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Are Post-traumatic Nightmares Resolving when “Inner Speech” Appears? (Presentation within symposium titled “Four on Metaphor”)
Is there a way to listen to dream reports that locate “inner speech,” which depends on various forms of metaphor? Can that be used to track results of EMDR on PTSD clients by listening for signs of such semantic memory processes in nightmare reports? Arenson will describe the use of the “inner speech” as a possible tool to monitor recovery from PTSD nightmares. Many clients entered his law practice with PTSD from trauma, and he collected ongoing reports of the nightmares and saw “inner speech” arise in some reports as the nightmare’s episodic intensity declined. He will refine ideas in his earlier articles (Arenson 1987), (Arenson 1990). Credit for the earliest report of this phenomenon, under the name “poetic diction,” goes to psycho-analyst, Ella Sharpe (1978), former teacher of literature, who trained at Freud’s clinic in Vienna in the 1920’s and thereafter taught analysts-in-training at the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London, under Earnest Jones. Her 1937 book on dream analysis was drawn from her lectures and became a standard text for a time and, although steeped in Freud’s ideas of the centrality of free association from the manifest dream, she taught a generation of English-speaking analysts to listen for poetic diction as an intriguing epiphenomenon that spoke frankly for their clients and ought to be heard. A few nightmares and post-traumatic reactions were mentioned in passing in her book, but not in the context of poetic diction. Her names for the linguistic features of poetic diction were drawn from poetry criticism, and were not always a great fit – only avant-garde or very bad poets would use some of what occurs regularly in “inner speech” – but she saw the same quality of play on words that are mentioned below.
Note that what we call PTSD was thought to be hysteria in her time, and the modern definition and concepts of memory were 40 years in the future. Today we can ask: Is the “inner speech” the effect of semantic integration of episodic memories? This is in accord with Tulving’s (1972, p. 383-4) classic definition of semantic memory and episodic memory. In the narrative report of scenarios of nightmares and vivid dreams, Arenson sometimes hears speech sounds with the characteristic qualities of the “inner speech.” Those qualities appear mainly as idioms, homophones, noun/verb transformations, run-on polysemy, telegraphic contractions, and generally metaphoric usages. Important for their detection, they are often uttered with exaggerated prosody that draws attention to those speech sounds through intonation, repetition, laughter and other para-linguistic features. He always asks if there was an emotion. The word, but not the emotion, in its pejorative meaning often plays a role in deciphering the “inner speech.” Meaningful connections from the metaphoric meaning in the “inner speech” to the dreamer’s life will often be recognized by the dreamer, when they are suggested. The meaning-laden “inner speech” may stem from the integration of episodic memories, images and sensations into semantic processes, in all vivid dreams, not just in nightmares.
Target audience level: All
- Identify the “inner speech” in vivid dream reports by actively listening for prosody in the telling.
- Discuss the use and effectiveness of EMDR in treatment of PTSD nightmares and the appearance of “inner speech” as a marker of recovery from terrifying nightmares.
- Identify the role of semantic integration of the fear-laden episodic memory in the recovery process from PTSD, exemplified by the “inner speech.”
“Inner Speech”: How to Listen Slant to Hear More Than Is Said in a Dream Report (Workshop)
Except for reports of post-traumatic nightmares, anyone who listens to dream reports for inner speech using tips and techniques to be taught in this workshop usually will pick out alternative narratives or meanings that apply to the dreamer’s life but are unrelated to dream scenarios. The characteristic qualities of this “inner speech” appear mainly as idioms, homophones, noun‐verb transformations, run‐on polysemy, telegraphic contractions, and generally living metaphors. Important for their detection, they are often uttered with exaggerated prosody that draws attention to those speech sounds through intonation, repetition, laughter and other para‐linguistic features. We should always ask if there was an emotion. A secondary meaning for the emotion word often helps decipher “inner speech.”
The didactic part, of not more than 20 minutes, will include some theory: the meaning-laden “inner speech” may stem from the integration of episodic memories, images and sensations into semantic processes, all vivid dreams. A brief history of the observation will be given, emphasizing the pioneering work of Ella Sharpe, who called this “poetic diction.”
Sharpe was a former teacher of literature, who trained at Freud’s clinic in Vienna in the 1920’s and thereafter taught analysts‐in‐training at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London, under Earnest Jones. Her 1937 book on dream analysis was drawn from her lectures and became a standard text for a time and, although steeped in Freud’s ideas of the centrality of free association from the manifest dream, she taught a generation of English speaking analysts to listen for poetic diction as an intriguing epiphenomenon that spoke frankly for their clients and ought to be heard. Her names for the linguistic qualities were drawn from poetry criticism, but she saw the same quality of play on words that are mentioned here.
For the next 25 minutes of the workshop, the participants will be asked to form groups of two. One will be designated the dream teller and the other the listener/recorder. The dreamer should tell a little of what was happening in his/her life at the time of the dream, if possible. S/he will then tell the listener the vivid or recurring dream. [Recurring, especially early childhood recurring, are easiest to do because of the terse script, but any vivid dream that is more than, say, a week old will do.] The listener will write out the dream [legibly, if a critique is wanted] as it is told, noting the words that appear with excess prosody by underlining or highlighting; and will consider alternative literal meanings, and offer them to the dreamer. Meaningful connections from the metaphoric meaning in the “inner speech” to the dreamer’s life will often be recognized by the dreamer, when they are suggested. If there is time, the partners should switch roles and do it again.
In the final 15 minutes, the presenter will consider and critique one or more such efforts, depending on time, for the benefit of the two members in that group, and of the audience as a whole. Target audience level: All
- Use techniques to listen for inner speech in dream reports.
- Identify some theory and history of inner speech.
- Apply what has been taught in one dream [that may be critiqued by presenter].
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 three parts: first, the creation of 3-D seed objects; second, guided reflection and response individually and in small groups; and third, dream/story sharing in small circles.
Specific methods to be utilized are: a) modeling symbolic abstraction in making 3-D objects; b) hands-on techniques for building with wood bits, beads, wire, and hot glue; c) introspection process questions ; d) Liz Lerman-style non-judgemental Critical Response in small groups; e) 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), and sandplay will be discussed, and references to Stephen Aizenstat’s dreamtending figures will be touched on. (20 minutes)
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 of them. 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 – 15 minutes only! When finished, participants reflect on their discoveries and process in writing.
Next they are trained in a simple technique for non-judgemental ways to respond to others’ work (drawn from Liz Lerman’s Critical Response). In small groups, they practice these responses to each other’s works, and take turns telling their dreams/stories for each seed object. There is no attempt to interpret the dream, and the seed object remains with the dreamer. 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. Audience: for all. The experiential phases are 20 minutes, 15 minutes, and 25 minutes.
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.
- Describe what a “seed object” is.
- Create a 3-D “seed object” that represents elements of their dream.
- Use a non- judgmental small group process for responding to others’ created works.
Yoga Sleep Therapy®: The Art of Yoga Nidra (Workshop)
The ancient art of Yoga Nidra or “conscious sleep” offers profound physical, mental and spiritual benefits, and affords the dreamer an opportunity to maintain awareness while transitioning between waking, sleep and dream states. A multidimensional cleansing ritual, as well as a meditative compliment to lucid dreaming and dream yoga practices, this experiential workshop will guide participants through various subtle bodies, open energetic pathways and allow for an integration of wholeness that is fundamental to inspired creativity, health, well-being and a deep-rooted sense of joy. Additionally, Yoga Nidra has been shown to relieve stress, anxiety and insomnia, is a powerful tool for coping with and eliminating chronic pain, and is often used in healing trauma and PTSD. This workshop is open to all—no experience is necessary to participate—and attendees need only sit or lie down and receive the practice. (Note: it is not a physical yoga practice.) Bring an open mind, comfortable clothes, a small pillow, blanket and/or eye pillow if you have one.
Participants that attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify the theoretical basis for Yoga Nidra and how it relates to dreaming.
- Guide themselves through a basic Yoga Nidra practice.
- Self-heal, relieve stress, and explore subtle states of (dream) consciousness with lucid awareness.
Kabbalah Meditation: Activating the Tree of Life to Facilitate Dream Insight (Workshop)
Hermetic Kabbalah is a spiritual system based on the Tree of Life, an ancient image of ten spheres with thirty-two connecting paths. The spheres represent states of human consciousness and personality attributes. This sixty-minute workshop utilizes the Tree of Life as a source of guided imagery to reach a meditative state similar to the dream state. The workshop will begin with a fifteen-minute introduction to the Tree of Life, focusing on the spheres related to dream work: imagination (Netzach), thought (Yesod), and mental processing (Hod). Next, the participants will engage in fifteen minutes of leader-guided breath work and chant designed to reach a state of relaxation. Then, the participants will silently engage in a ten minute leader-guided meditation to become more aware of the states of conscious related to the Tree of Life. These exercises are followed by ten minutes of silent contemplation on a dream the participants have brought with them. The workshop closes with time for both individual writing and group discussion. Target Audience: All
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Differentiate the qualities of the three spheres on the Tree of Life related to dream work.
- Describe two processes used to reach a meditative state.
- Assess personal dream images.
Deirdre Barrett and co-author Malcolm Grayson
Content of Lucid versus Non-Lucid Dreams (Paper)
Lucid dreams have often been characterized as happy, high on sexual content as well as spiritual (LaBerge, 1985). However, early modest-sized studies using some formal rating of lucid dreams on Hall and Van de Castle content scales did not find them to be as different – they actually had lower ratings for happiness and similar rates to other dreams for other emotions (Gackenbach, 1988). Lucid dreams did have significantly fewer characters than other dreams (Gackenbach, 1988), and high rates of flying (Barrett, 1991). Recent online dream communities and dream-recording smart phone “apps” have greatly expanded the number of dreams, even for categories as rare as lucid dreams, and make it a propitious time to revisit these questions with larger data sets and new methods. The present study utilizes data from an online dream community to compare the content of 1000+ lucid dreams vs. non-lucid dreams by computerized textual analysis. Categories to be analyzed for differences include character ones of family, friends, and humans; emotional ones including positive emotions, negative emotions, anxiety, anger, and sadness; cognitive categories of insight, causation, discrepancy tentativeness, and certainty; sensory ones of seeing, hearing, tactile feeling, body references, health, sexual, ingestion; references to motion, space, and time; and the concerns of work, achievement, leisure, home, money, religion, and death. Differences will be discussed in terms of what recent studies have revealed about the brain activity that accompanies lucid dreaming.
Barrett, D. (1991). Flying dreams and lucidity: An empirical study of their relationship. Dreaming, 1(2), 129.
Gackenbach, J. & Schilll, B. Lucid Dreams: The Content of Conscious Awareness of Dreaming During the Dream. Journal of Mental Imagery, 7(2), 1-14.
Gackenbach, J. (1988). The psychological content of lucid versus nonlucid dreams. In Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain (pp. 181- 220). Springer New York.
LaBerge, S. (1985). Lucid dreaming: The power of being awake and aware in your dreams. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify differences in the emotional content of lucid vs. nonlucid dreams.
- Compare the cognitive characteristics of lucid vs. nonlucid dreams.
- Describe the technique of computerized textual analysis.
Using Hypnosis to Work with Your Dreams (Workshop)
There are a variety of ways of combining hypnosis and dreamwork for the mutual enhancement of each. One can use hypnotic suggestions that a person will experience a dream in the trance state – either as an open ended suggestion or with the suggestion that they dream about a certain topic – and these “hypnotic dreams” have been found to be similar enough to nocturnal dreams (Barrett, 1979) to be worked with using many of the same techniques usually applied to nocturnal dreams. One can also work with previous nocturnal dreams during a hypnotic trance in ways parallel to Jung’s “active imagination” techniques to continue, elaborate on, or explore the meaning of the dream.
Research by Charles Tart (1964) has found that hypnotic suggestions can be used to influence future nocturnal dream content, and Joe Dane (1985) demonstrated that hypnotic suggestions can increase the frequency of laboratory verified lucid dreams. Many people have also utilized hypnotic and self-hypnotic suggestions for increased dream recall.
The workshop will cover all of these techniques and includes experiential exercises with several of them. It would be appropriate both for individuals interested in working with their own dreams and for professional therapists interested in acquiring more techniques for helping clients to explore their dreams.
Barrett, D. (1979). The hypnotic dream: Its relation to nocturnal dreams and waking fantasies. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 88(5), 584-591.
Dane, J. A. (1985). Comparison of Waking Instructions and Post-Hypnotic Suggestions for Lucid Dream Induction. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Georgia State University. (Univ. Microfilms Int. #8503800)
Tart, C. T. (1964). A comparison of suggested dreams occurring in hypnosis and sleep. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12(4), 263-289.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- List three ways of combining hypnosis and dreamwork for the mutual enhancement of each.
- Describe the research of Charles Tart on hypnotic suggestions about nocturnal dream content.
- Describe the research of Joe Dane on hypnotic suggestion and laboratory verified lucid dreams.
Marie-Michèle Bédard and co-authors Valérie Simard, Claudia Brassard, and Hector Merlo-Galeazzi
Identifying Early Maladaptive Schemas in Dreams (Poster Presentation)
Early maladaptive schemas (EMS) are pervasive negative cognitive and affect-laden models that taint a person’s vision of the world and his or her relationships. EMS are thought to be constituted mainly of implicit sensorial memories and are present in waking visual imagery (Young et al., 2003). Nevertheless, no study has sought to identify their presence in other states of consciousness, especially in dreams, which could inform us about the continuity of deeper concerns and how best to treat them. The objective of this study was to develop a scoring system for EMS in dreams, to assess its reliability, and to assess the wake-dream continuity of EMS in adults.
Methods: 145 adults (M=42.33±7.83 years), recruited from the general population through online advertising, completed the Young Schema Questionnaire (QSY-S3) online (surveymonkey.com). The QSY-S3 was shortened to assess 18 EMS through 18 items, and to provide a description of participants’ most recent dream (word count: M=71.90±62.95). Results: Dreams were coded for the absence/presence of 18 EMS, and their intensity (10 point scale) by three independent judges following the system developed by the author V. Simard. Reliability of EMS scoring ranged from moderate to excellent (k=.48 to .77). Agreement was excellent for EMS intensity (ICC=.85). The most frequent EMS expressed by the dreams’ main characters were: Vulnerability to harm and illness (34.5%), Abandonment/instability (27.6%), Mistrust/abuse (13.8%), Failure (12.4%) and Defectiveness/shame (11.0%). A higher Abandonment/instability score (questionnaire) predicted an increased likelihood to encounter the same EMS in dreams (OR=1.79, p=.024), controlling for word count. This association was specific; i.e. dream abandonment was not predicted by total questionnaire score. Also, there were significant (p<.05) correlations between some weighted EMS scores in the dream (schema-related intensity’s presence(1) or absence(0)) and the analogous waking EMS for abandonment/instability (rs(145)=.18) and Insufficient self-control/self-discipline (rs(72)=.28).
Conclusions: There seems to be continuity between daily thoughts and dreams, but mainly with respect to abandonment. This result is in line with other studies that suggest that interpersonal concerns would be preferentially incorporated into dreams (Nielsen et al., 2004). If replicated in a clinical sample, those results could generate new leads for interventions based on EMS work via dreams.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Explain what an Early Maladaptive Schema (EMS) is.
- Identify which EMS’s are most commonly found in dreams.
- Discuss the importance of assessing for EMS in dreams to treat core fears that are in continuity with waking states.
Mandala Drawing Technique as a Method of Understanding Dream Symbols (Workshop)
Mandala drawing technique is a creative method of opening an energy-laden powerful dream symbol to get a deeper understanding of the symbol. We will begin the workshop by having a brief introduction to Mandalas. For thousands of years the Mandala has been used all over the world to focus awareness. Jung used the Mandala drawing technique to come closer to the Self revealing itself. This workshop gives you a method of uncovering the meaning of your most energy-laden dream symbols in a creative way. First you reproduce the original dream symbol within a circle. The circle can be understood as a window towards the Self. You color the result and then you reproduce the essential symbols of the first drawing in a new circle and change the picture as you feel free to associate. You keep working like this, and through the transformation process the deeper meaning of the symbol shows itself after a shorter or longer series of drawings. When you reach the end product you will know. The transformation process makes it possible to understand obstacles or qualities, and in this way awareness can open. At the end of the workshop, small groups will share the transformation processes, and finally a few examples will be shown in plenum. The workshop will be limited to approximately 20 people. The technique requires no specific creative skills, just a wish to express oneself.
- Try a drawing technique to unfold an essential dream symbol.
- Learn about Jung’s description of the mandala.
- Learn about other ways to draw mandalas.
Transformation Dreams and the Seven Stages of Consciousness (Paper)
Mystics from many cultures have during earlier times described their spiritual development and experiences. In this speech Bengtsson will explain the transformation process and different stages of consciousness by the help of icons and examples from Theresa of Avila and the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition. She will also give examples from her own dreams, using the knowledge of the subtle anatomy of man and Jung’s terminology. In the transformation process the ego gradually moves into the background, leaving more space for the self to unfold and even moving beyond the self, ending up with non-duality.
- Learn about consciousness.
- Learn about the different spiritual traditions.
- Learn about transformation dreams and methods
Change Your Mind (Paper)
“I had a Dream.” This is a famous statement by Martin Luther King, Jr. that most of humanity is aware of. His whole vision was about individuals changing so that they could get along in a more peaceful way. In this paper on dreams the focus will be on adolescents using writing, drawing and incubating dreams about peace. We will explore the similarities that all teenagers have as they contemplate what peace is, what it means to them, and what it is that they can do in the present moment to be the change they would like to see in the World. We will monitor their progress in relationship to the changes in their thoughts, speech and actions towards themselves as well as their relationship with others. It is the author’s hope that they will become lighter filled – more positive.
We will be researching and discovering the symbols relating to peace that have a universal meaning. We will look at the messages within the dreams, the adolescents’ writings and the images they drew prior to going to sleep. We will also be looking at how environmental, cultural, and emotional stimulation play a significant role in what the individual dreams. For instance, a teen who has been raised in a spiritual community, and exposed to a variety of spiritual teachings, may dream of receiving teaching from the Dalai Lama. Another adolescent who spends much of his time playing computer games and watching violence on television may have violent dreams or even nightmares.
Benjamin has discovered the brilliance within the minds of these young people and has gained a great deal of respect for them. She has developed a curiosity as to what makes them tick. Her research will involve weekly dream circles for six months, with four groups of 10 teenagers who are in residential treatment programs for the misuse of drugs, violence and sexually inappropriate behavior.
- Identify at least two common symbols and actions that appear in teens’ dreams.
- Compare and contrast how environmental and media exposure affects the images and emotion of teens’ dreams.
- Describe positive changes within teens self-esteem because of dream study.
Virginia G. Bennett and David Cielak
Dreams and the Seth Material (Workshop)
The Seth Material is a collection of 26 books which have sold over eight million copies worldwide. They contain a map of consciousness and human existence describing, in depth, how we create our own reality. Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Norman Friedman, Shakti Gawain, and Marianne Williamson are only a few of the people, including medical and mental health practitioners, physicists and other scientists, who have been inspired by the Seth Material.
Seth describes himself as an entity no longer focused in physical reality. The information he conveyed was given with the cooperation of Jane Roberts, through whom he spoke while she was in a trance state. Her husband, Robert Butts, transcribed the material, which was spoken in final format and required no editing or revision. Today, this would be referred to as “channeling.” Unfortunately, however, that term may cause some people to discount the importance, validity, and sheer usefulness of this material.
Regardless of one’s view of how this information came into existence, it deserves further study. Among a multitude of topics, Seth provides information about dreams that goes beyond traditional scientific and psychological views. His basic premise is that we are multi-dimensional beings and that what we call “dreams” represent other realities during which, in real time, we are expressing greater aspects of ourselves. Dreams are forums by which we “try on” possible events to be lived out in our waking reality. These experiences are then “downloaded” according to the beliefs and needs of the egoic self. He also suggests various exercises that can enhance our ability to understand and reap benefits from our dreams. This workshop will be approximately one third didactic material interspersed with guided imagery type exercises, derived from the Seth Material and specifically designed to explore dream experience. There will also be a discussion of specific dreams shared by the audience, viewed from a “Sethian” perspective. However, no interpretation will be imposed, since “only the dreamer knows the meaning of the dream.” For those participants unfamiliar with the Seth Material, this will serve as an introduction, with more in-depth material offered for those already familiar with Seth. It is appropriate for all levels of participants.
Topics covered will be: lucid dreaming; dream dimensions; health; how dreams help us create our own reality(ies), with specific examples from the presenters’ lives and possibly from the audience. Ample discussion time will be provided. The purpose of this presentation is to venture into new ways of approaching dreams. It is not intended as a dogmatic or purely didactic presentation of the Seth Material.
- List three basic premises of the Seth Material.
- Differentiate between Seth’s perspective on dreams and more traditional psychological approaches to dreams.
- Be able to apply one technique for dream enhancement.
Virginia G. Bennett and David Cielak
Seth Dream Group (Morning Dream Group)
This Dream Group will focus on ways to explore and enhance dreaming based on the Seth Material (see below). The working premise is that dreams reflect actual lived experience while we sleep, during which we engage with other dimensions and aspects of ourselves. At the same time, dreams reflect the beliefs which shape our current lives. “We create our own reality” while waking and sleeping. By looking at our dreams, our sense of selfhood can expand beyond our limited, physically-based identity. Dream “play” can invigorate the ways we find value fulfillment in both our “inner” and “outer” lives. In this Dream Group we will examine both spontaneous and incubated dreams regarding: health and well-being; “True Dreams from the Gates of Horn” – an ancient technique for guidance and direction; neuropsychological aspects of dreaming; ways to create a desired event; exploring possible counterparts and simultaneous/reincarnational selves; and dream states such as lucid dreaming.
We may use any or all of the following techniques: telling dreams and group discussion; dream re-entry (a guided imagery process); role play and enactment; writing; dyad discussion; drawing; guided imagery exercises to enhance dream incubation and recall. Presenters will share their experience and examples in the use of these dream practices. In line with the Seth Material, interpretation of all dreams is by the dreamer and not by the presenters.
It is not necessary for dream group participants to be familiar with the Seth Material. The dream group will be experiential and not didactic. The purpose of this morning dream group is to (1) acquaint attendees with specific exercises, derived from the Seth Material, that will be useful for future use; (2) expand attendees’ view of how dreams assist us in creating our personal reality; (3) provide an experiential platform for attendees who are familiar with the Seth Material to further explore and share their own experiences related to dreams. It will be suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced level attendees.
The Seth Material consists of 26 books plus additional transcripts of sessions that describe the nature of physical and metaphysical reality. Translated into many languages, over eight million copies have sold worldwide. It arose from the combined efforts of Jane Roberts, a writer and poet, her husband, Robert Butts, an artist, and Seth, who described himself as an entity no longer focused in physical reality. Jane Roberts utilized a trance state during which Seth could speak through her. The Seth Material has been widely considered as a cornerstone for transpersonal development and understanding, and also for gaining skills to manifest desired outcomes. Seth’s approach to dreams contains many ways to encourage their integration into our daily lives.
- List three exercises designed to enhance dreaming.
- Differentiate the possible sources of specific dreams.
- Describe two ways that dreams can be applied for practical problem solving.
Drawing on the Right Side of the Dream (Workshop)
In this experimental workshop, we will explore dreams chosen from the group by making a Dream Map, or a drawing (no artistic abilities necessary) which depicts elements of the dream. Sometimes symbolic, and sometimes poetic, these drawings will be the centerpiece of working with the dream and we will use that depiction to further our understanding of the dream. We will then open up the dream and its symbols using Walter Berry’s Dream Map Method, which includes Archetypal Projective Dreamwork (Ullman/Taylor) and other methodologies such as Gestalt and Dream Theater. (Sometimes a dream just screams out for a bit of theater.) Using a Dream Map gives focus to elements of the dream that are often overlooked or never seen at all without this added visual, and often haunting, element. In the process of drawing the dream, quite often very surprising things appear. To paraphrase Carl Jung as he was in the process of depicting one of his dreams in The Red Book: “I tried to draw the dream, but, as usual, something else appeared.”
Part of dreamwork is working with symbols, and by actually representing the symbols in a physical way, on a large piece of paper. This brings the symbols into the sacred space that is created in the group setting, and allows the symbols themselves to have a voice in the process of unpacking these beautiful, soulful experiences we call dreams. Having conducted this process many times, Berry finds that the map or depiction of the dream becomes an added member to the group, and really keeps the focus on the dream instead of the projections that always fly about the room when doing group dream work. 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.
The final authority on the dream is the voice of the dreamer, and we will respect that here. Berry’s experience in conducting this method of dreamwork is that it is often humorous and also deeply emotional as we climb down into the sacred interior space of the dream. We will spend approximately 20 minutes on introduction and examples and the balance of the time will be spent doing the work. This workshop is for all levels of dreamers.
Participants who attend this workshop will be able to:
- Describe the process of creating a dream map.
- Create a dream map of any dream.
- Describe a connection between a dream map and a cognitive understanding previously unknown.
Morning Dream Maps (Morning Dream Group)
Morning Dream Maps: Bring a dream to this morning group and we will first draw it (no artistic abilities necessary) and then we will open it up using Walter Berry’s Dream Map method, which includes Archetypal Projective Dreamwork (ala Ullman/Taylor), sometimes a bit of Dream Theatre, and other methodologies. 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. Berry has found, having used this process for a length of time, that the map of the dream becomes an additional member of the group that has many things to tell us. 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. The final authority on the dream is the voice of the dreamer, and we will respect that here. This is an exciting and focused process that always includes humor and emotional and spiritual depth.
We will begin each morning by doing a quick drawing of our own dreams using large format (18×24) paper and colored markers. We will then tell the dream (without seeing the drawing), then introduce the drawing to the process and proceed from there to open up the dream and see what unfolds. We will spend 10 minutes on the first morning in laying the method out, and then jump into this marvelous work.
Participants who attend this workshop will be able to:
- Describe the process of creating a dream map.
- Create a dream map of their own dream.
- Describe a connection between someone else’s dream map images and their own projections on the dream.
Dream Art from the Depths (Presentation within panel titled “Artists and their Dream Art”)
Artist’s statement: “I am a long-time dreamworker and my art reflects that. Most of my art pieces are direct works from specific dreams I have had. I have found that in working my dreams, something compels me at times to portray my dreams or an aspect of them in art. By carefully crafting a piece of art, I always find greater insight into the dream, myself, and often the world. Most dreams start as an image and we give them words, but I love attempting to back up the process by finding my way through the art of the dream back to the essential primal place where the dream began. To do this, I have plunged back into my memory of the images that first appeared as a dream and stripped words and thought from them. In that raw state, standing with just the raw unprocessed dream, I allow myself to layer images and feelings as I move carefully up through the dream and give it a voice that appears as an image.”
Dreaming Well: The Impact of the Waking Dream Process on Client Well-being (Paper)
This qualitative research examines the experiences of people who have explored their dreams using the Waking Dream Process (Hamilton, 2014) in the context of transpersonal psychotherapy. The Waking Dream Process is a method of revisiting dreams by engaging the body and imagination to facilitate psychological integration and personal development. The twelve participants took part in semi-structured interviews and completed scales measuring changes in mental well-being and attitudes towards dreams. Thematic Content Analysis (TCA; Anderson, 2007) drew out themes from the interview transcripts. In alignment with Movahedi’s (2012) observations, hermeneutic and statistical analyses were combined to further reveal patterns in the results. The TCA and scales findings were triangulated to test and strengthen the trustworthiness of the results (Guba, 1981).
This study found that the Waking Dream Process (Hamilton, 2014) supported positive changes in mental well-being and attitudes towards dreams. The benefits included psychological integration and insight into past and present psychological issues, enhancing personal and transpersonal understanding and connection, which correlated with the individual well-being measures. Participants also emphasized safety and trust within the therapeutic container (Merritt, 2012). This presentation is intended for all, particularly those interested in dreamwork in psychotherapy, or those interested in dream research.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Describe the Waking Dream Process in outline.
- Identify the particular areas of impact it has for psychotherapy clients.
- Discuss the implications of this study for practice and research.
Joshua Black, Janet McCall, and co-authors Anthony Murkar and Jade Black
Dreams in Bereavement: Investigating Imagery of the Deceased in a Dream Diary (Paper)
Dreams in which a deceased loved one is present in the imagery have been reported in different cultures (Bulkeley & Bulkley,
2005; Hinton, Field, Nickerson, Bryant, & Simon, 2013), yet the topic of dreams in bereavement has been mainly overlooked in the psychological literature. This study investigated a woman’s two and a half year dream journal that included imagery of her deceased father (Black, Murkar, & Black, in Press). There were a total of 16 dreams and all dreams were written down immediately upon awakening and dated. It was hypothesized that time-dependent changes would be observed in both dream themes and content, which should reflect waking day progression through the healing processes in bereavement. This hypothesis was supported, as dream themes changed according to Garfield’s (1996) theory of healthy changes through grief.
Also, dream content showed time-dependent changes as dreamer happiness and appearance of family/relatives increased over time, while animals decreased over time. Additionally, it was hypothesized that dreams examined during bereavement would not be sporadic throughout the year, but instead would occur during specific times that relate to the memory of the deceased in a meaningful way (as suggested by Worden, 2009). This hypothesis was supported, as dreams of the deceased only occurred during months associated with the loved one. The woman whose dream diary it was will speak on how she views her own dream images of animals in relation to her healing. Implications for counselling the bereaved and future research will be discussed. Audience: for all audiences.
- List the three dream themes that were found to be present in the dream diary.
- Discuss how the changes in dream themes reflect healing.
- Discuss how the changes in dream content reflect healing.
Mark Blagrove and co-authors Charlotte Sansom, Hazel McMurtrie, and Neil Carter
Video Game Play is Associated with an Increased Correlation between Waking Life Stress and Nightmare Frequency
Gackenbach, Darlington, Ferguson, & Boyes (2013), and other studies from the same lab, provide evidence for a nightmare protection function of gaming. The present study addresses the relationship between stress and nightmare frequency in high and low end gamers. In this study 111 participants (mean age = 22.88 years (SD=6.53), males = 67, females = 44) completed an on-line questionnaire to assess extent of gaming, current level of stress (General Health Questionnaire-12) and retrospective frequency of nightmares (NF). 79 participants provided full data sets for GHQ, NF and hours spent gaming, with a Spearman’s correlation between GHQ score and nightmare frequency of 0.34 (p<.01).
Participants were divided, using a median split of 12 hours gaming per week, between high (n=40, 30 male, 10 female) and low (n=39, 19 male, 20 female) gamers. High and low gamers did not differ significantly on GHQ score or on nightmare frequency (ps = .540 and .600 respectively). The high gaming group had a Spearman’s correlation between NF and GHQ of .65 (p<.001); the low gaming group had a Spearman’s correlation of -.010 (n.s.). For males, the correlation between GHQ and NF was significant for high gamers (.50, p=.005, n=30) but not low gamers (-.27, n.s., n=19). For females, the correlation between GHQ and NF was significant for high gamers (.85, p=.002, n=10) but not low gamers (.27, n.s., n=20). This study has not confirmed the work by Gackenbach on a nightmare protective function of gaming. In contrast, high end gamers are more likely to show an association between stress and nightmare frequency.
Reference: Gackenbach, J., Darlington, M., Ferguson, M-L., & Boyes, A. (2013). Video game play as nightmare protection: A replication and extension. Dreaming, 23, 97-111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032455
Target audience: intermediate and advanced.
- Describe the claim of a nightmare protection function of gaming.
- Summarize the design for the present study on nightmares in gamers.
- Analyze why the results of the present study differ from the previous literature.
Ullman Dream Appreciation (Morning Dream Group)
In the session Blagrove will: 1. Describe the stages of the group dream appreciation method of Montague Ullman, following his (2006) book Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach; and 2. Conduct an Ullman Dream Appreciation session, adhering closely to the stages of the technique as described by Ullman, and following his requirements for safety and curiosity in the group. The IASD ethics statement will be followed at all times. Reference: Ullman M. (2006) Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach. Cosimo Books.
- To appreciate the stages of the Ullman Dream Appreciation group method.
- To appreciate Ullman’s rationale and recommendations for a limited use of the “If This Were My Dream” (ITWMD) phrase.
- To appreciate the importance of recent waking life “tensions” as the cause of dream imagery.
Mark Blagrove and co-authors Chris Edwards, A. McGee, and Josie Malinowski
How Much of the Dream is Continuous with Waking Life? (Presentation within symposium titled “Exploring the Continuity and Discontinuity between Waking and Dreaming: Advances in the Study and Conceptualization of the Continuity Hypothesis of Dreaming”)
This paper will review work that addresses the degree to which waking life is continuous with dream content. It will address the issue of how much of the dream is not related to recent or past waking life experiences of the dreamer, and whether assessment methods for continuity do not include an assessment of the amount of non-continuity text. A method that has assessed all text of dream reports is Edwards et al. (2013), using the Ullman technique, where waking life sources were found for only 14% of dream report text. We will report data from a dream group where participants reported a recent dream and a recent waking life event, so as to compare the percentage of dream reports, and the percentage of waking life event reports, for which a waking life source can be identified. The possibility of qualitative methods resulting in the identification of a greater percentage of dream text that is continuous with waking life will also be addressed (Malinowski, Fylan & Horton, 2014). Target level of the audience: Intermediate
- Identify different methods for assessing continuity between dream content and waking life.
- Demonstrate that assessment methods often ignore the extent of dream text that is not continuous with waking life.
- Identify methods that address how much of dreams have no easily identifiable specific waking life source.
Mark Blagrove and co-author Beth Smith
Association between Lucid Dreaming Frequency and Use of Alarm Clock Snooze Function (Poster Presentation)
There have been suggestions that the deliberate alteration of sleep-related behaviours, such as going back briefly to sleep after waking, can be used to induce lucid dreams. The current study extends this work by investigating the association between lucid dream frequency and voluntary sleep-wake behaviours and habits. 83 participants (44 females, 39 males, mean age = 33.81, SD=15.09) completed an online questionnaire which measured: lucid dreaming frequency; frequency of alarm clock use; frequency of snooze button use; and average number of awakenings per night. Significant positive relationships were found between lucid dreaming frequency and number of awakenings per night (rho = .32) and frequency of alarm clock snoozing (rho=.22). The study has implications for the study of brain correlates of self-awareness, and also for potential clinical uses of lucid dreaming. Intermediate and advanced audience.
- Summarise proposed relationships between lucid dreaming frequency and sleep behaviour variables.
- Design a study to assess relationships between lucid dreaming frequency and the routine sleep behaviours alarm clock use and snooze button use.
- Explain results showing an association between lucid dreaming frequency and snooze button use.
Cristina Bottoni and co-author Giuseppe Lago
Dreamwork in Integrated Psychodynamic Psychotherapy-IPP Method (Paper)
Several models have been developed over the last 100 or more years for working with dreams in psychotherapy, and there are many guidelines in analytic psychology that help therapists to integrate a basic approach to dream interpretation into clinical practice. Even though many studies have demonstrated different ways in which application of dreams in therapy have been successful as an aid for diagnosis, assessment, treatment, therapy progression and prognosis, dream work is not widely employed in contemporary practice. The integrated model of psychotherapy is perhaps the most suitable for using dreams in a modern way, and neuroscience has been revealed once again to be at the forefront of this renewed interest in dreams.
This presentation, starting with a summary of the main psychodynamic theories about dreams and different approaches to dreams, will outline a new systematic approach to therapeutic dream analysis based on the Integrated Psychodynamic Psychotherapy method (IPP, PPI in Italian). The IPP method includes dreams as a tool to assess etiology, psychotherapy process and treatment’s outcome from the early stages of the therapeutic relationship. In this method, dreams are a focus of attention during all psychotherapy sessions, with both therapist and client actively engaged in exploring and understanding them. According to the IPP method, dream is a second-order process (Lago, 2006, 2011), being the result of the integration of non-mentalized emotional levels with more advanced mental levels, such as unconscious thought. Unconscious thought is no longer considered an expression of instinct, but a product of mentalization as a synthesis of mental images derived from emotional and intersubjective experiences.
Dreams express the dreamer’s unconscious thought; more clearly, dream is thought expressed in a non-verbal ways and belongs to the dreamer. Getting in touch with interpretable material of a dream as a phenomenological key and with an empathetic approach to dream itself allows one to overcome the issue of double tracking between manifest content and latent content, linked to Freud’s theory of instincts. The only element to be discovered is the dreamer’s latent unconscious thought expressed with the dramatization of the dream and three basic parameters: Narrative form, Aesthetic expression and Affective Component. The aim of this presentation is to outline a new approach to clinical dream analysis, based on the IPP method, where the dreamer is an active player in a real co-working relationship with the therapist. This report is essentially based on clinical observations and reports of dreams with previous permission of clients. The author first observed different kind of dreams from clients during their psychotherapy, then these hypotheses were confirmed not only by this clinical material brought by them, but also by colleagues and supervisees. Given that dream analysis is an important resource for clinical work and appears to deepen and accelerate the psychotherapeutic process, the psychotherapist sharing an integrated approach must consider dreams without necessarily making reference to the oracle model, the double track issue or the archeological object. We need to formulate more precisely which are the clinical criteria in dreams which could be recognised more easily by psychotherapists, because opinions vary considerably from one psychotherapist to another. Audience: Intermediate.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Revise different approaches to dream work in psychotherapy.
- Use a new approach to dream, based on the IPP method.
- List at least three basic parameters of dream structure to use for work with dreams.
Cristina Bottoni and co-authors Katia Bartoli, Alessia Carleschi, Alina Paoletti, Pierluigi Scarciglia, and Nicola Zippel
Emotional Content of Dreams and Personality Profiles (Poster Presentation)
The relationship between dream emotions and personality characteristics has been investigated by many researchers, but a considerable amount of this research relates to healthy individuals. Also, in previous research on dreams of people suffering from certain psychopathologies, emphasis has tended to be on negative characteristics and negative dreams, and the relationship of positive characteristics to positive dreams has rarely been explored. Comparing people with certain psychopathologies and healthy controls, the present study addresses how the dream’s content and emotions, whether negative or positive, correlate with specific personality patterns, using the multiple methods of dream diaries and reports, the dream’s emotions scale, the Typical Dream Questionnaire applied in a deductive way, and measures of personality dimensions.
Previous research leads us to expect correlations between high emotional levels in dreams and the gravity of the personality disorder, and with the coherence or disconnect between the emotion experienced and the data of reality. Previous studies have found that dream reports of people suffering from certain psychopathologies (e.g., depression) can differ from those of normal control subjects (Kramer, 2000; Schredl & Engelhardt, 2001), and that specific personality dimensions such as extroversion (Bernstein & Roberts, 1995; Samson & De Koninck, 1986), neuroticism (Schredl, Landgraf, & Zeiler, 2003), and psychological boundaries (Hartmann, Elkin, & Garg, 1991; Schredl, Schäfer, Hofmann, & Jacob, 1999) are significantly correlated to dream content. Findings on the similarities between the developmental characteristics of dreaming and waking cognitive processes (e.g., Cavallero & Foulkes, 1993; Foulkes, 1985, 1999; Hartmann, 1998; Klinger, 1990; Singer, 1993) and on the incorporation in dreams of recent waking life experiences or stressors (for reviews, see De Koninck, 2000; Koulack, 1991; Schredl, 2003) are also consistent with the view that dream and waking thought contents are continuous. Studies largely support the continuity hypothesis of dreaming, which asserts that dream content reflects various psychological parameters of the dreamer’s waking life (Kramer, Roth, Arand, & Bonnet, 1981; Schredl & Hofmann, 2003).
In this study, applying the Integrated Psychodynamic Psychotherapy method (IPP), we explore the dream’s material according to the proposition that the dream is a second order process, being the result of integration of non-mentalized emotional levels with more advanced mental levels, such as unconscious thought. Unconscious thought is no longer considered an expression of instinct, but a product of mentalization as a synthesis of mental images derived from emotional and intersubjective experiences. The only element to be discovered is the dreamer’s latent unconscious thought expressed with the dramatization of the dream, and three basic parameters: Narrative form, Aesthetic expression and Affective Component. When the process of mentalization is blocked or reduced, as in certain psychopathologies, integration is not possible and the dream comes out with a distortion observable in its constitutive basic parameters. The dream is studied, as in other research, in its content, thematic content, narrative content and emotional content, and also in its aesthetic expression. Objectives of the study: 1) summarise the current state of knowledge and previous results about dream and personality; 2) introduce a proposition of a research project exploring the relationship between dreaming and personality profiles. A review of the majority of relevant papers was conducted.
- Summarize the current state of knowledge about dream and personality.
- Revise previous and current results concerning dream and personality.
- List at least three main tests or questionnaires used to assess dream content and emotions.
Stephen V. Bowles and co-authors Paul T. Bartone and Mathew Stewart
Sleep, Dreams and Health in Military Service Members and Their Spouses (Paper)
There is an increasing need to understand the relation between dreams and physical/mental health in service members and their spouses. By examining couples versus veterans alone, new understandings may be gained of the relation of dreams to health outcomes.
In the present study, previously deployed service members and their spouses (N=83) completed questionnaires including: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (Germain et al., 2005); PTSD Checklist (PCL-M, PCL-C); Dispositional Resilience Scale (DSR15-R) – Hardiness; and mental and physical health conditions as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire. Hierarchical regression analyses tested the effects of PSQI (overall sleep problems) and hardiness on PTSD symptoms and general health problems. (General health problems represent a summation of depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints reported on the PHQ.)
A significant overall model was found predicting PTSD (F(4,77)=3.82, p<.007). Here, PSQI was a significant predictor of PTSD (B=.21, p<.05), as was hardiness (B= -.27, p<.01). Age and sex were not significant. Thus, overall sleep problems and low hardiness are predictive of PTSD symptoms. For general health (PHQ scores), a significant model was also identified (F(4,77)=4.95, p<.001). Again, PSQI was a significant predictor of health problems (B=.24, p<.027), as was hardiness (B=-.25, p<.017). Age did not contribute significantly, but sex did, with women reporting more symptoms (B=.23, p<.03). Two additional hierarchical regressions were computed to test for the effects of specific sleep and dream problems on PTSD and general health symptoms. Specifically, we looked at reports of (a) having nightmares related to some traumatic experience; (b) having bad dreams not related to trauma; and (c) acting out a dream, such as kicking, punching, running or screaming. For PTSD as the outcome variable, a marginally significant overall model was identified (F(5,76)=2.45, p<.04). However, none of the predictor variables were by themselves significant, to include the control variables of age and sex. Next, predicting overall symptoms (PHQ), a significant model was found (F(5,76)=3.79, p<.004). In this case, sex was a significant predictor (B=.27, p<.01), with women reporting more symptoms. After controlling for age and sex effects, an additional significant effect was found for acting out dreams (B=.32, p<.003). Thus, acting out dreams (kicking, punching, running or screaming while in a dream) is predictive of overall health symptoms, which includes somatic, anxiety and depression.
While this study does not demonstrate causality, there are clear links between acting out dreams and general health complaints. Acting out dreams may be a contributing factor to health problems. We also found that women in general are at higher risk for general health problems. Our findings show that sleep problems generally are associated with PTSD symptoms. Also, soldiers and spouses higher in hardiness were less likely to experience PTSD symptoms, and general health problems. This suggests a potential prevention strategy for reducing the ill-effects of soldier occupational stress. If hardiness levels can be increased through training or environmental modifications, this may reduce the incidence of PTSD and overall health problems. Future studies should also explore the possible mediating effects of hardiness in the sleep – symptoms relationship.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Describe three characteristics of acting out dreams.
- Describe the three health symptoms related to acting out dreams.
- Summarize the relationship between sleep, hardiness and PTSD.
“Cthulhu fhtagn”: Dreams and Nightmares in the Fantasy Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (Paper)
This presentation discusses the central role of dreaming in the fantasy fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). Many of his short stories feature dreaming as a secret inter-dimensional portal for horrible monsters from the Cthulhu Mythos. Lovecraft’s own nightmares directly inspired “The Shadow Out of Time” and several other stories.
Lovecraft was not particularly well-known during his lifetime, but his reputation as a master of short horror fiction has cast an enormous influence on the fantasy and science fiction genres for many decades. Almost all of his stories create a “dreamy” atmosphere of uncertainty, mystery, and potential danger, usually leading straight into nightmarish realms of shocking terror. Several of his stories use dreams as a key element in the plot, such as “The Call of Cthulhu,” in which a researcher’s collection of cross-cultural reports of strange dreaming becomes the first clue to an underground cult that worships a primordial monster who once ruled over earth before our life forms evolved, and who now slumbers, awaiting the right time to awaken. Hence the chant, “Cthulhu fhtagn,” or “Cthulhu is dreaming.”
The presentation will begin with a brief introduction of Lovecraft’s life and literary influences, and then talk about the most dream-steeped tales in his corpus of works, including “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath,” “The Doom That Came to Sarnath,” “Nyarlathotep,” “The Dreams in the Witch House,” and “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” (co-written with Harry Houdini). The discussion will consider the creative intertwining of Lovecraft’s own dream experiences with the major themes of his fiction, including what might be called his dark evolutionary metaphysics.
No prior familiarity with Lovecraft or his works will be assumed; the presentation is intended for all audiences interested in how dreams, and nightmares, can inspire unusual bursts of artistic creativity.
- Discuss the role of dreams and nightmares in the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft.
- Discuss the interaction of dreams and artistic creativity.
- Explain the dream-related themes in Lovecraft’s fiction.
A Blind Analysis of a Blind Dreamer: A Digital Word Search Study of a Sight-Impaired Person’s Dreams (Paper)
This presentation demonstrates the use of a digital word search method to study 800 dreams from a young female participant. A “blind” analysis, using only word usage frequencies, enabled several fast, accurate predictions about the participant’s waking life, including the fact that she has been sight-impaired since early childhood.
The word search method described in this presentation has relevance for researchers at any level who are interested in the systematic study of dream content. The advantage of quantitative content analysis is that it provides objective statistical results that other researchers can verify. However, the disadvantages of traditional methods of content analysis are considerable – they are slow, labor-intensive, hard to learn, and vulnerable to problems with inter-coder reliability. Particularly when the coding systems being used are untested or idiosyncratic, the results can be disappointing. Digital word search methods can provide a better alternative – they are fast, easy to use, and reliably consistent in their results.
The presentation will start with a brief overview of traditional methods of content analysis in dream research, and the need for better alternatives. Then “Jasmine” will be introduced. The source of her dreams will be discussed (they were conveyed to Bulkeley by G. William Domhoff at U.C. Santa Cruz, who served as the research intermediary between Bulkeley and Jasmine), and the logistical steps involved in a word search study of her dreams. The results will be presented and discussed, with special focus on several areas of her waking life that were reflected especially clearly in the word usage patterns of her dreams. These areas include her relations with her parents, her experiences as a sight-impaired person, her interests in music, her religious background and beliefs, and her fondness for birds. The findings on these topics will be of interest to anyone who wants empirical evidence of the psychological and cultural significance of dream content.
Some of Bulkeley’s blind inferences were mistaken or incomplete, and the possible reasons for that will also be discussed. All nine predictions about Jasmine’s life in general, based on all 800 dream reports, were judged by her to be accurate. However, some of the predictions about shifts in her relationships, emotions, and activities over the course of time were at least partially inaccurate, according to Jasmine. This suggests new pragmatic principles to apply in future cases of blind analysis. The presentation will be aimed at researchers and students, providing a practical demonstration of how digital word search tools can be used in the scientific study of dreams.
- To demonstrate the use of word search methods in the study of dreams.
- To illustrate the dream content patterns associated with blindness.
- To summarize the benefits and limitations of quantitative dream content analysis.
First-timers Morning Dream Group (Morning Dream Group)
This morning workshop is for first-time attendees at the conference. It will provide a space to discuss and process the multi-faceted experience of attending an IASD annual conference for the first time. We will explore some basic methods of group dream sharing, drawn from various IASD sources. These sources include the works of Jeremy Taylor, Montague Ullman, Gayle Delaney, Robert Bosnak, Clara Hill, and many others who emphasize the playful metaphorical language of dreaming and its significance for waking life. For many years Bulkeley co-facilitated this “first-timers” morning group with Jane White-Lewis, a Jungian analyst and former IASD President. We found that many of the attendees went on to become active members of the organization, including being the host of a future conference.
- To discuss and process the experience of attending an IASD annual conference for the first time.
- To learn how to practice some basic methods of dream sharing drawn from various IASD sources.
- To illustrate the playful metaphorical language of dreaming.
Patterns in Lucid Dreaming Frequency and Content (Presentation within symposium titled “The Breadth and Depth of Lucid Dreaming: Quantitative and Integrative Perspectives”)
Two related questions have intrigued lucid dream researchers for several decades. First, how many people in the general population have experienced a lucid dream? In other words, are such dreams an obscure rarity or a more widespread phenomenon? Second, what happens in lucid dreams? Does their content differ significantly from the content of nonlucid dreams? This presentation offers new survey data to build on the work of previous researchers (Gackenbach, Snyder, Schredl, etc.) and extend it with digital technologies designed specifically for the study of dreams. The survey material is drawn from the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb), an open-access digital archive and search engine containing thousands of dream reports plus accompanying demographic information about the individual dreamers. This material provides new empirical data to answer the central questions of how often people experience lucid dreams and which patterns characterize their content, include “bizarre” content like flying and encounters with strange or anomalous phenomena. The findings should not, however, be taken as fixed and settled truths. Instead, they are best regarded as working hypotheses to be tested, corrected, and refined in future studies.
- Apply an updated understanding of empirical patterns in lucid dreaming.
- Identify several demographic patterns in high- and low-frequency lucid dreamers.
- Differentiate the content patterns of lucid dreams, compared to nonlucid dreams.
The SDDb Baselines: A Comparative Tool for Dream Research Using Word Search Methods (Poster Presentation)
This poster presents the word usage frequencies of a large online dream collection, the “SDDb Baselines.” The baselines represent a uniquely diverse and high-quality aggregation of “most recent” dream reports. Their patterns of word usage provide a helpful empirical foundation for making comparisons with other sets of dreams.
The poster explains two key features of the baselines. First, it describes the word search I have been using to analyze dream reports like these. Before trying to compare the word search results of different collections of dreams, a consistent method of analysis is needed. The template, now in its 2.0 version and built into the SDDb, has 40 categories of words, grouped into 8 classes of content. These classes and categories are grounded in the work of researchers like Calkins, Eggan, and Hall and Van de Castle, to encourage the backwards compatibility of new word search analyses with the findings of earlier studies.
Second, the poster describes the sources of the dream reports that constitute the baselines. The baselines consist of 5,245 total dreams from five different sources: the Demographic Surveys, 1,019 female and 687 male dreams gathered from American adults in 2010 and 2013; the HVDC Norms, a collection of 490 female and 491 male dreams gathered from American college students by Calvin Hall in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s; the International Survey, 790 female and 645 male dreams collected by Stanley Krippner in the 1990’s from people in seven different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Japan, England, Ukraine, Russia, and the U.S.); the Santa Clara Dreams, 811 reports gathered by Tracey Kahan in 2008 from female American college students; and the Miami Home/Lab Dreams, 312 dreams collected by Calvin Hall from a group of young American men in both home and laboratory settings in the early 1960’s.
In each of these five collections the investigators used standard academic procedures to gather one or more “most recent dream” reports from participants who had been recruited specifically for research purposes. Each collection represents a rigorous and systematic effort to collect high-quality evidence for use in the analysis of basic patterns in dreaming.
Blending data from multiple sources has the advantage of protecting us from over-reliance on any one source and its inevitable limitations and idiosyncrasies. By combining these particular collections of dreams, Bulkeley wanted to create a data set with these features: 1) dreams of varying lengths, 2) large numbers of both male and female participants, 3) large numbers of people older than college students, 4) geographic diversity, and 5) historical diversity.
Of course, even in this broadly balanced form, the SDDb baselines are limited and also idiosyncratic.They do not represent a perfect map of human dream content. Nevertheless, the baselines have practical value insofar as they offer a better map than perhaps any other yet developed – a bigger , more diverse map that takes its point of departure from some of the best evidence of dreaming currently available, using new digital technologies to illuminate recurrent patterns in the data.
- To demonstrate the use of word search methods in the study of dreams.
- To increase awareness of the importance of empirical baselines for the quantitative analysis of dream content.
- To teach specific techniques of digital dream analysis.
Larry Burk and Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos
Dream and Intuitive Medical Diagnosis for Self and Others: Research and Experiential Perspectives (Workshop)
There are anecdotal reports of medical intuitives who are able to diagnose disease in other people using varying degrees of altered states of consciousness, although there is a lack of rigorous research confirming these claims. Sometimes this phenomenon is reported in a deep trance, such as the work of Edgar Cayce, while in other instances, such as with Caroline Myss, there is only a brief shift in consciousness to access intuitive information. Dreams also may provide access to this ability for others who claim no particular psychic talents in the waking state. Imagery and mask exercises can be used to facilitate this process even in novice practitioners.
In this workshop, the available scientific literature on intuitive medical diagnosis will be reviewed along with the research on prodromal dreams of cancer. Methodological considerations will be discussed along with suggestions for future research. Issues relevant to parapsychological investigations such as study designs that satisfy both skeptics and psychics will be included. The results of the Breast Cancer Warning Dreams Project will be discussed, along with background anecdotal reports from the literature. The previous general research on prodromal health-related dreams done by Drs. Kasatkin and Royston will also be reviewed. The five most common characteristics of breast cancer warning dreams reported in the recent survey were, in descending order of frequency: a sense of conviction about the importance in 94%; more vivid, real or intense than ordinary dreams in 83%; an emotional sense of threat, menace or dread in 72%; the use of the specific words breast cancer/tumor in 44%; and the sense of physical contact with the breast in 39%. Other sporadic reports of warning dreams of melanoma, colon cancer, thyroid cancer, tongue cancer, and prostate cancer will also be included.
Nightmares often accompany health related dreams. An interactive exercise for workshop participants will use masks as tools to assist nightmare recall and interpretation. Masks will create a safe space for dreamers to discover, understand and utilize information and messages within the multiple layers of personal dreams. Participants will safely step out from behind their dream-mask to face their message and embrace its meaning. The purpose of the exercise is to experience different ways to discover the multiple levels of personal dream messages and use them as guidance in the waking world.Paired partner imagery exercises will be used to provide an intuitive diagnosis experience for the workshop participants. An imagery exercise will be performed with a script utilizing an imaginary diagnostic scanner. One of the partners will act as a surrogate for a remote target patient whose information is known only to the other partner. Feedback will be given as to the accuracy of the intuitive impressions which may require interpretation similar to dreams. Following completion, the partners will switch roles. The workshop will conclude with discussion of the intuitive experiences along with any previous dream diagnosis experiences reported by the participants. The target audience level for the workshop will be appropriate for all attendees
At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:
- List the most common characteristics of breast cancer warning dreams.
- Describe how masks can be used to facilitate working with nightmares.
- Explain a method for doing intuitive diagnosis using an imaginary scanner.
Jean M. Campbell
DreamWork/BodyWork (Morning Dream Group)
Psychotherapists, social workers, and practitioners who work with body-related therapies understand that all people experience trauma. For those in the healing professions, DreamWork/BodyWork demonstrates a model for empowering the dreamer, while simultaneously providing a path for understanding both the trauma and its resolution. DreamWork/BodyWork combines the body’s natural understanding of the dream with a therapeutic approach to physically moving toward health.
- To experience how the body holds and records information, and how that information can be accessed.
- To see how dreams and personal imagery contain the information necessary to allow healing.
- To learn something about the process of healing through DreamWork/BodyWork.
The World Dreams Peace Bridge: Drum Dance and Dream (Presentation within symposium titled “Group Dreaming: A Force for Good in the World”)
On July 2, 2015, at 4:30 pm, the World Dreams Peace Bridge has again been invited to provide the Closing Ceremony (the Ceremony for the Future of the World’s Children) at the World Children’s Festival on the Ellipse (at the White House) in Washington, DC; followed by a drum circle, open to all. Since its inception in 2001, the Peace Bridge has derived goals and shared dreams online as guidance toward peace activism. This presentation explores what can be accomplished by a group which intentionally dreams of world peace, and provides a brief history of Drum, Dance and Dream for Peace as part of the World Dreams Peace Bridge.
- To share observations about the nature of group dreaming.
- To provide a brief history of Drum, Dance and Dream for Peace as part of the World Dreams Peace Bridge.
- To explore what can be accomplished by a group which intentionally dreams of world peace.
Njeri Damali Campbell
Dreaming in Community (Workshop)
The workshop will be a facilitated discussion for dreamworkers who are seeking to critically engage the ways they can use dreamwork as members of, or in alliance with, equity-seeking groups. The workshop will be grounded in the principles of critical race theory. As such, it will not be a space for political debate, but a supportive environment for those seeking to engage in dreamwork equitably and humbly across differences. The discussion that took place in PsiberDreaming 2013 as a result of the presentation, “Afrikan Woman, Silver Suit, Crystal Staircase: The Role of Dreams in Personal and Collective Emancipation” will be drawn into the workshop as a starting point.
- Discuss equity as it relates to dreamwork.
- Explore methods to engage with dreams as a member of or in alliance with equity- seeking communities.
- Contribute to the network of IASD dreamers who want to continue this work beyond the conference.
Manlio Caporali, Marco Zanasi, and co-authors E. Fortuna, G. Di Lorenzo, T. Corteccioni, A. Tiralongo, L. Bianchini, M. Lupone, and A. Siracusano
Interactive Musical Experiences and Dream Activity in Patients with Psychosis (Paper)
Music therapy is a valuable and effective treatment for individuals with impaired psychological, affective, cognitive and communication skills. Results of the research and clinical evidence would seem to attest to the validity of music therapy even in patients who have shown resistance to other therapeutic approaches. The sample for our study consists of four outpatients, selected in May 2014 from the day hospital at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata.” The subjects recruited (three men and a woman) were aged between 30 and 45 years (mean age of 38.25 years). They had a diagnosis of residual-type schizophrenia . The patients interacted for fifteen minutes with the “Feed Drum,” an interactive musical instrument provided by the research team of CRM (Centre of Music Research). During the interactive musical experience we recorded an electroencephalogram (EEG), and afterwards we collected dream material. From the analysis of the EEG, taken before and immediately after the intervention of the interactive musical experience conducted with the “Feed Drum,” we found the following results: a greater activation of the entire right cerebral hemisphere (particularly the temporal lobe), frontal insula and the parietal lobe.
Statistically significant differences (p <0.05) were in two frequency bands: delta and gamma. After the intervention of the interactive musical experience, in the delta band we found an increase in the activity of the right frontal lobe, in particular in the structures of the upper and middle frontal gyrus corresponding to Brodmann areas 9 and 10. In the gamma band we noticed a diffuse increase in the activity of all of the right hemisphere, in particular, in order of activation, in structures such as temporal lobe, frontal lobe, parietal lobe. In addition, the patients dreamed about the interactive musical experience in the nights after the intervention. They dreamed about angels and babies expressing emotions like calm and serenity. In this preliminary study, the interactive musical experience would seem to activate areas involved in brain functions such as planning, organizing, speech production, language comprehension, memory, auditory perception, processing of emotion and stimulation of the mirror neurons system. The study will show the potential effectiveness of a single session of music therapy, conducted with the “Feed drum,” in improving brain areas that are impaired in schizophrenia stimulating the production of dream material. Thanks to this rehabilitation program, the patients could start a relationship with reality no longer mediated by the symptoms of psychosis.
- Explain interactive music therapy as a method of rehabilitation.
- Discuss schizophrenic disorders and rehabilitation.
- Analyze dreams as stages of the rehabilitation process.
Michelle Carr and co-authors C. Tieng-Ting and T. Nielsen
Positive Imagery Attributes in Dreams and Daydreams of Frequent Nightmare Sufferers (Paper)
Introduction: Nightmares are typically characterized by intense negative emotion, such as fear, sadness, or anger. However, research suggests that those who experience frequent nightmares also recall more dreams, have heightened dream vividness, and greater inclinations to daytime fantasy and dream-like daydreams. The current study assessed the daydreams and dreams of nightmare subjects to test the hypothesis that Nightmare (NM) subjects have more vivid imagery attributes, both negative and positive, in their dreams and daydreams.
Methods: Control (CTL) subjects (N=14, age=22.71+3.67) reported recalling one or fewer nightmares per month. Matched NM subjects (N=14, age=23.29+3.29) reported at least two bad dreams or nightmares per week. Subjects came to the laboratory for a morning nap with target 80 minutes total sleep time and an awakening 10 minutes into REM sleep for a dream report and questionnaire. They also completed a daydream procedure; they were asked to sit with eyes closed for three minutes and allow the mind to wander, after which they completed a daydream report and questionnaire.
The dream and daydream questionnaires included the same 14 items: one item for recall, and 13 items grouped into two factors of Negative/Distress experience (7 items) and Positive/Novel experience (6 items). Two CTL subjects were excluded for not sleeping during the nap opportunity. Results: Groups did not differ in minutes of NREM (CTL=63.88+26.55, NM=65.25+22.24, t(24)=- 0.14, p=.89), minutes of REM (CTL=15.5+11.85, NM=16.86+8.28, t(24)=-0.34, p=.73), or Total Sleep Time (CTL=79.38+32.37, NM=82.11+21.31, t(24)=-0.26, p=0.80). Three of 12 CTL subjects could not recall a dream and were excluded from further analyses of dream measures. Ratings for Negative/Distress experience did not significantly differ between groups (CTL=21.78+13.78, NM=26.21+14.32, t(21)=-.74, p=0.47). Nor did ratings for Positive/Novel experience, although they were higher for NM subjects (CTL=24.11+7.27, NM=27.79+5.03, t(21)=-1.44, p=0.16). In daydreams, Negative/Distress experience did not differ between groups (CTL=14.69+10.59, NM=17.1+13.65, t(25)=-.64, p=0.53). However, ratings for Positive/Novel experience were higher for NM subjects (CTL=20.92+7.57, NM=27.07+6.72, t(25)=-2.24, p=0.03). On individual questionnaire items, only Positive Body Sensation (1 of 6 Positive/Novel items) showed a trend to being higher in the dreams (p=0.07) and daydreams (p=0.07) of NM subjects (All other p>.17).
Discussion: While nightmares are traditionally characterized by negative affect, here we demonstrate that NM subjects have heightened positive/novel attributes in daydreams and to a lesser extent in their night dreams. In fact, the daydreams of NM subjects were rated as positive/novel, as were the night dreams of CTL subjects. This positivity effect was due particularly to positive body sensations, which may indicate some change in the body sense of NM subjects.
Audience: Intermediate. Aim: The presentation will overview the methods and results of the research study, but will also explore theoretical perspectives on nightmare function.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- List the defining criteria for a nightmare.
- Compare and contrast the dreams and daydreams of nightmare sufferers and controls.
- Discuss possible functional roles of nightmares.
Dreams, Memory, Trauma and Resilience: How Emotion Shapes Our Brains (Keynote Address)
Dreams and waking memories share many common neural pathways. Emotional trauma produces changes in both the brain and dreaming, with nightmares and insomnia typical of PTSD. This presentation reviews the research into EFT for PTSD, and the new field of memory reconsolidation and extinction. It shows how traumatic memories are formed and consolidated, and how effective therapy changes the brain as well as alleviating distressful sleep and dream experiences.
Dawson Church and Robert J. Hoss
EFT and Dreamwork: Healing Traumatic Memories from Dreams and Nightmares (Workshop)
EFT is an evidence-based technique for extinguishing stress and fear arising from psychological trauma. It uses acupressure
(stimulating acupuncture points by “tapping” on them) to produce a calming sensation while visualizing an otherwise stressful or traumatic memory. By juxtaposing a calming sensation in opposition to the acquired emotional response to that memory (fight, flight, freeze) it works with the limbic system to eventually extinguish that response. Although the memory remains, the debilitating response no longer occurs, making it possible to deal with the cause in a more rational manner. Randomized control trials have shown EFT to be highly effective in producing and sustaining a reduced stress response. It has been effectively applied to conditions such as trauma, phobias, addictive behaviors, athletic performance, and PTSD (including Veterans in some facilities).
Combining EFT with dreamwork enhances both therapies. For one, EFT can be used to calm the emotional response to a fearful nightmare, or to anxious memories that often surface during dreamwork – thus reducing resistance to further work. Secondly, EFT is most effective when the specific underlying emotional issue can be identified. Dreamwork can enhance an EFT session by quickly and effectively identifying the emotional issue that the unconscious is dealing with.
The Clinical EFT protocol (The EFT Manual, Church 2013) will be introduced, and attendees will be given the opportunity to practice it on emotions surfacing from one of their own dreams or nightmares. The workshop begins with a discussion of the research and theoretical underpinnings. The experiential part begins by leading each participant through the exploration of their dream.
The dreamwork (ref: Dream to Freedom, Hoss & Hoss, 2013) follows the theory that dreams present the “unconscious emotional aspect” of a conscious event (Carl Jung) and that dream images picture the emotions of the dreamer (Ernest Hartmann). It uses a scripted six statement role-play technique derived from Gestalt Therapy (Fritz Perls) to reveal the emotional memories contained within a dream image. If a participant wishes to work with a disturbing nightmare we don’t go deeply into the cause, but only use EFT to calm the emotional stress that the nightmare evoked. The objective is demonstration, not therapy.
Once the dreamwork has revealed a stressful feeling or memory, the participant is guided through the EFT protocol to experience the calming effect. They create a “setup statement” which combines an expression of the negative emotion with a positive affirmation. This helps hold the emotional memory in mind while the participant is guided through multiple rounds of “tapping” on a set of acupressure points. Stress reduction is monitored after each round using a SUDS (subjective unit of distress) measure.
Bring a dream, sharing is optional. The approach aligns with the IASD Ethics Policy since all meaning from the dream comes from the dreamer and EFT is self-applied. Applicable to professionals and anyone interested in this unique synergy of EFT and dreamwork.
Audience target level: intermediate to advanced. Aim: training in an enhanced dreamwork/stress reduction technique; enhancing theory and research knowledge.
- Describe the application of Gestalt role-play to reveal the dreamer’s “feeling state” or emotional memory pictured by a dream image.
- Summarize how to apply EFT to an emotional response or traumatic memory.
- Discuss how to integrate EFT with a dreamwork practice as a complementary therapy or stress reduction tool to deal with stressful emotional memories.
Dreams of Peace and Healing (Presentation within symposium titled “Group Dreaming: A Force for Good in the World”)
In August 2014, a white police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old black male in Ferguson, Missouri (St. Louis area), USA. Although death by shooting occurs every day, this incident sparked controversy that rapidly spread across the globe. For nearly four months, protestors enraged about “the system” raised their voices and in some cases destroyed property. When a grand jury declared that the police officer was not to be indicted on any charges, a protest that was supposed to be peaceful quickly turned sour. Tragically, arsonists burned businesses to the ground and set cars on fire. Local merchants were heartbroken when their dreams were shattered by looters who broke windows and stole their property. The destroyers were small in number compared to the community who supported one another, raising funds, helping to repair, and spreading positive messages of hope and support.
As a member of the World Dreams Peace Bridge, Laurel Clark put out a call for dreams to aid, to heal, and to promote understanding. Immediately, people all over the world responded with healing messages they received from dreams. In this presentation, Laurel shares some of her own dreams and those of members of the World Dreams Peace Bridge that show how our minds can be linked and how collectively we can aid one another even when separated by physical distance. As a student and teacher with the School of Metaphysics, Laurel practices mind skills including thought projection and mental broadcasting. She shares how her dreams affirm the truth that “living peaceably begins by thinking peacefully” and how listening to one another can be a powerful healing balm. Through sharing our nighttime dreams, we can aid one another to fulfill our greatest daytime dreams and aspirations. For all audiences
- Demonstrate how nighttime dreams can both reflect and guide our waking thoughts and actions.
- Share and discuss some group dreams resulting from a call for peace and healing on the World Dreams Peace Bridge.
- Discuss the potential for group dreaming to bring about a more harmonious society.
Daniel R. Condron
Dreams, Truth, and Holy Scripture (Presentation within panel titled “Dreams, Myths, Shamanic Cultures, and Holy Scriptures from Around the World”)
Holy Scripture is said to have been written by spiritual practitioners who obtained knowledge from sources beyond physical, sensory experience. They used this information, gained through meditation, dreams and a still mind, to heal those in need and to improve conditions in their community. Dreams and ecstatic visions were frequently employed in this process, which included precognitive dreams, symbolical dreams, and visitation dreams. Dreams were often a part of mystical experiences received by prophets and oracles. They then shared these higher teachings concerning the purpose of life with others. Some went beyond dream symbology to access inner knowledge and truth directly. Sometimes these truths seem to be presented directly, while at other times symbology seems to have been utilized. Personal experiences with Kundalini energy and the energy centers (chakras) will be discussed. This is for all people, all ages and backgrounds.
- To understand how the holy scriptures of the world incorporated dreams and dreaming.
- To appreciate the role dreams played in emerging holy books.
- To determine if ancient dreams and their messages are still relevant today.
Common Archetypes in Modern Fiction, Ancient Myths and Dreams from Around the World (Presentation within panel titled “Dreams, Myths, Shamanic Cultures, and Holy Scriptures from Around the World”)
Commonalities in all human myths and stories occur throughout history. These events are universal for all people, at all times, reflected in the stories we tell each other. These myths and legends, passed down from generation to generation, also occur in our nightly dreams. We will explore a few of the basic universal archetypes present from ancient myths to modern day cinema. We will also discuss how these same commonalities routinely appear in our dreams. This is for all people, all ages and backgrounds.
- To examine common archetypes in modern fiction, ancient myths and dreams.
- To appreciate the similarities in the stories that all cultures tell and express.
- To determine if these stories and myths are relevant today.
Dream Originated Graphics (Paper)
The 5th European IASD Regional Conference in Rome opened a discussion about the difference between dream originated graphics and dream inspired graphics. In the dream “inspired” graphics, the dream serves as a source of inspiration during the process of artistic creation of the representation of an image that was once part of a dream. In the dream “originated” graphics, the outcome of the graphical creation process will only have content that originated during the dream time, without any artistic or technical details from the waking states. The content transfer from the dream phase to the graphical object could use some intermediary step such as journaling, for storing remembered dream content, but in this case the process of transferring will next use some algorithmic steps that take meaningless (for the processing person) elements from the narration and decode them into a graphical image. This cryptic approach will keep the final graphical content’s origin at the dreaming time, forbidding any later bias during the graphical production process. Recently there seems to be agreement in considering dreaming as a brain activity of three processes: simulation, processing, and projection. If one is incubating expecting to represent a dream with graphics, the incubation is inserted into the brain during the simulation process. Day memories will serves as repositories for the future processing phase when, according to Jung, the “ego” will be inhibited. Then during the processing phase some image elements are coded into the dream and passed to the memory via the projection. The coded elements are then retrieved from the dream journaling and decoded into a graphical representation. For the past recorded dreams, the incubation tool of real time is no longer available. However it has been observed that some coding is still present. We studied some ancient dreams and observed that, if the dream magnitude is passing a certain limit, a primary color coding will always exist. Based on this observation we color decoded “The Dream of Rhonabwy,” obtaining some dream related graphics that most likely were unknown to the chain of persons who contributed over time to the dream journal presentation, the coding originating in the processing phase they projected. In the same way, decoding was possible for “The Book of Enoch, Book 4 Dreams,” and the 12th dream from “Fourteen Auspicious Dreams of Mother Trishala.” For the future dreams, beside the color code that is expected to still be observed because the light is a component of our environment, modern emergencies such as scientific data visualization are also expected to be part of the framework that will support the dream originated graphics. The procedure abbreviated “fMRI” is developed to the level of identifying with 60% accuracy the object of a dream based on computerized reading of brain activity during the dream. Graphical algorithms based on narration elements used as parameters, and mesh transforms using various algorithms, are producing easy to identify dream related unbiased graphical content.
- Explain the difference between dream inspired art and dream originated art.
- Discuss the benefit that could be obtained by using the dream originating concept as a possibility to improve the index obtained from fMRI statistics (now about 60%).
- Review some ancient dreams for the possibility of identifying embedded graphics.
How to Use Our Dreams for Spiritual Growth (Paper)
Elsie Sechrist, in her book Dreams, Your Magic Mirror, says: “According to Edgar Cayce, unless an individual is seeking to improve his spiritual life by asking for help in terms of prayer, his dreams will primarily be a meaningless jumble. If, however, he is unselfishly seeking God’s will for him, then the higher consciousness will monitor his dreams and give him a clearer sense of direction in his daily life. There is little therapy or value in simply learning the meaning of a dream, especially if it is related to an aspect of behavior, unless an individual wants to change or improve himself.”
In a lecture given at the 2013 IASD Conference, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche said: “If you want to have better dreams, you have to be aware, to be more conscious . . . Dream practice is also a wake practice.” These two ideas are key components and can be seen as the spinal column of this talk. In order to cultivate spiritual dreams, our waking life must be oriented by spiritual values and coherent behavior.
The presentation is made in four parts: 1. The challenge of maintaining the highest level of consciousness available during day time; 2. Presentation of four dream experiences that illustrate how dreams can uplift our spiritual life; 3. What kind of experiences can we expect from spiritual dreaming? Some illustrations; and 4. Presentation of a methodology utilized by the lecturer to cultivate spiritual dreaming: a. Control of attitude and attention; b. Spiritual exercises; c. Dream incubation; d. Dream recovery and understanding; and e. Honoring the message of the dream.
- Explain some key concepts related to spiritual life.
- Identify some elements of a strategy to cultivate spiritual dreams.
- Explain the role of some tools suggested to improve our dream abilities.
David A. Crespy
Dreamwork for Playwriting: Exploring the Oneiric to Create Drama (Workshop)
Introductory Summary: The workshop explores the practical possibilities of using dreams to provide content, form, and structure to non-realistic plays.
Basis: It is based upon work of such dream-based playwrights as Eugene Ionesco, Adrienne Kennedy, August Strindberg, and others, and the writings of performance theorist, Bert O. States, who explored a phenomenological approach to dreaming and fiction in his books Dreaming and Storytelling, The Rhetoric of Dreams, and Seeing in the Dark.
Detailed Summary: Crespy will offer a brief discussion his own exploration of dreaming in dramatic literature, followed by workshop exercises in dreamwork as an organic foundation approach to nonrealistic, nonlinear playwriting techniques. The paper offers practical exercises and techniques to tap into this resource, and also provides analytical tools to explore dream-based plays.
Target Audience: Dreamwork offers to intermediate levels of playwrights a personal, fresh, uncensored method for unleashing creative work and makes it possible to root character, plot, and idea to image, song, and language in a visceral, emotionally-based wellspring of dramatic possibilities.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Create plays and drama based upon dreams and dream structure.
- Analyze the dream techniques employed by playwrights.
- Use dream content to teach playwriting in their own classes.
Allyson Dale and co-authors Alexandre Lafreniere, Raphaelle Robideaux, Ashley Nixon, and Joseph De Koninck
A First Look at the Ontogenesis of Dreams from Adolescence to Old Age (Paper)
Introduction. Age related changes in dream content have not been a large focus of dream literature to date. So far, studies conducted with limited age ranges and samples suggest an age-related decline for men and women for aggression, friendliness, and emotions in dreams. The current study furthers this research by examining the ontogenetic pattern of dream content in a large sample of both men and women for the major Hall and Van de Castle categories of characters, interactions, activities, and emotions.
Method. Participants were 75 women and 50 men in five age categories, from adolescence to old age, including 12-17, 18-24, 25-39, 40-64, and 65-85, totalling 375 women and 231 men. The last age category for men only contained 31 participants, due to difficulties with data collection for this subsample. One dream per participant was scored by two independent judges, with inter-rater reliability, using the Hall and Van de Castle (1966) method of content analysis. Trend analyses were used to examine the ontogenetic patterns of various dream content categories.
Results. For women, results demonstrated an ontogenetic decrease (linear trend) for female and familiar characters, activities, aggression, and friendliness. Further, there was a quadratic trend for total emotions (with peaks at 12-17 and 65-85) and negative emotions (with peaks at 18-2and 25-39). For men, results demonstrated a quadratic trend for known characters; however, a fourth order trend better explained the data (with peaks at 12-17, 25-39, and 65-85). There was also a significant ontogenetic decrease in aggression across the lifespan and an increase in friendliness.
Conclusion. These findings provide a first look at the ontogenetic pattern of dream content categories for men and women, with palpable gender distinctions arising. These distinctions overall reflect the waking developmental pattern as proposed by social theories, and recognized features of aging and postulated by the continuity hypothesis. Of interest, however, is that in the case of aggression and friendliness, this relationship is less clear, since there was an ontogenetic decrease in total aggression for both men and women, but opposite trends occurred for friendliness. These opposing developmental dream patterns need to be discussed in relation to the waking aging process.
- Discuss the ontogenetic pattern of aggression in the dreams of men and women.
- List a dream content category with a gender difference in the ontogenetic pattern.
- Describe the ontogenetic pattern of emotions for women.
Allyson Dale and co-authors Alexandre Lafrenière, Raphaëlle Robidoux, and Joseph De Koninck
Waking Threats, Dream Threats and their Autobiographical Origin (Poster Presentation)
Introductory Statement: According to the Threat Simulation Theory (TST), the experience of a threatening event the day preceding a dream should activate the threat simulation system (TSS), a sub-mechanism of the dream production which was crucial in the evolution of the human beings.
Introduction: According to the TST, it would be expected that the presence of threats in dreams would be correlated with both the experience of the everyday threatening events the day before the dream and with the highest level of stress experienced that day. Still according to this theory, it would be expected that if no severely threatening events were reported for the year preceding the dream, the TSS should select memory traces related to threatening experiences that took place more than a year ago.
Method: The study included two groups of participants (N = 119) who did not report having experienced severe threatening events in the year prior to their dream. The first group (n = 60) reported a dream with at least one threatening event and the second group (n = 59) reported a dream without any threats. In their dream questionnaires, the participants filled a daily log in which they described their day and indicated the highest level of stress they had experienced. They also indicated if the diverse dream elements referred to past experiences and, if so, at what point in time. This was determined in accordance with the temporal references scale including 13 time points, ranging from “last night” to “20 to 29 years ago.”
Results: The analysis executed with the total sample confirms that the presence/absence of threat in the dream reports was not only significantly positively correlated with the presence/absence of threats in daily logs (r = 0.22, ρ =.015) but also with the stress level experienced the day preceding the dream (r = 0.24, ρ =.01). There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups for the dream elements’ time categories referring to the year before the dreams. However, the group of participants who reported dream threats had significantly more temporal references for the time categories “One year ago” (F(1,117)= 9.01, ρ =.001), “From 2 to 4 years ago” (F(1,117)= 11.57, ρ =.001) and “From 5 to 9 years ago” (F(1,117)= 10.86, ρ =.001).
Conclusion: These results provide support for the Threat Simulation Theory. It seems that the experience of a threatening event the day before the dream and of the highest stress level is associated with the presence of threats in dreams. This is also consistent with the continuity hypothesis between waking and dreaming. More importantly, it seems that indeed, in the absence of recent highly negative emotional experiences, the dream production system will select memory traces from the remote past. Additional research is required to further the understanding of the potential impact of such incorporations in dreams on waking psychological adaptation. Audience: All
- Explain the relationship between the waking threats and the dream threat.
- Describe how the stress level the day prior to the dream influences the presence of threat in dreams.
- Discuss the link between the remote past and the threat simulations in dreams.
Allyson Dale and co-authors Raphaëlle Robidoux, Alexandre Lafrenière, and Joseph de Koninck
An Examination of Emotionally Impactful Dreams among Young Adults (Poster Presentation)
Introduction: An impactful dream has an effect on the dreamer’s waking life thoughts and/or feelings. The main defining trait of an emotionally impactful dream, as opposed to an impactful dream, is specifically its significant self-perceived effect on the dreamer’s feelings. According to Kuiken and collaborators, impactful dreams can be categorized into three main types: existential, transcendent, and anxiety dreams. This study investigated the distribution of the type of emotionally impactful dreams in young adults and further examined the relationship between dream emotion and morning mood.
Method: Young adults (N=52) were selected as part of a normative study on sleep and dreams. Participants recorded their dreams at home for ten days or until two dreams were reported. If they reported a dream, they would also fill out a questionnaire regarding the dream’s self-judged impact on morning mood. This study’s participants had all submitted one emotionally impactful dream (self-judged as impacting morning mood) and one mundane dream (self-judged to be non-impactful on morning mood). Two independent judges identified the type of impactful dream for the 52 submitted emotionally impactful dreams. The criteria for coding the dream and emotional content were adapted from Kuiken and collaborators’ combination of emotional, sensorial, narrative, and intellectual factors. Dreams containing the most characteristics of a given dream type were judged to belong in that “cluster” or category. Participants also identified their level of experienced emotion during and after sleep. Correlation analyses were applied to those emotions’ self-rated levels in order to explore the relationship between dream content and morning mood for impactful and mundane dreams.
Results: The study’s dream type distribution was skewed. There was no significant difference between the prevalence of the transcendent and existential dreams, both of which occurred respectively 21 and 20 times, almost twice as often as the 11 anxiety dreams (p < .01). Furthermore, correlation analyses revealed that all sub-types of emotions were significantly correlated with morning mood for impactful dreams (happiness, r=.61, p< .001; fear, r=.41, p< .025; anger, r=.58, p=.001; and sadness, r=.76, p< .001). In mundane dreams, however, only happiness was predictive of morning mood when experienced within the dream (r=.5, p=.005).
Conclusion: The less frequent occurrence of anxiety dreams suggests that they are either not as present within our sample or not as emotionally impactful as other types of impactful dreams. Additionally, emotions experienced in impactful dreams overall are reflected in waking-life morning mood. Therefore, the levels of emotion felt within impactful dreams directly impact the intensity of real-life morning emotions, more so than mundane dreams. Further research is needed to determine if the relationship between impactful dreams and morning mood is causal or simply correlational, and to better understand the effect of different types of impactful dreams on daily life. Audience: For All
- Be able to name the three types of impactful dreams.
- Describe the link between in-dream emotions and morning emotions for impactful dreams.
- Explain the main differences between mundane and impactful dreams.
Teresa L. DeCicco
Living Beyond the Five Senses: The Unfolding Mystery of Dreams – Science or Spirituality? (Paper)
Conducting research on dreams in the applied/clinical environment brings forth interesting and enlightening information about dreams that would not be evident in the lab. While conducting studies on dreams, profound insights regarding the nature of dreams and participants’ spiritual issues are gleaned.
It is this unique combination of research in practice that brings dreams into a new light. Research with dreams in the laboratory setting has provided much information about the nature of the dreaming mind, and valuable measurement methodology. When these techniques are applied to the applied/clinical world, new information reveals itself.
Taking measurements of dream images with clinical populations indicates that these are participants who are in particularly life-challenging positions. Examples include, dreams of breast cancer patients, dreams of soldiers returning from Afghanistan, dreams of recovering alcoholics, dreams of those in pain, depression and/or anxiety.
These participants desire more meaning from their dreams and are much more in tune with them. Administering classic scientific techniques to their dreams reveals a new story. Participants are taught to interpret their dreams in order to cope with waking day circumstances. In this, paranormal dreaming and spiritual issues continually unfold. Examples are dramatic and obvious, revealing that a deeper, more complicated experience of dreaming is occurring. A definition of spirituality in terms of dreaming will be given, and numerous examples from clinical dream studies will be provided. Given this, a new model that combines spirituality and research methodology will be proposed. This model will include notions of precognition, lucid dreaming, problem-solving dreams, and dreams of the deceased.
The target audience for this discussion will be all levels of researcher and clinical practitioners.
- Use a definition of spirituality in terms of dreams and dreaming.
- Describe how spiritual issues arise out of classical dream research.
- Explain a model combining research and spirituality for future research
Feeding Their Fire: Getting Graduate Students Engaged In Dream Research (Presentation within panel titled “Research Experience and Mentorship: How to and with whom”)
This presentation will be a discussion of how students can get engaged in dream research and how they can get published in the area. It will also include discussion of launching their career past the Masters and PhD levels.
- Summarize what works for supervising graduate students in dream research.
Female Gamers and the Nightmare Protection Thesis: A Further Exploration (Presentation within symposium titled “Dreams and Gaming: Further Explorations of Nightmare Protection, Culture and Presence”)
Dreams served a great purpose to humans during evolutionary times. Dreams – nightmares in particular – allowed an individual to practise their response to dangerous situations without actually being in harm’s way. Video games have become extremely engaging and immersive, with increasingly realistic graphics. Due to this realism, video games can be conceptualized as an alternative route for this practise against dangerous situations; thus they provide protection against nightmares. Men who frequently play video games (more than once a week) sometimes report less frequent nightmares and/or find their nightmares less terrifying than men who game less often. Instead, frequent gamers find their nightmares empowering, which is referred to as the Nightmare Protection Effect. This effect is said to work because frequent video game play of combat-centric video games allows players to create well developed responses to threatening situations. However, when looking at females who play video games, this effect has not been found. Instead, females who frequently game report more frequent or intense nightmares compared to females who game very little.
This further exploratory research aims to examine the associations between several self-report indices. These self-report measures include the personality traits of boundary thinness (creativity and proneness to fantasy), sex role orientation (masculinity and femininity), and the Big Five personality traits (neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness). Also included in self-report measures are frequency of video game play, social media use, nightmare frequency, evasiveness of nightmares, and daytime suffering caused by the nightmares.
We hope to find out why the Nightmare Protection Effect does not seem to work for females. The hope is that future applications of this knowledge will include more research in this area, as well as future clinical applications of this knowledge in the treatment of nightmares.
- Discuss the unique experience of being a female gamer.
- Analyze sex differences in nightmares as a function of gaming.
- Summarize the nightmare protection thesis.
Alison Ditner, Jayne Gackenbach, and co-author Sarkis Hakopdjanian
Video Game Play and Nightmare Protection Hypothesis: A Cross Cultural Analysis (Poster presentation)
Dreams may serve multiple functions, such as emotional regulation, threat simulation and information processing. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between culture, media use and one type of dream, nightmares. We surveyed participants in China and Canada to better understand their frequency of media use, dream history, recent dream content, and self-construal. Our findings indicate that an increase in the frequency of media use, specifically video game play and social media, does have an impact on various measures of threats in dreams, but the results vary across cultures, genders and type of media use. We observed that there were significant differences between the dream self reports given by the participants, and the coding of the data by our judges. While there were many differences in these observations, we focused on the differences pertaining to media use. We also focused on one particular type of dream, the nightmare, due to its relevance to previous research on gaming and dreams. The effects of the two media types we investigated have to be considered separately, as there are differences among the high video game players and social media users. Basically, the surrounding cultures embracement of collectivism, China, or individualism, Canada, informs the self-perceived constraints of the individual along traditional sex roles. Thus, in China, we observed that males did not report any differences in the bad dream intensity subscale, regardless of the frequency of video game play. Perhaps this can be attributed to the self identity that males have of not wanting to report any threats or nightmares, a possible perception of weakness. For females, we observed a decrease in dream threats as video game play increased, adding support to our nightmare protection hypothesis. However, females with a low frequency of video game play did report more bad dreams, as there were no effects from nightmare protection or from the male self identity bias. Since Chinese females in this sample were found to be more collectivist than Chinese males, in an already collectivist culture, it may be that this further increased their vulnerability to threats in dreams. Carrying the burden of connection may result in a lot of social pressure. In Canada, males did report a decrease in dream threats, as video game play increased, adding support to our nightmare protection hypothesis. However, high gaming females showed an increase in dream threats, as we have found in several previous studies. This may be from increased anxiety of an internal conflict relating to their sex role self identity as nurturers in an individualist culture.
- Understand the nightmare protection thesis.
- Learn how culture may inform video game play and nightmare protection.
- Appreciate how social media effects are different for nightmares.
Sound Sensitivity in Working with Dream Images (Morning Dream Group)
As products of the Unconscious, dream images present us in unexpected ways with aspects of our lives that are difficult for us to see and take into account. This is also true of the sounds that emerge unexpectedly from our being. Furthermore, actual experience shows that there is an intimate, dynamic and transformative relationship between vocal sound and the images in our dreams (and lives). In addition to developing and honing hearing skills, the invitation is to learn to listen for – and to – the images that come with the sounds that appear with a dream and the telling of it. We will work with a sound awareness of our dream images that promises to awaken physical, emotional, mental and spiritual movements in our lives – as well as using vocal expression as a medium for our images to take on new forms and significance. We will share a way of working with dreams that is innovative, fun, surprisingly practical and deeply moving.
Participants to this morning dream group will be able to:
- Experientially discover the intimate, dynamic and transformative relationship between sound and dream images.
- Differentiate ways of listening beyond simply “content” interpretation.
- Recognize sound as an inner as well as an outer phenomena that – when worked with – can profoundly shift our relationship with the images in our dreams and the role that their themes play in our daily lives.
Sound Sensitivity in Working with Dream Images: Nurturing a Sound Imagination (Special event)
Although we know that dream images present and confront us in unexpected ways with aspects of our lives that are often difficult to see and then actually to take into account, we insist on the habit of interpreting them, rather than to experience them in new and clearly transformative ways. Working with dream images with a conscious sensitivity to Sound – including vocal emissions – is too often neglected, sadly, given its transformative power. There is much to be gained by becoming sensitive to the outer and inner sounds that come with telling others of the images in our dreams. The added value comes when we do vocal exercises with the sounds that we have become sensitive to in our “work” with the dream images.
Awareness of, and then working with, the vocal sounds that emerge unexpectedly from our Being when recounting a dream, reveals much that we are far from conscious of. The sounds that emerge unexpectedly from our Being make palpable the unconscious intentions that are in tension with our more conscious (ego-identified) attitudes and behavior patterns toward our dream images. Doehner proposes to show how sound sensitivity is a means to access, reveal and connect with the dream experience beyond the ego’s control, and how this becomes an experience that moves us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Actual experience shows that there is an intimate, dynamic and transformative relationship between vocal sound and the images in our dreams (and lives). Doehner will share his findings of how this happens and will awaken participants’ imaginations as to how they might experience it for themselves and practice it with others, favoring a deep sense of well-being. Most significant is that sound is a simple, basic, obvious, and immediate way for generating images. New images inevitably appear and transform with sound. Vocal expression is a medium for our images to take on new forms and significance.
The alchemy of sound sensitivity and vocal practice in working with dream images has an evident double effect: it dissolves – releases, breaks open, cleanses – an emotional tension which is stuck . . . and it coagulates, shapes, limits, organizes, creates new structures and constantly changing forms . . . creating a palpable shift in the tension.
The possibilities opened when “working consciously” with Sound as we relate to the dream images of others, or our own, are so multiple and obviously relieving, beneficial and transformative, that the presenter wants to call particular attention to relating to dreams with Sound.
This presentation is about how to work with our dreams with a Sound sensitivity. In addition to showing how to develop and hone hearing skills, Doehner wants to awaken the desire – and to provide tools – to cultivate a Sound Imagination, which involves learning ways to listen to the images that come with the sounds that appear with a dream and the telling of it, and daring to do vocal exercises with the sounds that appear.
This presentation will be interactive and will involve audience participation.
Participants to this special presentation will discover:
- How to explore the intimate, dynamic and transformative relationship between sound and images.
- Listening skills that go beyond well known “content” interpretations.
- That sound is an inner as well as an outer phenomena which can be consciously worked with – inciting profound shifts in our relationship with the images in our dreams and the role that their themes play in our daily lives.
Emotions in Dream Narratives and Everyday Life Narrative (Paper)
Research: Narratives are the most common way to communicate our important emotional experiences, and also to reflect and regulate especially intense (negative) emotions. Everyday life narratives have become of special interest for research in this area. Dream narratives are a special form of everyday life narrative and seem to be told especially when they include an intensive emotional experience. In our study we investigated everyday life and dream narratives under the aspect of emotion regulation capacities.
Method: 77 female psychology students wrote down online their most positive and most negative event of each day for one week. In addition, they had to journalize their remembered dreams for a period of two weeks. Besides the records, the participants had to rate on a five point Likert-scale how intensive the day event was with respect to the dream. In total we received 1,078 everyday life narratives and 642 dream narratives, which were pseudonymized and divided in propositions. The analysis was achieved by the use of different coding manuals (for narrative structure, for specific emotions), and the LIWC from Pennebaker
Results: Although dream narratives and everyday life narratives deal with different emotional experiences, both kinds of narratives have in general a narrative structure, as postulated by Labov and Waletzky (1967). Differences can be shown within this structure: There is evidence that dreams are concerned with problem solving, as the significantly higher percentage of in-between results and trials of solution show. The completeness of the narrative structure is dependent on the intensity of the emotional experience, emotion regulation capacities, and others. Dreams seem to be narrated in a less intensive emotional way than everyday life narratives (emotions are mentioned significantly less). Probably emotions are integrated in other ways into dream narratives, for example in dream pictures, and more implicitly. Positively experienced everyday life events include those often classified as negative emotions; dream narratives even more so. Probably the mastering of a problem or a conflict that evoked negative emotions is an important positive experience.
Target level of the audience: Intermediate
- Describe the narrative as a process of emotion regulation.
- Identify the elements of the narrative structure of dream and everyday life narratives.
- Compare emotion regulation processes in dream and everyday life narratives.
Dreams and Science: After 100 years, Theories Abound! (Paper)
Science has been investigating dreams for over 100 years. The dream of science is to uncover all the secrets of nature and the universe at large; to find, if possible, a single solution for each of the questions we have about nature and the cosmos.
Science has been able to uncover answers to many of the big questions; how the universe was created (the Big Bang), the age of the universe, how to explain the microscopic world (quantum mechanics) and the world of the large (general relativity).
How successful has the dream of science been in uncovering the science of dreams? You’ll be surprised at the number of disjointed and contradictory theories proposed to understand the dream state and meaning of dreams. Although science has put forward one or at most two theories to explain many of the secrets of nature, there are more than 20 theories as to why we dream! We define the criteria science utilises to discern the underpinnings of nature. The scientific method uses data gathered to generate possible theories, and additionally which of these can predict further scenarios that are then validated or not. Science also utilises Occam’s razor and falsifiability to narrow down the list of hypotheses to the one or two possible contenders.
We will examine the various dream theories using the principles of integral science. Integral science understands the importance of evidence from both the objective and subjective domains in constructing valid hypotheses and solutions. By proposing a scoring system for how the various theories satisfy both objective and subjective evidence that is available, all theories are scored against the criteria of the scientific method (i.e. it satisfies the evidence, Occam’s razor and falsifiability).
The presentation concludes with a discussion about in which domain each dream theory should be used, where they should not be used, and a summary of the most comprehensive theories and approaches for dreams that can be used to further the listener’s dreaming life. Audience: for intermediate and advanced audiences.
- Describe the criteria that science uses to construct/evaluate/shortlist theories, and how to apply this to current theories of dreams.
- Compare, contrast and evaluate the numerous current theories of dreams against the framework of integral science.
- Identify the most meaningful and comprehensive theories to use in understanding and enriching your dreaming life.
Shannon Dammann Downs
Treatment by EMDR and Symptom Relief in PTSD (Presentation within symposium titled “Four on Metaphor”)
The use of EM (Eye Movement) and its role in EMDR to reduce PTSD symptoms, including reducing the eidetic nightmares of PTSD, has been the subject of intense interest, speculation and research since Shapiro’s (1989) epoch-making paper. A rich literature has developed to date. (See review articles McGuire & Lee, 2014, Schubert & Lee, 2009. The etiology of PTSD symptoms is itself a fraught topic (Schubert & Lee, 2009). One thread of current work notes advances in a theory based on the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model: “PTSD symptoms are proposed to occur due to a failure of the brain to consolidate and integrate episodic memories into the semantic system, resulting in prolonged and inappropriate resurfacing of episodic memories of traumatic events with no association to other memories.” (McGuire & Lee, 2014, p. 275)
Shannon Dammann Downs will give a report from the trenches on her use of EM techniques in EMDR in clinical practice for treatment of PTSD and its nightmares. EMDR is one of several therapeutic techniques Dr. Downs uses for facilitating recovery from abuse and trauma.
Recently, she has adopted the practice of listening for the appearance of metaphoric language – what Ken Arenson calls the “inner speech” – that replaces eidetic accounts in narrative memory reports of the original nightmare scenarios. Such usage seems to appear as the nightmare loosens its emotional hold on the client. What to make of this? If one views the “inner speech” as a semantic process that conveys abstract meaning in place of the usual report of the episodic memory of concrete sensory events in the typical PTSD nightmare, this accords with the AIP model of PTSD symptoms that predicts symptom reduction with integration of episodic memories into semantic processes.
At times, other PTSD symptoms may persist for some clients. In such cases, Dr. Downs utilizes a therapeutic technique called “Experiential Reframing”©, a treatment for both existential and developmental psychosocial trauma developed in clinical practice, heuristically, by Edward Uzee and Carrell Dammann. She will present an overview of this tool, which focuses on modifying neural circuitry via contextualizing and abstracting memories by creating a new interpretive narrative that changes the embodied affective impact of the memory. A new adaptive memory of the traumatic episode is created through the abstract processing of lower-order sensory based traumatic memory, resulting in new insights that are embodied at a deep affective level. She also will describe the brain structures and pathways that appear to process this neural activity. More experience, including clinical observation and research, is needed to validate “inner speech” as a tool to monitor resolution of PTSD nightmares, and Experiential Reframing© as a tool to help the client recover from the other debilitating symptoms of PTSD.
Target audience level : Intermediate, Advanced
- Identify possible new roles of EM in therapies as now used in EMDR for PTSD nightmares.
- Discuss the use and effectiveness of EMDR in treatment of PTSD nightmares and the appearance of inner speech as a marker of recovery.
- Identify brain structures and processes possibly responsible for effectiveness of EM in nightmare reduction.
Dreamwork: A Family Adventure in Consciousness (Workshop)
At the end of the 20th century, many American families were highly exhausted, sleep deprived and extremely dysfunctional for a wide variety of reasons. (Bradshaw, 1979; Reed, 1989, 1996, 2000; Gardner, 1993; Conley, 1997, Armstrong, 2000).This workshop, one component of a larger urban community health care grant project that Margaret Dwyer and her research team are in the process of developing and delivering, explores the use of Dreamwork practices in several individual and family multi-cultural group-work settings in her service area, Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Dwyer has based her assessment methodology on Dr. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, which has gradually been adopted by most American school systems. As Dr. Gardner encourages exploration of the use of MI Theory in a wide range of settings including, but not limited to school settings, Dr. Dwyer has reasoned that MI Theory testing could compatibly work with Dreamwork principles and practices in family settings in everyday life, where family members learn from each other from birth to death and beyond in memory.
This workshop is geared for Clinical Psychologists working with families and will be 1/3 didactic and 2/3 experiential.
The purpose of the workshop is to demonstrate the effects of regular Dreamwork as developed by Henry Reed, PhD, (Counseling Psychologist, Artist and faculty member of Atlantic University based in Virginia Beach, Virginia), to the improvement of family health and well-being among “at risk” multi-cultural families in America. The recently bankrupt urban community of the City of Detroit in Southeastern Michigan is located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States. While this area is highly rich in natural resources, jobs are scarce and the land and air are highly polluted, causing a wide number of chronic disease conditions for all family members who live in this community. Additionally, the inordinate stresses of returning PTSD veterans, urban street gangs, unemployment, alcoholism, spouse and child abuse, and drug abuse – in addition to the political and economic unrest of the recent first urban city bankruptcy in the United States – are making it very difficult for Detroit family members to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
Early preliminary results of the use of this workshop in the utilization of Dreamwork in Basic, Intermediate and Advanced stages of the delivery system have pointed to the strong possibility of greatly improved health and well-being over time when using Dreamwork principles and practices among family members on six parameters of health and wellness – i.e. Spiritual Health & Wellness, Physical Health & Wellness, Mental/Emotional Health & Wellness, Social/Relational Health & Wellness, Fiscal/Financial Health & Wellness and Ecological Health & Wellness. In addition to regular bi-monthly Dreamwork support groups in several community settings, this project’s research team is delivering seasonal three-day Dreamwork Retreats as essential to healthy, meaningful, purposeful lifestyle development among Metropolitan Detroit family members and their respective friends all over the country as well as in other nations all over the world.
- Describe the use of Dreamwork principles and practices that can improve the overall health and well being of family members.
- Discuss the potential impact of Dreamwork within the complexities of the intergenerational family life.
- Participants will analyze techniques for making Dreamwork an important family value by assisting family members in using it to help solve problems in everyday life.
Christopher (C.L) Edwards, Mark Blagrove, and co-authors J.E. Malinowski, P.M. Ruby, and P.D. Bennett
Insight in Ullman and Schredl Dream Groups (Paper)
We will present the findings of a study of insight gained from discussions of recent dreams and recent events. In Edwards et
- (2013), participants shared a recent dream in a small group setting and followed the “Dream Appreciation” procedure devised by Montague Ullman. Dream discussion sessions lasted no longer than 90 minutes. After the dream discussion session, participants completed the self report “Gains from Dream Interpretation” (GDI) questionnaire (Heaton et al. 1998). This questionnaire requires responses on a nine point Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 9 (strongly agree). The present study again used the Ullman technique for 11 participants. The “Listening to the Dreamer” (LTTD) approach, devised by Michael Schredl, was used for 9 participants. A comparison condition was used for both methods, in which participants share and discuss a recent event. The format for the event discussion was the same as for the “Dream Appreciation” or LTTD procedure, although the focus was upon a recent event rather than a recent dream. Some studies using the dream work model of Clara Hill have also involved an event comparison group (Hill et al. 2000, Hill et al. 1993, Diemer et al. 1996). Hill et al. (2000) found that participants rated dream discussion sessions as more insightful than discussion sessions focused on a recent loss on the GDI “Insight-Exploration” measure.
In the present study, participants took part in both a dream and an event discussion in a single session, which took no longer than 90 minutes. Participants who were involved in a dream discussion following the Ullman or Schredl procedure would discuss the event in the same format. According to the participant responses to the questions of the “Exploration-Insight” subscale, the Ullman group participants found that the dream discussions (M= 7.82) were more insightful than the event discussion (M=7.21). The difference was significant at the 0.05 level. The mean “Exploration-Insight” scores for the dream and event discussions were similar for participants who engaged in discussions based upon Schredl’s procedure: dream discussion (M=7.83), event discussion (M=7.44). Implications for research investigating experiential dream group work will be discussed. The presentation will be suitable for all.
Diemer.R.A , Lobell.L.K , Vivino.B.L. Hill.C.E. (1996). Comparison of Dream Interpretation, Event Interpretation and Unstructured Sessions in Brief Therapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology,43(1),99-112.
Edwards, C. Ruby, P. Malinowski, J. Bennett, P. & Blagrove, M. (2013). Dreaming and insight. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(979).
Heaton, K.J., Hill, C.E., Petersen, D.A., Rochlen, A.B., Zack, J.S. (1998b). A comparison of Therapist-Facilitated and Self-Guided Dream Interpretation Sessions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 45, 115-122.
Hill, C.E., Diemer.R., Hess.S., Hilliger.A. and Seeman.R. (1993). Are the effects of dream interpretation on session quality due to the dream itself, to projection or the interpretation process? Dreaming 3(4), 269-280.
Hill.C.E , Zack.J.S. , Wonnell.T.L. , Hoffmann.M.A. , Rochlen.A.B. ,Goldberg.N.L. , Nakayama.E.Y. , Heaton.K.J., Kelley.F.A. , Eiche.K. , Tomlinson.M.J. ,Hess.S. (2000) Structured brief therapy with a focus on dreams or loss for clients with troubling dreams and recent loss. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47(1), 90-101.
Individuals attending the presentation will be able to:
- Describe the dream work models created by Montague Ullman and Michael Schredl.
- Compare the similarities and differences of the Ullman and Schredl dream work models.
- Critique implications of the results of the present study for future experiential dream work research.
Christopher L. Edwards and co-authors J.E. Malinowski, P.M. Ruby, S.L. McGee, P.D. Bennett, and M.T. Blagrove
Connections between Dream or Event Descriptions and Prior Waking Experiences (Poster Presentation)
The method and findings of a recent study will be presented. In the study, participants shared a description of a dream and an event and discussed them with a small group. Researchers calculated the amount of words within dream descriptions that participants connected with their own waking experience prior to the dream during dream discussions. The researchers also calculated the amount of words in event descriptions that were considered by participants to be connected to prior waking experience during the event discussions. The findings of these two separate analyses will be described and compared.
Edwards et al. (2013) conducted an assessment of the amount of dream description words that participants would connect with their own prior waking experiences during dream discussions following the Ullman procedure. The researchers asserted that dreamers connected 14% of the words comprising the dream descriptions with their waking experiences prior to the dream. The present study (Edwards et al., in preparation) replicates the analytical method of Edwards et al. (2013) for the calculation of dream description words a dreamer connects with waking experiences prior to the dream, although the same procedure was also applied to event descriptions used the event discussions.
In the present study, one of the researchers examined transcripts of dream and event discussions based upon either the “Dream Appreciation” approach of Montague Ullman or Michael Schredl’s “Listening to the Dreamer” approach. The initial dream or event description would be reduced according to Antrobus’ (1983) method, excluding commentary upon the experience and repetitions. The researcher would then include additions or changes to the dream or event descriptions made by the participant, to form “canonical” versions of the event or dream descriptions. Two of the researchers would then examine the dream and event discussion transcripts and calculate the number of words in the canonical dreams and events which the participants acknowledged to be connected with their prior waking experience. Implications of the findings of the study for future research will be described. The presentation will be suitable for all.
- Describe the method used by Edwards et al. to examine connections between an event or dream and prior waking experience. 2. Compare the results of the calculations of the number of canonical dream words connected by participants to prior waking experience with those of the canonical event calculations.
- Evaluate the implications of the results for future research.
Why Try Group Psi? (Presentation within symposium titled “Group Dreaming: A Force for Good in the World”)
In the Group Psi Game participants collaborate online to guess a target image, based on the preponderance of evidence from their combined dreams. All participants endeavor on a designated night to dream clues to the unknown target image. They post their dreams, and together look for shared or stand out elements. Eleven images are then posted, and each player chooses the 1st, 2nd and 3rd most likely to be the target, based on all dreams. The target is revealed and weighted votes are tallied. Each year participants have identified a complex web of apparent psi interactions and related synchronicities that may make it more challenging to identify the target, but seem to enhance participants’ enjoyment. Participants account for these phenomena according to their various belief systems, and sometimes reconsider their belief systems in response to them. Participants spontaneously report enjoying the process, with strong feelings of camaraderie and a sense of having been part of something extraordinary. Their positive feelings do not seem to depend upon their individual success in dreaming useful clues to the target, or identifying the target correctly. Curiosity and positive feelings about such experiences motivated the game’s creation, after participants in a psi dreaming contest experienced similar phenomena and found themselves collaborating to identify the target even though the goal was individual success in a competitive event. The game was very popular from the start, overcoming doubt that an event with no tangible prizes would draw any interest. Participants speculate about the potential of collaborative psi processes to solve real-world problems, and the apparent nature of consciousness as transcending the individual.
- Describe several types of synchronistic epiphenomena of an intensive, short-term group psi effort.
- Describe a range of participants’ self-reported concepts about and emotional responses to the activity.
- Discuss ideas about potential practical applications and philosophical implications of group psi.
Your Dream Cow is Not How I Imagined it to be! (Dreamwork in Dream Groups and Palliative Care) (Paper)
Since 1989, Funkhouser has led a dreamwork seminar at the C. G. Jung Institute in Küsnacht, Switzerland. Over the years, an approach and methodology has emerged which has proven to be both easy to use and still very effective. Dreamwork differs from dream interpretation in that the aim is not to come up with a dream’s unique, true meaning but to offer possible meanings and let the dreamer determine which ones resonate and which do not. In this way, the dream stays “alive.” This also insures that the dreamer is not forced to accept notions that the dreamworker projects onto the dream. The operating assumption is that each person has her or his own dream language, thus making it mandatory that the dreamer is asked lots of questions about the dream persons, objects, locations, colors and any other aspects of the dream. The feelings and emotions of the dream are equally, if not even more, important. The dreamer’s life situation at the time of the dream has to be taken into account as well. Here a dream diary that also includes what was happening during the day can be enormously helpful. After this careful, respectful questioning, the dreamworker (or the members of the dream group) offer his or her (or their) ideas about what the dream might be getting at with an “if this were my dream” approach. In a clinical setting, as in palliative care, there may not be time for such careful work on the dreams that patients are willing to share (if asked); the mere fact, however, that interest has been shown in a dream and carefully listened to is already of immense importance, in that patients have the feeling they are being taken seriously and can in some small way still contribute to life around them. This presentation should be suitable for those new to dreamwork and of interest for those working in a clinical setting.
Those attending this presentation will be equipped to:
- Utilize a simple, non-violent approach to dreamwork.
- Differentiate between dreamwork and dream interpretation.
- Apply this method, both in dream groups and in clinical settings.
Jayne Gackenbach and co-authors M. Lee, Z. Zhou, and G. Yu
China and Canada: A Comparison of Media Use and Dream Intensity (Presentation within symposium titled “Dreams and Gaming: Further Explorations of Nightmare Protection, Culture, and Presence”)
This study takes a look at the relationship between media use and night time dreams, comparing China (Taiwan, Wuhan, and Hong Kong) to Canada. Given the increasing dominance of the Chinese in online life, it is important to expand our understanding of the relationship of such activities to dreams. A total of about 850 respondents filled out surveys in Chinese or English examining their Dream Intensity Scale (DIS) scores, their self-construal as independent or interdependent, and their media use history and preferences. A recent dream was also collected.
First it should be noted that surprisingly there was no difference between the four university samples in independent self-construal, but there was a difference in interdependent self-construal. Students in Wuhan had the highest interdependent scores, followed by Taiwan and then Hong Kong, and the lowest such scores were evidenced in Canada. As is typical in the nightmare literature across all samples, women reported more nightmares than men on DIS. When the three Chinese universities were collapsed, there were more nightmares reported by the Chinese than the Canadians. However, when the Chinese university data was treated individually, then an interaction between sex, gamer group and country emerged in self-reported nightmare frequency. The self-reported frequency of nightmares was most diverse among the high end gamers for both males and females. Specifically, among men the Taiwanese high end gamers reported the most nightmares, with the Canadians reporting the least; while among women the Hong Kong high end gamers reported the most nightmares with the female gamers from Wuhan reporting the least. Several interactions between sex of subject and/or country and gaming frequency emerged for dream awareness, bizarreness and minor modalities factor scores from the DIS. For dream awareness factor, male Canadian gamers scored higher than Chinese peers, with an opposite trend for low end gamers. Among women there was no difference between countries for the high end gamers, and among the low end gaming females Canadians reported more dream awareness than the Chinese. There was a two-way interaction for bizarreness between gaming and country, such that dream bizarreness did not differentiate between the two gaming frequency groups for the Chinese. The Canadian students across sex reported more bizarre dreams among the high end gaming group than for the low end group. The third interaction was a three-way, such that the male high end gamers reported more of these than the lows; this was especially strong among the Chinese. For women, the picture was quite different, with no difference in minor modalities reported as a function of low end gaming but a big difference, favoring the Canadians, among high end female gamers. It is concluded that the experience of gaming seems to be associated with dreams in very different ways as a function of culture and sex.
- Discuss how culture informs media use, especially gaming.
- Describe how such cultural attitudes and practices may shape the incorporation of gaming into dreams.
- Analyze the role of self-construal in understanding cultural differences.
Jayne Gackenbach and co-authors Ann Sinyard and Sarkis Hakopdjanian
Relationship between Presence in Virtual Reality Game Play and Dreams (Presentation within symposium titled “Dreams and Gaming: Further Explorations of Nightmare Protection, Culture, and Presence”)
The recent inquiry into the interaction between the biological environments of dreamscapes and the virtual environments of video games has laid the ground work for understanding their interconnections. The sense of “being there” is often applied to each of these experiences and is called “presence”. With that foundation and the arrival of a new video gaming interface, we have been inspired to take a look towards a more fully immersive virtual reality (VR) experience in gaming. This second level of immersion is mediated through the second edition Oculus Rift Developer Kit virtual reality goggles. Experientially, there is a deeper sense of presence felt with the Oculus Rift. We had about 90 undergraduate females, with a wide background of gaming experiences, who rarely to never felt motion sickness or were currently not taking any drugs that have motion sickness as a side effect, and who also had a high amount of dream recall, participate in this study. They reported to the lab and filled out questionnaires about their media use history and preferences. They reported a recent dream and self-evaluated that dream as to its felt sense of presence. Then they participated in an introduction scenario and an arcade-like time trial racing game for a total of 20 game play minutes, on either a computer monitor with no special viewing apparatus or through the Oculus Rift VR goggles. After the exposure, we asked for one dream from the night after the in lab experiment, 70 reported a post lab dream. Both dreams were also self-reported by the respondents as to its felt sense of presence. The self-reported questionnaires and dreams are being analyzed to determine what effect the virtual reality goggles had on their dreams. Our expectation is that the Rift experiments will report Rift dreams with more presence than those who do not wear the Rift.
- Summarize the three dimensional effect of Oculus Rift VR goggles.
- Describe the concept of presence in gaming and dreams.
- Discuss how dreams may be further impacted with new developments in technology.
Supervising the Beginner Researcher: Experiences and Best Practices (Presentation within panel titled “Research Experience and Mentorship: How to and with Whom”)
Gackenbach will give a brief presentation on the special challenges and issues of working with undergraduate research assistants. Some background will be discussed as well as best practices with students just beginning their research experiences.
- Identify the special challenges with guiding those completely new to the research process.
The Relationship between Dreaming and Self-Construals, Sex Role Orientation and Media Use in Canadians of Differing Ethnic Backgrounds (Presentation within symposium titled “Dreams and Gaming: Further Explorations of Nightmare Protection, Culture and Presence”)
The current study investigated the mediating effects of culture and sex role orientation (SRO) on the relationship between media use and dreams. The main theoretical ideology for this study is based on the Continuity Hypothesis which was first introduced by Hall and Norby in 1972. This hypothesis states that dreams reflect our waking experiences and we wanted see if this applies to other forms of reality, such as video games, social media networking, and cell phone use. SRO is a variable of interest because of the narrowing of differences between men and women over the past half century due to the women’s rights movements. SRO was assessed using a shortened version of the Bem Sex Role Inventory. Media’s popularity is consuming various cultures, almost everyone has a mobile phone, every store and cafe has Wi-Fi and there seems to be an App for everything. Social media use, phone use and video game play were measured with the Video Game Play and Media Use History Questionnaire.
Culture in previous studies has shown to affect dream content and preferences for genres and type of media use. Culture was assessed using the Independent and Interdependent Self-Construal Scale and Multiple Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM). Self construals are personality dimensions that represent how one sees oneself relevant to others and is broken down into independent and interdependent. The MEIM is a supplementary scale to provide more detail about how engaged and connected participants are to their culture. Data collection was done online via Qualtric, using University students who received 2% credit for their participation and whose identity was anonymous.
From this study we hope to gain a better understanding of how the use of media is altering not only our dreams but what we perceive as our reality. We expect our data to demonstrate the Continuity Hypothesis by representing other forms of reality in dream content, and for culture and SRO to have a mediating affect on the relationship between dreams and media use.
- Learn how culture and ethnic identity inform media use, especially gaming.
- Understand how such cultural attitudes and practices may shape the incorporation of gaming or social media into dreams.
- Appreciate the role of self-construal and sex role identity in understanding cultural differences.
Sarah Gahr, Allison Ditner, and co-authors Jayne Gackenbach and Yue Yu
A Hall and Van de Castle Analysis of Chinese versus Canadian Dreams as a Function of Sex and Video Game Play (Poster Presentation)
This study is an extension of our inquiry into the relationship between video game play and dreams. In this case we are considering the role of culture by examining dreams from two widely diverse cultures, Western Canadian and Eastern Chinese. We collected media use history, self-construal, dream history and a recent dream. All surveys and dreams were translated into Chinese or English as needed. Translation of the dreams was particularly tricky, and several rounds of translations and discussions about translation were undertaken. Dreams were collected online from both Canadian and Chinese university students. Of the over 900 participants, about 600 provided dreams long enough to be coded with the Hall and Van de Castle system of content analysis. These were evenly distributed between the Canadian (n=295) and Chinese (n=298) students. Respondents were separated into groups defined by gender and video game play frequency, with moderate game play frequency deleted. Cell sizes varied from 23 to 171. Sex by gamer groups was compared as a function of each country using Schneider and Domhoff’s comparison Excel sheet. The number of significant differences for the two high end video game groups was half of the number of country differences for the two low end video game groups. This suggests that gaming may offer a common ground that is reflected in their dream life. Interestingly, male high end gamers in China were higher on befriender but lower on dreamer involvement in success and sexuality than for the high end male gamers in Canada. A different picture emerged for cultural differences among women who frequently play video games. For all three scales that showed a country difference, Chinese female gamers were higher in dead/imaginary characters, aggression/friendliness and dreams with one incident of aggression. Aggression was not a variable that was differentiated by country for male gamers, while it was for female gamers. For those who rarely play video games, again aggression was a bit more of a differential factor between countries for the females than for the males. But in both cases it was the Canadians who were rated as higher on aggression than the Chinese. On the other end of the interaction continuum, friendliness was higher in both the male and female low gaming groups for the Chinese than for the Canadians. The results will be interpreted from the framework of there being no difference in self-reported independent self-construal, but a significant difference in self-reported collectivist self-construal.
- Understand the Hall and Van de Castle system of dream content analysis.
- Appreciate how gaming may offer a platform of similar experiences for people from diverse cultures.
- Learn that gender differences in gaming are quite distinct.
Toward an Architecture of the Dream III (Paper)
The architecture of the dream suggested in this paper consists of three essential elements: the experienced image, the underlying emotion, and the meaning we give to the image. Galvin suggests that the members of IASD begin to compile a kind of catalog of the central image of the dream, along with the underlying emotion and one possible meaning. If we were to gather our own significant dreams, and those of people we work with and know well, in large numbers in this way, we could begin to correlate the images with their meanings and with the emotions underlying our nighttime experiences. This could be an invaluable storehouse of dreams based on our shared work and yet individually experienced dreamwork. Significant dreams from six patients in psychotherapy will be presented along with the three essential components of each dream as suggested above, ending with a table summarizing these elements.
- Identify the three essential components making up the architecture of the dream.
- Demonstrate a dream example from the presentation of these three components.
- Describe an example from the presentation of a particular central image along with the agreed upon meaning.
Dreams: Gateway to the Inner World (Workshop)
In this workshop Garman will demonstrate a way of working with dreams utilizing the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model developed by Richard Schwartz. This model views the mind not as a unitary entity, but as made up of multiple and often differing subparts that are both interconnected and autonomous from each other, each having specific characteristics, style of communication, intentions and feelings. This model sees the Self, another aspect present in all human beings, as different from the parts. When the Self is fully differentiated from the parts, the person describes a feeling of well being, “feeling centered,” totally energized and in the present. The Self is not a passive state; on the contrary, it can be an active leader for the system, leading it to its optimal functioning, due to its clarity and ability to be compassionate and understanding towards all parts. Instead of forcing the parts to change, it will heal and release them from their extreme and self-protective roles. Because the Self is the natural leader of the system, the goal of this model is to help the person differentiate the Self from the parts and regain its leadership status.
Initially, a participant will tell a 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) that stands out in the dream. Because other parts may have strong reactions to that part such as fear, anger or even fascination, the dreamer is directed to ask those parts to step aside so as not to interfere with the Self’s ability to be curious and compassionate and thus work with the dream image. Once the Self is differentiated, it can interact with the dream image by asking it to explore its perspective about other dream images and by asking it to describe itself, know what it wants for the person and what it fears would happen if it were not there. The Self can also help to resolve polarizations between dream images by helping the parts to compromise and understand their exaggerated assumptions about the opposing part. After this process is repeated with all the different dream images, the presenter will then help the participant to tie together all the meanings found in the dream and discover what parts of the person feel, think and act like the dream image. This process facilitates our recognition of our parts manifested in our preconceived ideas, feelings and judgements and more clearly perceive them as layers of identification that stops us from reaching a more balanced and harmonious inner system. After a brief presentation of this model, workshop participants will have the opportunity to witness and discuss live presentations of this work and will be able to differentiate the basic difference between this approach and other approaches to dream work. Target Audience: For All.
- Describe the basic premises of the IFS approach and goal of treatment.
- Describe four basic steps of the use of this approach to dreamwork.
- Differentiate this approach from other approaches to dream work.
A.F. Alain Gonfalone
The Weight Influence on Dreams (Poster Presentation)
Sleep has been studied in terrestrial animals, such as mammals and birds, all of which exhibit sleep behaviour. However, in the case of aquatic animals, sleep behaviour is not always obvious. The issue of sleep and sleep behaviour is more complex when it comes to semi-aquatic mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Most theories suggest a role for sleep as a rest period for the body and a memory consolidation phase for the brain. It appears that weight is an important factor that should not be neglected when analysing the duration of sleep and the amount of Rapid Eye Movement sleep in each species. Weight is a parameter that affects all animals differently, depending on whether they are on the ground or in the water or in the air. Body weight has to be supported by the limbs when on the ground; however, because of neutral buoyancy, aquatic animals do not feel weight in the water. The amount of Rapid Eye Movement sleep is highest in terrestrial mammals, significantly reduced in semi-aquatic mammals and completely absent or negligible in aquatic mammals. In this study, curves showing the relationship between weight and sleep were deduced from a parameter table for 76 mammals. A better understanding of sleep and Rapid Eye Movement sleep being common to all species, both terrestrial and aquatic, is achieved when weight is taken into consideration.
- When do we dream?
- Are dreams related to weight?
- Universality of dreams
Robert P. Gongloff
Dream as Story: Exploring the Themes of Your Dreams (Workshop)
Themes reflect the major issues going on in one’s life. A theme is the important message, idea, or perception that a dream is attempting to bring to your conscious mind. Benefits of using the theme-oriented approach are: (1) The dreamer gets to the core issues presented by the dream quickly; (2) The dream group tends to relate more to the dream rather than to the dreamer, thus providing more safety for the dreamer; and (3) The theme provides a context or framework within which the dream symbols can be explored.
Specific methods or techniques: In the workshop, the leader will present a quick overview of dream group ethics, then go into detail about what themes are and how to determine them. Generally, the method involves addressing some key questions about the dream, such as: What is the basic activity going on in the dream? What are the main characters doing in the dream? What is the major issue concerning the characters? What is the apparent or presumed motivation of the characters that causes them to act this way? Theme statements are best determined when they are personalized, stated in the present tense, and don’t just restate the words or actions from the dream. To help participants understand these techniques, the leader will offer at least one example of a dream that has been explored in a former dream group or workshop, including some suggested theme statements.
Activities: Following an explanation of the process with examples, the group will collectively explore a dream offered by a group member. Then the group members will be encouraged to explore individual dreams with a partner or small group. In each case, the basic process involves the following steps: each person wishing to explore a dream will present the dream without interruption; listeners will be given time to ask the dreamer for clarification on points in the dream; they will then offer suggestions on possible themes based on their versions of the dream, incorporating the techniques described above. After all the participants have determined dream themes, the leader will present several methods for taking positive action in their waking lives to deal with the issues raised in their dreams. Time permitting, participants will again meet with their partners or in small groups to collectively brainstorm specific actions.
Approximately 35-40% of the time will be spent on didactic instruction and 60-65% on experiential work, including individual and group exploration and discussion of dreams and suggested themes. Audience: for all audiences. Aim: to provide a supplemental technique for use by psychotherapists, therapy practitioners, clinicians, and graduate students, as well as for personal growth of dreamworkers.
- Describe what themes are, specifically dream themes.
- Describe how to determine the themes or recurring patterns of one’s own dreams or dreams of clients.
- Explain how knowledge of dream themes and patterns can help dreamwork clients gain insights into potential solutions for unresolved issues or patterns of behavior in waking life.
Robert P. Gongloff
Exploring the Heart of the Dream (Morning Dream Group)
Themes reflect the major issues going on in one’s life. A theme is the important message, idea, or perception that a dream is attempting to bring to your conscious mind.
Specific methods or techniques to be utilized: In the dream group, the leader will present a quick overview of dream group ethics, then will explain what themes are and how to determine them.
Generally, the method involves addressing some key questions about the dream, such as: What is the basic activity going on in the dream? What are the main characters doing in the dream? What is the major issue concerning the characters? What is the apparent or presumed motivation of the characters that causes them to act this way? Theme statements are best determined when they are personalized, stated in the present tense, and don’t just restate the words or actions from the dream.
Activities in which attendees will be encouraged to participate: Each group member wishing to explore a dream will present the dream to the group, without interruption. Group members will be given time to ask the dreamer for clarification on points in the dream. They will then offer suggestions on possible themes based on their versions of the dream, incorporating the techniques described above. The dreamer will then be invited to share group insights.
In many cases, determining the theme alone has been found to be sufficient for providing a good “aha” for the dreamer. Due to time constraints, the intention is not to go any farther into the dream than the theme itself. Participants will be invited to share whether any of the suggested themes relate to waking life issues, but will be encouraged to go deeper into the dream (symbology, art work, etc.) at a later time.
Participants in dream study groups using these theme-oriented techniques have realized several benefits:
(1) The dreamer gets to the core issues presented by the dream quickly; (2) The dream group tends to relate more to the dream rather than to the dreamer, thus providing more safety for the dreamer; and (3) The theme provides a context or framework within which the dream symbols can be explored.
- Understanding of what themes are, specifically dream themes.
- Knowledge of how to determine the themes of one’s own dreams.
- Knowledge of how to share dreams and dream themes in a safe and non-intrusive group setting.
Robert P. Gongloff
Dreams Prepare Us for Change (Presentation within panel titled “Dreams that Change Our Lives”)
Robert will discuss several dreams he has had over his lifetime that led him to the understanding that dreams help to provide perspective on current and potential issues, preparing us for and enabling change rather than giving specific instruction or direction. His conclusions are based solely on his own experience. His dreams relating to changes in perspective occurred just before two major life changes, one prior to leaving military service and the other that inspired life changes on multiple levels. The one dream experience in which he received specific information about a future event involved the death of his father when he was 13 years of age; he believes that this dream helped prepare him to deal with the trauma of that event.
- Differentiate between dreams that provide perspective and those that provide specific information.
- Discuss Robert’s theory that dreams ask questions rather than answer them.
- Discuss the various dreams Robert presents with regard to life changes.
Mindful Dreaming: Five Lessons in Mindfulness our Dreams Teach Us (Workshop)
This workshop is based on the Jungian assumption that true emotional and spiritual growth – the experience of individuation – results from learning how to resolve the ever-present tension of opposites in our lives between habits of thought conditioned by family and society versus the calling of our wiser Self to embrace alternative perennial values that promote healing and growth. Participants will be shown how this tension is expressed in five archetypal or universal conflicts pervasive in waking life thought and throughout our dreams – conflicts at the core of human suffering. The workshop will demonstrate how every dream suggests one of five ego strategies or habits of thought we must release through mindfulness of the tension between distraction and stillness; control and surrender (humility); judgment and compassion; attachment and letting go; impatience and acceptance of the present moment.
Participants learn how to practice mindfulness of these conflicts in waking life as well as how dreams encourage and guide us in this effort, reflecting the progress we are making – for better or worse. This workshop is appropriate for all levels of dreamwork experience, and offers a powerful template for therapists to teach a mindfulness practice founded on their clients’ own personal dream guidance. At the same time, the workshop is equally beneficial and accessible for those interested in their own personal growth. The first 40 minutes of the workshop are devoted to a didactic presentation of the above paradigm. The remainder of the workshop utilizes a Taylor or modified Ullman group process approach to working with dreams volunteered by participants. Workshop members are assisted in identifying one of five archetypal conflicts present in their dreams, and are then provided with simple exercises in mindfulness to practice and honor in waking life the dream guidance they have received.
The dreamwork process is never intrusive and group members are required to own all discussion of a dream as projection: “ If this were my dream . . .”
- Identify five core ego strategies or habits of thought present in dreams and waking life.
- Identify five core values that ameliorate suffering and promote a more joyful experience of life.
- Utilize specific dream- based mindfulness methods in everyday life.
Dreamasana: The Yoga of Dreams (Workshop)
While most people think of yoga as a series of physical exercises, yoga is actually a philosophy and a way of life geared toward deepening consciousness and promoting overall health and well-being. Dreamwork, too, can be practiced for improved health, healing and overall well-being. In Dreamasana we draw from ancient teachings from the yogic traditions of mindfulness, and proper breathing and alignment, and apply those principles to the development of a daily dreamwork practice. Entering sleep and dreaming consciously is enhanced by meditation, and in turn can bring us into deep states of consciousness and unification with the true Self. Dreamasana draws from various traditions including mindfulness, yoga, Tibetan Dream Yoga, and Jungian psychology.
In this workshop, principles from these traditions will be synthesized and incorporated into various exercises and practices to help participants establish a path for daily self-reflection, self-observation, and self-study. The workshop will begin with a presentation about the parallels between dreamwork and yoga. Then participants will have a chance to learn and practice simple activities, such as journaling and use of active imagination, to help to integrate dreamwork into daily life. In addition, meditations and breathing techniques for entering sleep consciously, and for inviting clear and powerful dreams, will be offered. By incorporating ideas and techniques from the practice of yoga into our dreamwork practice, participants will learn to bring more mental flexibility, clarity, and ease to their lives. This workshop is open to people of all physical abilities and all orientations toward dreamwork. The focus here is to create a healthy relationship with sleep and dreams; no physical postures will be taught.
Learning Objectives: As a result of this workshop participants will be able to:
- List three ways that Dreamwork can support a yoga or meditation practice.
- Identify three yogic breath and meditation techniques that support healthy sleep and dreaming.
- Compare and contrast three aspects of dreamwork and yogic practice and philosophy.
350 Dreamers: Empowering Ourselves, Each Other and Our Dreams through Dream Activism (Presentation within symposium titled “Group Dreaming: A Force for Good in the World”)
In this presentation Gover will describe 350 Dreamers’ evolution, and the evidence and experiences they have had about the personal and communal aspects of their group dream experiences.
When she started 350 Dreamers in 2009, Gover had no cohesive philosophy about the connection between an individual dreamer and the collective psyche, nor did she firmly believe that collective or mutual dreaming was possible. Her goal was specific: she wanted to gather 350 dreamers from around the world to dream for Global Healing in answer to a call by activist and environmentalist Bill McKibben of 350.org.
Using social media and blogging, she began to attract participants. Before she knew it, over 350 dreamers had signed on for monthly group dreams, representing the U.S., Belgium, Puerto Rico, Argentina, India, Japan, and more. Members of the fledgling group asked questions such as: How do we remember our dreams? How do we incubate dreams? What does dreaming in bed have to do with environmental activism?
Together, the members of 350 Dreamers and Gover began to learn. They strengthened their beliefs that dreams have consequence and that becoming an active dreamer helps one become an active agent for healing and change, growth and evolution – on both the personal and collective levels. Simply preparing for bed on group dream nights and sharing an intention and a goal with hundreds more dreamers around the world (more than 500 at last count) was evidence that indeed she was connected to a greater whole.
Dreaming together with intention empowered not only the dreamers, but the dreams themselves. On 350 Dream nights dreamers often reported having “Big” (transpersonal) dreams, lucid dreams, and mutual dream experiences. Also, Gover began having experiences of administering energetic Reiki healings in the dreamscape. Thus, on the physical, emotional and metaphysical levels, they began to find connections through the process of dreaming as a group – across cultures, countries, oceans and belief systems. For all audiences.
- List three ways that individual dreams can connect people to collective concerns.
- Describe the value of dream intention and incubation.
- List 3 ways that 350 Dreamers has impacted Global Healing.
Dale E. Graff
Insights into the Psi Dreaming Process (Paper)
A review of psi dreams experienced spontaneously and in experimental investigation provides insight into the psi dream process. Psi dream incubation strategies are identified for enhancing psi dream proficiency depending on individual interests and objectives. Recommendations for optimizing target pool construction for psi dream investigations are presented. Spontaneous psi dreams examined are those reported in case studies and in the presenter’s dream journal. The case studies identify the types of information in the dreams, why they occurred and why they were suspected to be psi dreams. Although the range of information was diverse, and included both literal and symbolic material, most of the dreams related to significant or even critical situations that were life threatening for the dreamers or those presented in the dreams. These dreams were usually not complex; they had a central figure, usually recognizable, and presented the situation’s dynamics. They were primarily of a personal, or person-focused, nature. Psi dreams for experimental investigations were those reported by psi researchers and those from the presenter’s independent informal investigations with pictorial target pools, including the slide target pool developed at the Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, in the early 1970s.This large target pool of 1,024 slides has ten equally balanced diverse image categories: color, activity, myth, animal, human, artifact/implement, food, body parts, architectural and nature.
The primary purpose of experiments with the Maimonides slide target pool and other pictorial target pools was to determine how well the psi dream imagery conformed to the imagery on the intended pictorial target. This comparison was achieved by sketching and describing the dream imagery; its shapes, spatial relationships, colors, motion, and emotional quality. Most of the psi dream experiments were for double blind protocols, in which the target pictures remained in sealed envelopes during the time of the psi dreams. Procedures for how these experiments were performed are explained. Comparing the psi dream imagery to the target picture’s content provides insight into the cognitive aspects of the psi dream process. Psi dream perception closely resembles major features of vision: edge detection and contrast differentiation. This suggests that the target picture for double blind protocols is visually observed in the future during the time of feedback, and that psi perception is basically a precognitive phenomenon. Another implication resulting from comparing the dream imagery to the target picture content is that the psi access process involves adaptive pattern recognition as the subconscious strives to identify the target picture’s imagery. This presentation concludes with recommendations on how best to develop target pools for experimental or psi development purposes, and provides suggestions on how the psi content of a psi dream can be enhanced for both naturally occurring spontaneous situations and when participating in formal or informal psi dream projects.
- Describe the cognitive process similarities between ordinary vision and psi dream perception.
- Explain how construction of a pictorial target pool used in psi dream experiments can significantly affect results.
- Identify psi dream incubation strategies that can enhance the psi content of dreams.
Dream Incubation: How to Program your Dreams (Paper)
Dream incubation is an active way to enter into relationship with our dreams. This practice dates to antiquity. In ancient Greece, it was used in temples dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and doctors, to obtain guidance, resolve a problem, or even to heal various illnesses. In our day, dream incubation is also possible to practice on your own, thanks to autosuggestion, nourished by a sincere desire and a noble intention. The goal of dream incubation is to help you obtain the maximum benefit from your sleep that provides inspirations and solutions. You can then compose your own requests in order to obtain results adapted to your needs. By inducing dreams in this way, you can find effective ways to take advantage of the multiple benefits of creative sleep. To induce a dream, simply formulate an affirmation or a dream intention about some concern of the day. The intention takes the form of a positive phrase. For example, if one’s professional life does not meet expectations, one would choose the following intention: “Tonight I will know what can make me happier at work.” Another possibility would be: “Tonight, I will discover a way to improve my happiness at work.” To increase the chances of obtaining a significant dream, one will write the chosen intentions in their dream journal. This act of writing recruits the capabilities of the right brain, which visually retains the requests in order to find a solution through intuition and global vision. Also, by writing down our request, we focus better on the point to be clarified. This has the effect of encouraging the success of an induced dream. Working on your dreams can become a very enjoyable game. Take the dare, have this adventure! With this approach to your exploration, you have the chance to verify the benefits of studying your dreams. You can proceed at your own pace, find a better understanding of the self, and discover your infinite potential for growth.
- Demonstrate the practical side of dreaming.
- Describe how and when using dream incubation.
- List the conditions to success with dream incubation.
A Spiritual Pathway of Dreams, Meditations, and Visions (Paper)
This paper presentation will depict one person’s journey from her youthful understanding of what her spirituality was like to a picture of her relationship with spirit now. Sharing experiences that have impacted her greatly, woven together with some of her nighttime dreams and waking guided meditations, the presenter will highlight some of the recurring symbols and synchronicities that have brought her in touch with spiritual understanding. She will explain how her dreams with strong spiritual content are somewhat different from her more usual dreams. These memorable dreams, with great emotional intensity, contain archetypal symbolism. It will be apparent why it is important to record your dreams, use active imagination, and dialogue with your dream mentors. However, often these deeply felt dreams stand on their own, their messages clear, with no additional interpretation necessary. This presentation reflects dream practice and is meant to inspire all levels of the audience, especially introductory participants.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify spiritual content in their dreams, guided meditations and visions.
- Utilize Active Imagination and Dialogue to amplify the dream.
- Begin to assess and value one’s own spiritual development.
Rev. Bob Haden
Using Biblical Dreams to Unlock Your Nightly Dreams (Invited Presentation)
The ancient Hebrews and early Christians claimed that one of the primary ways God speaks to God’s people is through dreams: not “a” way, but the “primary” way. In his book, The 72 Names of God, Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Berg tells us that one of the very names of God is , three Hebrew letters meaning “Dream State.” Origen, the third century Christian theologian from Alexandria, Egypt, reflected this belief when he spoke of Somnia Deo, “Dreams sent from God.” The third century Babylonian sage Rabbi Hisda put it even more succinctly: “A dream un-interpreted is like a letter (from God) unopened.”
Unfortunately, along the way, people were discouraged from taking their dreams so seriously. Jerome, the fourth century biblical scholar who authored the Vulgate Bible, translating the Greek Bible into Latin, made several mistranslations that discouraged paying attention to one’s dreams.
An even more serious detriment to taking dreams seriously was the Enlightenment; limiting our knowledge to things we can see, hear, taste, touch or feel.
Haden, too, was a non-believer in the reality of the dream world until, at the age of 40 the “God is dead” syndrome caught up with him and he began to question much of what he believed. Following the advice of a spiritual guide he went for four days of silence at a spiritual retreat center. He was soon climbing the walls and wanted desperately to flee. Nevertheless, he stayed, long enough for the inner voice to break through. Once again, he experienced the Divine Presence.
The reality of the dream world was also opened up to him at this crucial time. Haden has recorded hundreds of dreams, integrating dream work with his priestly, spiritual direction and counseling duties. The riches acquired during this incubation period led to the formation of The Haden Institute, where over 600 people have graduated in Dream and Spiritual Direction Leadership Training.
One Christmas vacation Haden sat down and read all the dreams in the Bible, finding himself relating each biblical dream to a contemporary dream. This talk is about connecting Biblical dreams to our nightly dreams.
Nightmares and Individuation (Workshop)
Nightmares offer exceptional opportunities to work on our individuation. A brief didactic portion of 15 minutes will introduce different conceptions of nightmares, followed by an experiential art therapy workshop. Each participant will explore one of his/her nightmare by drawing or painting it, and will use one of two methods to discover its existential message. Nightmares contain powerful insights about our life and about repressed parts of our personality. Nightmares create images for those parts of us which are locked in an intense inner conflict. Nightmares present themselves at those moments in our lives when we need a repressed resource; these disowned resources create our difficulties. The intensity of the fear in the nightmare reflects the importance of the existential message of the dream for our life (Hamel, 2014, unpublished paper). Nightmares show images of those parts of us that we are afraid of, or that we have learned to see as negatives or unacceptable. We have learned to dissociate our identity from them to be able to survive in our early environment. The reintegration of these inner parts in our personality allows us to become more complete and more harmonious. This is what Jung considered to be “psychological healing” (Jung, 1993).
The 15 minutes didactic portion of the workshop will briefly introduce different authors’ conceptions of the functions of nightmares, including Garfield (1991), Faraday (1976), Collectif de l’arc-en-ciel (1991), Perls (1972), Morris (1986), as well as Hamel (2014). Dreamwork with art therapy will also be briefly introduced (Hamel, 2010/1993; Hamel & Labrèche, 2010).
Participants will then be invited to draw or paint one of their nightmares, for 30 minutes, following which they will choose between two methods to understand for themselves the existential message of their nightmares: either Gestalt dialog (Hamel, 2011/1993) or painting a resolution to the dream (Hamel, 2011/1993), also for 30 minutes. It is not necessary to know how to paint or draw to participate in this workshop.
Finally, a period of 30 minutes will be devoted to sharing with the other participants for those who wish to do so. There will be a final period of questions for the remaining 15 minutes. The presenter will remain available for participants who feel an incomplete resolution and/or a lack of means to achieve inner peace in the near future, although it rarely is necessary.
This workshop is open to all; psychologists and mental health professionals will be introduced to art therapy methods to work with nightmares.
- Compare different conceptions of the functions of nightmares.
- Differentiate two different methods to identify the existential meaning of one’s own nightmares.
- Utilize an art-therapy method to achieve a resolution of one’s nightmares.
Nightmares and Individuation: an Example in Art-therapy (Paper)
Nightmares offer exceptional occasions to work on our individuation. This 30 minute paper will briefly introduce different authors’ conceptions of the functions of nightmares, including Garfield (1991), Faraday (1976), Perls (1972), Morris (1986) as well as Hamel (2014). Dreamwork with art therapy will also be briefly introduced (Hamel, 2010/1993; Hamel & Labrèche, 2010)
Nightmares contain powerful insights about our life and about repressed parts of our personality. Nightmares create images for these parts of us which are locked in an intense inner conflict. They present themselves at those moments in our lives when we need a repressed resource; these disowned resources create our difficulties. The intensity of the fear in the nightmare reflects the importance of the existential message of the dream for our life (Hamel, 2014, unpublished paper).
Nightmares show images of those parts of us that we are afraid of, or that we have learned to see as negative or unacceptable. We have learned to dissociate our identity from them to be able to survive in our early environment. The reintegration of these inner parts in our personality allows us to become more complete and more harmonious. This is what Jung considered to be “psychological healing” (Jung, 1993).
The author has recorded a video of an art-therapy session with a client working on a nightmare; some parts of it will be shown and commented on by the author. This presentation is open to all; psychologists and mental health professionals will be introduced to art therapy methods to work with nightmares.
- Compare different conceptions of nightmares.
- Describe art therapy methods to achieve resolution of one’s nightmares.
- Differentiate the impact of art therapy methods with verbal or written methods to work with nightmares
Nigel I. Hamilton
Fundamentals of a Multi-Dimensional Dreamwork Theory on Dreams and Lucid Dreaming (Presentation within symposium titled “Fundamentals of a Multi-Dimensional Dreamwork Theory on Dreams and Lucid Dreaming”)
This presentation is designed to put forward and highlight a fundamental idea which originated in the Tibetan Yogic and Sufi traditions, as the basis of understanding the world of dreams – lucid or non-lucid.
Dreaming takes place in an intermediary archetypal mental realm of consciousness between Pure Intelligence (the transcendental Spirit) and matter, where the former refers to a state of consciousness in which all thought has ceased (pure mind in Buddhism) and the latter term stands for our physical existence. This archetypal realm is autonomous and independent of our physical world, yet its dream images and landscapes can be experienced as being supported by an even more subtle realm of light – Black Light. On the other hand, this intermediate realm also receives impressions from our physical world, which usually dominates our consciousness and turns our dreams into personal imagaic forms, scripts and narratives that refer to our worldly existence.
This is where nightmares, central dream images and psychological issues come into personal dreams. Furthermore, the most subtle dimension of our Being, our spirit, often experienced as Black Light, not only expresses itself through this intermediary archetypal world, but it is also always unconsciously present, even within our Shadow – our psychological issues, which veil or obscure both the archetypal forms and behind them, this fundamental light.
The experiences of lucid dreamers and of dreamers who work on their dreams in the waking state, seem to corroborate this viewpoint to a considerable extent. Examples of such dreams will be presented. Furthermore, this intermediary realm comprises several subtle levels of consciousness, each of which has its own dimension of space and time. Examples will be discussed during the presentation.
- Describe two distinguishing features between archetypal dreams, personal dreams and dreams which contain images and or experiences of transcendence, such as Black Light.
- Identify characteristics of borderline dreams containing both the personal and archetypal and those containing archetypal images and transcendental features, such as Black Light.
- Apply this dream model to explore and work with personal, archetypal and transcendental dreams in a person’s inner journey.
Nigel I. Hamilton, David Billington, and Mary Melinda Ziemer
Applying the Waking Dream Process to 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 presentation showing the clinical effectiveness of this approach will be followed by a practical demonstration, working with a participant’s dream. Finally, personal experience of a life transforming waking dream session will be shared and discussed, to include audience participation. In the final section of the workshop, the presenters will share a description of their inner experience during a waking dream session. Following this, presenters will refer to excerpts from a transcript of the session and will invite the audience to consider what type of prompting/questioning and or direction they might give at junctions in the waking process. Participants will compare this with what actually unfolded in the session. Finally, they will also consider how they can apply the experience of the Waking Dream Technique to their waking lives. Approximately one third of the time will be used didactically and two thirds will provide workshop participants with the opportunity to experience and apply the teaching material.
Brief Description of Waking Dream Techniques: 1. Dreamer tells dreams to guide. Dreamer comments on how they see the dream and whether it relates to anything in their life, past or present. 2. Guide comments on notable (in their view) aspects of the dream. 3. If dreamer is happy, then they close their eyes and the guide guides them through the dream, stopping to find out where the different dream images seem to be held in their body along with associated sensations/feelings. 4. This can take up to half an hour. At the end of the dreamwork, the guide sums up their (own) experience of the dream and shares their insights with the dreamer. The aim is to see what is helpful to the dreamer in terms of understanding their dream and realising what it could possibly mean. Usually, by this point the dreamer realises personally what the dream means to them.
- List three important features of the Waking Dream Technique.
- Identify three important prompts that can be used to facilitate the Waking Dream Technique.
- Describe two conditions when the Waking Dream Technique would be contraindicated in therapeutic work
Velva Lee Heraty
Introducing Dream Work to the Uninitiated Dreamer (Workshop)
(Not to be published beyond conference site.) The Subjective Symbol Immersion Method (SSIM) teaches dreamers on all levels of experience to identify and understand their primary dream symbol within a brief period of time. The result is that the dreamer learns an efficient pathway into progressively deeper dream work within the time constraints of the clinical hour, group time frame, or personally limited schedule. SSIM is designed for practicing clinicians wanting a time-sensitive, hands-on engagement method of dream work initiation for their clients new to or inexperienced in the understanding and sharing of dreams.
Specific methods to be used are: 1.) Introduction of the Three Guiding Principles of SSIM; 2.) Introduction of the four primary theorists: Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Fritz Perls, and Eugene Gendlin; 3.) Identification of the primary symbol in a dream; and 4.) Recognition of archetypes as primary symbols.
The combination and exploration of these four integrative learning experiences into a manageable, hands-on process for the dreamer new to the experience of dream reporting, lends encouragement, support and confidence into the deeper, more intense and vulnerable experience of dream exploration.
The workshop consists of a 20-minute overview of workshop goals followed by session outlines for reference, and symbol worksheets used to demonstrate the individual nature of dreams. There will be a 15-minute large group sharing designed to increase the comfort level of individual sharing, followed by a 30-minute small group sharing of a more intimate nature.
- Summarize the Subjective Symbol Immersion Method or (SSIM).
- Discuss the core beliefs and methods of Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Fritz Perls, and Eugene Gendlin.
- Explain the primary symbol in a dream both as a subjective object and/or as an archetype.
Deborah Armstrong Hickey
Building a Dream’s Web from Big Dreams (Morning Dream Group)
This morning dream group will extend the morning dream practices that Hickey has been using with her Advising group at Goddard College, where they have been building a “spider’s web of dreams” for the past two and a half years. Each morning will involve naming big dreams that each participant has had sometime in the past and naming the gifts from these dreams, accompanied by attaching these “threads” to a web that is prepared for the participants. There will be a progression that grows organically out of each morning’s dream-weaving ritual. Very simple expressive arts and movement will be infused into the morning dream group – nothing that will take much time, but will open space for beginning each morning with dream honoring and ritual, specifically around that which involves BIG dreams.
- Participants will articulate what a big dream is, principally using Berkeley’s and/or Jung’s definitions.
- Participants will deepen their relationship with at least one of their big dreams.
- Participants will experience an embodied progression of expressing their dream/s through a simple morning ritual that involves intermodal expressive arts.
Deborah Armstrong Hickey
Dreaming as a Function of Neural Integration & Growing Well Being (Paper)
Interpersonal Neurobiology is a perspective that brings together consilient findings from a range of diverse disciplines, notably neuroscience and physics, in service of more fully and deeply understanding the human being; what grows us well and what disrupts our well being. This very brief presentation will introduce participants to the basic foundational ideas out of which this perspective grows, and how dreaming can be very soundly understood to be a function that promotes integration within the brain and the mind, as well as the relational world of each human being. The presentation will involve didactic material, accompanied by images and symbols representing some of what is being discussed.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Articulate the place of integration in all complex dynamic systems and their growing complexity and optimal states of well being.
- Articulate how brain, mind, and relational functions during dreaming engage landscapes of the neural system that promote the growth of integration in each of these domains.
- Articulate how expressing dreams through engagement with the arts can further nourish this integrative process.
Mythic Drawing: An Archetypal Approach to Drawing from the Depths of Dreams (Workshop)
The art of drawing provides a unique opportunity to dialogue with dream images from a waking state. In one way, drawing opens a door back to the immediacy of the dream experience. It is an imaginative act of “drawing inward” to the depths where dreams come alive. In another way, drawing brings images to the surface of reality, making them concrete. It is a creative act of “drawing out” that provides the dreamer with a boon from the night time adventure. Mythic Drawing introduces an archetypal method of drawing with dream images that combines the art of animation drawing with the psychological techniques of Jung’s active imagination and Stephen Aizenstat’s Dream Tending method. Developed as a dissertation in mythological studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute, it is rooted in the archetypal psychology of James Hillman and is therefore based on the premise that images are alive, autonomous and possess an intelligence of their own.
Activities: The workshop will be divided into two sections. Part 1 will open with a number of drawing exercises to give dreamers an opportunity to experiment with techniques using their own images. Dreamers will get a brief overview of the four orienting principles of Mythic Drawing (about 10 minutes); however, emphasis will be placed on learning by doing. Participants will draw for a time, stop to gather feedback on the experience, learn more ideas, then draw some more. Animation drawing techniques such as gesture drawing will be mixed with Jung’s active imagination to learn how to invite and draw with living images from personal dreams. Questions and discussion will be encouraged along the way. Drawing sessions will make up 40 minutes of this first hour. Part 2 will apply the ideas learned to a collective drawing experience. The presenter will invite a volunteer to have a dream tended using Aizenstat’s method while the others hold the psychic container through drawing. No therapeutic moves will be made.
Instead, the emphasis will be placed on the aesthetic description of the image. The presenter will follow his curiosity and ask questions in a way that will animate the primary image and bring it into the room, here and now. Time will be saved at the end for the participants to show their creations to the dreamer and discuss elements that resonate. These offerings will be moderated to keep them brief and to ensure that the dreamer retains ultimate authority concerning the dream material.
Audience: Advanced. While no artistic ability is necessary, participants should have enough experience with dream work to know what an image is and to sense the presence of a living image as it is constellated in the room.
Participants who attend this workshop will be able to:
- List the four orienting principles of Mythic Drawing.
- Create spontaneous art from dreams.
- Differentiate the experience of drawing conceptually with drawing by way of images.
A Hierarchy of Dreams: From Day Residue to World Transformation (Paper)
Reviewing various dream researchers’ theories about the aetiology of dreams is, at times, like listening to the old Indian tale of the 12 Blind Men and the Elephant. Each theorist grasps a certain aspect of dreams based upon their research, and has the tendency to generalize it to cover the entire spectrum of dreaming. Hoffman is suspicious of all theories which state that “dreams are nothing but . . . “ or that “all dreams . . .”, because he feels that they share in this kind of narrow vision, and fall short of being capable of accurately describing the whole. In traditional cultures, there are numerous dream typologies which appear to have somewhat broader visions of the multiplicity of dreams. For example, in Islamic tradition dreams are classified into two types: demonic and divine. It is said that if one dreams of the prophet Muhammad, this is by definition a divine dream and should be related to an imam or another dream expert. Dreams of the first sort should be expelled from consciousness by spitting to the left to get rid of the demonic influence.
The Iroquois of upper New York State consider there to be four dream types: “no-account dreams” which simply go over current and impending events; dreams which allow the diagnosis of health or illness in the dreamer or their immediate family; dreams which predict the future for the local group; and “big dreams” which are for the entire tribe. They advise that one should pay no attention to the first type, but dreams of the second type might be shared with an experienced healer, while those of the third type should be shared with the extended family. If anyone has the fourth type of dream it is incumbent upon them to share it openly with the entire tribe, because it may be relevant to important decisions that they may take.
Obviously, both of these dream typologies are rooted in their respective cultural realities and expectations. However, there is one typology of dreams which goes well beyond this limited number of categories. It is found in volume 2 of the book Esoteric Psychology, which was transmitted telepathically to the British mystic Alice A. Bailey by the Tibetan teacher Djwhal Kuhl. The Tibetan has a great deal to say about dreaming in this book, as well as in his other works. Esoteric Psychology contains a 10-stage hierarchical organization of dream types, ranging from the sort of material Freud would have identified as “day residue” through numerous other stages corresponding in some cases to modern dream theories, all the way to dreams which, like the Iroquois “big dreams,” are potentially world-transformative. We will explore this hierarchy of dreams in light of what we know today about dreams, and consider the possibility that even a single dream may contain more than one of these categories. In summary, the Tibetan’s dream hierarchy may give us, perhaps for the first time, a glimpse of the whole elephant!
Target Audience Level: All
- To explore the Tibetan’s hierarchy of dreams as an overarching theoretical explanation.
- To compare each of the stages in this hierarchy with current dream theory, as applicable.
- To examine ways in which this hierarchy might be useful in explaining individual dreams, which might contain elements of more than one stage.
Developing the Intuition in Group Dreamwork (Morning Dream Group)
Jung once wrote that he found it useful to approach each dream of his analysands with absolutely no preconceived idea of what the dream might mean. This discipline helps to eliminate the interference of the conscious mind in the dreamworking process and allows for the entry of intuitive wisdom. Anyone who has done dreamwork for long enough is likely to have had many of what Jeremy Taylor calls “ahas” – intuitive insights which help not only the dreamer, not only the person commenting on their dream, but the entire group which is working the dream. By using the Ullman method of group dreamwork as modified by Taylor, which involves assuming that the dreamer knows better than anyone else what his/her dream means, and then attempting to elicit the multiple meanings by a question-and-answer methodology without imposing the dreamworker’s views in an authoritative way, these intuitive sparks can be nurtured and the capacity to recognize them can be enhanced.
This is especially likely to occur in a group setting, as the group works together over an extended period (in this case, four days) to generate bonds and interaction patterns that resonate with one another, and their dreams also weave together in mutual patterns. As a way of augmenting this yet further, dreams will be explored beyond the personal dimension with reference to the archetypal ideas emerging from the collective unconscious, using the method Jung referred to as “amplification.” This draws historical and mythological and literary material into the orbit of the dreamwork, again in a non-authoritative manner, using the “If It Were My Dream” approach developed by Ullman.
- To understand what Jung meant by “amplification” through practical examples.
- To explore the dreams of participants in a group setting.
- To develop an understanding of the Ullman/Taylor technique for projective dreamwork.
IASD Student Research Awards: History and Process (Presentation within panel titled “Research Experience and Mentorship: How to and with whom”)
Hoffman will give a brief presentation on the history of the IASD Student Research Awards, describing the process we use for soliciting and evaluating submissions and providing some background on the successful award recipients.
- Discuss the process for submissions and the expectations for awardees for the IASD Student Research Awards for young scholars.
The Power (and Mystery) of Gaze (Presentation within symposium titled “Four on Metaphor”)
From the beginning of the treatment of traumatic memories and other symptoms of PTSD by EMDR in the late 1980’s (Shapiro, 1989), it was asked if the role of EM was merely a coincidence of REM, or whether it was a hint of a profound connection to dreaming function. Brigitte Holzinger likes to think of dreams as feelings/emotions in moving pictures. She will look at EM particularly through the lens of lucid dreaming. She will draw on ideas in the just published 3rd edition of her book Der luzide Traum: Forschung und Praxis [“Lucid dreams: research and practice“] (Holzinger, 2014), as well as insights from her ongoing research into the role of EM in inducing and sustaining lucidity. She will also describe some advances in the use of lucidity in treatment regimes. Her talk will touch upon different sorts of EMs and discuss thoughts on how EM in REM sleep might be related to integration of daily experiences. This discussion, based on a chapter in her book Albträume [“Nightmares”] (Holzinger, 2013), will lead to the potential role of EM in and out of lucidity when nightmares or even flash backs due to traumatization can occur. Target audience level (Intermediate, Advanced).
- Identify possible new roles of EM in therapies using lucid dreaming.
- Identify brain structures and processes possibly responsible for EM and lucidity.
- Select possible new avenues to induce lucidity through manipulation of EM.
Robert J. Hoss
The Science and Psychology of Transcendent Dreams (Presentation within panel titled “Dreams that Change Our Lives”)
Life-changing dreams are part of what Carl Jung called the “transcendent function” of dreaming, which brings about a “transition from one state of being to another . . . manifesting as a new attitude toward oneself and life.” Jung was not alone, many psychologists and researchers now recognize the creative insight and learning capability that dreams provide. This talk will introduce the panel topic by presenting the supporting theories and research behind the transformative process, presenting evidence that suggests that the brain has the capability during REM sleep for bringing about change. Various psychologists, theorists and researchers have proposed that dreams have an adaptive learning function, that is “dreams weave new information into established memory, making new connections, providing new insight which can help us make new decisions” as the late Ernest Hartmann, M.D. put it. Neurological studies (Maquet 1996, 2000, 2005; Braun 1997; Nofzinger 1997) demonstrate that many brain centers are highly active during REM sleep. While executive regions (involved in rational thought and reflection) are relatively inactive, regions known to be involved in conflict detection, emotional processing, adaptive learning, maintenance of “self,” goal and reward based planning, insight and a “sense of knowing” are highly active (the Anterior Cingulate, Basal Ganglia, Orbofrontal Cortex, Medial Prefrontal Cortex, and Insula among others).
Waking state studies of these centers have shown them to be involved in the following problem solving and learning activities, which are also observable in dreams: 1) conflict detection; 2) imagining and testing goal directed “what-if” resolution scenarios; 3) mediating resolution by providing cues (with a “sense of knowing”) to influence the dream plot; and 4) emotional reinforcement of a scenario that meets expectation.
An example of these activities can be observed to take place in the following dream which had a transforming and learning impact on the dreamer. The dreamer was offered a teaching appointment in an area he had been away from many years. He felt he was too old and his skills too “rusty” to resurrect those talents, so he had decided to turn down the position . . . until that night when he had the following dream. “I was wandering through a desert and saw an old rusty car. I looked inside and found a man who was not moving. I was going to give him up for dead [conflicted attitude detected and presented as a picture metaphor], but my unknown companion urged me to wake the man [imagining and mediating a goal directed what-if scenario; providing cues to influence the dream action]. I argued that it was useless but after much discussion reluctantly gave in and shook the man [scenario tested]. When I did, both the man and the car came to life and the car transformed into a newer car [emotional reinforcement].” Learning and change within the dream also became apparent – the man reversed his decision and accepted the position after the dream, even though he had not worked on nor understood the dream at the time.
- Describe how the brain in the REM state might have the capacity for problem resolution, learning and thus personality transformation.
- Explain the concept of the transcendent function as Jung described it and as other research based psychological theories (Hartmann) might be supportive of it.
- Discuss how brain activities involved in problem resolution and transformation might be observed in dreams.
Robert J. Hoss
Transcendent Dreamwork: a Journey toward Wholeness (Workshop)
Carl Jung (founder of Analytical Psychology) observed that dreams contain a “transcendent function” which enriches the connection between our inner and outer self, so as to bring about a transition from our existing state to a new state characterized by new insights and a new attitude. Other contemporary psychologists and researchers have observed and theorized a similar restoration or adaptive learning function taking place; a making of new connections that help to establish our basic emotional sense of self, and reveal new insights, as Ernest Hartmann put it. Furthermore, recent waking and REM state neurological studies suggest that those brain centers that are active as we dream have the capacity for recognizing that a problem exists, developing and testing creative “what-if” resolution scenarios, and emotionally reinforcing (thus adaptively learning) those that work as anticipated. Dreams therefore may contain a powerful creative wisdom which can guide the dreamer on a more natural path to mental or spiritual balance than might be determined with waking dialog or rational thought alone. The approach extends beyond simply understanding the dream, to learning a dreamworking protocol that works with the dream in a similar manner as the dreaming brain appears to do – beginning with problem recognition, then observing and following the resolution cues evident in the dream scenario, and finally exploring how those resolution metaphors might be adapted to the waking life issue.
The workshop begins with a 30 minute discussion of the Jungian and contemporary theories, as well as the neurological research, which suggests that the dream state contains a “transcendent function” capable of problem resolution and adaptive learning. Case examples are used to demonstrate how those functions might be observed in dreams. The experiential portion is then structured to train participants in the uses of the protocol for professional or personal application. Participants are invited to practice the protocol using one of their own dreams. It contains three parts: exploration, discovery and closure. The exploration phase focuses on the nature of the dream image as picture-metaphor and how it expresses the “unconscious aspect of a conscious event” (Jung). This phase employs the “contextualizing image” principle (Hartmann – “the feeling-state of the dreamer is placed directly into the dream image”) and utilizes a scripted role-play, derived from Gestalt Therapy (Perls), to reveal the emotional content pictured by the image. The closure phase combines Jung’s theory of the “transcendent function” with supporting observations from neurological research (21 PET studies), to explore cues within the dream that might aid resolution and closure. Where the dream is too short or unresolved, an active imagination approach, similar to Imagery Rehearsal Treatment (Krakow), uses the dream ending as a platform for developing a potential resolution metaphor. The approach is aligned with the IASD Ethics Policy since all meaning from the dream comes from the dreamer.
Audience target level = intermediate to advanced. Aim = threefold: training practitioners and licensed professionals; knowledge about dream research and theories; and self-awareness. Participants should bring a dream to practice the protocol with. Sharing is optional.
- Describe the theory of “transcendent function” (Carl Jung) which can have a direct influence on dreamwork.
- Summarize the theory of the “conceptual image” and the application of Gestalt role-play to reveal the dreamer’s “feeling state” pictured by a dream image
- Discuss how problem identification, resolution mediation, and adaptive learning might be observed in a dreams and how it might aid in closure.
Chthonic Zones and Meditative Highs: Reframing Lucidity within Transpersonal Anthropology (Presentation within symposium titled “The Breadth and Depth of Lucid Dreaming: Quantitative and Integrative Perspectives”)
Lucid dreaming is not a brand-new anomaly, but rather springs from neurological constants and long-established cultural restraints that bring their own rules and limitations. Big dreams and visions are a class of extraordinary human events that fall all along the wake-sleep spectrum, often hybridizing this spectrum to produce borderland states of consciousness. The cross- cultural content of these states includes abstract geometric imagery, moments of non-duality, contact with autonomous spirits and otherworldly figures, high levels of coherency and emotional impact, and, all the while, the ability to notice these ongoing experiences and to react to them in the moment appropriately to accentuate certain features – in a word, lucidity.
Despite the pioneering work of cognitive anthropologists and transpersonal psychologists, big dreams and visions still tend to be treated as products of mental illness and disordered thinking in general. A full-spectrum look at lucid dreaming and its sister states suggests that metacognitive vision states can spontaneously exhibit the titanic emotionality of shamanic consciousness as well as the abstract clarity of meditative awareness. A secondary aim in this paper is to expand the so-called “shamanic temperament” to include what psychologists and sleep scientists know about lucid dreaming, as well as to integrate the Western psychological notion of lucidity with what transpersonal anthropologists know about its tabooed (but still naturally occurring) manifestations, such as initiatory lucid nightmares, incubus attacks and non-pathological waking visions.
- Describe the concept of integrative consciousness.
- Differentiate the traits of shamanic consciousness from meditative consciousness as expressed in lucid dreaming.
- Discuss internal factors and external triggering events for calling big dreams and visions.
Ryan Hurd and Gregory Scott Sparrow
Survey for Ascertaining the Subjective Differences between Lucid Dreams Preceded by the Ingestion of Galantamine and Those Which Are Not (Poster Presentation)
Anecdotal reports and some research have shown that the over-the-counter supplement galantamine, a cholinesterase inhibitor, catalyzes lucid dreaming, or the experience of becoming aware that one is dreaming during the dream. However, there are also anecdotal reports that the quality of the galantamine-induced lucid dreams differs from spontaneously occurring lucid dreams (or those induced by cognitive strategies). This study will be the first to distinguish the subjective, phenomenological differences between these two categories of lucid dreams. It will also form an empirical introduction to a single-subject case study of galantamine-induced lucid dreams. The data provided by the survey will be used as a basis for comparison with the dreams that have been collected from one “expert” lucid dreamer who has used galantamine as a catalyst for lucid dreams for the past two years, and has documented several distinctive elements of lucid dreaming that seem to be related to the effects of galantamine. Specifically, the single subject reports that galantamine seems to precipitate 1) the arousal of sound and energy that has been associated in the anecdotal literature with the ability to leave one’s body; 2) the movement through darkness and wind; 3) the presence of a companion who makes physical contact (holds the dreamer’s hands, or supports him by lifting his feet; 4) a preoccupation with flight, and with remaining aloft.
- To understand the effects of galantamine on the brain.
- To be able to list three phenomenological characteristics of galantamine-induced lucid dreams.
- To be able to cite one downside risk of ingesting galantamine.
Michael P. Jenkins
On Safari with the Blue Gazelle; Magic and Mystery in the Depths of the Imaging Unconscious (Paper)
The presenter will discuss a series of transformative dreams in which animals led the dreamer from one state of awareness to the next. This presentation will include projections of art as well as actual art pieces created in interaction with the dream material. Jenkins will present the resonant dream images, briefly described below, and the process of active imagination. He will demonstrate how this method can be utilized to expand our rapport with our dream life, and how these internally imaged communications can deepen our understanding of ourselves in conscious awareness. The presentation will last 20-30 minutes including a question and answer period.
A series of animal dreams experienced over a sixteen-month period began with a herd of horses. Jenkins relates:
“In the initial dream, my ego-image killed the horses, as I believed that soldiers, perceived and projected as enemies, would capture them. I woke distraught and upset that I had killed off the horses, which seemed to be my spirit animals. The next night as I lay down to sleep, I engaged in active imagination, an approach to dream images developed in Jungian analytic theory. I reentered the dream to better understand if and why I had needed to kill off the horses, which seemed like spirit animals. When I reentered the dream, a horse led me to the edge of a forest and another animal appeared. Although I cannot completely place this animal in our physical world, it was similar in appearance to a gazelle. The gazelle asked if I wanted to follow it and I answered yes. I then jumped off the horse and proceeded to follow the gazelle-like animal into the woods. I awoke from this dream in the middle of the night and experienced the compulsion to “paint” the gazelle. I got out of bed, returning with a small piece of wood and blue tape. I began to create the dream image into the physical world. This dream interaction introduced a series of dreams in which I would stay with an animal, be led to another animal, and then start a new journey with that animal. In total, I spent time with twelve animals: horses, blue gazelle, alligator, reptile, tan lion, tiger, white lion, white snake, black lion, another black lion, gazelle-like image, and blue gazelle. Each animal offered a transformative experience where I became the animal, the animal became me, and I moved on to the next animal carrying the previous animal in me. I began to research these animals, write about them and make them into art.”
The process of dreaming, using active imagination, and utilizing art as a (semi) conscious means of engaging the dream material, will be discussed and illustrated. Jenkins will present the importance of how remaining in contact with one’s own creative unconscious can enhance the work of psychoanalysis and engaging with those with whom we work. Citations of work by C.G. Jung, S. Freud, Joan Chodorow, Michael Vannoy Adams, James Hillman, and Maria Taveras will be included in the presentation.
- Discuss the concepts and relationship between ego-images and non-ego images within the dream.
- Utilize dialogue with the dream images to learn from our dreams.
- Apply the active imagination process in psychotherapy or other work with dreams.
Dreaming as an Emergent Process (Paper)
Dreams are different every night. Even though people may have recurring themes in dreams, the exact dream is almost never repeated. Even dreams within the same night are as different from one another as those that occur far apart throughout the night. Why are dreams different every night? One reason is because they develop out of an emergent process. Emergence is when new properties and behaviors arise whose characteristics cannot be predicted, even with knowledge of the constituents. The final structure or behavior is emergent because it is not caused by any one individual but by the individuals interacting together. Examples are everywhere in nature. A cathedral-like termite mound emerges out of the simple behaviors of termites. Birds flocking emerge out of simple behaviors of individual birds. Like-minded individuals self-organize into city neighborhoods, and out of neuronal collective firings, dreams emerge. Dreams emerge from the thoughts that were woven into the dream. If there were no emergence, the thoughts would remain unconnected fragments. However, thoughts are woven together into a story, a dream. The dream is the whole and the thoughts are the individual components that are used to make up the dream. The dreamer does not put thoughts together in a planned fashion, but they self-organize as he sleeps.
This self-organizing emerges from the apparently random spontaneous firing of individual neurons. This firing produces a connection network whereby multitudes of neurons evolve into a state of coherent activity in which all neurons are simultaneously activated (Orlandi et al., 2013). Recording from individual neurons, Orlandi et al. found bursts of coordinated neuronal firing. Even though the firing preceding the bursts seemed to be generated randomly, the bursts originated from only a few regions called nucleation sites. The nucleation sites themselves are an emergent property arising from a mechanism of noise amplification or noise focusing, a phenomenon of implosive concentration of neuronal interactions (Orlandi et al., 2013). These neuronal interactions produce the familiar desynchronized brain waves, as well as ponto geniculo occipital (PGO) waves in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. These PGO bursts are thought to act as noisy input during the emergence of dreams, and are believed to produce some of the discontinuity found in dreams. Without emergence, individual neurons would fire without connection to their neighbors. Interaction among neurons gives rise to cooperative properties as they become entrained to oscillate at different frequency ranges. High frequency (gamma range around 40 Hz) oscillations among neurons have been observed in both the waking and dreaming brain. These near 40 Hz frequency oscillations produce long-range correlations, which create unity by correlating the activity of individual neurons, even when far apart from one another. This collective behavior has been related to cognitive processing when awake and when dreaming.
- Orlandi, G., Soriano, J., Alvarez-Lacalle, E., Teller, S. & Casademunt, J. Nature Phys. 9, 582–590 (2013).
- List three examples of emergent phenomena
- Explain how the product of emergence is different than the elements from which it was created.
- Discuss how emergence helps explain why dreams are different from one another
Plumbing the Depths: Imaginal Approaches to Exploring Dreams (Workshop)
While dreams can be understood as a direct communication from the unconscious, the imagination, when used appropriately, can help forge a dialogue with dreams. Many mystical paths include sects, or imaginal traditions, that have made use of mental imagery to deepen the connection to the divine. These disciplines aim to develop the aspects of consciousness that focus on the imagination, with the belief that this will aid in finding solutions to both physical and metaphysical problems and in gaining insight into oneself and the nature of the divine. So how is it possible to consciously foster unconscious processes? The purpose of the will in these practices is to create what can be described as an imaginal container, within which spontaneity can be allowed to occur. Heidegger (1966) calls this state of openness “indwelling,” which can be understood as the ideal state within which to approach the mystical imagination. It is possible to understand all creativity and growth as beginning with internal imagery, even if this imagery is unconscious and occurring only an instant before expression. Mystical traditions that use mental imagery to deepen the connection with the divine have honed their practices for millennia. These practices can be rich starting points for engagement with the arts.
This workshop aims at developing a dialogue with dream imagery, using mental imagery and expressive arts methods that were developed in response to the presenter’s phenomenological research with adherents to mystical imaginal traditions. The workshop will provide tools for exercising these faculties, in the interest of promoting psychospiritual growth in attendees and/or in psychotherapy clients.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Discuss the theory behind using mental imagery techniques to engage with dreams.
- Differentiate key tools used in imaginal practices that deepen the relationship to dreams.
- Utilize imagination-based tools for personal transformation and/or work with clients
Insights from the “Jewish Dream Book” of the Babylonian Talmud 200-500 C.E. (Paper)
The ancient Hebrews viewed the dream as forward looking, as it was future-focused, while the Freudian view is past-focused on infantile wish fulfillment. A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is not read. The expectation is that a dream report is to be interpreted to be understood. A dream interpretation follows the mouth of the interpreter. The meaning of a dream is in the interpretation, not in the dream itself. A dream report taken to 24 interpreters led to 24 different interpretations, all of which were correct. The dream is seen as over-determined. A dream is only focused on the preoccupations of the dreamer
Not all things in a dream are meaningful, and there are techniques to ward off bad dreams. The concurrence of ancient Hebraic dream theory and modern dream theory is striking.
- Summarize the focus of ancient Hebraic dream theory.
- Discuss the methods toward off bad dreams
- Compare the similarities and differences between ancient and modern dream theory
Working with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares (Invited Presentation)
Traumas are assaults on the human mind or body that disrupt the ordinary functioning of the biological, psychoneurological, social-emotional, and/or spiritual-existential subsystems of the psyche. Psychological trauma often leads to a constellation of disorders that do not seem to mend, such as persistent anxiety and depression, often reflected in recurring nightmares. Such a constellation, labeled Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is described by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as a condition following the experiencing or witnessing of life-threatening events that exceed one’s psychological coping capacity, emotional resources, and/or existential worldviews.
In this presentation, Dr. Krippner will discuss PTSD as a social construct and will offer examples of treatment of PTSD nightmares.
The term post-traumatic stress disorder is a socially constructed label that Western mental health workers have affixed to noticeable changes in someone’s behavior, attitudes, and/or values following accidents, natural disasters, armed combat, rape, torture, abuse, and a host of other assaults. The putative causative incident can last a few seconds (as in the case of two automobiles colliding, or seeing a person beheaded), or several years (as in cases of spousal abuse, bullying by one’s peers, or living in a war zone). When the person who suffers the trauma fails to recover, regain equilibrium, or “get on with life,” professionals typically attribute this dysfunction to the assault (hence, “post-traumatic”). One of the most effective treatments for PTSD and its accompanying nightmares is Time Perspective Therapy, which views the condition as a mind “stuck in time,” the time of the traumatizing event.
Because PTSD is a social construct, it is important to note that it is generally diagnosed and treated by clinicians from Western industrialized nations who work with clients from similar backgrounds. Indeed, the psychological impact of traumatic exposure may be a major difference between Western and non-Western societies. For example, many indigenous groups in North and South America speak of “soul loss” and focus upon recovering the soul from the time and place where the traumatizing event “stole” it. These shamans, curanderos, and curanderas recognize that the soul is “stuck” and do what they can to retrieve it.
Most psychotherapeutic approaches to PTSD have seen the nightmare as one of many symptoms of the disorder, one that will dissipate with appropriate medication and/or psychotherapy. However, a contrary approach could be proposed, one that focuses directly on nightmare modification as the key to unraveling PTSD and restoring the traumatized individual to everyday functioning. As long as the PTSD nightmare recurs, the dreamer of the nightmare is blocked from resolving basic existential conflicts that prevent him or her from moving ahead. The mind is “frozen” in a particular time and space context, and the therapeutic challenge is to initiate a “thaw.”
Shamanic Models of Dreaming (Presentation within panel titled “Dreams, Myths, Shamanic Cultures, and Holy Scriptures from Around the World”)
Dreams play an important role in shamanic cultures. Early shamanic cultures did not leave a written lecture, but dreams are discussed in their oral traditions. Shamans were humankind’s first “dream interpreters,” although tribal elders also served as resources, especially for dreams involving family members. The Iroquois tribe felt that dreams expressed “the secret desires of the soul,” and shamans attempted to find ways in which these desires could be expressed within the tribal context. Cuna shamans often used healing songs that were given them in their dreams. The Paratinin Indians of Brazil believed that anyone who dreams possesses a small bit of shamanic power. The Senoi tribe in Malaysia may or may not have been a “dream culture,” as alleged. However, there are some shamanic cultures where there is no controversy regarding the primary role played by dreams. Some tribes felt that the gods and goddesses dreamed the world into being, and that humans had the same ability with regard to their daily lives.
- To understand that shamans had models of dreams and dreaming that preceded ancient religious models.
- To appreciate the role that shamans played in facilitating the dreaming process in human evolution.
- To determine if any shamanic dream practices are still relevant today.
EM and Metaphors: Is There a Common Brain Source? (Presentation within symposium titled “Four on Metaphor”)
The ad hoc class inclusion part (the “is,” without the “is not”) is, perhaps, all that is needed to describe dream thought. Subsuming the vehicle and topic into one category may be what is left of metaphoric process when the higher level “executive” function that can constrain it (the “is not” part) has been taken out of gear by the pattern of DLPFC deactivation characteristic of REM. Don Kuiken, the symposium chair, and contributor to the specific literature (Kuiken & Bears, 2001; Kuiken & Chudleigh, 2010), will refer to a collection of equally passive semantic conflations in cognitive psychology: noun-noun compounds— modifier-modified compounds like “beach ball” or like Foulkes’s dream of a 5-year old who implicitly dreamed, “I was sleeping in a bathtub-bed” — that are not conventionally figurative (metaphoric) but are nonetheless category-transforming. These compounds are currently treated as dependent upon distinctly semantic relations, rather than merely associative ones (Mather, Jones, & Estes, 2014). The semantic relations that characterize noun-noun compounds provide a richer vocabulary than a trope-centred one. Moreover, an analysis of literary foregrounding (Mukarovský 1976) indicates that non-figurative fusions and juxtapositions are at the heart of the language required to develop a general poetics—including oneiric poetics.
Four possibilities are explored in this symposium:
First, are some forms of dreaming sufficiently intense (as indicated by REM density and intensity) to enable the higher level “executive” functions to occur while REM sleep and dreaming persists? That hypothesis “protects” conventional cognitive theories of metaphor but also restricts the range of conditions within which they may occur.
Second, considering the frequency and intensity of eye movements during REM sleep—and perhaps during the manipulated EM intensity of EMDR— does this increase the attentional flexibility and the semantic distance between two terms of a noun-noun compound? Their combination may generate the shifts in the aptness of the noun-noun meanings that persist after awakening—as well as after EMDR interventions.
Third, may “inner speech” that occurs during dreaming literally be “heard” if the dream report is treated not as a description of stories or scenarios but as a linguistic activity in which the speech sounds in the report function metaphorically—due to semantic integration—in the images of the manifest dream? The significance of the “inner speech” is that it generally reflects such integration of episodic memories (and not only the integration of generic noun phrases).
Fourth, is it possible that the increased distance between terms of a noun-noun compound (precipitated by EM intensity) is insufficient to function metaphorically? Comparison of nightmares and existential dreams suggests that, in addition to the excitatory component of the orienting response, intensification of its inhibitory component is also necessary for the persistence of shifts in the aptness of compound (noun-noun) meanings after awakening. Among the three primary types of impactful dreams (nightmares, existential dreams, and transcendent dreams), Kuiken will present preliminary evidence that existential dreams distinctively precipitate the combination of excitatory and inhibitive associative activity related to quasi-metaphoric noun-noun phrase generation.
Target audience level (Intermediate, Advanced)
- Identify brain structures and processes that are possibly responsible for metaphors.
- Discuss the possible relationship between EM’s and metaphors and dreams.
- Identify the minimum executive function needed for dream cognition.
Don Kuiken and co-author Alex Porthukaran
Associative Processes following Existential Dreams (Poster Presentation)
The carryover effects of dreams may include the kind of associative activy that supports creative reflection. Previous studies link creativity (e.g., performance on a Remote Associates task) to a combination of associative fluency and associative inhibition (Benedek, et al., 2012). We predicted that, rather than dreams in general, specific dream types would facilitate such generative activity. Specifically, we examined whether existential dreams (rather than nightmares, transcendent dreams or mundane dreams) would be followed by associative fluency, associative inhibition, and their interactive combination.
Methods: 108 students (40 males, 68 females; average age 22.5 yrs) participated in an on-line dream study. Individuals who either had or had not experienced significant loss (e.g., the death of a friend or family member) awoke from either a mundane or impactful dream and then completed tasks that measure associative fluency, associative inhibition, and their interaction. They also completed questionnaires that enabled identification of dream types (Kuiken, 2009, in press) and that measured dissociation.
Results: Participants who performed the association tasks after existential dreams showed higher levels of associative fluency (F(3,96) = 2.548, p = .060) , associative inhibition (F(3,96) = 6.858, p = .0003), and their interactive combination (F(3,96) = 6.790, p = .0003). Also, a significant interaction, F(3,96) = 7.581, p = .0001, indicated that, specifically among those who had experienced existential dreams, dissociation (unheimlichkeit) predicted the interactive combination of associative fluency and associative inhibition (beta = .60).
Discussion: The present study extends prior research indicating that existential dreams are especially likely to precipitate self-perceptual depth (cf. Kuiken et al., 2006; Kuiken, in press). Such generative reflection may be facilitated by the complex associative processes described here, especially among dreamers who reported a non-pathological form of dissociation (unheimlichkeit). The latter result is consistent with other evidence that dissociation has a constructive aspect that supports generative reflection (e.g., Kuiken & Sharma, 2013). Target audience level: advanced.
- Describe the associative processes that follow existential dreams.
- Describe the relations between loss, dissociation and these associative processes.
- Describe how existential dreams differ from nightmares.
Dreams Connecting Us to Spirit – Working with Archetypal and/or Central Dream Images (Morning Dream Group)
Based on works of Dr. C.G. Jung, Dr. Earnest Hartmann, Dr. Michael Conforti et al., each member of this morning dream group will be invited to focus on an archetypal and/or a central image from one of his or her own dreams that still holds energy and fascination. A process of dream incubation will be offered, so that these images can beckon subsequent dreams during the conference that may have light to shed on them. Learning together as a whole group, in subgroups and also individually, we will work on making a relation to and a translation of these images to our life now – for meaning, discernment and guidance.
- Learn to identify archetypal and central images.
- Experience a process of dream incubation.
- Discover how to deepen their relation to the image so as to honor its vitality, allowing it to continue working as a powerful and ongoing source of meaning, wisdom and guidance.
Wake Up to DreamSynergy™!: Use Your Nighttime Dreams to Make Your Daytime Dreams Come True (Workshop)
Perhaps through dreamwork you have individually changed, watched others transform, or have found through research that dreams do have function and that they indeed can change lives. Lasley knows that dreams have value and the ability to move you and others toward the authentic full-functioning Self. This workshop will move you from theory to application. It is one thing to believe in dreams and another to reap the rewards that are offered to each of us every night.
For 25 years, Lasley has been privileged to guide, participate in and witness transformation in her dream groups and individual clients. She has used dreams as the catalyst and guide for her own individuation. You will get a glimpse of how dreams influenced her challenging personal journey, as well as the transformational journeys of clients.
DreamSynergy™, an innovative process of working with dreams, incorporates her own and other respected theories and techniques. This all-inclusive process simplifies the practice of finding meaning and using that meaning to facilitate change in your life, as well as the lives of your clients. Applying the DreamSynergy™ process facilitates change in areas such as Mental and Physical Well-Being (Illness, Hospice Care, PTSD), Relationships, Finances, Career, and Creativity. During the workshop, you will learn to apply the step-by-step DreamSynergy™ process to enhance lives – yours and others. This method bridges the gap between all areas of dreamwork and techniques of dreamwork, so that you and your clients will have a tested and result-oriented approach to finding value from dreams. During the workshop, we will use various exercises and techniques to experience how Character Study, Emotions and Beliefs can lead to quick and sustainable change. There will be an opportunity for sharing your experience of the DreamSynergy™ process and for follow-up questions and reflections. Please join Justina. She is looking forward to sharing our nighttime and daytime dreams.
- List three focus areas of the DreamSynergy™ approach that lead to understanding dreams and facilitating change.
- Explain why an understanding of personal beliefs is important in effective dreamwork.
- Develop an understanding of why and how change occurs in personal development.
George M. Leute III
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 dream work. 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 these apply to dream work. Participants will learn how to facilitate the embodiment of dream images and the contact between them, how to set up a dream theater, and how to assist the dreamer through the process. In addition, therapeutic considerations, such as contraindications for Gestalt Therapy oriented dream work, will be presented. All attendees will be encouraged to take part in brief warm-up exercises that will assist in the embodying of dream images. One or two participants will have an opportunity to actively work on a dream of their own. In addition, all participants will be encouraged to participate in a demonstration of “Dream Theater.”
This workshop is suited primarily for therapists, although many dream group leaders will benefit from being familiar with these processes. Approximately one third of the workshop will be didactic and the other two thirds experiential.
- List four orienting principles of Gestalt Therapy.
- Describe an important objective of dream dialogues.
- Describe two contraindications for embodied dream work.
Imagery as a Key Component in Integrative Cancer Care (Presentation within symposium titled “The Expanding Realm of Mental Imagery”)
Imagery is a key component of several practices that are offered as part of integrative cancer care. In the health care setting, the concept of imagery extends beyond mental processes and is identified as a unified mind/body/spirit response to inner experience. Imagery also extends beyond the concept of visualization and includes perception through any or all of the senses. Particular emphasis is on awareness of sensations that are encountered in the body. In dream appreciation classes, cancer patients learn that dream imagery spotlights the mind-body patterns that are keeping them from living life to the fullest.
Dreams help identify perceptions, attitudes, and patterns of behavior that keep them limited and stuck. They also learn that dreams spotlight imagery and energies for helping to move through the cancer journey. In guided imagery classes, mindfulness meditation classes, art therapy, and journaling, cancer patients learn meditative practices for transforming imagery that carries disturbing energies. They also engage in practices for gathering and nurturing the energies of imagery that bring about an embodied sense of renewal, reconciliation, connection, compassion, healing, and hope. In body-based classes such as yoga, tai chi, qigong, and meditative dance, patients learn to bring their healing imagery from dreams and meditation, and focus on them while doing meditative movement in order to embody and integrate the healing energies. The embodiment and integration of healing imagery is also a goal of massage therapy and acupuncture, which are offered in some cancer wellness centers.
Through the practice of guided imagery, patients learn to focus on healing imagery in order to relax into deep meditative consciousness. In a state of deeply relaxed focus, patients learn to participate in imagery experiences that can reduce pain and nausea, reduce blood loss during surgery and morphine use after it, heighten short-term immune cell activity, and help maximize the functioning of all the body’s innate healing systems. Patients use guided imagery to transform perceptions, so that they are more conducive to healing and growth. Guided imagery can help understand and transform resistance and suffering, transform fear and a sense of hopelessness into courage and a sense of hope, transform a sense of conflict into a sense of resolution and new possibilities, and develop a sense of self with a clear sense of goals and how to move toward them. Guided imagery can help patients to get in touch with a sense of meaning and purpose, a sense of connection and belonging. It can help strengthen a sense of deep relationship with spiritual life.
From 2005-2013, Pannier and Lyons conducted quality of life surveys with members of their ongoing dream groups in cancer support communities. Participants consistently reported: decreased feelings of anxiety and stress, increased sense of connection with inner and outer resources, increased understanding of healing at multiple levels, increased feelings of confidence and control over life and health issues, and increased feelings of how to live fully now, despite cancer. Appropriate for all audiences.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Discuss the body-based focus of imagery in cancer care.
- List three mind-body practices that help integrate the energies of imagery.
- Explain three benefits of using imagery in integrative cancer care.
Christopher Macor, Nancy English, and Rosemary Czubaj
Playing Back your Dream: Where Playback Theater Meets Projective Dream Work (Workshop)
Life presents itself in stories. We see this in the stories we make up to give our lives meaning and also in the dreams we dream at night. Playback Theater (PBT) is an Improvisational Theater Method that thrives on the stories of its audience. It has become apparent through the teaching and practicing of Playing Back Your Dream (PBYD) that PBT is a perfect medium for exploring the stories presented in dreams. Combined with Projective Dream Work, PBYD is a skillful method for advanced dreamwork.
In his book Inner Work, noted dream authority Robert Johnson suggests that Ritual is the fourth and final step of Dreamwork. He writes: “By the time you reach this fourth step you have made an interpretation. You have done your best to understand the dream with your mind. Now it is time to do something physical. This step is very important because it helps you integrate your dream experience into your conscious, waking life. This step requires a physical act that will affirm the message of the dream.”
PBYD is this physical act.
This workshop adapts the basic elements of PBT as developed by Jonathan Fox, in 1971, to the dreams of the participants in this workshop. The enactment of these dreams offers the dreamer, actors and participants an opportunity to engage the body and mind in movement and sound, resulting in an exploration of the deeper meanings of the dream. Jeremy Taylor’s projective dream work provides the framework for all workshop participants to decipher the essential elements of the dream. These essential elements of the dream are then allowed to interact with each other on the stage. PBYD is a fast track to what Jung calls Active Imagination. PBYD uses the dream as a starting point and jumps off into the reconciliation of the polarities, invoking insight and wisdom from beyond the level of the dream per se. This is an open invitation to what Jung calls the SELF, inviting this transcendental aspect of ourselves to make its presence known to the dreamer, the actors, and all the participants.
Outline of Presentation: I. Introduction to Dream Ritual – 5 minutes; II. Warm up exercises: movement and sound – 9 minutes; III. Short Forms (suitable for use with dream fragments) – 15 minutes; IV. Sharing the Dream (workshop participants will be asked to share their dreams) – 5 minutes/per dream x 3 = 15 min or as time permits; V. Enactment of dreams 10 min x 3 = 30 min; VI . Evaluate the performance (workshop participants will discuss the process through the projective technique, “If this were my dream”) – 3 min x 3 = 9 min; VII. Culmination form (weaving the threads of the different dreams together) – 3 min; VIII. Critique of the method and it`s applicability in dream analysis – 4 min. For all.
In this workshop participants will:
- Evaluate dreams to find the component elements so that these parts of self can then be addressed in a more conscious manner.
- Explore the interaction of these elements through the lens of improvisational theater.
- Experience how this interaction takes a dream to new levels of understanding and integration and effectively facilitates the fourth stage of dream work, Dream Ritual.
Kimberly Rachelle Mascaro
Announcing Dreams (Paper)
Introductory Statement: This presentation focuses on the announcing dreams of expectant men and pregnant women. The presentation will highlight findings from Dr. Mascaro’s dissertation study with pregnant women and the follow-up study with expectant men. Emergent themes will be discussed.
Expanded Description of Presentation: While dream literature is extensive, including extraordinary dreams and pregnancy dreams, the convergence of the two is limited. Announcing dreams are one type of extraordinary dream reported by pregnant women and expectant men that are not well understood. The focus of this presentation describes how announcing dreams affect pregnant women and expectant men, and highlights Mascaro’s findings from 1) her doctoral dissertation study, which included 22 pregnant volunteers, and 2) her follow-up study with expectant men (currently underway). Within the sample of pregnant women, announcing dreams took place most often in the first trimester of pregnancy, were reported to be significant by almost three quarters of participants, and were shared with others by 85% of the participants. From analysis, several themes emerged, including, but not limited to, confidence and affirmation, bonding and connection, birth, lucidity, decision-making regarding the pregnancy, and prediction of sex. For those who serve, or work with, pregnant families, acknowledging and attending to their inner world, including dream experiences, can support both men and women to be present to their whole selves.
Audience: Target level – Introductory and Intermediate.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Describe the phenomenon known as an announcing dream.
- List common themes that emerge from announcing dreams.
- Compare and contrast the characteristics between pregnant women’s announcing dreams and those of expectant men.
THROW LIKE A GIRL™: Catch the Dream! (Paper)
This unique eight-week program for teen girls uses projective dreamwork to help each girl find and use her authentic voice as she moves through adolescence, and to support her growth into self-actualizing and empowered adulthood. In 2014 Jane began working through the San Mateo Police Activities League, (PAL), to bring THROW LIKE A GIRL™ to economically disadvantaged and at-risk girls in San Mateo, CA. Jane’s presentation will highlight these girls’ experiences of the power of dreams and projective dreamwork to deepen self-awareness, deepen self-efficacy, and engender supportive peer relationships and supportive inter-generational relationships among teen girls. The specific strategies and program design THROW LIKE A GIRL™ employs to address this four-fold goal, (as well as strategies for measuring our success against these goals), will also be presented. Several examples of the powerful dreams and dream projections of THROW LIKE A GIRL™ participants will be shared during the presentation. Intended for all conference attendees, the aim of this presentation is to increase awareness of the possibilities of using dream work groups to promote psycho-spiritual-emotional health in adolescent girls.
The THROW LIKE A GIRL™ program is informed by:
- the gender psychology research of feminist ethicist and psychologist Carol Gilligan and her colleagues
- the projective dream-work process originally designed by psychologist Montague Ullman
- the gender literary-anthropology research of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, German scholar Valarie Pardez, and others
- the art herstorical research of Marija Gimbutas, Barbara G. Walker, and others
- Jane Maxfield’s own workshops on “Art as a Spiritual Practice.”
Intended for ALL conference attendees, the aim of this presentation is to increase awareness of the possibilities of using dream work groups to promote the psychological-spiritual-emotional health in adolescent girls.
- Describe and evidence the potential for dream work to empower girls to resist destructive forces and actualize a healthy psycho-spiritual-emotional adolescence.
- Describe Throw Like A Girl’s™ active alignment with research findings regarding the importance of peer and cross-generational friendships to thriving teens.
- Describe the power of dreamwork circles to foster these healthy relationships.
How One Dreamer’s Long-Term Journal Keeping Yielded Psi Discoveries (Presentation within panel titled “What we have Learned about Psi from Journal Keeping”)
This layman’s talk, aimed at a general audience, will illustrate how McCall’s 20-year practice of dream journaling has helped her learn to recognize personal dream symbols associated with psi dreams. She will discuss examples of these dreams, including some that helped her prepare for the impending death of family or pets; visitation dreams from the deceased; and dreams that provided precognitive clues related to her physical health.
Through her journal practice, she has accumulated 48 illustrated volumes that integrate recorded dreams with waking reflections related to her daily life. By maintaining this consistent process year after year, she has built a library of personal data that serves as a valuable resource in identifying and confirming psi dreams, and is also a source of creative inspiration in her life. By mining these journals, she has been able to discover precognitive dreams that were not obvious at the time they occurred, and to connect them to waking life events that took place months or even years later. Special emphasis will be given to how her personal practice of illustrating her dream records with sketches has enhanced her ability to recall and interpret her dreams. By describing how her process has evolved — from text-only dream recording to text description with occasional illustration to her current process of sketching a key visual image from each dream before writing it down — she will suggest that recording a dream with a non-verbal visual sketch enhances dream recall and creates a kind of memory capsule that yields more information than is captured in words alone.
- Describe how keeping a long-term dream journal that integrates both dreams and waking life helps to identify and verify psi dreams.
- Show examples of precognitive dream images that were later linked to waking life events.
- Discuss how using art to record dreams visually (before writing down the dream) may enhance recall and the understanding of a dream beyond a text-only record.
From Where We Write: Writers’ Self-Awareness through Dream and Memory (Special event)
As the winner of the 2014 Ernest Hartmann Student Research Award, McCann prepared a paper presentation, as requested, based on her student thesis. This is an introductory level presentation on dreamwork, available for all interested in harnessing dreams to further their writing or other creative processes. As a writer for children and young adults, memories and dream images unconsciously spill into her creative work. She has found a great tool to sift through this clutter. For her, it’s a Jungian approach to dreamwork—self actualizing a dream through personal journaling and introspection. Dreams are the place in which she enters again into childlike mind; where language is a puzzle of idioms and homonyms, and pictures are the primary communication.
One author in particular continues to shape her understanding of how dreamwork elevates a writer’s connection to her audience. Maurice Sendak (1928 – 2012), picture book writer and illustrator of such notable books as, Where the Wild Things Are, wrote from his recurring dreams, nightmares, and earliest childhood memories. His work, and the magnitude of his success, informs how to bridge dreamwork with the creative process.
Sendak declared his preference to write from dreams about dreaming. His work visually enacts Jung’s definition of a dream, “a theatre in which the dreamer is himself the scene, the player, the prompter, the producer, the author, the public, and the critic. Sendak writes: “Just as dreams come to us at night, feelings come to me, and I rush to put them down. . . . I build a kind of house around them—the story—and the painting of the house is the picture-making. Essentially, however, it’s a dream . . .”
Here McCann will explore Sendak’s use of personal symbols and archetypes in three of his books: Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, and Outside Over There. She will compare his four part definition for building an archetype with Jung’s three part definition. Finally, she will demonstrate Sendak’s use of the dreamwork technique of “Nightmare Re-Entry” using both nightmares and memories. She will specifically show how Sendak chooses major idioms, homophones, symbols, and relationships in order to wrestle a positive transformation in each dream scenario. Dreamwork allows us to actualize our dreams, nightmares or memories into a cathartic—or even transformative—experience during the creative process. For writers, how we rescue our character depends a lot on how we rescue ourselves. This redemption is our connection for our readers and the hope we provide to them.
This is an experiential one-hour workshop. Participants will write and draw their ideas with paper and pen. McCann will talk for about 25 minutes, the next 20 minutes will be personal creative expression, and then we will have about 15 to 20 minutes for sharing and finishing up.
- Identify personal dream symbols, idioms and homophones through our shared dream examples: three picture books by Maurice Sendak.
- Select a frightening remembered dream or memory to write and/or draw.
- Analyze your key relationship, idiom, and homophone(s) then use “Nightmare Re-Entry” techniques as illustrated by Sendak to transform or rewrite the “story.”
Project August (2014): Collective Dreamers CAN Incubate Dreams about Future Events for a Specific Time Period (Paper)
Introduction. Project August was the first of its kind and was unique in many different aspects. For one, it combined precognitive dreaming, dream incubation, and dream linguistics to ascertain future events for a specific time period. 114 predictive headlines were created prior to August 2014, and over 100 of them received substantial or near-perfect hits in and around the target month.
Basis. Project August was a non-scientific research project, in that no outside agency or organization was sponsoring or sanctioning the event. It was completely in-house at the National Dream Center (NDC), and the goal was simply to see what was possible in future-oriented, collective-level dream incubation, since most of the preceding research has been scant and more focused on individual precognition. Furthermore, the integration of dream linguistics meant that the project had too many variables for a pristine laboratory study. That being said, even though this project certainly does not meet full scientific rigor, the results cannot be ignored, and in fact, we now have a much better idea of what to expect when designing the follow-on tests.
Detailed Summary. The presentation begins with describing the setup of Project August. We’ll go through the number of participants, what we know about them, the type of people we were trying to attract, etc. Next, we describe all the various processes in this project, from the dream incubation protocol to where and how the dreams were input, and then how the predictive headlines were drafted and produced. Case studies will be presented. This will be a very exciting portion of the presentation, as we’ll go through some of the highlights of our project, including specific and rather unbelievable predictions that actually came true. Lastly, and most importantly, we’ll discuss the statistical results. We’ll show charts that describe when these types of predictions manifest in relation to the target time period, how the accuracy is affected by the time aspect, and all the various implications of these results, including a brief synopsis of how NDC’s daily operations have changed as a result.
Target Audience. Everyone on the planet can benefit from the statistics, theories, and procedures that have been developed in this project. Advanced theoreticians will hopefully enjoy the statistical results presented, while the newbies will enjoy hearing about the news events that ended up coming true in August.
- Explain the basic procedures of Project August and how dreamers incubated precognitive dreams.
- Describe the procedures used by the NDC staff to draft and produce predictive headlines using the incubated dreams.
- Identify the important results of this project and describe a few of the most incredible predictions that came true during this project.
Incubating Waking Life Dream Images (Workshop)
When Mitsch incubates a dream at night, a dream/images present themselves to her. After dream work, she gets an insight about the dream’s message. She decided to try incubating waking life “dreams” using the same method of asking a question and being open to guidance from waking life images. She started this practice over a year ago and has also shared this practice with others. She is continually surprised at how “the universe” speaks so directly to her inquiries as well as to other people’s.
An example of her process is this: After an argument with her husband where her feelings were hurt and he was angry, she asked for guidance. On her walk outside, the image that grabbed her attention was a spider web. After doing some dream work, the meaning that resonated with her was that she was too caught up in herself to see the validity of honoring male energy (both his and hers). After receiving this insight, she apologized to her husband for her part as well as asking for more respectful communication in the future.
In this workshop, Mitsch will have participants ask for guidance and receive it from a waking life image. After a short meditation/relaxation, they will 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 Mitsch’s computer. When they return to the room, the participants will reflect on their image and then share any insights they have gained with at least one other participant.
When all the participants are done sharing with at least one other person, Mitsch will show everyone’s photo (with their permission), on the large screen and ask them to say their name as well as the title of their image. After that, 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 . . .” The presentation will be a Power Point showing examples of some of her incubated images as well as other people’s images, along with the inquiries and messages that accompany them. After the workshop, she will print everyone’s image and put them in a central location where they can pick them up. She will have matte board with photo corners for mounting the photographs. Her Intention is to help people incubate a day time dream/image and then to receive an image related to that inquiry. Through dream work 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, she hopes to have participants be aware of and appreciate the many messages that are available.
- Be able to write a guidance inquiry to gain insight into an area of their life.
- Create a photo that expresses the essence of an image.
- After reflecting on the image, to be able to write an insight in a title format.
Creating Photographs Using Images from Day and Night Dreams (Presentation within panel titled “Artists and their Dream Art”)
Artist’s statement: “The photographs I create are inspired by images in my night time dreams as well as images in waking life that present themselves after I have asked for guidance. When I have a significant dream, I intentionally look for images that represent ones from my dream. For example, I dreamt about a large willow tree with a vine going from its trunk to three other trees nearby. On the three trees there are small green ‘balls,’ that are the raw material for medicine for my sister. After the dream, I intentionally went out looking for trees that held the essence of these dream trees and photographed them. I also bought small green balls and string for the vine. I then displayed the photographs, green balls and string in a shadow box. This ‘hands-on’ way of working helped me ‘reenter’ the dream, become more intimate with the images, and understand the dream more viscerally. This method of dream photography begins at first unintentionally with dream images and then becomes intentional. My other approach to dream photography is the reverse. I ask for guidance, just as I would do when incubating a night time dream. But instead of falling asleep and waking with a dream with an answer to my inquiry, I ask for guidance during waking life. After meditating, I go out, mostly into nature, and see what image comes to me. I then photograph it. I have used this method especially when I have an emotional issue and am looking for support. I am continually surprised at the images that have presented themselves to me. For instance, I asked why I was not remembering my dreams (a dry period longer than normal). The image that presented itself to me was a stone that looked like a grave marker. It also looked like an upside down skull. When I looked closer, I realized it was a ‘Hobbit’ house with a few doors and windows. (It was in a friend’s garden.) The doors and windows were open, except for one side door. When I worked with this image, I realized that I needed to open the side door and express my feelings of grief from losing my father a year earlier. In dreams and in waking life incubation, I feel there is communication between my unconscious and conscious selves. Through my art, I am learning to listen more deeply.”
Angel Morgan and Jean-Marc Emden
The Healing Power of Dream Sharing in Physical Space and Cyber Space: Indigenous Roots and Contemporary Community Potential (Paper)
Angel Morgan will present from her recently published paper: Morgan, A. K. (2014), “Dream sharing as a healing method: Tropical roots and contemporary community potential,” Journal of Tropical Psychology, Cambridge University Press. (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=JTP.)
Comparing the healing experiences reported by members of indigenous dream groups such as the Senoi of Malaysia and others to those reported by members of American grassroots dream appreciation groups, and considering the views of previous researchers who have studied these groups, it is seen that there are many aspects of dream sharing in community that have potential healing capacities. There are critics who claim that the lack of a professional group leader will put group members at risk. But problems can be avoided with proper communication, education, and appropriate dream group leadership. The experience of healing by dream sharing in community is qualitatively unique, depending on the cultural context and worldview. There are many forms of dream sharing and healing that have been reported by those who have shared dreams in various world communities. In Western society’s lack of interest, fear and safety concerns have influenced the paucity of dream sharing. Many forms of dreamwork in groups have included both healing and education as potential goals. There is room for new ideas to be implemented and built upon that could creatively help nourish those parts of the world that are suffering from social and cultural dream-impoverishment.
Jean-Marc Emden will briefly discuss the concept of Tribe, and the potential healing power of both tribal and social network dream sharing in cyber space. Target Audience: All.
- Compare and contrast some of the healing experiences reported by indigenous dream groups and American grassroots dream appreciation groups.
- Compare and contrast the healing potential of dream sharing in both physical and cyber space.
- Describe some of the problems that can arise in dream sharing groups, and ways to prevent them or deal with them ethically, both in physical space and cyber space.
Maria João Neves
The Depth of Dreams in Music and Philosophical Practice (Paper)
Inspired by the Phenomenology of Dreams by the contemporary Spanish philosopher María Zambrano (1904-1991), Neves’ research on dreams has two components: 1. Ethics: phenomenological analysis of dreams in philosophical practice (ongoing since 2004, involving students of clinical psychology, researchers at the Laboratory of Sleep Studies, Chronobiology and Telemedicine of the University of Lisbon Medical School, the Neurology Department of Faro Hospital , and private clients from her philosophical practice). 2. Aesthetics: application of the taxonomy of dreams to the virtual time of music. This project began in 2010 and is financed with a post-doctoral grant by the Foundation of Science and Technology of Portugal (FCT, http://www.fct.pt/index.phtml.en). It involves two experimental groups: singers from the Gulbenkian Foundation Choir of Lisbon and instrumental musicians from the Algarve. In this communication, she intends to present Zambrano’s Phenomenology of Dreams theory and concrete examples of its application obtained in the two lines of research presented above.
Applying this technique in Philosophical Practice can produce significant changes in people’s lives, as has been shown in various articles (most recently in English: “Phenomenology of Dreams in Philosophical Practice,” Journal of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association—APPA, volume 9, Number 3, November 2014, pp. 1475-1486), and condensed in the author’s book Método RVP–Prática Filosófica no Quotidiano (Lisboa: Instituto Piaget, 2009). In a completely innovative way—and notably contrary to authors such as Freud, Jung and Adler, who were all interested in dream contents— Phenomenology of Dreams focuses on the form of the dream (its relation to time perception) rather than the dream content. Despite the different objects of application, the examination of dream form in relation to time perception is common to the methodology of both lines of research.
For Hanslick (1825-1904), music is sound forms in motion, and Langer (1895-1985) points out that in its movement nothing is moved, therefore time in music, as in dreams, is virtual. Regarding music, the research project aims to identify the appropriate dream category in which a certain piece of music occurs, and to verify the musical parameters being used to induce that particular time experience. This can allow for a more alchemic encounter with a composition, and perhaps serve as a complement to traditional musical analysis. In fact, the application of Zambrano’s categories has been extremely helpful in the analysis of non-notated music such as jazz performance.
The presentation is structured in five segments: 1. Presentation of Zambrano´s Phenomenology of Dreams theory; 2. Examples of dream reports and their classification according to Zambrano’s dreams taxonomy, showing their implications in the work of the philosophical practice consultant; 3. Presentation of the musical parameters used in the research project; 4. Examples of musical works and their classification according to Zambrano’s dreams taxonomy, and the musical parameters that enable it; 5. Assessment and future goals of the research-in-progress. Audience: For All.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Differentiate Zambrano’s phenomenological analysis of dreams from other methods.
- Assess dream reports in a phenomenological way.
- Compare musical works in terms of dream virtual time perception.
Mental Imagery: From Child’s Play to Integrative Medicine (Presentation within symposium titled “The Expanding Realm of Mental Imagery”)
This presentation shares personal experiences of using mental imagery as a child, how this was refined over the years and eventually blended with dream imagery, and how scientific research is validating imagery as a valuable ally in integrative medicine.
Everyone uses mental imagery whether they realize it or not; harnessing its power is something everyone can learn. A serious eye problem early in life helped the author discover this with a child’s playfulness and wonder. Pannier was diagnosed with serious eye problems around age three. Although thick glasses helped her see, her eyes were usually dilated every weekend until she was eight, giving her a blurry, out-of-focus reality and preventing her from engaging in many childhood activities.
However, it encouraged her to develop her inner reality. Mental imagery was a game for her – and she learned how to engage all her senses to create and energize it: •What does it look like? •What does it feel like? •What does it smell like? •What does it sound like? •What does it taste like? •What is the essence of the energy around it?
Just before turning eight she had eye surgery. She asked her doctor if she would have to wear glasses afterward. He said she might not have to. She heard “not have to” and immediately started envisioning what it would be like to start third grade without glasses. The surgery was successful, and she remained glasses-free until her recent “readers.” In retrospect, this was a collaboration between a great surgeon and heartfelt mental imagery.
Nightmares after the surgery led to her discovery of mental imagery and dreams. Before going to sleep she did a “dream rehearsal” where she mentally confronted the blurry, scary nightmare image, stood her ground and told it that she was safely tucked in bed and it couldn’t hurt her. Later that night when the nightmare recurred, she did what she had practiced and confronted the image. Her nightmares dissipated. As an adult, she pursued her study of mental imagery and its healing potentials, which validated her experiences and introduced her to the evolving science in the field. She pursued her fascination with dreams as well, although initially she did not connect the two.
The night before her 45th birthday she was in a serious car accident that left her right leg with multiple compound fractures. The surgery was successful, although she was told she almost lost her leg. She remembered hearing about someone who suffered a serious break in a skiing accident and how he used mental imagery in his recovery. She did the same – with positive results. The following year she was diagnosed with late stage cancer. She didn’t resonate with the mental imagery tapes for cancer patients, but found using her dream imagery vastly more powerful. She has helped others do that ever since, as shared at previous IASD conferences. Mental imagery and evolving nightmare imagery are powerful allies in healing all aspects of our lives. For all audiences
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify the key elements of using imagery effectively.
- Explain ways to confront and evolve nightmare imagery.
- Discuss the scientific basis for imagery in integrative medicine.
Frank Pascoe and Stephen Potthoff
Dreamer Prophets and the Ghost Dance ( Paper)
The Ghost Dance and the Dreamer Prophets represent a Native American spiritual movement that seemingly burst on to the historical scene in the mid to late 1800’s. In essence, however, it is an adaption, to the tragic historical circumstances of the time, of practices that arguably originate from the deep Indigenous past. This talk places the use and valuing of dreams, visions, and the concept of dreaming as a central Dreaming Culture tenet to most if not all Indigenous people involved in this movement. This is examined from the psychological perspective of the purpose of dreaming. This talk is intended for all audiences.
- List the characteristics of the Dreaming Culture paradigm.
- Discuss the role dreams and dreaming plays when cultures face an existential crisis.
- Identify at least two of the main protagonists in the historical Dreamer Prophet and Ghost Dance movement
Richard F. Paseman
Whirlwinds of the Soul: Dreams in a Desert Place (Paper)
The desert of is a place of whirling dust storms and freakish winds that howl in the night. Wisdom traditions of desert dwellers understand the spinning vortex to be more than a phenomenon of hot air rising up from the desert floor through pockets of cooler low pressure air. Those who live in harmony with the natural world recognize that there is a spiritual dimension embodied within the whirlwind and our encounter of it. The whirlwind is an archetypal symbol of autonomous power. Jesus said, “The wind blows where it will; you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell from where it comes or where it goes.” So it is for all those who choose to live with an awareness of the spiritual realm manifested in nature.
Whenever we find ourselves in barren landscapes – a desert of the soul – our dreams may bring us images of the whirlwind. The whirlwind is an ambivalent symbol, capable of representing change and transformation. It may foretell a warning from the unconscious of an approaching threat. It may also signify a visitation of the divine – a theophany – in which the presence of God is revealed.
This presentation is for everyone interested in dreams. It will begin with a brief overview establishing the everyday place of “the whirlwind” (conscious level) prior to describing the archetypal imagery of the desert whirlwind (unconscious level). Insights from depth psychology will set forth an understanding of the personal and collective meaning of the whirlwind. Exploration of wisdom traditions, the Job saga and sacred writings of desert dwellers will reveal the power of the whirlwind as a dream image to transform the desert places in our soul. The presentation will conclude with techniques for interpreting the whirlwind as a personal dream image.
- Discuss how the whirlwind is an archetypal image of autonomous power.
- Explain how the whirlwind is an ambivalent image.
- Describe one example of the whirlwind found in sacred writings.
Sleep, Stress, and Emotional Memory Consolidation (Keynote Address)
Separate lines of research demonstrate that stress can selectively benefit the consolidation of emotional memories, as can the occurrence of sleep soon after learning. Yet virtually nothing is known about how these factors interact to influence emotional memory formation. In this talk, I will explore how sleep and stress mutually influence long term emotional memories, arguing that stress hormones help “tag” information as important to remember at the time of encoding, thus enabling subsequent, sleep-based processes to optimally and selectively consolidate emotional information.
Reckoning with Psi Dreaming, with Assistance from Montague Ullman (Presentation within panel titled “What we have Learned about Psi from Journal Keeping”)
In 1996, Pearson participated in the first IASD panel on Long Term Journaling: The Naturalist’s Contribution to Dream Study, stressing the importance of individual dreamers’ observations and records to the study of dreams. The next year, she undertook a review of 600 dreams and reflected on many incidences of synchronicity. In her personal taxonomy, synchronicity has served as an umbrella category for all types of psi – precognition, mutual dreams, déjà vu, clairvoyance and related phenomena, for all can be characterized as meaningful coincidences. Over time, she became increasingly intrigued with the psi phenomena that accompanied the practice of recording dreams. In 1998, she reported on uncanny interrelationships experienced among members of a dream sharing group, triggered by discussion of a new book claiming that “ . . .quantum mechanics . . . must be taken . . . as an explanation for how the world really works.” From that time to the present, she has sought to understand quantum physics, hoping to discover whether psi dreaming might be a manifestation of natural (if challenging) science. She was fortunate to discover that in this endeavor, she could stand on the shoulders of a giant. In his paper, “On the Relevance of Quantum Concepts to Dreaming Consciousness,” Montague Ullman provides a valuable blueprint for any dream journalist, but especially those with an interest in psi.
In this presentation, Pearson will illustrate principles that Ullman developed with examples of psi occurrences from her dream journal. Ullman points out that “the dreaming agenda” is set by the biological, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions of our lives. Pearson has discovered psi dreams that fit each of these categories. This may be surprising to those who expect psi to appear only in the “spiritual” category. But in her dream records, psi occurs commonly, sometimes in strong dreams but also often in dreams that seem unremarkable. Psi dreaming, she finds, is not necessarily special, and certainly not unusual. But how is it that dreams “dispense with our ordinary notions of time, space and causality”? In conclusion, she will follow in Ullman’s footsteps and summarize quantum concepts pertinent to dreamers: “complementarity, interconnectedness, the linkage of the observer and the observed, and non-locality” providing “a different perspective on the still mysterious nature of dreaming.” For all audiences.
Review of The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications, by David Deutsch. The New York Times Book Review, October 5, 1997
Ullman, Montague. (Between 2001-2005). On the Relevance of Quantum Concepts to Dreaming Consciousness. Retrieved from http://siivola.org/monte/papers_grouped/uncopyrighted/Dreams/on_the_relevance_of_quantum_concepts_to_dreaming_consciousness.htm.
- Provide examples of psi phenomena that occur in dreams.
- Describe how dream journal-keepers can acquire unique insight into psi phenomena.
- Discuss how concepts of quantum physics may promote understanding of dream psi.
Bobbie Ann Pimm
Do We Dream Together Without Intention? (Paper)
We have shown in the many psi dreaming contests held at IASD conferences that dreamers can dream together when they set an intention to do so. What happens when there is no intention to dream together? Is it possible that they are dreaming together all the time? Do they appear in each other’s dreams, or dream about the same theme or objects, without first setting an intention to do so?
Looking at the results from the previous five years of IASD psi contests reveals that the same dreamers’ names are repeated often. Many of the dreamers report similarities with the same dreamers from year to year. Looking at dreams from these dreamers on a retroactive timeframe may reveal whether this is true or not. Pimm reached out to six of these dreamers and asked them to send her their dream reports from three different nights in the past. The dreamers were not anticipating being asked to share a dream and did not know who else had been asked to share a dream from the same dates. Target Audience: For all.
For entertainment purposes only. This is not intended to be appropriate for CE consideration. It is intended to answer a question we are sure other mutual dreamers are curious about and to pique the interest of potential future researchers to do further investigation in the subject under more rigorous conditions.
Stephen Potthoff and Frank Pascoe
Back through the Flaming Sword: Healing Dreams and Otherworld Visions in the Lives of Early Quakers (Paper)
This presentation will analyze a selection of dreams recorded in the journals of early Quakers. Quakerism (known more officially as the Society of Friends) traces its roots back to a seventeenth-century charismatic English visionary named George Fox. In addition to being credited with a number of miraculous healings, Fox himself experienced multiple dreams and visions which he recorded and interpreted in his journal and other writings. Fox’s engagement with his own dreams as a source of divine guidance and healing inspired the development of a whole culture of dream interpretation and publication in Quaker circles, that has survived in some form to the present day. In times of personal and communal crisis, early Friends experienced healing and transformation through dreams of the other world, where they found inspiration in their efforts to build a more just society, and to live in greater harmony with the natural world.
- Discuss the role of Quaker founder George Fox in inspiring the early Quaker culture of dreaming.
- Summarize two significant dreams from the journals of early Quakers.
- Discuss two ways in which dream and visionary experiences served as vehicles of healing and transformation in the lives and work of early Quakers.
Journaling for Psi: What I Learned In Science Class (Presentation within panel titled “What we have Learned about Psi from Journal Keeping”)
When Sherry Puricelli’s passion for writing was united with dreamwork, synchronicity, groups, and psi, it all came to life. Finally, a formula that worked for her! This panel presentation will describe Sherry’s fun, simple, science-class approach for enhancing, examining, and learning from psi – highlighting journaling as a universal tool. When she reviewed more than two decades of journal entries looking for psi, Sherry realized that her psi dreams and experiences had changed significantly over time. Moreover, her entire journaling process had evolved to become more comprehensive, efficient, focused, social, and fun! She realized this approach was very familiar. She had learned it in science class!
This presentation will describe her easy-to- apply 4-pronged approach to journaling and psi, which includes, among other things, the importance of multiple perspectives and levels of detail. We will begin with a brief overview describing her approach, which is based on Sherry’s research and practice. Examples will be reviewed which consist of her personal journal entries as well as some from group dream journaling forums. Participants will be invited to examine their own journaling methods for psi and encouraged to try the 4-pronged science-class approach. Target audience: For all.
- List the 4 prongs of a science-class approach to journaling for psi.
- Compare/Contrast your own journal over time, noting if/how your psi journaling methodology has changed from oldest journal entries to current ones.
- Describe the importance of perspectives when journaling for psi.
Inter-Group Dreaming (Presentation within symposium titled “Group Dreaming: A Force for Good in the World”)
Many dreamers participate in dream groups, some in multiple groups. What would a review of the multiple groups’ dreams tell us? In this panel presentation, we will be reviewing excerpts of dreams submitted by individuals from a variety of dream groups to see examples of inter-group dreaming. We will begin with an overview describing “inter-group dreaming” and how it became an area of focus. Then we will see multiple examples, noting across-group common symbols and/or themes. We will conclude by discussing potential calls to action. This session is geared toward ALL dreamers.
- Describe “inter-group dreaming.”
- Compare individual dreams from numerous dream groups to identify common themes/symbols.
- Discuss call to action and next steps based on group dreaming.
Dream Theatres of the Soul (Keynote Address)
The depths of the psyche are revealed in dramas created by our unconscious selves and staged in five dream theatres. Each theatre features a player from an archetypal cast first unearthed by the brilliant inner archaeologist, Dr. Carl Jung. The players are Ego, Persona, Shadow, Anima/Animus, and Self. Dr. Raffa, a student, teacher, and writer about Jungian psychology and dreamwork for over 25 years, has based her presentation, “Dream Theatres of the Soul,” on her widely-used book of the same name. With explanations of Jung’s theories and examples drawn from over 4,600 of her own dreams, she will describe her way of working with dreams, the roles of each player, and the life-changing effects of reflecting and acting on their messages.
Learning objectives for this presentation are as follows:
1. Attendees will learn Jung’s theory about the five basic archetypes of the psyche.
2. Attendees will be able to identify these archetypes in their own dreams and the dreams of others.
3. Attendees will learn and be able to apply Dr. Raffa’s method of extracting meaningful insights from dreams.
Hallfridur J. Ragnheidardottir
Whom Does the Dream Serve? (Paper)
The presenter will endeavor to demonstrate the guiding function of the dream. The presentation is grounded in the presenter’s text about “Freyja” written for The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism; “Menstruation” published in The Book of Symbols (Taschen, 2010); and her book, A Quest for the Mead of Poetry: Menstrual Symbolism in Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales, to be published by Chiron Publications. The presentation will begin by briefly addressing the question put forth in the title, the kinship between dreaming and menstruation, and the necessity to go beyond the dichotomy of good and evil that ruled our ancestors’ worldview. It then moves on to the dream. The presenter will explore the interplay between the personal and the collective aspects of the dream, the distortion of vital energies enforced by the institutionalizing of a new worldview, the shortcomings of traditional gender-based symbolism, and the nature of the prima materia which is key to the transformation of self. Norse mythology, Alchemy and the Tarot will be used to unlock the dream’s message. The presentation is for all audiences.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify the interplay between the personal and the collective aspects of a dream.
- Assess traditional gender-based symbolism.
- Explain prima materia.
Retest Reliability of a Comprehensive Dream Questionnaire (MADRE): An Online Study (Paper)
Over the years, single scales (Schredl, 2004; Stumbrys, Erlacher, & Schredl, 2013) and dream questionnaires (e.g., Kallmeyer & Chang, 1997) have been studied regarding their psychometric characteristics. Overall, retest reliability for the single scales, e.g., an eight-point lucid dreaming frequency scale, was .89, which is considered as high (Stumbrys et al., 2013). The dream questionnaires developed and published so far, however, were not eliciting a broad variety of different aspects of dreaming – for instance, they most often focused on dream content. The aim of the present study was to develop a questionnaire comprising items measuring different aspects of dreaming, such as: dream recall frequency, nightmare frequency, nightmare distress, childhood nightmares, interest in dreams, lucid dreaming frequency, effects of dreams on daytime mood, frequency of dream sharing, creative dreaming, reading about dreams, falling dreams.
Method. Overall, 2929 participants completed the questionnaire once, and 2297 participants (1330 women, 967 men; mean age: 46.54 ± 14.24 yrs.; range: 17-90 yrs.) completed the questionnaire after a period of about 14 days (mean: 14.34 ± 2.31 days).
Results and Discussion. Overall, most of the retest reliabilities were high, e.g., r = .756 for the seven-point dream recall frequency scale. Also, the internal consistency of the attitude towards a dreams scale consisting of five items was high: r = .906. On the other hand, several means of dream content- related items decreased significantly from t1 to t2, and several other scales, e.g., eliciting topics of childhood nightmares showed low retest reliability, indicating that modifications are necessary to improve the psychometric quality of the comprehensive dream questionnaire.
Kallmeyer, R. J., & Chang, E. C. (1997). The multidimensional dream inventory: preliminary evidence for validity and reliability.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 85, 803-808.
Schredl, M. (2004). Reliability and stability of a dream recall frequency scale. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 98, 1422-1426. Stumbrys, T., Erlacher, D., & Schredl, M. (2013). Reliability and stability of lucid dream and nightmare frequency scales.
International Journal of Dream Research, 6, 123-126.
- Compare most dream questionnaires focused on dream content and specific dream topics.
- Discuss retest reliability as an important criterion for describing psychometric properties, especially in single scales.
- A comprehensive questionnaire about the person’s dream history should include dream recall frequency, nightmare frequency, lucid dreaming, attitudes towards dreams, and dream use.
Quantitative Research Methods (Presentation within panel titled “Research Experience and Mentorship: How to and with Whom”)
This presentation will focus on how to elicit dream reports or other dream-related variables and how to analyze them, e.g., applying dream content analysis.
- Describe the most important steps in analyzing a dream study, including dream content analysis, and the most often used statistical methods.
Are Gender Differences in Dreaming Reflecting Gender Differences in Waking Life? (Presentation within symposium titled “Exploring the Continuity and Discontinuity between Waking and Dreaming: Advances in the Study and Conceptualization of the Continuity Hypothesis of Dreaming”)
Gender differences in a wide range of variables have been studied quite intensely in academic psychology. This has also been the case in dream research. Two meta-analyses (Schredl & Reinhard, 2008, 2011)indicate that women tend to recall their dreams more often and have nightmares more often than men. In addition, women show a more positive attitude towards dreams, share dreams more often, and are more interested in dream interpretation. Regarding dream content, men’s dreams more often include physical aggression, sexual interaction, and a high percentage of male dream characters (about two thirds); whereas women dream more often about clothing, interpersonal topics and have an equal distribution of men and women in their dreams (Schredl, 2007).
The aim of the presentation is to add new data. For example, a study on children’s dreams will be presented showing that males are more likely than females to be aggressors in children’s dreams. Another study indicates that the gender difference in dream sharing frequency is not only explained by the gender difference in dream recall frequency but also by the gender difference in interest in dreams and the gender difference in sharing emotional experiences. An analysis looking into sex-role orientation also shows that some of the gender differences are related to sex- role orientation, and not only related to biological sex (Schredl, Paul, Lahl, & Göritz, 2010-2011).Overall, the findings will be discussed within the framework of the continuity hypothesis stating that dreams reflect waking life – i.e., the gender differences in dreaming should be parallel to corresponding differences in waking life. Target level of the audience: Intermediate.
- Compare how women differ from men in regard to dream recall frequency and nightmare frequency.
- Summarize the most stable gender differences in dream content.
- Discuss the gender of human aggressors most often occurring in children’s dreams.
Dreaming about Dreaming (Poster Presentation)
Empirical research looking into the relationship between waking and dreaming supports the so-called continuity hypothesis. Many studies looked at different aspects of waking life affecting dreams, e.g., sports, concerns, and so on. This study, based on a long dream series, will look how often the topic of dreaming – which was relevant to the dreamer – is reflected in his dreams. This might be talking about dreams, interpreting dreams, recording dreams, remembering previous dreams. The dream series encompasses 10,148 dreams, which were recorded by a male dreamer over a period of about 28 years. The results indicate that dreams about dreaming occurred relatively rarely, but nevertheless they reflect the waking interest of the dreamer in dreaming.
Big Dreams and the Nepalese: A Quantitative Investigation using Word Searches and Content Analysis (Paper)
This presentation continues the quantitative tradition of “big dream” research by using Hall and Van de Castle (HVDC) content analysis and Kelly Bulkeley’s word search method to investigate the defining features of Nepalese “spiritual” and “significant” dreams. “Big dreams” is a term coined by Carl Jung that refers to dreams of extraordinary significance for the dreamer.
Although not all researchers utilize Jung’s terminology, several investigators have devoted their attention to dreams encompassed by Jung’s definition (Bulkeley and Hartmann 2011:158).
Research to date suggests that spiritual dreams are related to more general big/significant dreams (Adams 2003; Bulkeley 2007; Bulkeley and Hartmann 2011); hence Sears addresses both types within the present study. The Nepalese origin of his dream sample is a crucial element of this investigation. Relevant studies of big dreams, which relied on one or both of the methods used here (Bulkeley 2007, 2009; Bulkeley and Hartmann 2011; Casto 1995), analyzed dreams from predominantly Western participants; thus the cross-cultural validity of previous findings is an issue requiring attention. After describing the data collection and analytical procedures, this presentation proceeds through a series of comparisons involving significant (N = 226) and spiritual (N = 145) dreams with related or contrasting samples (e.g., non-spiritual (N = 60), most recent, (N = 102), and HVDC norm dreams (N = 1000)).
The first goal of these comparisons is to identify the distinctive components of spiritual and significant dreams within the Nepalese population, paying attention to the impact of religion and gender as well; some comparisons will address male/female and Christian/Hindu differences. The emergence of salient features within the Nepalese sample facilitates the second aim of this study, viz., evaluating the effect of culture on significant/spiritual dream content. By providing a body of comparisons with findings derived from investigations of non-Nepalese populations, this study is poised to critique a cultural constructivist understanding of dream content salience. Preliminary analysis suggests that Nepalese spiritual and significant dreams differ from more mundane types by having greater percentages of dead and imaginary characters, animals, dreamer-involved success, good fortunes, natural objects, light and dark references, and religious references (among others). Additionally, when compared with mundane types, Nepalese spiritual and significant dreams appear to contain less self-negativity and aggression (among other things). Several of these findings have precedence within prior studies of big dreams, which seems to suggest that certain forms of content act as transcultural cognitive constraints on the recognition of significant or meaningful phenomena.
This presentation is intended for an intermediate-advanced audience, since participants will need to be familiar with the HVDC and word search methodologies to get the best understanding of the results.
- Describe the term “big dreams” in relation to the kind of dreams examined in this study.
- List some of the salient features of Nepalese spiritual and significant dreams.
- Explain the significance of the cross-cultural comparison of “big dreams.”
Spiritual Dreams and Attribution Theory: A Look at the Multiple Component Interactions Mediating the Spiritual Recognition of Dreams (Paper)
This presentation applies the attribution theory described by Ann Taves (2009) to a collection of dream reports gathered from Nepalese Christians and Hindus; in doing so it demonstrates how attribution theory can yield a detailed, systematic understanding of the multifaceted process that results in the dreamer recognizing his/her dream as spiritual. Given the sometimes profound individual and societal effects of dreams deemed spiritual, researchers have been keen to study the factors related to their recognition by utilizing cognitive/phenomenological, individual psychological, and/or sociocultural approaches.
Although each of these methods yields valuable insights, none can claim to offer a more-or-less holistic depiction of the factors and interactions related to spiritual interpretation. While most researchers would probably recognize that any sort of holistic understanding would require a combined theoretical/methodological approach, Sears is not aware of viable options being offered in this regard within the dream literature. The wider psychology of religion literature, however, offers an attractive option with attribution theory. Although this theory has received substantial attention from researchers interested in religious experience, its application to situations involving dreams has been lacking. Hence, the major goal of this study is to seek to apply attribution theory to a sample of dream testimonies so that its explanatory usefulness, in relation to how people make sense of their dreams, can be assessed.
After a brief introduction to attribution theory as described by Taves, this presentation proceeds in two parts. First, Sears surveys the responses of his Nepalese sample using each of the components of attribution theory (event, event context, attributor, attributor’s context, reasonability) as lenses through which to view salient aspects of the data. Due to time constraints and the diversity of components, he will be offering differential treatments of each component/factor. In the cases of event, event context, and reasonability factors, he will be using descriptive statistics to illustrate the association of key phenomena (specific content, repetition, fulfillment, preternatural vs. natural reasoning) with spiritual attribution. The importance of attributor’s context will be addressed through a sketch of local dream beliefs, whereas the importance of attributor’s characteristics will be handled using a few individual examples. The benefits of attribution theory, in contrast with some of the more reductionist approaches mentioned previously, become clear when examining case studies in which one or more spiritual indicators (specific content features, cultural expectations, etc.) are lacking or else in conflict with the dreamer’s final appraisal. Hence, the second part of this presentation will examine a few short case studies in which these situations occur. Whereas reductionist approaches would fail to explain how some of these dreams could receive the designation their participants give them, attribution theory is able to offer convincing explanations for participants’ behavior by accounting for a range of factors and their unequal interactions with individuals’ psyches. Overall, attribution theory appears to offer a compelling framework to both researchers and clinicians seeking to understand how/why individuals assign spiritual significance to particular dreams. All conference attendees are welcome to attend this session.
- List the five major components/factors of attribution theory as discussed by Ann Taves.
- Identify some of the subcomponents of these factors that seem to be correlated with spiritual attribution amongst the study’s sample.
- Describe some of the benefits of using attribution theory – as opposed to narrower methodologies – to understand the meaning associated with dreams
Dreamwork for Compassionate Care (Workshop)
This presentation is mainly based on Séguin’s practice working as a licensed practical nurse in a palliative care hospice in Québec, Canada for more than 12 years. Presenting different scenarios allows the audience to see the importance of listening to the dreamer. The scenarios will demonstrate how the dream can give deep information and create an opening for communication with the care givers – the families. It is a tool that becomes accessible, helping to provide better care, while respecting the fact that the dream belongs to the dreamer. Dying people don’t always have the words to identify “total pain,” while the dream provides the words to express it. This reinforces the fact that listening to the dreamer often leads to helping the dreamer to recognise how he or she feels at that very specific period of his/her life. This presentation can be addressed to all.
The objectives for this presentation:
- Demonstrate that people at the end of life may have significant dreams.
- Create a tool for patients to express their feelings by using their dreams.
- Explain to caregivers and families the importance of listening to the dreams.
Seyta Selter and Daniel Rekshan
Non-Ordinary Reality Research: A Survey of Research, Data, and Data Analysis of Dreams and Dream-like Experiences from First Person Accounts (Poster Presentation)
This presentation surveys the current body of data and research about first person, subjective accounts of non-ordinary reality. The authors survey an overarching arena of non-ordinary reality research, instead of focusing specifically on dreams, for the purpose of beginning a scientific inquiry into researching dreams in the context of other dream-like types of subjective experience. This survey includes first person accounts of dreams, near death experiences, out of body experiences, experiences in shamanic states of consciousness, psychedelic experiences, and other psycho-spiritual experiences. What data collections and demographic samples exist, and how are researchers analyzing data in the current milieu? The authors compile and present the state of this data to suggest tools for further lines of meaningful inquiry, encompassing a variety of non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Using clear visual data representations, the authors present and compare current tools and bodies of data dealing with personal accounts of non-ordinary reality experiences that subjects report in a first person, narrative fashion. The authors analyze the quantity of data available in each arena, the demographics of the data, and how the data is used to present a survey of data and data usage for the study of subjective states of non-ordinary reality. The authors then suggest possible research approaches that might be beneficial for further meaningful scientific inquiry.
Participants engaging in this poster presentation will be able to:
- Summarize the characteristics of the body of data that exists for researching subjective accounts of non-ordinary reality, including dreams, shamanic visions, and psychedelic experience.
- Identify how this data is applied and interpreted in the current milieu.
- Assess how the current state of research into subjective states of non-ordinary reality based on first-person accounts can be built upon for future applications and meaning.
Dream Hike at First Landing State Park (Special event)
This event is intended to have a recreational and social component to balance and de-stress from the continuous indoor presentations at the conference. During a two-hour long hike of about 4-5 miles, discussion of recurring dreams and dreams with themes of nature will be encouraged. Due to the size of the group, different walking paces, and time limit, dreams will not be interpreted or explored in depth but will be used as a stimulus for further understanding and exploration.
- In a natural setting, participants will have an opportunity for discussion of the professional and personal topics they are learning about at the conference, and a chance to make connections with other attendees with shared interests.
- To explore dreams about the environment and nature with other conference attendees.
- To explore important and recurring dreams with other conference presenters and participants.
The Power of Dreams: Clinically Oriented Videos (Special event)
This event provides excerpts from the Discovery Channel Special featuring many IASD experts. Experience the re-enactment of dream scenes with special effects and extended interviews of Milton Kramer, Ernest Hartmann, Robert Bosnak, Rosalind Cartwright, William Dement, Allan Hobson and others. Included are research, theory, and clinical applications and remarkable personal dreams from Rosalind Cartwright and William Dement. This is a Beginning to Intermediate level presentation.
- To identify universal themes in dreams and patterns in posttraumatic nightmares.
- To explain and analyze the theories and clinical approaches to dreams of Milton Kramer, Ernest Hartmann, Robert Bosnak, Rosalind Cartwright, William Dement, and others.
- To summarize and compare the research procedures and findings of Milton Kramer, Ernest Hartmann, Rosalind Cartwright, William Dement, and others.
Understanding and Working with Posttraumatic Nightmares: Clinical and Ethical Guidelines (Part 2 of 2: Ethics and Dreamwork CE Series) (Workshop)
Posttraumatic 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 posttraumatic 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 Posttraumatic 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 Posttraumatic 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. This is an extended clinically-oriented dream ethics workshop, showing practical applications of the IASD dreamwork ethical statement for working clinically with dreams, with a special focus on posttraumatic nightmares, recovered memories, non- intrusive interpretation guidelines, and sensitivity to cross-cultural and other special issues such as gender and disability.
Siegel, A. (1996). Dreams of Firestorm Survivors. In Trauma and Dreams, Harvard University Press edited by Deirdre Barrett. Siegel, A. (2003) Dream Wisdom: Uncovering Life’s Answers in your Dreams. Berkeley: Ten Speed. Contains chapters on posttraumatic dreams, divorce, grief, pregnancy, marriage, midlife, and illness.
Terr, L. (1990). Too scared to cry: How trauma affects children and ultimately us all. New York, Basic Books. Contains a chapter on repetitive dreams of Chowchilla kidnap victim research conducted by Terr.
Wallace, M and Parad, H. (1980). The dream in brief psychotherapy. In M. D. Joseph and M. Natterson, The Dream in ClinicalPractice (pp.271-281). New York: Jason Aronson.
Wilmer, H. A. (1996). The Healing Nightmare: War Dreams of Vietnam Veterans. Trauma and Dreams. D. Barrett. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press.
Wittmann, Schredl, M., Kramer, M. (2007) Dreaming in Posttraumatic Stress: Disorder A Critical Review of Phenomenology, Psychophysiology and Treatment. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics: 25-39.
- Summarize and explain general ethical guidelines for understanding and using PTSD nightmares in psychotherapy and dreamwork.
- Identify the unique characteristics of PTSD compared to night terrors and other dream phenomena.
- Discuss and analyze relevant provisions of the IASD dreamwork ethical statement and learn principles that apply to clinical work with posttraumatic nightmares.
- Participants will explain the benefits of using dreams to work with trauma survivors.
Working with Dreams in Psychotherapy: Practice Guidelines, Ethical Issues and Challenges: (Part 1 of 2: Ethics and Dreamwork CE Series) (Workshop)
This two hour workshop is intended to provide the ethics CE credits necessary for license renewal for mental health and health professionals who work with dreams. Geared for professionals at an intermediate level, it is also relevant for those working with dreams in other contexts. Most mental health licenses require four hours of ethics training each license renewal cycle, and this workshop can be combined with Nightmares and Posttraumatic Dreams (Ethics and Dreamwork CE Series Part 2), to fulfill the requirement for license renewal. Using IASD and APA ethical principles, we will explore working clinically with dreams, including non-intrusive and culturally sensitive interpretation, directive and reductive versus multidimensional and eclectic approaches, and awareness and sensitivity to spirituality, gender, age, disability, substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse and trauma, and crisis issues. Ethical aspects of interpreting spiritual, predictive, PSI and lucid dreams, will be explored with an emphasis on understanding and respecting cultural differences regarding the nature of dreams, dream symbolism, and dreams and healing.
Vignettes for discussion will be drawn from publications, from the presenter’s clinical experience, and from participants during discussion and experiential exercises. This workshop is intended to partially fulfill licensing renewal requirements for mental health and health professionals. Issues that will be covered include: The promise and perils of using a single theory versus an eclectic approach, working with therapist or dreamworker blind spots, subjectivity and countertransference, varied approaches to understanding characters in dreams, fixed versus metaphoric interpretation of symbolism, potentially disempowering aspect of emphasizing “expert interpretation” and potentially empowering benefits of collaborative approaches, understanding and respecting the timing of interpretations, and sensitivity to defense mechanisms and emotional fragility.
Exploring dreams in psychotherapy can transcend cultural barriers, build rapport in therapy and provide a vehicle for exploring sensitive issues related to acculturation, cultural identity, and beliefs about the nature of dreaming. Therapists must continue to be sensitive to cultural, religious or other beliefs, especially when they are different from those of the therapist. Posttraumatic nightmares pose a special challenge and require special handling due to potential ethical violations that may occur when abuse or trauma are based on concrete versus metaphoric interpretation of dreams. Cautions about interpreting recovered memories will be balanced with consideration of the enduring imprint of trauma in the ongoing and recurring dreams of trauma survivors.
Personal and cultural beliefs and practices relating to precognitive and other PSI dreaming phenomena take many forms, and sharing these dreams may improve rapport and engagement. Clarification of your beliefs and increased knowledge about PSI dreaming will help psychotherapists and dreamworkers prevent insensitive responses and interpretative strategies. Enthusiasm for particular schools of theory and interpretation such as Jungian, psychodynamic, cognitive, humanistic, transpersonal or others, may provide profound insights but may also may make practitioners vulnerable to reductive or directive interpretations that fit the theory but miss the emotional situation and unique issues of the dreamer.
We will look at how to balance the strengths of interpretive approaches with their potential ethical pitfalls.
Participants will be able to:
- Explain the IASD ethics code and some principles from the American Psychological Association that apply to clinical work with dreams.
- Discuss ethical guidelines for using dreams with a focus on issues related to sensitivity to culture, gender and other issues, directive interpretive styles, posttraumatic nightmares, and recovered memories.
- Describe some special ethical considerations, including respect for the autonomy of the dreamer, working with projections, and blind spots.
Carlyle Smith and Donna-Marie Newfield
Prodromal or “Early Warning” Health Dreams: Dreams about Oneself and/or about Other Individuals (Symposium)
Background: Individuals have been reporting dreams about their own health and the health of others for many hundreds of years. Certain kinds of dreams appear to provide advance information about a deteriorating health condition and have been called prodromal dreams. These dreams appear to the dreamer prior to any obvious sign of the disorder. Prodromal dreams have several distinctive properties. They typically have a negative emotional component. They tend to focus on the nature of the impending illness and the body location that is in danger of malfunctioning. They can provide practical “early warning” information for the dreamer him/herself, and sometimes these dreams provide valuable information for the dreamer about a friend or relative.
The presenters will provide examples of typical prodromal health dreams from average individuals concerning their own medical condition. They will also examine the nature of dreams that clearly provide information about the health of others. A sample of dreams about the health of other individuals will be provided by a gifted medical practitioner who uses these dreams to diagnose and treat her patients. A set of these dreams has been compared to the Hall-Van de Castle norms to show their unique character.
They will describe an experiment with college students (N=100) who were asked to incubate a dream for a target individual with health problems. It is clear that these students were able to identify the medical problems of the target (p < .00001) compared to Control dreamers. Results indicate that normal college students are capable of having detailed health dreams about others. Included will be ways of recognizing these kinds of dreams, how to deal with one’s own health dreams and how to proceed when the dream is about someone else.
Conventional theories have suggested that neural input from the body area affected can communicate a deviation from the normal and provide this information to the brain in the form of a dream, at a very early stage in the disorder. However, such theories are not able to account for the added information that often accompanies these dreams, such as possible remedies or medications. Further, they cannot explain how one individual can have a health dream about someone else that includes useful information about the nature of the disorder and possible treatment options. Such results require a more elaborate theory; and several alternatives, including a possible quantum physics metaphor, will be presented. For all audiences.
- Identify the unique identifying characteristics of personal prodromal health dreams, as well as how to honour them in a practical way.
- Discuss how it is possible to have prodromal health dreams about other individuals, as well as how to recognize them and honour them in a practical way.
- Discuss available physics theories to explain prodromal or “early warning” dreams.
Elizaveta Solomonova and co-author Tore Nielsen
Performative Dreaming: an Enactive Paradigm of Sleep Mentation (Paper)
In this interdisciplinary paper we will present a performative model of dreaming: embodied, enactive, spatio-temporal, intersubjective and poetic. Drawing on phenomenology, contemporary embodied mind approaches as well as cognitive neuroscience research on sleep and dreaming, we will discuss the idea that consciousness in general, and dreaming in particular, is a dynamic process firmly rooted in the body as well as in the physical and interpersonal world. Phenomenology, in the tradition of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty (1945), has opened doors for the systematic investigation of human subjective experience, and has conceptualized consciousness as irreducibly embodied and embedded in the world. The contemporary philosophy of embodiment and enaction (Thompson, 2007) has adopted these tenets and expanded the scope of philosophical inquiry into the domain of experimental cognitive science. According to the enactive approach, consciousness is a dynamic process, actively lived by an embodied subject, structured by his/her sensorimotor development, and motivated by sense-making activity in his/her environment. Recent neuroscientific research lends support to the enactive view of consciousness, with the development of neurophenomenological approaches (Lutz, 2007) successfully integrating sophisticated neuroscientific methods with nuanced analyses of first-person experiential data. However, with the exception of Thompson (2014), dreaming has been largely excluded from this discourse.
Starting with an overview of the philosophical background, we will present evidence from recent cognitive neuroscience research supporting a performative approach to dream formation. In the context of some of the existing theories of dreaming, we will propose the following five characteristics of dreaming: 1) Dreaming is embodied, as suggested by evidence that body imagery is referenced explicitly in dream content, that sensory stimulation is incorporated into dreaming, that affective states are corporeally reproduced in dreams; and that parasomnias reiterate real behaviour. 2) The enactive dimension of dreaming will be presented and links between perception and imagination will be discussed. 3) Spatio-temporal qualities of dreams will be described, using evidence from lucid dreaming and narrative qualities of dream reports. 4) The importance of intersubjective engagement with dream characters will be emphasized. 5) Some of the varieties of poetic and metaphorical transformations that take place in dreams will be discussed in light of recent research on creativity and sense making. Lastly, we will discuss strategies for investigating the performative aspects of dreaming using neurophenomenology as a method of choice (Solomonova, Fox, & Nielsen, 2014) for combining neurophysiological sleep findings with detailed dream reports.
Lutz, A. (2007). Neurophenomenology and the study of self- consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition, 16(3), 765-767. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2007.08.007 Merleau-Ponty, M. (1945).
Solomonova, E., Fox, K. C., & Nielsen, T. (2014). Methodological considerations for the neurophenomenology of dreaming: commentary on Windt’s “Reporting dream experience”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 317. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00317
Thompson, E. (2007). Mind in Life: Phenomenology and the Sciences of the Mind. Cambridge, MA: Belnap Press.
Thompson, E. (2014). Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation and Philosophy. Columbia University Press.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify 5 characteristics of a performative approach to dreaming.
- Compare contemporary theories of dreaming and contrast them with the performative approach.
- Apply neurophenomenological methods for investigation of dreaming within the enactive framework.
Gregory Scott Sparrow
The Use of Co-creative Dream Analysis in Psychotherapy and in the Resolution of Nightmares (Workshop)
Until recently, it was widely assumed that dreamers were deficient in reflective awareness, volition, and personal responsibility in ordinary dreams. This assumption has largely been overturned by empirical studies showing that the dream ego exhibits the qualities of waking awareness, albeit at reduced levels. Now it is justifiable to examine the dream for these qualities, and to treat the dream as an interactive process between a thinking, responsive dream ego and the intrusive novelty of the dream content. Co-creative dream analysis is built on the seminal idea that the dream outcome is co-determined by the interaction between the dream ego and the dream content, and that the choices/feelings/thoughts of the dream ego impact the direction and quality of the dreamer-dream relationship. Any dream work methodology consistent with co-creative dream analysis has to treat the dream as indeterminate from the outset, and co-creative through the real-time interplay between the dreamer and the dream, much as we would analyze any real-life experience between the ego and significant others in his or her life. By shifting the focus in dream analysis away from content to interactive process, a counselor can view the dream in such a way as to support the goals of contemporary therapy. By adopting this paradigm, he or she can assist clients in discerning the dream ego’s responses to the dream content, and 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 may result in a more widespread adoption of dream analysis by psychotherapists.
After a 45-minute presentation, participants will take part in an hour-long workshop designed to familiarize them with the Five Star Method – a systematic dream method based on co-creative dream theory. This workshop will help them incorporate the complete FSM into their counseling, mentoring, coaching, or ministerial practice, as well as to import components of the FSM into their preferred dream work approach. The audience will also experience Dream Reliving, as a way to foster their personal healing of repetitive distressing dreams and nightmares, and to develop a sense of how this powerful intervention can be woven into the therapeutic hour. The workshop will end with a 15-minute question and answer session.
- Describe two ways that co-creative dream analysis differs from traditional content-focused dream analysis.
- Describe and apply five steps of the FiveStar Method.
- Use Dream Reliving in the treatment of repetitive distressing dreams and nightmares.
- Scott Sparrow
The Fisher King Wound and Its Healing as a Life Theme Heralded by a Dream (Presentation within panel titled “Dreams that Change Our Lives”)
One of the classic problems of the spiritual journey is that the seeker’s zeal, which is necessary for his or her departure from the status quo, impedes one’s development toward wholeness as well. Indeed, the energy that drives us to explore beyond the known horizons is the same energy that defeats us when it becomes necessary to listen, to submit, and ultimately to “die” to higher power. Given this paradox, a young person who embarks on a great quest full of energy and zeal, inevitably and unwittingly commits a basic error that sows the seeds of later failure, while also insuring a course of redemption that will rescue him in the end. The story of Parzival tracks this process of a young man’s unconsciousness in bold terms, laying out his basic error, as well the “trail of tears” that he leaves in the wake of his unyielding search for power. But the story reveals, as well, a way of redemption through his own deeply felt remorse that reveals itself only once his own goal is shown to be tainted, and his efforts deficient. In Sparrow’s own experience, he says that his prodigious capacity for ecstasy and mystical experience initially catapulted him to the heights of human experience before he could become aware of, and resolve, significant inner conflicts that stemmed from early childhood “attachment wounds” with a depressed, betraying mother, and an outwardly caring but dissociated father. The dream that he will share intimates the significant barriers that because of his early family life had impeded his capacity to sustain the spiritual awakening that commenced in his late teens; but it hints, as well, at the emergence of a deeper self who can embody the contradictions that have characterized his life. Of all of the great dreams that he has experienced, this is the one that he is sure would make Jung smile.
- Describe Parzival’s basic error.
- Describe why the Fisher King wound is inevitable.
- Describe why remorse is so important in male psychology.
What Do Dolphins Dream? (Invited Presentation)
How can we learn about dreaming in dolphins? We have yet to develop a way to discuss the dream experience with them – although they appear very willing. Perhaps we could use our human imagination, but dolphins’ sensory experiences are very different from ours. Sleep patterns and indications of dreaming have been studied in a variety of animals, including rats, dogs and platypuses. Methods range from purely observational, such as recording sounds or movements made during sleep, to controversial invasive neural techniques to alter dreaming. Most work is done on mammals, which share many features with humans. The dolphin, however, is a mammal that is fascinating in its strangeness. As with humans and other terrestrial mammals, dolphins must breathe air – yet they live underwater. The evolutionary solution is unihemispheric sleep, in which one half of the brain rests while the other is alert. This adaptation enables dolphins to remain vigilant and maintain respiration while fulfilling their need for sleep. Another adaptation for underwater living is the emphasis on hearing rather than seeing. Sound travels better in water than in air, and sending and receiving sounds is central to marine animal survival. Dolphins are heavily reliant on sound, and manipulate it for complex communication and echolocation. Additionally, along with humans, bats, elephants, songbirds and a few other groups, dolphins are vocal learners. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that sounds offer a major clue to what and how dolphins may dream. Auditory memory in dolphins is excellent, and necessary for them to maintain their complex social bonds. Research indicates that dolphins at rest may rehearse life events in the form of mimicking previously heard sounds. With advances in technology, the potential for acoustically monitoring soundscapes and vocal behavior of dolphins at night has become a reality, and new work is advancing our understanding of dolphin day-night cycles of vocal behavior. As we learn more about these alien creatures from the deep, strange and yet also familiar, we have the opportunity to expand our ideas about sleep, dreams, thoughts and experiences. Learning more about them, we also learn more about ourselves.
Dreams Waiting to be Told (Paper)
This presentation illustrates an approach to promoting the awareness, appreciation, and practical value of dreams to the general public in a very personal way. The presenter explains how, when coming into contact with people during the course of his day, he routinely replaces or augments the popular but often empty “Hi, how are ya?” greeting with a request for a person to share a dream. Sometimes he asks spontaneously, “Had any good dreams lately?” At other times, he explains that he is writing a book on dreams and asks if the person will share a dream.
After a look of surprise, rather than considering their questioner to be a bit strange for asking, generally people wish to clear their own sanity by commenting that they know their dreams are “weird.” That initial response is most often followed by intimate details of a dream about which they have been searching for a meaning. The relaxed and friendly sharing that occurs results in heart-felt connections between themselves and the dream gatherer. The presenter tells stories of dream conversations with a wide range of individuals. Each dreamer’s privacy is always respected, and care is taken to avoid disrupting personal boundaries. Stories in this presentation include, but are not limited to, a young boy at a laundromat who with no mention of dreams, spontaneously tells the presenter a dream that appears to have been a precognitive dream that includes them both.
Another story is from an old colleague at a workshop who hadn’t seen the presenter for years, but sought him out to share a troubling dream of her aging, forgetful husband. A photo clerk at Wal-Mart begins telling her life history of dreaming that includes a dream visit from her sister on the other side, and asks the presenter to return because she has so many dreams to tell. In many instances, the dreamer asks, “What does it mean?” The presenter helps the person move past a search for symbols and discusses the dream’s parallels to the person’s waking life. As a result, the dreamer often achieves valuable insights. A repeating component of so many of the stories is that the dreamer is starved for someone with whom to share dreams. The presenter’s stories give the listener valuable insights regarding dream interpretation and are always entertaining, sometimes humorous, and illustrate the beneficial aspects of in-person dream sharing.
Audience: For all adults. Aim: To provide heart-warming entertainment, to present a structure for dream sharing, and to give insights for dream interpretation.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify locations where they can meet strangers and spontaneously discuss dreams.
- Demonstrate how dream sharing can be used to facilitate meaningful connections between strangers.
- Describe how, in just a few minutes of dream sharing, a novice to dream interpretation can gain valuable life insights.
The Likely Psi in Metapatterns of Extended Coherence (Presentation within panel titled “What we have Learned about Psi from Journal Keeping”)
The main focus of Gloria’s independent research has been on how psi and other correspondences arise spontaneously. For years, Gloria exercised discipline in recording both dreams and waking events as the basis of the “extended coherence”—correspondence and meaning-connection among multiple events, people, and her dreams. Often these connections have the feel of synchronicity (Carl Jung’s word for a coincidence between an external event and the observer’s internal state of mind or emotion—thus, a coincidence that feels meaningful to the observer). And often, extended forms of synchronicity unfold over time in ways that suggest psi sources of information might be involved. Gloria has observed several distinct patterns among these connections, almost geometrical in nature—for example, Triangles and Parallel Story Lines. She calls these “metapatterns.” They would have been difficult to notice without keeping a journal. She will briefly introduce Inner Guide Mapping, the system of graphics and category symbols that she created to record clusters of such connections. Then she’ll use Inner Guide Mapping to present a visual summary of several metapattern examples (along with the verbal narratives), identifying portions of those complex correspondences that have no discernible cause and therefore might be the result of information being received via psi. Target audience: For all.
- List at least two metapatterns of extended coherence that have been observed in a long-term dream journal.
- Explain why psi might be operating in some instances of extended coherence.
- Analyze their own journals for extended coherence and metapatterns of same.
Mary B. Trouba
“How Much Does Your Backpack Weigh?”: An Archetypal Exploration of Dreams and the Camino Experience (Paper)
This presentation examines a series of dreams that occurred before, during, and after the dreamer walked the Camino Frances in northern Spain, an ancient pilgrimage route depicted in such contemporary films as “The Way” and “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago.” After introducing the camino and providing a flavor of the experience of peregrinos (“pilgrims”) along the route, the presentation will draw upon Carl Jung’s ideas concerning medieval alchemical symbolism and James Hillman’s ideas regarding dreams and the underworld to help illuminate a transformative dance between interior and exterior journeys. Target audience: For all.
- Apply Jung’s and Hillman’s ideas to a dream series centered upon a pilgrimage experience.
- Demonstrate the value of tracking dream reports over an extended period of time.
- Identify the benefits of leveraging a pilgrimage experience and dream journaling in tandem.
Raphael Vallat and co-authors J.B. Eichenlaub, D. Morlet, and P. Ruby
Macrostructure and Microstructure of Sleep in High and Low Dream Recallers (Paper)
According to a survey of a representative sample of the German population (Schredl et al., 2008), the mean dream recall frequency (DRF) is approximately 1 dream report per week. Yet the DRF can vary across time in single subjects and varies widely between individuals; some persons report a dream almost every morning while others rarely report one. Identifying the critical parameters influencing DRF is an important step toward progress in our understanding of the mechanism and possible function of dreaming. Intra-sleep wakefulness was hypothesized to play a prominent role in DRF variability since the 1970s, when Koulack and Goodenough (1976) suggested in their so-called arousal-retrieval model that intra-sleep awakenings are necessary to encode dreams into long-term memory. Consistent with this model, measuring awakenings during sleep, we found that High dream recallers (HR) showed more intra-sleep wakefulness than Low dream recallers (LR) (Eichenlaub and al. 2014).
These results raise several questions: does the distribution of these awakenings during the sleep cycle differ between HR and LR? What about arousals? How long has an intra-sleep awakening to last to enable an encoding of a dream in long-term memory? Are evoked related potentials (ERPs) to auditory arousing stimuli larger than ERPs to non-arousing stimuli? In the present research, we reanalyzed the data from Eichenlaub and al. (2014) to investigate more precisely the macrostructure of sleep (we used 3 scoring methods of sleep stages instead of the 2 in the original study), to highlight the microstructure of sleep in HR and LR and to measure ERPs to arousing vs. non-arousing stimuli during sleep. We assessed the distribution, duration and number of intra-sleep awakenings across sleep stages (sleep macrostructure) and the distribution, number and duration of arousals, spindles, number of stage shifts, alpha bursts and rapid eye movements (sleep microstructure) in HR and LR. We will also measure ERPs to auditory stimuli as a function of whether or not they were followed by an arousal or awakening reaction within 15 seconds. We hypothesize that auditory stimuli followed by an arousing reaction would evoke a larger response than non-arousing stimuli, as previously demonstrated with painful stimuli (Bastuji and al 2008). For awakening (number and duration), we found no interaction Group by Timing of awakenings in the sleep cycle.
Preliminary results suggest that sleep microstructure does not differ between HR and LR except for the mean duration of alpha bursts during REM sleep. The reanalysis of Eichenlaub et al.’s (2014) data indicates that awakenings are both more frequent and longer in HR than in LR, regardless of sleep stages. Further discussion on sleep microstructure differences between the two groups and on ERPs to arousing stimuli will be presented when the final analysis is completed.
- The REM sleep hypothesis of dreaming is not sufficient to explain DRF variations.
- Healthy and young subjects with high and low dream recall frequencies differ in sleep macro and microstructure.
- Event related potentials to arousing and non-arousing stimuli.
Raphael Vallat and co-author P.Ruby
Which Kind of Waking Life Events are Incorporated into Dreams? (Paper)
Several studies in experimental psychology suggest that the content of dreams is influenced by the waking life of the dreamer (Schredl & Hofmann, 2003; for reviews Blagrove & Pace-Schott, 2010; Ruby, 2011). However, the rules constraining the incorporation of experienced events into dreams are still unclear. Mark Blagrove’s team showed that events from our recent life (the last 10 days) are not equally incorporated in our dreams (Blagrove et al. 2001a, 2001b). Indeed, they found a relative predominance of events from the day before and from the 7th and 8th days before the dream. They managed to identify this effect, using a methodology avoiding the bias of increasing forgetting with the remoteness of the events. (They asked the subjects to keep a day journal and a dream diary and to draw the links between the two, one week after the last dream). This unexpected result raises the more general issue of the precise characteristics of the events incorporated into dreams.
To investigate this issue, we will ask participants (40 high dream recallers) to record their dreams with a Dictaphone immediately after waking up, for seven days. After the recording, subjects will be asked to identify in their dream(s) the elements that remind them of an event/situation experienced during waking life. For each of the waking life events identified as being incorporated into the dream, subjects will be asked to date and characterize the waking life events by answering a questionnaire (trivial vs. important, recent vs.remote, pleasant vs. unpleasant, professional vs. familial, social vs. non-social, concern vs. non-concern, novel vs. familiar event, isolated vs. regular). We chose such a methodology (identifying links immediately after dream recall) to avoid the underestimation of trivial events that Blagrove’s team method may have favored (indeed, a day diary cannot list all the trivial events which have happened during the day). If dreams are involved in memory consolidation, one would expect that an event incorporated into dreams would be novel and recent rather than familiar and remote. If dreams are involved in emotional regulation and problem solving (Barrett, 1996, 2001; Cartwright, 2010), one would expect that dreams would incorporate more negative than positive events, more important than trivial events and more current concern-related than non-current concern-related events. Preliminary results (N=8) revealed that an average of 2.1 ± 1.8 waking-life events are incorporated into a dream. These events date from the day before for 35%, from the week before (excluding the first day) for 27 %, and from more than seven days before the dream for 40%. On a scale of one to ten, going from trivial to important, the events incorporated into dreams were scored 4.1 ± 1.7.
- The link between waking life and dream content.
- Characterization of the waking life events incorporated into dreams.
- Results of testing the memory consolidation and emotional regulation hypotheses of dream function.
Katja Valli and co-authors Jarno Tuominen and Antti Revonsuo
The Social Simulation Theory and Social Interactions in Dreams – Any Support for the Social Simulation Theory? (Presentation within symposium titled “Exploring the Continuity and Discontinuity between Waking and Dreaming: Advances in the Study and Conceptualization of the Continuity Hypothesis of Dreaming”)
The idea that dreaming is a simulation of the waking world is becoming a widely shared and accepted view among dream researchers. This conception of dreaming has consequently led several researchers to propose various, yet closely related, ideas about the role of social interactions in dreams. Social content is known to be a universal and abundant feature of human dreams, and can be characterized in manifold ways: as simulations of human social reality, of social skills, bonds, interactions, and networks, as well as abilities of mindreading and social cognition. Recently, Revonsuo, Tuominen and Valli (in press) have taken the first steps towards outlining an empirically testable Social Simulation Theory (SST) of dreaming. They argue that the SST should be tested by directly contrasting its unique predictions with the major competing theories of the nature and function of dreaming, such as the Continuity Hypothesis (CH) and the Threat Simulation Theory (TST). These three major theories of dreaming make differing predictions about the quality and quantity of social simulations in dreams. The aims of the current study were to test some of the predictions of the newly formulated social simulation theory, and to pilot a new content analysis method, the Social Simulation in Dreams Scale (SSDS), devised to yield detailed information about social perceptions and interactions in dreams. Based on the SST, we hypothesized that there should be more positive, bond strengthening, social interactions with close than with unfamiliar persons in dreams. Further, we aimed to replicate McNamara et al’s (2005) results regarding the differences in the amount and nature of social interactions in REM and NREM dreams.
Their results suggest that dreams during REM and NREM sleep are specialized in simulating different types of social interactions, and therefore, we predicted that there is a difference in the quality of social interactions in NREM dream reports compared to REM dream reports. We content analyzed 115 REM and 115 NREM dreams from 15 participants (F =8, M = 7) with SSDS, and contrasted the number of social perceptions and interactions, as well as the quality of social interactions in the report types. In this presentation, the Social Simulation Theory will be briefly explicated, and its predictions contrasted against those of the CH and the TST. The results of the first empirical study in which the predictions of SST were directly tested are reviewed. Eventually, we hope that by contrasting the hypotheses of these theories it will be possible to find out whether dreaming is an unselective and probably non-functional simulation of the waking world (CH), a simulation primarily specialized in simulating dangerous and threatening events that present important challenges for our survival and prosperity (TST), or a simulation primarily specialized in training those social skills and bonds most important for us humans as a social species (SST). Target level of the audience: Intermediate.
- Explain what the social simulation theory is.
- Compare the predictions of the Continuity Hypothesis, Threat Simulation Theory and Social Simulation Theory.
- Describe whether dreams during REM and NREM sleep are specialized in simulating different types of social interactions.
Tips for Planning a Research Project (Presentation within panel titled “Research Experience and Mentorship: How to and with whom”)
This presentation will focus on the most important aspects that should be taken into account when planning a research project, starting from refining a good idea to a testable research question and to carrying the project out in practice.
- Describe the most important steps in planning a research project.
Jeanne Van Bronkhorst
Dreams at the Threshold: Guidance, Comfort and Healing at the End of Life (Workshop)
This workshop will explore how dreams and dream appreciation can help people at the end of life (EOL). The presenter will facilitate three discussions with participants on: how EOL dreams help dreamers and their families in general; the different types of dreams at EOL; and the importance of a simple dream appreciation approach at the EOL. This is a didactic-based workshop, with discussions used to explore presented material. Presentation will be 30% or less of workshop time.
Part I. Van Bronkhorst will lead participants through a discussion of how EOL dreams help dreamers on three different levels (presented material). Participants will be invited to explore and share their thoughts/experiences with EOL dreams.
- The meaning of the dream images themselves.
- How telling a dream can be used to draw families together.
- The significance of dreaming and dream-sharing on the dreamer.
Part II: She will walk participants through different types of EOL dreams. Presented material will categorize dreams by how they help dreamers and their families.
- Dreams can remind people of current problems or goals they still have.
- Dreams can help people begin important but difficult conversations.
- Preparation dreams help dreamers imagine their future beyond their physical death.
- Family and friends dream about the loss and their changing
- Visitation dreams bring the presence of deceased loved ones.
- Grief dreams help families mourn both before and after their
Participants will then decide which type of dream to focus on for further exploration. They will be invited to share personal examples and discuss questions such as: What kind of metaphors for dying have you heard in dreams at the end of life? Has someone you loved ever described a visitation dream? How did you respond? Whom would you want to see at the end of your life? What would you want them to tell you? Has a dream ever helped you say goodbye to a family member or loved one?
Part III: Participants will explore the difference between dream work and dream appreciation at EOL. Van Bronkhorst will present how a few EOL professionals have independently begun listening to EOL dreams, and outline the reasons why their simple dream appreciation approach works at EOL. Participants will be invited to discuss the difference between dream work and dream appreciation at EOL, using their own dream expertise. Questions may include: What happens if a dream isn’t explored deeply? Why might it be important to keep the meaning of dreams solely in the hands of the dreamer at EOL? How do you respond when dreamers ask for your interpretation, and how might that be different in EOL situations?
This workshop is designed for all levels of dream experience and expertise.
At the end of the session participants will be able to:
- List two types of dreams that are common at the end of life.
- Describe two benefits to sharing dreams at end of life.
- Compare and contrast dream work with dream appreciation at the end of life.
Jeanne Van Bronkhorst
Visitation Dreams at the End of Life (Paper)
This presentation will explore the phenomenon of visitation dreams. Do deceased loved ones visit people who are nearing the end of life? Research shows that visitation dreams are more common than previously thought. Their vividness, comforting presence, and occasional knowledge makes the visitors appear real. This presentation will include the key features of a visitation dream that elevates it from an ordinary dream into something extraordinary: the dreamer’s sense of realness, that the visitor is truly present; the comfort the visitors exude and their most frequently stated purpose; and their occasional knowledge of events that the dreamer could not have known otherwise. Healthcare professionals recognize visitation dreams not just by these features, but also by what visitation dreams do not do. Visitation dreams help not just the people who are dying but also their friends and family who will mourn them. In order to accept such help, however, the dreamers often need encouragement and acceptance from the people around them. This presentation will conclude with suggestions for how to help dreamers trust their visitation dreams and find their own best meaning for the event.
At the end of the session participants will be able to:
- List two key features of a visitation dream.
- Describe one difference between a deceased loved one and a visitation from that deceased loved one.
- Describe one way in which visitation dreams help families in grief
A Dream Art Process (Presentation within panel titled “Artists and their Dream Art”)
Artist’s Statement: “Mine is an adventure into night dreams, which has led me to an artistic process that takes me deeper into an understanding of the world on the other side of our sleep. As an Artist member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams since 2007, I have come to better understand the roles of our dreams and the varied interpretations and meanings possible when working with them. If we live to be 85 years old, we have dreamt the equivalent of 20 years; whether we remember or pay attention to them or not, our dreams play an important role in our lives.
“My current work of Dream Abstractions comes from the synthesized essence of night dreams. Needing to create meaning within the chaos of the world around me has led to a creative process similar to the way we construct our night dreams. Using this process allows me to tap into an inner source, both personal and universal, and always original and unique; which is sometimes dark, sometimes playful, other times finding beauty; as a result of which these seemingly abstract works are full of imagery and story, open to interpretation and discovery. By using this process, the finished works themselves become dreams. Working to find imagery within abstraction is about problem-solving and engaging the imagination. ‘Paintography’ superimposes photography and painting, it echoes the way I understand that we seamlessly attach seemingly random images and emotions together to create night dreams. Using a process that mirrors the way we create our night dreams, I photograph the world around me as we do in our daily lives with our mind’s eye. I store my photos on the computer hard drive similarly to the way our brains store files for later reference. These collaged images become a backdrop of symbols. Next, the paint applied over the photos creates the emotional energy needed to create the story; the combination creates the scenes that become the Dream Abstractions. My understanding of night dreams and how dreams are created has led me to grasp the similarities with my creative process and better understand the meaning within both my night dreams and the dream abstractions that appear on the canvases. The finished works add another potential starting point for dream work.”
Evidence for Inner Awareness: How Lucid Dreaming Shows a Second Psychic System (Presentation within panel titled “Dreams that Change Our Lives”)
Carl Jung once wrote that if a second psychic system possessing an inner awareness could be shown, then it would be of “absolutely revolutionary significance in that it could radically alter our view of the world.” Lucid dreaming, or the conscious awareness of existing within a dream, allows an experienced person the ability to engage a second psychic system or inner awareness, and to see its comparatively greater creativity, knowledge and judgment. While initially amazing to the lucid dreamer, this direct engagement of another layer of self seems of “absolutely revolutionary significance” to the sciences and the field of psychology. The existence of a second psychic system and its functioning may do much to explain the nature of consciousness, perception, dreaming and the psyche, and could provide a rich new field of scientific exploration and experimentation.
In this presentation, Waggoner will introduce how he first became aware of this larger awareness, while conducting a lucid dreaming experiment for a small group of lucid dream explorers in 1985, and how he continued to explore the startling depth, breadth and knowledge of this layer of inner awareness. That same year in 1985, Stephen LaBerge first published his book, Lucid Dreaming, and suggested that experienced lucid dreamers “surrender” within the lucid dream, yet he avoided the topic of “who” or “what” an experienced lucid dreamer would surrender to – whether it be the randomness of dreaming, mental constructs or something else. Since then, many have followed his advice to “surrender” without ever exploring this fundamental issue of who or what responds to the intent. Similarly, few consider exactly how the often profound experience of the suggested intent comes into their lucid dream experience.
In most dreams and lucid dreams, we simply focus on the dream setting, objects and figures. Through decades of personal experience, we learn to focus on what objects appear in front of us, never thinking that the dream may occur within a larger field or system of conscious awareness, which exists in a non-visible state around us. However, in lucid dreams, we can explore this situation and consciously put forth requests, questions and conceptual experiences to this non-visible awareness within the dream. The many thousands of lucid dreamers who have successfully done this provide evidence for this “second psychic system” which Carl Jung wrote about as a possibility eighty years ago.
This presentation, suitable for all audiences, will show the progression of a powerful lucid dream experience to broaden the conceptual exploration of dreaming to include another layer of consciousness, and then connect this to Carl Jung’s theoretical observations. Properly understood and brought into the realm of scientific experiment, this has the capacity to revolutionize the field of psychology and the sciences.
- Explain how lucid dreaming differs from non-lucid dreaming, and why this allows for scientific experiments to be conducted in lucid dreams.
- Discuss why Jung felt that a second psychic system should matter to science.
- Describe one way in which a lucid dreamer could engage a second psychic system, while lucidly aware in the dream state.
Robert G. Waggoner
The Light of Lucid Dreaming: Exploring the Principled Nature of Dreaming, Mental Energy and Personal Growth (Presentation within symposium titled “Fundamentals of a Multi-Dimensional Dreamwork Theory on Dreams and Lucid Dreaming”)
Lucid dreaming allows the person to observe, explore and scientifically experiment, while consciously aware within the dream state. Based upon the observations, explorations, personal and scientific experiments of experienced lucid dreamers, the following perspective emerges:
1) Certain aspects of the lucid dream experience exist objectively apart from the lucid dreamer’s knowledge, culture or belief system. The existence of these aspects suggests that the dream state comprises an alternate dimensional reality, different than waking physical reality, but composed of some objective elements sufficient to establish an alternate dimensional reality, or a psychical reality.
2) An example involves the common perception of a “Void” (also known as a gray state, zero point state or matrix) on some occasions, when the lucid dream suddenly collapses. Here, without any intent or pre-determination on their part, experienced lucid dreamers perceive a sparkling, mostly homogenous, state of blackness with bits of white light.
3) With sufficient awareness and practice, experienced lucid dreamers have discovered that they can maintain awareness within this Void state, and ultimately observe a new lucid dream environment emerge in bits and pieces of visible forms around them. Unlike most dreams in which the dreamer lacks awareness of “how” a dream begins, a lucid dreamer aware in the Void can watch the emergence of a new dream.
4) This observation, common amongst experienced lucid dreamers, suggests that the Void may actually reflect the existence of substrate energy, such as mental energy at rest, in its sparkling blackness. Then from this mental energy at rest, the increasing awareness and mental activity of the lucid dreamer in the Void begins a process by which the lucid dreamer’s awareness helps to substantiate visual forms (composed of mental energy) into settings and objects.
5) This apparent transduction of latent mental energy (the Void) into the visual forms of dream settings and objects also exists in reverse order. Experienced lucid dreamers across time have objectively noted that “emptying their mind” while meditating in a lucid dream results in the piecemeal disappearance of the dream objects, and the unexpected presentation of “light” in its absence. Through this practice, a lucid dreamer provides evidence that dream objects and forms seem connected to a certain level of mental activity (emerging from the latent resting state of mental energy in the Void), whereas an emptying of mental activity leads to their dissolution, resulting in the appearance of “light.”
6) From this, one may conclude that dream objects and settings exist as a type of “formed energy” or “formed mental energy,” connected in part to the mental activity of the dreamer. The mental energy, when unformed, returns to various types of perceived light, much like data in fiber optic cables exist as light, until that light energy gets appropriately transduced into computer data, sound vibrations, etc.
7) Lucid dreaming allows for exploring and experimenting with the nature of mental energy, perceived as light, through the mechanism of mental action within an alternate dimensional reality, commonly known as “dreaming.”
- Describe one example of how a lucid dreamer uses mental energy to help create a dream object.
- Discuss why the existence of the Void state suggests dreaming exists with objective characteristics.
- Describe why “emptying the mind” while lucidly aware may lead to the collapse of dream objects, and the emergence of light.
Robert G. Waggoner
Identifying Precognitive Dreams: Lessons My Dream Journal Taught Me (Presentation within panel titled “What we have Learned about Psi from Journal Keeping”)
Throughout history, mankind has been fascinated by the occasional precognitive dream, which seems to provide foreshadowing information about an upcoming event, situation or news. In Genesis 41, for example, the Egyptian pharaoh dreamt of seven fat cattle followed by seven lean cattle; according to the story, only Joseph understood this dream correctly and convinced the pharaoh to prepare in the good years for the dire times to follow. In this way, much suffering was avoided. Yet, how can you sense if a dream has foreshadowing information? What makes these dreams stand out from the others, and indicate precognitive information?
After decades of keeping a dream journal and examining dreams and lucid dreams closely, Waggoner began to see that certain characteristics seem to indicate a precognitive dream. Some of these characteristics, such as a precognitive dream sign of a clock face with hands spinning wildly, seemed extremely obvious and suggestive of the passing of time and future events. By noting this, he immediately knew that this dream pertained to likely future events. But other characteristics seemed a bit more subtle.
In this presentation, suitable for all audiences, Waggoner will attempt to delineate the special characteristics of likely precognitive dreams, based upon his practical study of his dream journals. Moreover, he will encourage the audience to keep records of their success at precognition, so as to gain a sense of the probability of their accuracy at predicting future events. Finally, he will discuss the idea of using lucid dreams to gain insight into likely probabilities.
- Tell one example of an indicator which a reasonable person could use to note a possible precognitive dream.
- Note why successive nights of repeating dreams should get special attention.
- Describe the importance of seeking to verify dream information in those dreams which seem precognitively oriented.
Janet S. Wahl
Discover Hidden Beliefs in Dreams (Workshop)
Dreams provide unique, unedited images reflecting our life situations, concerns, and subconscious beliefs, some unknown and without benefit to us. Participants have the opportunity to identify symbolic images in a personal dream and learn how to identify and change unwanted subconscious beliefs.
According to Montague Ullman, dreams are a rich unedited resource emanating from the subconscious mind that reflects the truths about the personal life of the dreamer. These images and metaphors can help the dreamer face that truth which in turn helps to create and heal. Monte developed a multi-step group process to aid the dreamer to understand his/her personal dream metaphors. Only the dreamer can determine the meaning of images. However, many of us do not have dream groups to help us. Through the use of a template that synthesizes parts of the Ullman method (feelings in the dream and context) with ThetaHealing®, the individual dreamer can begin to uncover not only meanings but also hidden beliefs, without the aid of a group.
A real dream will be used to demonstrate the following steps: 1. List all the images and overall actions in the dream. 2. Describe the images, including feelings and attitudes. 3. Make “I” statements using the descriptions to help identify unknown beliefs. 4. Muscle test the “I” statements to verify subconscious beliefs in #3. 5. Replace the unwanted beliefs.
ThetaHealing® procedures, one option to replacing these beliefs, will be demonstrated in this workshop. Participants will have the opportunity to apply this method to identify and change unwanted beliefs in one of their own dreams, preferably the one they brought to the workshop. Many more possible beliefs can be uncovered if all the steps of the Ullman process are employed with a group. This process usually requires 100 to 120 minutes per dream. After the dream group process, the template can be used again to uncover many more subconscious beliefs. In sum, this workshop applies the principles of ThetaHealing® before and after the complete Ullman Dream Process. This presentation is appropriate for all levels of interest. At least two-thirds of the presentation is experiential. Therefore, participants are encouraged to bring a short, recent dream to learn to uncover unknown beliefs.
Through the use of a recent, short personal dream, participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Identify and describe characteristics and feelings of the symbols in a personal dream.
- Create “I” statements using feelings and descriptions.
- Verify and replace limiting subconscious beliefs uncovered in a dream.
Symbolic Profiling: Mapping Your Psyche’s Dream Journey (Workshop)
This workshop is a hands-on approach to working with dream symbols. It incorporates the “Symbolic Profile,” an analysis and amplification tool developed by Dr. Ruth Thacker Fry, the founder and director of the C.G. Jung Educational Center in Houston, Texas. The Symbolic Profile has been proven over many years to be a valuable counseling aid to stimulate the unconscious and provide a bridge between the dreaming and waking life. The symbols used in this tool represent universal themes that follow the pattern of an individual’s approach to life. The dreamers create an individual map which serves as a foundation, framework and springboard to understand and work with their dreams in a deeper, more meaningful manner.
Phase I of the workshop will begin with a 15 minute overview of the meaning and impact of universal symbols through 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 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 to offer each other feedback and insights for additional meanings and implications. Dreamers will encounter a number of revelational 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 to gain 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 the next steps for their “Dream Journey.”
- Identify six key symbols that represent the dreamer’s unique and individual approach to life.
- Utilize symbolic language to access and explore untapped potential in your dreaming and waking life.
- Create a visual map as a working tool to integrate dream fragments, symbols and recurring themes into a cohesive “living” story.
Dream Dance Circle (Special event
You are warmly welcomed to an interactive community song/dance circle blending cultural traditions, and celebrating life and dreams through movement and music. Enjoy friendly faces and charge up your physical and dream bodies with lots of lucid dream energy! Absolutely no previous experience required – so please ignore your inner critic!
Participants at this presentation should learn the following:
- Simple songs and melodies from various traditions.
- Simple community dance steps from various traditions.
- How to let go in body, mind and voice and truly enjoy oneself.
Dream-inspired Music, Lyrics and Soundscapes (Paper)
This audio-visual presentation covers dreams that include sound and/or music. It will include research about how often sound and music appear in dreams generally, as well as ways how certain indigenous cultures use dreamt melodies in healing rituals. The main body of the talk will present various case studies of well known composers in various genres whose work is directly dream-inspired, as well as different melodies and soundscapes that have come to the presenter in his own dreams, since he is fortunate enough to dream of sounds and/or music a couple of times a week or more. Target audience: all.
- Cite the frequency of dreams that include sound and music as well as a potential brain mechanism for how such music is remembered.
- Be able to state 5 (or more) examples of famous composers/artists/producers who have used dreams in their compositions and to make work decisions.
- Understand what elements of a musical dream can lead to a very successful composition.
Unauthorized Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams in Classic Cinema (Special event)
Cinema and psychoanalysis begin at the same cultural moment, just before the turn of the 20th century. From early on, filmmakers explored with excitement the new medium’s capacity to represent the dream experience and the workings of the unconscious mind. In the 1920s, the great German director G. W. Pabst conceived the project of explaining Freud’s theories to the masses, with a screenplay dramatizing the resolution of one patient’s crippling neurosis through psychoanalysis of a troubling dream. Enlisting the aid of members of Freud’s circle, Pabst created Secrets of a Soul, a masterwork of German silent film, which includes what is still one of the most authentic and fascinating dream sequences in cinema.
In filming Spellbound in 1945, the aims of Alfred Hitchcock and his celebrated screenwriter, Ben Hecht, were very likely quite similar: They represented “Hollywood Freudianism,” a movement to promote psychoanalytic theory as a revitalizing force in film narrative and as a salutary influence on Americans’ views on family, selfhood, and sex. Today, Spellbound is often recalled for its central dream sequence, designed by Salvador Dalí, but its plot is even more remarkable: Spellbound presents a dream not only as a puzzle to be solved, but as the solution to a murder mystery, if only it can be decoded properly through the psychoanalytic method; and ultimately, as the key to freeing the protagonist, falsely convicted of homicide, from his psychic as well as actual prison.
This presentation examines extended excerpts from both these film classics; explores the historical and narratological connections between them; and establishes the most significant point that the two films share. Although they have had considerable influence on popular ideas and sentiment about dream analysis, neither offers anything like an accurate account of Freudian dream theory. Instead, each represents a kind of wishful thinking about the relation between our dreams and our understanding of ourselves and the social world. In other words, each proselytizes for psychoanalysis by offering a captivating set of images and a simplistic account of the unconscious mind.
This presentation is offered as a tribute to the late Dr. Ernest Hartmann, one of the great proponents of dream theory, whose parents were acquainted with Freud in Vienna in the 1920s.
- Identify the key features of a Freudian dream analysis.
- Explain how a Freudian dream analysis is supposed to dispel a neurotic symptom.
- Discuss how visual symbolism in dreams may be understood as a model for visual symbolism in cinema.
Veronica Williams and co-author Jose Pons-Madera
A Study of Common Dream Themes in Adult Puerto Ricans (Paper)
Since dreaming is a biological function of the brain, we can all dream. Freud and Jung were the pioneers of the study of dreams
as a connecting bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind from a psychological perspective. They both identified common dream themes that are universally found. Recently, researchers have identified cultural specific tendencies in dream theme prevalence in different cultural groups. These cultural differences have been found in Japanese, American, Canadian, and Chinese groups. To this date, no research study has been done to explore cultural specific tendencies in dream themes in the Puerto Rican culture. Not having information about the theme prevalence in the Puerto Rican culture can negatively affect dream analysis as a therapeutical technique. The present study proposes to identify common themes in the dream content of adult Puerto Ricans. The Common Themes Found in Dreams Inventory was created; it is composed of 48 universally identified common dream themes and a qualitative question in which participants were asked to describe an actual dream in detail.
Through the inventory, the prevalence of dream themes was obtained using frequency distribution analysis in a heterogeneous sample of 88 adults who were born, raised and currently live in Puerto Rico. The most prevalent dream theme found was “sexual experiences” with 97.8%. In addition, the homogeneity of the prevalence in the dream themes was observed though variance analysis in the sample, according to the variables of gender, age, educational background, religious affiliation, and site of recruitment. No significant differences were found through these variables. The quantitative and qualitative results of this study suggest that, indeed, there are universal dream themes, and that the prevalence of these are specific to the cultural background of the dreamer.
Approximate time for introduction is 5 minutes. The methods and description of the sample portion is 5 minutes; results and discussion section 10 minutes. In addition, 10 minutes are open for answering questions from attendees. Audience: for all audiences. Aim: to provide useful cultural-specific dream theme information to practitioners and clinicians, as well as to further interest in the study of cultural implications in dream content and dream analysis.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- Describe the prevalence in dream themes found in the Puerto Rican sample and relate these to the dreamer’s waking life.
- Summarize actual dream content and themes of Puerto Rican dreamers.
- Discuss possible reasons for the culture specific dream theme prevalence in the Puerto Rican sample.
Utilizing Dream Images as a Complementary Healing Modality with Nursing Students (Presentation within symposium titled “The Expanding Realm of Mental Imagery”)
Woods intends to explore and present information gleaned from research that supports the use of dream imagery for healing. She intends to show how dream imagery can be incorporated into modern medicine, and the benefits to individual healing needs. She will discuss teaching appreciation and working with positive dream imagery as an approach for enriching nurse training and incorporating dreams into the current list of complimentary healing modalities. The number of adults in the United States using some form of complementary or alternative modality for their healthcare needs continues to grow, capturing the attention of the primary healthcare system and government policy. A modality is a method of treating a disorder or health care concern (for example pharmaceuticals or surgery). A complementary modality is a treatment that is used in conjunction with the current healthcare system. Examples include homeopathy, yoga, massage, herbs, imagery, art therapy, hypnosis, and meditation.
The primary healthcare system in the United States does not recognize nor utilize the value of working with dream images as a complementary healing modality. The only exception is the current use of working with nightmares with combat veterans who suffer from PTSD. As a nurse who worked extensively with nightmare images to heal her own diagnosis of PTSD, Woods can attest to the healing power of dream images. Working with dreams has an interesting historical relationship with healing, and played a significant role in the genesis of our current medical system. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians, together with many contemporary indigenous cultures, place dreams in the forefront of healing. There is extensive contemporary research supporting the healing properties of gratitude, appreciation, imagery, and meditative states.
Complementary medicine or complementary healing modalities in conjunction with the utilization of personal dream images supports deeper meaning to an individual and their particular needs. Nurses are responsible for the care of patients in a variety of health care settings and are the largest percentage of caregivers in the United States. Promoting complementary healing modalities and supporting an individual’s use of these modalities is within the realm of nursing. Patients often remark on their dreams and nightmares without an understanding of how their dreams may support their healing needs. Gratitude, appreciation, imagery, and meditative states have been extensively researched and have been shown to support positive bodily processes and states of being. Nursing schools are an excellent opportunity to educate nurses on the benefits of current research and complementary healing modalities. Working with dream images and nursing students has underscored the positive qualities in relieving anxiety and supporting well-being during the stressful learning process of becoming a nurse. By working with their own dream images, nursing students learn ways of supporting their patients’ dream images and utilizing them for health. Appropriate for all audiences
After this presentation the participant will be able to:
- List three current complimentary healing modalities that support dream imagery for healing.
- Identify three methods of working with dream imagery to support positive healing states.
- Describe one method of utilizing gratitude and dream imagery to support healing states and body self-healing mechanisms.
Yue Yu, Jayne Gackenbach, and co-author William Wei
Cross Cultural Analysis of Focus Group Discussions about Media Use and Dreams (Poster Presentation)
Nowadays, media has been integrated into people’s lives. The continuing evolution of various forms of media leads to increasing media consumption worldwide, with the new emerging leader being China. Although media have impacted our lives in many ways, very few studies have taken a look at the relationship between media use and dreams. This study examined how media, especially social media and video games, was associated with people’s dreams through seven focus group discussions in two national samples, China and Canada. In a focus group setting, researchers can capture participants’ responses all at once within a group context. Focus groups allow for greater flexibility, since participants are able to share and build on each other’s ideas, therefore facilitating a better understanding of the research topic. Eighteen students participated in two groups in Canada, while 16 were divided into two groups in Taiwan, five in one Hong Kong group, and 27 in two groups in Wuhan. The focus group interviews were then transcribed, with translation as needed, and imported into Nvivo, a qualitative data analysis software. For each group, data were coded under the following main categories: Social Media, Video Game, Other Media Mentions, Dream, Emotions, Negative Impact and Impressions of Media, Language Proficiency, and Major. These categories were determined in a conversation between the two focus group facilitators and the transcriber/translator of the tapes. All three were thus very familiar with what occurred. There were also subcategories under each main category, which are being used for further detailed analysis. We found overall that, despite our findings that media use impacts dreams, it seems that in face to face discussions their relationship is not considered, even among the Chinese samples who seem to value dreams.
- Understand the difference between data collection in focus groups versus surveys.
- Appreciate the breadth of the topics covered in these groups.
- Get some insight into different ways that the Chinese versus Canadians approach media and dreams.
Dream Content in Introverts and Extraverts: A Window into Discontinuous Aspects of Dreaming (Presentation within symposium titled “Exploring the Continuity and Discontinuity between Waking and Dreaming: Advances in the Study and Conceptualization of the Continuity Hypothesis of Dreaming”)
The continuity hypothesis postulates that individual characteristics in the waking state are transposed into dreams. The present research examined this idea with regards to the introversion-extroversion personality trait. From among 163 participants who completed a personality inventory and kept a journal of their dreams for two to three consecutive weeks, 34 were selected on the basis of their extreme score on the introversion/extraversion continuum. No significant group differences were found between introverts and extroverts in terms of frequency of dream recall or in dream content as assessed by the number of characters, social interactions and negative emotions in recalled dreams. The results are not consistent with the continuity hypothesis of dreaming and suggest that, as for many other personality traits, the introversion-extraversion personality dimension is not reflected in everyday dreams. Target level of the audience: Intermediate.
- Summarize how personality correlates of dream content have been studied.
- Explain key limits to how the continuity hypothesis of dreaming is used in research.
- Describe how some personality dimensions may be more continuous with dream content than others.
Antonio Zadra and co-authors Mathieu Pilon, Marc-Antoine Labelle, and Jacques Montplaisir
Dream Content During Sleepwalking: A Phenomenological and Sleep EEG Investigation (Paper)
Introduction: Sleepwalking is a parasomnia characterized by misperception and relative unresponsiveness to the environment, mental disorientation and variable retrograde amnesia. Behavioral manifestations of varying degrees of complexity and duration arise from incomplete awakenings, usually from slow-wave sleep (SWS: stage 3 and 4 sleep). Relatively little is known, however, about the phenomenological aspects of this parasomnia and the EEG that accompanies such episodes.
Methods : Participants were 94 adult patients (43 men, 51 women, mean age = 32.9 SD=11.7 years) referred to our sleep disorders clinic for chronic sleepwalking. All underwent at least one polysomnographic assessment in the sleep laboratory and were free of any other major sleep disorder. Post-arousal EEG patterns associated with behavioral episodes recorded in the laboratory were investigated. Participants also completed a detailed questionnaire assessing various aspects of their sleepwalking, including phenomenological dimensions of their episodes.
Results : Questionnaire data revealed that only 8% of the patients report never remembering sleep mentation from their episodes upon awakening. Perceptual elements from the sleeper’s actual environment during somnambulistic episodes were sometimes (23%), often (35%) or always (17%) recalled by the sleepwalkers. Sixty-six patients (70%) reported that various forms of mental content or sleep mentation (e.g., images, thoughts, emotions) often or always accompanied their episodes. Furthermore, episodes were described by 37% of the sample as being often or always triggered by some form of sleep mentation. Emotions were described by 71 sleepwalkers (75%) as being often or always experienced during their episodes. The most commonly reported emotions were fear, panic, confusion, anger, frustration and helplessness. Three post-arousal EEG patterns characterized most episodes recorded in the laboratory. Irrespective of these specific patterns, delta activity was found in almost 50% of the post-arousal EEG recordings from slow-wave sleep, but was generally absent from more complex episodes. There was no evidence of complete awakening during any of the episodes investigated.
Conclusion : Although sleepwalking is often characterized in terms of its automatic behaviors, the present results indicate that perceptual, cognitive and affective dimensions play an important role in the subjective experience of adult sleepwalking. Morning recall of nocturnal somnambulistic episodes may also be greater than generally believed. The displayed behaviors are construed by most patients as being motivated by an intrinsic sense of urgency or underlying logic that accounts for their actions during actual episodes. The post-arousal EEG patterns highlight the dissociation between cortical and motor activities during such episodes, since sleepwalkers can perform motor activities (normally associated with wakefulness) while showing EEG patterns indicative of sleep or partial sleep. These results support the conception of somnambulism as a disorder of arousal. Variations in the motor and emotional manifestations of sleepwalking may be related to different activation patterns of the cingulate cortex as it modulates behaviour in response to emotional processes.
- Explain what kind of behaviors sleepwalkers can perform during their episodes.
- Discuss how, during their episodes, sleepwalkers are neither fully asleep nor fully awake.
- Appreciate how dreaming or sleep mentation can influence sleepwalking episodes.
Mary Melinda Ziemer
A Perspective on Dreams and Lucid Surrender through “The Eye of the Heart” (Presentation within symposium titled “Fundamentals of a Multi-Dimensional Dreamwork Theory on Dreams and Lucid Dreaming”)
The 12th century Sufi mystic, Ahmad Hatif, advises: “Let the eye of your heart be opened that you may see the Spirit and behold invisible things.” Drawing on illustrative examples, this presentation will explore the mirroring relationship between dreaming and lucid dreaming as they reflect knowledge of the Self and of a more Celestial consciousness—the realms of “invisible things” made visible. We will explore subtle states of consciousness that people can access through dreaming and lucid dreaming, particularly Lucid Surrender, and the transformative effect such states can have upon waking life.
In the process, we will expand the American Psychological Association’s definition of a lucid dream (one “in which the sleeper is aware that he or she is dreaming and may be able to influence the progress of the dream narrative” ) to include a more comprehensive recognition of the following potentialities within the dream state: 1) That a dream may possesses its own “reality” or “realities” ranging across a continuum of awareness from sensory to supra-sensory; 2) Dreamscapes and beings may possess an ontological status that moves “reality” and our perception of it beyond space-time constraints, freeing us to experience realms of consciousness and subtle body states that can both encompass and yet transcend our own; 3) Our dreaming consciousness has the capacity both to experience and to relate to what apparently “transcends” it; 4) The dream may know more than the dreamer; 5) Unity-consciousness; 7) The expansion and transformation of the dreamer’s consciousness, as well as Consciousness itself, in unexpected ways; 8) The power of dreaming to transform waking physical reality.
We will also explore subtle states of consciousness in lucidity—involving Black Light and Divine qualities that manifest archetypal beings and forms—revealed through the practice of Lucid Surrender. This part of the presentation will redefine lucidity as: A dream in which the dreamer becomes aware of the dream state, thus releasing the transformative potential to know the essence of Self, Consciousness, and the Unity of existence.
- Vandenbos, G.R. (Ed.). (2007). The APA Dictionary of Psychology, p. 545. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Participants who attend this presentation will be able to:
- List at least two ways dreams and lucid dreams mirror similar qualities in different ways.
- Describe two characteristics of subtle states in Lucid Surrender.
- Design a definition of lucidity that expands on that given by the American Psychological Association.