinations which are of a different character. Bion conceives a dream as a special mode of thinking as well as a specific stage in the development of thought. A dream is an ephemeral conjunction of elements, only existing for a short time and rapidly disintegrating into loose elements. It is also the result of a series of transformation processes. After 1970, Bion advocates a new technique of dream interpretation: the analyst must dream the clinical situation. In this model the analysis of countertransference dreams is equally important as the analysis of the patient’s dreams. The way in which Bion’s dream theory inspires contemporary psychoanalytic practice will be illustrated with clinical material. The target of this paper is an intermediate or advanced audience.
- Describe the main topics of Bion’s dream theory compared to Freud’s dream interpretation.
- Explain, using clinical material, how Bion’s theory has changed the way of working with dreams in therapeutic practice.
- Explain how one of the therapist’s dreams gives important clues to understanding the therapeutic process of the patient.
The Dream as a Meaningful Experience in a Developing Dialogical Self (Keynote Address)
The focus of this presentation is on the relation between the meaning of dreams and significant waking concerns. More specifically, the question is posed of how the content of dreams changes and develops in close connection with meaningful changes in waking life.
I will present two case studies which demonstrate how paying attention to dreams has an impact on the waking concerns of clients in psychotherapy. One regards a so-called ‘developing dream,’ the other shows the effect of moving the interpretation of a dream from the object level to the subject level in the Jungian sense of the term. Alongside, I will present some theoretical and methodological devices which are helpful in the study of the meaning of the two types of dreams.
First, I will focus on the phenomenon of the so called ‘developing dream.’ This finds its meaning on the interface between dream and waking life and changes as a result of the interactional dynamics of this interface. In its successive appearances, the developing dream shows the two-way communication between dream content and waking concerns: waking concerns have an input on the changing content of the dream and, the other way around, the dream provides metaphors that assist the person in articulating and understanding changes in waking life. In this case, I analyze, inspired by Foulkes’ (1978) continuity hypothesis, the successive manifestations of a developing dream of a psychotherapy client. Following this client over a period of 18 months I will show how an initially traumatic dream provided her with metaphors referring to problems in her disrupted marriage and, moreover, was helpful for her to cope with these problems.
The developing dream is more than just a recurrent or repetitive dream. While a recurrent dream may have a content that remains essentially the same over time (e.g., being unprepared for an examination), the content of the developing dream changes, in its successive manifestations, as the result of input from waking experiences. From a methodological perspective, I will present a Self-Confrontation method that can be used for the study of the content and (re)organization of one’s personal meaning system.
Second, I will present and discuss the effect when, in Jungian terms, the interpretation of a dream changed from the object level to the subject level. The example is from a client who in his dream was confronted with a murderer. During the discussion of this dream together with the psychotherapist, the client discovered that the murderer was not simply a purely external figure (interpretation on the object level) but part of his own self (interpretation on the subject level). I will analyze the meaning of this dream from the perspective of Dialogical Self Theory (Hermans & Hermans-Konopka, 2010), with special attention to the client’s response to the discovery of unrecognized aggression in his own self.
My purpose in this presentation is to show two methods (self-confrontation and internal dialogue) for the study of dreams in close connection with developments in waking life and to illustrate them with changes in the lives of clients in psychotherapy. In order to place these procedures and illustrations in a broader context, I will refer to trends in the scientific dream literature, where similar phenomena in non-client groups were found.
Foulkes, D. (1978). A Grammar of Dreams. Sussex, England: Harvester Press.
Hermans, H.J.M., & Hermans-Konopka, A. (2010). Dialogical Self Theory: Positioning and Counter-Positioning in a Globalizing Society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Discuss how the self can be studied as an organized system of personal concerns.
- Explain how a self-confrontation method can be used to study the meaning of dreams as part of an organized system of personal concerns.
- Demonstrate how a dream may provide metaphors for the understanding of waking concerns.
Developing the Intuition in Group Dreamwork (Morning Dream Group)
Jung once wrote that he found it useful to approach each dream of his analysands with absolutely no preconceived idea of what the dream might mean. This discipline helps to eliminate the interference of the conscious mind in the dreamworking process and allows for the entry of intuitive wisdom. Anyone who has done dreamwork for long enough is likely to have had many of what Jeremy Taylor calls “ahas” – intuitive insights which help not only the dreamer, not only the person commenting on their dream, but the entire group which is working the dream. By using the Ullman method of group dreamwork as modified by Taylor, which involves assuming that the dreamer knows better than anyone else what his/her dream means, and then attempting to elicit the multiple meanings by a question-and-answer methodology without imposing the dreamworker’s views in an authoritative way, these intuitive sparks can be nurtured and the capacity to recognize them can be enhanced.
This is especially likely to occur in a group setting, as the group works together over an extended period (in this case, 4 days) to generate bonds and interaction patterns that resonate with one another, and their dreams also weave together in mutual patterns. As a way of augmenting this yet further, dreams will be explored beyond the personal dimension with reference to the archetypal ideas emerging from the collective unconscious, using the method Jung referred to as “amplification”, which draws historical, mythological, and literary material into the orbit of the dreamwork, again in a non-authoritative manner, using the “If It Were My Dream” approach developed by Ullman.
- Learn how to use dream amplification in exploring dreams.
- Explore the ways in which dreams presented link to one another from day to day of the conference.
- Develop group participatory skills in working on dreams.
Dreaming the 3 R’s: An Anecdotal Account (Paper)
In several articles, as well as in his final book, The Nature and Function of Dreaming, the late Ernest Hartmann claimed that, “we do not dream of the 3 R’s”: reading, writing, or arithmetic. He later qualified this rather absolute statement to suggest that, at least, we do not dream of these things very often – he estimated that only 1 – 2% of dreams would include any of these three activities. He felt that the reason for this was rooted in brain architecture: that the cognitive portions of the brain are shut off during sleep and dreaming and not accessible to the dreaming mind. Instead, the emotional centers of the brain are active in dreaming, and his lifelong quest was to explore the emotional core of the dream, the “Central Image.” While I do not dispute the premise that dreams, especially REM sleep dreams, are usually highly charged with emotion, I find that in my own dreaming, at least, the “3 R” activities are represented at a much higher frequency than Hartmann predicted – around 5% each for reading and writing, somewhat less for calculating. This is based upon my extensive database of over 12,000 dreams recorded over a 23-year period. Some of the dreams incorporating these elements were what C. G. Jung would have called “big” dreams, which involved important, life-changing scenarios. I will present this anecdotal evidence, giving both specific examples and general trends across the sample. This will include both qualitative and quantitative evidence. At the end, I will propose some thoughts about why this might be the case for me, in particular, and perhaps for other dreamers as well.
- Explain to participants how to identify the “3 R’s” and how they might appear in their dreams.
- Demonstrate how a longitudinal dream database can be mined for information.
- Describe alternative explanations to Hartmann’s contention about “3 R” dreams.
Caroline L. Horton
[Day] Dreaming Predicts Dart Throwing Performance (Paper)
Whilst a growing body of evidence is emerging to support the role of sleep, and perhaps dreaming, in memory consolidation, a separate body of work emphasises “continuity” between sleep/dreaming and waking processing. The present study sought to combine these two bodies of work, by exploring the role of daydreaming in the consolidation of procedural memory skills.
24 participants were recruited (14 university students; 10 University staff; mean age 27; 16 males and 8 females) to a study exploring daydreaming and dart throwing. They had three attempts to throw a dart using their non-dominant hand at an unconventional target board, before taking away a daydreaming diary to complete. Participants returned to repeat the dart throwing task a week later. The day dreaming diary included the “Daydreaming Frequency” and “Distractibility” scales of the Imaginal Processes Inventory (Singer & Antrobus, 1972). In addition participants were asked to carry the diary with them at all times and to record any daydream content either that concerned a success or a failure, or that related to the task.
Researchers later scored the daydream content along a host of dimensions exploring relevance, vividness of motor skills, similar motor representation, evidence of creativity and problem solving and perceived success or failure. Participants recorded an average of 14 daydreams (range 3-31). All participants improved in the dart throwing task from attempt 1 to attempt 2. Daydreaming frequency, as measured by the questionnaire measures, did not affect dart throwing improvement (p>.05). However correlations were found between task relevance of daydreams, and similar motor representation, and extent of improvement. Indeed task relevance accounted for 14%, and motor representation accounted for 40%, of variance in scores. Whilst this study relied on participants’ availability and conscientiousness in completing their daydreaming diaries, results tentatively suggest that some qualities of daydreaming could relate to procedural learning by supporting memory consolidation. This will be discussed in relation to the continuity of consciousness across sleep and wake, and by critiquing the methods employed in sampling dreams, daydreams and waking cognition more broadly.
- Identify a definition of daydreaming.
- List two subscales of the Imaginal Processes Inventory.
- Critique the diary method of exploring daydreaming.
Caroline L. Horton
Continuity of the “Self” in Dreams (Paper)
Whilst a number of studies have been identifying the specific characteristics of memories that have been incorporated into dreams (e.g. van Rijn et al., 2015), broader explorations of dream-wake continuity imply that we dream of emotional, metaphorical (Malinowski & Horton, 2015) and non-current aspects of our lives in a dynamic, hyperassociative way (Horton & Malinowski, 2015). As such, our mental representations of these constructed life-stories can be illustrated by models of Autobiographical Memory (e.g. Conway, 2011), which highlight the interplay between changing representations of life experiences as well as a cognitive sense of self. Previous studies (Horton, Moulin & Conway, 2009) have explored the incorporation of current self-images into dreams via the generation of “I am…” statements.
The present study sought to extend those findings by identifying whether past or future statements also featured in dreams. An online questionnaire method was employed and the web-link circulated amongst University students and staff. The questionnaire adopted the Most Recent Dream method and also asked participants to generate 10 “I am…”, 10 “I was…” and 10 “I would like to be…” statements, as a measure of current, past and future self-images. 113 respondents completed the questionnaire, though some data had not been provided in full, leaving N=86 with usable dream reports and completed self-statements. Analyses focused on the extent to which the different self-images featured in dreams. Additional dream characteristic information was gathered also, e.g. pertaining to dream recall frequency. Initial analyses indicate that past and future self-images feature in dreams to a comparable extent to current self-images (no significant differences in frequencies). Whilst there is some overlap between the nature of self-images in a student population (e.g. I am hardworking), participants described themselves in abstract as well as concrete terms (e.g. I am political as well as I am a woman). Indeed, participants’ own self-images were incorporated into their own dreams to a significantly greater extent than the self-images of controls, reinforcing the finding (Horton, Moulin & Conway, 2009) that individuals dream of their own personal life stories, or autobiographies.
The implications of these findings are twofold. Firstly, that past and future rather than just present self-images feature within dreams. This will be discussed in relation to the memory-consolidation function of sleep and dreaming. Secondly, that dream-wake continuity extends beyond mere experiences or memories, and includes cognitive conceptions of the self. As such the self-memory system of autobiographical memory should be further explored in relation to dreaming.
- Describe the core components of the autobiographical memory system according to Conway.
- Describe Kuhn’s 20 statements task.
- Identify how we could measure the incorporation of self-images into dreams.
The Science & Psychology of Dreaming: An Introduction (Mini Tutorial)
The session is a brief educational tutorial, particularly useful for beginners or anyone interested in some of the recent thinking on our basic understanding of dreaming. Although there is still much unknown and/or controversial about what we think we know of dreaming, and much more than can be presented in an hour, this talk is an attempt to present a snapshot of information in a tutorial manner, cited from research and theoretical literature. It will address the process and possible “functions” of dreaming, from a scientific, neurological and psychological perspective. The lecture will present basic information on: sleep and dream states; a neurological look at the dreaming brain and how it might contribute to the dream experience and potential “function”; understanding the extraordinary dream experience (nightmares, lucid, PSI); plus some of the contemporary thinking and theories on the possible “functions” of dreaming. An outline of the proposed content is as follows:
1) The Basics Of Dreaming: a) When Do We Dream?: “Typical” Sleep Cycle, REM characteristics, NREM characteristics; b) Why Can’t We Recall Our Dreams (research): Sleep habits; Psychological; Brain related; Tips to aid Recall; c) REM Dream Content (research): the Dream experience, Gender and Age Differences,.
2) The Dreaming Brain in REM: A visual trip (based on neuroimaging research): PET/fMRI information and effect that the unique mixture of active and inactive brain centers might have on dream content (Hobson, Dang-Vu ,et.al. Pace-Schott, others).
3) The Psychology of REM State Dreaming: a) Imagery theories: associative and right parietal cortex; association and metaphor (Domhoff, Hartmann, others); b) Emotion and Memory processing theories: Limbic regions and emotion/memory processing, imagery content (Seligman & Yellen, Hobson & McCarley Hatmann, Perls), color to emotional association (Van deCastle, Hoss); c) Adaptive Learning and Goal Oriented Problem Resolution: Creative Problem Solving research (Barrett); Adaptive and Threat Rehearsal (Revonsuo); Learning (various); Neurological (Matt Wilson); examples -content observations; d) Psychological Transformation theories: function of frontal and para-limbic regions; Jung’s theories on transformation; “counterfactual” studies (McNamara); Hartmann’s theories; memory re-consolidation research (LeDoux, Ecker); examples -content observations.
4) Nightmares (Hartmann, Barrett, Siegel): definition; occurrence; potential causes; therapeutic approaches; examples: PTSD (Krippner, Krakow); healing function of nightmares; lucid nightmares and facing our fears.
5) Lucid Dreaming: a) Research – Lab and neurological (various studies); b) The Experience – degrees of lucidity: knowing you are dreaming; false awakenings; controlling your actions; attempts to control the dream; dialogue with dream characters; “Wisdom behind the dream”; extrasensory; c) Theory and Research with Lucid Dream Characters: Consistency with Psychological Theories of Transformation (Jung, Waggoner observations); Research with Dream Characters (German research); d) Illustrative examples.
6) Extrasensory Dreaming: a) The experience – Precognitive, Telepathic, Clairvoyant, Visitation, OOBE; b) Brief Research statistics (Maimonides, Duke Univ., Krippner studies, others); replication example; c) Big Dream Statistics – database results from IASD Book and Chicken Soup; d) Considerations:- literal versus metaphor interpretation – example.
Audience target level = beginner to intermediate. Aim = educating beginners; augmenting the training of professionals; general knowledge about dream research and theories.
- Briefly describe the sleep cycle as it relates to when REM dreaming occurs.
- Summarize the brain state in REM sleep in general and how it might affect the content of a dream.
- List three of the theories that address the possible “function” of dreaming.
Transformational Dreamwork: As the Dreaming Mind Does It (Clinical Workshop)
Many great luminaries, as well as contemporary psychologists and many researchers, have observed and theorized that the dreaming mind works, not only to restore us and help us adapt to waking life, but to transform us as individuals – to bring about a transition to a new state of being characterized by new insights and a new attitude. Dreamwork, if applied in a way that follows the natural processes of the dreaming mind, might therefore help bring about that transformation. This workshop combines the observations and theories of Carl Jung, Fritz Perls, contemporaries such as Ernest Hartmann, plus some of the latest neurological research, into a 3 part dreamworking protocol designed to follow the transformational processes observed in dreams.
Carl Jung (founder of Analytical Psychology) observed that dreams contain a “transcendent function” which brings about a transition from our existing state to a new state characterized by a new attitude. Ernest Hartmann stated that dreams make new connections that help to establish our emotional sense of self and reveal new insights. Recent waking and REM state neurological studies suggest that brain centers active in REM have the capacity for: recognizing that a problem exists; developing and testing creative “what-if” resolution scenarios; and emotionally reinforcing (thus adaptively learning) from those that work as anticipated. Dreams therefore may reveal a natural transformative process which, if followed and extended into our dreamwork (the dream to waking continuum as Hartmann put it), can guide the dreamer on a more natural path to mental and spiritual balance than might be determined by rational, dialog driven approaches alone. The dreamworking approach in this workshop therefore extends beyond simply understanding the dream, by presenting a protocol designed to work with the dream in a similar manner as the dreaming brain appears to do.
The workshop begins with a 30 minute discussion of the supporting theory and research, illustrated by the procedure using case examples. Participants are then invited to practice the dreamworking protocol using one of their own dreams. The protocol contains three parts: exploration, discovery and closure. The exploration phase focuses on the narrative that pictures the existing state and any hyper-connected memory associations. The discovery phase employs a unique scripted role-play technique (developed from Gestalt Therapy technique), to reveal the emotional content and conflicts pictured by a dream image (Perls, Hartmann). The closure phase combines Jung’s theory of the “transcendent function” with supporting observation from neurological research, to explore cues within the dream that might aid resolution and closure. Where the dream is too short or unresolved, an optional active imagination approach, similar to Imagery Rehearsal Treatment (Krakow) uses the dream ending as a platform for developing a potential resolution metaphor. The approach is aligned with the IASD Ethics Policy since all meaning from the dream comes from the dreamer.
Audience target level = all. Aim = threefold: training professionals; knowledge about dream research and theories; and self-awareness. Participants should bring a dream to practice the protocol with. Sharing is optional.
- Describe the theory of the “transcendent function” (Carl Jung) which can have a direct influence on dreamwork.
- Summarize the application of Gestalt role-play to reveal emotions and emotional conflicts pictured by a dream image.
- Discuss how problem identification, resolution mediation, and adaptive learning might be observed in a dream and how it might aid in closure.
Painting Your Dreams Awake (Arts Workshop)
In this workshop, Julie will guide participants through doodling and painting activities. These simple and interactive steps will lead to the creation of an authentic composition drawn from dream images and intuition. With a focus on letting go of the inner critic, exploring creatively and being open to new ideas, Julie will share techniques to create expressive paintings using acrylics, collage and pastels. This workshop is open to everyone! Drawing and painting experience is not necessary. All that is required is a willingness to play and be open to new, creative discoveries.
- Draw simple doodle-like sketches of dream scenes or characters.
- Intuitively choose colors, lines, forms and textures to shape backgrounds, moods and settings.
- Create an original mixed-media painting filled with personal meaning and intuitive interpretation.
Michael P. Jenkins
Active Imagination: Atlas Transformed in the Dreamworld of the Psyche (Paper)
I will present a brief overview of the basic differences between Freudian dream interpretation (wish fulfillment and unearthing traumatic memory), and Jungian dream work (the unconscious compensating for what the ego/identity is lacking). I will focus on the techniques of active imagination and amplification and give direct examples of using this technique in my psychoanalytic, working with the dream images of a young man. I do not see this type of work as being separate from how any person can listen to and work with dreams. I believe it enhances the way we listen and privileges and respects the meaning of the images to the dreamer. I will introduce creative ways that active imagination can be utilized with any person at any level. I will introduce the idea of amplification as a means of combating extreme psychic isolation. These techniques can be used by any individual in opening up a rich dialogue with their own dream images. I utilize my own painting to enrich my understanding of dream images and will accompany the presentation with images I have painted of Atlas and Sisyphus, as well as utilize other images to engage the audience.
Sequence: 0-5 minutes: Introduction and open with an excerpt from the movie, “Jimmy P., Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian,” pending permission from distributor. 5-15 minutes: Introduction of Freudian and Jungian approaches to dreams. Concepts of how we relate to the unconscious. Examples of how we discuss and enter the dream work respectfully.10-20 minutes: Examples of images: Art describes standing still with a boulder on his shoulders, unable to move and weighed down in excruciating pain. He grimaces as he speaks, and his whole, more-than-six- feet tall self seems to shrink into the floor. For months we revisited this image, his feeling stuck with the weight of the world on his shoulders; no hope of movement and the pain of visibly standing still, exposed, ridiculed, forever stuck. We explore what the image means to him, how it is related to both his present and past; as well as how he might want to shift the weight for his future. As his life and analysis begin to move, he feels less weighted in his past. He brings in another image. He is now rolling a huge boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down again and again. He feels smashed and ashamed at his weakness, in his inability to move the rock forward, or to hold it from receding. Although these images appear connected to the mythic fable Sisyphus, Art tells these stories as if they are new. They are! For him this story is unique and unfolding with surprise. It is his story and he becomes connected to living in and telling his own narrative. 20-30 minutes: Questions and Discussion. Although this presentation will be of special interest to those interested in working with dreams in psychoanalysis, the level of delivery and learning is open to all.
- Identify two fundamental differences between Freudian and Jungian dream theory.
- Utilize two Jungian approaches in working with dreams.
- Explain how one can engage in active imagination when working with dreams/images.
Clare R. Johnson
Lucidity Now! Lucid Dreaming and Reality Creation (Presentation within Lucid Dreaming Symposium titled “Lucid Dreaming: Past, Present and Future”)
What can we learn from current lucid dream research? This presentation explores how new insights into the lucid dream state can help us to improve skills, gain self-confidence, liberate ourselves from the past and expand our potential. When we wake up in dreams, we wake up in life and can practise the art of reality creation by consciously guiding our lives in happier directions. Even ten years ago there was still plenty of resistance towards lucid dreaming, yet in recent years there has been an explosion of fascinating experiments and studies into the possibilities of lucid dreaming. In 2014, a team led by Ursula Voss in Germany demonstrated that lucid dreaming can be triggered in the sleep lab when electrical impulses at around 40Hz are applied to subjects in REM sleep. Researchers have shown that lucid dreaming can help with nightmare treatment (Spoormaker & van den Bout, 2006), improve sports skills (Schädlich) and motor skills (Erlacher et al, 2015), boost creativity (Johnson, 2005), and potentially help with PTSD-related nightmares (Mota-Rolim, 2013). Philosophers are investigating what lucid dreaming could teach us about the ultimate nature of reality (Windt, Metzinger, 2007). The presenter will discuss these new research directions and ask the question: How can such research findings help us to improve our own dreamlife and waking life? These studies often provide a map that shows us how to draw on the lucid dream state to enhance various skills, because they include examples of successful and unsuccessful attempts made by lucid dreamers. Through varied examples, Johnson will show how current research can directly impact our own lives as we grasp the transformative and learning potential of lucid dreaming.
We don’t have to wait passively for the results of the latest lucid dream studies in order to discover the potential of lucid dreaming. Part of the beauty of this state of consciousness is that we can all be researchers: pioneers of our own inner journey. After sharing some key techniques for becoming lucid in a dream, the presenter will describe her personal research and experimentations within the lucid dream state in the areas of meditation, bodiless lucid experiences and creative inspiration (Johnson, 2014 and 2016).Current lucid dream research highlights the deep potential of lucid dreaming for transforming not only our dream life, but our waking life. Let’s get lucid now! (This presentation is for all levels)
- List three recent research studies into lucid dreaming.
- Describe how each of these areas of study could help individual lucid dreamers in their waking life.
- Describe an example of ‘self-experimentation’ in lucid dreaming.
Dreams are Functional (Paper)
Dreams have meaning and are functional not only because the specific content of a dream may prove useful, but rather because the emergent dream is a new creation. Before emergence, individual memories, images and imagination would remain unconnected. Before the dream emerged, before memories coalesced into a dream, meaning resided only in the individual memories and images. When emergence happens, meaning resides in the newly created story of the emergent dream.
Emergence serves the function of tying individual memories and imagination into a story and experience. Functionality comes only after the disparate memories and imagination emerge into a dream. This core functionality is independent of the specific content of the dream. Even before specific dream content is studied, the process of emergence makes a dream functional because emergence implies qualitative novelty in that the dream’s story transcends its individual memories, images and imagination. A function of a dream is to introduce novelty. Emergence does that. Emergence of a dream is also irreducible to its components in that the emergent dream cannot be reduced or explained solely by the individual memories and images. Emergence, therefore, leads to something entirely new transcending individual memories and images. When a dream emerges the dreamer is provided with modified, new or unusual situations consisting of people, animals’ feelings and actions that go beyond the unconnected individual memories. These new, modified and unusual situations of people and actions in the form of a narrative can provide new ways to think about and experience life. New meaning may emerge from the specific contentofthese.
The emergent dream also implies mutual causality in that the dreamer’s memories influence how the dream evolves, while at the same time the emergent dream has causal impact in that it can change or modify the initial memories. A function of an emergent product such as a dream is to modify the individual memories that went into its creation. Examples of emergence in nature help illustrate how emergence is functional. A termite nest emerges from the collective interaction of individual termites. The emergence of a termite nest insures the survival of the termite colony; without the nest, the individual termites would die. The emergence of a bridge made by the collective action of ants insures the survival of the ant colony. Before the emergence of the bridge made up of individual ant bodies, the ants would have starved to death unable to reach a food source on the other side of a body of water. The emergence of a multi cellular organism, the slime mold from the collective interaction of individual amoebae insures the survival of the colony by allowing the mobile slime mold to swim to a food source. The collective interaction of the amoeba results in the emergence of an organism that can propel itself to find a food source. There are countless examples that illustrate how emergence is functional. As a product of emergence, arising from the collective interaction of individual memories, feelings and images, dreams are, therefore, also functional.
- Describe the meaning of emergence.
- Identify examples of emergence in nature.
- Demonstrate that the emergence of a dream insures that dreams are not only meaningful but also functional.
Robert H. King
Dreams as Life Review (Paper)
I will talk about four extraordinary, profoundly archetypal dreams that came to me in a single night, but played out over many years, showing how they provided the basis for a life review that was both illuminating and transforming. My presentation will look at some of the ways dreams can contribute to life review, concluding with suggestions for working with dreams in the later years. This talk is based on my personal experience, informed by extensive reading in Jungian literature on dreams and current research on aging. It is intended to raise questions and invite discussion.
The talk begins with a brief description of the setting of the dreams. I’m on a spiritual pilgrimage and have just returned from three days on an island that is one of the most famous, but least accessible “thin places” in northern Wales. In the middle of the night I’m presented with four dreams that come all at once and point to identifiable periods in my life where there are unresolved issues that I wasn’t aware of. All four dreams are archetypal. In the first one, my sister tells me “Mother is evil,” followed by an image of the two of them lying peacefully together. It seems to allude to a preverbal time in my life. The second dream refers to a specific event in late adolescence when I was interviewed on national radio, but includes a little boy clamoring for my attention. The third dream features an out-of-control car and the appearance of my father. It clearly refers to a time in mid-life when my wife was suffering from a psychotic breakdown and my career was stalled. The fourth dream shows me moving out of a house that does not belong to me, recalling a time in my early 60s when I was recently divorced and preparing for retirement.
As I worked with these dreams over the next ten years, other dreams came along that added to my understanding and contributed to the healing process. Like most dreams, life review dreams disturb our habitual ways of thinking. They recall earlier situations, but present them in ways that challenge our settled ideas about them. While they may uncover deeply buried wounds and unresolved inner conflicts, they can also carry seeds of healing and renewal. They are not just about the past, but speak to our current situation. These dreams are meant to do more than provide information; they are meant to change us. Jung thought that the last half of life was a propitious time for inner work. Life review dreams, when recognized as such, can contribute significantly to that work. The later years are sometimes seen exclusively as a period of decline, when our capabilities are diminished and we have little to look forward to, yet these years can also be, as Eric Erickson has shown, a time of integration and generativity. Dreams, especially life review dreams, offer hope for a better and more productive life into old age.
- Explain life review.
- Identify characteristics of a life review dream.
- Discuss the role of dreams in the later years.
Bart J. Koet
Dreaming about the Clergy in the Passio Perpetua (Paper)
The combination dungeon, dreams and cruel death is an intriguing one, and for some people even an attractive one. One can find these elements in the early third-century Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, which is a report of the martyrdom of a certain Perpetua Vibia, her servant Felicitas and their companions. These texts describe Perpetua’s experiences in the prison. What makes the passio Perpetuae even more exceptional is that in the diary part, Perpetua tells extensively of her four dreams and as such it is one of the oldest “dream journals” in the world. The philosopher Jeremy Barris aptly typifies dreams as meta-conceptual. This meta-conceptual identity of dreams has as a consequence that in dreams we meet daily experience as well as unexpected realities. For our research about the passio Perpetuae this means that we can also find in them the reality of Carthage in these days as the distortion of this reality. In this presentation we will discuss one of the most spectacular dreams in the passio. In her dream Perpetua goes to the arena to fight. She is in the company of a deacon, one of the leaders of the community. In her fight she encounters – in the dream – a trainer. From the images of the dream it is clear that there is a connection between the deacon and the trainer. While most of the historical literature about these martyr acts focus on historical and theological issues, I will try to look for the dream language, which is meta-conceptual, but the dream language can tell us something about the life of the community in those days, and as such it is a window into that society. Looking at the dream language reveals sentiments not seen until now, because dreams in old texts are seldom treated as what they are: dreams. I will first present first briefly the passio perpetuae and after that I will present in detail the dream of Perpetua and show how the images of the dream reveal to us the sentiments of the dreamer about the clergy in her world. Although a text from centuries ago is not common for most of the IASD members, I will try to sketch the context of such a text briefly in a hand-out and later I will present the text via internet and digital texts. I think that even people with less historical knowledge can understand the dream from centuries ago. The presentation will be given by the presenter with a good chance to have some interaction.
- Explain how a philosophical view of dreams shows that dreams are metaconceptual.
- Explain how, although dreams are metaconceptual, they also provide insight into the world of the dreamer.
- Explain how these insights will be used to interpret a dream narrative of the third century.
Dreams as Perky Transgressors: Four Interfaces of the Religiosity of Clients and their Dreams (Presentation within Religious and Spiritual Symposium titled “Dreams in Spiritual Direction and Mystagogy”)
Based on years of working with dreams in counselling and spiritual direction, Koning (2015) has developed a working model that identifies four possible interfaces of the religious frame of reference of a client and that person’s nightly dreams. Bringing those two types of sources of giving meaning together contributes to the wholeness of the psyche. The four interfaces are prototypically labelled as ‘Content,’ ‘Orientation,’ ‘Application,’ and ‘Process.’ This model will be explained and discussed. It will be illustrated with casuistic examples. All of the interfaces demand some distinctive professional competencies and communication strategies. And in each a characteristic concern can be identified which asks for a sound methodical approach.
‘Content’ deals with elements of religiosity that can come up a within a single dream; one can dream about a member of congregation, a church, or an angel. The competency asked for is the ability to explore this dream content fruitfully and to not mistake the imagery for pre-defined religious knowledge. The concern is whether the content needs to be taken literally or symbolically.
‘Orientation’ puts emphasis on the fact that certain types of religious ideation and related practices can exercise an influence on the attitude and sensibilities of the clients with respect to dreams in general. Some clients can find their dreams to be divinely inspired. If the main assumptions of the spiritual director and directee differ with respect to how they are oriented towards dreams, the complex competency involved is how to bridge these views and how to stay congruent, respectful and sensible in both directions at the same time. The concern here is that it is easily overlooked by western counsellors that dreamwork can be seen by a client as a part of prayer life (when allowing active receptivity for inner imagery to be part of the prayer praxis).
‘Application’ deals with the possibility that the interpretation given to a specific single dream can exert considerable influence on parts of the client’s religious ideas, experiences and practices. The competency involved is how to become concrete with regard to these possible consequences of a dream interpretation. The concern here is where the primary locus of authority is to be placed: in the regular religious teachings or in personal authenticity?
‘Process’ deals with the possibility that doing dreamwork over a longer period of time can bring about profound changes in the inner psychological dynamics of a client. In an essential way these long term effects and shifts within the personality of the client can be experienced as religious in their own way; like being healed, being transformed, being reconciled. The concern here is that these mystical experiences are in a way autonomous and happen independently from participation in outer religious structures. The competency involved is that the spiritual director recognizes and acknowledges and affirms this as a realm of profound religious experiencing and checks the fruits of the changes in real life situations.
- Explain the perspective of religiosity as a multi-dimensional psychological phenomenon in its own right – as an organised combination of interrelated ideas, experiences and practices.
- Identify four possible interfaces between religiosity of clients and their nightly dreams.
- Describe why bringing two sources of meaning together – religious frame of reference on the one hand and nightly dreams on the other hand – contributes to wholeness of the psyche.
Beyond the Selfie, How Sharing a Photo Can Transform Ourselves and the World (Paper)
Much of the western world carries a camera in their pocket everywhere they go, but what are they photographing and why? In this discussion we will explore how photographs, like a dream, can be divined for personal awareness, as well as the collective transformative potential to unite us globally through shared experiences, diversity, and multi-cultural exchange. We will demonstrate how individually, a photograph, capturing a moment in time, can be seen as a type of waking dream, encapsulating our personal mythos and rich in the language of our own symbols. Whether created with conscious intent, or unconscious reflection, each image can be a cache of potential awareness. As dreams are shared in groups and circles, photographs are also shared en masse with friends, family, and social networks. Dreams can begin from within as a source of personal awareness, and move towards quantity as they are decoded and expressed in our waking world. The sharing of images, particularly in today’s social media, is often quantity driven, with the intention of garnering views, likes, and followers. Still, in highest form, authentic sharing of images and feedback can inspire new understanding and insights for both photographer and viewer. We will see how collectively, photography has the ability to transport others, convey a unique place or culture, relate stories of humanity, and invite the embodiment of awareness, consciousness or something larger than ourselves. In times of tragedy and uncertainty, as in the case of recent terror attacks, global conflict, and natural disasters, images can help us to express emotions and make sense of difficult experiences. As each of us seeks to connect, can we find a deeper understanding of each other through photography, or possibly a deeper understanding of ourselves? To what degree are social media photographs reflections of collective consciousness? Perhaps somewhere between personal expression and unity consciousness is an opportunity for greater realization of self in the world, cultivating positive transformation by weaving together the unique voices and moments of collective world experience. This introductory talk is suitable for those who already utilize art or photography for personal expression, as well as anyone interested in how technologies such as photography, social media, and online communities can be used for greater self awareness.
- Demonstrate how photography can be interpreted symbolically like a waking dream.
- Differentiate between authentic sharing versus contrived expression in social media and technology today.
- Identify how imagery can be a tool of personal and collective transformation.
Don Kuiken and Ruby Prinsen and co-author Ming-Ni Lee
The “Dissociative” Origins of Impactful Dreams in the Aftermath of Loss and Trauma (Paper)
Some dreams penetrate consciousness—often causing an inexpressible realization that precedes active “interpretation.” However, the forms of distress (e.g., loss, trauma) that precipitate nightmares, existential dreams, or transcendent dreams remain obscure. Also obscure is the mode of post-dream reflection that absorbs such an unexpected realization—and seems more nearly aesthetic than therapeutic (Kuiken, Lee, Eng, & Singh, 2006; Kuiken, 2015). The following studies address these issues.
Study 1: In an initial study, 681 participants (275 of whom had experienced a significant loss due to death, divorce, etc., in the preceding 5 years) recorded their most significant dream during the last month and completed the Grief Experience Questionnaire (Jacobs, Kasl, Ostfeld, Berkman, & Charpentier, 1986), an instrument that assesses aspects of grief described in attachment theory. Study 2: In a conceptual replication and extension, 158 participants (46 of whom had experienced a significant loss and 57 of whom had experienced a significant trauma in the preceding 7 years) monitored their dreams, recorded an impactful dream online and completed the Loss/Trauma Questionnaire (LTQ; Eng, Kuiken, Temme, & Sharma, 2005), an instrument that assesses a broad range of reactions to either loss or trauma. Study 3: In a replication of Study 2, 229 participants (81 of whom had experienced a significant loss and 60 of whom had experienced a significant trauma in the preceding 7 years) monitored their dreams, recorded an impactful dream online, and completed the LTQ.
Direct Effects. Consistently across all three studies, results indicated that loss and trauma directly influenced the occurrence of existential dreams during the first 3 years after the precipitating event. Less consistently, results suggested that loss and trauma precipitated nightmares 0-6 months after and transcendent dreams 3-7 years after the precipitating event.
Mediated Effects. Across all three studies, specific forms of “dissociative” response to either loss or trauma (depressive derealisation, amnesic angst) predicted the occurrence of existential dreams and, less consistently, nightmares—but not transcendent dreams.
Aesthetic Dream After-effects. While Study 1 affirmed that existential dreams are followed by reported self-perceptual depth and transcendent dreams by reported spiritual transformation (see also Kuiken et al., 2006; Lee & Kuiken, 2015), Studies 2 and 3 indicated that existential dreams were followed by sublime disquietude (a compound index of self-perceptual depth, inexpressible realizations, and perceived discord) and that transcendent dreams were followed by reports of sublime enthrallment (a compound index of self-perceptual depth, inexpressible realizations, and reverence). As in prior studies, neither of these aftereffects was characteristic of nightmares.
Predicting Aesthetic Dream Aftereffects. Also, in Studies 2 and 3, depressive derealisation (plus convictions about the finality of death) predicted sublime disquietude, while amnesic angst (plus convictions about the finality of death) predicted sublime enthrallment. Both depressive derealisation and amnesic angst include an attentional predisposition to hyperarousal [startle] and the orienting response, respectively, and a dissociative component (affective numbness, amnesic gaps, respectively). These compounds motivate reconsideration of evidence (Carleton, Abrams, Asmundson, 2010) that discussions of “dissociation” must carefully distinguish metaphoric from literalizing imagination—including metaphoric from literalizing post-dream “presence.” Advanced audience.
- Describe the effects of loss and trauma on impactful dreams.
- Describe the “dissociative” influence on the occurrence of impactful dreams.
- Explain the aesthetic effects of existential and transcendent dreams.
Singing your Dreams (Arts Workshop)
As improvising jazz musicians, Michel and I are actively engaged in the creative process. Improvising is a very spiritual form of music-making and relies on spontaneous forms of expression. At a young age I was instructed by avant-garde musicians to « sing anything, just sing what comes into your head! ». I was never very interested in singing other people’s songs and stories so I soon discovered dreaming to be an ideal source for my own lyrics and songs. Initially this happened spontaneously but now I incorporate dreaming consciously into my musical compositions. What are the consequences of working with dreams this way, bringing them out of dreamtime and into one’s waking life? I set to work by taking dreams from my dream journal and turning them into haiku poems, synthesizing them down to a few quick phrases, or longer poems more like haibun, until the dream imagery becomes like visual brushstrokes. In this way the dream is transformed into language and rhythm. In doing this I discovered fragments of my family history, Dutch, Indonesian and German ancestral stories, contained within my dreams.
While working with my dreams I was invited to sing in Indonesia and given a choice of various events in different locations. Using Robert Moss’ technique of incubating a dream to answer a question, my resulting dream led me to I choose one festival in particular. I then focused my energy on getting there. This involved a lot of waking life organization, applying for grants, asking my brother to come along, all kinds of practical details. However, before long I found myself high in the mountains of Toraja in Sulawesi, not only discussing dreams with locals and other visiting artists, but also singing my dream songs in the country of so much conflict between my ancestors. This entire experience gave me great peace and inspires me to share my techniques with others. Perhaps in this way we can heal ancestral trauma. Sharing the details and songs of this journey with the participants of the IASD conference seems an ideal starting point. After this introduction and story (approximately 30 min.), we will invite the participants to consider a dream or two of their own and to write short haiku poems from the imagery. Then we will gather the poems and create a musical piece from them, with Michel Lambert accompanying us on drums while many of us sing long tones or clap along, and various participants take turns singing their dreams. This interactive portion of the workshop, (haiku writing, the dreaming jam session, and a short discussion) will take 60 min. Will this technique inspire others to bring their dreams into waking life, like contemporary bards? Besides creating a wonderful musical experience, it will be interesting to see how the energy awakens among the group. Audience: for all. (*Michel Lambert is a musical accompanist, not a co-author, in this workshop.)
- Learn a new and creative approach to working with dreams.
- Demonstrate how dreams, life and art are intimately connected.
- Honour ancestral stories and demonstrate techniques to heal old wounds.
- Celebrate all these energies by using musical dream-inspired improvisation for spontaneous creation.
Explore DreamSynergy™ to Resolve Client Issues (Clinical Workshop)
Dreams have value and the ability to move you and your clients toward the authentic full-functioning Self. This workshop is created for psychologists, mental health or health care professionals, whether a novice or advanced practitioner. l will move you from theory to application. It is one thing to believe in dreams and another to reap and share the rewards that are offered to each of us every night. I will focus on Emotions, Character Study and Beliefs and share specific exercises and creative techniques you can use to open up the meaning and wisdom of your own or your clients’ dreams. All work will be done in confidentiality and the dreamer will be the “ultimate authority” on the personal meaning of any dream “interpretation.” For over 25 years, I have been privileged to guide, participate and witness transformation in my dream groups and individual clients, and to certify therapists to work in the field of dreams. Out of my experience in the field of dreams, I created DreamSynergy™, an innovative process of working with dreams that incorporates my own and other respected theories and techniques such as Jungian and Gestalt work. 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, and 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 your clients. This method introduces and expands many techniques of dreamwork so that you and your clients will have a tested, result-oriented, and sustainable approach to finding value from dreamwork.
- Describe why and how personal change occurs rapidly with dreamwork.
- Explain the three main components of the DreamSynergy™ approach to dreamwork.
- Demonstrate innovative dreamwork exercises which lead to beneficial interpretation of dreams and facilitate change for clients.
Writing the Dream Time (Arts Workshop)
Writing the Dream Time will engage participants in a deep look at the symbolism of their dreams. Attendees will learn how to deconstruct their dreams to understand the structure of story and narrative that inherently lives within each of us, and from this deep well, create new written work. Each attendee should be prepared to discuss at least one dream in order to be able to participate. Within a safe workshop space, each participant will examine the symbolism of their personal dream landscape and use this information to compose written work. An analysis of symbolism, color, character structure, and narrative voice will inform the ways in which rich dream material can be used to develop meaningful new writing. Drawing from theorists Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, and Joseph Campbell, as well as the works of Janet Burroway (Writing Fiction: A Guide to the Narrative Craft), Christopher Vogler (The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers), and Mark Doty (The Art of Description), the workshop will begin with a discussion of core narrative components and possible dream landscapes.
Looking first at the entirety of their dreams, participants will discover the “plot” and “storyline” of their dream. Next, a look at color and dream components will reveal setting, theme, and the emotional content of the dream. Then, each participant will recall, identify, and write about important dream components. The use of Jung’s amplification technique will provide an expanded look at the dream’s components. Then, a written exercise about the emotional content of the dream will allow dreamers to discover their own personal dream meanings. An additional free-write specifically focused on the colors and individual components will create the “setting” of the new written work. Finally, a look at archetypes and character structure will provide a foundation for the narrative voice to be used in the final written work. Small breakout groups will provide an opportunity to share with others and collect feedback on the different characteristics of archetypes. The culminating written exercise will guide dreamers to compose a brief fiction, nonfiction, or poetic work based on the discoveries made during the drafting process. At the conclusion of the workshop, each will have knowledge of how dream symbols can inspire a platform for written work across fiction, nonfiction, and poetry genres. Writing the Dream Time allows attendees to determine their own dream meanings and interpretations, while creating new written work in the genre, form, and style of their choice. The didactic portion of this workshop will comprise approximately 25% of all content. The workshop is open to all, with no prerequisites of prior knowledge or experience with dreams or writing.
- Identify dream elements and key components of creative written work.
- Explain how dream symbols can inspire a platform for written work in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
- Utilize dream symbols to create meaningful written work in nonfiction, fiction, and poetic forms.
Typical Dreams in the Life Cycle (Paper)
The majority of people experience many typical dreams, relatively steadily across time and cultures. Much research on typical dreams has been carried out with the Typical Dreams Questionnaire (Nielsen et al., 2003; Mathes, Schredl, Göritz, 2014), and the Dream Motif Scale (Yu, 2012). I will present the results of research on dreams and waking narratives in the life cycle, from childhood to the elderly, with the aim of finding out how frequent typical dreams are in dream texts, which kind of content is typical of dreams compared to waking narratives, and if the typical dreams change through the life cycle. The sample is composed of 1546 subjects, males and female, from 8 to 70 years. For each subject, we collected a dream and a waking life episode according to “the most recent dream” (Hartmann et al., 1991) and “a recent episode” methodology (Maggiolini et al., 2010). The analysis with the Typical Dreams Questionnaire shows that 55,8% of the dreams have one or more typical content, while only 15,9% of waking narratives have one or more typical content. Attack dreams (“Being physically attacked”, “Being chased or pursued”, “Wild and violent beasts”, “Killing someone”, “Being killed”, “Insects or spider”) are more frequent in children. Adults and older adults dream more often of “Trying something again and again” and of “A person now dead as alive”, while on the contrary “A person now alive as dead” is more frequent in children and preadolescents. “School, teachers and studying” is more frequent in adolescents, while “Sexual experiences” is more common in young adults and “Arriving too late” in older adults. “Falling” is more frequent in children and preadolescents, but with an increase in older adults, after a decrease in the mid part of life. “Flying or soaring through the air” and “Being in the verge of falling” and “Losing control of vehicle” increase with age. Overall, the majority of dreams have one or more typical content, and typical dreams as listed in the TDQ are more frequent in dreams than in waking narratives. Nevertheless, not all the items are equally widespread and it would be useful to revise the TDQ items or build a list of categories defined as feelings or actions instead of things, characters or places. Our results show a certain stability of the number of typical contents per dreams through the life cycle, while changes in specific contents indicate that some themes vary from childhood to the elderly, in continuity with the characteristics of different periods of the life cycle.
1 Identify the characteristics of typical dreams.
2 List the most frequent typical dreams.
3 Describe the differences of typical dreams in the life cycle.
Josie E. Malinowski and Caroline L. Horton
Testing the Emotion Assimilation Theory of Sleep and Dreaming (Paper)
Several studies have found that the emotional intensity, but not the emotional valence, nor the stressfulness, of a waking-life experience influences whether or not it is likely to subsequently appear in a dream. Studies have also shown that dream content varies depending on what time of night the dream is experienced. Based on these and other findings, we have proposed an emotional memory assimilation function of dreaming (Malinowski & Horton, 2015), in which we suggest that emotional waking-life experiences are preferentially incorporated into dreams, and then during sleep and dreaming are transformed over the course of a night, and across multiple nights, in order to assimilate those experiences into the wider memory system. We further suggest that this process can be perceived via measureable elements of dream content, such as bizarreness, which may be a marker for hyperassociative thinking during dreaming. This presentation reports on the results of a Dream Science Foundation-funded study that tested this theory. We hypothesised that we would replicate findings that waking- life events that were incorporated into dreams would be more emotionally intense than those that were not, but that there would be no effect of valence, nor of stressfulness. Further, we expected that our novel variables “importance” and “future use” would illustrate a similar effect to emotionality, such that incorporated events would be rated more important and more likely to be repeated in the future. We also expected that dream content would vary depending on the time of night, with more dreams towards the end of the night being more bizarre and emotional, and those towards the beginning being more relatable to waking life. Preliminary analyses indicate that, as expected, there was an effect of emotional intensity but not valence nor stressfulness, and time of night differences were in the expected directions. The full results, with implications for functional theories of dreaming, will be discussed in the presentation.
- Explain the different effects of emotional intensity and emotional valence on wake-dream continuity.
- Explain the effect of time of night on dream content.
- Describe the emotion assimilation theory of dream function.
Why Do Suppressed Thoughts Reappear in Dreams? (Paper)
In 2004 Wegner and colleagues discovered the “dream rebound effect”, the term used to describe the reappearance in dreams of thoughts that have been suppressed or deliberately ignored in waking life. Subsequently a number of studies have confirmed and expanded upon this finding, illustrating, for example, that dream rebound can be seen in hypnagogic dreams, occurs particularly for people who generally try to suppress their waking-life thoughts, and is impacted by cognitive load.
Wegner explained the findings via his ironic process theory, but it may be that they can also be explained by Jung’s earlier theory of compensation. The presentation will first review experiments that have investigated the dream rebound effect, illustrating what has been found so far. It will then present the results from two new studies conducted by the presenter, investigating which aspects of dreams are related to trait thought suppression. Next it will discuss two potential explanations for the dream rebound effect, i.e. Wegner’s ironic process theory and Jung’s theory of compensation. Finally, the debate will be opened up to audience contribution
- Explain what the dream rebound effect is.
- Identify at least three different studies that have demonstrated the dream rebound effect.
- Compare two theories that may account for the dream rebound effect.
Evolutionary Stimuli in Dreams: An Investigation Using Lucid Dreamers (Poster Presentation)
Participants completed a memory questionnaire of an experimental room. During a lucid dream, they ‘visited’ the same experimental room. They actively investigated their dream room and completed an identical questionnaire upon awakening. Pre- and post-dream questionnaires were compared to investigate which experimental stimuli were present (they differed in evolutionary relevance). Participants visited an experimental room with four stimuli categorized as evolutionary relevant (e.g., a snake) and four stimuli categorized as non-evolutionary relevant (e.g., a clock). After a distractor task, participants completed a questionnaire investigating episodic memory of the contents of the room. Participants then induced a lucid dream and employed their intentional volition to ‘visit’ the same experimental room in their dream. They were instructed to investigate the contents of their dream room, and complete the same questionnaire from before upon awakening. Pre-dream and post-dream questionnaires were compared to investigate the presence of evolutionary relevant versus non-evolutionary relevant stimuli in dreams and the possibility of reminiscence resulting from visuals during the dream experience. Interpretation of results is limited due to the low number of participants, the evolutionary stimuli were more present in dreams than the non-evolutionary stimuli. Also, the data suggest a possible effect of reminiscence for evolutionary stimuli. The particularly high level of lucid awareness of participants is also discussed. Certain environmental stimuli guide our behavior based on evolutionary needs and instincts. These stimuli—typically considered emotional—have an extra draw on our attention and are more easily remembered. Some dream theories account for an evolutionary function, which leads to the possibility that evolutionary relevant stimuli may have a higher presence in dreams.
This exploratory study investigated this possibility by presenting research participants to an experimental environment that included four evolutionary relevant items and four non-evolutionary relevant items. Participants were lucid dreamers, which allowed them to intentionally ‘visit’ this same experimental room in their dream and investigate the contents. I analyzed results to interpret 1) level of presence of evolutionary relevant items in the dream or ‘virtual’ room and 2) the possibility that visual experience of the dream room provided a memory enhancement or ‘recovery’ for specific details of evolutionary relevant items. This presentation is targeted to all audiences.
- Explain the role evolution plays in attention in memory.
- Discuss specific content of lucid dreams and how it relates to our daily environmental intake.
- Plan novel lucid dreaming study designs.
Use of Brain-Computer-Interface during a Lucid Dream: Pilot Study and Future Directions (Paper)
Lucid dreaming provides a unique opportunity for dream research. With the ability of volitional action, a lucid dreaming study participant can actively perform mental dream tasks assigned by the researcher. Historically, communication from the lucid dreamer to the researcher during a lucid dream was introduced via left-right eye movements. Recent advances in biomedical equipment—particularly brain-computer-interfaces (BCIs)—have resulted in headsets equipped with brain state ‘mapping’ technologies that translate mental imagery into computer commands. In light of neuroscientific evidence suggesting the state of lucid dreaming involves similar regional brain activity as waking, I considered the possibility that the same mental commands could be collected and translated from a lucid dream as from waking. In this exploratory study with proof-of- concept intent, three participants were asked to use an Emotiv EPOC+ headset and companion software to map a mental motor command (pushing a block) with a resulting computer action (graphic of block moving). After waking training, participants attempted to induce a lucid dream while wearing the headset, and upon lucidity perform the same mental command (push the block). Two participants subjectively reported lucid dream task completion, and these reports were correlated with video footage of resulting computer commands (graphic of block moving). Aside from offering further evidence that lucid dreamers are in fact lucid, these preliminary results suggest that advances in BCI technology may offer utilization in dream research. For example, the opportunity to extend dream-to-researcher communication is discussed, and other future possibilities speculated. This presentation will be accessible to all audiences.
- Identify lucid dreaming ‘eye signals’ on an electrooculogram (EOG).
- Discuss the interplay between lucid dreaming and brain-computer-interface technology.
- Summarize the current state of communication abilities between lucid dreamer and researcher.
Kimberly R. Mascaro
Announcing Dreams (Paper)
Introductory Statement: Announcing dreams take place not only in the lives of expectant men and pregnant women, but occur in the dream-lives of family and community members. Historical accounts, the presenter’s research, and interdisciplinary anecdotes are the focus of this presentation. Attendees will gain knowledge about pregnancy dreams, extraordinary dreams, and the impact of the announcing dreams experience.
Expanded Description of Presentation: While dream literature is extensive, including extraordinary dreams and pregnancy dreams, the convergence of the two is limited. Announcing dreams are one type of extraordinary dream – reported by pregnant women, expectant men, family and community members – that are not well understood. This specific type of dream has been reported across time and place. The focus of this presentation, Announcing Dreams, describes how announcing dreams affect pregnant women and expectant men, and highlights Dr. Mascaro’s findings from her research, as well as historical, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural accounts of the phenomenon. Several themes emerged from analysis, including, but not limited to, confidence and affirmation, bonding and connection, birth, lucidity, decision-making regarding the pregnancy, and prediction of sex. These themes will be discussed. For those who serve, or work with, pregnant families, acknowledging and attending to their inner world, including dream experiences, can support both men and women to be present to their whole selves. Audience: Target level – For All.
- Describe the phenomenon known as an announcing dream.
- List common themes that emerge from announcing dreams across current and historical accounts.
- Compare and contrast the characteristics between pregnant women’s announcing dreams and those of expectant men.
Dream Poetry: An Authentic, Multimedia Performance (Special Event)
I propose for the IASD conference, a special event, multimedia dream performance. I combine a personal narrative of therapeutic self-discovery explored through dreams, with the rhyme and rhythm of “slam poetry,” against a backdrop of illustrative and interpretative visual images – brought together to celebrate the power of our dream voice. My presentation, anchored in a poetic expression, honors the artistic risk necessary to animate and integrate our dreams into daily life.
Poignant personal vulnerability, eased with humorous snippets, warmly draws the audience into the discovery and acceptance of the transformative power of dreams. In this acceptance, I strive to have the audience discover their unique “dream voice” as I have found mine. For in discovering and then sharing our “dream truths” we enrich our lives.
Despite years of intensive study of Jungian psychology, shamanic dreaming traditions, and facilitating dream work in my private practice as a dream therapist, I felt estranged and alienated. My practice with my clients remained very meaningful but my world seemed to be shrinking and my essential spirit seemed constrained. Something was missing. Seeking to break those chains, I engaged in a quest as a dream therapist, as I so often had told my clients, to find my own creative voice to express my dreams. I set the stage, literally, for the vulnerability, authenticity and freedom of expression of my “dream truths.”
Casting aside conventions, I developed “talks” to perform on stage for Ignite Denver, an international format comprised of a 5 minute presentation with 20 slides automatically advancing every 15 seconds. When I shared with the audience my first dream image of cuddling with a cockroach, followed by a later dream image of a velvet-covered potato chip, my missing voice leaped forth and danced, liberating my spirit and casting my estrangement into the shadows behind the curtain. Energized and exhilarated by the audience and their enthusiastic reception of my dream voice and willingness to share their dream images with me after the performance, I embraced the power of my dreams freed by artistic poetic expression. I now continue to perform my dreams at various artistic venues in Denver, Colorado. Ultimately, my goal for the conference is to inspire us all to find a creative, vulnerable and poetic outlet for our dreams. The audience for the IASD conference will not be the 25-year-old beer drinking urban youth (who knew little about dreams) in attendance at Ignite Denver. So my performance at IASD will be more refined in language and content, focusing more on the slide images in symbiosis with dream images, and my personal dream discovery with emphasis on the poetic expression of the dream voice. However, please view the attached links (from Ignite Denver) as a small sample of my work. I believe all the attendees at the IASD conference will be inspired – as were the Ignite audience – to become authentically expressive with their dreams.
Cuddling with Cockroaches: The Transformative Power of Dreamwork: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMJImPuNlrA Velvet Covered Pringles: The Gift of Dreamtime Absurdity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmL2Uf hh_gw
My dream performance is for entertainment purposes, so technically I don’t need learning objectives. However, my hope is the audience will take away the following objectives from the performance:
- Identify inspiration and creatively act to authentically express their dreams.
- Understand the power of performance and poetry as dreamwork tools.
- Learn to create dream entertainment that has depth and vulnerability, yet is also fun and poetic.
Lucid Acceptance in Encountering the Unknown (Paper)
In this dreamwork practice, three dreams associated with the expectation of the dreamer (author) to encounter the unknown in their dream are studied. The criterion of selection of these dreams for the analysis is primarily the expectation to encounter the unknown beyond the dream. The dreams are presented in the order from most fearful to almost fearless, according to a subjective scale of intensity and the forms or settings reported by the dreamer. Level of lucidity is defined as a state of the dreamer being aware she is dreaming.
(1)In the first dream I am waking up in a house where I am feeling the presence of my mother. I leave the house and step outside into the dimness. I am expecting somebody to approach me from this dusk which seems to me “as if a figure of a woman.” But I actually do not see any clear dream figure at all. Instead, with my increasing fear I am hurrying back into the comfort of the house, locking the door behind me. I see my hands and the lock and I am able to think that this lock is merely symbolic and therefore unable to protect me from any real danger but no full lucidity is achieved before waking up.
2) In another dream I am walking down the main street of my hometown, thinking about the acceptance of special features of my physical outlook; I say loudly to the dream that I love myself just as I am. At the end of the street I am making an effort to become sub-lucid, telling myself consciously to stay without fear while encountering the light appearing high above in the dusky sky I raise my right hand towards it. This too strenuous inner struggle wakes me up.
(3) In the third dream I see unusual strange traffic on a forest road and become fully lucid. I recall my task and have an idea in mind to encounter what cannot really be put into words. I call out to be shown what I need to know, feeling almost no fear at the time. The sky looks broad but neither light nor black, and from above an immense sense of peace and serenity is spreading all over me.
The chronological sequence of these recorded dreams is 2-3-1, in the waxing moons of three consecutive months. From this analysis we learn that no continuous progression to the fearless state on a monthly basis could be observed. Instead, the setting and emotions of the dream largely depend on the lucidity, acceptance and expectations of the dreamer at a particular moment of dreaming. Comparison reveals that in a state of greatest fear in a non-lucid state the unknown was sensed as a pre-form of something possibly to appear, whereas gaining the fully lucid state first enabled peaceful acceptance and was actually followed by a feeling of peace. In the sub-lucid state acceptance of the unknown can be associated with strong inner struggles.
- Demonstrate that the greatest fear of mankind, the unknown, represents itself to the dreamer in rather simple forms or nearly formless.
- Describe how the dreams were recorded in consecutive waxing moons, but that their subjective degree of fear had no tendency to diminish in time.
- Demonstrate that the subjective degree of fear associated with encountering the unknown was associated with expectations and lucid acceptance.
Photographic Guidance: My Year in Images (Presentation within Mental Imagery Symposium titled “Dreams and Imagination: Views on the Mind’s Eye”)
Three years ago, I wanted to combine my two interests of photography and dream work and to present a workshop at the dream conference. At the time, I pulled a Tarot card after meditation asking for guidance on some issue in my life. I wondered if instead of a Tarot card, I would go outside, see what image attracted me and photograph it. I would then look at my image as I would a Tarot card or dream image. The first time I did this, I asked if I should make a proposal to present at the conference. I then took a walk. Just when I thought it wouldn’t work (no image seemed to grab my attention), I looked up and saw a broken- off branch on a tree that to me looked like a wolf. After playing with the image and looking in a book on the symbology of wolves, I came up with the meaning that spoke to me. It was the wolf as the great teacher. To me this was the confirmation I needed. From then on, I have been practicing my Photographic Guidance and have presented my workshop five times, twice at the dream conference. My practice has evolved from asking for guidance, photographing an image and then discovering the symbolic meaning for me, to trying out different “techniques” both for refining my question and for gaining insight. In my presentation, I am showing images from this past year and the different ways I have expanded on my original idea. I have been influenced by different books such as Dreaming While Awake by Arnold Mindell, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Sidewalk Oracles by Robert Moss. These books have gotten me to view my “subjects” in different ways. I have also been influenced by Nick Brink’s book, Ecstatic Postures, and The Inquiry Method by Geneen Roth. They have given me ways to deepen my inquiry; to help me arrive at the “deeper question.”
One approach I use is when I am attracted to an image, I stop, take some deep breaths, get grounded and then ask the image my question. I wait and see what the response is. The response can be very direct. “Gratitude” is what an old stump told me in response to the question, “How do I let it go and not take it personally when things don’t go my way?” I then ask for permission to take a photograph and thank the image. One participant in my workshop said that he felt he was in a lucid dream when he went out to find his image. I also feel this way. My Photographic Guidance has become a spiritual practice for me which helps me become more conscious in my waking life.
- List two different techniques to use in order to “unlock” the deeper question behind an inquiry.
- Demonstrate the technique where the image becomes the mentor and is asked his or her question.
- Describe two to three ways he/she knows an image is his/her image.
Dreaming Together: Experiencing the Big You (Morning Dream Group)
Sharing dreams is as old as humanity. It’s only recently that there is a big emphasis on the individual and the meaning of his life and his dreams. Many old tribes still live from the ‘we’ perspective. In these times the narrow perspective of an individual self is cracking, we need a broader view. The Dreaming Together group is inspired by the work of Gordon Lawrence. In 1982 he started his Social Dreaming experiments at the Tavistock Institute. Social Dreaming concentrates on the dream and not the dreamer. In a group one associates with a recent dream fragment (or for example with a picture from a movie) to a dream fragment of another dreamer. This dream sharing happens quickly. After an hour of free associating this way, a group dream is born in which pictures of our collective future are visible. The dreams of Jewish citizens recorded in Charlotte Beradt’s Third Reich of Dreams (1968) showed how Jewish people during WWII dreamt the fate that was to befall them. While in daily life they could resist, their dreams told them otherwise. Dreaming can voice concerns of a social nature. Anjali Hazarika describes in Daring to Dream (1997) how dreamwork was used in oil industry organisations in India. It effectively demonstrates the application of dreamwork for cultivating corporate creativity. Free associating is the most subversive of activities and disrupts the consensual, rational and finite reality which most people subscribe. It is always expanding the space of the possible. Participating in a Dreaming Together group is like floating in space without knowing where the collective dream is moving to. There has to be a willingness to not know and to get lost. Several experiments in the Netherlands with members of the Dutch Dream Association showed the power of Dreaming Together. As a participant it gives a strong feeling of freedom not to focus on the meaning of the personal dream. Making space for that which is connecting all of us gives a profound sense of peace and fulfillment.
- Learning about the socio-centric concerns of the participants.
- Experiencing the mystery of a collective dream.
- Finding new ways to creativity.
Guru dreams: the Archetype of the Spiritual Master in Dreams (Paper)
In 1974 Karlfried Dürkheim describes in ‘Der Ruf nach dem Meister’ (the Call for the Master) how in these times the archetype of the spiritual master is arising. In the process of the evolving relationship with the guru, the mind has many objections. Jung said of this matter: “I avoided these Indian sages because I had to find my own truth.” In 1979 at the age of 18, I met Bhagwan (later Osho) in Pune. I didn’t take sannyas. Later I met other spiritual teachers but never trusted the guru principle enough. In 2013, during a satsang, I experienced Naropa, a Dutch spiritual teacher who has realised the Light within. And although as a scientist I was doubting, as a heart I joined his sangha. I had seen the corruption in the Osho community in the early eighties, learned about the Jonestown massacre in Guyana, the recent scientology scandals and the unmasking of Andrew Cohen as a guru. How to trust my master? For 30 years I have lived with my dreams and trust them for their honesty and wisdom. What a great mirror to have in this delicate matter.
This presentation will show how the evolving process of the guru-devotee relation is manifested in dreams. Tony Crisp’s dream dictionary tells us that ‘The guru in dreams will usually guide you towards greater self understanding, deeper relationships with him/her, and instruct you in any necessary disciplines of mind and body.’ Is that always true? Naropa gave permission to interview various sangha members about their dreams. Together with the dreams of Naropa about the relationship with his guru Shanti mayi, my own dreams, dreams from members from other spiritual communities around a guru and research of dreams from literature, a rich and inspiring pallet of guru dreams and their impact will appear. Questions that will be addressed are: can dreams help to go deeper into the surrender to the guru? Can dreams warn when the relationship is deteriorating towards dependency? The guru teaches about the illusion of the idea of being a separate individual and yet the process of letting go of the ego has a different personal flavour that is visible in the individual dreams. On the other hand, sometimes when special dreams like kissing or lying in bed with the guru dreams are shared in satsang meetings, they appear to be not so special when other sangha members confess they had this special dream encounter that night too…..
- Getting information on how the evolving guru-devotee relation is shown is dreams.
- Learning about the function of these guru dreams.
- Being inspired by the idea of dreams as the honest subtitle under the guru-devotee relation.
The Collage Process (Presentation within Artists Panel titled “Artists and their Dream Art”)
Using visual examples and presentation of collages based on memories, mythology and dreams, Julie will demonstrate the pieced together resemblances to life lived – sharing examples of written text as well as the dream collages themselves that take shape of their own momentum. Using mixed media, Julie creates collage vignettes based on written accounts of her dreams. She sees the collage process and product as an accurate metaphor for the pieced-together messiness of lived life. Its fragmented recollections, imaginings, and dreams will be presented, shared and discussed.
- For the audience to capture the essence of what artists have accomplished visually by sharing their story, process and relationship to dreams.
- To learn about an artistic process of dream collage.
Experiencing Holy Dreams (Dutch Language Workshop)
The main objective of this workshop is to experience the significance of a so called Holy Dream. No interpretation whatsoever will be given by an outsider. Furthermore, the core-element of this approach to Dreamwork is to enhance a deeper state of knowledge characterized by a direct knowing which differs from verbal or discursive interpretation.
How do we define a Holy Dream? In accordance with my experience-based approach, Holy Dreams differ from the average dream regarding the intensity of the dream-experience. Holy Dreams bring forth an atmosphere of reverence, peace and an unearthly tranquility. Another core feature of these dreams is the emergence of elements representing the sacred. This can be in the form of a personal representative, like well-known religious figures such as Mother Mary, Krishna or Moses. However, other forms can also function as representatives of the Holy. In this workshop I will first explain the Phyllis Kristal method of using imagination to develop contact with what she refers to as ‘the Higher Consciousness.’ This can be described as a deeper state of knowledge which differs from verbal or discursive interpretation. In the first exercise I will use a guided imagination aimed at making contact with this Higher Consciousness. Directly after this the participants will be guided towards meeting their personal representative of the Holy. After this, we will (at a group level) discuss the various personal dream-figures and the experience they bring forth. The next exercises are guided imaginations in which each participant recalls a Holy Dream experience. In case of a lack of these dream-memories the exercise can be used to construct a personal symbolization of a sacred atmosphere. At the end of this workshop I will discuss personal features of Holy Dreams and also the way the Phyllis Krystal method uses a symbolization of the Higher Consciousness to activate an intuitive understanding of dream-experiences.
We will work only with group exercises.
- Differentiate dream-memories between holy dreams and average dreams.
- Describe dream elements which are personal representations of the sacred.
- Discuss dream-experiences from the viewpoint of the Higher Consciousness
Dreaming in Church (Religion and Spirituality Workshop)
This workshop will be in two parts, with a presentation on the topic of using dreams in church settings, followed by an actual dream group demonstrating ways that dreams and dream work can be adapted to church settings. Four elements of using dreams in one’s spiritual life will be explored briefly, showing benefits that can come to one’s spiritual life from working with dreams. These elements are the emotional honesty of dreams, the way dreams help prioritize our lives, the connection between dream work and the practice of prayer, and the way dream work can help people understand the Bible better and be more comfortable with its symbols and images. Emotional honesty can be difficult for us as dreams are not always “polite,” but emotional honesty is an important step in spiritual growth. Dreams can help us decide what is most important for us, whether it is in our family, at our jobs or school, or in other areas of our life. Paying attention to one’s dreams can lead to helpful, even remarkable, experiences of the sense of guidance or presence of the divine in our lives, similar to testimony of those who pray but may not pay attention to their dreams. The commonalities can provide a bridge between dream work and prayer. Some modern Christians struggle with some of the images and symbols of the Bible. Dreams and parts of the Bible use language of symbol and image, and familiarity with dreams can lead to more comfort with a wider range of the Biblical material.
Dreams can help the Christian Church in its need for spiritual renewal. This workshop will demonstrate how dreams can aid that renewal. Christianity has a rich heritage from the Bible and in parts of our Christian history that have valued dreams. For much of the past several centuries, dreams have not often had a valued place in the faith practices of many Christians. Dream work as a spiritual practice will be compared to several other spiritual practices currently used among Christians. The second part of the workshop will be a “demonstration dream group” that will not only work dreams, but also discuss the ways to adapt dream work to church settings. Issues of resistance to dreams, conflicting attitudes of Biblical authority, hints for developing a dream group in churches, etc. will be part of the dream work portion of this workshop. Though focused on dream work as a Christian practice, the workshop will benefit anyone interested in dreams and dream work as a spiritual practice, and how that practice is informed by whatever the participant considers scripture or sacred writings.
- Identify four ways in which dreams can be helpful in the spiritual life.
- Compare and contrast dream work with other current spiritual practices.
- Assess the issues in bringing dream work into a church or other faith community.
Dreams and Spiritual Growth (Presentation within Religious and Spiritual Symposium titled “Dreams in Spiritual Direction and Mystagogy”)
Dreams and dream work are very helpful in the practice of spiritual direction and they provide great advantages to small groups in churches. Four elements of using dreams in one’s spiritual life will be explored in the light of both spiritual direction and parish dream groups. These elements are the emotional honesty of dreams, the way dreams help prioritize our lives, the connection between dream work and the practice of prayer, and the way dream work can help people understand the Bible better. Emotional honesty can be difficult for us, depending upon the culture we were raised in or the cultural constraints we live in currently. Dreams are not always “polite.” Dreams can help us decide what is most important for us to be concentrating upon, whether it is in our family, at our jobs or school, or in other areas of our social life. As a result, we can prioritize the use of our time and energy. Paying attention to one’s dreams can lead to some helpful, even remarkable, experiences of the sense of guidance or presence of the divine in our lives. Similar experiences are found among those who pray. The common experiences here can provide a bridge between dream work and prayer. Some modern Christians struggle with images and symbols of the Bible. The language that both dreams and some parts of the Bible use is that of symbol and image. Familiarity with one’s dreams can help the Christian be more comfortable with a wider range of the Biblical material. The difference between the individual relationship of spiritual direction and the dynamics in a dream group will be explored as they relate to these four elements. The level of intimacy developed in a dream group will be described, focusing on the enhancement to intimacy that dream work provides. The spiritual growth that takes place in a parish dream group will be described.
- Identify four values of dreams and dream work.
- Explain the difference between spiritual direction and a dream group.
- Describe the intimacy that dream work provides in a group setting.
Firebird, an Interdisciplinary, Interactive Dance (Special Event)
Together with Dance for Health and the Dutch Opera and Ballet, Droomtheater organizes a dance performance by MS-patients combined with shadow theater. Dancers are MS-patients and during weekly training sessions that lasted a year they have created this interdisciplinary performance. The audience will be invited to participate in the dance.
Three years ago, Andrew Greenwood started up Dance for Health with Parkinson patients. From 2015 he has worked with MS Patients. Frans Hakkemars has been working with puppetry for Joanne Oussoren’s Droomtheater for ten years. We all have the ambition to work with professional partners and continue our learning opportunities by performing and teaching. The weekly dance training improves health, stimulates the inner imagination and creates new perspectives. Participants feel healthier, get a new direction in life and are less focused on their illness. Dance creates togetherness. By working with MS patients we train muscles, mind, imagination and coordination of body and mind. After one year’s practice together with hospital researchers and artists we all can perform professionally and show that our perspectives have become better. We demonstrate how to deal with the illness and are better related to one of the greatest values in life: happiness. The presentation combines words in English, movements in dance and images by shadow puppets. During the performance the audience will be invited to participate and identify the same qualities.
Dancers and audience identify with dance creation instead of being ill or being patients. The performance shows the audience the function of the dancing. The MS dancers demonstrate new possibilities by performing the Firebird, and create new possibilities, connections and images during the training process and performance.
Joanne Oussoren, artistic director Droomtheater, initiator; Andrew Greenwood, ballet master; Frans Hakkemars, puppeteer; twelve dancers.
Dreams of Auschwitz Concentration Camp Prisoners (Paper)
In 1973, psychiatrists of the Krakow Medical Academy sent out a questionnaire about dreams to former prisoners of an Auschwitz camp. 147 people replied. Their responses constitute immensely rich and diverse material, which inspires multiple interpretations. The former Auschwitz inmates describe the dreams they had during the Nazi occupation, in prisons, in the camp, after liberation, as well as later in life. They report nightmares and enchanting visions. They write about their attitude towards dreams. They give accounts of the daily camp ritual of dream interpretation performed by “professional” diviners. I will try to prove that many dreams dreamt in the camp had a therapeutic effect. These dreams had some kind of a positive influence on the dreamer: on his or her mood, frame of mind, faith in the possibility of survival and liberation, or even his or her health condition. I intend to take a closer look at the different varieties of such dreams, and to describe the mechanisms of their beneficial effect.
Certain nightmares that recurred for many years after liberation also had an adaptive effect: the intensity of negative emotions decreased, with time the dreaming person coped better with the threatening situation occurring in the dream, and his or her mental state in waking life improved visibly. I aim to establish the frequency of such dreams compared to other nightmares, describe their effect, and draw the socio-psychological profile of the dreamers. For evidence of the occurrence of a therapeutic effect of a dream, I take the subjective impression of the dreamer: his or her conviction that a given dream brought a particular benefit.
The prisoners’ accounts will be analyzed using the research procedure I developed when investigating the dreams of Polish nursing home residents. First, the inmates’ dreams will be analyzed quantitatively. In the quantitative analysis, I will use the coding system developed by Calvin Hall and Robert Van de Castle. Quantitative findings concerning the dream content will be compared with Hall/Van de Castle’s “norm” and with the results of other research projects where this method was employed. Only such a broad comparative perspective will allow me to assess the extent to which the dreams of Auschwitz inmates resemble dreams dreamt by those who did not experience the Shoah. The prisoners’ accounts will then be analyzed qualitatively. My aim is to place the descriptions of prisoners’ dreams in the context of their life and social situation, and their assumptions and beliefs concerning dreams. I want to see whether the positive effect of certain nightmares consists, as Ernest Hartmann would have it, in “new material”, or rather in the mechanism of “threat simulation”, as proposed by Antti Revonsuo. I will do my best to make my presentation understandable not only for professionals, but for all participants at the conference.
. Describe the specificity of the Holocaust survivors’ dreams.
- Compare the Auschwitz prisoners’ nightmares which have adaptive characteristics to other nightmares.
- Explain the therapeutic effects of some of the inmates’ dreams.
Drawing in the Night: Creating Art from Dreams (Arts Workshop)
This workshop enables participants to begin to discover a method for creating artwork from dreams. The goal is to find a personal approach that connects the participant to the deep source of visual inspiration offered by dreams. This engagement also addresses creative blocks, and the fear and anxiety that can accompany the creative process. The approach has grown out of a research MA (2012-2014) in Transpersonal Psychotherapy completed at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education, London, and employs methodologies of Organic Inquiry (Clements, 2004, 2011) and Art-based Inquiry (McNiff, 1998, 2008, 2013) to study the transformational potential of drawing dream images.
This workshop is a further development of “Drawing in the Night: creating art from dreams”, offered with the support of the CCPE’s Dream Research Institute in October 2015 to explore the transformational potential of expressing dream imagery as art. Initially, the participants will be invited to draw an image from a dream. (It will be stressed that the aim of this exercise is not artistic merit). There will be 20 minutes dedicated to this section of the workshop. In the next 50 minutes participants will be given the opportunity to share their image in the larger group. Depending on the group size, this 50 minute period may be broken down into a 30 minute section for some participants to share their image in the collective group, then 20 minutes for the remaining participants to pair up and explore their dream images. The goal of this exploration is not to place any interpretation on the imagery, but to allow the participant the space to explore the content of the dream image. This will be demonstrated with the larger group, who will gather behind the participant presenting their imagery so the work can be “taken in” from the point of view of the creator of the image. The role of the presenter and the group is that of reflective witnesses.
Any interpretation or themes and associations that emerge will be the creation of the dreamer. At the end of this exploration, the presenter will ask the participant to consider the main themes of the dream image. The participant will be invited to reflect on how this theme may relate to their current situation. It will be the choice of the participant whether they share these insights or take away these themes to reflect on privately. The approach to this “investigation” of the image is based on phenomenological-existential processes, so the dreamer remains in control of the meaning of the image (Moon, B L ,2011).To ground the experiential nature of the workshop, in the final 20 minutes the presenter will share her findings (some via personal imagery provided in a handout), describing the transformational experience of drawing dream imagery; highlighting links to alchemical theory, intuition, the collective unconscious, metaphor and the mandala. The workshop is ideal for health care professional and psychotherapists as well as people who in general find themselves enabling others in their creative endeavours but neglecting their own creative work.
- Motivate participants to begin to express their dreams visually.
- Consider the personal approach they have used for this creative expression.
- Have reflected on the main theme of the dream they have represented and considered how it may be of relevance in their current situation.
- Give a personal explanation of the image witnessed by another individual or the group.
Organic and Art-based Inquiry into Dreams (Presentation within Clinical Symposium titled “Transpersonal Research”)
Judy’s heuristic research led to the development of her workshop “Drawing from the Night” in which participants create art from dreams. In 2013-14 she performed a qualitative study employing methodologies of Organic Inquiry (Clements, 1998, 2004, 2011) and Art-based Inquiry (McNiff, 1998, 2008, 2013), researching the transformative experience of drawing and painting dream images.
In the first phase of this exploratory study, images that appeared in dreams as artwork guided the art making process. These were dreams where images were framed as art work or dreams where artwork was being made or in the process of being created. During the next stage of the work, dialoguing techniques (McNiff, 1992) were used to engage with the images that had been created from these dreams as well as the drawings being explored throughout the research in art psychotherapy sessions. Thematic Content Analysis (Anderson, 2004) and Organic methodologies of data analysis (Clements, 2011) were used to analyse the data.
Judy will discuss the methods she used, why she chose them, their benefits and limitations, and how the methods relate to her findings. Her findings will be briefly presented using the five stages of animus development (Young-Eisendrath, 1984), identifying alchemical operations indicating phases of individuation (Edinger, 1985) and the evolving experience of transformation defined by Farrelly-Hansen (2001).This presentation is for all, especially those interested in creative research methods for investigating dreams from a transpersonal perspective.
- Identify the challenges and benefits of structured inquiry into personal dream experience as formal research.
- Describe several methods of heuristic inquiry into dream experience.
- Assess the transformational potential of creating art from dream images.
Franc Paul and co-authors Michael Schredl and Georg W. Alpers
Nightmares, Sleep Quality and Autonomic Function (Paper)
Summary: Nightmares result in significant subjective impairment of sleep quality which is independent from sleep architecture measured by ambulatory polysomnographic recording. Further preliminary observations suggest a relationship between nightmares and the activation of the autonomic nervous system in sleep. Implications of these findings will be discussed.
Background: Nightmares and bad dreams are a common phenomenon that is most frequent in childhood and adolescence. At least 5% of all adults suffer from frequent nightmares. In populations of psychiatric patients, nightmares are a concomitant feature that produces even more distress. For example, nightmares are a core symptom in posttraumatic stress disorder and about 50% of borderline personality disorder patients suffer from frequent nightmares. Independent of mental disorders, nightmares are often associated with sleep problems such as prolonged sleep latencies, poorer sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness. It has not been well documented whether this is reflected in objectively quantifiable psychophysiological indices of sleep quality and autonomic function. There are only few polysomnographic studies which evaluated sleep architecture their results are conflicting: Some studies found objective differences in frequent nightmare sufferers, others did not. Therefore, the present study investigates nightmares in a natural sleep environment and assesses self-report and psychophysiological indicators of sleep disturbances as well as the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ambulatory design was adapted because there are clearly disadvantages when dreams or nightmares are investigated in laboratory settings: People tend to dream about the laboratory environment and those dreams are usually less emotional and shorter than at home. In related disciplines, it has been well recognized that critical events related to psychopathology – such as panic attacks – require assessments outside of the laboratory, when and where those events occur.
Methods: Questionnaires regarding subjective sleep quality and ambulatory polysomnographic recordings of objective sleep parameters and ANS indicators were collected during three consecutive nights from 20 individuals with frequent nightmares (NM) and 18 healthy control participants (HC). Activation of the ANS was measured by different parameters such as heart rate (ECG) and heart rate variability, breathing frequency (respiration belt), electrodermal response (EDR) and saliva cortisol. Most of the analysis on ANS was done on the last five minutes of REM sleep prior to awakening from dreams.
Results and Discussion: Eleven NM participants reported 13 nightmares. Moreover, they reported worse sleep quality, more waking problems and more severe insomnia compared to the HC group. However, sleep measures obtained by ambulatory polysomnographic recordings revealed no group differences in (a) overall sleep architecture, (b) sleep cycle duration as well as REM density and REM duration in each cycle and (c) sleep architecture when only nights with nightmares were analyzed. Preliminary results regarding ANS suggest an enhanced sympathetic activation when having nightmares. Further results will be presented and implications for both future research and psychotherapy will be discussed. It would be interesting to extend these findings by studies with larger samples in unselected populations.
Audience: all. Although scientific research will be presented, the content is easy to understand and of practical value.
- Explain the advantages of ambulatory sleep recordings.
- Compare sleep characteristics of nightmare sufferers and normal dreamers.
- Describe how nightmares may relate to the stress system.
Cultural Dreaming: Research from the Frontlines of an Emerging Field (Poster Presentation)
“We are living in an historic moment. We are each called to take part in a great transformation. Our survival as a species is threatened by global warming, economic meltdown, and an ever increasing gap between rich and poor. Yet these threats offer an opportunity to awaken as an interconnected and beloved community.” –Desmond Tutu, Foreword to Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty (Pavel & Herbert)
The historic moment in which we are living calls for leadership and the cultivation of a new dream. Psychological dream discourse has most often focused on intrapsychic and interpersonal dreaming (Taylor, Watkins, Downing). This paper focuses on a third level of collective dream symbols. Cultural Dreaming (CD), in this paper, offers innovative strategies for social and environmental change. Our methodology builds upon frameworks established by the co-authors (Pavel and Anthony) and is informed by scholars Jeremy Taylor, Joanna Macy, Mary Watkins, Thomas Berry, and Chris Downing, to explore the possibilities that CD offers. The Breakthrough Communities model of community change draws upon 2 decades of field-based research with climate justice groups organizing for sustainability in 12 metropolitan regions in the United States.
This paper contains four parts, beginning with an overview of the global climate and migration crises that form the contemporary framework for our research. Second, we review historic references to cultural dreaming drawn from social and environmental justice contexts; Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech is one of several examples referenced. Next, the co-authors review Breakthrough Communities’ 5-step Compass for Community Change model and apply it to the case study of the DREAMers, a social change movement comprised of young Latino/a immigrants, activists and artists. Finally, we explain the innovative possibilities of using cultural dreaming practices within our community change models and regional climate justice organizing. We use CD techniques such as active imagination and group process in communities to transition from the industrial growth society to life-sustaining models of change. This work has been documented in our published volumes and we are now expanding it to include active imagination, role play, dyads and artwork. The aim of this poster session is to invite practitioners and researchers in the field to become creative partners in this effort toward a united, equitable future applying cultural dreaming practices to social and environmental change. (For All)
- Explain 5 stages of the breakthrough communities’ model of change as it applies to cultural dreaming.
- Compare and contrast two models of cultural dreaming (that of Joanna Macy and Breakthrough Communities).
- Apply three methods of cultural dreaming that can be used in environmental and social justice settings.
How the Dreams of the World Dreams Peace Bridge Prepared Me to Welcome Refugees (Presentation within Humanities Panel titled “Dreams without Borders: The World Dreams Peace Bridge”)
The author will present one of his dreams belonging to the World Dreams Peace Bridge and how it prepared him to welcome and care for the refugees arriving in Germany, both generally, and specifically in the village where he lives.
Basis: Practice of group dreaming and peace activism. The presenter will focus on one of his own dreams, its connections with the group, and its peaceful intentions and actions. He will then go into how the group process deepened his empathy, especially for persons from other cultures. Target audience: For All.
- Give examples of how individual dreams may match in a group.
- Discover how dreams can relate to an incubation.
- Provide an example of how global dream groups can foster cross-cultural empathy.
An Encrypted Garden: Wordplay in Dream Formation (Paper)
This paper reports how the uncovering of multi-layered, multilingual wordplay in a dream-riddle led the author on a journey of self-understanding and research – from study of a painting by Paul Klee to analysis of Hebrew poetry in the Song of Songs – that elucidates the role of language in dream formation. Wordplay has been a key element in dream interpretation across time and culture. In calling for a dream theory that assumes a fundamental role for language, Kilroe (2001; 2013) usefully categorises oneiric linguistic phenomena under four headings: (i) dream speech – where language use is part of the overt dream content (including disembodied voices, and languages unfamiliar to dreamer); (ii) tropes – including metaphor, punning, inner speech, and other forms of wordplay, both general and idiosyncratic; (iii) displacement – where reference is made to spatiotemporally remote events (past, present, future), and; (iv) mental experience – where reference is made to unobservable mental states of the dreamer and/or other dream characters.
While including examples of all four categories, this paper focuses on an intriguing case of category (ii) comprising a ‘cryptic crossword clue’-like dream-riddle subsequently found to incorporate multi-levelled anagrammatic and cryptonymic (Abraham and Torok, 1986) wordplay in English and Latin, the latter language and its referents unfamiliar to the dreamer at the time of dreaming. The paper charts the unfolding interpretation and linguistic ‘decoding’ of the dream-riddle in dialogue with the presenter’s waking life and research, and explores the relationship between wordplay and imagery in the original dream and subsequent dreams over ten years apart. It elucidates the dream content’s close connection with the thematic wordplay-imagery of Klee’s painting Insula dulcamara, and how the later uncovering of multiple, mutually compatible layers of wordplay in the dream-riddle unexpectedly linked the dream to the biblical Song of Songs. It shows how this in turn led to discovery of parallels between linguistic-imagistic aspects of the riddle and Hebrew/Latin wordplay in the biblical text, the language and thematic content of which were unknown to the dreamer at the time of dreaming, but which were key to understanding the dream’s overall meaning and resolution.
The paper shows how the eventual ‘solution’ to the dream-riddle anticipates and describes the process of arriving at the solution itself and its transformative effect upon the dreamer, highlighting the role of intention as an organising principle, and discusses how the morphology of ancient language systems, the principle of self-reflexivity, and Klee’s investigations of morphogenesis and signification in art (including wordplay), throw light on the origins and activity of linguistic imagination in dreaming.
Target Level: Intermediate.
Abraham, N., Torok, M. (1986). The Wolf Man’s Magic Word: A Cryptonomy. Minneapolis; University of Minnesota Press
Kilroe, P. (2001). Verbal Aspects of Dreaming: A Preliminary Classification. Dreaming, 11(3), 105-113.
Kilroe, P. (2013). Inner Speech in Dreaming: A Dialogic Perspective. Dreaming, 23(4), 233-244.
Pike, C. (2014). Signing Off: Paul Klee’s Insula Dulcamara. Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry, 30(2), 117-130.
- Describe the nature of anagrammatic and cryptonymic wordplay in dreams.
- Analyse an example of multidimensional wordplay in the generation of dream imagery.
- Discuss the relationship between linguistic morphology and imagination, and its implications for the role of language in dream formation.
Dreaming Paradise in Early Christian Cemeteries (Paper)
The pagan and early Christian cemeteries of Rome and Carthage (modern Tunisia) abound with the imagery of paradise captured in catacomb frescoes, multicolor tomb mosaics, and sculpted marble sarcophagi. Trees, flowers, birds and fountains evoke the primeval Eden, while scenes of Dionysus, the Good Shepherd, and lively banquets hold out the promise of eternal bliss and reunion with loved ones in the postmortem realm. Dream and visionary accounts from the Hellenistic, Roman, and early Christian periods are similarly rich in their descriptions of paradisiacal realms. This presentation will examine the relationship between dream and cemetery imagery as co-creative expressions of the archetypal, imaginal paradise, focusing on how visionary experience inspired and informed the construction of the postmortem realm in the cemetery.
- Describe three examples of paradise imagery as depicted in pagan and early Christian cemeteries from the ancient Mediterranean.
- Identify three elements of the ancient Mediterranean paradise that find expression in both dream narratives and cemetery imagery.
- Discuss two ways in which dream and visionary experience informed the construction of paradise in the cemeteries of Rome and Carthage.
Psi Dreams and Mass Media from 1883 to 2014 (Paper)
Dreamworkers and cultural critics share concerns about the effects of mass media on our imagination, dream life, communities and well-being. Yet this presentation will argue that psi dreams and mass media have been inseparable since the beginnings of psychic research in the 1880s, and this may give us pause to consider the relationship between media and activity of the mind in a more positive light. We will review examples of the close relationship between mass media and psi dreaming from the past 130 years, including the uses of media to collect and verify telepathic and precognitive dream testimonies, the foreseeing of media content by dreamers, and attempts to make sense of psi experience through analogies between the dreaming mind and media technologies. We conclude by considering whether there are benefits to viewing dreams themselves as a media form.
The presentation is based on archival research and existing historical accounts of parapsychology and dream research. We begin with British Society for Psychical Research who placed classified adverts in The Times in 1883, appealing for members of the public to send in examples of ‘thought-reading, clairvoyance, presentiments and dreams’, and the SPR’s use of newspapers to verify the thousands of reports they received. We note J.W. Dunne’s influential account of his precognitive dreams of newspaper headlines, presented in An Experiment with Time (1927). We then move on to the use of radio and television in dream harvesting, from SPR President Dame Edith Lyttelton calling for premonitions on BBC Radio in 1934, to British playwright J.B. Priestley conducting a similar appeal on BBC television in 1963. Where Lyttelton used newspapers, radio and cinema to verify the time, date, and content of dreamed events unfolding in waking life, Priestley was less concerned with verification and sought to rescue his audience from a mechanised existence in thrall to linear time.
The letters to Priestley reveal that this rescue project was intimately involved with experiences of media consumption in which radio, cinema and television helped audience members to connect with alternatives to the dominant rationalist models of dream, self and time. Coming up to the present day we find that even in the internet era, the newspaper still has a role to play, exemplified in the National Dream Center’s Project August, inviting dreamers to foresee news headlines for August 2014.
YouTube clips and Google Maps are also routinely used in laboratory experiments to test for precognition and other psi phenomena. In conclusion, I suggest that we accept the long lasting intimacy between psi dreams and mass media, and consider whether there is anything to be gained by considering dreams themselves as a form of media.
- List three historical connections between psi dreams and mass media.
- Identify uses of media content as psi dream target material.
- Analyse the role of mass media in current work with psi dreams.
The Use of Dreams in Jungian Psychoanalysis (Paper)
Jung’s groundbreaking understanding of dreams will be reflected upon using his late article, “The importance of dreams” (Man and His Symbols, 1968). Concepts such as compensation, anticipatory function of dreams, and dream symbols will be explored. Contemporary Jungian analysts, such as M. Stein or Warren Colman have built upon Jung’s ideas and have included dream analysis as an important aspect of their clinical work. When working with dreams, the context of the dream, the personal associations, as well as the larger cultural and archetypal meaning, need to be addressed. Dreams can also be further worked on through painting, drawing, or psychodrama. Special attention will be devoted to the prospective function of dreams and to how the use of dreams can further what Jung called the individuation process. The presentation will end with a brief example from clinical practice.
- Identify important aspects of dreams according to the theory of C.G. Jung.
- List three aspects to consider when working with dreams in a clinical setting.
- Describe how dreams help further individuation.
Cynthia Pearson, Sherry Puricelli, and Robert Waggoner
Dream Telepathy Contest (Special Event)
Try your Psi! Test your dreaming mind’s ability to tune into a visual target image that will be broadcast telepathically during the night by a designated “sender.” Loosely patterned on the cutting-edge experiments in dream telepathy conducted at Maimonides Dream Laboratory by Drs. Stanley Krippner and Montague Ullman, the annual IASD contest offers a playful way to test your dream telepathy skills. Come and learn the rules and join in the serious fun. Audience: For All.
- Audience members will participate in a dream telepathy contest for entertainment purposes.
- Participants will attempt to dream of a target image that will be randomly selected and then mentally “broadcast” by a designated sender.
- Participants will attempt to predict the target image out of a group of 4 images based on their dream reports.
Dreaming Peace from the Other Side (Presentation within Humanities Panel titled “Dreams without Borders: The World Dreams Peace Bridge”)
When the World Dreams Peace Bridge set intentions to dream for peace, some were surprised to dream of people who have crossed over. This presentation will examine dreams depicting the deceased and how those dreams help(ed) facilitate peace. The presenter will begin by providing examples of dreams of the departed that have been shared on the Bridge. Be prepared for twists and turns as some individual dreams suddenly overlap to become part of something more comprehensive. How do the deceased help us dream up peace? Stay tuned to learn how some individuals have been aided by dreams with deceased loved ones. Common benefits of dreams of the departed will be described as well as recommended calls to action. Participants will be invited to examine their own experiences with dreams from the other side, both individually, and within groups. Target audience: For All.
- List 3 ways dreams from the deceased can help facilitate peace.
- Describe a scenario where an individual dream became part of a group dream.
- Prepare their own calls to action to facilitate peace.
The Language of Dreams: Poetry of the Soul (Arts Workshop)
Our dreams are the muses that come in the night. Those of us who have fallen under the spell of writing mythic reinventions of our dreams have become enchanted by the world of mystery and paradox. For those who care to look, the subtle underbelly of a dream is lyrical, harmonious and sublime. Balanced in perfect proportion, polished with a sure eye, the organization and genius of each dream is stunning. Dreams are dagger sharp, ever on target, never off key. Once opened through creative writing, each dream reveals its perfect pitch. Our nightly dreams are the repository of our deepest memories and feelings. They call to us from the innermost center of our being. They touch us in our most tender places. They make us aware of the depth of our longing, our joys and our sorrows. They enchant us with euphoria, they arouse our passions, they frighten us, they inspire us, they fill us with wonder. Yet, the dreams of the night are not easy to decipher. In order to transmit their complex messages, dreams speak to us in metaphors, symbols, paradoxes, and shifting shapes. Consequently, we must learn to translate the language of dream images with our imaginations, not with rational systems of logic. When we reenter the dream landscape through literary adaptations, we are meeting Psyche in her own language. Through the practice of writing of poems, we can learn to decrypt codes and unravel riddles. Wild stories of the night invite us into a world where we have permission to give voice to indefinable yearnings, inexpressible anguish, indescribable beauty and ineffable ecstasy. To step across the threshold of a dream with a pen in hand is to enter a world of enchantment. Intuitive, reflective writing offers us a chance to experience inner vision with the wonder of a child and the sophistication of a master. The power of dream poetry helps us to transcend the primeval fear of the unknown. It can be painful work, but it produces a strong, vibrant portrait of our souls. Our dreams bring stories of blood as well as inspiration, death as well as life. Dreams are often about our dark forces, having very little to do with beauty. Yet, the despair that stems from the struggle of the soul colors our dreamwork with gut-wrenching authenticity. The expressive arts provide a looking glass reflection of the shadowy realms with all their treasures. What we have kept inside is invited to come out. By creatively releasing our emotions, overwhelming feelings can be purged in a healing and wholesome way. Creative dreamwork gives us permission to feel what it might be like to be free from impurities and cleansed in spirit. We can flush our wounds with words. Writing with humor and pathos can shift our perspective. Freed from the restraint of holding back, we can emerge restored, renewed and revitalized.
- Identify specific dream images, story lines, and emotions that might be enhanced through poetic adaptation.
- Using techniques of brainstorming and free association, draw up a list of words that can be used to effectively describe and “open” each of these dream components.
- Using the above, reconstruct a dream in free-form and formal poetic stanzas.
Adhip Rawal and co-authors Lisa Burroughes, Samantha Lovell, Sofia Malik-Smith, and Robert Waggoner
‘Dream Resolution’: The Impact of a Dream-Based Intervention on Measures of Anxiety in Young People (Poster Presentation)
Research has shown that the process of dreaming performs a number of significant functions, such as memory consolidation, the development of new associations, and the processing of emotions (e.g., Cai et al., 2009; Cartwright et al., 1998).
Examination of the neurobiology of sleep has added support to the view that dreams facilitate the resolution of emotional concerns (van der Helm & Walker, 2009), highlighting the value of academic research that examines the effectiveness of the platform of dreaming in intervention studies on emotional processing. Our poster will present research that evaluates the potential of a dream-based intervention for reducing anxiety levels in young people (i.e. high-school students, where innovative approaches to aid emotional processing are particularly relevant given continuing concerns over anxiety levels). The design of the study includes a psychoeducation and a no-intervention control group as active and passive comparison conditions for the dream-based intervention. High-school students complete a battery of anxiety-related outcomes before and after the two-week intervention period, including self-report levels of anxiety, indices of meta-cognition, and automatic emotional processes (anxiety-related acoustic markers in speech samples following a stress provocation challenge). We are looking to recruit approximately 80 high-school students to be part of this study.
Our poster will present information about the study interventions, the rationale underpinning the dream-based condition, the choice of outcome measures underpinned by emotion theory, and results of intervention impact on changes in anxiety-related outcomes. Specifically, we will show data to test the hypothesis that the dream-based intervention will aid effective emotional processing (e.g., changes in anxiety-related acoustic markers) and lead to reductions in anxiety levels over time, compared to psychoeducation and a no-intervention control condition. Results will be discussed in the context of the study methodology (e.g., limitations and future developments), the dreams and emotional processing literature, and their relevance to further education or clinically-oriented evaluation. For example, if the dream resolution process results in a reduction of anxiety, then it suggests the possibility that this process may also be relevant to other emotional or psychological disorders (e.g., generalised anxiety) and well-being more generally. We feel this presentation is suitable to all audience levels at the IASD conference as the topic cuts across key themes of the conference (e.g., ‘Research and Theory’; ‘Clinical Approaches’; ‘Dreams and Health’; ‘Lucid Dreaming’) and would be greatly enhanced by discussions with other attendees.
- Explain and critique an intervention that incorporates the platform of dreaming.
- Describe the difference between emotional states, emotion experience and meta-cognition in emotion research, and how these may be impacted by dreaming.
- Discuss how dreaming may relate to young people’s emotional well-being.
Dreaming the Future: An Exploration of Precognitive Dreams and Quantum Physics (Paper)
This lecture describes breakthroughs in quantum physics that support the phenomenon of precognitive dreaming. I will give specific examples of global and personal precognitive dreams, and offer techniques to increase the likelihood of psi dreaming and ways to analyze and utilize the dreams in everyday life. How can dreams predict the future? This lecture sheds light on this controversial question. I will discuss how precognitive dreams bring evidence of a human delivery system that is not dependent on the space-time continuum. Unconscious material arrives in a dream, is recorded, and then manifests in the reality of the dreamer. New groundbreaking quantum theory experiments at Delft University in the Netherlands are showing that Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ is indeed a reality and the results may overthrow his ruling theory of relativity. I will briefly explain quantum physics theories that support the phenomenon of precognitive dreaming. Entanglement theory, string theory, and informed systems theory reveal supporting evidence of the workings behind premonitory dreams.
Atmanspacher and Filk have evolved a theory of temporally nonlocal correlations involving operators that do not commute but exist in a “window of nowness.” (Filk & von Muller, 2009; Poppel ,1997.) The study of nonlocality and noncausality are introducing concepts into the scientific world that may prove to the left and logical brain the existence of precognitive dreaming. Dreams may be slipping though extra dimensions in space to bring us information that seems to come from the world of the future. I will give specific examples of personal and global dreams that demonstrate striking examples of precognition. I will also offer accessible techniques to facilitate an increase in the occurrence of precognitive dreams as well as helpful tips for their analysis. Precognitive dream material can act as a guide, a warning, or as a valuable resource of information to reduce the negative impact of natural disasters, accidents, or illness. The material gleaned from a precognitive dream can be a preemptive informant that reduces the all too common misunderstandings, misconceptions, and projections experienced in daily life. Those of us who study dreams and believe in their value are not surprised by these new findings. We must be patient while the scientific world catches up to what we already know – that dreams are an extraordinary natural resource built directly into our DNA.
- Describe precognitive dreaming and the quantum physics theories that support its validity.
- Summarize examples of precognitive dreams – both global and personal.
- Describe methods to increase precognitive dreams and ways to benefit from their value.
An Investigation into the Archetype of the Angel through the Use of the Language Known as Enochian (Special Event)
Enochian, known as an angelic language, was received by Dr John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley in the late 16th century. The use of this language has been left purely to the hands of “practicing magicians.” Given the nature of the way this language was arduously received over several years from Dee and Kelley, can we use it in the lucid dream state to meet with the Angelic archetypes effortlessly, and expand our consciousness and knowledge from the experience appropriately? Before angels were understood to be “messengers of god” they were more looked on as reflections of the “energetic essences” of the universe. If we have a language that we can use to speak directly with these energies, does the lucid dreamer then step into someone in direct communion with a universe that is alive and aware? Speaking directly to various facets of the energy that moves the stars and keeps our feet planted on earth? Our understanding and application of Enochian is purely theoretical, there is no documented work that discusses the use of this language in the lucid dream state – so the presenter is experimenting and exploring the language and its affects (if any) on the lucid dreaming experience.
I plan to present in sequence: a brief explanation of the history of Enochian, how it was discovered and where it came from, alongside a brief discussion on the historical use of the “Obsidian Mirror” from the Aztec/Mexhica tradition and, if possible, a brief description of brainwave recordings that were taken recently from the university of Turin with practitioner Sergio Magana, to deepen our understanding of how the altered state of Consciousness Dee and Kelley were entering relates to the brainwave patterns we have recorded from both the lucid and other various dream states. After this I will recount my experiences of working with the language in the lucid dream state, and what sort of results were experienced. I will be documenting, in as much detail as I can, how the various words and calls in Enochian affect the Lucid Dream state, as well as gathering information from any dream figures that I may meet who would respond to the various names of the angels. Also, if possible, I will attempt to collect and collate other lucid dreamers’ experiences of using this language, with the specific aim of looking for similarities in those dreams. The presenter views Enochian as a possible language that could potentially be adopted by anyone in the lucid dreaming state to access “spirit” beings and thus catalogue, for the benefit of all, methods that we could use to speak to these beings with ease.
The target audience level for this talk is purely introductory; the talk is the author’s earnest desire to contribute something that the IASD and its members may be both unfamiliar with, and interested in the possibility of increasing their own lexicon of archetypes that they could themselves attempt to work with for their own desires in the lucid dream state.
Dreaming as Consciousness: From Philosophy to Testable Theories in Dream Science (Keynote Address)
There has been a long-lasting controversy about the fundamental nature of dreaming, both in philosophy and in the empirical studies of dreams. Some philosophers, such as Daniel Dennett, have put forward the controversial suggestion that dreams are not conscious experiences at all. By contrast, dream researchers have taken it for granted that dreams are experiences, but disagreed about the characteristics and definition of dreaming as an empirical phenomenon. Recent theoretical advances that integrate dreaming and consciousness seem to offer a fruitful solution to the old controversial questions by defining dreaming as a special form of consciousness. Dreaming consists of phenomenal consciousness in a pure form, stripped from online causal relationships to sensory inputs and motor outputs. Dreaming feels like “being in a world” – thus, dreaming, in its most basic and universal form, can be defined as a virtual reality or a world-simulation in the brain. The definition of dreaming as an internal simulated world has, subsequently, led to more detailed simulation theories of the function of dreaming. If dreaming in general is a simulation of waking reality, then the function of dreaming may be to simulate particularly important aspects or events of the waking world, in order to prepare the dreaming organism to deal with corresponding real situations more efficiently. The main ideas of current simulation theories of dreaming will be presented here, paying particular attention to their empirical testability. Overall, the new simulation theories of dreaming could lead to significant theoretical and empirical progress in dream science that unifies theories of dreaming with theories of consciousness. Moreover, the idea of dreaming as an internal, conscious world-simulation in the brain poses a challenge to many current philosophical theories of consciousness.
1. Describe the notion of “Simulation Theories of Dreaming.”
2. Identify the similarities and differences between Social Simulation Theory, Threat Simulation Theory, and Protoconsciousness Theory.
3. Explain what is meant by “testability” and how the simulation theories of dreaming can be empirically tested.
Otto M Rheinschmiedt
The Fictions of Dreams: Dreams and Literature (Paper)
Dreams are autobiographical fictions which employ the same narrative devices we can find in world literature, such as the memorial mode, multi-temporality, poeisis, historical consciousness, and infinite connectivity. The dream makes fictions out of the psycho-social material of our lives, in the same way that world literature recreates interiority and historicity from dream-like states of mind. Literature is a dream gone solid. And the process of fiction writing duplicates the dream’s inherent narrative facility. The basis for my presentation lies in over thirty years of clinical experience working analytically with dreams; having completed a book on dreams, The Fictions of Dreams, to be published by Karna; and being a critical reader of world literature. Theories employed are psychoanalysis, literary criticism (Lionel Trilling), the dream theory of fiction writing (Jonathan Franzen), and the theory of dreaming and historical consciousness by historian Charles Stewart. The origin of my thinking goes back to Freud’s foundation myth, which is closely linked with his father’s death and a subsequent flurry of dreams which led him into self-analysis, prolific writing, and a life-long love of words, winning the prestigious Goethe prize for literature on the way. By dreaming himself and the discipline of psychoanalysis into existence, he had set the tone for understanding the psyche as a poetry-making organ and the close link between dreams and literature.
Presentation sequence: Writerly devices employed in world literature are a reflection of the narrative nature of dreams because of the close relationship between the creative writer and dreaming. Patrick Modiano, in his memorial mode of writing, takes us into broken memory at the time of the French Occupation, in a reflection of a dreamer recovering from traumatisation. Gabriel Garcia Marquez employs the method of multi-temporality which is the simultaneous occurrence of past, present, and future, a feature which gives credence to the non-chronological, cyclical nature of dreams. Kafka, the poet of his own disorder, writing directly from dreams, gave expression to human alienation. His writing style comes close to the notion of obscure lucidity of dreams and their poetic nature. Irene Némirowsky, writing in the midst of France’s Nazi Occupation, became a writer steeped in historical consciousness which is also a dream concept. Australian author Patrick White’s notion of writing, ‘infinite connectivity’, is duplicated in the dream’s capacity to dismantle ego identity, and by doing so is reaching into the notion of inter-relatedness of all beings or we-consciousness, the spiritual dimension of dreaming. The target audience is open for all who have a keen interest in literature.
- List five narrative devices employed both by dreams and fiction writers – such as the memorial mode, multi-temporality, poeisis, historical consciousness, and ‘infinite connectivity’.
- Utilize the notion that dreams are autobiographical fictions which relate to the dreamer’s family history, her transgenerational family themes, and her ethnic identity.
- Differentiate between the dreamer’s personal history and her place in social identity.
Cristina Riva Crugnola and co-authors Elena Ierardi, Chiara Zanchi, and Alfio Maggiolini
Dream Content and Adult Styles of Attachment (Poster Presentation)
Introductory Summary. Adult styles of attachment are associated with different dream content. The aim of this study is to examine the differences between a secure style and insecure, anxious, and avoidant styles with respect to the content expressed in dreams in an Italian sample of adult subjects.
An Expanded Description of the Presentation. The content of dreams, just like the ability to recall them (McNamara et al. 2011), is associated with different styles of adult attachment. For example, subjects with anxious attachment describe dreams with negative representations of themselves, while subjects with avoidant attachment describe dreams with negative representations of other people (Mikulincer et al., 2011). In subjects with secure attachment, dreams frequently contain themes relating to the secure base script, indicating pursuit of intimacy/support (Selterman et al., 2012).
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the content of dreams and styles of attachment in an Italian sample. The participants were 201 subjects with ages ranging from 30 to 60 (136 women and 65 men) to whom the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ; Feeney, et al., 1994) was administered in order to evaluate styles of attachment (secure, anxious and avoidant). Examination of the content of dreams was conducted using the Most Recent Dream method (Domhoff, 1966); coding was carried out with the Hall /Van de Castle system (1966). ANOVA and subsequent post-hoc tests were used to evaluate significant differences between styles of attachment and the content of dreams. The results indicate that the distribution of styles of attachment does not differ from that of the normative sample (Feeney et al., 1994). Concerning the content of dreams, those subjects classified as having an anxious attachment style in their dreams express significantly more negative emotions, negative emotions of the dreamer, friendly interaction and physical aggression compared with avoidant and secure subjects. Secure subjects express more positive themes such as success, friendship and luck in their dreams than do avoidant subjects. In short, the quality of adult attachment is associated with the content of and emotions expressed in dreams. An anxious style of attachment is correlated with more negative emotions both general and linked to the dreamer and his/her interactions, as well as to a greater need for intimacy; a secure attachment style is correlated with more positive dream content. The study, the first to use the Hall/van Castle method to analyze the relationship between dreams and attachment, shows how the ways of expressing and regulating the emotions which characterize the different styles of attachment (Riva Crugnola et al., 2011; Mikulincer, Shaver, 2007) also inform dream content. Target level: Intermediate.
- Describe studies about dream themes and content and styles of attachment.
- Use the Attachment Style Questionnaire.
- Illustrate the associations between styles of attachment and dream content and emotions in an Italian sample of adults.
Selfhood in Dreams of Death and the Deceased in ancient Chinese Literature (Presentation within Culture Symposium titled “Selfhood in Dream Encounters with Death and the Deceased in East Asia”)
The paper discusses the role of dreams about the dead or death for the emergence of self-awareness in ancient (Zhou period) Chinese texts. It is argued that the crossing of the life-death barrier in dreams is part of a formal shift towards transcendence that characterizes Chinese “axial age” literature. The paper discusses the role of the dream about the dead or death for the emergence of self-awareness in ancient Chinese texts. It is argued that the crossing of the life-death barrier in dreams is part of a formal shift towards transcendence that characterizes Chinese “axial age” literature. The emergence of reflected selfhood in China is closely linked to the existential crisis of ancient Chinese civilisation in the course of the downfall of the Zhou dynasty (11th-3rd Century BCE). Together with the breakdown of the old feudal political order, and economic and social upheavals in the course of China’s entry into the iron age, the embeddedness of the individual in the community is shattered and its relationship to the handed-down ethos becomes problematic. The shift is reflected in different genres of literature, among them historiography and poetry, and in new philosophies like Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism which try to reformulate the position of the human being in the world without direct recourse to tradition. In Karl Jaspers’s terminology, China enters into the “axial age”, with the discovery of the individual and the overcoming of the closedness of life by reflection and transcendence. Up to now, the role of the dream in these developments has to my knowledge not been thematized in Western and Chinese literature (the only exception is M. Eggert, Rede vom Traum, Stuttgart 1993), and it will be the topic of the planned paper. While in earlier Chinese documents – starting with the oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang dynasty (late 2nd millennium BC) – dreams are mainly if not exclusively explanatory with regard to past events or prognostic with regard to future events; there is a shift from mantic to proto-philosophical and philosophical contents in “axial age” texts. Dreams now begin to express the situation of the detached individual standing in a tension with his/her time and with society. The paper will in particular focus on dreams about death and the dead by which the individual transcends his/her life-world, establishes a connection to other temporal and spatial realms and, dialectically, discovers his/her own selfhood. Thus, dreams are an integral part of the newly emerging “post-conventional” consciousness. This presentation will be accessible for a generally educated audience without specialist knowledge of Chinese cultural history – thus, “for all”.
- Discuss the assumption that Chinese culture has not brought forward a clear sense of the individual self.
- Discuss dream records as indicators of reflections on selfhood in ancient philosophical texts.
- Describe the interconnection of dreams and death in classical Chinese texts as a marker of “transcendent” thinking.
Perrine Ruby and co-authors Benoit Chatard, Raphael Vallat, and Aurélie Bidet-Caulet
Distractibility in High and Low Dream Recallers: An EEG Study (Paper)
Evoked potentials associated with automatic attention orientation towards an unexpected sound are larger in high dream recallers than in low dream recallers (Eichenlaub et al., 2014), suggesting differences in distractibility between these two groups. To test this hypothesis, we plan to use a paradigm designed to investigate distractibility in the auditory modality (Bidet- Caulet et al. Brain Topography 2014), in an EEG study in low and high dream recallers. Thirty six participants will be recruited.
This protocol enables the assessment of both evoked potentials to distracting sounds, and the impact of these sounds on subjects’ reaction times, providing behavioral and brain measures of distractibility. Thus, this study will allow us to determine if high dream recallers are more distractible than low dream recallers. This enhanced reactivity to unexpected sounds could contribute to an increase in awakenings during sleep, resulting in more opportunities to memorize dreams.
- Revise our understanding of the neurophysiological specificity of high and low dream recallers.
- Critique our understanding of the mechanisms of attention.
- Revise our understanding of dream memory.
Perrine Ruby and co-authors Manon Villalba, Alain Nicolas, and Jane Plailly
Episodic Memory: Does Dreaming Help? (Paper)
Numerous results argue in favor of a role of sleep in memory consolidation (e.g., Diekelmann & Born, 2010). These results question the possible role of dreaming in memory consolidation (Ruby 2011). Only one study so far has tested at the experimental level whether dreaming of a new task improves the memory of the task (Wamsley et al., 2010). To address this issue we used a paradigm developed to investigate the memory of short multisensory life episodes (Saive et al., 2013, 2014). Subjects were selected as high dream recallers (more than 4 mornings in a week with a dream remembered at awakening) and were presented with images and odors during 7 minutes for 3 consecutive days. (Images and odors were different for each of the 3 times.) During the 3 nights following the exploration of a new multisensory episode, subjects were asked to wear a wrist actimeter (used to assess sleep time), and to wake up at 5am and 8am to record their dreams with a dictaphone if they could recall one. On the 4th day, the memory for the multisensory episodes was tested. We plan to include 40 participants. We will compare the memory performance between the subjects who have incorporated the multisensory episodes into their dreams and the subjects who didn’t. According to Wamsley’s team’s conclusion in their 2010 study, the subjects who incorporated the new experience in their dreams should show better memory performance.
- Describe how to improve our understanding of the role of dreaming in memory.
- Demonstrate how to improve our understanding of memory.
- Demonstrate how to improve our understanding of dreaming.
Writing Your Dreams (Arts Workshop)
Introductory Statement. Using creative writing exercises to explore our dreams can yield rich results. Writing can be a valuable tool for self development and understanding, and creative writing can unlock new ways for working with dreams. In this workshop we will use creative writing exercises to explore a dream or dreams from different perspectives.
Description of Presentation. Creative writing can be a powerful tool for self discovery. Writing does not have to be “good/literary” to help us move forward. The focus of this workshop is on playing with different writing exercises based on our dreams to see what works and what emerges. Sharing writing with one or more people often offers new insights, just as sharing dreams in a group can help give us different perspectives on the journeys we take at night. You may choose to share what you have written. You may choose to share your learning from the process of a writing exercise. You may choose to share nothing. Whatever you decide is fine. Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes is a growing and emerging field; this workshop will draw on current theory and research in this field, linking these developments to dreamwork.
The workshop will commence with an introductory round and a short presentation on writing and dreamwork (10 minutes maximum for the latter). Workshop participants will be asked to identify and share a dream/dreams they would like to work on with one or two other people in the group. If the group is small they may choose to do a group dream-share. Participants will take part in three writing exercises related to their dream/dreams and be given time to explore and share their writing with one or more people in the group with timings and instructions for sharing and feedback. A closing round will offer participants the chance to share writing and/or learning and identify steps for further work on writing and dreams. The dreamer is always the owner of the dream and owns their own interpretation informed by the exercises in the workshop. Each dreamer is the ultimate authority on their own dream. Workshop participants may help inform their thinking but it is up to the dreamer what they choose to take on, integrate, think about or discard. Workshop participants will be encouraged to offer questions and personal observations rather than interpretation.
- List three benefits for working with dreams using creative writing.
- Use at least one creative writing technique for working on their own dreams and/or with clients or patients.
- Utilize three exercises using dreams and creative writing.
Nils Sandman and co-authors Tiina Paunio, Erkki Kronholm, and Katja Valli
Nightmares and Well-being (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Hot Topics in Dream Research”)
Nightmares are intense dreams with negative emotional tone. Occasional nightmares are common and harmless, but frequent nightmares can pose a serious clinical problem. In this talk I will describe a series of studies investigating the prevalence, risk factors and consequences of frequent nightmares among adults. The studies to be presented are based on data collected in the Finnish national FINRISK study. FINRISK is a series of comprehensive health surveys conducted every five years from 1972 to 2012. Each survey is based on random cross-sectional population samples of Finnish adults aged 25-74, with a total number of 76,071 respondents for the whole series. FINRISK includes subjective assessment of nightmare frequency as well as multiple items related to sleep, mental and physical health, medication, life style, life satisfaction and socioeconomic factors. Various statistical methods were used to investigate the relationship between nightmares and these items. Four studies about nightmares utilizing FINRISK data will be discussed. In Study I, we investigated the prevalence of frequent nightmares among adult population. Study II focused on risk factors for frequent nightmares and found that insomnia, depression and nightmares often co-occur and form a triad of problems. The aim of Study III was to investigate the connection between seasonal affective problems and nightmares, and of Study IV to replicate the link between nightmares and completed suicide that has been reported in prior studies. The common denominator in all our studies is the connection between nightmares and well-being – various problems of well-being are related to increased nightmare frequency. As such, dreaming and well-being have at least a correctional connection.
- Describe the groups that have the highest nightmare prevalence among the general adult population.
- List the strongest risk factors for experiencing frequent nightmares.
- Summarize the kinds of sleep and dreaming problems people with seasonal affective disorder commonly experience.
Piroska Sándor and co-authors Sára Szakadát and Róbert Bódizs
Dreaming and its Associations with Cognitive and Emotional Development among 4-8 Year-old Children (Paper)
Introduction: REM sleep plays an important role in neural development and together with dreaming is closely connected to daytime cognitive and emotional functioning. The well cited (laboratory-based) developmental dream studies consider dreaming a cognitive achievement, not taking into consideration the recent neurocognitive dream conceptions which emphasize the emotional processing functions of dreaming. Aim: The aim of this study is to describe the development of dreaming and to explore connections between cognitive and emotional maturation and dream characteristics of 4 to 8 year old children.
Methods: Dreams of 40 children were collected upon morning awakenings in their homes during a 6-week period. Dream interviews were tape recorded by pre-trained parents. Content analysis was performed on the dream narratives focusing on formal (recall frequency, length) and content related (characters, activities, interactions, self-efficiency, cognitions, emotions, bizarreness) dream characteristics. Children’s intelligence was measured by subtests of the Wechsler’s Intelligence Scale for Children. Executive functioning functions and emotional processing were measured by a modified version of the Fruit Stroop and Emotional Stroop Test for Children and the child version of the Attention Network Test.
Results: Contrary to previous findings, we found preschoolers to be already accomplished dreamers, exhibiting kinematic imagery, self-representation, interactions, activities, cognitions, bizarreness and emotions in their dreams. According to our findings, although age related developmental patterns are also obvious, dreams of 4 to 8 year old children are in many ways comparable to those of adult standards. We found that longer and more eventful dreams (higher number of actions and interactions per dream) as well as an active role of the dreamer’s self in the dream plot (self-initiated actions and active self-representation) indicated a better attentional and frontal executive performance. In association with both emotional and executive functioning, specific categories of dream contents emerge as prominent correlates such as self-agency, activities and emotional content. We suggest that these content categories are indices of good emotional and cognitive functioning, and positive behavioral adaptation.
Conclusions: Our results underline the importance of methodology in developmental dream research, and might set an example for well controlled home-based developmental dream studies in the future. We confirmed the relationship of various dream characteristics with waking cognitive and emotional functioning, some of which are already established in the adult literature. It is an important step towards bridging the gap between adult and developmental research and highlights the importance of dreaming in everyday emotional adaptation. The role of dreams in emotional adaptation draws our attention to working with dreams in child therapy – which is not a new idea, but similar research may inspire clinical practice. Target audience: for all.
- Describe the working mechanism of the Neurocognitive Theory of dreaming by Levin and Nielsen.
- Compare the results of developmental dream research in preschool age children between laboratory and non-laboratory settings.
- List the key correlates of cognitive and emotional development in children’s dreams between the ages of 4-8 years.
David T. Saunders
A Comparison of Motor Imagery and Lucid Dreaming Practise on Motor-Task Performance Enhancement (Paper)
Introductory Statement: This upcoming study aims to build on preliminary work in the area of lucid dreams (dreams within which the dreamer is aware they are dreaming) and their potential practical application, specifically within the realm of motor skill acquisition and refinement. a) The idea of lucid dreamed actions contributing towards performance enhancement has been reported in anecdotal accounts within the literature (Erlacher, 2007; LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990; Tholey, 1990). In an attempt to acquire quantitative evidence, Erlacher & Schredl (2010) conducted a pilot study where participants were requested to practice a simple motor task of successfully tossing a 10-cent coin into a cup placed two metres away. Twenty lucid dreaming participants were further requested to attempt the task again during any lucid dreams they had that night. Seven succeeded in becoming lucid that night and were retested on the task, which was subsequently compared to a physical practise condition (n = 10) and a control condition with no practise (n =10). Results demonstrated that both practice conditions significantly improved their performance from pre to post-test – although the lucid dreaming condition increases were lower than those of physical practise, this was not significantly so. Stumbrys, Erlacher & Schredl (2015) attempted to replicate these findings via a finger-tapping task, comparing the performance increases of lucid dreaming practice to both mental and physical practice. All three practice conditions improved their performance from pre to post-test, with lucid dreamers showing the greatest performance increase (20%), physical practise the second largest (17%), and mental practise the smallest increase. No significant improvements were observed for the control group. These previous studies, while promising, were conducted over a matter of only several days, and have not investigated the technique’s impact on different motor skill modalities that rely on different elements of motor-action ability. This study is intended to provide evidence from a four week long study, and will compare scores on balance, hand eye coordination and reaction times, between lucid dreaming and motor imagery practise conditions alongside a control comparison group.
Summary of Presentation: First I shall begin with a brief consideration of the nature of motor action, outlining a simple explanation of simulation theory with regards to motor action. I shall then reflect upon earlier pilot studies in this area, followed by a brief outline and a justification of the methodology that I developed, supported by slides. I will then move on to discuss, again with the support slides, the experimental findings of the study, first addressing the findings comparing the three groups improvements over time for each of the three sensory modalities. This will be followed by a reflection upon the potential implications of the study’s findings for the current literature, and the longer term implications for the practical application of lucidity within the realm of motor skill refinement. Audience level – Intermediate/Advanced
- Describe the main premise of the simulation of action theory.
- Compare and contrast lucid dreaming and motor imagery practise.
- Discuss the implications of the findings for future lucid dreaming training potential.
Darts in Lucid Dreams: A Sleep Laboratory Study (Paper)
Nine individuals practiced darts in lucid dreams, compared to physical practice and a control group. The lucid dreamers who only experienced few distractions during lucid dream practice (LDP) showed significant improvement compared to those who were distracted more often.
Lucid dreams, dreams in which one is aware of dreaming, can be used to carry out actions deliberately. Anecdotal accounts and a qualitative study show that sports can be practiced in lucid dreams and that some athletes report a positive effect on physical performance (cf. Erlacher, 2007). LDP is a form of mental practice, which has been shown to be effective (e.g. Driskell, Copper & Moran, 1994). A field study using a coin-tossing task (Erlacher &Schredl, 2010) as well as an online experiment applying a finger-tapping task (Stumbrys, Erlacher & Schredl, 2015) found LDP to be effective. So far no study has assessed the effectiveness of LDP in a sleep laboratory setting. Using polysomnography participants can mark dream events by specific eye movements while dreaming (e.g. Erlacher & Schredl, 2008), which guarantees that the dream occurs in REM sleep. Furthermore, participants can be awakened directly after the dream and asked for a dream report. The aim of this study was to replicate the previous findings in a sleep laboratory setting.
Methods. Thirty-three participants spent one night at a sleep laboratory with polysomnographic recording. During pre-test and post-test all participants threw 21 darts with the non-dominant hand at a dartboard with concentric rings after nine warm-up throws. The score was the sum of all hits (ranging from 10 for bull’s eye down to 1). Participants in the physical practice (PP) group (n=9) practiced darts physically at night. The control group (CG; n=9) did not practice.
Results and discussion. Out of 15 lucid dreamers nine practiced the dart task within a lucid dream, marking that event with predetermined eye signals. No practice effects were found in any of the groups. However, from the dream reports it became obvious that some lucid dreamers experienced more distractions during LDP than others, such as changes in the used devices or interfering dream characters. We found a significant negative correlation between the number of distractions and the difference in the darts score (morning – evening), meaning that less distractions resulted in better morning performance (compared to evening). The LDP group was divided by median split into a group with few distractions (n=4) and one with many distractions (n=5). A significant improvement for the less distracted group was found. It would be interesting to further investigate the causes that lead to the varying experiences during LDP. One influencing factor could be the motivation to improve a motor skill. Therefore it would be interesting to conduct a study with athletes who practice their sport in lucid dreams. This study shows that in lucid dream research next to quantitative measures the quality of experiences should be taken into account. Qualitative studies could investigate how LDP can be used effectively and how problems can be overcome.
For all audiences
- Summarize previous research on lucid dream motor practice.
- Describe the design of this experiment.
- Discuss quantitative and qualitative approaches in research on lucid dream motor practice.
Eleogenetics and Dreams in Clinical Practice (Paper)
The presentation takes its cue from theoretical reflections on a clinical basis, with consequent technical applications. The target audience is intermediate and advanced. The study of dreams, especially when aimed to enrich clinical practices in the field of psychotherapy and social work, makes evident the recurring tension between continuity and discontinuity. In respect to the narrative typical of diurnal life, the narrative of dreaming features as progressively increasing in discontinuity.
While dreaming, the continuity in time, space, meanings and causal bonds gets more and more flimsy and inconsistent. It seems that the apex of this discontinuity is reached with nightmares, where the contents of the dreams threaten the dreamer as if they were concrete, coming from outside and out of any control. Traditionally this kind of discontinuity has been a favorite subjects both for the scholars studying dreams and for the practitioners, since it provides valuable clues to detect traumas, denied emotions and desires, feelings of guilt, and all the elements requiring the attention of a psychotherapist. In the theoretical framework of the continuity of the states of consciousness, the Author claims that dreams also feature another different kind of discontinuity. Paradoxically, this second one will lead the mind of the dreamer to a continuity of higher order, to be reached especially in daily life and in relational contexts. In this case also, discontinuity appears as if it would come “from outside”, but not through disrupting sensorial experiences and relationships. Rather, it is as if something original and new, endowed with its own amount of energy, provides senses, feelings and relationships – no matter if old or new – with new qualities and new meanings. Although the first effect of the uprising of these discontinuities is probably to create some bewilderment, it will lead to an increase in peace of mind and in the capacity of reprocessing memories and experiences, including traumatic ones, with the aim of healing and especially of future development.
Considering and working with dreams in the frame sketched above is part of the so called “eleogenetic approach”, which strongly enhances the focus on the future. “Eleogenetics” (Schinco, 2015) study the processes giving rise to mercy. In this context, “Mercy” means in particular the capacity, in a human system, of retrieving experiences involved in pathogenesis and transforming them into elements generating health and growth. This is possible thanks to the “emergence” (“epiphany”) of new and vital elements in the life of a person. Both in and out of a therapeutic context, processes of this kind require an upsurge of relationships and practices to facilitate and foster them.
The presentation will consist of •an introduction aimed to clarify the professional context in which the observations presented originated •the rationale of the presentation •some short clinical examples, including dream reports •short theoretical references •technical implications in an “eleogenetic” key •conclusions and issues open to future studies and in-depth analysis
- Explain what the term “eleogenetics” means.
- Describe two peculiarities of dreamworking according to eleogenetics.
- Describe the effects of eleogenetic discontinuities in the dreamer’s life.
Lauren Z. Schneider
Tarotpy, Alchemy and Embodied Imagination (Dreams and Healing Workshop)
This workshop, intended for all levels, presents Tarotpy re-visioned through the lens of alchemy and Embodied Imagination. Tarotpy is interwoven with Robert Bosnak’s writings in Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming and Embodiment: Creative Imagination in Medicine, Art and Travel, and Alchemy lectures to explore the notion that dreams and imagination are autonomous and influence the physical world. Alchemical practices, such as Tarotpy and Embodied Imagination, enhance and accelerate the natural desire within the material, within each of us, for evolution and refinement. Our dreams are populated with a multitude of intelligent beings with whom we interact and in doing so, both are transformed. Are we similarly living in an interactive universe, intelligently organized to evolve the material that inhabits it?
By way of synchronicity, Tarotpy allows us to access the dream world with eyes wide open. Synchronicity is like a glitch in the matrix, an alchemical phenomenon in which the dream realm intersects the physical world. By observing synchronicity we can experience this powerful undercurrent of the imaginal (dream) world influencing our lives. The closer we are to the imaginal realm – working with dreams, Embodied Imagination or contemplative tools such as Tarotpy – the more transparent we are to its intelligence, and the less attached to personal or collective ego constructs. There is a reciprocal relationship: psycho-spiritual focus of attention begins to heat up the image, which in turn inspires active imagination, which then enlivens the spirit within the image. In this shared state of inspiration between active imagination and the “living image”, a communication materializes. Despite profound insights and significant shifts with Tarotpy, I observe repeatedly that trauma lives in the cells and neuropathways; like a rubber band, the client’s wounded self-image snaps back into habitual and rigid postures. I am acutely aware of the need to actively embody dreams and Tarotpy images. The technique of Embodied Imagination, pioneered by Jungian Analyst Robert Bosnak, uses the phenomenon of dreaming as a paradigm for all work with memories, symptoms, and images. From the perspective of dreaming, the image is a place, an environment in which we find ourselves. Based on this notion, the dreamer can re-enter the landscape of the dream and flash back into its images to experience them more fully. Embodied imagination is based on neuroscience and on the phenomenological work of C.G. Jung, especially his work on alchemy, and the archetypal psychologist, James Hillman, who focused on soul as a multiplicity of embodied states. These states can be experienced simultaneously as a network of embodiments, creating profound therapeutic effects.
Following the didactic portion, including interactive participation (40 minutes), participants will be guided to apply Embodied Imagination techniques to the Tarotpy method. When we focus on an image – whether it is from a dream or a card – and describe in detail its specific characteristics, we can sense its embodied presence. “Mirror neurons” in the brain mimic the image-presence so that we feel it in our own bodies. Participants will practice holding in conscious awareness different feeling states of a composite of images.
- Describe principles of Alchemy and its application to dream work and Tarotpy.
- Compare and contrast Embodied Imagination with a Projective Approach to imagery.
- Identify what characterizes synchronicity as an alchemical phenomenon and describe its therapeutic value.
Michael Schredl and co-authors Katharina Adam, Barbara Beckmann, and Ivelina Petrova
Health Dreams, Health-Related Worries, and Being Ill: A Questionnaire Study (Poster Presentation)
Connecting dreams with somatic illness has a long tradition; e. g., physicians such as Hippocrates and Galen used dreams for diagnosing and curing illnesses. The present study investigated the relationship between illness, health-related worries, and health-related dreams in a sample of 178 persons. The findings indicate that having a minor illness and especially health-related worries increase the percentage of health-related dreams. Diary studies are needed to support this preliminary finding. As the emotional tone of dreams is also affected by health, it would be very interesting to see if working with dreams or Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (in the case of nightmares) is beneficial for patients suffering severe medical illnesses.
- Health-related dreams are increased by previous illness.
- Health-related dreams are strongly related to illness-related worries.
- Poor health is related to negative dream emotions.
Listening to the Dreamer (Language: German) (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.
- Open-ended questions are important to stimulate the dreamer’s own ideas about the relationship between dream and current waking life.
- The basic pattern of the dream (emotions, action) is crucial for understanding why this particular dream occurred at this particular time.
- You can learn from dream in a similar way as you learn from waking-life experiences.
Music in Dreams: Empirical studies (Paper)
Over the years, composers received inspirations from their dreams, e.g., Paul McCartney dreamed of the melody of ‘Yesterday’. Except from a diary study in a small group of musicians and non-musicians (Uga, Lemut, Zampi, Zilli, & Salzarulo, 2006), empirical research in this area is scarce. The aim of the present studies was to determine the frequency of music dreams in a large sample, and factors that might affect this frequency. In addition, music students were studied and a long dream series of a person occasionally playing and singing in his leisure time.
Method. Overall, 2929 participants (1742 women, 1187 men; mean age: 45.88 ± 14.38 years) completed the online questionnaire about music dream frequency. In the second study, psychology students (N=52), music students (N=32), choir members (N=49), and a rest group (N=11) completed a questionnaire about music dreams. Lastly, the dream series consisted of N = 10.398 dreams recorded over a period of 28 years.
Results and Discussion. Overall, the frequency of music dreams was about 6% for the population-based sample (Schredl, Berres, Klingauf, Schellhaas, & Göritz, 2015), for psychology students, and for the dream series. As expected, and supporting the continuity hypothesis, the time spent with music activities during the day and the emotional involvement are correlated with the frequency of music dreams. Music dreams are also more positively toned – as has been reported previously (Kern et al., 2014). It would be interesting to complement these findings with larger diary studies in unselected populations and composers
Kern, S., Auer, A., Gutsche, M., Otto, A., Preuß, K., & Schredl, M. (2014). Relation between waking politic, music and sports related tasks and dream content in students of politics and psychology students. International Journal of Dream Research, 7, 80-84.
Schredl, M., Berres, S., Klingauf, A., Schellhaas, S., & Göritz, A. S. (2015). Factors affecting the frequency of music dreams: An online study. International Journal of Dream Research, 8(2), 139- 141.
Uga, V., Lemut, M. C., Zampi, C., Zilli, I., & Salzarulo, P. (2006). Music in dreams. Consciousness and Cognition, 15, 351- 357.
- Demonstrate that music dreams are quite common, on average about 6% of all remembered dreams include some reference to music.
- Demonstrate that music dreams are generally more positive than the average emotional tone of all remembered dreams.
- Explain how the time spent with music activities during the day is related to the frequency of music dreams.
Listening to Dreams of the Dying and their Loved Ones (Dreams and Healing 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 analyze a dream but rather will demonstrate how the scenarios could be used as a therapeutic tool to guide the care and to better communicate with a patient. Though we will minimize interpretation, universal dream symbols may be discussed for the purpose of explaining the dreamer’s feeling.
Feelings evoked from the dream in the dreamer are important and can provide insight to the palliative care team in understanding how the patient is responding in his own ”here & now.” Understanding may help the dreamer in a grieving process. The dream reaches deeply into a patient’s feeling and doesn’t lie! Respectfully listening to the dream scenario can offer the care provider a tool to better assist the patient in communicating more freely. The presenter has collected many dream scenarios from dying patients while giving the care to them and their families. She has published a number of these dreams in collaboration with Nicole Gratton in a book in French, Les rêves en fin de vie. She has found that the dream scenarios seem to mirror what the patient is experiencing while dying. Participants attending this workshop will gain an awareness of the importance and advantages of listening to the dream.
- Demonstrate that people at the end of life may have significant dreams.
- Identify a tool for patients to express their feelings by using their dreams.
- Explain to caregivers how to use dreams as a tool of communication.
Those Two Dreams that Influenced my Life (Presentation within Dreamwork Panel titled “Dreams that Have Influenced my Life”)
The dream that influenced my career came to me as a gift. I had been working as a psychiatric nurse for more than twenty years, was attending training sessions on nursing and death, without really knowing why, and was only marginally interested in dreams. Then the dream came to me, so detailed, so clear, so bright. It gave me the necessary confidence to face death, and I knew at that moment I would work in palliative care, one day, to help for the ‘’Crossing Over’’. In the dream, I kept saying: “We have to help them cross over”. I wish I could have painted that dream, but it would have been a very poor reproduction. Then the opportunity to work in palliative care was offered to me and I just knew I had to accept, feeling confident even though it meant giving up the security of working in a governmental institution. That dream also improved my approach with the patients and those loved ones surrounding them. Since then, I started asking my patients about their dreams. They shared their dreams, and I realized with amazement that the dream was often reflecting what the patient felt in that very special period of his life. Knowing their emotions helped me a lot to accompany them and improve communications. Since then, I have co-authored a book about dreams at the end of life, and given numerous conferences with different associations in palliative care. My goal is to promote the importance of taking care of listening to the dream of a dying person or family – such a beautiful tool to help with the ‘’crossing over.’’
My second dream helped me with the frustration, even anger in a very special period in my life. I thought I was happily married until I discovered that he was having an affair with someone I knew. I was in shock, as if someone had pulled the carpet out from under my feet, with mixed feelings oscillating between deception, fear, sadness – and of course, frustration and anger. Throughout this period, I was writing down my dreams very carefully. I could have up to seven dreams on certain nights. I was writing every scenario with all the details I could remember and always noted the emotions. Eventually I could see the process, like a map. There was a progression. A healing process was taking place. I was feeling better able to integrate these emotions, except for that anger that was still occupying a large place in my life. That «beautiful» dream was also a gift where I could feel the anger and release it right away. The scenario was so unreal that I woke up laughing loud with a total sense of relief. That dream was so powerful! It led me through a complete healing process. The presentation is suited for all audiences.
- Demonstrate the influence of a dream in a new career choice.
- Identify the importance of the emotion in the dream.
- Utilize the dream in a healing process.
Pilleriin Sikka and co-authors Antti Revonsuo and Katja Valli
Methodological Issues in Measuring Dream Emotions (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Hot Topics in Dream Research”)
Emotions are central in dreams, specifically in rapid eye movement sleep dreams. Despite a wealth of research on the emotional content of dreams, there is little consensus about the overall emotionality and predominant valence of dreams, or about the prevailing specific emotions in dreams. Previous contradictory findings are arguably due to unresolved methodological issues. However, studies that have directly investigated these methodological issues are scarce. In this presentation three studies that investigated the effect of study methodology on the frequency, valence and phenomenological content of dream emotions are discussed. The studies demonstrate that the use of different methods for rating dream emotions (participants who experience the dream versus external judges who analysed the respective dream report) and for collecting dream reports (home vs laboratory setting) leads to very different results and conclusions about the emotional content of dreams. As such, these studies highlight the importance of carefully considering study methodology when conducting and interpreting dream (emotional) content studies.
- Describe the main methodological problems in studying dream emotions.
- Explain how the results regarding dream emotionality differ depending on which methods are used for rating dream emotions and in which environmental setting dream reports are collected.
- Discuss the limits of generalization when conducting or interpreting dream research using one methodological approach only.
To Live Beyond the Image: Gregory the Great, Dream Theory, and Spiritual Guidance (Presentation within Religious and Spiritual Symposium titled “Dreams in Spiritual Direction and Mystagogy”)
In two instances in his oeuvre, Gregory the Great (pope between 540-604), explains the causes of dreams, warning his audience that one should be careful, for Scripture teaches that in many cases dreams turn out to be mere illusions or illusions wrapped in the disguise of revelation. On the positive side: Mary was warned ’by the Angel in a dream to take the Child and to fly into Egypt’ (Morals on Job 8.42).
Gregory is not a dream-worker. In his spiritualitity the dream vision is used as a metaphor for the hidden and sacramental significance of God’s words in Scripture. This significance is ‘seen’ with the eyes of the mind: a seeing as in a dream.
One might say that where the natural eyes see the letters of the text, the eyes of the mind are able to see in an image its allegorical and moral significance. This seeing leads the reader deeper into the understanding of the mystery of God and God’s will and intention.
For Gregory the Great, the praxis of reading Scripture is a dynamics of contemplation (directed towards God), pulsing into a dynamics of action (directed to one’s neighbor). While reading, the reader will be led (ductus) into a realm of divine significance, providing a sacramental perspective on life, offering insight and a sense of urgency and guidance. Other than perhaps in dreamwork, Gregory’s pastoral care acknowledges a strong intentionality of the images seen while reading Scripture, for it is God who speaks and reveals the history of salvation. What is seen will install a program of action which man is invited to follow and act out. Gregory takes the lead in this, stirring up the soul and guiding it to take the cue of the significance seen for both one’s personal life and the duties and responsibilities in public life. He is vigilant to ensure that the certainty of the deeper understanding of Scripture is balanced by the core value of humility.
- Explain how Gregory the Great uses the concept of vision (dream image) in dream theory as a metaphor for the spiritual understanding of Scripture.
- Describe Gregory’s allegorical reading of Scripture and its significance and use in his pastoral care.
- Describe the elements, dynamics, and intentionality of Gregory the Great’s model of spiritual guidance.
Gregory Scott Sparrow
Working with Dream Metaphor from the Standpoint of Co-Creative Dream Theory (Dreamwork Workshop)
Co-creative dream theory posits that the dream is co-created through the reciprocal interplay between the dream ego and the emergent content, and unfolds in real time as a process that is indeterminate from the outset. The dream report can, therefore, be seen as one of many possible outcomes based on the dreamer’s range of possible reactions through the course of the dream. From this dynamic relational view of the dream, the visual imagery can be regarded as the mutable interface between the dreamer and the dream, or the moment-to-moment vectoring of the encounter between two somewhat autonomous structures. While Freud believed that the dream was “strictly determined,” and that dream images bear a direct relationship with objects from the waking life, dream imagery is now viewed by dream theorists and analysts such as Hartmann and Ullman as broadly metaphorical, rather than specifically representing a single person, object, or situation in the waking person’s life. This is true in Hartmann’s theory which focuses on the contextualizing function of dream imagery. Ullman, too, has focused on how the metaphorical nature of dream imagery maps onto a person’s waking life in his Dream Appreciation method. However, neither Hartmann nor Ullman addresses the dream as an interactive process, nor treats the imagery as malleable and evolving in real time as a reaction to the dreamer’s response set, which is a fundamental feature of co-creative dream theory. Indeed, co-creative dream theory requires that we view imagery as malleable and unfolding, and the metaphorical function of imagery as dynamic through time. The didactic portion of the workshop will be based on a paper (that will facilitate a condensed presentation in a workshop format), in which I will endeavor to review our understanding of metaphor in literature, linguistics, and dream analysis, and then show how the construction and function of metaphor changes when viewed as an evolving or regressing interface between the emergent dream content and the dream ego’s response to it. Then I will involve the audience in a way of working practically with dream imagery using a method of inquiry that respects the unfolding, mutable nature of metaphor within co-creative dream analysis.
- Describe two differences between Freud’s view of a dream symbol and a modern view of dream metaphor, as represented by Ullman.
- Explain three ways that co-creative dream theory alters our view of dream imagery.
- Describe a method of inquiry based on viewing dream metaphors as a mutable interface between dream content and dream ego response.
Kelly Sullivan Walden
Dreams Unzipped: Love/Sex/Relationship Dreams (Dreams and Healing Workshop)
In this workshop we will “pull back the covers” on the vital role our dreams play in our ability to mate and relate in a more soulful way in our waking lives. We will explore approaches for working with sexual dreams to for the purpose of creating more satisfying romantic relationships.
Our dominant daytime thoughts, questions, and unfinished business are passed on to our dreams, which, in turn, give us clues to effectively navigate the treacherous yet rewarding terrain of love, and our most nagging romantic questions, such as:
How might I attract my soul mate?
Will I ever meet the man or woman of my dreams?
Once I find the love of my life, how do I keep him or her from leaving?
What should I do with an overpowering sexual attraction?
Why am I so afraid my partner will cheat on me, leave me, or stop loving me?
Why am I afraid to make a commitment?
How can I reassure my partner that I’ll be faithful when I’m attracted to nearly everyone with a pulse?
How can I fully express my true self and still be held in the embrace of a relationship?
To gain more insight about what your nighttime dreams mean for you and how they can add rocket fuel to your greatest dreams/desires for your love life we will discuss 10 of the most commonly remembered sexual dreams:
Cheating on a significant other
With an Ex
An orgasm that feels real
With the boss
With a celebrity
In an adventurous place
With someone of the same sex
With a family member or close platonic friend
With a friend’s significant other
Sexual problems (inability to perform or sexual deformity)
We will also explore such topics as “Exes and Ohs”—Why do we dream about our ex lovers? How common is it for people to have sexual dreams? Why do we have sexual dreams? Why are sexual dreams the ultimate “Hall Pass”? Do men and women dream differently? How can your dreams help you revive an ailing relationship? What are the best ways to share dreams with a lover?
The presenter will share a related dream and a few thoughts/reflections about the subject matter, then act as facilitator, taking the dreamers through the following process to discover the gold in their dreams:
- Call to mind, draw, and briefly journal a dream that is “tugging” to be acknowledged – including the dreams *title, *sub-title, and *primary emotion (in the dream)
- Journal a current “relationship-oriented” question, and then how the dream might be providing insight, guidance or a solution
- Share any insights with a partner or to the group as a whole if willing
- Group participation, with a willing participant who has either had an “aha” or is feeling stuck, using the Ullman derived “If it were my dream” approach
- As the sharing continues, we may add gestalt work, dream theatre, or amplification, depending upon what feels called for by the dream and the dreamer
- To conclude, participants will be asked to identify how they will honor their dream’s wisdom/guidance (i.e. action they will take to amplify and activate the energy of the dream)
- How to work with dreams to receive navigational guidance about our love lives.
- How to up the ante of “soul” in our love lives via dreams.
- Techniques for working with sexual dreams to creating more satisfying romantic relationships.
The Three Stages of Imagery (Invited Presentation)
Imagining is the core function of the psyche. The inner world of our imagination is the central arena within which we become who we are and where we can explore our possibilities. Every action, each new step in our behavior, is generated by our image of it.
A distinguishing feature of imagery is that it can take us into a deeper state of consciousness. As we become more involved in our inner imagery, we can enter a kind of natural trance-like state, in very much the way that when we are gripped by a film, a book or a piece of music we can completely enter into it and lose all sense of time. As we make full contact with an image, it’s as if it becomes pregnant. The image unfolds and reveals the energy contained within it, much as a window opens on our computer screen when we click on it.
Imagery opens us up to a dimension where time and space appear to be relative, and where in principle, everything is possible. It is in this fifth dimension that we can be fully free and creative. It is, however, a dimension which has its own pitfalls, particularly if we do not have the necessary strength to cope with the immeasurable forces which dwell here.
The defining features of the fifth dimension are:
– intense consciousness;
– a trance-like, dream-like state; visions;
– the experience of timelessness and a dissolving of spatial boundaries;
– images which are charged with symbolic psychic energy;
– experience of a subtle body or energy field;
– contact with sources of revitalizing energy as well as with unassimilated elements in de psyche.
The process of imagery begins with the discovery that inner images have great impact. Becoming aware of this influence can be a huge and often confronting revelation.
In the next stage we discover that we can exert influence upon our images, and that within this inner world of images we can take action, make adjustments and even effect transformation. This is the area in which most therapy and coaching work is done.
That we are quite possibly the creators of our own inner world and thereby of our own feelings, our own behaviour and our own lives is a well-kept secret.
In this third stage we come to the realization that ‘our inner world’ of feelings, convictions, complexes and self-images, in fact determines our experience of the world ‘out there.’ In becoming conscious of this, we can become capable of owning all aspects of our psyche, energies, emotions and tendencies, which we find within us. We learn to cope with them and we discover the creative capacity by which our life in all its many facets is brought into being. The third stage may culminate in a state of consciousness in which ‘owner’ and ‘creator’ become one, in which the inner and the outer world spring from the same source, and where the barriers of time and space prove to be an illusion.
* An extensive article on the Three Stages of Imagery has been published in Psychosynthesis Quarterly: http://aap-psychosynthesis.org/wp-content/uploads/Psychosynthesis-Quarterly-March-2016.pdf.
- Demonstrate how every action, each new step in a person’s development, is generated by its image.
- Identify how in our imagination we can be fully free and creative. It is, however, also a dimension which has its own pitfalls, particularly if we do not have the necessary strength to cope with the immeasurable forces which dwell here.
- Explain – in therapy and coaching – how clients need to learn to own and cope with their inner imagery, and discover thereby the creative capacity it contains.
Sharing Dreams Expands Awareness and Moves Us in New Directions for Peace (Presentation within Humanities Panel titled “Dreams without Borders: The World Dreams Peace Bridge”)
The presenter will share how the interaction of the Dream group led her to teach a class about dreams to children in her small town, and to write a chapter about it for an upcoming book on dreams for children. Links and thoughts that are given by group members have not only provided insight into the dreams themselves, but have also led to insights and growth for the presenter personally. She will share how one link to the work of Dean Radin affected her with deeper understanding of the intention the dream group shares when they dream together. She will also share a few ideas about Radin’s work, as he is committed to bringing to light the significance of intention and consciousness and its role in change. Since he mentions a role for meditation, some ideas about that will be included.
- Learn about some of Dean Radin’s research in intentionality and its role in change.
- Discover that dreams and sharing them are having a positive effect in changing our world.
- Learn ways that participants might use their own dreams for change.
Mirjam Tirion-Ietswaart and Nanske Kuiken
Staircase to Heaven: Adapting Dreamwork to Dream Energy (Spiritual Workshop)
Each type of dream deserves its own approach. According to old traditions (e.g. mystical Jewish), and supported by decennia of dreamwork experience within ITIP, our dreams can be viewed as expressions of visits to different areas during the night. The dream can tell about a visit to:
- The psychological realm, showing hidden aspects of yourself, making you aware of the way you move through your life on a daily basis.
- The realm of the soul, of deep knowing: It shows you the long term questions you are dealing with. It makes clear what life the soul longs you to live.
- The spiritual realm: the transpersonal world behind the world of manifestations – premonitions, guides, angels, the deceased, or a strong image can show you a wider perspective on existence.
These dreams give a sense of meaning, renew hope, offer consolation. In this 2 hour workshop we’ll work with participants’dreams, and show the different approaches for each of these three types of dreams. We’ll be using the method of physical awareness, a method widely used by the dreamworkers within ITIP. It is founded on the work of Reich and further developed in 45 years of dreamwork within ITIP. The method of physical awareness makes it possible
- to use non- analytical, non-rational signals, opening up new, often unexpected insights;
- to use the dream experience as a starting point for further, deep, non-verbal inquiry in areas of personal and spiritual growth;
- to anchor the dream experience deeply in daily consciousness so that the insight gained from dreamwork translates to development in everyday life.
The workshop will consist of a 2 hour program in which participants can choose to work with their dreams. After a short introduction we will work with three dreams, one from each type. We will do this in three rounds, with a short meditation between each. The last 20-30 minutes will be for questions and answers. All participants will be actively involved in working with physical awareness, and where applicable, in supporting the dreamwork.
- Learn how to recognize the three types of dreams.
- Experience the method of physical awareness (participants submitting a dream).
- Demonstrate the three variations of the method of physical awareness (other participants).
Paricia Elizabeth Torres Villanueva
The Healing Power of Shamanic Dances and Dreaming (Arts Workshop)
The central objective will advance your understanding of conscious movement to discover within yourself the hidden realms and how to enter nonordinary states. You will begin to truly walk the path of Higher Energy and not be tied to what your ego is pushing you towards, but instead to what gives you true meaning and well being emotionally, physically, mentally, and creatively.
We will practice a circle dance to focus our attention, concentration and observation, and to be able to imitate and repeat, thus developing our consciousness and awareness. Our innermost feelings of fear, sadness, and anger will emerge, but we will learn to express our feelings in a healthy and creative way – leading to joy and love, self contentment, and sharing. Repetitive rhythms slowly inspire us to recognize our moods, thus interpersonal relations are established in a different atmosphere of respect, finding our will power, self esteem, decision making, discipline and persistence, all of which are necessary to step into beautiful new possibilities in your life. The repetition of the steps in this ancestral ritual dance ensure that our brain receives and processes electric messages which are transmitted to the neuro-endocrine axis, hypothalamus, thyroid and adrenals to bring into balance whatever hormones are askew. It is especially important when working in psychotherapy. Workshop: Two Hours; Didactic Presentation: half an hour; Circle dance practice: one hour; Group discussion and closing: half an hour.
- Increasing personal self awareness.
- Interconnectedness in the eternal present.
- Empowerment in perception and interhemispheric bridging.
Giuseppe Tropeano and Stefano Martellotti and co-author Mariagrazia Capillo
Penelope’s Dreams and Real Life Neurological Feature (Poster Presentation)
In our study, we examined some of Penelope’s dreams under three different points of view: content, formal aspects, and emotional issues, using Domhoff’s classification and coding method of content analysis. The patient has been accurately examined from both the immunological and neurological point of view. An EEG showed sharp waves and other bioelectrical anomalies; an NMR brain scan showed some leucoencephalopathy in “paragenicolare” in the right area. Presently, we are trying to establish the relationship between a brain lesion, EEG data, dreaming characteristics, and physical state (autoimmune sickness?) Peculiarities were: 1) An extremely high number of very vivid dreams, often represented by drawings; 2) Confusion between dreams and waking events (twin boundaries); 3) A trend to several degrees of dissociation; and 4) Suffering from a “sickness syndrome” (fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc.) for which she was widely analyzed by the appropriate specialist.
- To study the relationship between psychic states, dreams, sleep disorders, physical health, EEG data and RMN brain imaging.
- To discuss the relationship between dreams as recalled and dreams as figurated by drawing.
- Demonstrate the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the patients’ problem.
Misa Tsuruta and co-authors Joan G. Miller, and Marcel Kinsbourne
How Different/Similar Are Americans and Japanese Students in Dreams and Personal Narratives? (Poster Presentation)
Dreams may have been seen as a culturally universal phenomena since the time of the ancient Greeks and Chinese. In modern times, there were psychological and scientific interests in dreams – for instance in Freud’s writings. In particular, the discovery of REM sleep was a pivotal point in dream research. As psychology has become culturally wider, it also has had to deal with the possibilities of cultural differences in various psychological constructs and phenomena. This research draws on dream study, psychology and anthropology to examine whether there are any cultural differences and similarities in dreams. In doing so, the present study does not solely rely in dreams as data but also uses waking narratives (personal narratives) as dat.
Data were collected from undergraduate and graduate students in the US and in Japan. They replied to a few questionnaires, provided a writing on a recent personally significant event, and kept a 2-week dream journal. The waking narratives and dreams were then coded by 2 coders. The results indicated: a) Agreement of source of dreams as internal was higher in Americans than in Japanese; b) Americans had more lucid dreams than did Japanese; c) Americans had lengthier dreams than did Japanese (the first dream in the dream journal); d) Japanese mentioned more groups in their dreams than did Americans; e) Americans mentioned more negative and total (sum of positive and negative) emotions in their personal narratives than did Japanese. However in other areas similarities across the two cultures may be assumed. These areas were: dream recall frequency, dream sharing frequency, agreement with sources of dreams as being external, and nightmare frequency. Their differences/similarities may arise from cultural differences in cognition, and development in areas such as how to elaborate past experiences, and recognition and expression of emotions. For what is truly ‘different’ or ‘similar’ more research is awaited. This poster presentation is for all audiences.
- To demonstrate cultural differences in dreams and personal narratives between American and Japanese cultures.
- To demonstrate commonalities between the two cultures.
- To indicate possible differences and characteristics of dreams and personal narratives as compared to each other.
Jarno Tuominen and co-authors Antti Revonsuo, Tuula Stenberg, and Katja Valli
Dreams as social simulation (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Hot Topics in Dream Research”)
Dream researchers have recently converged toward the conceptualization of dreaming as a simulation of the waking world. Dreams have been characterized in terms such as virtual reality, immersive spatiotemporal simulation, or realistic and useful world simulation. As such, the conception of dreaming as a simulated world now unifies the definitions of the basic nature of dreaming within dream and consciousness research. This paradigm has consequently led to hypotheses about the possible adaptive functions of dreams. In addition to the previously hypothethized threat preparation, social interactions have gained interest as one such function. Social content is a universal and abundant feature of human dreams, and can best be characterized as a simulation of human social reality; simulating the social skills, bonds, interactions and networks that we engage in during our waking lives. In this presentation we outline the Social Simulation Theory (SST) of dreaming based on these assumptions, and present results from empirical research. We compare SST with other major competing theories of the nature and function of dreaming, such as the Continuity Hypothesis (dreaming as continuation/repetition of daily experiences) and the Threat Simulation Theory (dreaming as adaptive simulation of threats). These three major theories of dreaming make differing predictions as to the quality and quantity of social simulations in dreams. We compared dream reports from a previous dream study with their corresponding waking samples using the Social Simulations in Dreams Scale (SSDS). The hypotheses tested were: i) there are more positive than negative social interactions in dreams, and ii) there are more positive social interactions in dream than in corresponding waking reports. In addition, we were unable to replicate the finding that NREM dreams include more positive, and REM dreams more negative, interactions. The effect of these results on dream theories is discussed.
- Describe the theoretical basis of Social Simulation Theory.
- Describe the use and limitations of content analysis for dream reports.
- Differentiate between various simulation theories.
Born Again: Alchemy and Dreams of the Other (Presentation within Clinical Symposium titled “Transpersonal Research”)
Be it because of our sexuality, gender, or culture, at various points in our life we will all experience being the other. An exploration of this unconscious experience through our dreams presents an interesting alchemical perspective that is also a route towards psychological reintegration.
As a black British man, whose parents arrived in Europe from the Caribbean at the end of the British Empire, every day in the news I witness the difficult experiences of the outsider via the media, be they the immigrant from war torn countries, from a different gender, or from a different religion. Whilst in the Global North the other is often denigrated and abused and made to be an outsider, from a more Afrocentric perspective how we experience the other is often seen as being a reflection of how well we know our self, an idea for example which sits central to African philosophy of Ubuntu (Oppenheim 2012). But what is it like to be the other, and how can accessing our internalised other through our dreams help us to understand ourselves and others around us?
“Born Again” is part of my wider PhD research project to understand the unconscious experience of being the other. As part of this research a 6 month heuristic study was undertaken where along with dream entries, visualisations and sand play work, my dreams were also recorded. These dreams were analysed using the incubation and explication stages of Moustakas’ (1990) research methodology to ascertain the themes apparent within, a process which revealed that working with these dreams, and seeing them through an alchemical lens, is a means ‘of understanding the process of human transformation as it reveals itself through dreams’ (Hamilton, 2014).
The presentation will begin with a brief introduction to the background to my research and continue with an exploration of the six themes uncovered in this research, including ‘recognising the authentic/inauthentic split’ where the dreams talk of the suppressed anger towards oneself which must be maintained in order to fit in with the majority; ‘engaging with the shadow’, where the internalised other literally fights to be seen striking out at an egoic sense of self that in turn has to die before any growth can occur; to ‘the union of opposites’ where the shadow has been worked through enough for the contrasexual other to be embraced and reintegrated.
In conclusion, these strands will be tied together to address the importance for the other in acknowledging the painful conscious and unconscious impact of prejudice, racism, stereotyping, etc. Being the other is a difficult unconscious process as well as a conscious one. When one engages with one’s sense of otherness, the alchemical dreams presented by the experience hold the power for transformation. This presentation will highlight the growing necessity of a cross cultural approach to alchemy, where a symbolic understanding of alchemy and its symbols embraces symbolic metaphors from cultures relevant for the other.
This presentation is for all, particularly those interested in heuristic dream research, transpersonal methodologies, and cultural issues.
- Describe a heuristic process of dream exploration, including methods of analysis appropriate to the transpersonal paradigm.
- Discuss how the experience of being the other is revealed in dreams.
- Critique the global northern heteronormative perspective of alchemy, challenging it to include ideas from cultures previously seen as other.
Susan Turner Gabrielle
Dreamer, Poet, Prophet: Transforming the Dream Experience into Visionary Poetry (Paper)
The influence of dreams on poetic expression has a long and documented history. This presentation will explore how poets have used dreams to construct poetical works, ranging from the Roman poet Statius, to Chinese poetry of the Ming-Qing period, 1930s British Surrealists, to modern poets Elizabeth Bishop and Paula Meehan. Both then and now, such writing has the potential to act as a visionary agent for change in the larger world. Dream research has explored how transformation and healing can be offered to the individual by providing knowledge of the self the dreamer may not otherwise have access to in waking consciousness. In addition, dreamers are given the capacity to connect to the larger world, where dreams provide new material to be considered alongside prevailing beliefs and emotional attitudes. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge felt that dreams not only embraced the power of the imagination, but that they could also be used as means of literary inspiration and even as messengers of cultural shifts. He was not alone; many poets have been moved to incorporate their dreams into metaphorical language. Modern Irish poet Paula Meehan noted that signs and symbols, including prophetic dreams, were crucial to how she and her women ancestors related to the world, comparing those experiences to the societal whole of her time, as well as giving voice to a body of knowledge that might otherwise be lost. Poetical expression—in particular that which comes out of the uncensored dream world—works as a powerful communal act and has the ability to provide vision, transformation, and healing.
- Identify, from an historical perspective, poets whose works have been influenced by dreams.
- Describe what role dreams have had in the composition of poetical works.
- Discuss how poets and poetry act as powerful visionary, transformative, and healing agents in the larger world.
Raphael Vallat and co-authors David Meunier, Alain Nicolas, and Perrine Ruby
Sleep Inertia and Functional Connectivity between Brain Regions at Awakening: An fMRI Study (Paper)
Sleep inertia is a transitional state of lowered arousal occurring immediately after awakening from sleep (it generally lasts no more than 30 min) and producing a temporary decrement in subsequent performances, including memory performance (Tassi & Muzet 2000). Sleep inertia is thus a good candidate to explain the differences in dream recall frequency between high and low dream recallers. Only one H2O-PET study has investigated this phenomenon at the neurophysiological level so far (Balkin et al. 2002). In order to progress in our understanding of sleep inertia we planned a combined EEG-fMRI study to measure sleep inertia both at the behavioral and at the neurophysiological level in high and low dream recallers. Subjects were scanned during a resting state before and after a nap (around 1.30 pm) in the scanner. The behavioral tasked assessed both mental calculation and visuo-verbal memory. To ensure that participants would sleep in the scanner, they underwent a night of partial sleep deprivation (they were allowed to sleep from 5 to 8 am) before the fMRI session. They were awakened in slow-wave sleep and measures of sleep inertia / functional connectivity were taken 5 minutes and 20 minutes after awakening. We expect that measures of functional connectivity will correlate with behavioral measures of sleep inertia, and that low dream recallers will show more sleep inertia than high dream recallers.
- Revise our understanding of sleep inertia at the neurophysiological level.
- Critique our understanding of the impact of sleep inertia on dream recall.
- Revise our understanding of sleep inertia after an awakening in slow wave sleep.
Katja Valli and co-authors L. Radek, M. Karvonen, R.E. Kallionpää, A. Scheinin, A. Maksimow, J. Långsjö, K. Kaisti, N. Sandman, A. Revonsuo, and H. Scheinin
Dreaming Under Experimental General Anesthesia (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Hot Topics in Dream Research”)
The presence or absence of conscious experiences cannot necessarily be deduced from behavioral signs, such as responsiveness. Retrospective reports remain the only available method to give insight into possible conscious experiences during a period of unresponsiveness. Similarly to natural sleep, light general anesthesia produces a seemingly nonresponsive state, and according to retrospective reports, dreaming can occasionally be experienced during general anesthesia. Moreover, retrospective reports of anesthesia awareness, i.e., unintended intraoperative awareness with explicit recall of surgical events, indicate that it is possible to be aware of the external environment during general anesthesia.
General anesthesia is often defined as comprising pharmacologically induced unconsciousness (loss of the ability to experience anything), amnesia (forgetfulness), analgesia (lack of pain), and immobility (not moving in response to surgical stimulation). In the present study, the term “anesthesia” is used to describe pharmacologically induced loss of responsiveness without muscle relaxants. All previous studies on dreaming and awareness during anesthesia, whether conducted in a clinical setting in conjunction with surgical general anesthesia or in a more controlled experimental setting, suffer from one major methodological weakness: It has been possible to interview the study subjects only after ending the drug and waiting for recovery. Hence, it is not possible to distinguish whether the reported experiences occurred during the procedure or whether they originated from the periods of anesthesia induction or the recovery period when the effect of anesthetic drug was dissipating. To achieve unresponsiveness, we administered two different anesthetic agents, either propofol or dexmedetomidine, randomly to forty-seven young healthy male subjects (propofol n=24, dexmedetomidine n=23) in a nonsurgical experimental setting. The dose was held sufficient to just exceed the threshold of unresponsiveness. In order to establish whether they had subjective experiences during the unresponsive period, we attempted to awaken the subjects with loud voices and gentle physical stimulation and interviewed those who could be aroused one or two times during the constant steady-state anesthetic infusion. To achieve a certain loss of consciousness, we then briefly increased the anesthetic dose to 1.5 times the dose needed for loss of responsiveness, and interviewed our subjects after ending the drug and a short spontaneous recovery period. These interviews were then analyzed and categorized according to a coding system designed for the content analysis of anesthesia reports.
In this presentation, we will discuss how frequently dreaming and awareness of the experimental environment are reported upon unresponsiveness induced with propofol and dexmedetomidine, and what the specific contents of the retrospective reports are. We compare the frequency and content of reports between the drugs, and between those collected during constant infusion to those reported after recovery. Our paradigm allows a unique perspective into subjective experiences during unresponsiveness.
- Explain why studying dreaming and awareness during anesthesia is important.
- List the problems of studying the content of consciousness during unresponsiveness.
- Describe the frequency of reports of dreaming and awareness after light nonsurgical experimental general anesthesia.
Susanne van Doorn and Christian Gerike
Searching the Soul: Dreams, Spirituality, Meditation (Morning Dream Group)
Through discussion and daily meditative dream incubations, this morning dream group will seek deeper understanding of spirituality in dreams. Attendees will be limited to a maximum of 10 in order to have a circle in which everyone’s spiritual experiences can readily be shared. We recognize and honor the dreamer as the decision maker about a dream’s significance. A dreamer’s decision to share or discontinue sharing a dream will always be respected. Everybody is welcome, from beginning dreamers to the very experienced. Each morning begins with a 15- to 20-minute discussion of the spiritual dream concept for that day. We will then explore personal experiences and dreams using the title, theme, affect, and question (TTQA) method as described by Robert Gongloff in Dream Exploration: A New Approach. A group meditation will be held during the last 20 minutes to incubate a dream for the next day’s specific spiritual topic.
On the first morning the TTQA method will be explained and our spiritual backgrounds and dreams will be discussed. The next day’s theme of the Shadow and spirituality will be introduced: Is descent into the dark an aspect of spirituality? Are nightmares spiritual? The myth of Innana’s descent will be presented as a guide for our own descent. Identifying a Shadow aspect in dreams will be the group meditation theme.
On the second morning we will discuss the Shadow using a Jungian approach. Dreams will be shared and we will look at dreams using the TTQA approach. The themes that emerge will be discussed, as will archetypes as symbols of gods. Meeting a specific Archetype will be the theme for the joint mediation.
On the third morning we will discuss Archetypes people may have experienced in last night’s dreams, or previously, that contribute to their sense of spirituality. We will discuss how participants experience the archetype: is it an emotion, a physical feeling, certain ideas, or a specific theme? Are there any symbols and themes that keep emerging? Are we free or are our actions determined? Are free and being authentic related? Do spirituality, authenticity, and Self inter-relate? The group meditation will be to incubate a dream of our authentic Self.
On the fourth morning we will discuss the previous night’s dreams. Then we will discuss gender. Is god male, female, both, or other? What has our gender meant for the sense of spirituality we have. We will explore the characteristics of different female and male archetypes of divinity. Are such characteristics present in our dreams? We will conclude with a meditation to seek an image that represents our soul.
In our last session we will look at Carl Jung’s search for the Soul as described in the Red Book: images of terror, descent, integration of mind and body, and integration of the animus and anima. What is the relationship of Self, Soul, and Spirituality? Have such themes been reflected in our dreams? The group will close the week with participants sketching their own souls on paper and briefly telling the group about their experience.
- Describe the TTQA technique.
- Describe at least three aspects of spiritual dreams.
- Describe how the shadow and the light are a necessary part of spirituality.
Susanne Van Doorn
Dream and Mental Imagery (Presentation within Mental Imagery Symposium titled “Dreams and Imagination: Views on the Mind’s Eye”)
Is mental imagery the same as dreaming? Both in visualization while awake as in dreaming you have images you relate to – images that tell you something about you and your state of well being. What do the three main modern theories say about mental imagery? What techniques can be used to work with dream images in the waking state? Does lucid dreaming have a key function in all of this? Susanne van Doorn will give a sketch of the three most dominant theories of dreaming today: the psychodynamic theory as presented by Mark Solms, the Activation Input Modulation Model (AIM) of Allan Hobson, and the Neurocognitive theory as proposed by Domhoff. How do they differ in their conception of mental imagery and dreaming? Can lucid dreaming play a key role in defining the relationship between mental imagery and dreaming? Can mental imagery play a role in dreaming and healing? What techniques can you use to incorporate mental imagery in your daily life and how might you benefit from them?
- Identify the three main theories of dreaming.
- Identify the techniques for working with imagery in the waking state.
- Describe an example of how mental imagery facilitates healing.
Hein van Elteren
Children’s Adventureland: From Dream to Reality (Paper)
One single dream inspired me to write a series of novels, cocreated with groups of HSP-children, and to facilitate various creative and spiritual activities for already hundreds of kids and parents, in a unique ongoing and expanding process in the Netherlands and abroad. On Sunday, November 17, 1991, I dreamt of two children: “Jenny and Ralf live in totally different families. When they meet in the street, suddenly they see colors surrounding each other, feel each other’s pain, share thoughts over a distance, and remember another life when they were sister and brother; nowadays they feel just like that. Through a series of adventures they learn to handle their powers, what is scary about them and what is fun. They make friends with others, both children and adults, sharing similar experiences. During a wonderful summer holiday in France, at full moon, they meet a group of natural beings, who ask the children for help to make the Earth beautiful and whole again.”
This dream told me to write a novel. Within seven weeks Colors in the Sky emerged. It was published in 1993, sold out (2300 copies in Dutch), and republished in 2014. I thought it was ‘just’ a beautiful story, but in 1995 a 7-year young boy wrote to me that he felt like Ralf and Jenny, and was curious about how their story continues. He inspired me to invent a way of facilitating groups of kids to write books together. I organized a series of creative meetings. Together we invented exciting adventures in which we all could play our favorite characters, including Jenny, Ralf and their dream friends. The first sequel to Colors in the Sky appeared in 1998, called The Great Game of Colors. It contains playful suggestions to help you develop your power and realize your dreams, e.g. blank spaces to draw your own pictures. With a new group of kids I created another sequel, Dreaming of the Time-Cave (2001), about past lives and healing. The creation of volume 4, The Journey to Children’s Adventureland, began in 2004. We started organizing meetings for families longing for community, a place where sensitive kids and parents live together happily and develop their powers in harmony with nature. I gave many presentations and creative children’s workshops about this ideal; in schools, at festivals etc, in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria (Colors in the Sky was translated into German). I also networked a lot to make a permanent Children’s Adventureland possible, involving permaculture, homeschooling, collective dreamwork, theater and much more. And, last but not least, we organized adventurous summer holiday camps in France. Thousands of kids and parents have already participated in these activities and/or read the books… and I feel this is just the beginning. So I can truly say: “Everything starts with a dream.” In my presentation, meant for all, I will relate chronologically how this special dream becomes ever more reality. I will also explain the techniques I invented to cocreate novels with groups of people.
- Describe how a dream can predict an ongoing creative process, involving and inspiring more and more people over 25 years.
- Utilize a simple interactive technique for the co-creation of stories.
- Identify other people sharing similar dreams of a better world for all – especially for all children, because the future lies with them.
Elaine van Rijn and co-authors Jean-Baptiste Eichenlaub and Mark T Blagrove
Incorporating Intense Emotional Events into Dreams (Paper)
This presentation will focus on current research findings demonstrating that emotionally intense recent waking life events are incorporated preferentially into dreams compared to less intense events, independent of their emotional valence. One of the main sources of dream content is autobiographical memory. Specifically, most references to waking life in dreams relate to recent events that took place one or two days before the dream. Previous research demonstrates that waking life events that are incorporated into dreams are more emotionally intense than events that are not incorporated, but do not differ in emotional tone (negative or positive). In these studies, home dreams were recalled and compared with waking life events recorded onto daily logs, which were scored for emotional intensity and emotional tone. The sleep stages in which these dreams occurred were unknown due to the use of home dreams. The present study expands on previous findings by using instrumental awakenings conducted in the sleep laboratory to collect dream reports. It was hypothesized that waking life events that were incorporated into dreams were more emotionally intense than items not incorporated, but that there was no difference in emotional valence between incorporated and non-incorporated items. Participants kept a daily log for 10 days, reporting major daily activities (activities that took up most of their time), personally significant events (personally important events) and major concerns (concerns that had been on their mind). For each item reported, participants stated any accompanying emotion (e.g., anger, anxiety, sadness or joy) and rated the intensity of the emotion on a scale from 1 (low) to 3 (high). On the last day of keeping the log participants slept a night in the sleep laboratory, where dream reports were collected from both Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and Slow Wave Sleep (SWS). Correspondences between parts of the dream report and parts of the daily log were then rated by the participants. The mean emotional intensity and valence of the daily log items incorporated into dreams were compared with the mean emotional intensity and valence of daily log items that were not incorporated into dreams. Items rated as more emotionally intense were incorporated preferentially into dreams, but no difference was found between the incorporation of positive and negative emotions. Thus, it is intensity of emotion and not valence that is related to the incorporation of a daily log item into dream content. This finding was found for dreams from REM sleep, as well as for dreams from SWS. These findings provide new insight into a possible relationship between dreaming and memory processing of recent emotional events that takes place during sleep. The target level of the audience for this presentation is intermediate.
- Explain the difference between emotional intensity and emotional valence.
- Explain how collecting dream reportsinthesleeplaboratoryaddstotheexistingfindingsonthetopic.
- Describewhetheremotionalintensityor emotional valence of events is related to the event being incorporated into dreams.
Elaine van Rijn and co-authors Alexander M Reid, Christopher L Edwards, Josie E Malinowski, Perrine M Ruby, Jean-Baptiste Eichenlaub and Mark T Blagrove
Is There a Daydream-Lag Effect? (Paper)
This presentation will focus on current research findings investigating the time course of the incorporation of waking life events into daydreams, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep dreams, and stage N2 dreams. Events from waking life have been found to be incorporated into dreams. Specifically, details from events in dreams are highest 1-2 nights following the event (day-residue effect), and then 5-7 nights after the event took place (dream-lag effect). The dream-lag effect has been found for dreams from REM sleep, but not for dreams from N2 sleep or Slow Wave Sleep (SWS). Furthermore, previous research found that the dream-lag effect holds for personally significant events (PSEs, personally important events), but not for major daily activities (MDAs, activities that took up most of the participant’s time) or major concerns (MCs, concerns that had been on the participant’s mind). It has been proposed that this delayed incorporation of events into dreams reflects sleep-dependent memory consolidation or, alternatively, it might reflect the processing of emotional events during sleep.
The present study aimed to expand on these findings by collecting daydreams in the sleep laboratory, in addition to dreams from REM sleep and N2 sleep. Thirty-three participants kept a daily logs for 10 days, reporting MDAs, PSEs and MCs. On the last day of keeping the diary, they stayed one night in the sleep laboratory, where dream reports were collected. For reports from daydreams participants were instructed to lay down with their eyes closed and let their minds wander, without falling asleep. After 10 minutes, participants reported what was going through their minds, including any thoughts, images, people, places, scenes, actions or feelings. Following the night in the sleep laboratory, participants rated correspondences between parts of the daily logs and parts of the dream reports, including the daydreams. Initial analyses of the daydreams of 23 participants indicated that the mean number of incorporations of waking life events into daydreams was highest for the day before and the day of the daydream report. Specifically, a day-residue effect was found for MCs, but not for PSEs or MDAs. This indicates that these daydreams were predominantly about recent major concerns. Results from daydreams, REM sleep dreams and N2 sleep dreams will be presented. The target level of the audience for this presentation is intermediate.
- Describe the time course of the dream-lag effect.
- Explain the difference between daydreams and night dreams.
- Explain how daydream reports can be collected in the laboratory.
Deon van Zyl
Holographic Dreaming and the Transcendent Function (Paper)
This presentation is a follow-up and expansion of my presentation at the IASD Chicago Conference of 2009 entitled “Holographic Dreaming”, which was also published in the winter 2010 edition of Dreamtime Magazine. The notion that in some dreams every single image, person and activity contains one central theme, and does so with images that depict a current dilemma or polarity of opposites from the dreamer’s life, will be advanced with further clinical examples and practical processing suggestions. The idea that the dream as a whole is like a holographic plate wherein each part of the plate contains the picture of the whole, will be developed to identify the dominant emotion in the dream. This emotion can be employed by the dreamer as a vehicle to reveal a vital polarity of opposites that requires awareness and balanced management from the dreamer. A handout will be provided that lists some primary dream emotions with their possible corresponding dilemmas, expressed as polar opposites. However, the processing should always take place in a non-directive setting with the dreamer as the ultimate authority. Once the opposites have been constellated through the dominant emotion, they can then be processed further through Carl Jung’s concept of the “Transcendent Function.” Through experiencing and embracing the conflict of opposites, the dreamer “dreams the dream forward” (Singer, Bosnak), but in such a way that a new position or perspective, a “metaphorical third” (Miller) image emerges, that acts as a living symbol of reconciled contradictories, with a new synthesis. The dreamer can take this new image forward and utilize it appropriately in a variety of situations, and for personal challenges where equanimity is required. This process will be illustrated with clinical case examples. The central thesis of the presentation is that dreams can act as beacons on the individuation path through providing moments of wholeness and inner unity from the diversity of dream images and their built-in opposites.
- Explain the possible similarity between a holographic plate and a dream.
- Identify the dominant emotion within a dream example and select a dilemma or polarity of opposites that it might refer to.
- Describe how Jung’s “Transcendent Function” can be activated to process polar opposites in the dream.
A Dream Art Process (Presentation within Artists Panel titled “Artists and their Dream Art”)
Artist’s Statement: Mine is an adventure into night dreams, which has led me to an artistic process that takes me deeper into an understanding of the world on the other side of our sleep. As an artist member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams since 2007, I have come to better understand the roles of our dreams and the varied interpretations and meanings possible when working with them. If we live to 85 years old, we have dreamt the equivalent of 20 years. Whether we remember or pay attention to them or not, our dreams play an important role in our lives.
My current work of Dream Abstractions comes from the synthesized essence of night dreams. Needing to create meaning within the chaos of the world around me has led to a creative process similar to the way we construct our night dreams. Using this process allows me to tap into an inner source both personal and universal, and always original and unique; which is sometimes dark, sometimes playful, other times finding beauty, the result of which is that these seemingly abstract works are full of imagery and story, open to interpretation and discovery. By using this process, the finished works themselves become dreams. Working to find imagery within abstraction is about problem solving and engaging the imagination. “Paintography” superimposes photography and painting, it echoes the way I understand we seamlessly attach seemingly random images and emotions together to create night dreams. Using a process that mirrors the way we create our night dreams, I photograph the world around me as we do in our daily lives with our minds eye. I store my photos on the computer hard drive similar to the way our brains stores files for later reference. These collaged images become a backdrop of symbols. Next the paint applied over the photos creates the emotional energy needed to create the story; the combination creates the scenes that become the Dream Abstractions. My understanding of night dreams and how dreams are created has led me to grasp the similarities with my creative process, and better understand the meaning within both my night dreams and the dream abstractions that appear on the canvases. The finished works add another potential starting point for dream work.
Learning Objective: To give each Artist the chance to present visually and explain their personal Artistic process and how it relates to night dreams.
Meet the Artists One on One (Special Event)
A chance for all conference attendees to meet the Dream Art Exhibition Artists in a one on one, to explore and better understand the artist’s work and how it relates to the world of Dreams.
Robert Waggoner and Line Salvesen
Open Forum for Lucid Dreamers (Special Event)
Since lucid dreaming can seem a very private and solitary experience, this lucid dreaming forum provides an opportunity to meet other lucid dreamers from many nations and exchange ideas, experiences, and lucid dreaming techniques. Experienced lucid dreamers, Line Salvesen and Robert Waggoner, will co-host this event. Audience members will have time to discuss their interesting lucid dreams, asks questions of experienced lucid dreamers and exchange lucid dreaming tips and techniques. Besides the induction of lucid dreams, we will consider practical aspects of maintaining the lucid dream state and realizing your intent. We intend to discuss dealing constructively with dream figures, the variety of dream figures, and how to handle “independent agents” while lucid dreaming. Moving and manipulating the dream objects and landscape will also be covered. Additionally, we will consider the practical and extraordinary uses of lucid dreams to seek out creativity, personal healing, subconscious information and spiritual insight. Finally we will conclude with an open discussion on the future of lucid dreaming and its implications for psychology and society. Audience members will be given numerous opportunities to share their personal experiences, questions and observations. So if you are an experienced or beginning lucid dreamer, please come and meet other lucid dreamers at the conference.
- Describe two different goals that lucid dreamers have sought within a lucid dream.
- Explain one technique that lucid dreamers use to maintain or lengthen the lucid dream state.
- Discuss the complex nature of dream figures in lucid dreams, and how they appear to vary in their ability to respond to questions.
Experiencing Light in Lucid Dreams (Presentation within Lucidity Symposium titled “Luminescence in Dreams and Lucid Dreaming”)
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. Sometimes 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 influence, expectations or mental models. Sometimes the encounter with ‘light’ exists on numerous levels simultaneously (e.g., educational, healing, symbolic), suggesting a multi-layered expression of numinous awareness. This lucid dream example shows the unexpected nature of ‘light.’
“I found myself sitting 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 and lucidly wondered how to respond to a discarded aspect of one’s self! Suddenly it hit me. 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 the light entered me, I could feel its powerful energy and woke. In the morning, I felt different. After a week, I realized that each day I thought to myself, ‘I should try again to write a book on lucid dreaming,’ but I had discarded that project two years earlier. Suddenly I understood the lucid dream: I had accepted the discarded aspect or discarded energy from my earlier book-writing attempt.”
Newly energized, I went forward and wrote my first book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. A simple example like this suggests the following: 1) Some dream figures exist as projected mental energy; 2) When accepted by the lucid dreamer, the dream figure projection collapses back to a more fundamental state of mental energy often expressed as light; 3) Once projected mental energy gets accepted, it returns to its source, that is, the projector (i.e., the lucid dreamer); 4) The resolution of mental energy to its natural state allows the lucid dreamer to access it in their waking life. In this presentation, a number of fascinating lucid dream encounters with ‘light’ will help illuminate the breadth, depth and variety of experiences. Moreover, these instances will serve to point to the fundamental nature of ‘light’ as an energetic expression of conscious awareness.
- Describe one way that a lucid dreamer may encounter ‘light’ in a lucid dream.
- Discuss a possible reason why a dream figure may transform into light, when completely accepted by a lucid dreamer.
- Describe how lucid dreamers experience light as energy in some cases, and as information in others.
The Future of Lucid Dreaming? (Presentation within Lucid Dreaming Symposium titled “Lucid Dreaming: Past, Present and Future”)
Forty years ago, the first ‘eye signal verification’ of lucid awareness occurred in a University of Hull sleep lab. Since that initial evidence, lucid dreaming has received considerable attention of varying depth, insight and validity. In this speculative presentation, the presenter will suggest what the future might hold for lucid dreaming induction techniques, scientific research, and inner explorations.
The science and practice of lucid dream induction techniques has focused on three primary paths to lucid dream awareness; namely, the use of mental techniques, biochemical supplements and/or electromagnetic devices. While a number of mental lucid dream induction techniques exist, the scientific data on their relative efficacy has been modest. Similarly, popular forums for lucid dreaming discuss a variety of herbal and biochemical supplements, although only one supplement (galantamine) has received formal studies for enhancing lucid dream activation. Not surprisingly, only a few electromagnetic devices have been widely considered, and most prompt lucidity through light or verbal cues.
Popular interest in lucid dream induction appears quite strong, as evidenced by a Kickstarter campaign for the REMee (a light flashing sleep headset), which initially sought $35,000 in pledges. In less than a year, the organizers received more than $500,000 in advance orders for the device. Although some felt the device did little to increase their likelihood of lucid dreaming, the onrush of interest shows the deep interest in lucid dream induction, which augurs well for the creation of new devices or supplements that result in more lucid dreams.
The future of scientific research into lucid dreaming has many avenues to explore, such as the following: 1) Broadening the investigation of lucid dreaming’s therapeutic use beyond nightmares to new areas where anecdotal evidence already exists, like the resolution of phobias, reduction of anxiety, elimination of non-constructive habits and possible mitigation of obsessive compulsive disorders; 2) Establishing medical research on the mind-body interaction accessible within a lucid dream to heal the physical body (of which considerable anecdotal evidence already exists), and also the possibility of accessing prescriptive or diagnostic information within the lucid dream state, as suggested by Ed Kellogg, PhD.; 3) Investigating the non-visible awareness within the lucid dream state which often responds to a lucid dreamer’s questions and requests, and whether it might represent an inner ‘second psychic system’ as Carl Jung posited, and what this might mean for the science of consciousness studies; 4) Investigating the depth and breadth of information, knowledge and creativity accessible within a lucid dream, which sometimes seems significantly beyond the ego conscious level of the waking self; and 5) Using these insights to develop new models of the subconscious and its functions.
Lucid dreaming seems a special opportunity to scientifically investigate many unique foundational questions surrounding consciousness. Like van Leeuwenhoek’s perfecting of the microscope to see the microscopic world more clearly, the revolutionary psychological tool of lucid dreaming may serve to open new fields of study – not only in dreaming, but also the inner world of the unconscious. Lucid dreaming may ultimately prove to be one of psychology’s most profound discoveries.
- Describe three general approaches to lucid dream induction.
- Discuss technological devices that lucid dreamers have used to induce lucidity.
- Describe how a lucid dreamer might resolve a psychological issue, such as a phobia, within a lucid dream.
Mary C. Walsh
Dream Sharing Group Therapy with Adolescents with Co-occurring Disorders (Paper)
This presentation draws on three case studies which describe the use of dream sharing groups in an ongoing school-based program treating traumatized adolescents with co-occurring disorders in early recovery from substance abuse or dependency. The dream group format is drawn from the works of Clara Hill (2013), Jeremy Taylor (2009), Montague Ullman and Nan Zimmerman (1985). Group therapy has been a treatment of choice in clinical work with substance abuse and dependency (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US; 2005), as it has been found to facilitate recovery by instilling hope, providing social skills training, support, and encouragement necessary for recovery from substance abuse and addiction (Yalom, 2010). The use of dream sharing groups with this population is a promising area of research as both dream recall and dream content are correlated with relapse resistance and improved treatment outcome (Reid and Simeon, 2001). Both the expectations of the participants and encouraging comments have been found to increase dream recall frequency (Schredl, 2007). Further, Hill hypothesizes that dream interpretation can reverse the dream formation process, so that the dream becomes a mechanism to explore relevant schemata (Hill, 1996; 2013), a critical concern in trauma recovery.
Describing the role of group dream sharing in the recovery of three young people, this presentation explores how dream sharing in a group context impacts dream recall, dream content, and dream interpretation in these three cases. Group interactions are described as they facilitate understanding of the group process. In addition, case studies describe changes in the severity of distress of Post-traumatic stress symptoms (measured on three subscales using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised) as these correlate with changes in dream content. Dream content is analyzed using the DreamSAT and SDDb Word Search Tool. These case studies explore how dream-sharing in a peer group format facilitates recovery in the lives of three young dreamers. Concerns about the use of a dream group with this vulnerable population are addressed. This is an intermediate level presentation aimed at clinicians, educators and people in the ministry who might work with this population.
- Describe a dream sharing group format that can be used with traumatized adolescents with co-occurring disorders.
- Describe three factors critical to the ethical, safe and effective use of group dream sharing with traumatized adolescents with co-occurring disorders.
- Identify two methods of dream content analysis accessible to clinicians.
Mary C. Walsh
Dreams as a Window into the Experience of Historical Trauma (Paper)
The theory of Historical Trauma, the intergenerational transmission of trauma experience (Brave Heart and Debruyn, 1998, 2000; Sotero, 2006), has been proposed as a framework for understanding chronic problems in populations who have experienced multi-generational trauma (populations studied, among others, include Native Americans, African Americans, and Jews). This presentation describes dreams from a research project in progress, which analyzes dream content associated by the dreamer with their experience of Historical Trauma. Dreams presented include two recurring dreams from two college students, who shared these dreams when asked if they had any dreams they associated with Historical Trauma. The third dream comes from a Native American mother in her thirties who had the dream while recovering from domestic violence.
In addition to collecting dreams associated by dreamers with Historical Trauma, data is collected regarding the subject’s personal experience (if any) of a traumatic event. Subjects with personal experience of traumatic events were asked if the dreams they associated with Historical Trauma occurred pre- (occurring before), peri- (occurring during) or post- (occurring after) the traumatic event. The results of an analysis (using the SDDb Word Search Tool) of collected dreams and subjects’ own interpretation of these dreams are discussed. Possible ways in which dream analysis might support (or negate) the theory of Historical Trauma, might provide insight into the experience of Historical Trauma, and inform clinical and pastoral work are explored. This is an intermediate level presentation aimed at clinicians, educators and people in ministry.
- Explain the theory of Historical Trauma.
- Describe how dream content in the recurring dreams discussed might be analyzed using word-strings and the SDDb Word Search Tool.
- Describe ways in which dream work might facilitate clinical and pastoral work with subjects suffering from Historical Trauma.
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!)
- Simple songs and melodies from various traditions.
- Simple community dance steps from various traditions.
- How to let go in body, mind and voice and truly enjoy oneself.
Dream-Inspired Music: Shamans, Classical Composers, Popular Artists and Inventions (Paper)
This audio-visual presentation explores dreams that include sound and/or music. It will include research about sound and music in dreams, as well as ways that various indigenous cultures use dream songs. A key element will be case-studies of well-known composers in various genres whose work is directly dream-inspired, as well as different melodies and soundscapes that have come to the presenter in dreams, since he is fortunate enough to dream of sounds and/or music a few times a week or more. Target audience: all.
- Cite the frequency of dreams that include sound and music, as well as research involving sound, music and memory.
- State 5 (or more) examples of famous composers/artists/instrumentalists who have used dreams in their compositions and to make career decisions.
- Describe at least one case where dreams inspired an individual to follow a life path in music.
Coming to a Theater Near You: Your Dreaming Mind (Presentation within Arts Symposium titled “Mediated Dreaming”)
Since the earliest days of cinema, audiences and film scholars alike have subscribed to a paradigm of realism: What we see onscreen is taken to be a representation of an external reality, and films are judged according to their verisimilitude, or faithfulness in recreating a recognizable reality, with artfulness and insight. But there has always been a counter-tradition of fantasy and wonder, and even the most avowedly realist directors have found ways to show their characters’ thoughts and dreams onscreen—even the simplest point-of-view shot takes us into a character’s mind, and of course dream sequences and fantasies often emerge from the foundation of realistic depiction in popular films. A few films, however, especially in fantasy, horror, and a hard-to-classify generic niche that might be called metaphysical fantasy, set out not only to show us what goes on in a character’s mind but also to give an account of their processes of thinking, feeling, and learning from experience. In this presentation, we examine some key features of such films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Monsters, Inc and the extraordinary Pixar animated feature Inside Out, as indications of a colloquial philosophy of mind, each film offering an account of the dreaming mind to its audience. Audience: All conference attendees.
- Differentiate between conventions of realism and fantasy in cinematic representation.
- Describe how popular film uses allegory and personification to depict a colloquial theory of mind.
- Explain how a variety of mental acts may be signaled to the audience in the cinematic depictions of a character’s mental landscape.
Elisa White, Akshya Boopalan, and Jayne Gackenbach
Virtual Reality Effects on Presence in Game Play and Subsequent Dreams (Poster Presentation)
Virtual reality (VR) adds more dimensions of immersion and presence, the felt sense of being there, to video game play. As VR technology is gaining in popularity, the immersive environment may have an even greater effect on gamers. VR technology is still in its early stages and there is little research looking into how VR affects consciousness. The research that exists shows that there is an increased sense of presence in VR worlds compared to PC worlds. This ties into how we experience our own reality, especially differentiating our external from our internal world. Dreams give us unique access to the experience of presence in an unconscious state. Previously Gackenbach and Rosie (2011) reported a strong association between presence in gaming and presence in follow-up dreams. In this study reports of presence in a game and in the follow-up dream were examined as in the previous study (Gackenbach, Sinyard & Hakopdjanian, 2016). Our hypothesis is that participants who play in the Oculus Rift VR condition will experience a greater sense of presence while playing video games, and in their subsequent dreams. Gackenbach et al. previously found that type of game play (3D versus 2D) affected subsequent reports of presence in dreams. With the methodological improvements in this study, we will see if this finding holds or, if as originally hypothesized, there would be an improvement in presence in dreams as a function of higher presence in waking (3D). As before, we used only female participants who either played an Oculus Rift game (3D), or the same game on a standard computer screen (2D) as control. Participants were asked to report a recent dream either before or after game play, as well as their first dream after the lab session. The benefits of having these conditions (3D vs 2D; dream report before or after game play) will give researchers a better understanding of how VR affects the felt sense of presence within the gaming experience and in the follow-up dream states
- Learn the differences between types of digital interfaces and their effects on presence.
- Understand how the assessment of a felt sense of being there in a dream might differ as a function of waking digital experiences.
- Appreciate the evolving digital interfaces and their potential impacts.
Nightmare Protection: Combat or Companionship? (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Dreams and Video Game Play: Three Extensions”)
This research project is an extension of previous work conducted by Gackenbach and colleagues on video games and their effects on dreams. Their research has found that individuals who participate in high combat-centric video games respond to threats in dreams faster, logically, and fearlessly (Gackenbach, Ellerman, & Hall, 2011). The combat experienced in games could then be seen as a type of preparation for dealing with threat; specifically physical combat. The present study also draws on previous research suggesting that the level of fear perceived during horror stimuli could be significantly increased or decreased with companionship (Zilmann, Weaver, Munford, & Aust, 1986). Taking all this prior research into account, the present study is interested in how these two factors (companionship and combat) strengthen or weaken the nightmare protection effect in dreams. Participants played a horror video game (Left 4 Dead 2) in a computer laboratory with or without combat, and with or without a companion. We have just finished the data collection, and we predict that companion playing conditions will demonstrate the nightmare protection effect more strongly than those individuals who play alone. Also, we would expect that individuals subjected to the combat condition will demonstrate a stronger nightmare protection effect than those who are not allowed to engage in combat.
- Assess whether combat or companionship better predicts the lack of threat in subsequent dreams.
- Describe how companionship in playing horror games may affect social simulation in follow-up dreams.
- Describe how actually fearful game players find a horror video game and its subsequent effect on nighttime dreams.
Memory and Imagination: The Stuff of Dreams? (Presentation within Mental Imagery Symposium titled “Dreams and Imagination: Views on the Mind’s Eye”)
Many clinicians, theorists and researcher have long considered dreams as reflecting a process of constructive imagination (i.e., the capacity to generate novel representations that go beyond one’s immediate experiences). Others, however, have argued that dreams are best understood as a complex cognitive process essentially based on memory and learning. Moreover, people in both camps have viewed dreams as special form of perception. In this presentation, attendees will be encouraged to take part in a thought experiment revealing key differences between waking imagination (including daydreaming) and imagination within dreams. Next, the results of a recent study on imaginative capacities within lucid dreams are presented. In this study, four proficient lucid dreamers were asked to perform a series of tasks in their lucid dreams, including imagination-based exercises. Much like the thought experiment, the results reveal important ways in which imagination in dreams can be shown to differ from imagination in waking life. The implication of these findings for our conceptualization of dreams and our understanding of the imaginational capacities of the dream ego will be discussed.
- Describe how perception differs from imagination.
- Explain how lucid dreaming can inform us about the imaginational capacities of the dreamer.
- Describe key differences between dreaming and daydreaming.
Luminosity within Black Light in Dreams (Presentation within Lucidity Symposium titled “Luminescence in Dreams and Lucid Dreaming”)
“Darkness within Darkness, the gateway to all understanding”—these enigmatic words of Carl Jung suggest the mysterious nature of the luminosity within the Black Light of dreams. His words also bring to mind the negative cultural and spiritual associations with “blackness” that block us from seeing the “light” within the darkness. This presentation explores and revisions the revelatory development and character of the “colour” black in a series of dreams.
The presenter will track the development of not only seeing but also relating to luminous darkness in a short series of dreams spread over a twenty year period. The selected dreams demonstrate how the relationship between the dreamer and the emergent luminosity affects the dreamer’s inner world and waking life.
In this sequence of dreams, the form and qualities revealed by the Black Light develop in tandem with the dreamer’s capacity to relate to the blackness with a more integrated sense of self. The revelatory nature of the luminous blackness can then be more deeply apprehended by the dreamer. The presentation will provide the framework of the dreamer’s life context to highlight the impact of the dream 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 psychological models applied. In general, this presentation is for anyone who is interested in the connection between the colour black, the dreamer’s inner development, and manifestation in waking life.
- Explain the significance of luminous black light from a Jungian/Transpersonal perspective.
- Describe how the luminosity in the colour black, over a long-term series of dreams, becomes more apparent in relation to the dreamer’s inner world and the colour.
- Describe the development between a dreamer’s capacity paradoxically to “see in the dark” in dreams.