Checking Reality: Through the Methodic Doubt of Descartes to Lucid Dreaming as a Philosophical Tool (Paper)
This paper presentation concerns the philosophical value of research on the lucid dreaming phenomenon, especially on the so-called “reality check” or “reality test” technique, comparing it with the Cartesian “methodic doubt”. I consider here both of these mental practices as an attempt to overcome the “natural attitude” in taking in reality. In the classic texts of philosophy, distinguishing an awake state of mind from a dreaming one was usually a metaphor for serving the confirmation of the status of experienced reality. For Descartes, only the rational ego’s cogitation can be the base for discovering the truth about the human existential condition. In Cartesian philosophy, the so-called “methodic doubt” was a way of finding the undoubted level of thoughts, and it was discovered in the act of self-referential thinking: “I think, therefore I am” (Descartes 1999). But, we know today – as a result of learning about the phenomenon of lucid dreams – that we can achieve this kind of clarity during sleep (laBerge 2009). The lucid dream is defined as one where dreamers realize that they dream, while they dream. However, this situation is confirmed only after the reality test that the dreamer should perform during his/her sleep. Like the Cartesian method, the reality test puts into question the “natural attitude” of the knowing subject and the obviousness of his/her experience of the “waking world”, and replaces it by the “wonder attitude”. The difference is that in the lucid dream a knowing subject, through the reality test, ensures that this is a dream, while Western philosophy was supposed to lead to reality. Concerning this problem, many questions arise: What is reality? What am I? What is the world around me? These are the questions that the Western philosophical tradition attempted to resolve by seeking out the source of the certainty of knowledge. As I would like to show in my paper, research on dreaming – and especially on lucid dreaming – allows us to reconsider those very old philosophical questions, giving them a new perspective. Moreover, one can discover that there is no such distinction between dreaming and reality, as Western philosophy expected to find. Aristotle said that philosophy begins in wonder. Or, it is – as Buddhists say – “child’s mind” or “beginner’s mind”, which is very difficult to achieve in our waking life as well. During our life, we adapt and we stop wondering and stop questioning, and that frozen way of interpreting our experience we call “reality”. As I think, this was always the job of philosophy: to ask questions, to bring “beginner’s mind” back.
This presentation is intended for all.
Rabbi Howard Avruhm Addison
Kabbalah, Dreaming and the Five Dimensions of Soul (Workshop)
The Lurianic Kabbalah asserted that our psyches encompass five dimensions of Soul: The Visceral, the Emotive, the Cognitive\Intuitive, the Communal, and the Unitive. This workshop will explore how these can help us more fully interpret dreams. Some familiar dream technologies, including noting felt sensations and affects, active imagination and dream amplification, will be employed, as well an innovative form of mantra meditation derived from the dreamer’s own powerful dream images. Modeled loosely on the Benedictine practice, Lectio Divina, this process helps reveal the faces of Holy inherent within our dreams and their guidance to us. The Talmud quotes Rav Hisda: a dream left uninterpreted is like an unopened letter, presumably from God (Bt Berakhot 55a). How to discern the sacred message embedded in the dream is not really spelled out. A few years ago I thought that the kabbalistic theory of the psyche’s five dimensions might offer a key. Gendlin’s “Focusing”, Hoss’ “Six Magic Questions” and Jung’s “Dream Amplification” offer highly effective methods to establish interpretations through the first four psychic levels. To unlock the fifth, Unitive level, I’ve drawn upon the panentheistic Hasidic notion that the divine infuses all reality. If the dreamer were to contemplate the faces of the Holy manifest in up to five of his/her most evocative dream images, these could form the dreamer’s own dream mantra. Through recitation followed by silent meditation, one might sense what sacred guidance the dream might convey. I have personally practiced this approach when working my “Big Dreams” these last 2 ½ years, and I successfully introduced the method through workshops presented at the 2017 Haden Summer Dream Conference. I begin by teaching Rabbi Margot Stein’s simple, haunting chant, “70 Faces” (Miraj. Healing Chants for the Soul, Red Thread, August, 2007) which speaks of finding the Holy within all. Having distributed outlines to all participants, I use a PowerPoint to acquaint them with the Lurianic idea of the Five Facets of the Soul and their parallels to our understanding of the psyche. Through repeating the chant and silence, the group enters contemplative space. We then work a short, powerful sample dream that is read before each of the following stages of the process:
- Awareness of bodily sensations arising from dream, gently focusing attention on those areas and tenderly asking if they have any wisdom to share in response to the Silence, Journaling and Sharing
- Note in the margins emotions as they unfolded within the dream, as well as personal and\or emotional associations with any of the dream’s characters, images, numbers or Colors. Silence, Journaling and Sharing
- Analyze the dream images for Shadow, Complimentary, Anima, Animus or Instinctual energies or significant word plays. Engage intuition and intellect to discern which dream image is most evocative and interviewing the image using Bob Hoss’ 6 Magic Silence, Journaling and Sharing
- Check the symbolic meanings of any compelling images in the dream, be they historical, religious, mythological or archetypal. Do any of these open new associations for you? Pause, look back over your reflections. Allow any insights to sink in
- Sense if any images, settings or interactions reveal different faces of List up to 5 of these. (For convenience, a lexicon of varied divine names is printed on the outline.) Recite the “Dream Mantra” as a unitive meditation. See what divine insight or guidance might arise.
We conclude with sharing insights, reflecting on the process and a closing chant.
Open to all; each participant is the ultimate authority on his/her interpretation of the dream.
Using Co-Creative Dream Processes for Building Resilience and Healing Childhood Trauma (Presentation within Dreamwork Practices Symposium titled “Cocreative Dreamwork”)
This presentation is intended to introduce the intermediate to advanced dream therapist, or group leader, to a method of trauma resolution for adult survivors of childhood trauma. The use of co-creative dream exploration in a therapeutic setting (individual or group therapy) allows the dreamer to use waking lucid dreaming techniques to change dream content, to shift their orientation to dream content and to create new dream story-lines related to childhood trauma. Clients’ average length of treatment with this method is much shorter than traditional methods of psychotherapy. Clients also report a feeling of healing on a deeper level (the subconscious), and most clients report having experienced years of traditional talk therapy with very little resolution when compared to their experiences with this method. The basis for this presentation is applied practice for skilled therapists, and/or those who have suffered childhood trauma and are curious about this method of healing. The audience will experience a short demonstration of the technique, along with the offering of an optional e-mail handout detailing various techniques. The presentation will use real life examples of healing to highlight the process as it is grounded in application. Participants will experience the use of hypnotic meditation to connect a dreamer with a dream archetype, to explore the opportunities for transforming the dreamer’s relationship to traumatic events, images and content in dreams. (This presentation will NOT involve the use of traumatic content for the demonstration in order to keep the experience safe). The result of this process engages the dreamer with new “healing” content in dreams. This method also has been shown to increase sleeping lucidity in clients, and methods for empowering the dreamer while sleeping will also be offered. Following the presentation will be an opportunity for questions and answers about the process.
Examining Projective Dreamwork in the Context of Varying Methods (Paper)
This presentation will compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the Ullman and Taylor methods of group dreamwork. Due to their similarities, some have conflated the methods, and this presentation aims to clarify the confusion that has arisen from this conflation. Further, issues regarding the safety of projection have also arisen and need clarification. After analyzing Ullman’s (2006) and Taylor’s (2008) methods, as found in their texts, I dissected the components of both and concluded that the main differences were first, the amount of time spent on projections, and second, at what stage the dialogue between the group and dreamer occurred. Ullman’s reasons for this have to do with respecting the dreamer’s privacy, control, and safety. Points and counterpoints to these arguments are presented. Additionally, this presentation outlines the underlying theoretical concepts behind each method, comparing and contrasting these as well. This research will provide the basic and necessary guidelines of projective dreamwork that are found in both techniques. The development of these basic guidelines is an improvement, because they provide an easier and more accessible way to apply and practice dreamwork. They help to establish guidelines for projective dreamwork to be practiced outside of the confines of any one method, while still addressing key safety and discovery points.
Target Audience: For All
Tiny Objects of the Dream – Creating and Working with “Seed Objects” (Workshop)
This workshop offers a hands-on, mixed media approach to working with dreams in a clinical, group or personal setting. While the creative process is quite simple and quick, it results in evocative and unique “seed objects” which act both as living links back to the dream and as 3-D visual anchors for further exploration by the dreamer and others. The process has five steps:
- the creation of 3-D seed objects
- guided reflection and response in pairs
- additional creating
- individual guided reflection to silently “animate” dream objects, and
- group reflection on the overall process and discoveries.
Specific methods to be utilized are:
- modeling symbolic abstraction in making 3-D objects
- hands-on techniques for building with wood bits, beads, wire, and hot glue,
- Introspection process questions
- Liz Lerman-style non-judgemental Critical Response in small groups
- Stephen Aizenstat’s techniques for animating dream figures
- Jeremy Taylor’s projective dreamwork approach.
Activities: The workshop will begin with an overview of the presenter’s experiences working with communities of diverse ages and backgrounds in creating 3-D seed objects and story-telling. She will then present the process of creating seed objects for dreams and give some examples. Comparisons with sketching, collaging, or mapping dreams will be discussed. The hands-on process will begin with examining examples of abstract and symbolic seed objects and the stories/images they represent. Next, participants will brainstorm their own dreams and how they might represent key aspects. Brief instruction in materials and building techniques is followed by studio time in which participants silently construct 3-D seed objects. Studio time is short – 20 minutes only! When finished, participants share their objects in dyads and respond to each other with questions of what more they want to know, and what seizes their attention most. There is no attempt to interpret the dream, and the seed object remains with the dreamer. Next, they return to the materials to make a new figure or add on to the existing object(s). Finally, participants are invited to reflect on their figures/objects, notice which draws their attention, and intuit what the figure or object would say if it could speak. What does it want them to know? For the final 15 minutes, participants gather as a whole and reflect on the process and their experiences. How does the process of creating these objects raise questions for the dreamer? What new perspectives emerge? How is the seed object limiting? Expansive? What possibilities open up? Participants will leave with a seed object that can be developed into a larger, more articulated object or art piece, or it can remain as is, a holder of insights from the session and a “living link” back to the dream. Approximate time for didactic portion, instructions, and examples is 30 minutes. The experiential phases are 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 25 minutes, 15 minutes, and 15 minutes for final group reflection.
Target Audience: for all. Aim: to offer a quick but evocative technique that draws from intuitive, visual and physical modalities first, before verbal ones, and leaves the dreamer with a tangible and enriched connection to the dream and its further exploration.
Laura N. Atkinson
Focus on the Dream (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “The Power of Place”)
“No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film” — Ansel Adams
Laura’s current style of photography began with a visitation dream. “Look for small patterns in every moment, the way his hand holds yours, the pattern of your dress, the taste of the tea you drink. Be overwhelmed with the colors of simplicity”. This presentation is dedicated to the spirit of sharing the golden threads that weave (or tangle) our waking and sleeping lives together. These photographs are reminders from Earth that there is beauty everywhere and whispers from dreamscapes that synchronicities and connections can be seen/validated all along the path. Photographs shown in this presentation focus on the dream of simplicity, pattern, and mindfulness. In reality, it occurs on the road, people and places and synchronicities along the way, journaling daytime and nighttime visions. In this presentation Laura Atkinson will be:
- Showcasing photographic examples from her dream journal and synchronistic experiences.
- Exploring the ways that symbolism, central image, and synchronicity can be observed and photographed in creative ways
- Challenging the audience to step out of the ordinary and listen to symbolism and dominant objects of dreams and waking.
Target audience: All audiences.
The Cambrian Explosion – Using Dreaming as a tool to expand the Creative Process (Paper)
In this presentation I will explore how drawing an image from a dream helped set my intention to action, and this action sent me on a journey to discover the Australian and international dreaming community, to find an inspiring mentor, to develop new creative partnerships and make dream friendships, and to uncover a raft of creative skills. The structure is as follows:
THE CONTEXT OF THE STORY
Firstly, I will present a context to this story by explaining that I was an academic coordinator at a dance college, who was a closet dreamer and a frustrated creative. I will then reference joining Dream Network Australia’s seminar program and how this led me to the Assisi Institute’s Jungian Dream Patterning course.
THE STORY’S INCITING INCIDENT
In this course, I shared the “inciting” dream with my teacher, Dr Michael Conforti, and drew the image and saved it as a screen saver as a call to action. to help remember and to action
THE HERO IS CALLED
I will share an imaginal journey, a powerful narrative which demanded to be embodied in the world. Soon I was writing the story and drawing images from the story.
THE HERO LEAVES THE KNOWN WORLD
One day an email popped into my inbox, offering me a place in a short film-making course, complete with access to cameras and editing equipment. I had made a short documentary before, but never a work of fiction. It was easy to explore other people’s stories in my documentary and work, but my voice, and my story, was locked inside me.
THE HERO ENCOUNTERS OBJECTS AND SUPERNATURAL ALLIES
I will share in the presentation the next series of amazing “coincidences” that happened as I made my little film. I pitched my idea for the art film and my teacher liked the idea, but said we were there to make a documentary, so I asked Dr. Susannah Benson if I could interview her about the liminal space, and used this as an introduction for my experimental multimedia art film documentary.
THE HERO COMPLETES THE JOURNEY
I struggled with a steep creative and technological learning curve, but the story demanded to be born and the image on my screen saver moved me forward. I completed my film and submitted it three days before a New York film festival opened. They loved it so much that the organisers made space in the program, and the next morning I jumped on a plane and watched my film premier in New York two days later.
THE HERO RETURNS WITH NEW KNOWLEDGE TO SHARE WITH THE VILLAGE
I would like to explore my experience of the creative process in the following ways. Firstly, I will mud map* the synchronicities and happenstances which wove themselves through the project. Secondly, I will explore the creative process of using a dream as a work of prose, then as poetry, and then take it into the filmic narrative as a story board, story script and voice script. I will also explore how I used the dream as the inspiration for dance movement, illustration, and, finally, as a film. Thirdly, I would like to suggest ways that fellow dreamers can use their dreaming to help support their own creative process.
This presentation will be open to all people interested in actioning their dreams and wondering how to do it, for “stuck” creatives looking for inspiration, for writers, illustrators, dancers and film makers interested in how a dream can be explored and expressed across multiple mediums.
*Mud Map – Australian outback term meaning a rough map of a journey
Shared Dreams and World Change (Workshop)
How do we respond creatively and compassionately to the problems and pain we see in the world around us? Dreams can help us sustain our integrity and effectiveness as we work toward positive change. In this workshop, our dreams will guide us in finding common ground, reconsidering fear, frustration and despair, and opening our minds and hearts to new possibilities. Through dream-sharing and discussion, we’ll practice seeing our dreams in the light of our hopes and fears for the world, and let our dreams guide us to more meaningful actions and reactions. The workshop’s design and method is based on my own experiences leading groups and presenting workshops that invite participants to find larger meaning and value in their dreams and to explore how dreams can make a difference in the world. I’ve developed the exercises and discussion topics described below for this purpose. Our dream-sharing process is a projective dreamwork protocol based on Jeremy Taylor’s model, and we’ll also consider a shamanic approach, where dreams reflect real experiences 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 open-ended potential of different perspectives and interpretations. In the workshop, brief didactic talks will alternate with dream-sharing and exercises, covering the following areas in sequential order:
- Getting to know each other, and becoming aware of common themes that arise in our dreams and in our concerns for the world.
- Exploring a practice of “reframing” our dreams, so that universal elements that might be valuable to the larger community are highlighted. This practice involves defining the actions that occur in the dream, and considering what they accomplish (or fail to accomplish) from the perspective of the dream’s own (sometimes contradictory) concerns and priorities.
- Discussing “bad dreams” (unpleasant dreams and nightmares), and ways of responding to them, using techniques such as dream re-entry and “interviewing” dream figures to learn about their motivations and points-of-view.
- Inviting “Big” dreams that can inspire, guide and change us. We’ll consider practical actions, expressions of gratitude, and gestures of understanding that allow us to manifest powerful dream-intentions in our waking lives.
- Cultivating open-mindedness by “turning the dream upside-down,” looking at it from different angles, and not necessarily accepting the dream-ego’s perspective as truth.
Didactic presentation (primarily teaching the techniques) constitutes about 20% of the workshop time; discussion, exercises and dream-sharing about 80%.
This workshop is appropriate for all audiences, from beginners to advanced.
Dream Watsu – Water, Waves & Dreams (Morning Dream Group)
What exactly is Dream Watsu? Watsu is a form of aquatic bodywork that incorporates unconditional holding with slow gentle movements in warm water to induce whole body healing and relaxation. Water has often been considered by many dreamers to symbolically represent the unconscious itself. In Dream Watsu we apply the container of Watsu, developed by Harold Dull and associates in the 1980s, to dreamwork. In this dream group we will shift our attention to dreams in which liquids and watery settings play a central theme in the dream. We will enhance this collective sharing by being immersed in the element of water itself, and thus allow the element to speak through us regarding the significance of such dreams. Furthermore, we will explore ways of working with dreams in pods of three using simple floatation techniques that mimic the sensation of being in a womb-like, half awake, half asleep state. Be prepared to soak, participate and play in this highly experiential dream group. Watsu has been used to treat all kinds of physical and mental ailments but is rarely applied to dreamwork. I would like to borrow elements from this aquatic therapy and see how they can be applied to dreamwork.
- Welcome and introduce participants to the process – provide overview.
- Start out with 5 minutes of Aqua Yoga warm up exercises to help participants become more embodied.
- Break- up larger group into 3 person teams.
- In each team, one person plays the role of Dreamer – the other 2 are Floaters
- The Dreamer becomes horizontal; the two Floaters, situated on either side of the dreamer, keep the dreamer afloat with their hands, one under the back, another under a leg.
- The Dreamer then tells their dream – dreams with watery themes and imagery, symbols, metaphors are encouraged/preferred. Floaters attentively listen.
- When the Dreamer has finished, the Floaters ask clarifying questions related to the dream.
- Then Floaters ask the Dreamer if they want a verbal unpacking or an experiential interpretation of the dream.
- If the Dreamer chooses Verbal, then the Floaters engage in an “If-It-were-my-dream” unpacking of the Dream.
- If the Dreamer chooses Experiential, then the Floaters take turns swishing the Dreamer around in the water, letting the felt response to the dream flow through their movements. One Floater leads, the other assists. Floaters allow their impressions of the dream to be expressed via their aquatic swishing movements.
- The Dreamer being the ultimate authority on their dream, than shares any new insights/feedback regarding their experience that have emerged on account of the process post-swish. The Dreamer may wish to create a movement based on their experience to embody the dreamplay itself. The Dreamer can request assistance from the Floaters in creating their movement should they wish.
Target Audience: Intermediate; some familiarity with the Ullman method of dream analysis is required.
Life Path Dreams (Paper)
A boy has a recurring dream of digging deep into the earth to unearth jewels. By the time he’s a photography student at art school, he’s entertaining various interpretations of this. Then friends invite him for a weekend at a state park where they dig for quartz crystals—a transformative experience for him. He leaves photography to go work in mines around the world, eventually starting a major business importing gems.
A theater set designer dreams of whales and dolphins that men are about to slaughter; in the dream, she feels compelled to join them in the water. Ten years later, she’s earned a doctorate in animal behavior and is a dolphin researcher and activist.
A boy dreams he is climbing a huge mountain of books. It’s a nightmare: the books slip, he risks falling to his death . . .but he knows he must keep climbing to the summit. In college, he begins mountaineering, he achieves major climbs, he writes his first book about a climb . . . eventually he’s the leading author of mountain climbing tales.
These are not typical dreams. For one thing, they are recurring dreams. Recurring dreams—identical or repeating major themes–are not reacting simply to the events of that day,
but rather they address core issues and therefore their imagery gets activated again and again. They are also what Jung called “big dreams” which “are often remembered for a lifetime and not infrequently prove to be the richest jewel in the treasure-house of psychic
experience. (Jung, 1974, p. 76) Jung believed big dreams relate to the process of “Individuation” and development of “The Self.” The concept of big dreams is ancient. Fourth-century BCE Greeks built temples in which to sleep and receive dreams of guidance from the God Aescelepius. Australian aborigines believe that dramatic dreams are brought by deities, as opposed to ordinary personal dreams. Jung based his remarks on what he’d observed among the Elgonyi of Africa, who believe that big dreams gave communities guidance. The North American Lakota mandate vision quests for young men to fast, perform rituals, and to have a dream revealing what their trade or role in the tribe would be—a very conscious effort to produce dreams like the three above.
Big dreams can address any aspect of the dreamer’s life—their personal relationships or internal emotional issues, but this talk will address mainly the ones that relate to a person’s career. It will address principles that also apply to little dreams, however examples will come more often from big dreams. They are dramatic, detailed, better remembered—and therefore they can often illuminate some processes common to all dreaming.
Target audience: All
Emily “Hexe” Batchelder
Lunar Thinking: A Non-Linear Approach to Dreamwork (paper)
With no light of her own, the Moon is the dreamer’s dark lantern. Exploring Lunar symbology in the contexts of alchemy, Tarot, dreams, and pre-historical matriarchal societies’ uses of the Moon, this presentation will tie lunar symbology and imagery into our dreamwork practices in a cyclical pattern that can be harnessed in beneficial ways. The moon is a channel, silent observer, and anchor.
- Introduction: Overview of the Lunar Cycle: Waxing, Waning, Crescent, Gibbous
- Lunar Symbology in Western Alchemy
- Jung, Hillman, and the Moon
- Lunar Symbology in Tarot
- Use of the Moon in Pre-Historical Matriarchal societies
- Lunar calendar vs. Gregorian/Julian calendar
The talk will conclude with Emily’s use of the moon in her own dreamwork, with the assertion that working with dreams and the moon can bring interesting results that have the potential to bridge dreamers into a closer relationship with the cycles of nature and the cycles within themselves.
Target Audience: For all!
Katherine R. Bell
Guided by Dreams (Paper)
Dreams have long been looked on as sources of wisdom and personal guidance. So why is it so hard for us to find direction from our own dreams? I will give a brief overview of what we know about the neurophysiological mechanism of dreams and how that affects our ability to interpret and even remember our own dreams. This very same mechanism, however, casts light on why dreams truly do have profound insight into our waking lives. The core of my talk will be examples from my own dream journey. I will explore how working with the feelings and images that arise during even “ordinary” dreams helps me to tap into my deeper wisdom and find my way to an ever more satisfying, connected and purpose-filled life. I will touch on the difficulties of dream incubation and recommend instead following the golden road of the path of the dreams themselves, which will be unique for each dreamer and may not always be what the waking mind expects! As a result of over 20 years of working with the dreams of others (and a lifetime of working with my own dreams), I theorize that guidance comes primarily in two forms: (1) showing us how we are blocked in our waking life, and (2) highlighting what new possibilities are unfolding. This guidance can refer to our emotional or spiritual state or can offer practical solutions to waking life problems. By lovingly honoring the pain that led to us erect these blocks, and by celebrating and reveling in the new possibilities we are opening to, we can enhance the alchemical transformation that dreams offer us every night. This presentation will highlight some of my personal experiences of dream guidance and will be illuminated with selections of my own dream art.
Katherine R. Bell
Experiential Dreamwork: Mining Dream Feelings for Waking Life Gold (Morning Dream Group)
In this morning Dream Group, we will focus on the feelings in the dreams and what they reveal about the dreamer’s waking life situation. Since dreams arise from the deepest part of our limbic brain which is associated with feelings and visceral sensations, mining dreams for feelings can cast light on how we are processing (or not processing) emotions in waking life. This work is based on Experiential Dreamwork, which is derived from Embodied Dreamwork.
After a brief introduction to the technique, I will invite 2-3 people to share dreams during the course of the hour. As we explore each dream, we will pay particular attention to the dreamer’s feeling in each moment of the dream. Does the feeling make sense to the waking mind given the dream situation? Is the feeling familiar or is it new? These feelings can be a guide to explore what resonates with the dreamer about waking life situations. For example, a horrifying scene which elicits only casual acknowledgement during the dream may suggest that there are difficult feelings that the dreamer has learned to repress. Similarly, we often turn away from invitations to moments of joy and connection by either reverting to some busy habit or interpreting such invitations as being of great danger to our safety.
Proceeding only at the pace of the dreamer, and ready to drop any suggestion that the dreamer rejects, I will invite each dreamer to take a moment to breathe into any dream moments where the feeling doesn’t match the situation and to allow new feelings to arise… and it may not always be what is expected! This simple yet profound technique can also apply to any dream moment where there is a sudden shift of perspective or other discrepancy, and thus can be used with almost any dream. With great love and tenderness, such “discrepant” moments can be mined to reveal waking life blind spots, often leading to profound and lasting breakthroughs. Because insights are rooted firmly in images presented by the dream, the dreamer need not share out loud (or even be consciously aware of) any waking life associations and indeed may treat the whole group experience as an interesting symbolic exercise while still gaining the benefit of touching into the full range of feelings that are being offered by the dream. Thus confidentiality is maintained, and the dreamer remains the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of their own dream.
In the model of Experiential Dreamwork, dreams bring images and feelings which specifically highlight areas where the dreamer has become disconnected from their limbic/feeling self because of trauma or the need to be successful or safe in the world. By opening up places where the dream does not make logical sense, we discover and start to eliminate these blind spots. By explaining my technique as I go, participants will learn to identify discrepancies in their own dreams and open up previously hidden feelings that should help them with waking life difficulties. If the dreamer agrees (and if time allows) we may act out the dream moment to make the feelings more viscerally vivid to the dreamer.
Heart operation, dream symbols and transformation (Paper)
By having a sudden collapse of the cardiac valve called the Miter, situated between the left atrium and the left ventricle, the author had to go through a heart operation which also involved a psychological and spiritual transformation. The physical circumstances as well as the psychological and spiritual process showed themselves through dreams. By taking notes of the dreams, she recognized a certain pattern and a shift of dreams after the operation. By going back a few years she also noticed a transformation-dream leading forward towards the actual event. The presentation will detect certain dream symbols and describe how a physical operation can have a deeper meaning and maybe also be necessary in pushing forward the transformation process.
The presentation is for all, no medical experience is needed.
Dreams, transformation symbols, chakras and meditation (Morning Dream Group)
In this morning dream group, I will describe what a chakra is and show the relationship between transformation processes in the chakras and specific transformation symbols illustrating change.
In the Western alchemical tradition described by Andrea (alias Christiani Rosenkreuz) the
transformation process is told in the story of “the Alchemical Wedding” from 1614. The transformation processes are even better known in the Eastern tradition, as described by Sir John Woodroffe, alias Arthur Avalon, in the book “The Serpent Power”. We will work with the different chakras and the specific transformation symbols connected to the chakras. By night meditations we will try to influence the dream process, possibly influencing the transformation process. The dreams will be shared the next morning. We will concentrate on Earth elements, transformation animals, geometry and sound. I will use the Danish philosopher and dream expert Jes Bertelsen’s (and Jung’s) approach to interpretation, and Bob Moore’s knowledge of chakras in the group.
Dream Weaver…..Creating a tapestry from the images in our dreams (Paper)
The three most asked questions of people are, Who Am I? Why Am I here? and Where Am I going? Answering these questions often are challenging for anyone of us to reach a satisfying answer or to reach a place of inner peace.
In my journey throughout my Metaphysical studies, and especially through my work as a Recreational Therapist, working with at-risk teens, I find it my calling to discover ways to help others answer these questions daily. One of the greatest ways that I have found is through dreamwork. Dreams give you that inner connection with your soul, spirit, divine, or whatever you call it.
In this paper I will share with you the dreams of 30 plus teens, both girls and boys, ranging in age between 13 and 18. The common theme for these individuals is that they have been/or are placed in a residential behavioral health facility because of depression, self-harming behavior, or maladaptive sexual behavior, violence and drug abuse.
It is my belief that many of these individuals have experienced an awakening, a spiritual awakening, with no awareness within themselves or awareness within the adults that are around them of what that might mean or what to do with such energy. This awakening can be challenging at any age, because there is a change that is taking place that you are either prepared for or unconscious about. This change can be particularly challenging and painful for adolescents. Their whole identity is going through a transformation, as well as the changes that are taking place within their bodies.
Through recording and discussing their dreams weekly in a dream circle group for a period of 6 months, these bright individuals begin to connect with their inner self and begin to discover ways that they can use their nighttime visions to guide them in answering the questions above.
As a result of what they are learning and receiving during their dream circle, at the end of the 6 months they are able to distill from their dreams a symbol that brings them guidance, peace of mind and hope. They then paint this symbol on a canvas. Each of the individual panels will be woven together to create a tapestry.
In my presentation I will display a PowerPoint, which will be the images that they created from their dreams, and which will share their profound journey
I have found in my work that these young minds are thirsty for the meaning of life. They are interested in esoteric studies that go beyond the physical. They have joyfully and willingly embraced my request of their time and stories with passion so that I might be able to share with you the vast possibilities.
Virginia Bennett and David Cielak
Dream Group: The Inner Self, Dreams, and the Seth Material (Morning Dream Group)
This Dream Group is focused on the Inner Self concepts and practices from the Seth
Material (see below). The “Inner Self” is Seth-based terminology referring to a highly expansive yet individualized “entity” from which the physically-based ego emerges. The working premise is that dreams are a creation of the Inner Self, providing actual “lived experiences” while we sleep and within which we engage with other dimensions and other aspects of our selves. The idea is that “we create our own reality” while waking and sleeping, through beliefs, thoughts, and emotions which are reflected in the dream state. Dreams serve many functions and purposes and, in part, provide us with ways to find greater value fulfillment in our physical lives. This Dream Group will focus on the Inner Self in relation to exploring dream realities, gaining additional insight and creativity, effective understanding/interpreting of dreams by accessing the Inner Self. The Dream Group will be shown Seth’s ways of incubating dreams and using suggestion to facilitate gaining access to inner wisdom arising from the Inner Self. There will also be a discussion of healing and harmonizing approaches such as Seth’s recommended sleep schedule.
We will use the following techniques, the exact order of which will depend on the size and composition of the group: telling dreams, group discussion, guided imagery exercises to enhance dream incubation and recall, dyad discussion, writing and drawing dream depiction, and a suggested adjusted sleep schedule exercise. Presenters will share their experiences and examples in the use of these dream practices. In line with the Seth Material (and IASD), interpretation of all dreams is decided by the dreamer and no one else. 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 acquaint attendees with the concept/experience of the Inner Self and to use specific exercises and incubations derived from the Seth Material, that will be useful and practical
- to expand attendees’ view of how the Inner Self via dreams helps us in creating our personal reality
- to provide an experience and platform for attendees who are familiar with the Seth Material to explore and share their own experiences as related to dreams.
The Seth Material consists of 30 books (3.9 million words) plus additional transcripts of class 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.
The group is suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced level attendees.
Virginia G. Bennett
Long Term Dream Journaling: Dreaming of Unknown Realities (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “Long Term Journal Keeping: The Lasting Influence of Jane Roberts/Seth”)
In the Seth material, we are introduced to the idea that dreams are one of the ways that we, as “artist-scientists” explore what are, to our waking mind, “unknown realities.” These are dreams that do not lend themselves well to psychological interpretation, but instead appear to be explorations of other time periods, other personalities, and/or states of consciousness that are quite foreign to our waking identity. Some of what appears in these dreams may later manifest in our physical reality, but much will not, or even cannot, take physical form. As much as I have benefited from the psychological understanding of my dreams, it is the dreams of “unknown realities” that stand out the most from the dreams I have gathered daily over a 45 year period. From these archives, I have selected dreams that represent aspects of unknown realities, such as probable and reincarnational selves, “transformational” dreams deconstructing human form, lucid exploration of inner landscapes, and other adventures in consciousness. These are the experiences of what Seth refers to as “Framework 2”, which supersedes the Framework 1 of our “known” physical based reality. Seth’s key concept is that we create our own reality. However, these dreams seem to be from an “I” operating at such an expanded level that my physical “i” can do little more than awaken in a state of awe and wonder, grasping to remember as many details as possible, trying to translate what is multidimensional into the three-dimensional focus of the waking mind. The premise in this presentation is that we all have dreams of this nature, and that the more we share our experiences, the more we can expand our knowledge and our ability to enter and navigate these unknown realities. Integrated into the presentation of dreams will be Seth’s commentary on the aspects of the reality depicted by each dream, and, as relevant, the personal impact the dreams have had on my life.
Target audience: All Audiences.
A Social/ Cultural Narrative of Dreaming: Western, Islamic and Eastern Traditions (Presentation within Culture and History Symposium titled “An Introduction to the History of Dreams”)
This presentation considers how greater insight, appreciation and knowledge about dreams and dreaming will continue to be best supported through cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary study. Curiosity and belief in the importance of dreams has engaged enquiry about: the reality of waking experience versus dream state; the paradox of dream as illusion or dream as superior reality; reason versus imagination, and existential questions about birth, death, and the nature of body, soul and spirit. The Western cultural heritage of dreaming has its roots in Egyptian, Middle Eastern, Greek/Roman and European Medieval and Romantic traditions. In the Odyssey, Homer frames a key dialectic around dreams and trustworthiness which captures a central theme running through Greek and Roman thinking: discernment between trustworthy, truthful dreams and deceptive, illusory dreams. We can also trace through early Greek writing a movement away from the messenger/prophetic tradition to more naturalistic or secular interpretations.
The practice of dream incubation was already an established tradition in the ancient world, but in the Greek tradition it reached a celebrated status, with many sanctuaries devoted to Asclepius, the divine patron of healing. Like the Greeks, the Romans believed in the ability to communicate in dreams with the dead, and recognised that dreams could serve a diagnostic function. From the 1st Century CE onwards, a shifting orientation around dreams evolved, influenced by integration and assimilation of other competing cultural and religious viewpoints, notably the Jewish, Christian and Gnostic beliefs, which contributed to an ambiguous mix of beliefs and practices that both validated and condemned dreams. Dream guides were popular. The Oneirocritica (2nd Century CE) by Artemidorus of Daldis influenced theories about dream interpretation in Islamic and Christian traditions in the early and middle ages. In Islamic culture, dreams are held in high regard, as they are considered to bear a close relationship to prophecy. The primary authoritative sources for Islamic dream interpretation are the Qur’an and the life and practice of the Prophet, Muhammad (570-632 CE). Muhammad interpreted dreams, his own and others. He is quoted as saying, “A dream will take effect according to how it is interpreted.” Treatises on dreams as well as dream guides were popular. The comprehensive guide by ad-Dinawari (ca1006 CE) provides broad coverage of all aspects of dreams in the context of life work, environment, politics, social relationships, religion, spirituality, hopes and wishes. During what has been termed the Golden Age of Islam, generally dated from the 8th to the 12th centuries, science, economic development and scholarship flourished. Separate theological and philosophical schools debated and contemplated dreams and visionary experiences through the multi-disciplinary lens of philosophy, science, rational argument, theology and imagination. Within contemporary Islam, dreams and dream interpretation is still given significance.
Dreams have been the subject of study, meditation and practice within Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Ch´an and Zen. Popular literature, autobiographies, myths, legends, oral traditions reflect Eastern cultural patterns and thinking around dreaming, that considers what is the nature of reality and how are dreams reflecting reality or bringing about reality. A general response to this concern is to conclude that there are multiple realities and that the boundaries between realities are more porous, and less concrete or permanent than is recognised in Western perspectives. Deep enquiries have been engaged around questions such as: what is the nature of awareness and of wakefulness, how do we identify and substantiate that we are awake, dreaming or sleeping, and what is the illusory nature of both waking and dream states. Dreaming is also considered as a path to spiritual enlightenment. Target Audience: Especially for beginners.
Dreams and Awe: An Opportunity to Become Awe-Full (Workshop)
Have you had that mystical experience where you stand in awe of something, totally lost in the moment? In this workshop, intended for everyone, we will open dreams and invite a dream to sit with us in the room as we move into that place of awe. The way we will invite the dream into the room is through the visual. After we have established the space as sacred, we will invite a few dreams to be told aloud with our intent to not just hear the dream, but experience it. We will then all draw a simple sketch of the dream, and then use these drawings as a basis for the work. We will work primarily from the dreamer’s “dream map” and place it in front of the group. This, is not, of course, about drawing ability. When we draw, it is about just getting a few lines down that represent the dream in any way we want. Stick figures, words, arrows, a couple of triangles for mountains, a spiral for a sense of an emotion, anything to convey a basic sort of “map” that fleshes out the dream. By drawing the dream, we, in a sense, give it a form that the dream itself can inhabit. These crude lines quickly thrown down become the clothes that the dream can climb inside of and present itself to us in this sacred space we are working in. When we draw our dreams, it connects us to the primal essence of the dream – the visual. Dreams primarily start as a visual encounter and words are added on top of that to explain it. Drawing the dream anchors us in the depth of the dream, and it gives us a chance to stay focused clearly on the primal essence of the dream. I have found that the map of the dream becomes an added member of the group that has many things to tell us. We suddenly don’t focus on the dreamer at all, but the representation of the dream that we see. Suddenly it is not the speaker that is important, but the experience that we are all having. That is the sort of thing that goes on in this workshop. Often, synchronicities and unconscious things that our hands have drawn on the paper will surprise us. Color, spacing, size, and placement of elements on the page will, at times, reveal things to the dreamer (and to us) not thought of before. And the projections of the group based on what all of us have drawn will amaze you. This is an exciting and focused process that always includes humor, enthusiasm, and emotional and spiritual depth. The dreamer, is, of course, the final authority on the “meaning” of the dream. Hopefully we will all come away with a true sense of awe that we have formed on our own version and the communal version of the dream. By the end of working the dream, we will all stand in that place of awe and wonder that comes from the eruption of the deep forces that the unconscious carries up into our souls. As we use different modalities to open the dream such as archetypal projective dream work and dream theatre, the drawing will become a part of the process that will bring alive the experience of living inside a dream. We will spend fifteen minutes talking about all this and the rest of the time will be spent traveling down into the magic. It’s going to be an experience you will remember.
Ullman Dream Appreciation morning dream group (Morning Dream Group)
In the session I will:
- Describe the stages of the group dream appreciation method of Montague Ullman, following his (2006) book Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach.
- 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.
Target audience: All.
Mark Blagrove and co-authors Michelle Carr, Alex Jones, and Julia Lockheart
A New Theory of Dream Function: Telling Dreams Enhances Empathy towards the Dreamer (
Theories of dreaming mainly fall into two groups. Non-functional theories, such as by Hobson and Domhoff, hold that dreams may have law-like relationships to waking life experiences and to the brain but that unrecalled dreams have no lasting effect on the dreamer. Functional theories, such as the Threat Simulation Theory, emotional or fear memory regulation theories, and memory consolidation theories, hold that dreams, including unrecalled dreams, are related to functional brain processes, and may even be an essential experiential part of these functional processes. A problem with the non- functional theories is that the complex nature of the dream simulation and its complex brain bases are arguably not convincingly accounted for by epiphenomenal theories, whereas the problem with the functional theories is that the proposed (usually within-sleep) mechanisms for dream function are currently unevidenced and speculative. We propose here that the (often emotional) dream simulation has a lasting effect not on the brain during sleep, nor primarily on the dreamer after sleep (although some self-reflection may occur then), but instead on significant others who hear and engage with the dream. The dream thus acts as a piece of fiction that others explore and that, like literary fiction, can then induce empathy about the life of the dreamer. Of relevance here are findings that reading literary fiction, but not non-fiction, increasies empathy (Oatley, 2011; Matthijs Bal and Veltkamp, 2013). The dream simulation, with its mixture of positive and negative emotions, and its almost entirely fictional rather than historical or replicative plot, may thus have been selected for in evolution, and in particular in sexual selection, as part of the selection for emotional intelligence and empathy, on a timescale similar to that for language, storytelling and group cohesion and cooperation in humans (Smith et al., 2017). There are thus similarities between the told dream simulation and blushing, in that both signal the emotional state of the dreamer/blusher to others, and hence both are subject to selective pressure. Suggestions will be made for how this theory can be tested empirically, and there will be consideration of whether increased dream telling might counteract current societal decreases in empathy (Konrath et al., 2011).
Target Audience: Advanced, Research track, not theory track!
Floating for Lucidity: The Alternate Waking States Induction Method (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “State of the Art Lucid Dream Induction Methods”)
Accessing and utilizing altered states of consciousness, including lucid dreams and OBEs for spiritual, community and personal reasons, has been of great interest across cultures and times. Our culture and time is no exception, and as we continue to borrow from traditional cultures we are compelled to explore mnemonic, mechanistic and technologically assisted methods to induce targeted altered states more effectively. An often-overlooked tool for effectively inducing those states is the floatation tank and its related experience. Once romantically dramatized in fiction and by Hollywood and popular culture, this misunderstood system had fallen into relative obscurity until recently, when a gentle if somewhat tentative resurgence occurred, riding the wave of the holistic, complementary and alternative medicine movement. The floatation tank, formerly, and more ominously referred to as the sensory deprivation tank, is basically a large chamber filled with 10” of water supersaturated with Epsom salts, so the body floats, effortlessly. All sensory input is extremely reduced, so the typical response is for the “floater” to quickly and easily access a deeply restful space; in essence, an extended hypnagogic state, where “hallucinations” and other waking dream phenomena can readily be experienced.
The author of this paper had regular access to a floatation tank for many years, and having particular interest in consciousness and these related phenomena, sought to develop a technique whereby these ephemeral states could be accessed with a regularity and reliability to allow for personal as well as laboratory investigation. A serendipitous series of events, which included working with LaBerge’s mnemonic induction of dream technique (MILD) and subsequent immersion in the float tank, yielded dramatic lucid dreams and seeming OBEs; thus, a hybrid technique was born: AWSIM – the Alternate Waking States Induction Method. Alternate is substituted for Altered, since it seems these states are not necessarily altered; they may, rather, be normal, just underutilized. And, since Waking states are those targeted, and the only ones we can know directly, it is these we seek to induce. Subsequent trials have been promising, with about an 80% success rate for the author with similar results in others introduced to AWSIM. For those seeking to experience dream lucidity, OBEs and other Alternate Waking States, this seems to be an extremely potent process, and in that spirit, the author wishes to present his experience and thoughts in this paper as an introduction and invitation to AWSIM.
Included in this paper is:
- an introduction to the Alternate Waking States Induction Method (AWSIM), a technique which has proven effective in the engendering of “altered” states of consciousness in individuals while floating,
- initial findings of AWSIM research,
- a brief overview of significant phenomena observed with reference to categorization thereof – the AWSIM “spectrum” of consciousness,
- implications and possible applications, with particular reference to generating lucid dreams and OBEs, and
- suggestions for further research.
The Architect of the Future: Dreaming is a Required Element of a Viable Future (Paper)
The world is on the brink of biosphere collapse. I propose that most major scientific developments have occurred as a result of dreaming breakthrough solutions. Now is the time to identify the breakthrough solutions that are being dreamed to create a viable future for humanity and the biosphere itself. Examples of major scientific breakthroughs include Dimitri Mendeleev’s creation of the Periodic Table of the Elements and James Watson’s discovery of the double helix of DNA. recognizing dreaming as a required element to advert the looming eco- crisis. I propose a simple primer of dreamwork techniques to increase the velocity of scientific breakthrough.
Dreams, Consciousness, and the Nature of Reality (Paper)
I always loved to dream. While falling asleep I would tell myself stories so I could wake up in the world that I imagined. I didn’t know that I was applying an ancient technique called incubation. I learned to interact with the dream at such a young age that it didn’t occur to me that that was an ability called lucidity. The more I studied dreams, the more I started doubting that “the dreams belongs to the dreamer” as in my experience it was not always so. In the same way I started doubting that mind was to be equated to brain. So many questions came flooding in: Is mind truly an epiphenomenon of the neural network? Is the brain a generator of or a mediator for consciousness? Can consciousness not be bound by space and time? If consciousness is primary, what are its properties and how does it relate to matter? If reality is interconnected and co-created during waking, can we say the same for the sleeping mind? The possibility that dreamtime can be stable and permeable seems to me very likely. I hypothesize that dreams do not belong to us personally, we all dream together, this is the cosmic dream. Our personal dreams belong to this larger field. Dreamtime is something we all share, like the roots of a tree compared to individual leaves. And these roots are shared in consciousness. Things that appear to be separated are truly not so. To explore this hypothesis, we will consider the phenomenon of shared dreams and of telepathic dreams as they point to a fundamental flaw in the current accepted understanding of consciousness and of reality. As a method to travel back to this shared field we will consider lucidity, comparing and contrasting the Western approach of lucid dreaming to the Eastern approach of dream yoga. Training in lucidity becomes a potent tool to expand our knowledge of the nature of reality. Dreams are an incredible opportunity for the exploration of the boundaries of this co-created field we call Cosmos.
Theoretical basis: introduction- hypothesis: does the dream belongs to the dreamer only? – the interconnected reality of dreams and the properties of consciousness- analysis of shared dreams- dream yoga versus lucid dreaming- the advantages of lucidity- conclusion
Target audience: intermediate
Kelly Bulkeley and Bernard Welt
Methods and Practices in Dream Journaling: A Workshop for First-Time IASD Conference Attendees (Morning Dream Group)
This morning workshop is for first-time IASD attendees. Attendees will learn a variety of methods for starting a dream journal, exploring the dreams that accumulate over time, and discovering surprising potentials for creativity and insight. Attendees will be able to share their experiences and discuss common themes and questions. Both presenters have done numerous lectures, writings, and workshops on the topic of dream journaling. This topic is a foundational for anyone interested in dreams, and our goal is to combine the introductory discussions of dream journaling with a welcome and initiation for people who are first-time IASD conference attendees. In this sense, the proposed workshop is based on the “first-timers workshop” facilitated by Kelly Bulkeley and Jane White-Lewis for many years at IASD conferences. That workshop was very successful in promoting a welcoming spirit to newcomers to the IASD community. Now, the combined experience of Kelly Bulkeley and Bernard Welt as long-time IASD members and leaders makes us well-suited to serve this important function in helping people who have never before attended an IASD conference feel more comfortable.
This workshop will the very first event of the very first IASD conference for the attendees. The initial meeting will involve introductions, questions about the conference, a discussion of initial interests in dreams, and a list of topics people want to learn more about. The presenters will take time to introduce the attendees to the basic practice of keeping a dream journal, which some of the attendees may already do. Also discussed in introductory terms will be the role of dream journals in history, art, religion, and science. The following sessions will provide ample space for the attendees to process their experiences at the conference, ask questions, share impressions, and correlate different ideas from different sources. The presenters will make sure in each session to devote at least half the group’s discussion to various practical aspects of dream journaling, and the list of interests and questions that arose from the first session. The specific techniques will focus on how to identify, understand, and learn from the patterns that emerge over time in a dream journal. As per the IASD Ethics Statement, the dreamer is the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream.
Target Audience: first-time IASD conference attendees only, max of 16.
The Dreams of God of Lucrecia de Leon (Presentation within Research Panel titled “Dreams About God across Historical and Cultural Contexts”)
The dreams of God reported by Lucrecia de Leon, a young woman from 16th century Spain, included dangerously accurate prophecies that brought down the wrath of the Inquisition. This presentation explores the religious, psychological, and political dimensions of her dreams, especially the theme of dreams as speaking truth to power.
Basis: The presentation is based on the historical research I did in writing the book Lucrecia the Dreamer: Prophecy, Cognitive Science, and the Spanish Inquisition. The presentation will not directly promote or market the book. Instead, the focus will be on one aspect of the dreams of Lucrecia de Leon, a 16th century Spanish prophet.
The presentation will start with the historical context of the dreamer, and the religious dynamics of her life and community. It will then look at the 24 dream reports specifically mentioning “God” in the main collection of her dreams, and will discuss the main themes and features of these dreams. This discussion will include use of digital methods of data analysis, Jungian psychology, cognitive science, and metaphorical theology. The presentation will conclude with reflections on the psychological, political, and religious dimensions of dreaming in historical circumstances and in the present-day.
Target audience: For all.
The Mythic Depths of Cinematic Dreams (Presentation within Arts & Humanities Panel titled “Dreaming, Media, and Consciousness”)
This presentation will explore the roots of modern movie and television dreams in ancient myths, religions, and classical philosophies. The works to be discussed include Twin Peaks (2017), DreamCorp LLC (2016), The OA (2016), and Dead of Night (1945).
Basis: this presentation draws on an extensive literature on dreams in the history of religions and spirituality, combined with contemporary research on the nature and functions of dreaming.
Sequence: the presentation will start with a discussion of mythic, religious, and philosophical themes in contemporary movie and television portrayals of dreams. The presentation will then highlight these themes in four specific works: Twin Peaks (2017), DreamCorp LLC (2016), The OA (2016), and Dead of Night (1945).
Target audience: for all.
The History of Healing Dreams (Presentation within Dreams and Health Panel titled “Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Diagnosis and Healing”)
A vivid, more real-than-real dream that wakes you up and later comes true is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences a human being can have. It can be a life-changing event, especially when the dream is a compelling early warning sign of serious illness that leads to life-saving medical intervention. Dreams have provided useful information in medical diagnosis for centuries. It includes a review of indigenous shamanic dream traditions, Native American vision quests, Greek Ascelpian temples, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis, Carl Jung’s analytic psychology, Edgar Cayce’s readings, Vasily Kasatkin’s neuropsychiatric research, Robin Royston’s psychiatric dreamwork, Marc Ian Barasch’s healing dreams.
Target audience: For All.
DreamWork/BodyWork Workshop (Workshop)
DreamWork/BodyWork is a process-oriented therapeutic model for healing trauma. This workshop will provide tools for understanding trauma and accessing the source of potential resolution. Workshop participants will gain insight into how the body holds and records information, how that information can be accessed, how dreams and personal imagery contain the information necessary to allow healing. Workshop participants will learn to recognize in the body what might be called the initial trauma in someone’s life and how that affects responses to subsequent trauma. Workshop participants will experience work with their own dreams and images as well as exploring the steps involved in facilitating this process with clients and others. The DreamWork/BodyWork model is based on the work of Dr. Hector-Kuri Cano, who developed his theories of “Energetic Metatherapy” based on study with Dr. Alexander Lowen, the creator of “Bioenergetics” and with Eric Fromm. DreamWork/BodyWork relies on the dream awareness of the dreamer, the person who will recognize the feelings of the dream in his or her own body. This practice corresponds with IASD’s ethical belief that the dream belongs to the dreamer.
Five Points from Seth/Five Dreams from My Journals (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “Long Term Journal Keeping: The Lasting Influence of Jane Roberts/Seth”)
Jean Campbell has been reading and working with the Seth materials since Jane Roberts’ first Seth book, Seth Speaks, fell on her head from a library shelf in 1972. This presentation involves five of Seth’s major, instructive points, made in several volumes of the Seth materials, accompanied by dreams from Jean’s journals between 1973 and the present. The five points from Seth that will be presented, along with the titles of the accompanying dreams, are as follows:
- Point: “The Point of Power is in the Present” (The Nature of Personal Reality, page 435) Dream: A dream yet undreamed from the time immediately before IASD’s 2018 conference
- Point: “You must understand that each mental act is a reality for which you are responsible.” (Seth Speaks, page 282) Dream: Finding a Spirit Guide, 1973
- Point: “Organize your reality according to your strengths.” Unpublished reading given to Jane Roberts class, April 8, 1977 Dream: “May the life of the sweeper change the width of the broom.” 1986
- Point: “Group dreaming was at one time taken for granted.” (Dreams, Evolution, Value Fulfillment, II, page 463) Dream: Dream of an Iraqi child on the event of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. 2003
- Point: “Dreams are mental work and play combined.” (Dreams, Evolution, Value Vol. II, page 464).
Target Audience: All Audiences.
Michelle Carr and co-authors Karen Konkoly, Remington Mallett, Kristoffer Appel, and Mark Blagrove
Testing a morning nap for lucid dream induction in nightmare and control participants (Paper)
Lucid dreams (LD), i.e., being aware that one is dreaming while asleep, are a valuable tool for psychological research and have clinical applications for treating nightmares. Several techniques have shown some effectiveness at inducing lucid dreams. The Wake-Back-to-Bed (WBTB) method requires waking up 2 hours earlier than normal and staying awake for at least 30 minutes before returning to sleep. This method is often combined with a cognitive technique, the Mnemonic Induction of LD (MILD), which involves repeating an intention to LD prior to sleep. Finally, specialized masks can be used to send audio/visual cues to a dreamer while they are in REM sleep, which can prompt the dreamer to check whether they are dreaming (“reality check”) and trigger lucidity.
Our research aims to test a morning nap protocol that mimics WBTB, incorporates brief pre-sleep training in MILD and reality checking techniques, and utilizes an LD mask with audio/visual cues to induce lucidity in the laboratory. Given the strong implications of LD for nightmare treatment, we are testing this protocol in both nightmare sufferers (NM) and control participants (CTL). We are recruiting 40 participants: 20 NM (≥2 NM/wk) and 20 CTL (≥2 dreams/wk, ≤1 NM/month). NM is defined as extremely unpleasant dreams that awaken the dreamer. Participants come to the laboratory for a morning nap and undergo pre-sleep training: 1) using the mask to practice cued reality checking and lucidity signaling, e.g., with the mask on and eyes closed, participant allows mind to wander during 10 minutes; the mask will flash lights or beep every 90 seconds and the participant is instructed to do a reality check (“Can you hold your nose and mouth shut and breathe?”) and then signal with 4 left-right eye movements; 2) setting intention with MILD technique prior to sleep onset (“The next time I am dreaming I will remember that I am dreaming”).Participants are then given a 2- hour window to sleep. The LD mask sends audio/visual cues to the dreamer after 1 minute of phasic REM sleep. The mask continues to randomly send in either an audio or visual cue every subsequent 20 seconds. The dreamer is instructed to signal with 4 left-right eye movements when they become lucid, and to continue to observe and signal whenever they recognize an audio or visual cue. Immediately upon awakening, the participant fills in a dream report with specific instruction to describe when/how they observed cue incorporation in the dream and whether they responded with eye movements.
This presentation will first focus on description of the study methodology as detailed above, prior to discussing results of the study. Specifically, I will report on comparisons of NM and CTL participants, including rates of successful LD induction, quality and content of LDs in NM and CTL participants, and personality correlates of successful LD induction. Finally, I will provide qualitative results regarding participant experiences and individual factors which may relate to study outcomes. The practical implications of lucid dreaming for both NM and healthy populations will be presented, including potential use of LD for NM treatment, creativity, or other studies of sleep/dream function.
Target audience: Intermediate
Dreaming Body, Sleeping Body: Exploring the embodied mind during sleep. (Paper)
Growing evidence suggests that movements in our sleeping bodies, and dreaming minds, serve a functional role in shaping how we move and talk in our waking lives. Research has shown that sleep improves performance on motor tasks, such as mirror tracing, serial tapping, or even a downhill skiing video game. These findings have been interpreted to suggest that the brain is replaying movements learned in recent waking life during sleep, thereby strengthening these motor memories. Neuroimaging studies support these claims, in that parts of the motor cortex, which control waking movements, are active while we sleep, although muscle atonia prevents us from enacting these movements. Nevertheless, although we think of sleep as a period of inactivity, during REM sleep, in particular, our bodies frequently move in subtle ways. These movements include twitches, little jerking movements that you might see in the whiskers of a cat or the flickering eyelids of a baby. In fact, every skeletal muscle in the body twitches during REM sleep, from the muscles in our limbs, to postural muscles, and even the small muscles controlling facial expressions. This twitching seems to be crucial for developing the body schema, the map of our body in the brain. These body maps underlie our ability to control our muscles accurately, to move how and when we want to in the waking world, and dreaming may provide a virtual reality in which we can practice this being-in-the-world. The body is indeed very active in dream content. Kinesthetic sensations and imagery in dream reports range from simple sensations of posture, balance, touch and movement, to more extraordinary sensations of bodily distortion, vibration, metamorphosis, and paralysis. Researchers have found evidence that kinesthetic and vestibular contact on the sleeping body can modify dream content; for example, inflating a pressure cuff on the leg might induce dreams of a cat jumping on your legs. Likewise, reports of hypnagogic imagery have shown that sudden body movements, such as your head nodding off, can influence and be indirectly incorporated into dream content. There is also evidence that balance is correlated with higher incidences of lucid dreams, whereas poor balance is related to nightmare frequency; these relationships imply a role for embodied cognition in dreaming. Finally, lucid dream studies have shown that dreamed body movements, such as flexing the fist, looking left and right, and even respiration rate impact muscle activity in corresponding areas of the body. The proposed presentation will first review the evidence that REM sleep is integral to developing the body schema and that twitches, eye movements, and other bodily stimuli are incorporated into our dreaming minds. Examples from lucid dream and hypnagogic image reports will be used to demonstrate how movements in the dreaming body and sleeping body can influence and interact with each other.
Target Audience: Intermediate
Dreaming for Others (Paper)
Can we dream for other people? This presentation was inspired by a Psiberdreaming Conference dream, in which Laurel was featured as a “dream character” in the dream of another PDC participant. Interestingly, in waking reality Laurel and this other dreamer do not know each other, but his dream had specific information that directed Laurel to her own dream journals for an important healing message. How is this possible? How do we connect with one another subconsciously in the dream state? Sometimes it can happen seemingly unbidden, and at other times, dreamers intentionally dream for and with one another. The Dream Helper ceremony conducted by Robert van de Castle and Henry Reed is an example of dreamers aiding one another through dreams. Group dream endeavors such as the World Dreams Peace Bridge and 350 Dreamers are other examples of dreamers allowing their dreaming minds to receive messages for the good of others. This presentation explores the implications of this power to connect with one another through our dreams for healing.
Laurel will present the dream from the 2017 Psiberdreaming Conference that inspired this presentation, and the dream from her own journal that the PDC dream directed her to discover. She will discuss how it is possible for dream content to be “for” another person, based on theory of the subconscious and conscious mind and their relationship to one another. She will also present experiences from dreaming with the World Dreams Peace Bridge and as a participant in a Dream Helper Ceremony with Henry Reed during an educational “Intuitive Heart” retreat. She will discuss the implications and questions concerning when and if a dreamer should tell another person when dream content features that other person.
Target Audience: For All
Jennifer E. Closshey
Lucid Dreaming in Yoga Nidra (Workshop)
The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the modern relationship between the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra and lucid dreaming. Yoga nidra has been practiced by the yogic community for more than 5000 years, according to ancient Vedic documents and traditions. Lucid dreaming plays a key role in the yoga nidra as a tool for awareness expansion, mind clearing and spiritual purification. Based on teaching yoga, including yoga nidra, for more than 28 years, the presenter will lead attendees through an introduction to yoga nidra and its approach to lucid dreams.
- Lecture (15 minutes): Definition and history of yoga, yoga nidra and lucid dreaming in yoga nidra.
- Guided Meditation (30 minutes): Attendees as volunteers will be invited to lay on the floor, lean against a wall or lay across chairs and lead through a yoga nidra session, including the opportunity to explore lucid dreaming.
- Questions and Answers (15 minutes) Note: No dream interpretations are made during this special event.
Suitable for all levels of prior dream experience and knowledge as an introduction to beginners of yoga nidra.
How to Identify and Apply Figures of Speech in Dreams (Paper)
When we remember a dream, the next step is open. What should we do with the images, feelings, and sensations brought up by the experience: forget about it, interpret, amplify, look for associations, etc.? This talk will present one of many possible entries into the realm of dreams. Plenty of attention has been given to metaphors in dreams, less so to other figures of speech, such as oxymoron, hyperbole, and personification. When a figure of speech arises in a dream, it makes it easier for the rational mind to accept and integrate the dream content.
In Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940, C. G. Jung mentions figures of speech as akin to metaphor: “we possess, in our figures of speech, a whole arsenal of symbols”. More recently, in Dreamworking: How to Listen to the Over Inner Guidance of Your Dreams, 2017, Christopher Sowton affirms that figures of speech can help the dreamer “arrive at a resonant understanding of the dream message”.
What is a figure of speech? When you discover a figure of speech in one of your dreams, what new associations come from it, and what insights may you find? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a figure of speech is “an expression that uses words to mean something different from their ordinary meaning”. Figures of speech include, for example, Oxymoron, where incongruous ideas appear side by side, Allegory, which has both a literal surface meaning and a symbolic deeper meaning, and Personification, wherein an inanimate object is endowed with human capabilities. When you identify a figure of speech in a dream of yours, new connections often spring up to reach you, the dreamer. After reflection, insights may appear. Here are a few examples drawn from Theresa´s clients´ dreams over her 3 decades of practice as a Jungian clinical psychologist. In one dream, the dreamer is a whale in a swimming pool. The incongruity suggests an Oxymoron. Thereupon, the client connected to his Mom´s criticism, restricting his life, and his insight was realizing how capable (big) he was compared to the empty (small) life he was living. In another case, the dreamer is sitting on the floor of her room, obsessively feasting on one Lego after another. Here we see an Allegory, where eating Lego blocks has a deeper meaning to the dreamer. The client´s first connection was that eating Legos is a childish behavior, which resulted in her insight that such childish eating habits are inadequate, as a morbidly obese teenager, she is wounding herself by her eating choices. In the final example, the dreamer is walking with her boyfriend, on a beach, heading toward an island, when suddenly she hears her Mom´s critical voice and turns to find a pile of excrement in the water, talking and gesturing wildly at her. Here we see feces taking on human qualities, known as Personification. The client soon exclaimed that her Mother is shit, and had the insight that her Mother is not as powerful as she claims to be.
In summary, when you identify the figures of speech in your own dreams, remaining open to the connotations, you may soon encounter new connections and associations, which often lead you to “aha!” moments of insight. Anyone can make use of this simple method; if you do, your dreams may present additional opportunities to become aware and possibilities to be developed.
Target audience: For All.
Barbara O’Guinn Condron
The New Bardo: Clear Light Legacy of Dad’s Dementia (Paper)
As my father moved through dementia the reverie state became his new reality. Before dementia, sleep closed the door between the outer and the inner. Now, with the brain functions retreating, that door was torn from its hinges and the free passage devoutly desired by meditators around the globe was revealed to have a cost. It was in the spring of 2017 when I
realized that modern science had allowed dad’s body to outlive his mind. Bleeding ulcers at 38, angioplasty at 62, heart bypass at 75, a stroke at 79; any of them would have been his demise if not for the intervention of modern science. Each extension on the life of his body did not come with a renewal of the mind’s lease. Dad was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, the same condition that drove Robin Williams to end his life. “He died from suicide in 2014 at the end of an intense, confusing, and relatively swift persecution at the hand of this disease’s symptoms and pathology,” wrote his widow Susan in an editorial in Neurology®. Certainly, experiencing dementia is like having a “terrorist inside my husband’s (or in my case father’s) brain”, yet for me it was a powerful affirmation of dreamwork as an essential life skill. By combining dream interpretation with an artistic medium called Sift Art, I could contextualize dad’s experience of losing control of his brain-body functions while processing my own feelings as care provider. At the 2011 Rolduc Conference, my paper What Happens When Choirs Dream Together? introduced the concept of a Dream Consciousness Circuit within the individual and between members of a group. DCC describes dream yoga, the union of the mind and body of an individual through intelligent and lucid acts of imagination and will. As my father’s life drew to a close, 40 years of dreamwork (as student, teacher, and counselor) gave me what I needed to walk between the worlds with my dad. His journey unlocked intermediate states within me and between us, enabling me to redefine traditional bardos into a New Bardo. Using the Reisberg Scale for assessment of dementia as a backdrop, I introduce the parallels to the seven Celtic Bardos and the Tibetan teachings. This multimedia presentation focuses on how the line between day dreams and night dreams dissolves as one man progresses through disease, healing, and release from physical life.
Solution Oriented Dream Decoding: Therapeutic Dreaming (Workshop)
Attempting to understand a dream’s meaning is exactly like trying to do a puzzle. You try one piece. It doesn’t fit, so you try another. I call these attempts different points of entry, using the theories and frameworks of Perls, Freud, Jung and Adler with each try. I will explain the different points of entry I use, with the goal of better understanding the dream’s meaning. Participants will learn how to discover what point of entry works best for a particular dream, or is the most comfortable for the dreamer. I will teach ways to look at and work with symbols, emotions, and noticing the atmosphere in the dream space.
The workshop will run from between one and a half to 2 hours (preferably 2 hours) [editor’s note: if this has been determined by the program chair, it should be stated as to which it actually is.] and will begin with a short lecture. I will pass out notes on the lecture portion to each group member so they can relax and focus on the discussion rather than the note-taking. Once the current issue the dream is addressing is uncovered, solutions to the problem as they may be presented in the dream become the focus of discussion. In this section, I have two goals. As we so often focus on the negative or frightening aspect of a dream, one goal is to show participants how to recognize and apply the strength in the dream. Very often the dream actually discloses the solution to the problem. I will also look at polarities that present themselves and how we might benefit from noticing and working with them. My second goal is to help dreamers see the solutions our subconscious introduces before our conscious mind catches the message. In my use of an eclectic approach to understanding our dreams, I strongly emphasize practical methodology and individually directed results over abstract theory. For example, I will ask the dreamer questions such as: What familiar stories, fables, movies, or characters come to your mind when you think about the story and people in this dream? What do these stories or characters have to teach you about your current situation? We will then attempt to understand the dream of a volunteer from the group. Since only the dreamer knows what the meaning of their dream is, participants will be using an “If this were my dream” format. The group will help define the layers of the dream using these different approaches, as the dreamer connects to each level of the dream. I will reserve 15-20 minutes at the end of the workshop to reexamine the process and answer questions or engage in discussion.
This workshop is for any and all levels of working with dreams.
Hypnopompic Encounters: Death’s Shadow and Light between the Realms (Paper)
The in-between state of consciousness that opens between sleeping and waking realms was highly valued within early philosophical, religious, theosophical, and esoteric traditions and practices, as well as throughout the creative arts; yet today, this important state of consciousness is largely forgotten, overlooked and devalued. Throughout this presentation, the dream-waking state of consciousness, and transpersonal dreams, encounters and waking visions that manifest there, will be discussed and explored. This semi-waking state will be presented as a natural, ordinary yet extraordinary state of consciousness that plays a crucial role in helping to understand the phenomenon of dreaming as a potentially useful means of accessing knowledge, healing and as a gold mine for accessing information about reality. While hypnopompic and hypnagogic states of consciousness are similar, given that both states open along the continuum between sleeping and waking realms, thus highlighting the interconnectivity between the conscious and unconscious mind, significant differences do exist. Many researchers and writers across and within interconnecting fields of study do not distinguish between these states, and believe that any differentiation between the hypnagogic and hypnopompic state is unwarranted. This may in part be due to the fact that hypnagogic experiences are much better known, with research findings published in interdisciplinary fields such as psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, dream studies and the creative arts; while hypnopompic experiences, by comparison, are minimally and much less commonly reported. Even the most comprehensive research to date on this subject area (Mavromatis, 2010) combines hypnopompic experiences as part of the hypnagogic state, which only leads to continual misunderstanding, misrepresentation and misinterpretation. This presentation will differentiate between the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states of consciousness, and in so doing, will offer an alternate way to approach and understand the dream-waking state of being and associated hypnopompic phenomena. A new perspective and creative points of view to consider will be offered in light of ancient knowledge and practice, contemporary scientific perspectives and limitations, and extraordinary descriptive accounts of dreaming and waking experiences. In considering all this, the dream-waking state will be highlighted as a unique and important state of consciousness in its own right—a third mode of being through which sacred, subtle life reveals itself.
All levels are welcome to attend.
Dreams and Creativity: The Growing Fullness of Self (Presentation within Dreamwork Practices Symposium titled “Dream Art: Creating Wholeness”)
“Youth is a gift of nature and age is a work of art” is an ancient Chinese proverb. It is relevant to the current growing number of persons with increased longevity. Dreams can add to the insights and dimensions of life that can be accessed more fully in our added years. Creativity can advance the freedom of the fully lived life course. These presentations will present the interface of dreams and art as a potential path to developing a greater sense of wholeness as we age. In this symposium, three artists will present their work, contemplating its relationship to reaching wholeness over the life course. They will reflect on dream’s contribution to a dynamic integrity in their work and lives. Rita Hildebrandt will be the moderator. She is a Spiritual Counselor and Dream worker in San Clemente, CA. She has worked with individuals and facilitated groups in the Expressive Arts, Dreams and Spirituality for the last 27 years. She will dialogue with artists and audience to elicit how the dreams add dimension to life’s fullness.
Theoretical, Empirical and Personal Presentation Perspectives: From a background of over 40 years as a gerontologist, Dr. Damron Rodriguez will present key biopsychosocial elements to the wider and deeper perspective available in later life. As Eric Ericson put forth, the second half of life strives for generativity and integrity. Lars Tornstam, a Swedish gerontologist, has a theoretical orientation of gerotranscendance that views older age as a time of greater focus on the inner self, that may be expressed in wisdom and spirituality and a lesser divide between life and death. Harry R. Moody, a philosopher, similarly states that age challenges us to look beyond the ego, and provides a “curriculum” for growth of the encompassing self. These wider perspectives provide views from which to answer what Carl Jung questioned decades before: “In the second half of life, what does the soul ask of me?” Dream work is core to Torstam, Moody and of course Jung. The presenter will reflect on her own life course of work with dreams and her late life creativity through mixed media art as they exemplify one individual’s path toward wholeness.
Sequence and Summary of Presentation: First, the foundation for an expanded view of the potential for meaning making in late life will be explored. In contrast, the barriers, constructed by ageism, to meaningful aging will be challenged. Definitions of a holistic view of creativity will be put forward. Dreams add to the potential to move beyond the ego to the wholeness of the late life self. Secondly, the gerontological theoretical perspectives will be briefly described as windows into a fuller view of aging. Lastly, the majority of the presentation will reflect on her select dreams over a lifetime, through their late life mixed media representations. Recently retired as a university professor and now a self-taught artist, she finds mixed media allows her to represent the layers, disjunctures, fragments and integration of dreams. Drawing in pen, painting with textured acrylic mixtures and using photographs, appropriated art, words and objects, she relates dream images to conscious life. Through journals and now art she has found a path to relishing the contribution of dreams to a fuller appreciation of the dimensions of the Self. The dream art will present aspects of body, mind and self revealing through the images and entering consciousness. This increasingly whole understanding of herself over time brings greater in-the-moment aliveness and, in its time, acknowledgement of death.
Target Audience: All.
Joseph De Koninck
Myth #2: Dreams Only Last One Second: A Persistent Myth Unsupported by 50 Years of Research (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Myths regarding dreaming: Old beliefs and new facts”)
The notion that dreams only last one second still prevails today. It was reinforced by 19th century dream research pioneers. Notably, the “guillotine” dream of Alfred Maury (1865) described in Freud’s 1900 Interpretation of Dreams had a lasting impact. It is interesting to review the evolution of this myth, and modern studies addressing it, with experimental stimulations during REM sleep followed by forced awakenings (starting with Koulack (1968)). Studies of lucid dreaming have provided evidence of long dream duration, although the intrusion of micro-awakenings in this case limits their relevance. Finally, more recently, sophisticated studies have focused on the time course of dream formation and experience using modern techniques of electrophysiology (EEG), brain imagery and artificial intelligence applied to dream content analysis. They also provide more information on the brain generation of dreaming.
A “Sound Imagination”: Linking Vocal Sounds to Images in Dream-work. (Workshop)
Aiming to nurture a creative dialogue between the inner and outer dimensions of the dream experience, we will use vocal expression to give palpable outer shape and form to inner movements awakened by striking dream images, and thereby trigger multiple transformations at the deepest levels of our Being. By its very nature, sound dissolves that which is stuck, and allows new things to emerge and take on form. In itself, vocal expression involves opening spaces for new forms to take shape and become palpable. Linking dream images to vocal sound expression takes us beyond our ideas about things and into a fresh present moment experience of them. When dream images are carefully and deeply listened to –and then related to by way of specific vocal sound practices– a genuinely transformative experience takes place, brought about with, and by one´s own uniquely individual voice. Opening spaces for new forms to take shape with one´s own voice magnifies and releases the potential inherent to sound itself. The invitation is for an unexpectedly moving experience of a particular dream moment, which
happens while making the effort to discover the sound that most truly expresses and reflects the essential emotional charge implied in the crux of an image. Vocally expressing the sounds linked
to dream images is invaluable for awakening a finely tuned awareness –making consciousness– and for opening spaces for genuinely new things to appear. Sustained vocal expression takes on a life of its own, giving form to a palpable experience of something not easily seen, that simultaneously leaves an imprint that touches and profoundly moves the individual. When we are deeply moved at multiple levels circling around a particular dream theme during a vocal sound experience, all sorts of things become unstuck… are released, dissolved. A need is triggered for a whole new organization of the entire system, one that takes into account unexpectedly relevant experientially discovered new perspectives and stances. The workshop experience will be enriched by weaving fundamental ideas about Sound and the Imagination, and about Perception, into exercises in Differentiated Listening and Vocal Expression in working with dream images. A balance of theory and practice will be complimented by particularly illustrative case material, to offer participants fresh tools with which to work creatively –soundly– with dream images.
“Voice Alchemy” in working with Dream Images (Morning Dream Group)
After a somatic and vocal warm-up, we will awaken differentiated listening skills, and then engage the images of a particular dream with a sensitivity to sound qualities. Specific vocal exercises will be included in our exploration of a “Sound Imagination”, intended to encourage the dreamer to discover the true sound of the mixed emotions awakened by an emotionally charged dream moment – at the same time an experience of perspectives not visible to ordinary consciousness. Once the group becomes a safe holding space, participants will be invited to leave their comfort zones, daring to express vocally the sounds awakened by a particular dream image long enough (sustaining the vocal sound until the air runs out, several times) for it to be truly heard, listened to, and seen through. The intention is to give form through voice to the soul´s deepest concerns, to discover an unexpectedly deep mirror for the dreamer – one that also inevitably touches all participants in surprisingly intimate ways, while at the same time inciting constructive, creative action. Dream group participants will hone perceptive skills while practicing moving from hearing to listening, from seeing to seeing through, by giving outer form to inner movements by way of the individual dreamer´s own voice. This particular dream work with the voice will involve personal experiences within a group context, guided by Alchemical Psychology principles that convert the individual sensitivity of each participant into a nuanced and respectful mirror for each individual to discover what is truly relevant for him or herself.
Nightmares and Their Relation to Self and Social Relationships (Paper)
Nightmares are a common experience that differs individually very much. In the literature, different reasons are discussed such as personality factors, distress, traumatic experiences, and medical drugs. The present study examines the frequency of nightmares in three different groups and their relations to clinical symptoms, critical life events, social relations and other possible reasons or correlations.
The present study examines the frequency of nightmares in three different groups: (1) patients of an outpatient clinic at Frankfurt University, (2) students, (3) older adults (40 years and more). Their relations to clinical symptoms, critical life events, self-description, social relations and other possible reasons or correlations are explored.
Method: 70 patients filled out several questionnaires after their initial meeting in the psychoanalytic outpatient clinic at Frankfurt University within the last two years. Additionally, about 100 students and about 30 adults older than 40 years filled out the same questionnaires. The following questionnaires were used: ICD-10 symptom rating scale, IPO 16, OPD- SFK (psychodynamic diagnostic instrument, here for self-description), relationship questionnaire, ISC-S, Childhood trauma questionnaire, PID-5 BF, common life satisfaction, and MADRE (dream questionnaire).
Results: This is a work still in progress. The statistical analysis will start shortly, but at the moment as the data entry is not finished not available but will be presented at the conference.
Intermediate level of the audience, increasing attendees’ knowledge about dream research and theories.
Lucidity and the Biconscious Mind (Workshop)
The theory of biconsciousness has not been well explored in current dream study. Author Gardner Eeden believes an understanding of biconsciousness is essential in advancing lucid awareness and lucid induction techniques. We can achieve lucidity in the world and the dream; consciousness is a constant flow, but lucidity is not. The first goal of true lucidity should be to recognize one’s awareness of being in two conscious realms. We exist simultaneously in the world and the dream; how can we use this to our advantage in both states, and how is this part of our conscious evolution? Gardner Eeden has over 35 years of experience as an avid lucid dreamer and dream experimenter. His self-taught work over the years led him to formulate the idea of biconsciousness that draws from his own work, as well as the work and theories of a wide range of scientists, dream researchers, artists and theorists from pioneering psychologists Frederik Van Eeden and William James to conscious experimentalists such as Dr. John Lilly, Dr. Charles Tart, sleep researcher Michel Jouvet, and pioneering biologist Dr. Robert Lanza (author of Biocentrism).
There will be a 20 minute exploration of the nature of biconscious experience,
presenting ideas, experiments and practices from the author’s own dreamwork and source theories. We will identify areas where the world and dream are most likely to converge with opportunities to take advantage of “conduits of consciousness.” This will be followed by a 25-30 minute period of attendee interactive elements. This will include:
- An exercise of guided meditation to help channel focus.
- An exercise in the SILD (Sensory Induction of Lucid Dreaming) lucid induction technique using sound as a pathway from the world to the dream.
- An eye contact exercise: attendees will be directed to make direct eye contact with someone or something, even a stranger; unbroken, sustained and intensely focused eye contact forces a simultaneous connection in the world and the dream.
The workshop will conclude with a 10-15 minute question and answer session.
The target audience is “For All,” anyone curious about their exploration of lucidity, of how lucidity and the dream in general may affect their entire conscious flow through the world and dream.
A New Interpretation of Dreams: The presentation of a neurologically informed theory with examples (Paper)
This presentation addresses the context for dreams, presents a new, simple and consistent method of interpretation, provides clinical examples of the theory in use and connects this theory to the underlying neurology of dreaming.
This paper is based on three core elements. The first is working with dreams in a practical manner, initially as someone experiencing therapy and then as someone practicing it. The second is the research carried out into the neurology of dreaming and of the early stages of childhood. The third is a strong theoretical understanding of the previous theories of interpretations, though the theory being presented does not build upon their existing work.
The presentation starts with the context for dreaming. This section explores the experience of childhood from both a psychological/psychoanalytical perspective and a neurological perspective and touches on the differences between this period and that of adolescence/adulthood. It explains how the child is required to keep caregivers present, and how, in a less-than-optimal environment, this requirement forces the child to adopt distorted perspectives and behavioural habits. It also touches on the success of cognitive talking therapy as a method of perspective and behavioural change with a robust evidence base.
The author posits that dreams are an inherent human method to point to precise distortions in perspectives and behavioural habits.- The author posits that dreams are straightforward to analyse and that there is a consistent method to do so. The presentation then demonstrates the new theory of interpretation with an example of a real dream. The author presents the dream because of its simplicity and the clarity of understanding of the theoretical framework that it enables. The author also presents some background to the case in question. The author then presents a purely theoretical framework of interpretation, without examples. The author then presents four further examples: one is similar to the first example, two demonstrate how the use of the theory was able to accurately predict dream content, and the last is a dream series demonstrating that the structure of dream content slightly alters (though the method of interpretation remains the same) when an individual is successfully adjusting a perspective distortion/behavioural habit during therapy. The author then discusses recurring dreams and why dreams are so extreme in terms of their content versus the experience of everyday life.
The presentation finishes by looking at the neurology of dreaming and connecting it to the neurology of childhood.
This presentation will be kept free of unexplained technical terms and will be suitable for all individuals.
Is There a Universal Approach to dreamwork? Common Factors and Divergences in the Major Approaches (Paper)
Is there a standard way to work with dreams? There is much common ground in the 14 approaches to dreams identified in a recent book introducing these methods to therapists. This paper will present the main common factors and identify key aspects of divergence in the most popular approaches to dreamwork.
In the field of psychotherapy, there is a progressive movement toward identifying common factors (such as the quality of the therapeutic alliance) that can be shown to improve outcomes regardless of the specific modality used. This study is the beginning of a process to identify such common factors in clinical work with dreams. The presentation will cover the following points:
- Presentation of the main findings in the qualitative analysis of working with dreams and PTSD nightmares (2016, Lewis & Krippner, Eds.)
- Brief description of the study methodology
- Outline of a possible standardized approach to working with dreams based on the common factors identified
- Presentation of points of divergence as choice points for dream therapists.
- Working with nightmares: special considerations. A description of how working with PTSD nightmares might differ from the common factors identified here.
Time permitting, there will be a discussion of the main points of divergence among dream therapy methods, including identification of the philosophical differences underlying these divergences.
Intuition: A Golden Key to Unlock Your Dream (Workshop)
The noise of the day silences the intuitive voice, which gets a chance to speak through a dream. Intuition and dreams speak the same metaphoric language, communicating in pictures, symbols and images. Participants will discover how they are wired for intuitive receptivity, and then learn how to interpret individual symbols and go on to decode the entire dream using Marcia Emery’s DreamShift Process.
Since 1987, I have presented papers/workshops on intuition at IASD conferences. This has been very rewarding. For example, using the metaphor technique, participants are paired with someone they have never met. After being led through the induction, people are asked, if this person was a well-known person, who would he/she be? Can you imagine the surprise when Nancy Brzeski’s partner described her as a Fairy Godmother? Nancy is the donor of the IASD arts award.
The sequence outline begins with
- Introduction to the topic (15 min) which includes getting centered, looking at the agenda, setting the stage for opening to intuition.
- Intuitive Dreamwork (20 min) consists of previewing an upcoming event (precognitive) and retrieving rapid insights through intuitive analysis.
- How You Are Wired for Intuition (20 min) examines what sensory modality is prevalent i.e. vision, voice, vibration.
- Unraveling the Symbolism (30 min): Using the metaphor exercise to show how the intuitive mind works. Also exploring the techniques of amplification and word association.
- DreamShift Technique (30 min) has been pioneered by Marcia Emery since 1985. The first several examples using this technique will be shown, followed by participant’s joining small groups to work on their dreams.
Please note: The dreamer, the ultimate authority, has to resonate to the dream interpretation. As the leader, I can guide and lead but do not have the final say.
This workshop is open to all
Matthew H. Erdelyi
Jokes as a Serious Model of Dreams (Paper)
This presentation is based on a lifelong theoretical and research program to integrate psychoanalysis and cognitive psychology. I seek (building on Freud) to use jokes as a clarifying model of dreams. The talk starts with Figure 1, a Picasso painting, “The Dream,” to which the audience is invited to offer an interpretation both at the beginning and at the end of the presentation. Of what is the woman dreaming? We shall return to this question at the end of my remarks.
Jokes are Goldilocks stimuli. They are not too simple (like nonsense syllables), they are not too complex (like case-histories or full-fledged dreams), they are just right and can serve as a simplifying model of the more complex, often intractable phenomena of dreams. Only a few years after the official publication of his Interpretation of Dreams (1900), Freud published his Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (1905), which showed surprising homologies existing between the content and structure of dreams and jokes. The notion of the dream-work found its counterpart in jokes as the joke-work. In both domains they include: censorship, displacement, condensation, and primitive forms of representation (e.g., primitive symbolism), the existence of which–in jokes, if not in dreams–are not only not controversial but obvious (Erdelyi, 1985; 2017). The often denied or down-played distinction between manifest (surface) and latent (deeper) semantic contents in dreams is palpably obvious in jokes, for, to “get” a joke is to interpret the joke. The distinction between manifest and latent content in both dreams and jokes can be formalized by the inequality, m ≠ m × context, where m is the manifest content and m × context is the interaction of the manifest content with context, which is the latent content.
Figure 2 (elephant trunk) and Figure 3 (elephant trunk interacting with man) illustrate the distinction with a “tendentious joke” (Freud, 1905).
Context, obviously, is crucial for interpretation, but is often ignored by academic psychology, leading to a loss of depth. The resulting superficiality has troubling implications for modern quantitative content-analysis, in that frequency counts of dream contents (e.g., sexual or aggressive themes) become suspect because of the superficiality of the contents quantified. In line with Freudian theory, nasty contents are consigned to latent contents, a fact that is obvious with jokes. A quantitative content analysis that is stuck at the surface would yield the absurd conclusion that jokes rarely are about sex or aggression. “Context” in jokes is internal (it is the necessary knowledge we must have to get the joke); in dreams, context is mostly external and must be laboriously generated through preamble, free-associations, and amplifications. The interpretation of latent contents can be highly reliable–at least for jokes. Bergstein and Erdelyi (2008) found a concordance rate of about 90% between independent judges. Also, it is not the case (as Allan Hobson claims) that latent contents are “transparent,” for repeated efforts to extract latent contents from a set of cartoons yielded significant increases in sensitivity (e.g., increases in d’) to the cartoons’ latent contents, meaning that the material was less transparent initially than after repeated effort. Jokes, as dream models, also point to some needed modifications in Freudian dream theory. As with “innocent jokes,” which achieve their comical effects merely by the playful deployment of primary-process techniques, e.g., condensation (see Figure 4, Jules Feiffer’s “Watchdog”) some dreams may also be “innocent.” Back to Figure 1: Of what is the woman dreaming?
All adult audiences are welcome.
Erika Estrada and Breanna McDonnall
A Comparison of the Content of Electronic Media Dream Experiences (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Dreaming and Video Game Play: Recent Studies and a 15-year Retrospective”)
Respondents were asked to provide a dream about electronic media following several questionnaires asking about video game and social media use. Types of electronic media dreams will be compared. Of those collected thus far, 40% involved video games and 14% social media. Another 20% involved videos (i.e., movies, TV shows, and other videos). Nine percent were indeterminant, and 15% could not recall such a dream or left the question blank. The content of dreams of gaming, social media and videos will be compared in terms of self-ratings and judge’s ratings. Respondents were asked to rate their dreams in terms of when it occurred, and what they were doing regarding electronic media use the day prior to the dream. They were also asked about felt presence in their dreams, types of experiences in the dream and emotions experienced in the dream. It is hypothesized that dreamt presence will be highest in gaming dreams, followed by social media dreams. This is because these two media experiences are thought to be more engaging than simple video viewing (Gackenbach and Bown, in press). It is expected that the media used the day before the dream would reflect the media dreamt about. Previous research has shown high levels of dream control in gaming dreams relative to other types, and this is expected herein. Other dream type experiences which might favor gaming dreams are lucidity and bizarreness. Emotionality is expected to track dreamt presence reports. Independent judges are coding the dreams in terms of threat simulation, with the expectation the dreams of video game play will be higher in threat than social media dreams. Video dreams may not differ in threat from gaming dreams if the videos were of a threatening type. However, gaming dreams are expected to be more empowering in the face of threat relative to video dreams of a threatening video. Lowest levels of threat are expected in the social media dreams. Also to be coded are the friendliness and aggression subscales from the Hall and Van de Castle scale. It’s expected that gaming dreams will be higher on aggression while social media dreams will be highest on friendliness. Judge’s assessment of emotionality in the dream, and success/failure will be coded using the Hall and Van de Castle. Gaming dreams should show more success and empowering emotions than the video counterparts, and than social media dreams. Finally, these media dreams will be coded for degree of media incorporation. That is, how much is it obvious to the judge that the media the dream is reported by the dreamer to portray, portrays that media. In other words, if the dreamer had not indicated what media the dream was thought to portray, would the judge be able to tell it was a media dream? Related to this is the question of the degree of immersion in the dream. Previous research has found that gamers’ dreams were either thought to be a game or playing a game or some game referent in the dream.
The target audience is intermediary.
About Forgetting Dreams (Paper)
About dreaming, there are at least three facts established: We do dream, recall dreams, and forget dreams. From the first two topics there is overwhelming data available, since the establishment of the physical substrate of dreaming as well as, social, cultural and biological correlates to dream frequency and dream content. In neurobiology, investigations on forgetting trace back to 40 years ago . “Forgetting” is nowadays considered a normal biological phenomenon, and is even considered as critical for normal life. But what about forgetting dreams? Alan Hobson stated once that from all his thousands of dreams, he was not able to remember one. However, quantitative data on the mechanism of forgetting dreams are lacking. It is not easy to establish a method to investigate patterns of forgotten dreams. The method proposed here is a quantitative comparison of the volume of dream reports (word counts, WC) in relation to the time interval between awaking and reporting (DT). Such data were fortunately available in a series of 611 dream reports of the present author, collected between June 2007 and July 2009. The average WC in this series amounts 420 (SE 10.6, range 25-1468). From 462 of these reports from the same author the time interval between awaking and reporting is available. Dream reports were produced in intervals ranging from 0 minutes up to 16 hours after awaking. The time distribution of the time interval is extremely skewed (average time interval T3 01:01:43, SE 00:04:58). The average volume of the dream reports decreases regularly from WC=511 (n=175) in the interval between 0-15 minutes down to 233 (n=7) in the interval between 1:30:00 and 1:45:00. With increasing time intervals above 2 hours there is a further decrease, but due to the small amount of data the pattern is scattered. Several quantitative models (linear, exponential, logistic) are compared. From these models it can be extrapolated that WC-values intersect at the X axis after two days approximately. We conclude that remembering a dream after two days becomes unlikely in this case.
Status Summary of Gaming and Dreams Laboratory at MacEwan University (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Dreaming and Video Game Play: Recent Studies and a 15-year Retrospective”)
Following the recent publication of several meta-analyses showing that action video game play positively impacts waking cognitive skills (Bediou, Adams, Mayer, Tipton, Green, and Bavelier, 2017), as well as the increases in the use of electronic media among the general public, the work in our lab on gaming and dreams is even more important to our understanding of the impact of electronic media.
In this presentation, Gackenbach will briefly summarize what we have discovered about how gaming, and related media, are affecting our dreams and more to the point our very sense of self in the world. After briefly commenting on the previous three presentations from her lab at MacEwan, Gackenbach will summarize the labs activities over her 15 years there, as she is retiring at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. Eleven undergraduate honors theses and two undergraduate research grants were supervised by Gackenbach on gaming and dreams. Numerous students also worked in the lab while taking various individual study courses and as volunteers. Many of these projects were presented at IASD’s annual conference and published in IASD’s publications.
The three papers in this symposium are from three of six students working in the lab this academic year. The questions asked in the laboratory were initially exploratory examining especially lucid dreaming in gamers. Over time, four primary themes emerged, leading to replications and extensions. These were the nightmare protection effect and its association to lucidity and dream control; transpersonal implications of gaming as expressed in dreams and relevant waking activities; waking presence in media relationship to dreamt presence; and cross-cultural considerations of dreams and gaming. Two of these themes are taken up in this symposium. The cross-cultural work has been presented at previous IASD meetings as well as other relevant professional meetings, and it has been or will be published. The felt sense of presence in the new generation of virtual reality (VR) goggles has been the focus of several research studies in recent years. One such study has just finished and will be presented at the 2019 IASD meeting (Rai and Wagner, 2018). This VR work and the transpersonal studies in our laboratory offer the major theoretical basis for this research around the question of “what is real? ” This was articulated in a chapter by Gackenbach and Hakopdjanian (2016) and in Gackenbach and Bown’s (2017) recent book Boundaries of Self and Reality Online: Implications of Digitally Constructed Realities.
The target audience is intermediary.
Dreaming about Movies and TV Associations to Various Individual Difference Variables (Presentation within Arts & Humanities Panel titled “Dreaming, Media, and Consciousness”)
Following a video game and social media use survey and a video game consumption habit questionnaire, respondents were asked to report a dream which involved electronic media. Of the dreams collected thus far, 40% involved video games and 14% social media. Some involved movies and TV (20%), with the 9% being indeterminant. Fifteen percent could not recall such a dream or left the question blank.
Additional surveys were administered in a counter-balanced fashion after the dream question. Only dreams, and thus respondents, which refer to movies or TV or other video viewing (i.e., YouTube) will be considered in this presentation. The personality type scales included:
- Hartmann’s Boundary Questionnaire (BQ; Hartmann, 2006), measures the participant’s reactions to events or thought processes, and by proxy to determine if the participant has a thinner or thicker psychological boundaries.
- Creative Experiences Questionnaire (CEQ) was elaborated upon by Merckelbach, Horselenberg, and Muris (2001). It asks for a yes or no response to various questions about creativity, fantasy, and others’ perception of the participant’s creative mind.
- Big Five Inventory (BFI) was developed by John and Srivastava (1999), which breaks down an individual’s personality into extraversion vs. introversion, agreeableness vs. antagonism, conscientiousness vs. lack of direction, neuroticism vs. emotional stability, and openness vs. closedness to experience.
Additionally, a dream survey was also administered. It was The Dream Intensity Inventory (DII) by Yu (2008), which was designed to assess dream experiences. The focus of this presentation will be those who report video viewing and the associations between their Dream Intensity Inventory subscale scores and the personality inventories. Additionally, self ratings of video dreams will be offered.
The target audience is intermediary.
Dreams: Theater of our Inner World (Workshop)
In this workshop, I will demonstrate a way of working with dreams utilizing the Internal Family Systems (IFS) developed by Richard Schwartz. This model views the mind not as a unitary entity, but as made of multiple and often differing subparts that are both interconnected and autonomous from each other, each having specific characteristics, styles of communication, intentions and feelings. This model sees the Self, another aspect present in all human beings, as different from the parts. When the Self is fully differentiated from the parts, the person describes a feeling of well- being, “feeling centered”, totally energized and in the present. The Self is not a passive state; on the contrary, it can be an active leader for the system, leading it to its optimal functioning, due to its clarity and ability to be compassionate and understanding towards all parts. Instead of forcing the parts to change, it will heal and release them from their extreme and self-protective roles. Because the Self is the natural leader of the system, the goal of this model is to help the person differentiate the Self from the parts and regain its leadership status.
I initially have the person tell the dream and describe the specific feelings, sensations and characteristics. The dreamer is then asked to go inwards, preferably by closing his or her eyes and noticing which image (or part of that person) stands out in the dream. Because other parts may have strong reactions to that part, such as fear, anger or even fascination, the dreamer is directed to ask those parts to step aside so as not to interfere with the Self’s ability to be curious and compassionate, and thus work with the dream image by asking it to explore its perspective about the person and what it fears would happen if it were not there. The Self can also help resolve polarizations between dream images by helping the parts to compromise and understand their exaggerated assumptions about the opposing part. After this process is repeated with all the different dream images, I then help the person tie together all the meanings found in the dream and to discover what parts of the person feels, thinks and acts like the dream image. This process facilitates our recognition of our parts manifested in our preconceived ideas, feelings and judgments, and more clearly to perceive them as layers of identification that stop us from reaching a more balanced and harmonious inner system. After a presentation of this model and how it differentiates from other approaches to dream work, participants will have the opportunity to witness and discuss a live demonstration.
Dreams to Art (Workshop)
How do dreams become art? Among the list of famous dreams that have been turned into art are John Lennon’s words for “#9: Dream” and Paul McCartney’s recall of a piece of music that he used as the basis for “Yesterday.” Salvador Dali, Edgar Allen Poe, James Cameron and Stephen King are among the many visual artists, writers and filmmakers who have experienced great success by mining their dreams for creative ideas.
In this workshop, Joan Gelfand will start by presenting a five-minute film, “The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics.” The film, based on a series of three dreams that Joan crafted into an award-winning poem, was created by Los Angeles filmmaker Dana Walden. The film has had over 14,000 views on youtube.com and was shown at The Athens International Poetry Film Festival, the Beat Museum and other venues. Following the film, a short slide presentation will summarize some popular dream symbols and their meanings. Following the slide presentation, Kelly and Joan will lead participants in various exercises to assist in recalling anything from small snippets to entire dreams, with the intention of creating a work of art. The first portion of the workshop (30% of total time) will be focused on the presentation and dream recall and the meaning of dream symbols. Using a guided meditation, participants will identify the images to work with. The second portion of the workshop (70%) will be devoted to writing and creating.
Joan will start by offering evocative prompts (i.e: Give a character from your dream ten adjectives. Where are they from? What do they look like? Colors? Clothing? Other unusual aspects?) There will be sufficient time set aside for participants to share their work, revise and receive feedback. As a follow-up to the workshop, Joan propose to offer participants the chance to work with her and Kelly Sullivan-Walden for six months to craft their work into publishable pieces. Joan has the approval of Blue Light Press in San Francisco to create an anthology of the best of the pieces created in the workshop. They also propose creating a video of the workshop pieces to be viewed at the Juried Art Show at the 2019 IASD conference.
Dreaming the Future (Paper)
The author examines two dreams associated with an old friend who, unbeknownst to him, is dying. The first dream is premonitory and occurs the day before his friend’s death. The dream emphasizes the value of two paintings the author had given his friend years ago. In a second dream, occurring five days later, the author dreams of his old friend preparing him to be taken with her into the afterlife. Employing a psychoanalytic conception of a “timeless” unconscious, the author interprets these dreams as two gifts from his old friend about the nature of time.
This paper uses a premonitory dream and an associated synchronicity to describe how time exists within the mind. Science can’t explain why the laws of physics allow for time to run in both directions, while our world is characterized by an arrow of time running toward the future. The author questions whether the long history of premonitory dreams indicates that, within the unconscious mind, time runs in both directions allowing us to remember the future.
Three ideas make up the conceptual foundation of the paper:
- Premonitory dreams have a two thousand-year history, providing strong evidence the future exists in our mind.
- Science can’t explain why mathematical representations of the physical world permit time symmetry though our world is dominated by time running toward the future.
- Freud’s conception of mind (indirectly) responds to this scientific paradox, claiming that consciousness is bound by the arrow of time, while the unconscious is “timeless,” or exists in a state of time symmetry. Jung builds on Freud’s conception, describing time as “relative” (nonlinear) allowing for “acausal” synchronicities.
Description of the premonitory dream and an associated synchronicity: The friend’s caregiver calls the author in the middle of the night leaving a message on his answering machine, informing the author of his friend’s medical condition and asking the value of two paintings the author had given his friend years ago. She says she’s looking at the paintings now as she speaks. The author’s watch stops at the moment she calls. Meanwhile, the author is dreaming of looking at his paintings on a wall, paying particular attention to one which is three-dimensional and transparent. The next day, when he speaks to the caregiver, she describes one of the paintings as three-dimensional and transparent. Five days after his friend’s death, the author has a second dream in which she prepares him to be taken with her into the afterlife. Employing a psychoanalytic model of a timeless unconscious, the author interprets
the meaning of these dreams and the synchronicity of his watch stopping. The dreams appear to be two gifts about the meaning of time. He asks: What do premonitions tell us about the realities of time, and the way time is represented in the mind? What does it mean to say the
dreaming unconscious is “timeless” and “spaceless?” What is the connection between
premonition and death?
Target Audience: For All
The Insights of Waking Dreams (Workshop)
A One-Hour Interactive Workshop on Waking Dreams: For a third of the hour, I will share in detail the Key Waking Out of Body Dream of My Real Birth at 29 at a major historic town in Southern Indiana, and its subsequent effects on my life in the past nearly fifty years, from being a nun from 18 to 30, to having a husband and three sons by my late thirties, to many professional accomplishments including self- publishing eight books in the eight years since my husband died. After this part of my session, I will ask participants to share their own key waking dreams and the effects on their lives, followed by how they have or will honor the awarenesses they have culled from them. In the spirit of “If this were my dream,” participants will be encouraged to respond to each others’ insights and to relate them to their own lives, and to share how they might honor these awarenesses.
The target level of the audience is “for all.”
Justina Lasley and Tzivia Gover
The Professional Dreamer: Effectively Bringing Dreams to Your Business (Workshop)
Dreamer Despite the stereotype of dreamers as idealists who lack practical skills and training, the truth is that there are proven, effective methods for bringing the benefits of dreams and dreamwork into a wide variety of professional settings. In fact, there is a long tradition of dreams providing inspiration to scientists, artists, innovators and people in nearly all professions and walks of life. Thus, dreaming not only nourishes individuals, but it also nourishes the community. Today, dream workers are bringing dreaming out into the world in a variety of ways that are enhancing the lives of dreamers and the people they work, live, and recreate with.
In this workshop, authors and dream experts Justina Lasley and Tzivia Gover will share their experiences and anecdotes from their students and colleagues who have incorporated dreams and dreamwork into their professional lives and businesses. We will provide participants with tools for working with individuals and groups. We will use a PowerPoint presentation to introduce participants to information about how to work with individuals and groups, dreamwork ethics, and resources for dream professionals. We will then use hands-on experiential techniques to allow participants to brainstorm ways to apply this knowledge to their own businesses, as well as to start on the creation of their business plans that address nuts and bolts issues from marketing to pricing. We will draw on our successes as dream professionals, as well as diverse resources to give participants the information, confidence, and inspiration they need to bring dreamwork into their field. J
Justina Lasley will discuss her path toward founding the Institute for Dream Studies. She will discuss how opportunities, synchronicity, mentors, IASD, training and graduate programs, writing and publishing led the way to creating a learning center for dream workers. She will also share tips for following ones desire and interest, creating an identity, cultivating respect in one’s field, developing business skills that will allow one to move into the business of dreaming. Tzivia Gover will discuss how she has incorporated dreams into her work, teaching English and Writing in community college settings and to non-traditional low-income students, and how dreams have informed her work as a poet, author, public speaker, workshop leader, and more. She will show how she made her dream of professional leadership a reality by obtaining her dream certification through the Institute for Dream Studies, and went on to become the director of that institution. We will also share success stories of others who have brought dreams into their professional lives. Throughout the workshop, we will integrate exercises that will help participants create a business plan, conduct market research, find support, and develop an audience to bring their belief in and knowledge of the power of dreams to the public in a way that is meaningful and effective. By the end of this workshop, participants will have taken steps toward, and mapped out a plan, for following their professional dreams. In particular, we will include information on:
- The proven benefits of dreamwork
- Examples of dreamwork being used in various professions and disciplines.
- How to successfully use marketing tools to find the right clients for your dreamwork business or dream-related programs.
- Resources on-line and in print for becoming an informed and effective dreamwork professional
Also included will be tips for marketing through printed materials, social media, advertising, and more. Throughout the workshop we will stress the importance of adhering to IASD’s ethical guidelines, and will uphold those standards throughout the workshop.
This workshop is open to anyone who wants to bring dreams into their professional life.
The Mindful Way to a Good Night’s Sleep and Dreams (Workshop)
Our 24-7 culture, and the resulting epidemic of sleeplessness, have not only robbed us of healthful and nourishing rest, but our collective sleep loss also steals from us of the gifts of slowing down, turning inward, and reaping the benefits of deep healing, inner wisdom, and guidance that come from sleep and dreams. In addition, mindfulness practices including meditation, as well as behavioral changes such as a regular bedtime routine, have been proven to be effective in improving the quality and quantity of sleep people enjoy, which in turn helps with a variety of emotional and physical ailments and issues from insomnia, to heart health, depression, anxiety, and more. In this workshop, participants will learn a nurturing and holistic approach to sleep, dreams, and waking well that is inspired by and supported by mindfulness meditation and yogic philosophy. Building from this foundation, we can create evening rituals that support healthy sleep and dreams, and empower our best lives all day long. In addition, dreamwork, including dream recall and analysis, will be introduced as a method for daily self- reflection to enhance personal growth and evolution.
The workshop is based on teachings and wisdom from traditions including mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Tibetan Dream Yoga, and Jungian psychology, among others. Principles from these traditions will be synthesized and incorporated into various exercises and practices to help participants establish a mindfulness-based practice to support healthy sleep and productive dreaming. The workshop will begin with a centering exercise (guided relaxation) followed by a brief presentation about The Mindful Way to Sleep and Dreams. Through prompts for journaling and discussion, participants will begin to examine their ingrained beliefs about sleep and dreams, identifying which beliefs are limiting, and which are supporting a healthy relationship to sleep and dreams. Participants will then have a chance to learn and practice activities such as simple meditations and pranayama (breathing exercises) to help wind down in the evening and prepare for sleep. They will also learn new ways to use journaling to let go of the day, and to enter dreams mindfully. We will also look at the characteristics and qualities of our dreams to help us track our level of awareness and clarity, as well as dreamwork exercises that can help bring more understanding about our dreams, in terms of both content and levels of consciousness that are present. 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 will adhere to IASD ethics, and at all times the dreamer will be considered the expert on his or her own dreams.
This welcoming and affirming 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 yoga postures will be taught.
Diane Greig and Walter Berry
The Dream in Labyrinth’s Light (Workshop)
In this experimental workshop, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself into a conscious-altering experience with your dream. With the intent of concretely engaging with the Labyrinth and Light, you will move toward a deeper experience of your dream and, perhaps, into subtle understanding. At the last IASD conference, Walter and Diane experimented with filling the room with coloured Light (supplied by Walter; similar lights used for the Dream Ball). The colored lighting was associated with the feel of the presented dreams and then explored further through Diane’s Depth Sensory Meditation. The results were fascinating and brought a conscious-altering atmosphere where the dream work flourished. This year we will also begin by hearing a few dreams from the audience while shifting the colour of the room to fit the feel of the dream all the while adapting to the Light and what it brings to the space. Then we will move into a ritualized use of the Light with a 7-channel indoor Labyrinth, all toward co-creating with the subtle layer of life. Before we walk the Labyrinth, Diane will introduce the Eleusinian Mysteries-inspired ritual Labyrinth exercise. As part of this ritual, we will initially represent an aspect of the dream visually – a small drawing (can be abstract) and walk with it in hand on the labyrinth staying aware as to what comes forward in this archetypal sacred space while contemplating the dream. After walking slowly to the center of the Labyrinth, you will receive a small mirror; a metaphor for reflection of Light and the dream (and further instruction — the Mysteries are secret!). After exiting the labyrinth, you will represent what you have intuited through drawing, poetry, prose, movement or whatever way the dream insights wish to move through you. We will have time to discuss some dreams and experiences. The prep and instruction will take about 45 minutes, the walking of the Labyrinth will be approximately 30 minutes and the last 45 minutes will be spent sharing our experiences. Join us for this two-hour workshop of light-heartedness toward serious intent!
Angela Grillo and Susan Ackerman Joseph
Dreamcrafting: Dreaming into Creativity with A Crow’s Calling (Workshop)
This workshop offers participants the opportunity to delve into a creative process based on dream and other unconscious material as a reservoir of inspiration and understanding. Participants will be introduced to Dreamcrafting and to A Wanderer’s Way concepts and techniques. Participants will then have an opportunity to practice on material they bring to the workshop. A Crow’s Calling is Angela Grillo and Susan Ackerman Joseph, who have been producing multi-media theatrical installations together for 10 years. Dreamwork has been integral to their collaborations, to provide content and context for understanding the intricacies of the creative process and collaborative relationships. Both Angela and Susan agree that our work is designed to facilitate the dreamer’s own understanding; we agree that the “ultimate authority” on the personal meaning of any dream is the dreamer. The basis of this offering is Dreamcrafting and A Wanderer’s Way, methodologies developed by the presenters which utilize multiple modalities to mine unconscious material for guidance in a creative context. Techniques include guided meditation, embodiment, journaling, and eclectic interpretation. Participants are asked to come to the workshop with dream material to work on, an intention and a journal. (If a participant is not dreaming, but works with other unconscious material, they are welcome to bring such material as well.) Angie and Susan will introduce
themselves and the concepts of Dreamcrafting and A Wanderer’s Way.
- Participants will introduce themselves and have an opportunity to share what moved them to take this workshop. (15 mins)
- Using guided meditation and chimes, participants will be invited into an embodied experience of their material. They will be asked to identify two or three anchors, turning points, themes, or other salient images to work with during our session. (15 mins)
- Participants will then have an opportunity to journal about insights gleaned during the mediation and express their understanding through discussion and sharing. (30 mins)
- Participants will have an allotted time to apply the techniques presented to their project. Angie and Susan will be offering 1:1 guidance. (40 mins)
- Participants will have an opportunity to articulate what they discovered through this process. Finally, there will be a wrap-up. (20 mins)
We hope that by the end of this workshop, participants are able to identify resonant aspects of the dream, articulate the significance of resonant aspects of the dream, and incorporate the resonant aspect of the dream into creative work.
This workshop is intended for anyone who is interested in using their dreams to further a creative process. No special education or training is required.
Prostate Cancer Warning Dreams (Presentation within Dreams and Health Panel titled “Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Diagnosis and Healing”)
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men, with 11 percent being diagnosed with it during their lifetimes. Screening has been attempted with a digital rectal examination or PSA blood testing, with mixed results. An example of warning dreams with prostate cancer will be presented. Personal dream stories with pathological proof include Rape Dream, Painting Dream, and The Horns of the Bull Dream.
Target audience: For All.
A 5-steps Method to Work Creatively with nightmares (Paper)
This paper is a PowerPoint presentation introducing a simple and efficient 5-steps art therapy and creativity method that I devised to tap into the wisdom of nightmares. We will examine 6 different types of nightmares with which this method can be used, for adults and children. These observations come from my 35 years of experience as an art psychotherapist and dream worker in private practice and from my own dream work. I will also present some general theoretical considerations shared by other authors on dreamwork. The 6 types of nightmares I witnessed in my work are the following:
- Illustration of childhood traumatic experience;
- Expression of a current intense unconscious emotional experience;
- Emotional shock resolution;
- Projection of missing inner resources;
- Unresolved inner conflict; and finally,
- Trauma integration.
The 5 steps of this method are the following:
- Defusing the intense emotional distress;
- Distancing from the nightmare;
- Returning and working on the nightmare;
- Transforming the nightmare;
- Using the wisdom of the nightmare.
This presentation is for everyone; however clinicians will find it most useful for working with their clients.
The Significance of Directional Movements in Lucid Dreaming (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “The personal and therapeutic significance of moving and interacting within the space of a lucid dream”)
The significance of consciously interacting with the lucid dream space is an under-researched topic. The results of a new lucid dream experiment are presented, in which dreamers traced out 3-dimensional, symmetrical figures in the dream. The intention was to investigate the possible therapeutic benefits of balancing opposite sides of the psyche, represented by the different directions of the dream space. This work is a continuation of the ground-breaking research undertaken and presented at the IASD conference in 2017, in which 2- dimensional symmetrical figures that were traced out horizontally, generally, had the effect of balancing opposites in the psyche. In tracing out a 3-dimensional, symmetrical figure – for example, opposite ends of a line traced out in the horizontal direction on the top or bottom of a cube – would typically show the balancing out of or the relative imbalance between the dreamer’s receptive and expressive qualities. Tracing out the opposite ends of the vertices of the cube were similarly hypothesized to expose the imbalance in, or to create a balancing out of the opposite forces/energies in the psyche, thereby symbolizing the higher versus the lower centers of the body, such as head versus heart or head versus bottom/base of the spine. There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion around the significance of symmetrical images in dreams, and their relationship to a relative state of balance in the psyche. The possible therapeutic applications/benefits of this work will also be discussed.
Applying the Waking Dream Process to Dreams and Lucid Dreaming(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. This workshop will provide participants with the basic theoretical framework as well as the opportunity to experience and apply the teaching material. Waking Dream Techniques:
- Dreamer tells dreams to guide. Dreamer comments on how they see the dream and whether it relates to anything in their life, past or
- Guide comments on notable (in dreamer’s view) aspects of the dream.
- 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. This can take up to half an
- 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.
On a Horse with No Name: Desert Dreaming (Workshop)
The Desert is a frequent image in world myth, where it serves as a place of purification in the course of the Hero’s journey. The Hero must pass a border guard, usually a feminine figure, in order to enter the Desert, where he/she is confronted by numerous temptations and distractions. The emptiness of the Desert landscape is a mirror of the process by which the Hero empties himself/herself of these impurities and forges herself/himself as a transformed being, strong and impervious, and ready to undertake the task of transforming the world. As St. John of the Cross notes, “The senses are purified in the emptiness of their perceptions”, which is very similar to the yogic practice of pratyahara, or withdrawal of the senses.
The symbolism of the Desert – sometimes in the form of the Night Sea Journey (“The Ocean is a Desert with the life underground, and the perfect disguise above”) also appears in our dreaming, where it may serve a similar function of purification. We will begin with about 20 minutes of description of the mythological and dream symbolism of the Desert, accompanied by a musical selection. We will then do a brief guided meditation exercise with a Desert theme, following which participants will work in small groups of 2 – 4 to share their own Desert dreams and their meditation experience. We will close with the small groups sharing their experiences with the whole group. Participants are encouraged to bring desert-related dreams, on the meanings of which they are recognized as the “ultimate authority”.
For all audiences.
The Evolution of Dreams and Dream Sharing (Presentation within Culture and History Symposium titled “An Introduction to the History of Dreams”)
This presentation will begin by exploring the differences between human and animal dreaming, and it asserts that the key feature which distinguishes human dreaming is our capacity, and motivation, to share our dreams with one another. This ties the emergence of human dreaming to the emergence of language, especially spoken language. This goes beyond the simple activity of communication – that we use language to relate dreams. This is because all human language is a semiotic system of multi-referential signs, rather than the uni-referential signals used in most animal communication (possible borderline exceptions being found among the great apes and cetaceans). This means that language, very much like dreaming, functions through symbols to which cultures and individuals assign values. The ability to translate the largely visual imagery of dreams into the largely auditory imagery of language is evident from the emergence of anatomically modern humans in Western Europe and elsewhere ca 40,000 years ago. The painted and engraved figures of animals, humans, and geometric symbols deep in the inner chambers of caves are suggestive of the presence of both symbolic communication and the ability to portray dream and/or visionary images.
Anthropological theories about cave art over the past 150 years have included several ideas which relate to academic as well as indigenous beliefs about the purpose and function of dreams. Some theorists have suggested that the art is retrospective: that is, that the animals depicted, sometimes with lines suggestive of spears drawn across their bodies, represent successful past hunts. This is consistent with Freud’s ideas about the return of the repressed elements of the subconscious in dreams, reflecting past traumas. Others have suggested that the images are prospective: that is, that they represent either the desire on the part of hunters for future successes, or, via the practice of sympathetic magic, an attempt to manipulate the future in favor of hunting success. This, in turn, is consistent with the Revonsuo school which considers dreams to be a means of threat/social simulation. But it is also consistent with many indigenous beliefs about the predictive potential of dreams. Still others have considered the images to be gateways into the transcendent, non-physical realms which enabled practitioners to obtain much-needed diagnostic information, with immediate applicability to current situations. This corresponds to the idea, voiced by Jeremy Taylor, that “all dreams come in the service of healing.” However, numerous indigenous cultures also use dreams to diagnose personal or social illnesses and to prescribe remedies.
As hunter-gatherer groups began to settle into villages at the end of the Pleistocene and began to rely on domesticated plants and animals for their food sources, the locus for iconographic art shifted from caves to open-air shrines, within villages and at specific ritual locations, especially in the Middle East. As populations grew due to their ability to produce more food, different strategies for managing the surplus were needed, and one of these was the adoption of systems of writing to record spoken language, at first for economic transactions, but then for the recording of the more complex products of the mind. These texts provide us with our earliest actual records of dreams, as well as the attitudes of their cultures towards them. We will explore examples from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and from both the Old and New Testaments. Most of these are prospective: dream images are interpreted on a 1:1 basis: “If a man dreams x, y will happen to him.” We will examine several ancient dream texts, as well as accounts from indigenous cultures, from a cross-cultural perspective.
Audience: Especially for beginners.
Lucid Dreaming as a Psychotherapeutic Technique (Paper)
The first step of dreamwork often implies remembering as many details as possible from the dream. Often it is a about making sense of the messages from the unconscious and/or integrating elements of it. Lucid Dreaming is a technique which can be learned by almost everyone; some people, especially children, even lucid dream spontaneously. If applied as a psychotherapeutic technique, however, it can enable the lucid dreamer to take charge at the very moment the dream occurs, to consciously approach the subconscious self, and ideally to find dialogue and integration. Especially for clients suffering from nightmares, lucid dreaming represents the via regia of ending the often never-ending horror. With lucid dreaming, the dream plot can be influenced, the nightmare can be turned into a non nightmare, the dreamer gains control.
In the Psychiatric Hospital in Ybbs we taught Lucid Dreaming to a group of patients suffering from PTSD. Nightmares within PTSD patients often prevent the patients from recovering, as, night after night, they re-experience the loss of control they endured during the original traumatic event. Some of the patients whom we treated with Lucid Dreaming did not stop experiencing nightmares, but knowing that they were “only” dreaming, and knowing that they could change the outcome any time they would wish to do so, took away the threat and the fear. Being in control of the situation was for them a decisive step towards overcoming the trauma.
Experiencing for years the positive effects of lucid dreaming, we believe that using that technique more often, and exploring even more possibilities of applying it, is a great step forward for further improving the effectiveness of dreamwork and providing better help for our clients. In this presentation I will also reflect upon what elements of lucid dreaming might be helpful, which patient groups might profit from lucid dreaming. But I will also address the question whether some groups of patients should avoid lucid dreaming. I believe lucid dreaming is a very potent technique in psychotherapy which should be explored more and applied with caution and respect. I will give examples from my private practice, in which I use lucid dreaming as an add-on to Gestalt therapy.
Robert J Hoss
Science and Psychology of Dreaming: the Fundamentals (Special event)
This session presents a tutorial summary of the fundamentals for beginners and/or anyone interested in a basic understanding of dreaming. It is based on what we understand from literature, research and the contemporary theories of dreaming. It will address the processes and suggested 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 function; an understanding of the diversity of dream experiences (including nightmares, lucid, PSI); plus the relationship to meaning and dreamwork:
- 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
- c) Dream Content (research): the Dream experience, Gender and Age Differences
- The Dreaming Brain in REM: A visual trip of the dreaming brain: the effect that the unique mixture of active and inactive brain centers might have on dream content (inactive frontal regions, active visual associative and rt. parietal regions; active limbic regions; active frontal regions)
- The Psychology of Dreaming:
- a) Imagery theories: associative and right parietal cortex; association and metaphor (Domhoff, Hartmann).
- 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 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 reconsolidation research (LeDoux, Ecker); examples -content observations.
- Relationship to Dreamwork: Dreamwork theory and method – Freud, Jung, Perls, Ullman
- Special Cases of Extraordinary Dreams: experience, content, neurobiology
- a) Nightmares
- b) Lucid Dreaming
- c) Extrasensory Dreaming
Target Audience: for all.
Robert J Hoss
The Mystery of Life-Changing Dreams (Special event)
Have you ever awakened from a dream that left you feeling stunned – a dream so vivid or impactful – so unexpected – that it literally changed your life from that point on? The great luminary Carl Jung taught us that a natural guiding force is at work in our dreams; a journey of inner growth and transformation, becoming who we are meant to be. The survey of contributors of the IASD publication Dreams that Change Our Lives provided more than ample evidence of this – however, in the process we observed a greater mystery regarding the nature of the forces behind that journey of transformation. The forces for change went well beyond psychological theory. Many stories expanded our understanding of the nature of consciousness; many exhibited a cosmic or spiritual nature that reached beyond the senses, time and even beyond death. Whether you have read the book or not, this talk is intended to discuss what we observed as diverse but unifying principles that may be at work in our growth.
Transformation dreams are often called “big dreams”: a single dream so dramatic that one dream alone appears to bring about a life change – but the cycle of change is also accompanied by “little dreams” that provide guideposts along that journey, inspiring us, showing us the way, rewarding us as we follow their guidance. They can occur at any stage of a person’s life: from childhood, through our life’s changes, eventually preparing us for our final journey and beyond. But how might this occur, what are the forces at play and what is the wisdom within that guides us along our Journey? This presentation will address those questions, from the perspective of the psychological, spiritual and extrasensory forces at work. The forces can be psychological, a natural balancing force within our unconscious that Jung called the Self that knows the whole person who we are or can become – as one heavily depressed dreamer discovers when they dream of dying, being crushed by crumbling buildings, but then having part of themselves appear and pull them out of the rubble. This inner force simulates our waking life conflicts and guides and rewards us as we follow them, in ways that can direct our careers and life’s decisions upon waking. The forces might be cosmic, a memory of that oneness such as in a child’s dream when she dreams of the moment she transitions to the vivid sensory reality around her from a previous state of universal consciousness, which “I once knew but have now forgotten.” Change can come from spiritual intervention and save our lives, as one dreamer who planned to commit suicide was confronted by an angry Jesus who compelled him to experience the pain he would cause family and friends. Dreams also allow us to explore the various levels of consciousness in the lucid state, facing our demons only to watch them diminish as we do; turning to the “wisdom behind the dream” for answers, understanding and insight; or to experience mind over matter as we physically heal ourselves, even others. Not bound by physical laws, dreams appear to transition past, future and spiritual reality – some report that they have provided views into spiritual or ancestral existences, events of a precognitive nature, or even connections with loved ones who passed on. These observations stretch the nature of our understanding of the universe, our conscious being within it and the role of our personal growth within that framework.
On-line Education as a Lucid Dreaming Induction Strategy (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “State of the Art Lucid Dream Induction Methods”)
The practices, advantages and limitations of teaching lucid dreaming in an on-line course setting will be explored. Thanks to the mainstreaming of learning management systems (LMS) as a viable platform for transformational education, it is now possible to reach isolated dreamers all over the world and create dynamic on-line communities dedicated to practical and applied dream studies. I will share my own experiences about what works and what doesn’t when forming on-line learning environments for learning how to lucid dream. Learning to lucid dream is difficult for many, despite the wealth of literature on the topic (Stumbrys et al., 2012). Yet, on-line students often have dramatic lucid breakthroughs during on-line classes after months (or years) of frustration, leading to the observation that positive social support can be a powerful motivator for transforming students’ relationship to their own dreams. As researcher Tim Post has noted, the future of on-line lucid dreaming education lies in empirically-based and data-driven results (2014). In concert with co-author Kelly Bulkeley, some initial quantitative data using a simple digital word search method (Bulkeley, 2014) will be presented that address the working hypothesis that transformations in students’ dream cognition, specifically in metacognition, can be observed by changes in their narrative dream reports. Words and phrases that exhibit metacognition, such as “I realize I was feeling sad” or “I know I am not remembering clearly” are markers of reflective consciousness in dreams and waking life (Kahan, 1994). Lucidity, i.e., “knowing I am dreaming,” is a specific form of metacognition in the dream often associated with other higher order cognitive patterns, such as volition and self-regulation of attention (Kahan and LaBerge, 2011). This pilot study was conducted in the Fall of 2015 with anonymous students who volunteered to share their dreams during a 4-week on-line course Lucid Ignition.
Jeanell Ruth Innerarity
Body Dreams and Nightmares: Working with Dreams to Integrate Chronic Pain or Illness with Life Myth (Workshop)
Processwork is an awareness method based at the intersection of Jungian analysis, quantum physics, Taoism, and shamanic principles. It utilizes dreams, dreamlike experiences, and signal-based awareness to work on personal, relationship, and world issues. Dr. Arnold Mindell, the founder of Processwork, discovered that our nighttime dreaming experiences also show up in our physical symptoms and vice versa. He described this theory in his seminal work Dreambody: The Body’s Role in Revealing the Self (1981). Processwork uses the theory of dreambody to study not only acute symptoms, but also chronic, long-term symptoms, especially as they relate to a person’s early childhood dreams and life myth. This personal myth, and related body symptoms, can indicate strengths and challenges a person is likely to face throughout their life. Therefore, a person can utilize information and wisdom from their early childhood dream and recurring dream themes to work with their chronic physical symptoms and find meaning and purpose.
Jeanell became interested in the study of chronic illness and the dreambody through her own experience of chronic symptoms, as well as over 25 years of keeping detailed records of her own nighttime dreams. This led her to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Process Oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies from the Processwork Institute, as well as to spend nearly 20 years as a somatic practitioner, including ten years as a certified yoga instructor and six years as a licensed massage therapist. She is currently pursuing a 1,500+ hour postgraduate certificate in Processwork.
This workshop will begin with a brief participant-engagement inquiry into the group’s familiarity with chronic pain and illness, as well as an introduction to the concept of dreambody theory. Jeanell will give a brief introduction to common social, personal, and dreaming experience of people with chronic pain or illness. We’ll discuss some typical pathways to diagnosis, issues of quality of life, navigating the medical system with “invisible illness”, and what these may mean in terms of a person’s strengths and life myth. Jeanell will give a brief overview of her own story and how it led her to this work. Dreambody theory, childhood dream and life myth theory, and a very basic overview of Processwork will be explored. Jeanell will describe her current Processwork research with clients who have chronic pain or illness. Approximately 2/3 of the workshop time will then be spent in guided experiential exercises in small break-out groups exploring dreambody, life myth, and chronic symptom work. Exercises will include: finding the most mysterious or unknown aspect of your early childhood dream; becoming the “symptom maker” of your body symptom; and relating this body symptom back to your own childhood dream. Techniques utilized include role play, association, amplification, unfolding, and dreaming-on. The workshop will close as a unified group with questions, implications for future research, and applications for your own work.
Prior to this workshop, Jeanell will be working with individual clients and groups who experience chronic pain and illness. She will be using direct work with clients and groups, supervised by Processwork faculty, as well as intensive video study utilizing the Dreammaker.io video analysis application, to learn about patterns, tendencies, and methods of working with clients who experience chronic pain or other chronic symptoms.
This workshop is well suited to Intermediate and Advanced participants, but is open to all. We will unfold dreams following your unique process, and you remain the ultimate authority on your own dreams and experiences.
Clare R Johnson
Mindful Dreaming: Transformative Dreamwork Techniques (Workshop)
Every night, our dreams communicate with us. When we connect mindfully with them, we enable them to reveal our fears and desires, offer creative solutions to our problems, and transform our lives with their wisdom (Garfield, 1974). We can enhance our waking lives by engaging with the healing potential and deep beauty of our nightly dreams (Barasch, 2000). This highly experiential workshop brings lucidity tools into psychological dreamwork. It explores a rich variety of transformative techniques for working mindfully with dreams for wholeness, healing, and insight. These include Dr Clare Johnson’s Soul Dream Embodiment technique, her Lucid Imaging Nightmare Solution, and her Lucid Writing method, as well as other popular techniques from her books, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming and Dream Therapy (entitled Mindful Dreaming in the US). When we bring conscious awareness to our dreams, through lucid dreaming or by doing waking dreamwork, we illuminate them in potentially transformative ways (Jung, 1935; Perls, 1969; Ullman, 1996). We can gain self-confidence, liberate ourselves from the past, take steps to heal negative memories or grief, and expand our creative potential (Johnson, 2017). With the help of our dreams, we can lead happier, healthier lives. The dreamer is recognised to be the ultimate authority on his/her own dream, and all dreamwork in this workshop is explored with kindness and respect. All participants can work on their own dreams, and they will also have the opportunity to share their dreams and process with the group if they wish.
From beginners to advanced, this workshop is open to all.
Lucidity Hour: Lucid Film, Lucid Talk (special event)
Get the conference off to a lucid start by coming along to this session on the first morning led by Dr Clare Johnson, author of Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming and Mindful Dreaming. First, we’ll watch the U.S. premiere of a wonderful special effects lucid dream documentary (15 minutes long) created by talented media students in Germany. Painting Doors: The Art of Lucid Dreaming features interviews with international lucid dream experts and skillfully recreates the magic of lucid dreaming to create a tense, exciting lucid dream story.
Then we’ll talk about lucid dreaming – tips, techniques, cutting-edge research, fascinating interactions with lucid dream figures, overcoming fear, and how to have a more profound, healing, and creative lucid dream life. Come and join the lively discussion and explore the exciting depths of lucid dreaming!
Lucid Dreaming for Emotional Healing (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Symposium titled “Lucid Dreaming for Physical and Emotional Healing”)
Lucid dreaming is a state with enormous healing potential. It enables us to engage consciously with powerful, unconscious dream imagery in ways that promote deep insight, self-understanding, and healing (Garfield, 1974, LaBerge, 1985, Johnson, 2017). As we go through life, all of us experience various degrees of emotional trauma. These can range from isolated upsetting events to the grief of losing a loved one. Such experiences may be reflected in our dreams in the form of anxious dream scenarios, dreams with strong negative emotional content, or recurring nightmares. Research studies show that lucid dreaming can help with chronic nightmares (Zadra and Pihl, 1997) as well as the traumatic nightmares of PTSD sufferers who relive the initial trauma in their dreams (Harb, 2016). In this presentation, Dr. Johnson will give examples of emotional and psychological healing in lucid dreams, as well as identifying four lucid states of consciousness in which we can access healing:
- Lucid dreaming: when we are aware that we are dreaming, while we are dreaming.
- Lucid hypnagogia: images and sensations that arise as we transition from wake to sleep.
- Lucid Light states: when the usual dream imagery vanishes and we float (often bodiless) in what feels like infinite space, existing as pure conscious awareness, as explored in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming (Johnson, 2017).
- Lucid Dreamplay: waking dreamwork that mirrors the transformative possibilities of lucid dream actions by bringing lucidity tools into psychological dreamwork, as described in Dr. Johnson’s book Dream Therapy (Mindful Dreaming in the U.S.).
How and why can these lucid states give us insight into emotional blocks and deep-rooted fears, helping us to acquire flexibility and resilience in our daily lives? How have people used these lucid states to alleviate anxiety and depression, and to receive solace during the bereavement process? Dr. Johnson explores these questions and shares her practical Lucid Imaging Nightmare Solution, as well as presenting a range of tips for psychological healing in lucid dreams and other lucid states.
The Felt Sense, Metaphor and The FiveStar Method™ (Presentation within Dreamwork Practices Symposium titled “Cocreative Dreamwork”)
The nervous system swings between “rest and digest” and “fight, flight, and freeze.” Metaphors affect this cycle by expansion and/or contraction experienced as a felt sense. Poetic metaphor, which is yin, paradoxical, and complex, affects this sine wave cycle in expansion and/or contraction towards trauma resolution. The FiveStar Method™ increases dreamer awareness and therefore assists integration. The human autonomic nervous system (ANS) is comprised of two portions: a parasympathetic “rest and digest” portion and a sympathetic “fight, flight, and freeze” portion. The ANS cycles between these two polarities, yet it can be disturbed permanently, disregulated, through physical or emotional overwhelming, trauma. The ANS loses its smooth procession, causing stress-related symptomology ranging from physical disorders like syndromal physical patterns (asthma, migraine, PMS, IBS) to emotional patterns like sleeplessness, depression, anger, anxiety or addictions. This information is based on Peter A. Levine’s Somatic Experiencing approach. The Somatic Experiencing model utilizes metaphor as a way to describe verbally an event or situation. Metaphor is a symbolic language that the psyche uses, among other things, to assist in re-regulating the autonomic nervous system. A personal language to be discovered and explored over a lifetime, metaphor is paradoxical. Metaphor has a yin quality in that it is indirect, yet it is highly specific. And while it is specific, it is also very universal and can even point to archetypal patterns. Metaphor is reflexive in time, meaning it often elastically refers forward and backwards in time. Finally, metaphor can prompt an expansive bodily sense or a contractive bodily sense. At crucial times that can indicate that integration is occurring, metaphor induces both a contraction and an expansion at the same time.
Elemental metaphors like fire, earth, metal, water, wood, air, ether, or space can be powerful agents of change in dreams. Using the felt sense is a fundamental way to work with metaphor. How does a considering a metaphor make you feel in your body? Is your experience one of expansion or contraction? Where in your body do you feel this? Is it pleasant or unpleasant, warm or cold, tight or loose, etc.? Any feeling of self-regulated increased awareness is a movement towards integration. By slowly allowing yourself to build a tolerance for sensation as you consider a dream metaphor, you allow for changes. The changes may include a discharge, like shaking, trembling, sneezing, itching, laughing, crying or many other bodily functions. The “shaking it off” leads to an integration which often feels like expansion. These things happen in the dream, in deep sleep or even while awake in the course of normal daily routines.
The FiveStar Method™ is a co-creative dreamwork method that places the dreamer and the dream content on equal footing. In going through the five steps, the dreamer has the opportunity to consider her dream content metaphors. She identifies the principal metaphors, and most importantly examines how the dreamer interacts with the metaphors. Are some pushed away? Are some pulled closer? Or both? The metaphor is always considered in the context of the dream, so that the feeling tone of the dream, the process narrative, the dreamer response and imagery change. Analysis, amplification dialogue and the plan of action are also considered in tandem with the metaphors.
Target audience: intermediate
Eric J. Juarez
From Dream to Screen (Special Event)
In this presentation, I will describe the process of adapting a dream into film along with a screening of the short student film. The dream itself was featured in the IASD book, Dreams that Change our Lives. The initial dream was a response to the creative difficulties of adapting a separate dream to the screen. First, I will explain the creative insight which the dream offered for my question of dream adaptation. Then, I will explain the process of turning the dream journal entry (and section from the book) into a screenplay. I will then discuss how I approached the adaptation process, before screening the film for the audience.
Science Data on Importance of REM and Dreaming Sleep (Paper)
REM dreaming is universal, occurring across the animal kingdom that includes birds, mammals and most other animals. Why does REM occur universally? The data show that REM is essential for the stimulation and growth of neural connectivity and synaptogenesis. In fact, this synaptogenesis is so important for the developing embryo, that it spends 90% of its total sleep in the REM stage. REM and NREM are detected in the fetus by tracking its heart rate, eye movements and breathing. Upon birth, the developing infant continues to spend 80% of its sleep time in REM and 20% in NREM. Not until early childhood does the ratio become closer to that of the young adult of 80% REM and 20% NREM. REM dreaming remains important throughout life. Dream content is too. In one experiment, 100 people navigated a maze while awake. Half the group tried again after 12 hours. Another group took a 90 minute nap that had REM. The nap group did better than the no nap group, but those in the nap group that dreamt about maze-related things, such as guide posts, did 10 times better.
REM sleep helps take the sting out of strong negative emotions. In an experiment, subjects were shown frightening scenes. If the subjects were shown the photos again later, they experienced the same emotional sting as originally. The same was true after having taken a nap that didn’t have REM. However, after a nap that included REM, when they were shown the picture again, the emotional charge had been significantly reduced. It was through the use of EEG that we learned that there are different stages of sleep, and that these stages repeat throughout the night of asleep. They repeat every 90 minutes. The stages include light, deep and REM sleep. Each stage is distinguished by its own brain wave pattern as measured by the EEG. This cyclical pattern happens four or five times a night, with most of the REM in the later parts of the night and early-morning, while most of the deep sleep occurs in the earlier parts of the night.
REM sleep was also called paradoxical sleep because the EEG brain wave pattern looks the same as the brain wave pattern of someone who is awake. This brain wave pattern is asynchronous, it never really repeats itself, and is very rapid. This is unlike the deep sleep wave pattern which is synchronous, has large amplitude and is slow. EEG measures the neural activity only in the cortical areas. But fMRI and PET measure neural activity in the deeper areas, where we see very remarkable and important differences between the brain in REM sleep and the brain when awake. In REM sleep the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, the CEO of the brain, is deactivated, whereas the emotional centers are highly active. This helps account for emotions felt in many dreams, and the feeling that the dream unfolds without attention to logic. In addition to this selective activation and deactivation of brain regions when in REM, there is a radical change in the chemistry of the brain. In REM sleep, the concentration of serotonin and norepinephrine goes to zero! Awake, serotonin and norepinephrine help keep us alert and focused. In the dream, their absence allows distracting images and fragments of memories to be incorporated into the dream. And these brain chemistry and selective activation and deactivation differences
help account for some of the remarkable differences between how the mind is functioning while dreaming.
Target audience: For All
Mary Kay Kasper
Dreaming Back to the Earth (Workshop)
There is a remarkable parallel between the ecological destruction ravaging the earth and the human capacity for suffering and exile spiritually, physically, and emotionally within self, community, and environment. This cycle of separation from the essence of our wholeness, passions, and the environment affects not only us but also the Earth, as we search for a way to fill the voids within. Thomas Berry reminds us that, “A degraded habitat will produce a degraded human,” and in turn, a human who degrades the environment will him-, her-, or other selves be degraded. We cannot heal our personal story unless we also are healing our ecological story. Dreams offer a path to healing both the personal and the ecological. Their light illuminates our psyche, a collective living fossil of our primitive soul self as Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung suggests. In this way, the dream offers wisdom as a collective of energies from both the individual and universal unconsciousness. It can awaken us to our true selves while gazing into the intimacy of our forgotten relationship to the cosmos. I believe that if we reflect beyond the individual experience of the dream, we will discover that it also speaks to the Earth’s dream, dreaming us awake to Her. It is here that we can begin to understand and feel into a broader view of the nature of dreaming and its ability to offer wisdom for healing on a multitude of levels. If we believe this is so, then it is imperative that we explore healing pathways that guide us to the wisdom of our story interwoven with the voice of the Earth. To support this concept, the work of Bill Plotkin and Joanne Ann Macy, who breach the walls of our separation to suggest we are much more, are used. Author Chellis Glendinning speaks to our destructive behavior as well as our yearning for wholeness. Dreamwork modalities such as Dreamtending, Embodied Dreamwork of Students of the Dream, and Marion Woodman’s offer styles of dreamwork that explore the dream as an individual experience embedded in a universal perspective. And beyond the mountains and ocean of this continent are found the historical and mystical teachings of the Western European pagan traditions, revitalized to reflect modern Earth-based spiritual practices which have informed my work with the landscape and dreams. Through lecture, discussion, and didactic work, we will explore the concept of dreaming as a path to personal and ecological awareness, as well as providing an understanding of the intersections between dreamwork and Earth-based practices. Utilizing these frameworks together can create a powerful and personal healing modality that encourages ecological remembering. We will discuss diverse dreamwork approaches that open the dream to our relationship to Self and Earth, while integrating concrete tools for bringing the guidance of the dream to life. Exercises will be offered that demonstrate how dreams and Earth-based practices complement each other. The workshop format will flow from lecture and discussion to opportunities for participants to practice techniques and practices such as gazing and animal walking. The percentages of each section will be divided, allowing for a fourth of the time for introduction, a fourth for discussion, and then the rest for didactic work. Dream dancing, a concept I have developed, will utilize forms of relational and embodied dreamwork styles that encourage dreamers to have ultimate authority in working with their dream animals. The workshop will conclude with the sharing of resources and strategies for integrating the concepts discussed.
This workshop is open to all levels of participants.
Naomi Panina Kimmelman and Jacob Kaminker
The Liminal Plane Between Sleep and Awake: Hypnagogia and Creativity (Workshop)
Join us on a journey into the liminal space between sleep and awake. This workshop will focus on the topic of hypnagogia, a transitional and threshold state of consciousness, and its relationship to creativity, possibility and spiritual practice. This presentation will include lecture and experiential components.
In this workshop we will present current research and theories about hypnagogia, including its commonly reported qualitative characteristics as well as the neurological and physiological aspects of this state of consciousness. We will discuss the hypnagogic state from a depth and expressive arts therapy perspective. The workshop will combine meditative/guided imagery practices and interpretative activities inspired by Jeremy Taylor’s Group Projective Dream Work methods. Artists who have credited this state as influencing their work will also be mentioned. Lecture will be approximately one third of our time together, with the experiential components equaling about two thirds of the time. We will amplify and explore the possibilities of the potential of using hypnagogic experiences to expand, deepen and develop creative, psychic and spiritual life. Hypnagogia is state of consciousness in which one is between sleep and wakefulness. It is a liminal space often characterized by vivid dream imagery, sounds, and intriguing ideas. This presentation will begin with a lecture on what hypnagogia is and what is happening in the body and mind during this state. After an introduction to hypnagogia, we will take participants on a waking dream journey by way of a guided meditation. Participants will be invited to lie down, get comfortable and enter an altered state of consciousness. We will integrate and further explore our own personal experiences during this meditation through an expressive arts therapy activity, journaling, and finishing with a group discussion. Participants may share the details of their waking dream experiences. The dreamer is the “ultimate authority” on the personal meaning of any dream. We will emphasize that anyone offering a “dream interpretation” is speaking from their own experience and contributing a projection to the community, adding to the possible meanings of any dreamtime experience. Techniques and activities will include lecture with handouts, guided meditation, experiential expressive arts therapy practice, and discussion.
This workshop is designed for intermediate audiences.
Dream Mythology: Journey through the Tarot and into your Dreams (Workshop)
The Major Arcana of the Tarot are a pictorial mythology of the human journey. The cards take you through the mundane, to the challenges of the dark night of the soul, to rebirth into new levels. The images of the Major Arcana and dreams are both archetypal in nature. By utilizing the cards, the subconscious can communicate with the dreamer during an awakened state through imagery, symbolism, synchronicity and the significance of the cards. The audience will have an opportunity to unfold their own dream mythology through a hands-on technique which analyzes the sequence of the dream.
There are three parts to this workshop: the presentation on the “Mythology of the Major Arcana: The Journey of the Fool”; the interactive volunteer dream example using the Tarotpy© method; and the pairing of individuals for practice of the method on a dream of their choosing. The first third of the workshop will be an interactive lecture on the author’s “Mythology of the Major Arcana: The Journey of the Fool” M.A. thesis. During this lecture, participants will be walked through the Major Arcana Tarot cards in order to differentiate their meanings, symbols and archetypal connections, as well as how the cards interact with each other in sequential order. This basis of information acts as a foundation of knowledge for the hands-on portion of the workshop, and is the time when the Tarotpy© method and mythology layout will be introduced. The Tarotpy© method, created by Lauren Z. Schneider, M.F.T., allows the dreamers to personalize their layout and intuit the meaning of the card in relation to their dream reflecting on the imagery. The mythology layout will apply the use of the Major Arcana cards, as the archetypal representatives of the dreamer’s personal mythology; thus giving further insight to their dream mythology.
The second portion of the workshop will be approximately 20-30 minutes. During this time, a volunteer will share their dream with the audience, applying the method to it. Prior to the workshop, the volunteer will have personally chosen the number of cards, named the placements and blindly selected the cards. This allows time for the layout to be added to the PowerPoint; the cards will not be revealed to the volunteer until the time of the workshop. The volunteer will begin first by analyzing their dream in relation to placement names on the layout and selected cards. The audience will then be able to add layers of perspectives to the cards/dream, using Ullman’s idiolect. The example will close with the dreamer summarizing their analysis as the ultimate authority of their own dream.
In the last portion of the workshop, the participants will pair off to analyze their own dream mythology. They will follow the method described in the lecture and shown as an example with the volunteer. They will personally select a deck provided, the number of cards, the placement names and the cards, blindly. Once completed, they will first analyze their own cards based on the dream before sharing it with their partner. Then the partners will take turns adding layers and perspectives to the other person’s cards/dream, using Ullman’s idiolect. The dreamer will have the ultimate authority in what they understand as the meaning and connection to the cards.
During the question and answer part of the workshop, the participants may share their dreams with the group and may ask for further insight into their cards.
Target Audience: All levels of dreamers are welcome.
Karen Konkoly (including a study co-authored with Michelle Carr, who is presenting other
results in another presentation)
How Do Cues Played during Sleep Affect Dream Content? (Paper)
It is well-known that stimuli from the outside world can be incorporated into dream content. In this presentation, I will discuss results from two studies examining how cues played during sleep may affect dream content and lucidity. Study 1 was conducted by Anne Koopman, Karen Konkoly, and Penny Lewis;, and Study 2 was conducted by Michelle Carr, Karen Konkoly, Remington Mallett, Kristoffer Appel, and Mark Blagrove. The first study is based on sleep-dependent memory consolidation literature using a technique called targeted memory reactivation (TMR). In auditory TMR, participants associate sounds with other stimuli, and the sounds are played during sleep to trigger replay of the memory for preferential consolidation. I am looking at how TMR during REM sleep affects dream content. This type of paradigm, called targeted memory reactivation, is hypothesized to trigger hippocampal replay of cued memories, which leads to improved behavioral outcomes. I aim to investigate whether cues played during sleep, and perhaps also the memories associated with the cues, are incorporated into dreams, and whether this dream incorporation may moderate the success of cued stimuli for subsequent memory performance.
The second study, on the efficacy of auditory versus visual cues for inducing lucid dreams in a laboratory setting, investigates ways to optimize lucid dream induction in the lab in naive participants. It used a combination of reality testing, wake-back-to-bed, and mnemonic induction techniques to achieve a 53% success rate. We are expanding this study by also incorporating light signals and auditory signals, as well as adding other manipulations that will be discussed in Michelle Carr’s presentation, to further examine conditions to induce lucid dreams in the lab.
I will then discuss how these cues impact dream content more generally. Thus, this presentation will be useful for both memory researchers and lucid dreaming researchers, as both will be better able to understand how the cues used in their studies affects dream content.
This presentation is suitable for all audiences, but may be especially relevant for memory and lucid dreaming researchers.
Jason Kravitz and Leslie Horacek
Big Dreams, Big Photos, Finding the Resonance (Workshop)
Whether a direct visual representation of dream images, or a means of capturing a mood or feeling, photographs empower dreamers to forge stronger connections with their personal imagery. We believe that photography has the power to break down the barriers of language and borders. It connects us at a visual and emotional level which succinctly encapsulates and expresses the human experience. In this workshop, participants with a recent dream in mind will tap into the DreamStream™ to seek out photos which resonate for them from a stream of images. Once the photos are selected, they can then be arranged into a unique digital collage to be shared and discussed with the group.
We will spend the first 20 minutes sharing a few personal experiences of how photos can be divined like a waking dream before providing an introduction to the Photo Resonance™ creator toolkit. From there, participants will work with their individual dream explorations (with their own phone, tablet or laptop) before coming back together as a group to share insights gleaned. Creating a Photo Resonance (or REZ) is a three step process that involves first selecting photos which speak to the dreamer from viewing a stream of images. Next, photos are arranged like a digital collage into frames of three images at a time. These can represent different aspects or themes in the dream and are grouped together by resonating visual hints selected by the dreamer. Finally, the finished gallery can be viewed and used as a reflection of the dream for both the individual and for the group.
We ask the dreamer, as ultimate authority of their own dreams, to consider if they experienced any new awareness, or if any images or elements emerged that were surprising or differentthanexpected.Asagroupexercise, sharing REZ galleries is a way to allow people to do communal dream work together based on the selected photos. Group participants will be asked to deduce any insights or feelings that the gallery presents, and to feed that back to the dreamer to see if it brings new awareness for them.
This workshop is open to anyone with an interest in dreams, collage or photography. You do not need to be a photographer or to bring any photographs with you, although we do ask you to bring a phone, tablet, or laptop to create your REZ, as well as a recent dream that you’d like to explore.
Dreams from the Afterlife? (Paper)
In 2015, I began communicating with an events planner for the U.S. Army who shared with me, over time, a series of ten anomalous dreams —anomalous in the sense that the dreams typically contained specific names of deceased servicemen previously unknown to her but known to an assistant chaplain with whom she worked. The goal of my ensuing case study research into this apparent episode of spontaneous mediumship was to collect these dreams, search for commonalities, and propose explanations for their anomalous aspects. Alternative explanations included fraud, faulty memory, coincidence, and telepathy or some other form of remote perception. None of these alternatives explained these anomalies as well as what the experiencer herself proposed: that the deceased themselves had successfully communicated with her during her nighttime dreams.
Target Audience: For All
Shamanic Dream Practices (Presentation within Culture and History Symposium titled “An Introduction to the History of Dreams”)
Reports of strange, extraordinary, and puzzling dreams have been a topic of fascination to people throughout the ages. For many tribal societies, there was no distinction between nighttime dreams and daytime visions, as both could portend the future or portray distant events. On a more practical basis, they could direct the tribe to a food supply, to a likely spot to hunt for game, or to revive a person (or group) that had taken ill. Practitioners in charge of interpreting these experiences went by different names in different parts of the world, but anthropologists who observed the similarities started to refer to them as “shamans,” a word of East Asian origin. From a psychological perspective, shamans are socially-designated practitioners who obtain information in ways not easily available to other members of their community, using this information for the community’s benefit. One means of accessing information is through dreams, often what are now called “lucid dreams,” where the shaman would ask for a dream that would address a specific issue. Some shamanic dreamworking techniques were remarkably sophisticated, resembling what are now referred to as psychodrama, free association, and Gestalt. There were traditional meanings ascribed to dream imagery, but an allowance for individual differences was often made. It is likely that the evolutionary functions of dreams (emotional downloading, information processing, problem solving, planning for the future, threat perception) were known to shamans but, of course, expressed through their own cultural and mythological lens. This presentation will focus on these evolutionary functions, proposing that shamans unwittingly played a role in human evolution, by fostering the placebo effect largely through the prescriptions that came to them in their dreams.
Lucid Dream Therapy: Skills Development Workshop for Professionals (Workshop)
Lucid dreaming is an innovative therapeutic tool with the potential to assist in many complex challenges encountered in psychotherapy. In contrast to the default cognitive state during ordinary dreaming, it is explicitly known when lucid that the present state of consciousness is a dream. In this state, it is possible to experience a greater sense of safety and cognitive flexibility that encourages more adaptive interactions with unconscious conflicts represented in dream content. As lucid dreaming is a natural capacity that can be strengthened with training, therapists can further client growth by integrating lucid dreaming into evidence-based practices for nightmares and various clinical disorders of a wide severity range. In this workshop, clinical psychologist Kristen LaMarca will provide an overview of lucid dreaming, its applications, and how to address common obstacles faced by therapists in implementing lucid dream therapy.
Supporting research and theory of lucid dreaming as a psychotherapeutic agent and the most effective induction methods known to date will be reviewed. Experiential and role play exercises, case examples, and didactic discussions will guide attendees in how to train and educate clients in lucid dreaming while facilitating therapeutic processing and integration of lucid dream experiences. Practical issues such as patient selection, assigning home skills practice, and population-specific considerations will be incorporated into discussions.
Understanding the meaning of dreams can be a fruitful component of lucid dream therapy, though it is neither a requirement for effective lucid dreaming nor a main focus of this workshop. This presentation will adhere to IASD ethical standards, including any material related to dream interpretation. The class is interactive, though attendees have a choice in how much they would like to contribute. Strictly lecture-based material will account for about a quarter of the allotted time.
This workshop is designed for clinicians who are using or are interested in lucid dreaming as a form of treatment, although other researchers, educators, and personal practitioners of lucid dreaming may find the information presented useful. Target audience: Intermediate.
Jeannette Lambert, Reg Schwager (guitarist)
Creating music with our dreams (Workshop)
In this musical workshop, I will present and discuss how I have used my dreams as a starting point for making songs and will present a few short musical pieces with stories of how they came about. For example, in my recent travels in Sulawesi, Indonesia, I sang dreams of one of my cousins, a close relative, who had recently died. This turned out to be entirely appropriate for the context, as my concert followed a performance by a ritual priest, the tomina, whose ancient methods for funeral ceremonies are strikingly similar and are also based around dreams. (approx. 30 minutes) Participants will then join me in creating short poems from their dreams, using a few creative writing techniques. The participants remain the authority on their own dreams at all times, and no interpretation is done. The goal is to synthesize dream imagery into song lyrics or sounds and rhythms.
These dream poems will be the starting point for our dreaming jam session. Drawing from the repertoire I presented earlier, each song I sing will be extended instrumentally by our guitarist, my brother Reg Schwager, and we will take turns singing our dreams, improvising within the existing dream song’s rhythmic form. In this way, we can explore the question of whether improvising music and imagination exist in the same area as our dreams; plus we will bring energy from our dream worlds into our waking lives, another great shamanic principle. After making music together, we’ll have a short question and answer period to gather feedback on the process and its effect on us and to reflect on this new creative way to work with our dreams. (approx. 60 minutes)
Morning Dream Group (Special event)
Bring a dream and the group will unpack it using Dream Interview and Group Projective techniques. Dream theater, art materials and gestalt may be used if they apply.
Leading Groups by Honoring the Dream (Workshop)
Participants will explore step- by-step processes of organizing and leading dream groups. You will develop a template for your group – focusing on responsibilities, group makeup, promotion, group guidelines, group problem solving, and mentoring personal transformation. Participants, while focusing on individual goals, will learn innovative techniques by working in a dream group.
I use various methods in my dream groups. I will use Jungian, Gestalt, and Psychoanalytic approaches. I will introduce ways of working with dreams that I have developed over the past 25 years, incorporate what I have learned from other dream experts and focus on the sacredness of the dream. I have conducted numerous day, weekend, and week-long workshops on dreams. I enjoy leading dream groups, lecturing, and training for dreamwork and I believe that I am a good facilitator for that type of work.
After a time for participants to develop a unique dream group and to face their personal challenges, we will work within a dream group, share dreams and observe the process of successful and innovative dream group leadership. If you are a group leader, I want to inspire you to enhance your work. If you are not a leader, I want to encourage you and give you the support you need to take the leap to leadership. My special interest and research is in personal growth and individuation through dreamwork. Group work magnifies the impact of the individual’s dream and enhances the personal growth of the dreamer. Dream group leaders are rewarded, whether as a volunteer, professional, or trained therapist. The success of the group depends on the leader’s ability and training. It is important that a leader be well prepared for the role. The workshop will allow time to focus on your individual challenges and to create a template for your unique dream group. We will look at the following areas of group dreamwork:
- Benefits of dream groups
- The role of leadership
- Organizing your dream group
- Developing group guidelines
- Creative methods of dreamwork
- Group problem solving/Challenges of group work
- Creating a bond and safety in group work
- Commitment of the leader to personal dreamwork
Through the workshop, I will share my experience of leading dream groups for over 25 years, writing Honoring the Dream: A Handbook for Dream Group Leaders, and creating the Institute for Dream Studies, which offers a certification course for dreamwork leadership. There are many styles of leadership and types of groups. I will share my thoughts and experiences, while incorporating the work of many people who have shared with me. Time will be allowed for questions and for group sharing. Throughout the workshop the dreamer has the ultimate authority over the work to be done with his/her dream.
Target audience: For everyone!!!!
Research 201 for Dreamworkers: Research to Support Your Work (Research Panel)
Often, dreamworkers are prevented from doing their work in organizations and corporations because they don’t have access to the research to back up the positive effects of dreamwork. Even when research is found, it is often in complicated jargon and graphs that neither the dreamworker nor organization can understand. A panel of researchers, who are committed to the positive function of dreams, will share simple and clear facts and figures that will help you open the door to work with dreams in communities, e.g., medical, PTSD, hospice, counseling, prisons, and churches. The panel will consist of well-known dream researchers who will share information that could be easily used by dream workers to promote their work with hospice, the medical community, counseling centers, PTSD programs, prisons, community outreach programs, etc. The jargon will be lay person friendly – something that does not lose the listener in research jargon and graphs. The panel members will present information about research that supports dreamwork practices. They will also suggest ways that the information can easily be obtained and shared in proposals.
- How does the scientific study of dreaming help university students (and others) take dreams seriously in their personal lives?
- Do findings in the field of dream research translate into dreamwork practice?
- How might studies that show dreaming is a learnable skill (or set of skills) inform dreamwork practices?
- How can new technologies for analyzing dream content support dreamwork practices?
The forum will provide time for questions and answers with panel members, as well as conversation and sharing from the attendees. Whether your interest is in Dreamwork or Research, we want you to join in the conversation. Come and listen or share your experience, suggestions and questions.
Bringing the Dream to Life (Workshop)
As therapists, our ability and willingness to work effectively with the dreams of others is an invaluable skill. Gestalt Therapy, with its emphasis on awareness, presence, dialogue, and respect, is ideally suited for the psycho-spiritual nature of dreamwork. Using techniques from Gestalt Therapy and other compatible approaches, we make contact with the dream in its own territory and bring it to life. We do this by re-experiencing the dream in the present, by embodying various elements, dialoging with them, and occasionally, asking others to “become” part of a theater in which the dream can be enacted. Throughout the process, the integrity of the dreamer is respected and it is the dreamer who chooses how to approach his or her own dream and what meaning it has.
In this experiential workshop, participants will have an opportunity to become familiar with the orienting principles of Gestalt Therapy and how they apply to dreamwork. Participants will learn how to facilitate the embodiment of dream images and the contact between them, how to set up a dream theater, and how to assist the dreamer through the process. In addition, therapeutic considerations, such as contraindications for Gestalt Therapy oriented dreamwork, will be presented. Approximately one third of the workshop will be didactic and the other two thirds experiential.
All attendees will be encouraged to take part in brief warm-up exercises that will assist in the embodying of dream images. One or two participants will have an opportunity to work actively on a dream of their own. In addition, all will be encouraged to participate in a
demonstration of “Dream Theater”.
This workshop is suited primarily for therapists although many dream group leaders will benefit from being familiar with these processes.
The Relationship between Our Dreams and Our Callings (Workshop)
Dreams and callings have a lot in common, and are natural allies in helping our lives literally to come true. They’re both emissaries from the unconscious and point us toward what we need for growth, integration, authenticity and aliveness. Both help you stay true to true north, pointing toward growth and authenticity. Both bubble up from the unconscious, which seems to contain an image of the way you’re supposed to be. Both are requests for a response—discernment and action. Both draw you toward the unknown. And both have consequences if ignored. This workshop explores the similarities between dreams and callings, how they can inform each other, and, since they both emanate from the same deep well, how working with one is working with the other—both requiring the skills of curiosity, receptivity, and responsiveness. Our willingness to do dreamwork can help us discern our callings, and clarifying our callings can magnetize dreams that help us further navigate these calls. How you approach and discern small daily calls such as dreams can help you to discern your larger callings, the greater unfolding Story of your life. And similarly, as you clarify your callings, you tend to draw dreams to you that can help you discern and navigate those calls.
Part 1: Brief lecture (20 min) Introduces ideas workshop is based on: defining a calling; identifying the similarities between dreams and calls; examining what’s involved in discerning both dreams and calls; highlighting dreams as masterpieces of metaphoric communication, which can speak potently to what people’s callings are. For example:
- You’re postponing an important decision, and dream of “missing the boat.”
- You’re trying to decide between following passion or security, and dream of throwing a rock through a bank
- Someone you’re considering collaborating with appears wearing costume jewelry and fake leather
- You’re losing yourself in a job or relationship, and dream of losing your wallet with all your identification cards in
Part 2: Small-group dreamwork exercise (20 min; ultimate authority: the individual). This simple dreamwork exercise gives participants an opportunity to share dreams that seem related to callings or vocational issues, and get feedback if they wish.
Part 3: Group clarification exercise (75 min) Large-group exercise that invites sharing: a series of self-reflective questions designed to generate a spontaneous body of data and help attendees clarify their callings, such as:
- What activities put you in a flow state?
- What are you passionately curious about?
- What’s the one problem you were born to understand?
- There’s a signpost in front of you with 2 signs pointing in different directions—what’s written on each sign?
- What do you sense is trying to emerge in your life?
- Name a decision that needs to be made in your life now?
- What’s the most important thing missing from your life?
- What have you tried to avoid that follows you around anyway?
- If symptoms are often dreams trying to come true (Arnold Mindell, Process Oriented Psychology), name a recurring symptom in your body and let it speak: “My dream is that you would…..?”
Part 4: Wrap-up (5 min)
Target Audience: All
Secrets of Interactive Dream Group Dynamics (Workshop)
The beauty of dream work is that there are so many possibilities. Working with dreams in a group setting can take on an entirely different feel than working with the dream by oneself or individually with a therapist or other dream worker. This method of Group Dream Work, Interactive Group Dream Work, opens up other possibilities that are not always possible in working with dreams individually or in other settings.
Many have written and spoken about making associations from one’s dream images and to keep them from being static as a dream dictionary might do. Interactive Group Dream Work takes this a step further by getting the dreamer to invite the dream group members to participate in their dream by physically being each of the characters and the symbols in the dream, by taking the role of each of the characters and symbols. The characters are given their own life as they participate in the dialogue, expressing possible feelings thoughts and ideas that they, as characters, are experiencing while in the role. Once the characters and symbols of the dream are cast, a dialogue that involves the senses, in the way that Calvin Hall recognizes as a type of Dream Theater, takes place. This group collaboration invites the visual, tactile, and sound senses into the waking dream, which can be advantageous in understanding a dream, its contents and the message the dream is attempting to send forth. The dreamer is able to get a new understanding of the message the dream brings simply by having a dialogue with each character of the dream and, many times, is able to get valuable feedback from the dream characters.
Dream Stages: Established Esoteric Tradition vs. Secular Spiritual Ties in Lucid Dreaming (Paper)
This paper compares the distinct stages or levels of reality in the esoteric traditions to be mentioned to the lesser-defined stages of lucid dreamers of more secular spiritual orientation. Observations are then made between the groups concerning similarities and differences in spiritual stages, as well as the methods, experiences associated with them. Finally, ontological and epistemological perspectives are offered concerning dream spirituality in both cases. The established traditions involved are Eckankar (derived from the Radha Soami and Sant Mat movements of North Indian Hinduism and Sikhism) and Tibetan Dream Yoga. Both are well-known esoteric paths, and both have accessible followers for survey purposes. Selected IASD members and other accomplished lucid dreamers known to the presenter are available as well. No problem is anticipated gathering data from these populations.
The presentation will consist of a brief review of presenter’s last survey taken in 2017 for introductory context; an introduction to esoteric traditions and their stage schemes; a description of survey questions and presentation of results, explaining the secular/lucid dreamer data set; a comparison of stage and spiritual milestone criteria between the esoteric and secular groups; ontological and epistemological commentary concerning the impact of belief on reality and inherent limitations of the study; and directions for future research.
Target audience: Anyone interested
Remington Mallett, Michelle Carr, Karen Konkoly, Remington Mallett, Kristoffer Appel, and Mark Blagrove
What Is the Optimal Circadian Window for Laboratory Lucid Dreams? (Paper)
The ability of a subject to be aware during a dream (i.e., lucid), offers much to the dream researcher. Recently, experimenters have utilized the control that often coincides with lucidity to investigate various aspects of dreams, notably including the relationship between a dream character and the physiology of the dreamer’s corresponding physical body (Schredl and Erlacher, 2011). However, the occurrence of lucid dreams is unreliable, in the sense that they are often spontaneous, and even with current induction methods are far from guaranteed to occur during a given sleep session. This limits laboratory studies that rely on the occurrence of a lucid dream. For researchers to capitalize on the control offered by lucidity, a reliable method of inducing laboratory lucid dreams needs to be established. Previous work suggests that the chance of lucidity during a nap is at least partially dependent on the time between morning awakening and returning to sleep (LaBerge, 1994). We are extending this and related work by investigating the optimal time of day for subjects to nap, while the researcher attempts to induce lucidity via external stimulation (audio and visual). Our ongoing experiment involves bringing lucid-naive subjects into the laboratory for an afternoon nap. All subjects receive condensed training in cognitive induction methods (MILD and reality checking), and are provided with a sleep mask that administers external stimulation during the nap.
These methods have proven at least moderately effective in inducing lucidity by themselves (Stumbrys and Erlacher, 2014), however there is much inter-subject variability that is left unexplained. To investigate the effect that circadian rhythm might have on induction success, some participants begin the nap at 07:30, and others at 11:00. Participants are requested to provide signal-verification (LRLR eye movements) upon lucidity, as well as upon hearing any further audio or visual cues provided by the experimenter.
This presentation will begin by arguing the importance of a focus on laboratory induction methods, as opposed to at-home. The content will include an aggregation of past research on various “time of day” manipulations for lucid dreaming induction success, both in and out of the lab. Then I will present our research into mask-assisted lucid dream induction, which manipulates time of day to investigate circadian effects. I will conclude with suggestions for the optimal induction nap time, and discussion about why this nap time might be so effective.
This presentation is targeted to intermediate audiences.
Where Are We? Comparing Media Portrayal and Science of Sleep-wake Communication (Presentation within Arts & Humanities Panel titled “Dreaming, Media, and Consciousness”)
To be aware of a dream as it is occurring (i.e., a lucid dream) can be an amazing experience, yet it is often a lone venture. Reports of such dreams date at least as far back as Aristotle (350 BC), yet despite further discussion throughout modern history (Olsen, 2017), it was not until the mid-20th century that dream awareness was verified objectively as a genuine phenomenon of human experience. This “extraordinary evidence” was only possible because technology allowed for real-time communication between two humans—one asleep and one awake (LaBerge, 1981). Still, these communication methods have gross limitations. The most common signal used for sleep-to-wake contact has been directional eye movements, which is limited in its ability to provide fast and varied messages. Subtle variations have allowed for only slightly more efficient message coding. Yet in media portrayals of lucid dreaming, plots often require an expansion into more comprehensive forms of communication between the waking and dreaming characters. These fabrications are helpful for stories, but how do they compare with modern science? More importantly, how can we use them as inspiration to investigate new and more efficient modes of true real-time communication between lucid dreamers and researchers? In this presentation, I will begin by outlining the early days of successful sleep-wake communication. Then, I will use modern film depictions of sleep-wake communication as a starting point to discuss recent attempts from both university and independent researchers to communicate across “worlds” (e.g., Appel, 2013). I’ll conclude by stating the current true limitations and how they may or may not be overcome in the near future, as well as speculating on possible directions that science could head towards based on artist inventions.
This presentation will be accessible to all audiences.
Kimberly R. Mascaro and Loren Goodman
Dreaming at Conception (Workshop)
Dreams that take place around the time of conception are common. They are reported by many different groups today and in the distant past. Such dreams may bring curiosity, excitement, relief, or indicate that one is pregnant. The workshop presenters will highlight taemong, as well as describing conception, fertility and announcing dreams in other cultures, past and present. The term taemong refers to Korean conception dreams that forecast not only the births and genders of children, but their personalities and career paths as well. In Korea’s not-so-distant past, it was thought that in order for a child to be born, he or she must first be dreamt. While taemong remain part of a vibrant culture of dreaming in Korea, some suggest that the tradition is diminishing in importance. The workshop will open with a brief introduction to conception, fertility and announcing dreams, followed by the historical, cultural and social function of taemong. This workshop draws from Mascaro’s decade of research (collecting announcing dreams) and Goodman’s four years of ethnographic research (collecting taemong) and practice (interview, transcription, illumination, analysis) in the university classroom.
Primarily influenced by the theories advanced and data presented in Fred Jeremy Seligson’s Oriental Birth Dreams (1989), Eileen Stukane’s The Dream Worlds of Pregnancy (1994), and Mark Brazeal’s Full Moon in a Jar (2011), this workshop, is designed to
- demonstrate and describe the fundamental characteristics of taemong;
- stimulate discussion on ways to preserve and reinvigorate the tradition of taemong in Korea and introduce the practice of taemong outside Korea; and
- inspire those who do not have taemong to conceive of and compose their own.
This will be followed by detailed analyses of taemong, with particular attention to their narrative, linguistic and formal characteristics. The workshop will culminate in a discussion, so that all in attendance may compose their own original taemong. The dreamer is the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream, including taemong.
This presentation is intended for all audiences.
Dream Truths: The Power of Storytelling, Poetry and Humor to Honor our Dream Voice. (Special event)
I access dreams to explore a personal narrative of therapeutic self-discovery. I combine the
rhyme and rhythm of “slam poetry,” story- telling and comedy against a backdrop of illustrative and interpretative visual images. In doing so, I demonstrate the power of discovering your “dream voice.” I am continuing to uncover the personal risk necessary to animate and integrate my dreams into daily life. My journey has led me to create these dream performances. Poignant 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, indigenous 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 suggested to my clients, to find a creative voice to express my dream truths. So I ventured out to set the stage, literally, for the vulnerability, authenticity and freedom of expression of my dreams. In doing so, I demonstrate the power of expanding beyond fear to speak our truth.
These dream performances are evolving alongside my dream life. I share my personal journey while simultaneously showcasing various dreamwork techniques. The final product gives everyone in the audience permission to step out larger then they imagined possible to be themselves. I believe that we must own our fullest dream potential by being witnessed in community as our authentic, creative selves. Ultimately, my goal for the conference is to inspire us all, to find creative, vulnerable and poetic outlets for our dreams.
Target Audience: I believe all the attendees at the IASD conference will be inspired to become authentically expressive with their dreams.
Linda H. Mastrangelo
Sacred Sites and the Dream: Exploring the Frequency of Time and Space (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “The Power of Place”)
“Different places on the face of the earth have different vital effluence, a different vibration of chemical exhalation, a different polarity with the stars; call it what you like. But the spirit of a place is a great reality.” -D.H. Lawrence
About ten years ago, Linda Mastrangelo decided to incubate a dream that would illuminate her life’s purpose. Interestingly enough, two very distinct scenes showed themselves. One was an image of a brilliant green sacred mound accompanied by a clear voice stating, “You will be the keeper of sacred spaces and the dreamgates”, and the other was an image of an irate deceased spirit who was stuck between worlds. At the time, Mastrangelo was very confused by these visions, but over the years it became clear that her role as ‘Oneironaut’ or dream traveler to different realms was for the purpose of healing grief and trauma and gathering esoteric knowledge. And that place and the dreamtime are directly connected to vibration. She is not alone in supporting this theory. In fact there have been many claims that sacred sites around the world such as Stonehenge, Macchu Picchu and the Giza and Mayan Pyramids, can trigger extraordinary experiences, due their intentional alignment with the cosmos. Our ancient ancestors were already tapping into the secret power of vibration, and perhaps attuning their extrasensory abilities, as well as journeying through time and space that many of us modern day oneironauts are already experiencing through lucid dreaming and the hypnagogic or theta state. By examining personal dreams and experiences, research and case studies, this presentation will explore how frequency affects our state of consciousness and how place can heighten these conditions in profound ways. In this presentation Linda Mastrangelo will be:
- Highlighting examples from case studies of sacred sites as it relates to frequency
- Comparing these case studies with Mastrangelo’s own personal experiences as oneironaut or dream traveler
- Exploring the theory that sacred sites carry certainfrequenciesthatcanalterstatesofconsciousnessandbringprofoundwisdom,includingancestralknowledge
Target audience: All audiences.
Linda H. Mastrangelo
Dreaming Myself, Dreaming a World (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “Long Term Journal Keeping: The Lasting Influence of Jane Roberts/Seth”)
What if your dreams are not just your own, but part of a global picture? This is a concept that comes up often in dream groups and/or group dreaming threads. It seems that the more we dream together, the more our imagery synchronizes. It’s as though our individual dreams are pieces of a “shared dream” or bits of a larger whole. Sometimes they are precognitive, too, as though they hold the ‘psychic blueprint’ for the greater community. In this presentation Linda Mastrangelo will be:
- Highlighting examples of dreams from Susan Watkins’ (a close friend and member of the classes conducted by Jane Roberts and Seth) groundbreaking book Dreaming Myself, Dreaming a
- Comparing Watkins’ work with Mastrangelo’s personal experiences with the
- Exploring Watkins’ theory that collective dreams as “psychic blueprint” and often happen in clusters around a major event, making the pattern more visible.
Target audience: All audiences
Breanna McDonnall and Erika Estrada
Dreaming about Video Games Associations to Various Individual Difference Variables (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Dreaming and Video Game Play: Recent Studies and a 15-year Retrospective”)
Following a video game and social media use survey and a video game consumption habit questionnaire, respondents were asked to report a dream which involved electronic media. Of the dreams collected thus far 40% involved video games and 14% social media. Some involved videos as well as computers (21%), with the 9% being indeterminant. Fifteen percent could not recall such a dream or left the question blank. Additional surveys were administered in a counter-balanced fashion after the dream question. Only dreams, and thus respondents, which refer to video game play will be considered in this presentation. The personality type scales included:
- Hartmann’s Boundary Questionnaire (BQ; Hartmann, 2006), measures the participant’s reactions to events or thought processes, and by proxy to determine if the participant has thinner or thicker psychological boundaries.
- Creative Experiences Questionnaire (CEQ) was elaborated upon by Merckelbach, Horselenberg, and Muris (2001). It asks for a yes or no response to various questions about creativity, fantasy, and others’ perception of the participant’s creative mind.
- Big Five Inventory (BFI) was developed by John and Srivastava (1999), which breaks down an individual’s personality into extraversion vs. introversion, agreeableness vs. antagonism, conscientiousness vs. lack of direction, neuroticism vs. emotional stability, and openness vs. closedness to experience.
The additional gaming surveys were:
- Game Engagement Questionnaire (GEQ; Brockmyer et al., 2009), measures the amount of absorption in the video game, as well as the dissociation a participant experiences from reality while playing video games.
- The Video Game Frequency scale was created in 2008 during the Pew Center video game study (De Simone, 2014), intending to separate the genres into the appropriate distinctions.
- Problem Video Game Playing Questionnaire (PVP) was developed based on the DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence and addictions (Salguero & Moran, 2002), and is used to determine the amount of dependence participants can use when it comes to video games.
- Ortiz de Gortari and Griffiths (2016) designed the Game Transfer Phenomenon Scale (GTP) to track participants’ transfer from the virtual world into the real world.
Finally, a dream survey was also administered. It was: The Dream Intensity Inventory (DII) by Yu (2008) was designed to assess dream experiences.
The focus of this presentation will be those who report a video game dream and the associations between their Dream Intensity Inventory subscale scores and the personality and gaming inventories. It is thought that thin boundaries, which are more prevalent in high video game players, will be associated with Game Transfer into waking and dreaming reality. This BQ/GTP association may also be associated with fantasy proneness (CEQ) and openness to experience as measured (BFI). The pathological media use inventories may also be part of this group of related individual difference variables. Finally, of primary interest is the DII subscale scores’ associations to this pattern. Specifically, high dream recall should be associated to BQ, GTP, CEQ and openness to experience. Other DII subscale associations to these individual difference scales might include bizarreness and dream control and lucidity.
The target audience is intermediary.
Photographic Guidance-Incubating Waking Life Images (Workshop)
Six years ago, I wanted to combine my two interests of photography and dreamwork 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 could go outside, to 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 six times, three times 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. I am continually surprised at how “the universe” speaks so directly to my inquiries as well as to other peopleʼs.
I begin by showing a PowerPoint explaining:
- When I use Photographic Guidance,
- The steps I take,
- How I know what my image is,
- How to work with the image as if it were a dream image,
- How I honor the image and make it a part of my waking life,
- Ending with a few samples from my previous
After the short PowerPoint, I lead a short meditation/relaxation. Then the participants write down an inquiry, such as: “ How do I become more secure and centered in myself?” They will then go outside and/or around the hotel and invite an image to come to them. After photographing the image, they will e-mail it to my computer. When they return to the room, the participants will reflect on their images and then share any insights they have gained with at least one other participant. They will also come up with an “affirmation/mantra” that sums up the message from the image. I will then show everyoneʼs photo(with their permission), on the large screen and ask them to say their name as well as their affirmation. Anyone who would like to share their experience with the whole group can do so, as well as ask for any feedback using the expression: “if this were my image…..”
After the workshop, I will print everyoneʼs images along with their affirmation imposed on the photo, and put them in a central location where they can pick them up. I will have mat board with photo corners for mounting the photographs, and a form to fill in on the back with their question and insights.
My Intention is to help people incubate a day time dream/image and then to receive an image related to that inquiry. Through dreamwork such as amplification, the participants will hopefully have an insight into their inquiry. Lastly, by being open not only to night time dreams/images, but also day time dreams/images, I hope to have participants be aware and appreciate the many messages that are available.
Love in Dreams; Can Dreams Help to Find the Right One? (Paper)
The past 30 years I was in 2 marriages, 2 divorces and in some shorter relationships. Looking through the dream journals I kept during all these years, I wondered whether dreams can be trusted when they speak about love. Can they predict a happy marriage, like the Greek pilgrims in the old days believed and some Muslim dreamers for example nowadays still do? The answer is not as straightforward as I used to think. Yes, I found many examples of dreams that predicted a future relationship and later the upcoming divorce. But I also found dreams that showed a certain love repeatedly and beautifully without an romantic outcome in real life. What use is it to look for relationship clues in dreams? The question is intriguing for me as a lover, as a couples therapist and as a dreamworker. In my presentation I will give a review of the literature on this subject, and conclusions drawn from my own longitudinal case study. Some wonder stories are included.
Target Audience: For All.
How Interpreting My Dreams Has Changed My View of Holy Works (Paper)
The Book of Revelation has been subject to the most provoking discussion and argument by theologians throughout the world. Its words paint pictures of people, places, and things beyond the realm of physical reality. The use of this imagery requires the expansion of thought and imagination in order to discern its theme of spiritual enlightenment. Many approach Revelation in a very physical sense, interpreting its words literally, and therefore fall short of grasping the Truths being presented. Learning to decode the meaning of the Book of Revelation can be done in a way similar to understanding one’s own dreams. Using an archetypal language, what the School of Metaphysics calls The Universal Language of Mind™, one can go beyond the fear-invoking cataclysmic destruction of the world images some use to portray the Book of Revelation to a universal spiritual message that applies to all of us. To truly have a rich, fulfilling spiritual life requires that our inner spiritual purpose be reflected in the choices, decisions, and actions we make in our daily life. The first and second Beasts of Chapter 13 and the Seven Headed Dragon of Chapter 12 give us insight into what influences the choices we make. This will require us to put ourselves into the dream that is Revelation as if it were our dream. Then we might begin to see what these symbols have revealed about our own spiritual journey to become the creators of our lives. As with our dreams, this spiritual journey is universal, meaning that everyone has the opportunity to follow it. How the journey is defined and accomplished is individually decided by each of us. The question becomes,willwelistenandwillweacceptthecommissiontobecomespiritualmasters?
This talk is open to everyone.
Dreams of Leaving a Religious Cult (Presentation within Research Panel titled “Dreams about God across Historical and Cultural Contexts”)
Dr. Calvin S. Hall began to develop the quantitative content analysis of dreams in the late 1940s, to draw data from dreams. In the 1960s and 1970s he began to develop his continuity hypothesis that dream content is continuous with waking concerns. Prof. Domhoff, in his book, Finding Meaning in Dreams (1996, ch. 1), lists three discoveries from quantitative dream research: first, evidence of commonalities in all people’s dreams, and in dreams of various populations, such as men, women, teenagers, etc.; second, evidence of consistency of one person’s dreams over time; and third, evidence of continuity between dream content and waking concerns. This presentation will provide examples that demonstrate the second and third principles. It will also begin to address the first principle of continuity between various presentations, because it will present dreams of God from three women, including one from history and two from contemporary times.
First, I will provide a brief background on ISKCON and how I joined, and left. Next, a brief timeline of the years the dream series covers: 1986 to 1991 – from the time I was living in ISKCON until I left, then moved to Oregon and earned a Master’s degree. Finally, I will describe the dream journals, how they started, and the scope of the journals. I will describe content analysis and how I and other researches may apply content analysis to this dream series. Once the background is established, the main section will describe initial content analysis findings from the dream series. I will describe the main characters in the dreams, and provide other statistics specific to the series. I will describe continuity between the dreams and waking life conflicts, and other main events during these years;. report how the dreams reflect my growing disillusionment with the organization; report how the dreams reflect my changing relationship with the deity Krishna after leaving the organization; and report how the dreams reflect the daily experience of entering the mainstream by moving to Oregon and enrolling in graduate school. The conclusion will summarize findings of continuity between my waking life and dreaming experiences during my transition from cult member to ex-member.
Target audience: This presentation is appropriate for all levels. It’s an inquiry into how God appears in the dreams of three different women, so it would be of interest to anyone new to content analysis. It will also be of interest to advanced researchers, due to the large dream collections each presenter will describe.
Losing and Finding Our Dreams: Managing Epidemic REM Sleep Loss (Paper)
REM sleep loss is a largely unrecognized public health issue that requires both clinical
and cultural attention. This presentation summarizes the author’s review research on dream loss
and discusses steps that both health professionals and consumers can take to promote healthy REM sleep/dreaming. This academic presentation is based on the author’s recent research review in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences entitled, Dreamless: the Silent Epidemic of REM Sleep Loss. This review compiles data supporting the contention that tens of millions of people are unknowingly experiencing significant and chronic REM sleep loss because of patterns of substance and medication use, primary sleep disorders and lifestyle practices.
The presentation will propose strategies to address this concern which both health professionals and consumers can take. These will include strategies to promote personal dreaming, recommendations for clinical practices, and public health education initiatives. Strategies to promote personal dreaming will focus on evaluating and managing common dream thieves such as substance dependence, REM suppressant medications and sleep maintenance insomnia, as well as the potential role of melatonin as an oneirogen. Recommendations for clinical practice will emphasize the need for health professionals to screen for REM sleep loss. It will also discuss the author’s proposal for a new diagnostic category, REM/Dream Deficiency Disorder. Because REM/dream loss is linked to several major public health concerns such as substance abuse, depression and the anticholinergic burden, proposed public health initiatives will encourage coupling education about dream loss with existing campaigns.
This will be a standard academic presentation consistent with the IASD Ethics statement.
Target audiences of this introductory presentation include mental health and medical clinicians, sleep and dream researchers, as well as non-professional consumers interested in dreaming.
Bringing Dream Work into Institutions (Workshop)
This workshop will explore bringing dreamwork into institutions. IASD members are well aware of the benefits of doing dreamwork, as research tools, creativity prompters, group cohesion tools, etc. Yet we are also aware that it may be a hard sell to bring actual dreamwork (not just lecturing about dreams) into institutional settings. My experience is with religious institutions, but I’ve encountered similar experiences with people who work in academic or research institutions.
This workshop will be in two parts, first sharing our experiences, both negative and positive, with introducing dream work into institutional settings. Successful strategies will be shared and common obstacles will be discussed. The second part will consider whether there is enough material and interest to formulate a panel discussion of the topic for future IASD conferences and other venues. This will be much more of a general audience discussion, than a specific presentation. I will moderate the discussion.
What elements of this process of introducing dreams and dreamwork into institutions might be modified to fit into another institution? How might sharing experiences and techniques within one institution or discipline enrich the work of others in their own institutions and disciplines? What are some of the cultural issues that are attached, both consciously and unconsciously, to the institutions that we are part of? How does dreamwork both challenge and assist those cultural issues? How are institutions different from each other? All of this will be approached specifically with dreamwork as the focus. This workshop will not have time to fully explore these issues, but we will begin some conversations which may be helpful to us as we return to our homes and own institutions to continue our work. We will also explore future possibilities with this subject, either at IASD or in other settings.
Dream Retreats: Allow the Magic to Be Revealed (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “The Power of Place”)
Poetic Apollo, Gaia, Owl, Groundhog, Healing Waters and Mummy Mountain are but a few of the living archetypal themes, totems and dreamscapes that have played a meaningful role in Glory and Sherry’s dream retreats over the years. Glory uses images and storytelling to display the magical connections between dream and reality. Based on their personal research and practice over time, Sherry and Glory have developed a comprehensive technique, which will be described and illustrated in this panel presentation. The presentation will begin with an overview of how archetypal themes, totems and dreamscapes begin to appear to assist in creating a dream retreat. Then the presenter will share several examples of her process of inviting dream-like symbols and synchronicity to deepen the experience. Glory will illustrate, through photos and storytelling, how following archetypal themes can lead to healing and transformation. She will share illuminating highlights from several dream retreats. The audience will get a chance to share their similar experiences. The panel presentation will end with a question and answer period from the audience.
Target Audience: All Audiences.
Journey to the Within (Presentation within Dreamwork Practices Symposium titled “Dream Art: Creating Wholeness”)
Images drawn from decades of art-making reveal a drive to integrate the multiple voices within. Much of that work tells of encounters with inner figures.
My practice of painting and writing from dreams and synchronicities IS my research. I read omnivorously as a child and wept when I discovered Jung’s “Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.” As Joan Didion said of writing, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking…,” I can say: “I do art entirely to find out — see in images—what I’m feeling…” It was really the strange feelings and interactions among my family members that drove me to make art and, much later, to consider the idea of archetypes, which helped me see the Faulkneresque (outsized and inarticulate) behavior of my family members as something less personal and something more driven by the vast nature of archetypal drives, reflected for example in the Greek tragedy that I encountered in college. I have found that dreams bring up something that I do not already know: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” (Elaine Pagels, quoting Gilles Quispel’s translation from the Nag Hammadi Scrolls, in “The Gnostic Gospels”, Vintage Books, New York: 1979, pp. xiii-xxiii).
The Beginning: The PowerPoint slide show opens with a painting from “Confessions of My Inner Dog,” a story that came out in consecutive order in 1996. The poor behavior of an outer dog engendered a series of paintings about an inner dog who ultimately reaches enlightenment at the banks of the river Styx. “Mars in the Great Hall with Computer Room at the Side” marks a pivotal moment in which Mars is able at last to relegate his computer to a side room.
The Middle: Other fictive characters came tumbling out one-by-one in various media. “The Unfortunate Case of Dora P,” 2004, a darkly comic story, was retrieved from a stack of old photos. “Freya Stolen”: a series of paintings of water engendered a cycle of poems on the oft-silenced feminine voice embodied in the history of Freya, who evolved from Great Goddess to Warrior to Goddess of Love and Eros to Witch in Christian times. “Stalking the Feral Artist”: The sensual viscosity of ink in a monoprint of a monkey ushers in the divine monkey God Hanuman. “Redford, a Marked Dog,” 2011, was a real dog whose strange markings lead him to give in to Non-Interference in His Own art. “Tiny Man”: a used children’s book called “Tiny Man” becomes a darkly comic reverie on the ups-and-downs of the striving inner “masculine”. “Fish Dreams, Artifacts of Passage,” 2012, is a dream journal with paintings, set off by the appearance of the Green Man in the parking lot.
In Conclusion: we look at images from “The Joy of Man’s Desiring,” (2016), a dialog with a beloved inner Daemon. Target audience level: for all.
Breast Cancer Warning Dreams (Presentation within Dreams and Health Panel titled “Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Diagnosis and Healing”)
The most common characteristics of breast cancer warning dreams were: a sense of conviction about the importance (94%); more vivid, real, or intense than ordinary (83%); an emotional sense of threat, (72%); the use of the words “cancer/tumor” (44%); and the sense of physical contact with the breast (39%). Warning dreams of 18 women from around the world are presented. A personal story of multiple warning dreams with pathological proof, plus highlights of 7 other women from the Breast Cancer Dreams Project, types of dream guides, and healing dream stories are presented.
Target audience: For All.
Dream Inspired Petroglyphs (Paper)
The attribute of creating representations such as petroglyphs is a primary characteristic defining and differentiating our species. The meaning, inspiration, and significance of these ancient representations is a manner of contention among archeologists and anthropologists. Some petroglyphs are thought to be astronomical markers, maps, and other forms of symbolic communication, including a form of “pre-writing”. Others are apparently ritualistic or totemic, reflecting shamanistic forms of religious practice. Many images are complex, stylized, representational, and sometimes mystical. Psychoanthropologists suggest that the inspiration for these images extended beyond waking experience. It has been suggested that images were inspired during states of religious or drug-induced ecstasy. Dreams, however, are more widely experienced, and are a valued part of artistic rendering for almost every cultural community. Among hunter-gatherer groups, dreams are still used as an inspiration for art and decoration. Today, in modern society, it is the rare visual artist who does not at least occasionally use their dreams. Working back from what we currently know about current process and inspiration for art, the reasonable assumption can be made that it is very likely that at least some petroglyph images were inspired by dreams.
Methodology: Petroglyphs utilized in this study: Mesa Pietra in North New Mexico is a site including more than 80,000 petroglyph images dating back to the Archaic Era (6,000-10,000 years ago). A majority (> 80%) were produced during the Pueblo Era (1300-1600 A.D.). As we currently understand, many of these Pueblo Era images are ritualistic, marking the limits of native hunting and living range. The images include depictions of birth, death, puberty, triumph, failure, and religious ecstasy. Some images are spirals, marking astronomical time.
There are images that date from first Western contact, including portraits of Spanish soldiers, priests, directionally set compasses, figures wearing clothes, Christian crosses, and horses. Other images are historic, dating from the era of the early railroad, sheepherders, and from WPA workers. More recent images include tagging, graffiti, and traced initials.
Methodology: Assessing for possible dream-based inspiration: There are typical patterns of phenomenology can be associated with dream-derived artistic works:
- Dream content- based images, like dreams themselves, most often have continuity with waking concerns and experience;
- Since dreams are an individual rather than a shared experience, dream-based images are more likely to be individual and unique rather than shared repetitive forms;
- Dreams are anthropocentric, in that the dreamer is almost always present in the dream. It seems likely that a dream-based image would include the dreamer;
- Dream content most often includes comple, and changing images integrated with emotions and associative memories. Among the pecked, static petroglyph images there are those that tell stories, and as such are more likely to be dream inspired;
- The presence of psychoanalytically associated images in a petroglyph supports the association of such an image with dream. Historically, Carl Jung had close contact with these petroglyphs. It has been suggested that some images may have inspired him to integrate specific images in developing his classifications of archetypes, such as the symbolic circle as an image representing the soul; and
- PTSD nightmares often include aspects of the actual experience of trauma presented within a powerful contextual-image. Mesa Pietra is a historical site of known major trauma, which is clearly, if metaphorically represented by some panels.
Conclusion: Petroglyph images from Mesa Pietra will be presented that meet all, or some, of the above criteria, strongly suggesting that at least some of these images may have been inspired by the ubiquitously available creative and artistically powerful state that we call dreaming.
Target audience: for all.
Treating the Nightmare of PTSD (Special event)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is arguably the most physiologically dangerous of sleep disorders, due to its strong association with suicide and risk-taking behavior. In today’s society PTSD is extraordinarily common, affecting traumatized civilians and at least 17% of the current veterans of military deployment. Many forms of therapy have proven useful in the short-term treatment of PTSD, including psychotrophic medications (antidepressants and anti-anxiety), noradrenergic effective anti-hypertensive medications (prazosin and beta-blockers), classic psychoanalytic insight and group therapies, combined CBT therapies, diagnosis-based behavioral therapies (exposure, extinction and EMDR), and cognitive therapies (imagery and controlled (lucid) dreaming). Based on symptom alteration, primarily a decrease in nightmare frequency (the most commonly described symptom of PTSD), epistemologically based reviews indicate that a majority of these therapies have a greater than 80% short-term efficacy.
Treatment of Co-morbid Apnea: Sleep apnea has a high incidence in PTSD populations. The diagnosis that we today call PTSD was once referred to as shell shock – a combat-associated post-concussive phenomenon. Traumatic brain injury clearly induces sleep apnea in a subset of PTSD patients. PTSD is the only clearly exogenous psychiatric disorder, an anxiety disorder still generally approached from the perspectives of Freudian psychodynamics. Freud proposed that dreams functioned to protect sleep. Failing in this role, PTSD anxiety dreams experienced as nightmares can disrupt sleep and induce disturbed waking. As per this theory, dream-based psychoanalytic therapy has the potential to assist patients in replacing trauma-induced nightmares with sleep-protective dreams. Since alterations in breathing occur with anxiety-associated behaviors such as nightmares and panic attacks, some authors have proposed that the experience of trauma induces disordered breathing in those patients who develop symptoms of PTSD. Since in some individuals, apnic events induce arousals, the treatment of co-morbid apnea could potentially change distressing nightmares into dreams that do not induce awakenings. This proposal subverts Freud’s classic concept of dreams as the protectors of sleep into an alternative construct in which breath is the protector of dream.
Creative Nightmare Incorporation: Many successful artists with histories of significant trauma and symptoms of PTSD use their nightmares in their work. Rather than attempting to suppress their symptoms post-trauma, these individuals choose to incorporate their nightmares and experience of trauma into their life’s work. Some have been very successful in that endeavor, achieving higher levels of accomplishment post-trauma than pre-trauma. For some creative individuals who have experienced irreconcilable trauma, nightmare incorporation and integration into artistic expression, rather than suppression with drugs and psychological therapies, can be a reasonable and even beneficial approach.
Conclusion: Despite the short-term success of the many available therapies in treating nightmares and insomnia, PTSD has proven to be extraordinarily difficult to cure. Suicide risk and the negative effects of PTSD on waking life function commonly extend into extreme old age, despite therapy. While much more work is needed in order to clarify the pathophysiologic relationship between breathing and PTSD, and artistic incorporation as a process of PTSD therapy, both approaches have the potential for long-term benefit. Untreated apnea has long-term effects on morbidity and mortality, and for the large cohort of PTSD patients with co-morbid OSA, treatment is known to improve, long-term, the status of co-morbid diagnoses, and waking function. The production of creative art can be transformative, incorporating the experience of trauma and sufferings into art of extraordinary quality, at a level even higher than possible before for the experience of trauma. Both of these approaches to treating PTSD have the potential to improve the quality of the experience across the full spectrum of life.
Dreamless sleep (Paper)
Is there such a thing as dreamless sleep? Central nervous system (CNS) function is maintained thoughout sleep in different forms, with all of the sleep stages associated with conscious mentation (dreams). There is considerable evidence that dreaming is continuous during sleep, as well as the strong suggestion that the generation of mental activity during sleep occurs independently of the sleep stage of origin.
Reports of dreamless sleep have been extensively studied in the sleep laboratory, where even during sleep states with high dream recall propensity such as REM sleep and sleep-onset, no dreams will be reported from approximately twenty percent of awakenings. In Stages 2 & 3 dream recall is absent in up to 40% of awakenings. Stage 2 includes a majority of sleep, so that up to 1/3 of sleep in otherwise normal individuals is reported as “dreamless.”
Evidence exists for several postulates that have been advanced to explain the absence of dream recall on awakening:
- The dream trace is unstable and negatively affected by a wide variety of well-described variables. Since, even in the high recall states, dreaming is reported only 80% of the time, sleep-wake transition instability likely accounts for an overall 20% of reported loss of dream recall.
- The electrophysiology and CNS activation associated with deep sleep differs most from waking, the conscious state in which the dream is reported, so that the lower stage 3 recall is secondary to its distance and difference from waking consciousness.
- The diminished recall from Stage 2 may be due to in-dream characteristics known to affect recall, such as low dream salience, secondary to the lower emotionality, uninteresting content, and anxiety-based characteristics.
- Personality factors (borders), gender and genetics affect any individual’s tendency to recall dreams. There are rare individuals who never report dreams when awakened from any stage of sleep.
- It is a basic human characteristic to organize any input into the format of story, and since the dream report is synthesized at least in part after waking, it is possible that any lack of dream report reflects individual variations in creative-tendencies to form sleep mentation into stories.
There is less evidence supporting the proposal that memory dysfunction explains the lack of dream recall, since impaired memory in dreaming should also be evident in waking. Finally, as in many approaches to dream, the question of whether dreamless sleep actually exists is dependent on definition. If dreaming is defined as CNS activation, Descartes is correct in his assertion that any organism that is alive experiences dreaming and thought. Experimentally, requirements for a dream report, controlled methodologies, or specific forms of content, increase the likelihood that any individual will report an episode of “dreamless” sleep.
Target Audience: From dream scientists to philosophers, to all those either dreaming – or not.
Richard F Paseman
Dreams and Visions from the Mystery of Death (Paper)
This presentation utilizes the insights of Jungian psychology to illuminate the dreamlike experiences associated with transition to the afterlife. The subject matter has been beneficial in providing spiritual direction to individuals and groups. Three paradigms associated with end of life visions will be treated:
- The Tibetan Book of the Dead;
- The Aerial Toll-House teaching in Eastern Orthodox Christianity;
- Near Death Experiences.
Archetypal symbols preparing the soul for its journey of transformation will be described.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead is an 8th century guide through the intermediate state between death and rebirth. It provides a psychological representation of the borderlines between consciousness, enlightenment (“liberation through hearing”) and unconsciousness, symbolized by the cycle of rebirth. The immanent Clear Light vision and procession of mythological deities reveals the archetypal Self transcendent of space and time. Implicit in each model discussed is the necessity of ego detachment. Recognition of the metaphysical Clear Light facilitates psychospiritual wholeness.
The Aerial Toll-House teaching found in the Eastern Orthodox Church describes the journey of a soul from earth to heaven. Neither a dogma nor universally accepted by all Orthodox Christians, the toll-house schema recounts a detailed description from a 10th century revelation known as the Dream of Blessed Theodora, a holy woman of Constantinople. When the soul departs the body and progresses toward the numinous light of divine consciousness, it passes through an aerial realm of twenty metaphorical check points (toll-houses) where evil spirits accuse the departed, demanding payment for attachment to unremitted sins. Defending the soul from these demonic “tax collectors” are accompanying angelic spirits. The archetypal symbols and psychospiritual dynamics of ego attachment, good and evil spirits and the ineffable light described by both the Tibetan and Orthodox teaching will be correlated.
The Near- Death Experience recapitulates spiritual motifs postulated in the philosophy of the Book of the Dead and the Orthodox toll-house theology. NDE’s have been defined by the International Association for Near-Death Studies as “a profound psychological and spiritual event that typically occurs during a situation of physical or emotional trauma, health crisis, or when a person is near death.” Neurobiologists have advanced physiological explanations for the imagery encountered during the near-death experience. This presentation regards the near- death phenomenon as a mystical experience in which the soul encounters a life-altering realization of numinous transcendence. Blissful near-death experiences will be contrasted with frightening NDE visions of Hell. The symbology of the tunnel of light, the life review and the being(s) of ineffable light will be correlated with the Tibetan and Orthodox teachings.
This presentation is intended for all attendees.
Sharon Pastore and Tzivia Gover
Forgotten Dreams: Dreamwork for Caregivers of People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia (Paper or Presentation)
In this workshop, dreamwork professionals Tzivia Gover and Sharon Pastore will present case studies and personal anecdotal evidence through a 40-minute PowerPoint presentation leading into a lively, interactive question and answer discussion. Examples of a variety of dream types will be included, such as incubated and spontaneous dreams, dream visits, precognitive dreams, mutual dreams and lucid dreams. Sharon will begin by offering background and awareness of the growing need to support caregivers of the more than 44 million people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias in the USA alone. Caregivers are faced with helping loved ones who may lose their ability to speak, may live in the past, and may wander. An individual can live with the condition for many years, causing stress and emotional suffering to loved ones who are caregivers (there are more than 15 million unpaid caregivers currently in the U.S. alone) as well as professional caregivers. Over 1 in 3 caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia report that their health has gotten worse due to care responsibilities. Sharon will discuss barriers that caregivers of loved ones with dementia may face, and how dreamwork can offer a comforting and effective method of communication and healing support.
Once these facts are laid out, Tzivia will share the lessons of her spiritual journey with her mother, whose battle with Alzheimer’s disease spanned 10 years. She will offer three pivotal dreams from the beginning, middle, and end of this journey to illustrate how dreams can be used to support the caregiver by providing new perspective, spiritual sustenance, and a means of opening lines of communication between family members, including the patient with Alzheimer’s. In this process, she will offer specific uses of dreamwork to guide decision-making at critical points of dementia care. She will describe how the dreams offered her lessons about letting go, releasing resistance and acceptance of the situation, facing her fears, comfort and support, finding clarity in moments of uncertainty and sorrow, and a true path to healing for herself and her mother. Her experience will elaborate on helping the caregiver to accept the disease as it progresses through various stages, and the bereavement process after death. Sharon will follow up with her experiences with incubated dream with questions like, “What would my father want me to do for him?” upon making the decision whether to transition her father to assisted living nursing home care. She will discuss how she used his exact words from the dream to communicate in a way he would relate to around this difficult and sensitive conversation. She’ll also share other dreams of visits from deceased relatives who helped to clarify her father’s wishes and how she interpreted and honored her dreams in waking life. Both Sharon and Tzivia will discuss the commonalities and differences in their dreams. Details around improved day-to-day interactions with their parents will be included.
The presenters will then lead guided discussion and brainstorming activities, as well as instructions for dream incubation and lucid dreaming to support caregivers. Finally, the presentation will culminate with a discussion about the current dearth of research on the topic of dreamwork and its use when care-giving for those with dementia, including potential uses of dreamwork in dementia support groups as a rich potential resource for support group coordinators and facilitators.
Target Audience: Caregivers, clinicians, researchers interested in studying caregiving and support groups.
Dreaming with Seth (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “Long Term Journal Keeping: The Lasting Influence of Jane Roberts/Seth”)
- Seth: “Dreams occur at so many levels of reality that it is quite impossible to describe their true scope.” When she began using a database to index her journals, Pearson noticed occasions where the entering of a dream coincided uncannily with events of the day she entered it, often years after she had the dream. She came to call these extended synchronicities “arabesques,” after the ornate designs of intertwined lines. She will provide at least one compelling example.
- Jane Roberts: “You don’t have to take precognition on faith. If you keep careful dream records, sooner or later you’ll find your own evidence of it.” Pearson first recorded dreams simply because she had started a journal to stretch her writing muscles; she hadn’t bargained for the spooky precognitive episodes. Her conventional education hadn’t allowed for that sort of thing, but Jane Roberts did! So when Marcia Emery and Rita Dwyer published “Programming the Precognitive Dream,” Pearson paid attention. Adapting their protocol, she started the Precognitive Contest of IASD’s PsiberDreaming Conference, and will cite examples of remarkable successes.
III. Seth: “You know that you dream. You know that you think. Those are direct experiences. Anytime you use instruments to probe into the nature of reality, you are looking at a kind of secondary evidence no matterhowexcellenttheinstrumentsmaybe…”
The first panel on “Long term journal keeping: The naturalist’s contribution to dream study” was held in 1996. Its mission: “…In the tradition of the naturalists whose patient observations prepared the ways to elegant understandings of physics, chemistry, and biology, home journal keepers record and discover events and regularities that astonish and enlighten, and that elude experimental probing.” In the 16 panels that have been held since then, dreamers have reported firsthand observations of extended coherence in dreams and events, reinforcing Seth’s dictum about the importance of direct experience. At least one illustrative example will be offered.
Kim T. Phetteplace
When Dreams Dance: Co-creative Dreamwork and Expressive Modalities in Service of Spiritual Agency (Presentation within Dreamwork Practices Symposium titled “Cocreative Dreamwork”)
In his 2016 work, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation, Franciscan priest and popular author Richard Rohr describes the great mystery of God as dance – as a deeply relational process of outpouring (of love) and “a flow, a radical relatedness, a perfect communion between Three— a circle dance of love. And God is not just a dancer; God is the dance itself.” (Rohr & Morrell, 2016) Rohr also clarifies two other important points: we are continually invited and encouraged to join this creative dance, and also if something is true, then it is true everywhere. Thus, the invitation to co-creative engagement – dancing with the Sacred, as it were – is extended to the whole of our lives including within our dreaming life. When Dreams Dance: Co-creative Dreamwork and Expressive Modalities in Service of Spiritual Agency frames the co-creative/co-determinant paradigm of dreamwork as a “dance” that may potentially be partnered with the Sacred domain, with Spirit. Based on the culminating project and master’s thesis of Kim T. Phetteplace in completion of an M.A. degree in Transpersonal Psychology, it outlines the conceptual understanding and practices employed by herself and project participants, working with the FiveStar Method of dream analysis in tandem with expressive somatic modalities within the context of this orientation to the Sacred. While incorporating significant appreciation for the imagery presented in the dream, the FiveStar Method (Sparrow, 2013) builds on the hypothesis, first proposed by Ernest Rossi (1972) that dreams are created through the interactive relationship between the dreaming mind and the dream itself. When working with dreams through the co-creative/co-determinant paradigm via the FiveStar Method, the individual finds themselves in an engaged and progressive process in which whatever is encountered potentially contributes to the ongoing “dance” and to the life of the “dancer” (the individual), particularly as this process is deepened through connection to the agency and interactive “dance” of Spirit. This presentation will outline the conceptual basis of the project, explain the modalities and processes involved, provide examples of the experiences of individuals, and conclude with relevant reflections of the presenter plus time for questions and answers.
Target audience: all levels
Interview Your Dreams for Insight and Inspiration: a Self-Directed Approach to Consult Inner Wisdom (Workshop)
This workshop will guide the attendee through a process of identifying associations with, and developing a relationship with aspects of a dream. From this new position of relationship, the attendee will be guided in seeking input from the dream regarding a topic that the attendee has identified as personally meaningful. The process is designed to empower attendees to discover insight and inspiration from their dreams, using a self-directed interview approach, and to support attendees in establishing and honoring boundaries within a group setting.
The workshop is based primarily on the Gestalt concept that every aspect of a dream expresses an aspect of the dreamer, and the Freudian process of exploring unconscious material through associations. The Jungian concept of the Shadow is also incorporated, by presenting practice- based examples of how a dreamer has used this interview approach with a figure that appears frightening in a dream in their work to integrate repressed aspects of the self.
The flow of workshop activities will be introduced, along with the Gestalt concept that all aspects of a dream are aspects of the self, concepts from the IASD Dreamwork Ethics Statement, and an affirmation that the dreamer is the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream. Attendees will be advised that no dream interpretation will be performed. To emphasize the value of gentle and attentive listening, attendees will receive delicate synthetic butterflies, with the encouragement to “hold” a dream as they would hold a living butterfly who lands on their upturned palm.
Introductory remarks will constitute 20 percent of the workshop. Journaling exercise: Attendees will be invited to write down a question that feels personally meaningful, or choose from several questions that are provided in the workshop handout, such as, “How can I feel more connected to something larger than myself?” Attendees will then be asked to write down a dream, from any time in one’s life, to work with. Sharing in dyads: Attendees will be encouraged to find a partner and take turns telling their dream and simply listening gently to their partner’s dream. During this and all phases of the workshop, attendees will respectfully be offered the option not to participate. Conduct self-directed dream interview: Attendees will be invited to choose a person, animal or other figure from the dream they wrote down, and then write responses to a series of writing prompts that guide them in exploring associations with the chosen dream figure. The final writing prompt is to ask the question identified in the journaling exercise. Small group sharing: Attendees will be invited to break into small groups and discuss their experience of conducting a self-directed dream interview. Discussion prompts will be provided, such as: Did this exercise broaden your impressions about a figure from your dream? If so, how? What new insights or feelings did this exercise bring to the question you developed in the initial journaling exercise? Large group discussion: Members of small groups will be invited to report out to the larger group regarding their small group’s experience of the interview process. This will be followed by a large group discussion, with discussion prompts provided, such as: How might experiences of honoring and exploring our own inner diversity affect our how we live and work in diverse communities?- How might this interview method inform how you work with dreams on your own, or how you work with clients?
Target audience: For All
Retreat with Dreamscapes (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Panel titled “The Power of Place”)
Imagine participating in retreats where you delve deeply into dreamscapes, those liminal spaces where dreams, land, archetypes, myth, ceremony, and individual stories magically appear to merge, leading to integration. For over a decade, Sherry Puricelli and Glory Nelson have led these types of retreats. Based on their personal research and practice over time, Sherry and Glory have developed a comprehensive technique, which will be described and illustrated in this panel presentation.
The presentation will begin with a definition of dreamscapes. Then the presenter will provide a brief overview of the use of dreamscapes in the technique they have developed, followed by an explanation of how the technique has evolved over time. Next, participants will see examples of their techniques in action from a real-life 3-day Phoenix Renewal Retreat, which they originally facilitated in Phoenix, Arizona in 2012, and subsequently converted into a 4-week online experience. The presentation will illustrate their use of four Arizona dreamscapes, with retreat activities as they utilized them, to deepen and integrate the dreamscape themes. Participants will then be invited to examine their own merging of individual story, symbols, and dreamscapes and how it leads to integration and transformation. The panel presentation will end with a questions and answer period from the audience.
Target audience: For All.
Tracing the Journey; Invoking the Muse; Illuminating the Dream Journal (Workshop)
We are all in possession of an inner wellspring that can be counted on to supply a wealth of ideas both concrete and transcendent. Some refer to this source as the unconscious. Others call it the psyche. Still others refer to it as the soul. The name we give it is less important than the first-hand experience we have of its reality that comes through dreams. This ever-recurrent experience is available to us all. No special talent or acumen is required, but the benefits derived from the practical magic of our night visions can be heightened through the practice of conscious inquiry and receptivity that Victoria Rabinowe teaches. Her dream workshops are designed to help professionals and lay people alike learn about, and consistently access, their own creative source. 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 tenderest places with 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 and they fill us with wonder. Yet, the dreams of the night are not easy to decipher. Dreams speak to us in riddles and shifting shapes. They challenge us to translate their mysterious language with our imaginations, not with our logic. To make sense of a dream, we need to learn how to shift away from our usual strategies for finding answers. When we reenter the dream landscape through creative conversations and artful methods, we are meeting Psyche in her own language of metaphor and symbol.
Guided dreamwork techniques in the “Art of the Dream”™ unravel the riddles of the night and give voice to the yearnings, anguish and ecstasies of the paradoxical realm of the dreaming mind. Victoria believes that dreams are the most authentic link to the creative source. Her
workshops in the “Art of the Dream™ offer access to the roots of creative consciousness through the dynamic translation of dreams into universal themes and archetypes. Through carefully crafted workshop development, dreams transform into both muse and mentor. Out of the perplexing dream realm of mystery and paradox, a wellspring of inspiration opens a profound understanding of personal metaphor and symbolism. Creative conversations, poetry, prose, myth, collage and image-making animate dreamwork in hands-on DreamingArts studio dream journals bursting with creative vitality. Victoria facilitates weekly master dream groups and workshops at the DreamingArts Studio in Santa Fe. She offers dream group leadership programs worldwide for emerging and established dream groups. Her art work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and universities in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. She is the author/illustrator of I HAD THE CRAZIEST DREAM LAST NIGHT: Creative Explorations into the
Genius of the Night Mind and CONVERSATIONS WITH PSYCHE: Poetry of the soul. Victoria’s presentations are suitable for personal growth in self-awareness and emotional growth as well as professional enrichment with tools and techniques for use in a therapeutic environment.
Dream Group Leadership Training (Morning Dream Group)
Every dream, no matter how seemingly convoluted, perplexing or frightening, contains a core of knowing. However, effective dreamwork begins in the place of “not knowing,” with an attitude of humility and reverence towards the fundamental mystery of the dream. This approach is one of acting as a facilitator, never as an authority. An effective dream group leader endeavors to create the conditions that can produce an opening or evoke an insight. The goal is to coax the elusive essence of the dream to enter the waking world, so that it might illuminate and enhance everyday reality. This is an ever-changing process of discovery, in which questions are often more valuable than answers. The group leader is always mindful of the collective wisdom that resides in the group. He or she establishes and safeguards the principles of confidentiality and collegial support, while modeling deep listening techniques that encourage the active engagement of group members as they reflect on the language of the peculiar and idiosyncratic, the irrational and the fantastic, exploring associations and impressions through a safe and open-hearted exchange.
This experiential morning dream group training will guide present and future dream
group leaders to observe presented dreams from various perspectives, applying collective knowledge of archetypal psychology, mythology, literature, history, religion, science, and sacred geometry. Every morning’s dream-sharing discussions will expand upon contemporary techniques pioneered by Steven Aizenstat, Gayle Delaney, Jeremy Taylor, Montague Ullman, Jeremy Taylor, new and established IASD members, and original methods in the Art of the
Dream™ innovated by Victoria Rabinowe.
This Morning dream group is for all conference participants who want to establish a new or enhance an ongoing professional or peer dream group. It will expand, deepen and enrich the creative tools for professional psychotherapists and spiritual guidance counselors; it will open up creative styles of dream inquiry for educators and artists; it will emphasize fundamental ethical guidelines for all.
Dream Poetry Reading Circle (Special event)
Dreams are an ongoing source for contemporary poetry. The presenter will begin by reading several dream-related poems by well-known poets. An open reading circle will follow, with participants each having a chance, if they so choose, to read a dream poem (their own or the work of other poets). 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, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Glück, Denise Levertov, Muriel Rukeyser, Anne Sexton, Diane Wakoski, and Al Young. Writing a dream poem can be a form of dreamwork, as Richard Russo has pointed out (“Dream Poetry as Dream Work”; 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.The presenter will begin by reading several dream poems. An “open mic” session will follow.
Participants are encouraged to select one or two dream poems to read to the groupPoems may be the reader’s own or by other poetsPoems should be no more than 1 to 1 ½ pages long (excerpts from longer work acceptable)There will be no critiquing; this is a chance to share the experience of dream poetry, not a writing workshopSome additional poems will be available for those who would like to read but did not bring a poemReading is voluntary; conferees who wish to listen but not read are welcome
Ordinary, Extraordinary, and Hybrid Dreams (Paper)
This presentation will begin by describing two basic types of dream: ordinary dreams and extraordinary dreams.Extraordinary dreams can be distinguished from ordinary dreams by their content and by specific phenomenological qualities, which will be illustrated by specific examples of each type of dream. A brief review of current neuroscience and theories of dreaming will provide a context for considering the difference between these two main types of dream. I believe that current dream science provides a convincing explanatory model of ordinary dreaming, but falls short in accounting for extraordinary dreams. Several different approaches to illuminating the nature of extraordinary dreams will then be identified, including: Neuroscience, Psi studies, Shamanism, and Spirituality. No attempt will be made to advocate for one of these approaches over the others, though key differences between “scientific” (e.g., neuroscience) and “spiritual” (e.g., shamanism) approaches will be noted.Thoughtful consideration of what we know about what’s happening in the brain during dreaming suggests the hypothesis that there ought to be a third kind of dream, the “hybrid dream,” which may occur during transitional states between types of dreaming. A review of the author’s own dreams as well as dreams presented by clients at the Dream Institute of Northern California has suggested that this is so. Examples of hybrid dreams, which combine aspects of both ordinary and extraordinary dreaming, will be presented, and implications for neuroscience and dreamwork explored.Target audience: all
Ronald Keith Salmon
Dreaming of Nature (Special event)
This presentation is based upon the author’s 30+ year exploration of his personal dreams (as well as those of others)—together with his training/experience as an Animal Geneticist, Nature Photographer/Filmmaker, Sound Recordist, and Singer. The theme of the presentation has correspondences and consistencies with the Dream Tending perspectives of Stephen Aizenstat and the depth psychological perspectives of James Hillman and many others—as well as the dreaming/visionary perspectives and practices of many indigenous cultures.
By creatively delivering biological, psychological, and spiritual information through prose, poetry, song, sound and imagery, the format of this presentation is firmly founded upon studies demonstrating the capacity of multi-sensory communication to increase attention, comprehension, and retention. To create a sensate experience that conveys how our dreamtime animals can help us to live in greater harmony with the Natural World, this presentation will interweave spoken word, nature soundscapes, poetry, photographic images, and song to deliver concepts of biological science, depth psychology, and indigenous wisdom. The concepts of the presentation will be offered according to the following framework:
For over 2 million years, human physicality, psychology, and spirituality have been shaped by the body’s sensate experience of the rhythms, textures, tastes, sounds, and shapes of the Natural World. Connecting with Nature is thus a deeply rooted human need. Yet the
majority of us now live in urban environments…within a culture that esteems the intellect over sensate experience. As a result, many of us embrace perspectives, lifestyles and belief systems that are in discord with Nature’s rhythms and cycles.
The appearance of animals in our dreams is often an invitation to reestablish an accord with Nature. We can accept this invitation by developing an experiential rapport with outer physical manifestations of our dreamtime animals. Engaging the physical animal in its natural habitat ignites a dynamic interplay of all of our senses: we have the opportunity to see, to hear, to smell…and perhaps even to touch and taste not only the animal itself—but also the animate and inanimate creations that share its habitat. In circumstances where direct interaction with the animal is not possible, the exploration of readily available evocative photographs, documentaries, and sound recordings can also often effectively awaken an imaginal sensory rapport with the dreamtime animal. As we surrender to this sensual experience, we will find ourselves entering a ”waking dreamtime” where veils begin to dissolve; where our dreamtime animal merges with its outer manifestation…where we merge with our animal through a psycho-spiritual shape shifting…where there is no “other”—only an “us”; where the worldscape becomes an extension of the dreamscape. The intimate rapport that we achieve through this merging may gift us with the ability to mimic the vocalizations and/or behaviors of our animal. Or our animal may gift us with a song…a poem…or a dance. If we incorporate these gifts into our psycho-spiritual practices, they awaken states of awareness where we are able to live sensitively and sensually in greater harmony with the Natural World.
Target Audience: This presentation will be of interest to all conference attendees
Linda Yael Schiller
Dreams Alive! (Workshop)
This experiential class will help you get to the heart and soul of your dream by utilizing embodied dream play techniques of active imagination, dream theater, and psychodrama. By bringing your own dream and others dreams to life by re-scripting and re-storying the images and the journeys in Iive-action theater, participants will be able to have an embodied experience of their dream story. Thus, workshop members will be able to re-enact a desired direction or outcome with the aid of other class members as characters, objects, and/or landscape in the dream. This work is based in part on Jung’s active imagination approach, on Aizenstadt’s Dream Tending and use of living images, on Gendlin’s focusing, and on Bosnak’s active embodied dreamwork approach, as well as on work outside of the dream field itself such as Somatic Experiencing (Levine), Psycho-Motor Psychotherapy (Ogden), and psychodrama.
The workshop will begin with didactic descriptions of how to utilize these methods, and then the presenter will guide members in dream theater with several dreams that the participants bring to the class. The ultimate authority of every dream is the dreamer him/herself; and this class offers opportunities for class members to gain experiential learning for themselves by participating in the enactment, both of their own and of others’ dreams.
This class is appropriate for all, regardless of prior experience.
Lauren Z. Schneider
Tarotpy, Dreams and “Soul-Making” (Workshop)
This workshop demonstrates Tarotpy, along with dreamwork, as an alchemical tool to reveal and strengthen the “authentic self”, transform relationship dynamics and align with invisible intelligences at work in the personal and collective psyche. This is the work of “soul-making”. These archetypal images from Tarot, Soul Cards, Tao Cards, etc. come from the same psychic pool as dreams. Tarotpy shows meaningful correlations between dream material and waking life imagery. Tarotpy is an innovative method to enhance the practice of dreamwork and to enter a dreaming consciousness with eyes wide open. Encountering the world of images requires and cultivates a psycho-spiritual faculty of perception. The closer we are to the imaginal realm – working with dreams and contemplative tools such as Tarotpy – the more transparent we are to its intelligence, and the less attached to our personal and collective ego constructs. We approach the images without preconceived ideas or meanings. We are present to Psyche as she expresses through images, and we are guided in a co-creative process with the imagery. There is a reciprocal relationship that happens: our focus of attention begins to heat up the image. This in turn inspires our 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. We develop a personal connection to the imagery so that meaning and insight arise from within the individual. By inviting synchronicity into a ritualized and sacred space, Tarotpy sets the stage for an extraordinary experience to occur. Synchronicity is like a glitch in the matrix, momentarily cracking open the calcified illusion of separateness from oneself, other, the natural world, the realm of dreams and spirit. Synchronicity allows us a momentary glimpse of and alignment with Soul. This encounter with oneself and something greater activates healing. Alchemy is the work of enhancing and accelerating the natural desire of all matter to become “gold”. Something from within us desires to evolve and become our highest value. To this purpose, dreams come in the service of our healing and evolution. The magic of synchronicity may suggest that we exist in an interactive universe that is purposefully and intelligently organized to evolve the material (us) that inhabits it. Tarotpy, like dream work, is an
alchemical process to observe, enhance and accelerate what wants to evolve within and through us.
Participants will be guided in using an interactive layout called “the Progressive layout” to work a dream and/or personal material. They will focus and reflect on a pattern of images, describe two or three in detail, and sense into the embodied presence of each image. They will explore how the card image relates to a dream or personal material through methods of dreamwork including the Projective Approach, dialogue with images, active imagination, automatic writing, association, amplification, archetypal analysis, and Embodied Imagination. Participants develop their own relationship to the images and are the ultimate authority about any and all meaning. Participants will practice shifting and replacing cards to evolve the material or issue at hand. While this is not an introductory workshop on Tarotpy, the didactic (1/2 hour) and experiential material (1 to 1 1/2 hours) is appropriate for any and all participants. Also, the workshop can be open to any size group, as participants will be divided into dyads or triads to have supportive input from fellow participants.
Myth #4: Most People Dream in Black and White: A Dying but Still Persistent Myth (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Myths regarding dreaming: Old beliefs and new facts”)
Several studies, starting from Middleton (1942) to Stepansky et al. (1998), found that only a minority of participants clearly stated that their dreams are in color; there are even significant number of persons stating explicitly that they dream in black and white. According to the continuity hypothesis of dreaming (Hall and Nordby, 1972; Schredl, 2003), one would expect that persons, animals, objects like bananas or trees should be experienced in the same way as in waking life, including their color (not including bizarre dreams with purple bananas). So, what are the reasons for this discrepancy?
First, the wording about the question eliciting the percentage of color or black-and-white dreams is important, as quite a number of persons do not have an explicit memory for dream colors, especially if color is not central within the dream, e.g., color of a person’s face etc.
Second, dream colors are not often found in written dream reports; only about 25% of the dream reports include some color reference (Schredl, 2008). However, this percentage increase if the participants were asked to determine whether the object, person etc. was in color directly upon awakening (Rechtschaffen and Buchignani, 1992).
Third, the introduction of black-and-white media and the idea the dreaming are nightly visits to the cinema might have given dreamers the idea – especially if they do not remember significant colors – that the dreams are like black- and-white films. A cross-sectional study (König, Heizmann, Göritz, and Schredl, 2017) indicated that the shift from black-and- white TV to colored TV has indeed had an effect on the percentage of persons who think that their dreams are in black and white. Thus, the black-and-white label might have been added to the dream on waking.
Forth, Schredl, Fuchedzhieva, Hämig, and Schindele (2008) were able to demonstrate that color memory in waking life is related to the estimated percentage of black and white dreams; i.e., the better the waking color memory the lower the percentage of black and white dreams. To summarize, the empirical findings indicate that dreams are in color – supporting the continuity hypothesis. But the large- scaled survey of König et al. (2017) showed that a small number of persons still think that their all of their dreams are in black and white.
Michael Schredl and co-author Anja S. Göritz
Let’s Talk about Dreams: An On-line Survey (Paper)
Dreaming is defined as subjective experiences during sleep that can be recalled upon awakening (dream or dream report). Despite the private nature of dreams, they are shared quite often with partners, friends, therapists etc. (Olsen, Schredl, & Carlsson, 2013). Women share dreams more often than men, and femininity/expressivity and extraversion are related to dream sharing frequency (Schredl, Kim, Labudek, Schädler, and Göritz, 2015; Schredl and Schawinski, 2010). The motivations for sharing a dream are different; e.g., entertainment (telling a funny or bizarre dream) or relief, if telling a nightmare (Olsen et al., 2013). Interestingly, dream sharing affects the emotions during dream sharing and the relationship between dreamer and listener (Schredl, Fröhlich, et al., 2015). Duffey, Wooten, Lamadue, and Comstock (2004) reported that dream sharing can improve marital intimacy and satisfaction. The aim of the present study was to follow up the previous findings and look more closely into dream sharing situations occurring in everyday life.
Method: Overall, 1590 persons (935 women, 655 men) participated in the online study. The
mean age was 51.20 ± 13.89 yrs. (range: 17 to 93 yrs.). The questionnaire included questions about dream sharing frequency and the frequency of how often the participants have listened to a dream account. Details about the most recent dream sharing situation were elicited; e.g., type of person, setting, during, motive for sharing, emotional responses while sharing or listening, perceived reaction of the listener, and possible effect of the dream sharing situation.
Results and Discussion: Frequency of listening to dreams and dream sharing frequency were correlated (r =.453, p < .0001, N = 1579); dream recall frequency partialled out. Frequency of listening to dreams was correlated with openness to experience and extraversion, whereas dream sharing frequency was related to neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experiences. Regarding the last-remembered situation in which a dream was told to the participant, most persons recounting the dream were family members (partner, children). The emotional reaction was often positive (49.2%), and 45% of the participants rated the listening experience as neutral, only 2.1% as negative. 881 participants reported all aspects of a situation in which they told the dream to another person, most often the partner (about 50%), other recipients where other family members, friends, and colleagues. The most common motive for sharing a dream was relief. Overall, the findings indicate that dream sharing is quite common and serves different purposes.
Michael Schredl and co-author Janina Rieger
Measuring Lucid Dreaming Skills (LUSK): A New Questionnaire (Paper)
Lucid dreaming is defined as subjective experiences during sleep in which the dreamer is aware of the fact that s/he is dreaming. The mean frequency of experiencing lucid dreams in a representative sample was 0.65 lucid dreams per month, but the variance was large. Previous surveys (e.g., Stumbrys, Erlacher, Johnson, and Schredl, 2014) indicate that there is also a considerable variability of skills within lucid dreaming; e.g., not everyone remembers intentions what to do in a lucid dream prior to sleep onset or – if the intention is remembered – can carry out the task on hand. Previous questionnaires, for example, LuCiD (Voss, Schemelleh-Engel, Windt, Frenzel, and Hobson, 2013) and DLQ (Stumbrys, Erlacher, and Schredl, 2013) were developed to measure aspects of lucidity in single dreams, e.g., “I broke the physical laws of the waking reality (e.g. flew, went through a wall).” or “I thought about different possibilities of what can I do in a dream.” The aim of the present study was to develop a questionnaire that measures inter-individual differences in lucid dreaming skills of all lucid dreams the participant can remember (trait aspect of lucid dreaming skills).
Method: Of the total sample (1380 persons; 777 women, 603 men), 716 participants (425 women, 291 men) reported at least one lucid dream and completed the items regarding lucid dreaming skills. The mean age of this subgroup was 50.10 ± 13.89 yrs. (range: 20 to 88 yrs.). Based on previously published questionnaires, 22 items (areas: awareness/perception and manipulation of dream content) were generated; e.g., In how many lucid dreams were you able to perform specific actions like flying, sex, asking dream characters. The categories of each item were as follows: In none of my lucid dreams, in a quarter of my lucid dreams, in half of my lucid dream, in three-quarters of my lucid dreams, and in all my lucid dreams (coded from 0 to 4).
Results and Discussion:. Of the originally developed 22 items (the 10 best items (high correlation with the total, broad range of means) were selected. Cronbach’s alpha for this 10-item scale was r = .85. Mean of the LUSK scale was 1.43 ± 0.88. The LUSK score correlated with the lucid dreaming frequency (r = .27, t = 7.73, p < .0001). This correlation is plausible because more experience (more lucid dreams) might improve lucid dreaming skills. Interestingly, the LUSK score was higher in persons using reality checks as an induction method or experiencing wake initiated lucid dreams. The next steps would be to validate the scale by using dream diaries, ro analyze the skills in each recorded lucid dream and to test whether persons who are able to dream lucidly under sleep laboratory conditions with performing pre- arranged eye movements score higher on the LUSK scale.
Susan E. Schwartz
Marc Chagall, Twentieth Century Artist and “The Dream” (Paper)
The juxtaposition of the artist’s use of the symbolic apply to the images revealed in the world of dreams. We understand dreams through uncovering their meaning, timing and guidance to our lives. They are a rich storehouse of personal and collective information. This presentation of material on Jungian dreamwork includes audience participation. Dreams are a flow and reflect personal, cultural and collective issues specific to and yet beyond each era. The twentieth century artist, Marc Chagall’s picture entitled, “The Dream” is the backdrop and foreground for this exploration into the Jungian interpretation of dreams. This presentation focuses on the meanings and understanding of the symbols and images seen in the picture and that also appear in dreams. Using Chagall’s dream pictures is a way to elucidate the Jungian exploration of the psyche and comprehending the dream images and symbols. In dreams, we discover many parts of ourselves, unleashing the psychological attitude of self-reflection and the use of dreamwork as a way into the unconscious. Dreams are naturally occurring phenomena, arising spontaneously and autonomously into consciousness. As compensation for personality imbalances, the psyche attempts to right itself by providing clues through dream symbols, images and our feeling reactions to them. If the dreamer can understand and apply what the dream is saying, the imbalances can be corrected. The symbolic meaning resides in the dream, as it attempts to elucidate by analogy something unknown or that is in the process of becoming known. Dreams show the personal problems, the situation of the psyche currently, the past and future through the images presented in them. The use of another person, from another time, shows the timeless nature of images and symbols. Dreams help liberate, clarifying the psyche as it reflects personal and collective issues, showing our complexes, strengths and values. As such, they portray a quest, adding information and guidance. Jungian analytical psychology affirms the significance of the unconscious, its symbols and archetypes and the reality of the psyche. It is known for using many forms of imagery to amplify the psychological material revealed in dreams. Dreams are like crystals to be turned around and looked at from all sides in order to light up the facets of the personality. They are one of the best and most natural ways of dealing with and healing psychological problems and inner disconnections. They help us find inner wholeness as they balance a one-sided approach in conscious life. The dream shows the unknown hidden recesses of the psyche, the not yet visible but valuable holder of personal, emotional, psychological and physical issues. Dreams typically are expressed in the mythopoetic language of the psyche. They offer insight into ourselves that we may otherwise be unaware of. They present us with the challenges and difficulties that actually are opportunities to increase self-knowledge.
Marc Chagall, through color and theme, awakens us to the world of symbols, what we project, how we use the images to enrich and guide our lives. Because Chagall’s themes are so archetypal or collective, they can easily be used for both collective and personal identification and interpretation, using the Jungian model for having symbols in dreams come alive. These images are paralleled in alchemy, which Jung used to substantiate the psychological process of finding oneself. It is exciting to use images like those of Chagall to learn about these concepts and discover how to apply them to our own dreams.
Target Audience: Applicable to all levels, as each dream contains a range of depth interpretation.
The Power of Dreams: Discovery Channel Special (Special event)
Excerpts from the Discovery Channel Special featuring many IASD experts provides remarkable on-site footage and interviews of Aboriginal and Native American Shamans, Tibetan Lamas, traumatized war and natural disaster survivors, visits to the Asklepian Dream Temples, modern sleep labs, and enactments of dream scenes with special effects and extended interviews of Milton Kramer, Ernest Hartmann, Robert Bosnak, Rosalind Cartwright, William Dement, Allan Hobson and others. It features research, theory, cultural and clinical applications and remarkable personal dreams from Rosalind Cartwright and William Dement and others.
Target audience: Beginning to Intermediate level presentation.
Understanding Children’s Dreams and Nightmares: Therapeutic, Creative, and Cultural Dimensions (Workshop)
There is evidence of REM sleep in utero, and a high incidence in newborns, which levels off after the first year of life, plateaus in adulthood and diminishes in late adulthood. Psychotherapists and authors, including Freud, Lenore Terr (Too Scared to Cry), John Mack (Nightmares and Human Conflict), Alan Siegel and Kelly Bulkeley (Dreamcatching), as well as educators and parents, document reports of recalled dreams beginning with the emergence of verbal communication after the age of two. Renowned child sleep and dream researcher, David Foulkes, has recently questioned the capacity of children to report dreams until the age of five, due to lags in cognitive development and verbal expressive capacities. This issue will be described and opened for discussion to view both sides of this issue. The content and structure of children’s dreams evolves over time, in synch with unfolding cognitive capacities. Research linked to these evolving dream capacities will be considered including research from the 2005 Special Issue of the journal, Dreaming, which focused on children’s dreams. Early childhood issues covered will include themes that predominate in early childhood, especially animal dreams. The evolution in the structure of dreams and gender differences will also be examined, in the light of research about dreams and child development. Examples include the fact that in younger children, the dream protagonist is more of an observer, is more passive and more likely to be vulnerable or victimized, reflecting limits in their ego development and capacity to understand and control the world around them. Nightmares occur at every stage of the life cycle and are characterized by anxiety dreams which awaken the dreamer in distress and bear symbolism of chase, mortal threat, separation, abandonment, and injury to self and others. Nightmares are more prevalent during periods of developmental change and family disequilibrium and in responses to traumatic events and disrupted relationships. Existing clinical and experimental literature on post-traumatic nightmares in children will be critically reviewed and important findings will be summarized. This will include clinical and experimental studies of nightmares following natural disasters, and long-term exposure to trauma for those children who are survivors of abuse and war-related trauma.
Recurrent nightmare themes will be described, along with a methodology for assessing the psychological impact of trauma and the stages of recovery from trauma, as evidenced in children’s dream reports. Psychotherapeutic techniques for exploring the meaning of nightmares and ameliorating the residue of anxiety that complicates the emotional impact of nightmares will be described. Techniques for eliciting and working with parents and children to address post-traumatic nightmares will be presented. Vignettes illustrating common dream themes, the diagnostic use of nightmares, and psychotherapeutic usage will be presented. Exercises designed to reinforce the information and concepts presented will be utilized. These will include short writing and art exercises intended for use in psychotherapy, health settings, education and for parents, and will be presented with brief demonstrations. Participants will be invited to use a childhood dream of their own, of family members (with permission) or of de-identified client dreams during the brief exercises and discussion.
Intended as an intermediate level CE qualified presentation relevant for mental health and health practitioners, educators, parents, and the general public.
Understanding and Working with Post-traumatic Nightmares: Clinical, Ethical, Cultural Guidelines (Workshop)
Post-traumatic nightmares have unique characteristic that distinguish them from night terrors and other dreams. PTSD nightmares also provide insights into how the psyche reacts and recovers following life shattering events and more prolonged and overwhelming stress, such as war experiences, abuse, accidents, loss, divorce and other crises. Freud could not easily integrate post-traumatic nightmares into his theories of dream formation, and Jung placed them in a unique category of dreams rather than trying to fit them into his principle of compensation in dreamwork. The development of the diagnosis of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and increasing research and clinical treatment of war veterans and other trauma survivors has advanced our understanding of these unique dreams in the late 20th and early 21st century. Research on war veterans and survivors led to the development of the concept and diagnosis of PTSD which is much more widely used. Nightmares are now considered an essential symptom linked to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the new DSM- 5 that was published in 2013.
This workshop will review characteristics of PTSD nightmares and treatment strategies relevant to mental health and health professionals and dreamworkers, and will provide practice guidelines for working ethically with dreams with an emphasis on ethical handling of posttraumatic dreams. Evidence regarding the nature and function and incidence of posttraumatic dreams will be examined. How nightmares and PTSD nightmares are dealt with in the new DSM-5 will be presented. Guidelines will be presented for developing a balanced view which does not disconfirm the prolonged impact of trauma on dream content and psychological adjustment, but at the same time is sensitive to the IASD and APA guidelines about manipulation and implantation of memory. IASD guidelines related to clinical dream work will be presented, along with relevant APA ethics guidelines.
Target Audience: This extended, clinically-oriented dream ethics workshop and practical applications of IASD dreamwork ethical statement is for working clinically with dreams with a special focus on post-traumatic nightmares, recovered memories, non-intrusive interpretation guidelines, and sensitivity to cross-cultural and other special issues.
Numbers in Dreams (Workshop)
Numbers are archetypes and have deep meaning in our dreams.
- Audience Sharing of their personal stories about numbers in their lives
- How numbers appear in dreams
- Overview of history and significance of numbers and their meaning
- Meditative exercise designed to facilitate the audience connection to visual /experiential
Number in their dream
- Sharing of creative exercise in groups
- Sharing with entire group
- Recap what was given by the number energy of the group
A Journey through the Pholarchos Tarot and Its Dream Healers (Special event)
This Spring, my Pholarchos Tarot finally gets published after 4 years of devoted painting, writing and dreaming. It is inspired by the ancient practice of dreaming in caves for the community that then developed into the Asklepian dream temples. In the Fall there will be a U.S. tour of the paintings with a simultaneous performance of 8 dancers. I would like the IASD conference to be the first place the deck is officially presented. There are 78 images with accompanying texts, and I will include some in a slide show performance as I read from the texts (bringing together my work as artist, writer and actress). The mythic imagination is expansive, able to hold contradiction, mystery, metamorphosis. The imaginal is real and needs tending – it is our relation to it that can be more or less fantastical.
Humans have always looked to myth, dream, theater, story to find a sense of meaning and guidance. Prediction can be diminutive, while story opens understanding and possibility, a way of working with one’s destiny and patterns. Liz Greene reflects that “like all symbolic systems, Tarot is about patterns rather than events”. These cards are an attempt to open inspiration, a possible experience of an archetype that invites personal investigation into life’s depths through dreams. I intend to have a sequence of about 25 of the images (including a selection from the major arcana, the minors and the royals) in an arc that tells a whole story. Below I include an example of the accompanying texts I would read (for The Star) : When the water turns black, follow the sage’s climb into the mountain as she mumbles amritas from the dreaming. Slip into the cave where the source is. Red striated rock surrounds you now, miniature bursts of chemical process coax more of its true nature into being. The sage laughs into the deep cold pool until the water turns crystal clear again, gurgling regeneration. Allow laughter to enter you and to this tune, make a scarf with woven leaves of angelica, charge it up with song, then wear it. It whispers back to you as you keep walking, ambrosia round your neck. Your love makes numen.
The target audience includes everyone, and it is an attempt to inspire people to step into their own deep relationship to their dreaming and their creativity.
Dreams Are Karma: Enhancing Individual Waking Knowledge of Our Karmic Blueprint to Interpret Our Own Dreams (Workshop)
This 90 minute workshop is designed to establish a fresh definition of karma and use it as perspective for knowing what (deciphering) our dreams are about. Whether we are dreaming of something we long for, something we are afraid of, or creating new scenarios, they are cut from the fabric of karma. Many of our choices in waking reality spring from foundations of beliefs, emotional responses, desires, and regrets. In many cases, they have become a pattern of behavior. But all dreams come in the name of growth, and this is karma. Karma and dreams are calling us toward resolution and balance, and we experiment with that resolve in dreams by manifesting solutions or amplifying the old ones, always seeking access to the authentic self. Participants will begin the workshop by writing one of their own dreams they currently do not understand and setting it aside. We will follow that by a 40 minute talk and discussion defining how to access one’s karmic fabric by first eliminating the idea that karma refers to a system of good and bad, a polarized and narrow view of karmic foundations. Instead, we will approach karma from a more evolved perspective, and reveal deeper levels of our developing reality. We will discuss how karma is stored biologically, governs our process of decision, guides our responsibility of action, and ultimately is a working bias of the spirit to push us forward in this lifetime. The discussion will affirm that we dream about every aspect of ourselves uniquely, and that karma is the sum of these aspects. The dreams show us how we create our beliefs, our shadow elements, and reveal creative paths to reach our desires. We will cover nightmares and recurring themes. We will investigate how we manifest events that are continuously guiding us forward. Though we often feel lost when it comes our dreams, if one can be open to a refreshed version of karma, then the question of where dreams come from and what the message is becomes surprisingly obvious. It will allow coherency between the dreaming and waking life, with a uniquely easy way to file dreams for initial interpretation.
In the final part of the workshop participants will return to their written dream account as we, together, apply new knowledge to our dreamwork. This system of using karma as a decoding tool works to usher in an unprecedented ability to know what our own dreams are about. The intention is to have everyone waking up in the morning with insight into their dream creation. In the end, the process of defining our own karma is not to perpetuate it, but rather to transcend it, to identify it and to reap the benefits of knowing it. It is to make expanded use of the dream plane and to evolve further. It has been a long time since most of us knew what our dreams were about, and I think that our expanding consciousness is ripe for this to change. All participants will receive a helpful vocabulary list and questions to ask of themselves while they begin their karmic blueprint.
Exploring the Effects of Galantamine Paired with Meditation and Dream Reliving on Recalled Dreams (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “State of the Art Lucid Dream Induction Methods”)
A double-blind experimental field study examined the impact of an integrated pre-sleep protocol for enhancing awareness, lucidity, and responsiveness in dreams. The protocol included ingesting the cholinesterase inhibitor galantamine prior to engaging in middle-of-the-night meditation, and the imaginary reliving of a distressing dream, called Dream Reliving (Sparrow, 1983). Thirty-five participants completed an eight-night study, which included pre- and post-baseline nights and six randomly ordered trial conditions, as follows: waking for 40 minutes before returning to bed, called Wake-Back-to-Bed (WBTB); WBTB with a placebo; WBTB with galantamine; meditation and Dream Reliving alone (MDR); MDR with placebo; and MDR plus galantamine (MDR+G). The outcome measures included lucidity, reflectiveness, interaction, role change, constructive action, and the presence of fear/threat/violence in the dream reports. The results support the use of galantamine alone, and in tandem with meditation and Dream Reliving, in further studies of lucid dream induction, and nightmare/trauma resolution.
Given the impact of cholinesterase inhibitors on lucid dream frequency in general, and galantamine’s unique dual mechanism that minimizes the attenuation of effect over time, the incorporation of galantamine into an integrated lucid dream induction protocol with meditation and Dream Reliving presented a theoretically justifiable approach to general lucid dream enhancement, as well as to nightmare resolution and PTSD treatment. As stated, the combination of meditation and Dream Reliving addresses the bidirectional response to trauma (Panamaki, 2007), whereas galantamine independently promises to raise the baseline frequency of lucidity. As stated, Sparrow (1983) originally tested Dream Reliving as a lucid dream induction strategy; and recently, meditation was added to the protocol based on his personal experience of using middle-of-the-night meditation as a lucid dream induction method. The inclusion of galantamine into the induction protocol offered an additional, independent source of enhancement to dreamer reflectiveness.
The purpose of this field-based study was to examine the impact of galantamine –– alone and in tandem with MDR –– on subsequently recalled dreams. We were interested in assessing any increases in lucidity during subsequent dreams, as well as increases in non-lucid features of “dreamer development” described by Rossi (1972). Using a double-blind design with placebos that were indistinguishable from active capsules, we employed a research model that we believed would compare favorably to previous field-based induction studies on methodological rigor (Stumbrys, et. al, 2013), as well as serving as a valid test of a combined protocol which, if efficacious, could be used for the treatment of PTSD-related nightmares in inpatient and outpatient settings. Windt (2013) argues that dream reports should be considered as valid data for the purposes of empirical study, and Domhoff contends that home-based dream records are an acceptable, if not superior source of stable dream data. Add to that the recent practice of using participant self-ratings of metacognitive states by Kahan and LaBerge (2011) in order to assess features that may not be evident in dream narratives, we thus decided that a field-based study that included the collection of dream reports, along with participant self-ratings of their own dreams, was an acceptable data-collection protocol for the purposes of this study.
Hypotheses: We hypothesized that the middle-of-the-night ingestion of galantamine followed by a period of meditation and Dream Reliving (MDR+G) prior to returning to sleep would result in significantly higher levels of lucidity and non-lucid measures of dream ego development reported in subsequent dreams over seven other conditions. The seven other conditions are as follows:
- pre-study baseline (B1)
- wake-back-to-bed (WBTB)
- WBTB with placebo (WBTB+P)
- WBTB with galantamine (WBTB+G)
- Meditation and Dream Reliving alone (MDR)
- MDR with placebo (MDR+P)
- post-study baseline (B2).
How Cocreative Dreamwork Facilitates Psychotherapy and Personal Growth (Presentation within Dreamwork Practices Symposium titled “Cocreative Dreamwork”)
Co-creative dream theory has emerged since the early 1970s from the work of Ernest Rossi, lucid dreaming, and variety of supportive research that has established that dreamers possess significant awareness and metacognition in non-lucid dreams. The discovery that dreamers exercise considerable choice and reflectiveness in dreams has been supplemented by the observation that these subjective qualities and actions impact and transform the dream imagery, to the extent that the dream can now be viewed an interactive, or relational process. By shifting the focus in dream analysis away from content to the interactive process, a counselor views the dream in such a way as to support the goals of contemporary therapy, which places considerable emphasis on personal choice and responsibility, and relational competency. By adopting this paradigm, a therapist can assist clients in discerning the dream ego’s responses to the dream content, and can evaluate how these responses influence the overall experience and, by implication, parallel waking relationships. Such an approach is congruent with the client-centered, competency-based aims of many schools of modern therapy, and thus could result in a more widespread adoption of dream analysis by psychotherapists, if adopted more widely. In this presentation, I will present clinical examples of employing this form of dream analysis in psychotherapy, in order to demonstrate how it supports a client’s sense of agency and self-efficacy.
Target audience: at an intermediate to advanced level of understanding
Understanding and Working with Dream Metaphors from the Standpoint of Co-Creative Dream Theory (Workshop)
Co-creative dream theory posits that the dream experience is indeterminate from the outset, and co-determined through the reciprocal interplay between the dream ego and the emergent content. Thus the dream imagery adjusts to the dreamer’s subjective stance through the course of the dream. Consequently, the dream report can be seen as one of many contingent outcomes based on 1) the dreamer’s range of possible reactions through the course of the dream, as well as 2) the broad constraints of the underlying domains that account for the nature of the emergent content. From this dynamic relational view of the dream, the visual imagery itself can be regarded as the “interface” Ullman (1969) between the dreamer and the emergent domain content, or the “moment-to-moment vectoring” (Sparrow, 2013) of the encounter between dream ego and emergent content. By viewing dream content as representing broad, initially unformed, content domains of human life that are rendered as specific metaphors during the dream encounter, we can discern where the dreamer stands in relationship to the developmental tasks associated with these emergent domains at this particular point in time. The dream narrative itself will be considered as the overarching metaphor, and the individual images as the sequential “mapping” of the grand metaphor. I will draw on Ullman and Lakoff and Anderson’s work with metaphors to introduce a three-component (content, dreamer subjectivity, and image interface) view of metaphor construction, mapping and analysis, and present a structured, stepwise approach to metaphor analysis that we will practice in the workshop. We will work on one or two dreams that I will supply, and then I will solicit dreams from the audience that they can work with, as well. In terms of takeaways for the participant, I will introduce a structured stepwise inquiry that can guide the dreamworker in deconstructing dream metaphors in the process of co-creative dream analysis.
The Soundtrack of the Soul: Using Songs to Interpret Your Dreams (Workshop)
I will introduce participants to five different ways of using songs to interpret their dreams:
- The content of the dream was stimulated by a song heard in the 24 hours preceding the dream, i.e., a song was part of the context or “day residue”. By paying close attention to how the dreamer felt about hearing this song, and what it stirred in him or her, it becomes possible to better discern the message of the dream.
- As the dreamer writes the dream in a dream journal (or types it or otherwise records it), s/he notices a melody or song lyrics arise in his or her awareness. Paying attention to the details of the song that came to mind becomes a key to making sense of the dream.
- A song is actually featured within the dream, i.e., occurs as part of the dream narrative itself. Upon awakening, the dreamer’s reflections on this song shed light on the meaning of the dream.
- Free association, whereby upon awakening from the dream and listing all of its elements in a dream journal, the dreamer associates from one or more of the elements to a particular song. Focusing on the song that the dreamer associated to allows him or her to gain a fuller, richer understanding of the dream.
- Archetypal images in dreams that are amplified by archetypal images in songs. This refers to dreams that contain recurring themes of the human experience, for example renewal/rebirth. When a person has such a dream, it is possible to absorb more deeply the dream’s significance by considering the ways that the theme has also been expressed in a song.
This method of interpretation is based on the idea that dreams and songs that contain archetypal images arise from the same underlying source; namely, the collective unconscious of the human species. The participants, i.e. the dreamers themselves, are the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of their dreams. As these five ways of using songs to interpret dreams are introduced, I will present an example from my own long-term dream journaling practice and will share with participants the ways that this method has helped me to interpret my dreams. (This will entail playing five songs or song-excerpts aloud for the participants.) With each of these five ways, I will invite the participants to choose a dream from their dream journal (or, if they don’t keep an ongoing journal, then from a dream report), and to apply the model to their own dreams. Depending on the number of participants, this may be done in pairs, trios, foursomes, small groups, or in the group of participants as a whole. There will then be opportunities for sharing with the overall group of participants. Finally, as part of a closing ritual, participants will learn a way to create a “collaborative song” from lines chosen from the dream reports of most or all of the participants. In this ritual, each participant looks at a recent dream report, chooses a line or phrase that is particularly meaningful for him or her, and copies it onto a large sheet of paper, until, in the end, the group of participants has a song containing lyrics derived from each of their dreams. Given that time limitations would make it difficult to create an entirely new melody, these lyrics will then be sung to a widely known melody (most probably “twinkle twinkle little star”). This method has been shown to enhance a sense of cohesiveness and mutual connection in groups.
Fifty Shades of God: Dreams of the Divine in a Woman from Young Adulthood to Late Middle Age (Presentation within Research Panel titled “Dreams about God across Historical and Cultural Contexts”)
This presentation is based on a qualitative analysis of 50 dream narratives contained in the dream journals of a currently-middle-aged North American woman over the course of the past 32 years. The dream reports chosen for this analysis were those that specifically contained the word “God” in any manner other than a figure of speech or an oath. The sample also included alternative names for God, that is, names that refer to a deity or divine being in languages other than English or in religions other than the Abrahamic faiths. The presentation examines the variety of ways that the divine is experienced, conceptualized, and represented in the dreamer’s mind. A surprising feature of the sample is that, although the dreamer self-identifies as Jewish and all of her known ancestors are of Eastern European Ashkenazi ethnicity, her dreams include representations of the divine from a wide range of non-Jewish faiths, namely: Hindu, Buddhist, Egyptian, Greek, Christian, and African. A few different hypotheses are proposed to account for this finding. Additionally, the qualitative analysis explores the ways that the dreamer’s experience of the divine has changed over the course of her adult life, as she has progressed from her early 20s into late middle age.
This exploration includes a consideration of ways to make sense of these changes. A close reading of the journal entries indicates that specific, conceptually distinct aspects of the divine are discernible in the dream reports. For example, the depictions of God in the various dreams include views of the divine as: an impersonal force that directs a human being’s fate; a compassionate being who protects and takes care of people; an ineffable source of mystery and awe; and the keeper of the memory of the course of an individual’s life. Some features of the dream reports suggest that there may be an endogenous aspect of the divine; that is, an aspect that arises spontaneously within the human psyche, which is discernible in dreams as well as in sacred texts (e.g., revelations, prayers). In order to explore this possibility, the portrayals of God contained in the 50 dream narratives are
examined with reference to scholarly writings about experiences of the divine, including other individuals’ descriptions of dreams about God that are contained in historical, religious, and literary sources.
Target audience: for all.
Myth #3: Dreams Are Messages from the Unconscious (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Myths regarding dreaming: Old beliefs and new facts”)
There is little question but that dreams are constructed from memories of all forms, stored in the dreamer’s brain. These include declarative autobiographical and semantic memories and conceptual constructs, as well as non-declarative motor and perceptual procedural memories, habits and classical conditioning, and previously declarative memories no longer readily accessible to recall. Such memories span a huge range, from day residue to repressed wishes, and from motor memory to fear conditioning. But nowhere is there evidence that the brain uses “unconsciously” generated “messages” in the process of dream construction.
Writing with the Snow Lion’s Blood (Paper)
The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.” —T.S. Eliot. This presentation explores an extraordinary dream, which I had during the 2017 IASD conference, and the book that is emerging from it. The presentation will involve telling the dream and exploring the meaning and action that emerged from it. I have been trying to write a book about my dreams for years, and this dream finally gave me the clarity, the encouragement, the urgency, and even the actual power to do it. My intention is that this presentation will inspire others to use their dreams as springboards for action and creativity. The key moment in the dream comes when I am in a car, in mountainous high country, watching a snow leopard hunting. Suddenly, this wildly alive being is shot and killed, and as she dies she pierces a claw through the metal of the car and into the side of my right hand, which bleeds profusely. As I worked the dream I realized that the blood coming out of that spot on my hand (the exact place that rubs against the paper when I write longhand) is ink. I also saw that the final movement of the dream is to take off the bloody bandage and go to town—get going, get writing—which gave me full-body chills. The dream, which had a deeply calming and reassuring flavor, came toward the end of a two-year period of intense inner work and many deep dreams. It gave me a sense that enough change had been accomplished that I could begin the process of writing about it.
And not only that I could, I should: it was time to let the blood/ink flow freely. For the book I gathered 50 of my important dreams, the ones that made the most difference in my life and that continue to reverberate. I present them on facing pages with short (600-1000 word) essays that I call commentaries. I think of the dreams as something like hexagrams in the I Ching, or sacred texts, and my commentaries are stories of change or revelation that relate to the dream. The collection of texts (dreams) and commentaries creates a mosaic-style memoir that not only illuminates my life and the archetypal threads in it, but serves as an example of a dream-guided life. The dreams cover my life from age 14 to 64. As Robert Moss says, “Dreams call for action . . . we need to devise ways to harness the dream energy and steer toward its fulfillment” (Dreaming True, 24). This dream called for a very clear and specific action. Honoring that call (working on the book) has been fascinating and liberating. It is a deep pleasure finally to have found a format that gives the dreams their due, as something along the lines of sacred texts.
This presentation is open to all.
Gayle A. Torres
Using Art for Dream Remembrance and Journal-Keeping (Workshop)
The dream holds an honored role of carrying meaning within mystery. Decoding dreams has fascinated humans since ancient times. The sleeping mind communicates in metaphors and symbols. Freud and Jung regarded the dream as the “Royal Road to the Unconscious.” Unfortunately, a dream can evaporate almost instantly as wakefulness intrudes. This workshop is designed to help participants re-collect visual and affective elements of their dreams, using art and writing. The process encourages ways to reconstruct and reflect on segments of a dream. In this activity, the dreamer enters into what Carl Jung called the dialog of active imagination. In shamanistic terms, the dreamer seeks to reclaim parts of the soul. The workshop’s expressive approach helps to keep the non-analytical pathways open. The result is often greater self-understanding and a sense of wholeness.
Participants will experiment with simple art materials. There will be some information for dream journal building and maintenance. A journal, particularly one with visuals, allows the dreamer to see previously undiscerned connections.
The material in the workshop is applicable to all those interested in recovering details of their dreams for future work. Not everyone will be at the level of keeping a dream journal; this offers tips to all levels.
Dream Qualities and Psychotherapeutic Processes (Paper)
Even if therapeutic work is not particularly focused on dreams, dreams can be shared “spontaneously” in therapy sessions. In this presentation, the presenter will discuss 3 clients and their dreams in relation to their nature of suffering and psychotherapeutic processes.
The first case is a male in his late 30s, trying to disentangle himself from the relationship with his mother in his single- mother household. His process was indeed “muddy” as in his dream, despite his need to talk about the mother-child relationship he had great difficulty in it. His dream indeed had a quality of “initial dream” (Vaughan, 2016; Jung) that overcast the course of treatment.
The second is a female in her 20s, a survivor of child sexual abuse, also a survivor of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. As a child, she was abused by her brother and a neighborhood kid. During her junior high she had attendance problems; she decided to major in film at college but was abused by her boyfriend and entered a sexual relationship with an established documentary film maker. At the point of treatment, she was maintaining a full-time job and was able to end prostitution. However, one night at a private party she was raped by a doctor. Subsequently she had nightmares associated with the incident, and also shared other dreams she had before.
The third case is a Japanese student attending a graduate school in Australia. She started therapy because she was troubled by the relationships with her roommates. She decided to move to another house where she started a sexually addictive relationship with the brother of one of her roommates. Eventually she was able to end the futile relationship with the man. She was also successfully completing her graduate program, had a fish/water dream with lucid qualities. The presenter’s instant association was zodiac signs (Aquarius and Pisces); she first mentions letting excessive negative emotions out, and next said she is becoming more self-expressive. Although these fish went out of her head, the dream also reminded the presenter of animal birth dreams discussed by Siegel (2016).
When we compare these dreams, it seems that dreams reflect the nature of their problems/sufferings. These dreams were shared at different points of each treatment, so the qualities of dreams seem to represent at what stage they are in their therapeutic processes and personal development. The presentation encompasses dreams of different stages: the initial dream, dreams to overcome past/recent traumata, and dreams of emotional resolution. Do these dreams tell anything about psychotherapy course/prognosis? Of course, dreams, as unconscious/conscious shared images, can set tones and atmospheres in psychotherapy. The therapist, if s/he retains these images, can be affected by dream images, having anxiety or hope, according to the qualities of the dreams. Thus, when a dream is spontaneously shared, it seem important to work on it, if it conveys rather negative moods.
Dreams need to be changed from within; the client needs to take initiative to change dream images.
First, the presenter will discuss each case. Then, she will talk about each of their dreams and tie them to therapeutic processes and stages. Finally, possible effects that dreams have on therapeutic processes will be discussed.
Target Audience: Intermediate
Myth #1: Not Everyone Dreams (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Myths regarding dreaming: Old beliefs and new facts”)
Dreams as subjective experiences are available only to the dreamer, and their presence or absence cannot yet be measured with objective means. Currently, to assess whether all people dream, we have to rely on retrospective recall and memories of dream experiences, and self-reports of these memories. Several studies show that not all people recall their dreams, even if awakened from REM stage of sleep in a sleep laboratory (Pagel, 2003; Strauch and Meier, 1996). However, it is evident that dream experience does not necessarily lead to recall and retrospective self-report of dream the experience. Therefore, recall is not a direct measure of dream experience. Scientists try to bypass the limitation of recall by attempting to develop methods that would detect the presence of the dream experience directly from brain activity. However, development of such methods is dependent on recall. To correlate brain activity with the presence of a dream experience, verification for the presence of the experience is needed, and available only via retrospective reports. Currently, the question of whether all people dream therefore remains unresolved.
Jeanne Van Bronkhorst
Guidance, Comfort, and Healing: How Dreams Can Help at the End of Life (Workshop)
This workshop will explore the relatively new idea of how dreams can help people facing the end of life. The presenter will draw on current research, published anecdotes, and her ten years as a hospice social worker to lead participants through three discussions. It begins by describing three ways in which dreams can be helpful at the end of life: Dream images directly help the dreamers prepare emotionally for death; talking about dreams helps open important conversations; dreams and dream sharing enhance human dignity and build trust. The second section explores two themes that become more common in dreams at end of life: journey dreams and visitation dreams. The final section will introduce a simple dream appreciation that healthcare workers and families without dream training can use. The presenter will encourage participants to relate the material to their own life experience, and will invite participants to share their own interpretation of their dreams as it relates to workshop content. Throughout the
workshop, the presenter will demonstrate the benefits of leaving each dream’s interpretation
solely in the hands of the dreamer at the end of life.
Suitable for all audiences.
Collage Dream Writing: Experiential Creative Workshop (Workshop)
A photo collage is like a dream on paper. Collaged dream images lead us to dream writing. Collage Dream Writing is based on Expressive Arts, Creative Writing, Lucid Writing (Clare Johnson), SoulCollage (Seena Frost), Collagen-Therapie (Charlotte Kollmorgen) and creative dreamwork.
I start with a short (15 min) PowerPoint presentation of how I developed “Collage Dream Writing“ and got about 100 of my collages to tune in to the dream zone. In this workshop the participants will dream awake. They will write down their personal dream narratives, emerging from the supplied photo collages. Afterwards, we focus in a dream sharing circle (or in dream sharing twosomes; depending on the number of participants) on the emotions in the dreams narratives each participant created. The “ultimate authority” on the personal meaning of that “interpretation” is the Dreamer/Writer. There is no interpretation, but there is reflection and mirroring in the style of Charlotte Kollmorgen, the German founder of Collage Therapy. Surprise yourself in a creative encounter!
Back from the Realm of the Dead. A Photocollaged Dream Story (Presentation within Dreamwork Practices Symposium titled “Dream Art: Creating Wholeness”)
A PowerPoint presentation of 60 of Johanna’s photocollaged dreams of the last 20 years leads through the Realm of the Dead, the Dark Night of the Soul, confronting dark and strange inner persons, and back into the light. Johanna reflects on her Soul`s journey and shares with the audience how she managed not to look back like Eurydike but to come back in the Realm of the Living. Johanna also demonstrates how using collage for creating a dream while awake changed her understanding of dreaming and being awake over the decades.
Foundation Course: The Science of Lucid Dreaming (Special event)
In the mid-1970’s, two graduate students, Keith Hearne at the University of Hull and Stephen LaBerge at Stanford, separately conceived an experiment which provided the ground-breaking evidence for lucid dreaming, or the ability to realize that you dream, while dreaming. How did researchers obtain evidence for lucid dreaming? Both Hearne and LaBerge realized that a dreaming person normally exhibits rapid eye movement. Therefore, a lucid dreamer may be able to “signal” their conscious awareness inside the dream by moving their eyes left to right eight times. In numerous experiments, this “eye signal” movement was recorded successfully on REM polygraph paper and provided hard evidence for lucid dreaming.
While the science of lucid dreaming covers forty years, the history of lucid dreaming spans thousands of years, since spiritual traditions, like Buddhism and Sufism, report using lucid dreaming to explore the nature of the mind and consciousness. In fact, the 11th century Buddhist yogi, Naropa, claimed that dream yoga (which uses lucid dreaming as a main practice) was one of the six paths to enlightenment. In many ways, lucid dreaming seems an ancient spiritual practice which has crossed over the bridge to scientific acceptance.
Scientific researchers have continued to investigate brain activity when lucid dreaming. In 2009, SLEEP published “Lucid Dreaming: A State of Consciousness with Features of Both Waking and Non-Lucid Dreaming” by Ursula Voss and others. Researchers used a 19-channel EEG to record brain activity when lucid dreaming, and discovered activity in the frontal portions of the cerebral cortex along with typical REM sleep. From this, they concluded, “Our data show that lucid dreaming constitutes a hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep, particularly in frontal
areas.” Another study in SLEEP (2012) examined brain activity while lucid dreaming. The authors of the report, “Neural Correlates of Dream Lucidity Obtained from Contrasting Lucid versus Non- lucid REM Sleep: a Combined EEG/fMRI Case Study”, determined that “During lucid dreaming, the bilateral precuneus, cuneus, parietal lobules, and prefrontal and occipito-temporal cortices activated strongly as compared with non-lucid REM sleep.” These portions of the brain correlate with mental processes like self-reflection, awareness, etc., which lucid dreamers often note in their self-reports.
Personal and laboratory research has also investigated the actual experience of lucid dreaming. For example, studies have looked at the abilities of dream figures to perform math calculations, respond to questions, and exhibit creativity, while other studies have looked at practicing skills in lucid dreams to achieve enhanced performance in the waking realm. Still other studies have looked at the practical aspects of lucid dreaming to deal with recurring nightmares, often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).Possible future directions of lucid dreaming research may first involve such things as using lucid dreaming as a means to emotional, psychological and physical healing.
Lucid Dreams and the Significance of Spatial Exploration (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “The personal and therapeutic significance of moving and interacting within the space of a lucid dream”)
Lucid dreaming allows for a wide spectrum of experiments. Besides lucidly experimenting with dream figures, dream activities and mind-body influences (as seen in the work of researchers like Stumbrys, Schredl, Erlacher and LaBerge), the lucid dreamer can also experiment with space and spatial movement. Carl Jung noted that the “shadow” or the denied, ignored or repressed aspects of the personality often occupied the space behind the dreamer, which emphasized the unseen and “not faced” relationship with the dreamer.
However once lucid, the lucid dreamer can change his or her relationship with the shadow space or the shadow element there, by bringing it immediately before him (e.g., consider the powerful lucid dream on p 17-8 in Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self). By making changes in spatial relationships, sudden changes and breakthroughs seem more likely to occur. At the 2017 IASD conference, Dr. Nigel Hamilton and I presented preliminary findings of lucid dreamers who consciously made geometric movements in the lucid dream (i.e., a square, triangle or circle), and the resulting spontaneous changes in the lucid dream. In this presentation, we further the research by asking lucid dreamers to move beyond making a simple geometric shape on a horizontal plane in the lucid dream, and, instead, to move in such a way as to make a 3-D cube or pyramidal shape in the dream space, while recording all events which spontaneously emerge as they do so.
Such experiences suggest the following:
- “space” in dreams may contain inherent symbolic or psychological value/s,
- the spatial relationship between perceiver and object/figure directly suggests important elements of the dynamic relationship potential,
- movement in dream space appears to reflect symbolic and psychological change, and
- though often overlooked by most lucid dreamers, certain defined movements may serve as triggers to a shift in experience or a shift in consciousness, which would be reflected in the lucid dream report.
Since lucid dreaming allows for experimentation, these suggestions can serve as possible hypotheses for future research and personal investigation.
Lucid Dreaming for Physical Healing (Presentation within Extraordinary, Psi, & Lucid Dreams Symposium titled “Lucid Dreaming for Physical and Emotional Healing”)
Author, therapist and lucid dreamer Patricia Garfield presciently noted, “The potential for healing in lucid dreams is enormous.” Since the scientific evidence for lucid dreaming emerged in 1980/81, some have considered using lucid dreaming for the proactive healing of the physical body. Stephen LaBerge noted, “The question for future research to answer is, ‘If we heal the dream body, to what extent will we also heal the physical body?’” In many respects, LaBerge has answered his own question, through a series of experiments in which lucidly dreamt actions showed a parallel effect on the physical body:
- Looks left and right in a lucid dream – results in physical eyes moving left to right,
- Clenches fist in an alternating right arm/left arm pattern in a lucid dream – results in physical forearm showing muscle movement in alternating right/ left pattern,
- Changes breathing pattern within the lucid dream to slow down or speed up – the physical breathing pattern changes accordingly,
- Places 17 devices to measure physiological activity occurring in lucid dream research subjects, who then engaged in lucid dream sex – results indicate most every physical measure reflects the lucidly dreamt activity.
To this last point, LaBerge wrote, “lucid dream sex has as powerful an impact on the dreamer’s body as the real thing”. Therefore, when it comes to his question, “If we heal the dream body, to what extent will we also heal the physical body?”, it appears that one can justifiably answer (based on these research papers) that the lucid dream action has significant physical effect. In very basic terms, the conceptual proof already exists.
Anecdotally, lucid dreamers can provide many examples, such as Annie, who had painful plantar warts that resisted medical treatment. One night, she became lucidly aware, recalled her interest in healing the warts, and created a ball of healing light in her hands. Placing the ball of light over each foot, she intended for it to be healed. When she woke, she reports that overnight the plantar warts turned black, and within ten days fell off, and did not return. Ed Kellogg, Ph.D., has investigated lucid dream healing deeply, and has apparently healed himself on a number of occasions. He writes that lucid dream healing may come in three forms: Diagnostic, in which the person gets information that properly diagnoses the ailment; Prescriptive, in which the person receives a prescription such as a substance/food to take (or avoid), or other information that assists to achieve a healing; Curative, in which the lucid dreamer directly experiences a rapid healing or freedom from symptoms as a result of the lucid dream. Lucid dreaming allows for scientific experimentation.
The Symbolic Profile: Exploring and Enhancing Your Dream Life (Workshop)
This interactive workshop will provide dreamers the opportunity to uncover key symbols and themes which reveal their unique approach to life. Using the “Symbolic Profile,” an analysis and amplification tool and process, dreamers will create their personal symbolic “maps” to help them navigate and enhance both the dreaming and waking life journey. Six universal symbols reveal a “story” for each participant (dreamer), bringing new or enhanced awareness.
Phase I of the workshop will begin with a 15-minute overview of the meaning and impact of universal symbols from which the psyche speaks to dreamers. The Symbolic Profile will be introduced with a brief description of how it has been used for decades as an effective tool and process to access an individual’s underlying (unconscious) life story. Phase II consists of 20 minutes of individual work in which dreamers create their personal symbolic profiles. Handouts will be provided, along with pens and pencils to respond to various symbolic “prompts” and to answer a series of questions. Each dreamer will be given time to reflect on their “drawings” and to jot down a few key words and phrases. In Phase III, dreamers will break into small groups, as the symbolic meanings of their profiles are incrementally revealed. Each dreamer will have time to assimilate their personal responses to the revelations and to share with others as desired. After walking through the meanings of each symbol, group members will have an opportunity to share their profiles with one another and offer each other feedback and insights for additional meaning and implications. Dreamers will encounter a number of revealing insights, often with much surprise, as well as confirmation of what they’ve always known, yet failed to acknowledge in waking life. The experience of sharing within the small groups provides dreamers an opportunity to practice their “amplification” skills and also gaining the value of objective feedback from others. Approximately 40 minutes will be allocated for this Phase of the workshop, and the facilitator will offer informational guidance and feedback along the way. Phase IV consists of a 15-minute debriefing with the large group, to discuss ways to utilize the knowledge gained from the symbolic profiling to enhance the dreamers’ waking life. The facilitator will introduce sample profiles from various (anonymous) counseling situations for dreamers to compare, contrast and draw meaningful conclusions for their own application. Dreamers will create an “action plan” and next steps for their “Dream Journey.”
Aim: To provide a tool for practitioners to help clients access unconscious material and provide a framework for understanding key dream symbols and themes; as well as a personal growth technique for dreamworkers to enhance the application of dream themes in their waking life. To gain a deeper and broader perspective on the meaning of dream symbols and their implication to our journeys of individuation.
Target Audience: For all audiences.
Basal Cell Cancer Warning Dream (Presentation within Dreams and Health Panel titled “Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Diagnosis and Healing”)
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer, with over 4 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year. It is usually detected by self-examination, prompting a visit to the dermatologist. An example of a warning dream about basal cell cancer will be presented: a personal dream story with pathological proof. Examples: The Worm and the Bird Dream, Native American Four Directions.
Target audience: For All.
Mary C. Walsh
No Safe Place: Post-election Nightmares in Traumatized Clients (Paper)
Clinicians throughout the United States are expressing concern about the mental health impact of the public stress generated by the current political climate. This presentation describes three case studies of clients, all with childhood histories of trauma, who suffered from post-election nightmares. The case studies provide a window into the ways in which socio-political distress can impact dream content and trauma recovery, explores changes in dream content pre- and post-election, and the use of dream-work interventions. Challenges to clinicians in this socio-political environment are discussed.
University of Minnesota psychologist William J. Doherty (2017), who studies public stress, recently circulated a manifesto signed by 3,000 therapists enumerating the effects clinicians in the United States are seeing in clients since the election of President Trump. These symptoms include increased anxiety, fear, and a sense of helplessness especially among women, LGBT, and minorities targeted by Trump. Numerous researchers are attempting to make sense of this socio-political shift. Sandra Bloom, MD, for example, uses a post-traumatic lens to summarize social psychological research on authoritarianism, terror management theory, and obedience studies as these pertain to the current political climate (2017). Bulkeley’s demographic survey of 2,285 American adults (2017) is consonant with earlier research indicating that dream content reflects political beliefs but also reveals differences in dream content correlate with income and education. Sliwinski (2017), exploring the impact of turbulent political times on dreaming, asserts that dreaming is a type of unconscious thinking that can facilitate socio-political intervention and resistance. How does political turbulence impact trauma recovery and how might dreaming facilitate post-traumatic strength and resilience? Are those with a history of personal and historical trauma more vulnerable during periods of political turmoil? The relationship between historical trauma and dreaming is a relatively new area of research. Historical Trauma describes, “a cumulative emotional and psychological wounding” from massive communal experience of traumatic events across generations. (Brave Heart and Debruyn, 1998; Brave Heart, 2010). Brave Heart’s research (2010) reveals correlations between dreaming and Historical Trauma and suggests increased vulnerability among communities experiencing multi-generational trauma.
This presentation explores the dreams of three clients with histories of personal and multi- generational trauma and abuse: an American of German/Jewish descent, a Native American (Lakota/Navajo), and a Filipino American woman. These case studies examine the impact of socio-political distress on the dreams of traumatized individuals, and explore the use of dream work to facilitate recovery. The case studies offer insight into the relationship between personal and historical trauma, and identify triggers to trauma memories, nightmares, and PTSD symptoms in the current political climate. The case studies presented include pre and post Charlottesville dreams of a middle-aged woman with a history of sexual assault and of family killed in the Holocaust, a dream series of a young Native American (also a victim of sexual assault) who protested at Standing Rock, and the dreams of a young Filipino American incest survivor. The use of dream-work interventions, including Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (Krakow et al, 2001) and the Cognitive Experiential Model (Hill, 1996; 2003) with these clients is discussed.
Target audience: This is an intermediate presentation appropriate for therapists, counselors, those engaged in pastoral ministry, and anyone interested in working with traumatized individuals. The content is also appropriate for those interested in the impact of public stress and political unrest on individuals suffering from personal and historical trauma.
Dream Helper Circle (Morning Dream Group)
Patrick Walsh will facilitate four Dream Helper Circles (developed by Dr Henry Reed).The basic scenario of the Dream Helper Circle is that a group of people volunteer to dream for a person seeking insights and understanding about an undisclosed problem or issue. When the group reconvenes (Session 2), the dream helpers report their dreams and examine the collection for common patterns. Ignorant of the focus person’s situation, the helpers use the common patterns to form hypotheses about the nature of the focus person’s problem, its background, underlying causes, and, suggestions for the problem’s resolution. When they’ve finished processing the dreams, the focus person reveals the problem and responds to the dreams and the group’s hypotheses (Session 3). Typically, the group’s analysis proves to be extremely relevant to the focus person’s concern, to the surprise of all. The helpers then interpret their
own dreams on a personal level to answer the question, “What can I learn about myself from my dream that might be helpful to the Focus Person and their concern?” (Session 4) This final step in the process shifts the focus, as the Dream Helper Circle concludes with the group’s sharing of personal insights centered about a common focus.
Target audience: For all.
Carol D. Warner
Dreams, Trauma and Memory — and Mind Control (Special event)
In this presentation, Warner presents an overview of some of the basic issues involved in working with amnestic trauma victims who are dreaming about what they believe may be past trauma. Initial basic territory covered is how does one carefully work with the material in a non-leading manner so that the dreamer/client can digest the pieces? Dream researchers in the 1990’s such as Johanna King, Kathryn Belicki, Marion Cuddy and Deirdre Barrett led the way in helping identify major issues that come up in the course of this work. This author has worked extensively with Dissociative Disorders since the 1990’s, having 5 post-graduate years of training in Dissociative Disorders. She has written extensively about her work with dreams, trauma and memory in her book Return: Dreaming and the Psychospiritual Journey.
Warner begins slowly, discussing brain research and IASD researcher research about dreaming and trauma. She gradually go deeper, using examples of dreams in trauma clients to show how memory of traumatic experiences for which there is amnesia often comes through in dreaming, though not in direct recreation. The focus is on nature of careful ethical dreamwork to work with traumatic amnestic dreaming material to prevent jumping to false conclusions. Always the focus is on safe, methodical and client-centered dreamwork so the client remains in charge of their material. This is where information about false memory and false memory syndrome foundation (FMSF) comes in, with some very surprising additional information. When the False Memory Syndrome Foundation appeared, suing clinicians for their work with abuse victims in the 1990’s and beyond, much of the clinical research and presentations about trauma and memory went underground, or as in the case of dream research about trauma and memory, virtually stopped.
The focus shifts to more difficult material, and how dreaming may bring forth issues uncomfortable for the client and therapist alike. Ritual abuse is an example of this. Correct dealing with difficult material with dissociative clients (almost all who have experienced ritual abuse are dissociative) can be an important crossroads for the therapy in that the therapist has to stay with the client’s understanding of their dream, and not back away from uncomfortable, unknown material.
From there it is a natural progression down the rabbit hole to an even deeper layer, mostly found with dissociative disorders, which can reveal itself in dreams, material hidden deep within the psyche and locked away. This is a hidden layer of control, done extensively by multiple sources, including multiple government agencies, parts of the memory of which is sometimes accessible by dreaming. Warner will give a brief overview of some of the extensive mind control documentation and research, how it ties in to the FMSF, and how an important tool in gaining control of a victim’s mind lies in control of the dreaming experience.
As dreams are known to be one of the most reliable and useful methods of recalling traumatic memory, and since mind control programmers do not want their subjects to remember their horrific, illegal and unethical work, so they can continue to “use” them for their purposes, anti-dream programming has been developed. Warner will talk about several of the versions of this she has encountered. She will present information from ex-mind control programmers about the perceived need to block dream recall, to develop strict dream programming scenarios so the subjects will never remember, or to control a victim’s dreams in various ways. This is discussed to underscore the paramount importance of dreams in recall of traumatic amnesia and is not meant to be more than a superficial look at this other dark world.
Carol D. Warner
A Miraculous Dream Healing from Terminal Advanced Ovarian Cancer (Paper)
In this presentation, I will tell the story of a girl and her mother who experienced extraordinary despair and hopelessness as a result of a series of horrific traumatic events. The daughter was raped and tortured over a period of many years by a brutal man who convincingly told her he would kill her beloved mother if she ever told her mother what he was doing to her. By age 19, she had contracted advanced ovarian cancer and was told that she had 6 months maximum to live. The presentation tells of a miraculous dream in which the girl, still alive 20 years later, was completely cured of the cancer.
The basis of this presentation is my personal experience as a therapist who utilizes the power of dreaming and also the power of prayer as essential tools in my clinical practice. This story is geared towards illustrating the power of the Divine into transforming a horrific series of traumas and devastating cancer into a miraculous healing, through the power of dreams and prayer. It is told through the example of a mother and daughter who were devastated by ongoing trauma and the resultant terminal illness of the daughter. The daughter had been severely traumatized over a period of many years, including regular sexual abuse and beatings. She had not told her divorced mother (with whom she lived) about her abuse, as her abuser had convincingly told her that her mother would be killed if she did. It took many years for her to gain the courage to tell; and when she did, she was betrayed by the Fairfax, Va. court system, which inexplicably took her abuser’s side. As a result, she lost all hope and ran away, only to become a drug abuser and stripper. Eventually, she wanted to come home to her mother. Her mother agreed, but wisely stipulated that the daughter could return only if she agreed to participate in psychotherapy. The daughter agreed, but said the only therapist she trusted was the presenter, who lived 150 miles away from the mother’s new home. The mother was thrilled that her daughter wanted to come home, and agreed to take a day off and drive the 300-mile round trip to this therapist’s office every week in order to help restore her daughter, who had been so very lost for many years because of the horrific trauma. This presentation tells the story of what happened as the daughter returned, entered therapy with this presenter, and experienced confirmation by two doctors that she had terminal ovarian cancer. All hope seemed lost, and the daughter gave up, seeing her life as nothing but “shit.” Through an incredible dream intervention by the power of the Divine in the personage of Mary, mother of Jesus, (client was raised Catholic), she was miraculously cured and remains well almost 20 years later.
Target audience is all.
Lucid Living: Championing Dreams for a Deeply Fulfilling Life (Paper)
One of the most sacred gifts we are all given here on Earth is the freedom to make choices. When given the opportunity, most people would choose events and experiences that bring them great joy, aliveness, learning, and the deepest fulfillment possible. Decisions in life are not always so simple, however. One challenge is that we each have important life lessons to learn along our journey, and the lessons may not always seem as fun as we’d wish while we’re learning them.
Furthermore, what people enjoy and find fulfilling is quite open to interpretation. Still another factor that adds spice to the choosing process and brings variations between everyone’s paths, is that our personal interests, skills, styles and needs at any given time can vary greatly. Perhaps there are significant learning events pre-scattered along our path in a semi-destined yet semi- flexible way, like stops on a scavenger or treasure hunt. How we respond to these events may well be what determines how close we eventually come to living our best life. Can dreams give us insights about what our best life is and how to move towards it? The presenter will explore these and many other questions including destiny, fate, and the physics of probabilities, and will share intriguing examples and experiences of how dreams can indeed give us hints about the future and how it will turn out, and therefore become a valuable tool to fulfill our best soul path.
Target audience: all
Universal Dream Dance Circle (Special event)
A warm welcome to all dear souls for an interactive community song and dance circle that blends various traditions and celebrates life and dreams through movement and music. It’s a fun opportunity to enjoy friendly faces and charge up physical and dream bodies with lots of lucid energy. In this easy-going, supportive atmosphere, absolutely no previous experience is required (so please ignore your inner critic!)
Metacinema and the Lucid Dream (Presentation within Arts & Humanities Panel titled “Dreaming, Media, and Consciousness”)
Through most of the twentieth century—most of the history of cinema—official film theory drew heavily upon Freudian theses about the nature of art and imagination, and psychoanalytic film criticism, in its heyday, modeled critical writing about films on Freud’s model of dream interpretation—unraveling codes. Thus, when the relation of dreams and cinema was examined at all, it was largely in Freudian terms, with emphasis upon the notion of art activity as sublimation of repressed desire, the psychobiography of filmmakers, the “regressive” relaxed state of film-viewing, the nature of symbolism. Academic psychology hardly entered into the critical study of film at all, and film theorists appeared to have little awareness of recent developments in dream studies.
More recently, however, key concepts that have proved productive in contemporary dream studies—the mind as a natural generator of metaphor, symbol, and narrative; the multiplicity of dreaming; imagination as a fundamental human relation to the world; the mind’s capacity for self-observation and self-regulation—seem increasingly vital to the understanding of cinema in the 21st century. Celebrated writers and directors challenge the realist paradigm—the long-standing assumption that movies fulfill their function best by representing a simulacrum of external reality—plunging film-goers’ experience into subjective viewpoints, fantasy and dream, and bewildering narrative puzzle boxes. The audience’s everyday assumptions about the stability of external reality appear to be tested in films that refuse to behave as we believe the world does—and not only in art-house and experimental cinema, but in popular successes (such as Inception, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [Michel Gondry, 2004], and Donnie Darko [Richard Kelly, 2001]). The experience of cinema—often considered dream-like in itself—becomes more like lucid dreaming, as the viewer’s awareness of experiencing a fantasy world is crucial to aesthetic, psychological, and intellectual responses to new films.
As dream studies have increasingly recognized that any satisfying theory of dreaming must account for lucid dreaming—not by treating it as an anomaly, but by considering whether it shows us something fundamental about dreaming itself—so film studies must ask whether metacinema—films that call conscious attention to their status as virtual, imaginary experience and thus subvert pure cinematic illusionism–is fundamental to understanding the value and function of film, as popular entertainment as well as art form. This presentation explores the analogy between metacinema and lucid dreaming, especially as advanced in key instances of metacinema itself–8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963), Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943), Waking Life (Richard Linklater, 2001), Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008), Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015), in addition to the films cited above—and asks why metacinema and metaphysical puzzles have emerged as a key issue in contemporary film. If we examine the value of a film experience that ties the viewer’s mind in knots, might we learn something of value in addressing the genesis and functions of lucid dreaming? The approach is indebted to Mark Blechner’s assessment of the value of bizarreness in dreams; Patrick McNamara’s account of the nightmare and ego synthesis; John Mack’s discussion of the sources of nightmare anxiety; Medard Boss and Fritz Perls’ emphasis on the dream as an authentic existential event; and Gerald Edelman’s idea of the role of recursiveness in consciousness.
Target audience: intended for all levels of film studies as well as dream studies.
Connection Games: Make Friends and Relax with Fellow Dreamers (Special event)
This special event aims to provide a space to connect and find community with your fellow dreamers. After an initial welcome, participants will play several dream-themed connection games designed to help complete strangers build connection, relax and have fun. As part of the event, participants will split into small groups with regional IASD representatives to connect with others in the same region with similar interests. Bring dreams to share. Although this will not be an interpretive space, there will be opportunities to share your dreams and experiences. This special event, facilitated by Benjamin Whitehurst, M.A. of the Alchemical Dreamers’ Guild (Durham, NC, USA), is offered in service of: first-time conference attendees seeking friendship and integration into the IASD Community; people traveling alone who would like to meet other attendees with whom to eat meals and attend workshops; Conference attendees who would like a time to relax and connect with peers at the start of the conference; introverts who would appreciate a facilitated space to connect with other attendees.
This workshop is appropriate for all conference attendees.
Dream Circling: Dreamwork as Interpersonal Meditation (Workshop)
This workshop, presented by Benjamin Whitehurst of the Alchemical Dreamers’ Guild (Durham, NC, USA), begins with a 30- minute introduction to the practice of Dream CirclingSM. Next, we will demonstrate Dream Circling in the context of four experiential authentic relating exercises, ending with a 10-minute question and answer period.
Foundations: Dream Circling is a facilitated interpersonal meditation practice, integrating techniques from several fields:
- Mindfulness: Psychology Today defines mindfulness as “a state of active, open attention on the present.” Likewise, Dream Circling draws from meditation practices such as Vipassana to bring participants into a state of active noticing. Upon hearing each dream, the facilitator guides participants to notice and name what arises in their experience: thoughts, images, bodily sensations, emotions, etc. Participants also engage in interpersonal mindfulness, meditating on their sense of connection with the person whose dream has been shared into the space.
- Authentic Relating: Authentic relating is a set of facilitated interpersonal meditations and exercises designed to foster insight into how connection arises in relationship. Key questions during authentic relating include: What does “we” mean? Am I feeling connected? What am I aware of as I engage?
- Projective Dreamwork: Projective Dreamwork is a set of tools providing a safe, effective way for laypeople to express interpretations of each others’ dreams.
The Dream Circling process invites participants to take in others’ dreams through deep listening; noticing and expressing what arises, including interpretations and mental images. As in projective dreamwork, Dream Circling participants share their experiences, using inarguable statements such as: “If it were my dream, I …” or “Hearing this dream, I notice I’m feeling …” All participants remain the ultimate authority on their own inner experiences and on the meaning of their dreams.
Theory: The focus on mindful connection during Dream Circling may provide two principal benefits. First, integrating feedback from peers is central to projective dreamwork. However, many people are not in a state of mind to integrate feedback on their dreams when they arrive for dreamwork, stressed, after a day of work and errands. In his research, neuroscientist Steven Porges describes the role of the Social Engagement System (SES), associated with connection, relaxation and safety, in down-regulating neurotransmitters associated with stress and danger. Porges describes how face-to-face play, eye contact and calm vocal tones activate the SES, supporting heightened receptivity. In line with Porges’ research, the authentic relating techniques underlying Dream Circling harness eye contact and face-to-face play to support relaxation, emotional openness and receptivity to feedback during dreamwork. Second, focusing on connectedness in dream groups improves communication among participants and creates a sense of deepening. In projective dreamwork, participants are often distracted, planning what to say when it’s their turn. Other participants share too many reflections at once, and the dreamer’s eyes glaze over. Or, the communication is too fast for the dreamer to stay in touch with their emotions. When this goes unchecked, valuable reflections are lost and groups feel dull or off-kilter. Dream Circling takes a different approach, putting connection and mindfulness before content. The facilitator guides participants to track the quality of connection as they speak to each other, slowing down or pausing interactions when the sense of connection or group focus drops. In this atmosphere of rapport and direct communication, the reflections often have both emotional and intellectual impact, aiding integration and energizing the group.
This workshop is appropriate for an intermediate or advanced audience
Kendall Zieke and co-author Justin Haylin
Female Nightmare Protection as a Function of Sex Role Identity and Sex of Experimenter (Presentation within Research Symposium titled “Dreaming and Video Game Play: Recent Studies and a 15-year Retrospective”)
Previous research has shown that video gamers’ dreams are associated with less threatening content, but also that they often do not consider such dreams to be nightmares, or find them to be scary. It is likely that gamers who play combat-centric action type video games practice quick reactions that allow them to develop defensive manoeuvres, so that when the gamer experiences a chase type threat in a dream, it is empowering instead of intimidating. Following several studies examining the relationship between gaming and nightmares, a more systematic inquiry was undertaken using military personnel. Gackenbach, Ellerman, and Hall (2011) found gamers better able to respond more effectively to threat in their dreams than their cohorts who rarely gamed, when controlling for common predictors of nightmares, emotional reactivity and history of trauma. A second study on students replicated this finding in part with male gamers, but found the opposite reaction among high end female gamers (Gackenbach, Darlington, Ferguson, and Boyd, 2013). The nightmare protection element of gaming was confirmed in the most recent replication using first responders, where it was shown that males who engage in a high amount of gaming and prefer to play high action games, such as first-person shooters, perceived less threat in their dreams (Gackenbach and Flockhart, 2013). In the past experimental manipulation, Flockhart and Gackenbach (2017), using only male university age participants, found qualified support for the nightmare protection hypothesis in those males that were high end gamers and played a combat-centric game close to the frightening movie exposure. These males reported less dreamt fear, “bad dreams”, and bizarre dreams, than their control condition peers who were assigned to do a scholarly search task. In an unpublished honours thesis from MacEwan University, Ditner (2016) details her correlational examination into female gamers and the nightmare protection effect, concluding that genre does play a role in the protection effect, as the effect is found most strongly in women who have a high frequency of playing combat games and who identify as more masculine in their sex-role identity. Our research experimentally investigated the nightmare protection effect in university women, as a replication and extension of Flockhart and Gackenbach (2017). Some limitations of the previous study were addressed, including sex of participants (using females this time), and examining sex-role identity (whether the women identify as more masculine or feminine). We also had only two conditions: the combat video game play and the computer scholarly search task control. All research participants were exposed to a frightening film clip and were randomly assigned to play a first-person shooter combat-centric action video game or to perform an on-line computer search task. They were also randomly assigned to either a male or a female experimenter. We hypothesized that participants playing an action first-person perspective video game, and who identify as more masculine in their sex-role identity, will experience the nightmare protection effect.
The target audience is intermediary.