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Dream Poetry: Painting with Words, An Experiential Workshop (Workshop)
In this experiential workshop, we’ll explore the places in between dreaming and waking, between visual and verbal, translating messages and images from our dreams into poems. We’ll tap into our creativity and free ourselves through structured play, guided visualization, active imagination, writing prompts, sharing and collaborating.
As a psychotherapist, dreamer, poet, singer, dancer, and visual artist, I’m interested in how we can be the fullest, most integrated beings we can be. Creative expression is an important process for many people on their path to becoming more aware individuals. Writing poetry is a powerful practice for knowing oneself and finding one’s voice.
I see poetry as a contemplative practice, to be with what is happening inside of us and in the environment. When we share our inner worlds, we connect with others – by inviting them in, witnessing their expression, seeing what we have in common, and having more understanding of our diverse experiences. I have seen how this writing practice can help people in bringing a fresh perspective to other areas of their lives, by being more present, spontaneous, and free-thinking in their relationships, work, conflicts, and most importantly, in their relationships with themselves.
Poetry is a wonderful art form for expressing dreams, because it is by nature a surreal, evocative orientation to language. We allow words to flow, coming from our whole being, not just the verbal, conceptual part of our brain, letting ourselves speak in a language of the body, heart, senses, and soul. When our dreams call us into action, poetry can be an inspiring way to integrate them into our waking life. I believe that poetry blends the verbal and visual worlds in a powerful process that is both therapeutic and creative.
Each poem becomes its own being that goes out into the world, expressing its unique character in its own form and dialect, in the language of the dream, and according to the dream itself, the associated images, and the dreamer. The dreamer is encouraged to express freely, since they have full artistic license over their own dreams. We can then weave these unique individual poems together, creating a piece that reflects the larger community voice from our collective dreams and unconscious.
The format of the workshop will be as follows: 1. Presentation and outline for our process of writing poetry from dreams, 2. Guided visual active imagination session, 3. Writing sessions with focused prompts, 4. Sharing what we’ve written around the circle, 5. Group poem that involves combining lines from each person’s poem into a larger, collaborative piece.
Susan Ackerman Joseph
Sensing the Signs (that Guide Us) (Workshop)
Sensing the Signs is an experiential offering using somatic resonance and release techniques to facilitate a deeper connection to the symbols/signs that manifest in dreams and daily life. Participants will have an opportunity to work with their own material in this workshop that includes breathwork, gentle movement, and sound.
Participants will be introduced to foundational concepts for this offering pertaining to sensation, discernment, noticing, resistance and creativity derived from the I Ching, systems theory, and emerging science related to the nervous system and neuroplasticity (e.g., Polyvagal Theory, Social Engagement Stimulation, Psychoneuroenergetics).
Sensing the Signs (that Guide Us) is premised on the understanding that each of us, the dreamer of our own dream, is the ultimate arbiter of what the dream means. It also assumes dreams are meaningful gifts, imbued with personal and collective wisdom.
This work is premised on the understanding that access to our deepest wisdom is sensation-based. Through sensation, we renegotiate the boundary between receptivity and resistance. Through sensation, we activate our inner resources and mobilize transformation. It ratifies decision making. Inspiration, integration, wellness, recovery and healing are some of the benefits of sensory awareness.
Sensing the Signs (that Guide Us) provides participants an opportunity to receive the gift of the dream using somatic resonance as a bridge between the imaginal and the physical. Based on concepts of nervous system release and regulation she learned during her studies as a somatic practitioner, Susan leads attendees through a series of exercises to gently open up the nervous system. As the nervous system relaxes, resistance releases. As resistance releases, the capacity to receive physical/emotional/spiritual resource increases, including the resource that comes with dreams. In a relaxed state, we are better able to make meaningful connections between various aspects of our experience.
Foundational concepts for this offering pertaining to sensation, discernment, noticing, resistance and creativity are derived from the I Ching, systems theory, emerging science related to the nervous system and neuroplasticity (i.e., Polyvagal Theory, Social Engagement Stimulation, Psychoneuroenergetics), and Susan’s life-long experience as a creative who has worked with dreams and dreamy material.
- Interactive warm-up exercises. A series of exercises to promote nervous system release; introduce participants to qualities of sensation; and, prepare participants for the guided somatic resonance experience.
- Working with the Signs using Somatic Resonance. A guided somatic experience accompanied by Koshi Chimes using sound, attention, breath, imagination/visualization and sensation to facilitate clarity around the subject material through somatic release.
- Integration through creative or contemplative practice. (i.e., journaling, sketching, stretching, etc.).
- Closing. Regroup. Share.
Healing the Inner Child through Dreams (Workshop)
Our inner child is the spontaneous, joyful and playful part of us. It is the source of awe, wonder, inspiration and creativity. When we return to this child and allow the child in our life, we enter a path that leads to our True Home, where we can be effortlessly who we are.
If all the developmental needs of the child were met during various stages of childhood, the child would trust the world, feel safe to explore and have the will to pursue its path and realize its gifts. However, when the caretakers/parents themselves carry a wounded child within and they do not have healthy boundaries, it becomes difficult for a child to have a healthy sense of “I AM ness”. Childhood abandonment, emotional loneliness, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, lack of unconditional love and acceptance, unhealthy repression of emotions, create a rupture or wound in the child’s psyche. Dr John Bradshaw refers to this as “original pain”. Everyone carries “original pain” to varying degrees. Virginia Satir calls the cumulative effect of such wounds a split-off of psyche. According to her, the split-off selves develop into repressed sub-personalities. Dr Hal Stone and Dr Sidra Winkelman, in their pioneering “Voice Dialogue” work, refer to this wounded self as an Inner “Voice”.
Our dreams are a way to bring the original pain or repressed sub-personality or voice to the surface. My “inner child dreams” over a period of six months, provided me a means to do the original pain work. These dreams helped me to externalize the toxic shame and guilt I had been carrying during the long childhood of 15 years. These dreams also gave a voice to my wounded child, and I was able to listen to this voice and embrace the child. With the help of “inner child dreams”, I engaged with my inner child in three stages :
1.Externalizing the Wounded Child
2.Reclaiming the Inner Child
3.Arriving True Home.
Finally, my dreams revealed to me the wonder child, which is the source of spontaneity, creativity, joy, happiness and wonder.
My inner child dreams led me to develop a model that I applied on several clients and further refined it. These dreams help us heal the child by listening to its dream language, welcome the child into our life and walk on a path to our True Home, where we can be our Authentic and Unique Self.
The workshop will broadly have following sections, with 50% theory and 50% experiential sessions:
- Introduction to Inner Child and the wounds
- Types and Themes of Inner Child Dreams
- Process to Identify Inner Child dream symbols and language
- A model for Inner Child dream work with three steps
- A guided meditation to apply the model to a dream, embrace the Inner Child and walk on the path to our True and Authentic Self.
Dennis R. Archambault
Serpents in Our Dreams (Talk)
Serpents have been the object of fear, awe and reverence for thousands of years. They have universally been symbols of death and rebirth because they slough their dull and dead skins and emerge vibrant and animated.
In the Eastern tradition, serpents are seen as Divine Cosmic Energy; as the Kundalini by the earliest Tantric beliefs; and they were the messengers of the god Ishtar in ancient Mesopotamia. Moses was the inspiration for the Caduceus by making a wooden staff with a brass serpent at the top to console Israelites against snake bites; in the Mayan mythology there is the Vision Serpent that symbolizes rebirth; the Zuni Indians dance with serpents to bring rain to parched lands; and the Greek god Asclepius uses the regenerative power of the serpent to inspire his sufferers that their health was assured. And on and on it goes. The mystery of the serpent is ever-present, and in our dreams as well.
So, who are these creatures that visit our sleep?
This question is the subject of my proposed 30-minute Talk: Serpents in Our Dreams. I investigated my 231 serpent dreams, from 43 years of recording dreams. I was guided by Dr. Kelly Bulkeley’s website article on Serpents. He proposes that serpents in dreams reflect the world’s view of serpents as being objects of: Primal Fear, Gnostic Spiritual empowerment, Biblical Evil, and Phallic impulses. This was a good start. Also considered for my investigation was his 2.0 Template on Perception and Emotion.
My investigation grew into a two-page Legend of Serpent Dreams, which will be provided as a handout. New categories were revealed, such as appearances of Color; Sound; Exchanging Breaths; Seeing partial body parts (rattles, fangs, skin); and Types of serpents: Asps, Cobras, Rattlesnakes, Constrictors, etc. Emotional states include Killing/Attacking serpents, Protecting serpents, Feeling sorrow for harming them, by myself or others, etc. From the 2.0 Template I found that I have 115 instances with Vision; 2 with Hearing; 39 with Touch; 80 with Fear; 77 had a quality of Wonder; 19 were of Happiness and its derivative; Pride had 14 interactions.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own serpent dreams for discussion. From my drdenn.com website, participants will have available a Legend of Serpent Dreams download to promote a reflection on their serpent dream prior to attending the conference.
We will explore the fascinating world of Serpents in Our Dreams.
The target audience is anyone who has had serpent dreams and/or has an interest in serpents as they reflect deep mythological and psychological energies.
A Dream Artist Discovers Virtual Reality (Talk)
In 2019, Sheila was named Dream Artist-in-Residence at REM5 Virtual Reality Lab in St. Louis Park, MN. In this presentation, Sheila will talk about her experience as dream artist-in-residence at REM5 and how the dreams have supported her work. In the first half of the presentation, she will focus on how the dreams have given her specific ideas and guidance as she has struggled to learn how to create in this exciting new medium. She will give examples of how dream incubation has helped her find innovative solutions to a variety of problems she has encountered along the way. Then she will show slides of her work, highlighting a few projects and the dreams that have inspired them. Finally, she will share a video from her most recent project of a healing space that she created in virtual reality to honor the memory of her father, who passed away suddenly from a heart attack in 2020.
The basis for presenting this material is to demonstrate how dreams can inform an artist’s creative practice.
When Sheila first started her dream artist residency at REM5 Virtual Reality Lab, the biggest challenge she faced was learning how to use Google’s revolutionary new tool “Tilt Brush”. This is an application that allows artists to paint in virtual reality (VR) with light. It is an astonishing tool and very new, having just been released in 2016. So when she started there was no written material available on how to use it. As a result, she quickly turned to her dreams for support and guidance. This was already an established part of her creative practice as a studio artist.
The dreams quickly responded, stating clearly that she should return “to the basics”. And so began a period of intensive review of materials from decades ago, when she was a Fine Arts major in college. She revisited early drawing lessons, design exercises and color theory practices. This led to her first project in VR. Initially she focused on how visual artists create a sense of space in 2D through the use of foreground, middle ground and background. This eventually led to an idea for a print – Raven Moon.
The dreams then suggested taking “Raven Moon” into 3D as a “tunnel book”. Not knowing what that was, Sheila plunged ahead nonetheless and eventually created a book that popped out like a tunnel. The dreams then suggested trying it out in VR. This became the springboard to her first VR project, a life size “book”. In VR everything is made of light, so even though objects look solid, it is possible to walk through them. This absolutely delighted her dreams, which responded vigorously to this new art form, and several lucid dreams resulted.
In 2020, Sheila’s father suddenly passed away. Led by dreams and grief, she created a healing space in VR and a new book to honor the memory of her father.
Lucid vs. Non-lucid Dream Healing: Comparing Approaches (Talk)
In 2017, I gave an overview of the preliminary results from my dissertation project on Using Dream Incubation to Tap into Our Inner Healing Resources. Now that the analysis has been completed, I’d like to present some of the results, particularly those pertaining to the section that compared lucid versus non-lucid approaches to dream healing. I will begin with a brief overview of my dissertation project – its objectives, parameters and process. Then I’ll present the overall results, comparing lucid vs. non-lucid dream healing, sharing some case studies in support of those results. Finally, I will conclude with a discussion of the pros and cons of either approach.
Parallel Gems (Special Event)
This short and playful experimental docu-drama, set primarily in India & California’s Death Valley National Park, explores the relationship between dreams, parallel worlds and psychic phenomenon using a combination of dialog and animated sequences. It is part intellectual inquiry, part multi-dimensional journey into the DreamTime.
Pandemic Dream Art (Talk)
Dreams during the COVID-19 pandemic have inspired much visual art. This talk presents slides of works from around the world and discusses the range of dreams they represent. Some art features the one most vivid dream image of an insect attack, a syringe piercing an arm, or happy wildlife frolicking in a pristine post-pandemic world. Others sketch out multiple frames of sequential scenes, occasionally with cartoon-style dialogue bubbles for a more narrative depiction of the entire dream. Photographers place props or models in the empty streets outside their dwellings to portray the dream visions they’ve seen. Abstract artists capture the nightmare feel of the virus in harsh colors and menacing lines. Short films lend themselves well to the length of a dream vignette and animated ones are especially suited to depicting the magical, surreal images and actions of the dream world. Some pandemic dream films are entirely silent–emphasizing the primacy of the visual in dreams, while others feature the dreamer recounting the story as its imagery flits by.
Both dreams and art bypass our usual verbal linear mode of thinking about a crisis to express feelings deeply in images. We’ll discuss how the combination of the two is especially powerful in connecting us through this shared ordeal.
Survey of Pandemic Dreams (Talk)
Deirdre Barrett, Sanja Šćepanović and Luca Maria Aiello
This talk reports results from an online survey of 12,000+ dreams reported by 4,500 dreamers from around the world. Three analyses of the dreams will be reported: 1) categorizations of literal and metaphoric themes based on a qualitative close read; 2) a comparison with dreams from normal times using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) categories for emotions, illness, death, and body references; and 3) a deep learning algorithm identification of symptoms and emotions in dreams vs. waking conversation about COVID-19.
In the qualitative close read, the categories identified were: 1) literal dreams of coming down with the virus; 2) metaphoric dreams representing the virus, including ones of natural disasters, human attackers and others seen during most crises. There were also two subcategories of metaphors unique to the pandemic: 3) insect attack dreams; and 4) invisible monsters. Other dreams dealt with 5) practicing safe distancing: dreamers are out and realize they’ve forgotten their masks or gotten too close to someone; others are surrounded by others who crowd them, touch them or cough on them. Still others focused on 6) the issue of isolation and loneliness during lockdown: either by directly portraying it as abandonment on a desert island or alternatively images of friends, extended family, or parties that one is missing. People sheltering in place with large families or numerous roommates dreamed exaggerated vignettes of 7) extreme crowding and lack of privacy. A few dreams were positive, with the main two happy themes being: 8) the dreamer is cured of the virus or they or someone else discover a cure for all mankind; or 9) the post-COVID world is greatly improved by psychological lessons learned and/or reduced pollution and a return to natural conditions.
In the LIWC analysis, for men and women, pandemic dreams contained significantly lower positive emotions compared to normal era dreams, while they had higher rates of total negative emotions, anxiety, sadness, anger, references to biological processes, illness, and death. For women only, there were also significantly higher scores for anger, sadness, and body references in the pandemic dreams than in the normative sample.
In the deep-learning analysis, a method using contextual embeddings trained on social media data is applied to extract symptom references. Symptoms seen more in waking discussions about COVID-19 were realistic potential symptoms (“body aches,” “abnormal heart rate,” and “nasal pain”) while ones mentioned mostly or only in dreams included ones not actually occurring with the virus (“maggots,” “deformities,” and “snakebites”) or surreal, impossible ones (“teeth suddenly falling out” and “body crumbling into sand”) Symptoms mentioned more in pandemic dreams by men than women included many around the core symptom of respiratory difficulty (“respiratory distress,” “trouble breathing,” and “lungs stopped working”) while ones mentioned more in women’s pandemic dreams than men’s were often psychological (“loneliness,” “fatigue,” and “ptsd”)
These results will be discussed both in terms of what they contribute to understanding dreams and to understanding the effects of the pandemic.
Katherine R. Bell
Dreams as Emotional Immune System (Talk)
Dreams are universal to humans, and evidence suggests that most animals also experience dream-like interludes during their sleep, hinting that dreams are evolutionarily important. Dreams arise from the deepest part of our limbic brain, which is associated with emotions and visceral sensations, suggesting that what dreams act on are feelings and physical sensations. This talk explores the idea that dreams, even when not remembered, are corrective, enhancing our emotional health, analogous to the way our immune system enhances our physical health without our conscious awareness.
I will start by briefly sharing part of my personal dream journey, showing how working with my dreams brought me to a greater awareness of physical sensations and to a more balanced and rich emotional life. This part of the talk will be illuminated with drawings of dreams that I made as part of my healing process.
The bulk of the talk will be to share the results of literature published by Rosalind Cartwright, Matthew Walter and their collaborators demonstrating that dreams, even when not remembered, are corrective and serve to enhance our emotional health. This body of work teases out the difference between dreaming and other parts of the sleep state and conclude that it is the activity during REM sleep that brings the emotional transformation in their subjects. I will touch briefly on situations where the dreaming immune system seems to break down, as in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and major depression.
In my experiences as a dream coach, I have witnessed that, even without understanding our dreams on a rational level, bringing dream feelings and images into consciousness enhances their alchemical effect. This is analogous to how making our breathing conscious enhances the benefits of breath even without understanding the principles of oxygen exchange in such disciplines as Pranayama and meditation. I will end with some brief suggestions on non-interpretive ways to enhance the healing power of dreams, under the assumption that dreams are a natural part of our emotional immune system and are doing in us exactly what they evolved to do.
Katherine R. Bell
Experiential Dreamwork: Enhancing the Dream-State Emotional Immune System (Morning Dream Group)
Dreams are universal to humans, and evidence suggests that most animals also experience dream-like interludes during their sleep, hinting that dreams are evolutionarily important. Dreams arise from the deepest part of our limbic brain which is associated with emotions and visceral sensations suggesting that what dreams act on are feelings and physical sensations. This dream group will be a chance for people to experience that they can enhance the innate healing power of their dreams by feeling into dream moments and deepening them through breath, imagination and embodiment.
Content will vary depending on the group composition and needs, but the basic outline of each meeting will be as follows.
I will start each morning with a moment of shared body-based meditation to invoke the body’s natural healing powers and to establish the group field.
We will then take 10-15 minutes to allow participants to speak a dream moment without feedback or interaction. Each dreamer feels what comes up for them when they share in a supportive container, letting the dreams work on them similar to how they do every night, but adding in the enhancing elements of personal consciousness and shared experience.
Then I will work with one or at most two dreamers each morning to demonstrate that sharing a dream with another person deepens the feelings that arise naturally during the dream state and that this can improve the waking experience. This work will vary depending on the needs and preferences of the dreamer but may include various techniques such as:
1.Slowing down the dream moment to “open up” parts of the dream that might have been skipped over
2.Using the breath to explore moments of feeling
3.Identifying what actually happens in the dream vs. the dreamer’s assumptions
4.Noticing discrepancies between the dream and waking life normality and holding a space of curiosity about them
5.Noticing when feelings are “missing”, e.g. a blasé response to a horrific image
6.Encouraging the dreamer to notice what personal associations come up for them although sharing those associations is entirely optional
7.Embodying the dream, using members of the group to represent various figures or objects in the dream
All of these techniques assume that the dream holds its own innate wisdom, and they all support my conviction that the dreamer is truly the ultimate authority on their own dream. The dreamer has full choice when to start sharing and stop sharing and how much or whether to share the thoughts and memories that arise during the group.
None of these techniques is interpretive but rather explore the assumption that the dream is a natural and functional expression of the human body. My goal is that people experiencing these morning dream groups will leave with an enhanced appreciation for the precision and power of dreaming as a natural part of the body’s emotional immune system.
Parts of the Whole: Dreams as Interconnected Consciousness (Workshop)
This experiential workshop is based on my experience of dream groups – when a particular collective of people come together and share a dream that seems to speak to the whole group, as well as the dreamer, as if some unseen thread brings us together. A dream for the group will be invited, and following the dream exploration, participants will be invited to respond with their own resonating dream symbol. The workshop will be process-led, using tracking, mirroring, embodiment, movement and creative means, to allow the dream to speak and integrate into greater conscious awareness. Participants will reflect how an expression of the energy of this dream symbol benefits the wider community too: a reflection of how we are essential parts of a whole; how together we create a more expanded version of our unique Selves and a more consciously inter-connected world. We will reflect on how our uniqueness is an essential part of the greater whole. And we’ll observe how we are intimately inter-connected in a web of consciousness through synchronicities at play.
The workshop will be process oriented – trusting to the innate impulse of the human being to regulate and grow towards wholeness. It will explore through observed synchronicity, the web of consciousness that connects us as humans. Creative exercises will be used to create a felt sense of the dream symbol, so that the quality and energy can be more consciously integrated. The workshop will bridge these insights into our waking world reality and support an increased sense of connectedness and the efficacy of our unique contribution to the greater whole.
The workshop will begin by setting parameters for group safety and ensuring that everyone understands that the dreamer is the only authority on their dream. A dream will be invited that feels safe and appropriate to share – one that seeks to speak to the group as well as the dreamer. The group will help explore the dream, mirroring the dreamer’s wisdom, gestures and words back to them. Particular attention will be paid to the questions and projections of each participant, as potential insight into their own journey. Each group member will then be invited to respond to the group dream with their own dream symbol, and we will reflect on the inter-connections and synchronicities at play. A series of creative exercises, using words, movement, embodiment will be used to create a felt sense of the dream symbol. Group members will be invited to express ‘I AM…’ using their own words and associations. These insights will be bridged back to the group, by reflecting on how an expression of this energy benefits both the dreamer and the greater whole; how we are all part of an inter-connected web of consciousness, made tangible through dreaming. Participants will reflect on the part they contribute to the greater whole, and how their unique expression is an essential part of the whole.
Suitable for all.
Drawing from the Unconscious (Workshop)
What happens when we make a simple sketch of a dream? You will be surprised how much pours up out of the unconscious and ends up on the paper.
In this experiential workshop, we will choose dreams from participants. Because of the nature of a virtual workshop, I will ask people to submit their dream reports and a drawing of the dream beforehand. I will then choose two or three dreams to work on.
I will spend about 15 minutes laying out the procedures and ideas surrounding this visual work.
I will then have the dreamer tell their dream.
After this first telling of the dream, I will put up the image of the dream the dreamer has drawn and the dreamer will tell the dream a second time. Once the dream is told again, we will search for elements of the drawing that draw our attention to them and see if the unconscious had a hand in creating them. It is amazing sometimes what the hand inadvertently draws when the dreamer is not looking.
We will then open the dream using archetypal projective dreamwork and other methods as we explore and experience this dream as a group. The emphasis, however, will stay focused on the drawing, which will allow the dream to come alive in this process.
At the end, we will return to the dreamer and ask a series of questions that will allow the dreamer, who is the final authority on the dream, a chance to describe their experience.
Stand by to be immersed in awe!
What If Your Unconscious Could Make Art? (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Dreaming, Imagination, and Creativity”)
The bases for this presentation are historical and critical accounts of 20th-century art influenced by modern depth psychology, especially Surrealism, as described in the autobiographies and critical writings of artists.
The Surrealists, such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Joan Miro and Man Ray, believed that creativity can come from dreams and the deep unconscious and is more powerful and authentic than anything produced by conscious thought. They used automatic writing, automatic painting and automatic drawing to draw out these hidden creative forces.
In 1948 Jean Dubuffet, the French artist, established a collection of what he termed “Art Brut” (raw art) which was composed of the art work of the mentally ill, prisoners and children, which he found to be in touch with something deep and meaningful. Outsider Art is a movement that continues today as a form of anti-art from that same idea and source.
People who draw their dreams are at times in touch with these same raw forces that roar up from the deep unconscious.
In this presentation, we discuss examples of Surrealism, Art Brut, Outsider Art, and the drawings of dreamers where unexpected images emerge from the deep unconscious and end up on the paper.
For all audiences.
The Waking Dream Process (Morning Dream Group)
The Waking Dream Process is a clinical approach used in the context of transpersonal psychotherapy to explore and expand the experience of dreams in a deep and grounded manner, emphasizing the therapeutic benefits of one’s dreams and gaining a deeper understanding of oneself. In this dream group, one person each morning will share a dream, which will be briefly discussed with the facilitator and the group. Then the dreamer will be asked to close their eyes, enter a light meditative state, and will be guided through a re-imagining of the dream using the Waking Dream Technique, connecting imagery to physical sensations and exploring resonances or resistances to the dream experience.
The Waking Dream Process was developed by Dr. Nigel Hamilton, Founder and Director of the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education and Founder of the Dream Research Institute in London. Hamilton (2014) brought together Jungian approaches to dream work and Active Imagination (Johnson, 1986) with his Multidimensional Dreamwork Model (Hamilton, 2014) which among other influences draws on Sufi contemplative techniques (Corbin, 1998) and Gendlin’s Focusing (1978) to create a holistic approach that grounds the psychological and spiritual experience of the dream in the felt sensation of the body. This allows one to access the direct experience of the dream without getting caught up in the typical patterns and conditioning of the cognitive mind. As an approach, it has been shown to improve mental well-being and positive experiences of dreams when applied in a therapeutic context over time (Billington, 2014). This dream group will allow participants to experience or at least witness the Waking Dream Technique as an intervention, thereby getting a taste for the Waking Dream Process as an ongoing approach to therapeutic dreamwork.
Although reflections, interpretations and associations might be offered by the facilitator or attendees, the Waking Dream Process is very much led by the dream and dreamer, and the dreamer is considered the ultimate authority on their own dream experience and any meaning they make of it. Please note that the Waking Dream Technique is contraindicated for anyone with a history or risk of psychosis.
Social Dreaming Matrix (Workshop)
Social dreaming is a way of working with dreams developed in the 1980’s at the Tavistock Institute in London (Laurence, 1998, 2003, 2005). The purpose of a social dreaming matrix or group is simply to share dreams and associations that arise from the dreams, exploring any connections if they emerge. It is not about interpretation. It allows unconscious reflections and external concerns to surface in a collective experience that benefits from collective creativity. In the context of social dreaming, dreams are seen as voicing concerns of a social nature, going beyond individual preoccupations to address shared awareness. The dream is not held in personal ownership, but is set free to find its place among a community of dreams and dreamers.
Social dreaming gives a view of processes at work in a group, organisation, or society at large. The loose theme of this Social Dreaming Matrix will be Dreams of Earth, in honour of the natural surroundings of Ashland.
The matrix will be hosted by Dave Billington, a therapist, dreamworker and researcher in London, UK. The structure of the workshop will be a brief overview of the social dreaming matrix and introductions of the participants; the matrix itself; and reflection on the matrix to explore emergent themes and clarify connections between the dreams and any shared concerns or preoccupations.
Blagrove, M., Basra, S., Graham, H., Lewis, H.M., O’Kelly, R., Sakalauskaite, A., Trotman, C., & Lockheart, J.
Dream and discussion variable moderators of the effect of dream-sharing on state empathy.
Dream-sharing and discussion of dreams following the Ullman method increases the empathy of the discusser towards the dream-sharer. This study investigates the moderating influence of the length of dream in words, length of discussion, and number of discussions on the empathy effect.
Dream-sharing and discussion of dreams following the Ullman method increases the empathy of the discusser towards the dream-sharer (Blagrove et al., 2019). Notably, the dream-sharer does not have increased empathy towards the discusser, as self-disclosure is mainly occurring for the dream-sharer. In Blagrove et al. (2019) each pair of dream-sharer and dream-discusser had from 1 to 5 instances of a dream discussion; the number of dreams and discussions was hence not controlled, and time spent on each discussion was also uncontrolled and unrecorded. The current experiment extends that work by requiring participants to share four dreams, and collates dream and discussion variable data. This study investigates the moderating influence of the length of dream in words, the length of discussion, and the number of discussions on the empathy effect. It is hypothesised that increased empathy towards the dream-sharer will be moderated by a) length of dream in words; b) length of discussion in minutes; and c) number of dream discussion (i.e., monotonic increase in empathy across the four discussions). Data will be analysed with ANCOVA.
Dream and Discussion Variable Moderators of the Effect of Dream-Sharing on State Empathy (Talk)
Method. Participants undertook the study in pairs, discussing 4 dreams in a 2 week period using the Ullman (1996) dream appreciation method. One participant is the dream-sharer and one the discusser. Once each discussion was finished both of the pair completed the adapted Shen (2010) state empathy questionnaire separately. This has items such as:
I recognize my friend’s / partner’s situation.
I can relate to what my friend / partner goes through.
My friend’s / partner’s reactions are understandable.
I can identify with my friend / partner.
Discussion, We will discuss a speculative rationale for the empathy effect that there is an evolutionary pressure for the sharing of fictional reports, whether dreams or stories, and we refer to the robust findings that fictional reports can engender empathy to a greater extent than do non-fictional reports (Matthijs Bal & Veltkamp, 2013; Oatley, 2011).
Blagrove, M., Hale, S., Lockheart, J., Carr, M., Jones, A. & Valli, K. (2019). Testing the empathy theory of dreaming: The relationships between dream sharing and trait and state empathy. Frontiers in Psychology 10, 1351.
Matthijs Bal, P., & Veltkamp, M. (2013). How does fiction reading influence empathy? An experimental investigation on the role of emotional transportation. PLOS ONE, 8, e55341.
Oatley, K. (2011). Such stuff as dreams: The psychology of fiction. Wiley-Blackwell.
Shen, L. (2010). On a scale of state empathy during message processing. West. J. Commun. 74, 504–524. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2010.512278
Ullman, M. (1996). Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach. Sage Books.
Mark Blagrove and Julia Lockheart
An Ullman Dream Discussion with Artwork Produced so as to Revisit the Dream with Friends and Family (Workshop)
Mark Blagrove and the audience will discuss a dream with the dream-sharer, and Julia Lockheart will create a painting of the dream.
Mark Blagrove uses the Ullman Dream Appreciation method of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Montague Ullman (1996, Appreciating Dreams: a Group Approach; Sage) to discuss a dream of one attendee at the session with the attendee. Other people present comprise the audience and are part of the discussion. The stages of the technique are: recall and clarification of the dream; audience/group projections about the dream; dreamer describes their recent waking life; dream is read back; connections between dream and dreamer’s waking life are suggested by the group. During the session, artist Dr. Julia Lockheart creates a painting of the dream onto a page taken (with publisher’s permission) from Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams, incorporating items and format of that text into the artwork. A gallery of these artworks, and rationale for this art science collaboration, including hypothesized empathy changes, is at http://DreamsID.com. An enlarged print of the artwork is sent to the dreamer after the event to be used to revisit the dream with friends and family.
The event is part of the DreamsID (Dreams Illustrated and Discussed) art/science collaboration. The collaboration has had performances at science festivals, art galleries, the Freud Museum London, and at events in Paris, Rolduc and Los Angeles, and Japan in April 2020. Artworks have been included in competitive art exhibitions, and 20 of the paintings and their dream reports will be included in the forthcoming Routledge book The Science and Art of Dreaming, authored by the two presenters.
The 2 hour event will be structured as follows:
Mark Blagrove, Julia Lockheart and the dream-sharer sit at the front of the room; a video camera points at the painting and art materials and is used to project the painting process onto a large screen. The audience in the room can hear the discussion and see the large screen so as to see the painting develop.
First 15 minutes: Mark Blagrove and Julia Lockheart describe the Dreams ID project, including its scientific and artistic rationale, and the current research linking the use of dream inspired artwork to increases in empathy towards the dreamer by those with whom the dream is shared.
Next 75 minutes: Mark Blagrove, the audience and an attendee discuss a dream the attendee has had, using the Ullman method, and Julia Lockheart paints the dream while the discussion occurs.
Final 15 minutes: Julia Lockheart describes the painting that she has produced and there is a discussion about reactions to it with the dreamer and the audience.
IASD dreamwork ethics requirements are followed during all these discussions.
Luiza Bontempo e Silva
Dream Images during Covid-19 Pandemic (Hot Off the Press)
Authors: Luiza Bontempo e Silva, Gustavo Beck, Miguel Gerardo Morales Jaschack
The aim of the present work is to understand how Covid-19 pandemic and social restrictions have affected dreams of adults and emerging adults in México. We understand dreams in this context as a product of the unconscious, like symptoms, and others. While working with such a study object, it is impossible to think objectively. That is why our standing point is the constructivist paradigm, so we understand that there is a dialectical interaction between the researcher and the object. Thus, the qualitative methodology from narrative and imaginal approach can be considered innovative in the field of dream study. In this research, information was constructed from in deep clinical interview, in which the interviewer supported the dreamer on a previous analysis of the dream image, based on archetypal psychology, particularly from the proposals of Berry, Hillman and Lopez-Pedraza. We interviewed 12 participants, aged between 18 and 39 years old. Each participant was interviewed about three times, during an hour for each interview. Data analysis has been based on the Grounded Theory model. Results are not conclusive yet, but we could observe a tendency of more themes on feeling vulnerable and losing control of life.
Target audience: For all.
Dream Integration (en español) (Morning Dream Group)
The technique used is the Ullman technique, the dream-sharer is the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of the dream.
My intention is to offer a space for Spanish-speaking dreamers who may feel more comfortable exploring their dreams in this language. In these meetings we will have the opportunity to explore the dreams of the participants with different creative techniques and following a protocol that integrates different approaches to dream work (Gestalt, Jungian analytical psychology, transpersonal…).
We will also share and explore them, taking into account the projections of other dreamers.
Addressed to all kinds of participants.
Dreamdrawing for Emotional Memory Reconsolidation (Hot Off the Press)
Dreaming is a highly visual experience, imbued with emotion and strongly associated with the mnemonic processes. Its use in psychotherapy remains infrequent for various individual and societal reasons. However, dreams have the potential to trigger significant changes in individuals, transforming the emotional memories that resist change. This presentation aims to explain and illustrate the use of dream drawing, as a complement to the dream report, for the reconsolidation of emotional memories. The proposed method is simple and accessible to all.
This presentation is based on the current research of the presenter It includes:
- Definitions of emotional memory and memory reconsolidation
- The relevance of using dream drawing for emotional memory reconsolidation
- Case example
- Questions and answers
Existential Crisis Resulting in a Crucifixion and Resurrection by the Spirit of Christ (Talk)
This presentation reveals a real time confrontation with death, during an existential crisis. The downward no-exit spiral ends in a crucifixion experience.
A breath and visualization meditation manifests a dream encounter with the Spirit of Christ, who directs me to follow and ascend with him, in a symbolic resurrection.
This dream occurred during April of 2015, when I had experienced several years of an exhausted, mechanistic lifestyle. This precognitive dream symbolizes the death of the old self.
In the initial scene, I am walking alone on a pitch-black street in an isolated industrial area near a roadway. I see ahead of me, perhaps a hundred yards away, the black backside of a large roadside billboard.
When I pass the backside of the billboard, and glance up, I see a large, oversized “sign” which reveals in large white letters: “Death To Who You Are Or Who You Think You Are.”
In my real life, approximately three years later, I found myself at the beginning of a severe existential crisis resulting from a series of dramatic personal, professional, and spiritual setbacks. This downward spiral included: identity theft, disruption of spiritual quest research, unforeseen financial loss and expenses, loss of employment opportunities and earning power, functional and cognitive limitations, personal neglect, inability to work, marital stress and isolation, and potential loss of home and family. These all contributed to severe depression with suicidal ideations and hospitalization and led to an experience of total annihilation and hitting the cosmic “rock bottom”.
Crisis Dreaming in 2020 (Talk)
This presentation reports the findings of four large surveys about sleep and dreams from various points in 2020 (April, May, June, October), with a total of more than 15,000 participants. In addition to sleep and dream behaviors and demographic data, the surveys included questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the US Presidential election. Implications for caregiving practice and dream theory are discussed.
The basis of this presentation is research on dreaming in relation to trauma, crisis, threats, social relations, cultural phenomena, political attitudes, and religious beliefs.
The presentation will start with an overview of previous demographic research on dreaming, and other studies of dreams in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next will come the results of four separate demographic studies, conducted on my behalf by YouGov.com, a professional online opinion research company. The first two studies (April and May) focused specifically on the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on people’s mental and physical health, their social behaviors, and their sleep and dream experiences. The third study (June) asked questions about the Black Lives Protest movement, although many answers also included references to the pandemic. Conducted just a week before the US Presidential election, the fourth study (October) asked questions about dreams of significant events during 2020. For each of these studies, the responses will be discussed in relation to age, gender, race/ethnicity, political outlook, and religious/spiritual background. The final section of the presentation will conclude with comments on the implications of these four studies for caregiving practice, community health, and dream theory.
The Dark Magic of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “What’s in the Dream? A Midsummer’s View of Shakespeare’s Play of Dreams and Dreamers”)
The basis of the presentation is research on Shakespeare, depth psychology, and the history of dreams. This presentation will consider Shakespeare’s portrayal of dreaming as a dynamic arena for love, creativity, and the psyche’s journey to wholeness.
This play expresses a profound and beautiful vision of dreaming that leads far—dangerously far—away from traditional theories and concepts. Christian theologians taught that in Biblical times dreams were a source of religious instruction, guidance, and warning for God’s chosen people. After that time, however, dreams are more likely to be demonic temptations, and thus should be shunned. In contrast, Shakespeare portrays dreaming as a realm of wonder and amazement and radical truth. A Midsummer Night’s Dream draws its audience into a deeply non-Christian and supra-natural world of strangely mutable bodies, wild loves, absurd fantasies, and revelatory insights.
Seen in this light, the play tells an especially brilliant version of an archetypal story about the metaphysical paradox of dream experience: the ultimate impossibility of distinguishing between waking and dreaming. Other cultures have told stories and myths about this paradox, especially among ancient Daoist and Hindu mystics and among modern depth psychologists. The genius of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is that it transforms this existential puzzle—how do we ever know for sure if we are awake or dreaming? —into a source of comedic joy and playful entertainment.
Shakespeare adds two specific new elements to this archetypal story. First is the power of live theater, which in late 16th-century England was quickly rising to become an immensely popular and influential art form among both general and elite audiences. Shakespeare and his company of players made use of all the tools of theatrical production at their disposal in to draw the audience into a richly detailed imaginal reality—in other words, into a collective waking dream. Second is his humanistic openness towards the mad glories and disruptive follies of love. As a poet and dramatist, Shakespeare was clearly fascinated with the experience of love and the incredibly strange things people do in its name, and he understood that dreaming is an infinitely creative space where the primal yearnings of love run free. This is why audiences have resonated so deeply with this particular play for more than four hundred years.
This presentation will consider Shakespeare’s portrayal of dreaming in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in relation to dream references in his other plays, and in mythic, philosophical, and psychological texts that explore the metaphysical paradox of waking/dreaming indeterminacy. Special attention will be given to the fairy characters, a spectral troupe of woodland tricksters whose shape-shifting mischief has a comparable impact on the other characters of the play as a dream does on a sleeping individual. The presentation will end with reflections on art, theater, love, and the psyche’s journey to wholeness.
Dream-sharing, play, and art (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Dreaming, Imagination, and Creativity”)
This presentation considers dream-sharing as a natural outgrowth of the dreaming process and a fertile source of artistic creativity. The proposal here is that the creative connection between dream-sharing and art is made possible by the playful dynamics at the heart of dreaming. The basis for the presentation is the presenter’s research in anthropological and historical studies of dreaming in addition to contemporary psychology.
The theory presented here will suggest that the playful dynamics at the evolutionary roots of individual dreaming flow into the playful dialogues of dream-sharing, which then flow into the playful creation of new works of art (and religion, technology, etc.), which then flow back into the processes that stimulate new individual dreams. In this model, culture is both an embodied expression of dreaming and a generative force in the formation of dreams. Culture—and art—is thus an integral aspect of the core functionality of dreaming as it has evolved in the human species. This presentation argues that dreaming influences culture in these impressive ways not as an accidental by-product but as a direct outgrowth of the innate playfulness at the heart of the dreaming imagination. A full appreciation of these creative energies cannot be gained by psychology or neuroscience alone. Anthropology, history, and cross-cultural studies are also necessary and vital allies in dream theorizing.
For all audiences.
Kelly Bulkeley, Lana Nasser and Alisa Minyukova
Into the Dream Navel (Special Event)
Working as a dream-arts group in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge that the Dream Mapping Project will overcome by turning our performance-based work into a spoken word soundscape meditation for conference attendees to experience virtually. A discussion with DMP artists will follow the soundscape meditation.
The basis for this presentation is the practice of drawing on dreams for artistic inspiration.
The presentation will begin with an introduction by Lana, Alisa, and Kelly. We will describe the Dream Mapping Project’s continuing efforts to explore the nexus of dreaming, art, and multicultural identity. In this work, we share a sonic collage constituted by the dreams of each group member, woven together with music, rhythm, acoustic abstractions, and spoken word poetry. Feeling dissatisfied with visual culture in the age of Zoom, we have concentrated instead on the creative potentials of sound as a medium of collective dream exploration and creative discovery. The work itself will follow the introduction, an audio file of approximately 25 minutes in length. The members of the audience, wherever they are, will be invited to sit or lie down in a comfortable place, close their eyes, and listen to the piece. After the work has finished, the remaining time will be devoted to a discussion among the DMP artists, and as much question-and-answer conversation as we can manage in a virtual setting.
For all audiences.
Edward Bruce Bynum
Extended Family Networks and Dreams (Talk)
The roots of all familial systems developed in Africa in remote times and remain the active template for family systems worldwide. I will present a brief history of our ancestral line from the australopithecines and hominin line up to today’s Homo sapiens. The African familial network includes 5 levels that appear both socially and psychically in familial systems, with different cultures placing emphasis on different aspects of this. These are dynamically interwoven on the intrapsychic, familial and generational dynamics. An extended field of consciousness arises that has a certain affinity to the fields described currently in both relativistic and quantum mechanical fields.
Dreams have been understood variously as by-products of cognitive processes, as essences of human ideation, and as resources for creative practices. Dream technologies—in the form of consumer apps and devices, market-driven data analytics, and cutting-edge scientific methods—are designed to interface directly with the dreaming mind. The translation of neuroethics into regulation and public policy often operates through medical models of harm reduction. However, the neuroethics of dream tech requires broader deliberation on how we understand the experiences, practices, and purposes of dreaming, in relation to plural understandings of human interiority and potential. This talk presents an interdisciplinary framework for deliberating towards an ethical future of dream tech by: (1) presenting an overview of the current field of dream tech such as lucid dream wearables, projects of the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab, VR, dream data, dream recording, technopharmacology, and neuromarketing; (2) contextualizing dream tech within relevant scholarly literature from cultural anthropology, science and technology studies, neuroscience, neuroethics, and media theory.
Edward Bruce Bynum (Moderator), Fanny Brewster, Orisade Awodola, and Alaya Dannu
The Science of Dreams and Dreaming in the African American Traditions (Panel)
This will be a panel exploration after all four panel members have given their presentations and after Brewster’s keynote address. Bynum will explore the familial dynamics of extended dreaming in family groups; Brewster will explore the Jungian depth psychology perspective and archetypal dimensions of dreaming; Dannu will explore the spiritual dynamics and implications inherent in dreaming; Awodola will explore the ancestral dynamics, trauma, and healing in dreams.
Aleena Chia and Courtney Sheehan
The Neuroethics of Dream Tech (Talk)
This framework draws from interviews with dream tech developers and scientists, as well as the public and promotional culture of dream tech entrepreneurship in materials such as popular writing, advertising, online symposia, and social media. This framework will be illustrated by case studies such as the contemporary use of neuro-wearables and oneirogenic nootropics among Silicon Valley Consciousness Hackers, and historical efforts by anthropologists to build a large-scale database of dreams for theorizing changing modes of human sense-making and human nature. These cases will be framed through urgent concerns raised at the recent annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society. Taken together, these materials demonstrate how dream tech’s position at the frontier of neurotech provides critical insight on fundamental assumptions and the forthcoming regulation of the incursion of technology into the most mysterious and private of human domains: our dreams.
By introducing a range of contemporary issues and scholarly perspectives on the emerging field of dream tech, this talk curates an interdisciplinary intellectual space for the ethical development of dream tech—around human agency, privacy, and commerce—that does justice to the plurality and universality of dreaming. This talk is meant for all scholars and practitioners of dreaming and dream work and will be especially relevant to those working across dream research, tech industries, therapy, art and design, philosophy, policy and regulation.
Connecting in Dreams: Lessons from a Pandemic (Talk)
The pandemic of 2020 brought huge changes to all of us. Amidst the uncertainty, anxiety, and even feelings of despair, this global experience has brought great lessons for soul growth and self-development. The presenter incubated dreams for guidance to understand the lessons for herself personally and for humanity during this time. She shares some of these dreams and the lessons she discerned.
She also experienced depth and connection dreaming with others, a profoundly beneficial experience during this time of living alone and being “socially distant” from friends, family, and colleagues.
Basis for presentation: personal practice
Introduction: Presenter’s perspective of conditions present during the pandemic, including emotional volatility
Desire for understanding and the method of dream incubation for guidance
Presentation of dreams, interpretations and application
Summary: how to use these lessons at any time (pandemic or not)
and a brief summary of how to incubate dreams for guidance and wisdom
Audience: For all
Dreams in the Process of Psychotherapy (Talk)
In this talk Theresa shares patients’ dreams where she was present, as well as where the patient was part of her dreams, and the process of handling this initially delicate situation.
The theoretical basis for this presentation is Analytical Psychology as developed by Carl Jung.
In The Practice of Psychotherapy, 1954, C. G. Jung describes The Practical Use of Dream Analysis (p. 139-162), The Psychology of the Transference (p. 163-326), and The Realities of Practical Psychotherapy (p. 327-338).
Detailed summary: Some people may fear sharing their dreams in the analytical setting, as though most of the content were ultra-private, polemic, destructive or sexual, all the more so when the patient´s dream is about their analyst. Through dreams, our unconscious will remind us of our potentialities, and bring us inspiration and creativity. Theresa describes how she navigates this sensitive space.
One of Theresa´s patients shared a dream where both Theresa and the patient were going to teach and or see clients working together in an open-air space. The attendees protest, saying they don´t want the patient, only Theresa. Theresa responds forcefully: they will be working together, or it´s not going to happen! This patient started out with very low self-esteem, and lots of self-criticism. Recently, after three years of therapy, she successfully completed her post-graduate degree and received new invitations to give lectures; the dream directly addresses her new-found footing.
When Theresa dreams about a patient:
If the content is related to the patient´s process, Theresa may relate the dream immediately, especially when the patient also brings a dream about Theresa.
If the content is murky or scary, Theresa postpones relating the dream until such later time if and when the patient happens to hint that the dream content is relevant.
If the content contains overly personal details, Theresa will likely put the dream aside and never reveal it.
Theresa also describes her experience as a patient, when she shared with her analyst a significant dream she had had about him, whereupon he immediately related a synchronistic dream that he had just had about Theresa. Over time, this pair of dreams has deepened her own psychotherapy process.
In the appendix of his book, The Practice of Psychotherapy, Carl Jung shares his process with an extremely difficult patient of challenging intellect and cultural complexity, who puzzled Jung until, after months of no progress, Jung had a dream staring up at her as a golden-haired goddess in the parapet of a high tower over a castle at the top of a steep hill. When Jung shared the dream with her, and his insight that he had been “looking down” on her, her process transformed into a new and deeper phase of discovery.
Common sense will allow each person to decide for themselves if, and when, to share their dreams.
For Psychologists, Psychoanalysts, and their patients.
Lucid dreaming in Martín Gaite’s novel The Back Room (Hot Off the Press)
The Back Room (1977), a novel by Spanish writer Carmen Martín Gaite, starts with the protagonist asserting her unrealized lifelong objective: to enter the dream world consciously. The novel was written immediately after Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975. It offers a double take on life under Francoism while reflecting on the nature of literature and the creative process. It’s a study on liminality, on the overlapping and interconnection of reality and fiction, dream and wakefulness.
My work seeks to illuminate the text by placing it under the lens of scientific research on dreaming and other altered states of consciousness. I draw on the work of Stephen LaBerge on lucid dream induction, Tadas Stumbrys’ studies on creative problem-solving during lucid dreaming, Oliver Sacks’ writings on hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations, and other scholars’ research to explore the parallels between the narrative’s hybrid features and those of lucid dreaming. I will argue that the dialogical relationship of the protagonist with the novel’s other characters can be better understood by examining the relationship established in lucid dreams between the dream self and other dream characters. I discuss the protagonist’s failure to conduct reality checks despite the incongruities of the “reality” she is in. Neither reader nor protagonist are able to easily separate reality from dream or imagination in the novel. This is consistent with LaBerge’s contention that both external reality and dreams are ultimately constructions whose main difference is the source of the stimuli used by the brain to produce these models: sensory experience in the waking state; the mind in dreams. In my view, literary fiction is another type of construction that feeds from the mind (memory, imagination), dreams, external reality, and other works of fiction. WILD and MILD lucid dreams (according to LaBerge terminology), false awakenings, hypnagogic and hypnopompic states, sleep paralysis, and daydreaming will also be addressed and discussed in my analysis.
1)Introduction: thesis and methodology.
3)Hypnagogia: falling asleep, sleeping positions, hypnagogic hallucinations.
4)Hypnopompia and sleep paralysis.
5)Is it a dream? Missed reality checks; dream self and other dream characters in dialogue.
6)Dreaming as performance.
7)Daydreaming (Bergai Island).
8)Drugs and altered states of consciousness: the golden box.
9)False Awakening and Hypnopompia.
10)Lucid dreaming: WILD vs MILD lucid dreaming induction; communication with lucid dreamers.
12) Works Cited.
Apela Colorado, Beth Duncan and Ryan Hurd
Indigenous Dreamwork (Morning Dream Group)
This one hour dream group meets every day, with the intention of inviting dreamers to share dreams as a way to connect us … that connect us to our individual ancestral lineages as well as our shared, collective future.
Dreamwork is considered a core method of ancestral remembrance. This dreamwork method is designed to develop Indigenous Mind, which is a way of being that ushers in life vibrant with renewal. As much of the post-modern world does not have elders or intact indigenous cultures, Indigenous Mind can be seen as a process in which we are all invited to explore messages through our dreams, weaving memory, culture and Spirit into our own larger truth. Within this expansive paradigm, we will explore dreams with a focus on how they work on multiple levels to impart messages and understandings for today, and simultaneously reconstitute ancestral ways at this critical time in human history.
What to expect: Apela will briefly speak about this way of dreaming, lead a short prayer ritual and then we will share dreams together. Dreams are scribed and glyphed in the moment so we can return to them as the week goes on, in which we compare dream images and make connections between our personal dream experiences and the collective stories and themes that naturally arise. As dreamers, we co-create the story that our images bring to the here-and-now. This method of collective dreamwork focuses on lived dream images, but group discussion also includes word play, projective dreamwork principles, and other common aspects of group dream work. While focused on emergent collective truths in this participatory process, Indigenous dreamwork always respects that only dreamers can decide what is true for them.
This dream group is suitable for up to twenty participants who can commit to participation for all dream sessions.
John M Corbett
Twenty Years’ Dream Visualizations from Sleep Recorded Information (Talk)
A new science of images is emerging from computer science. Similar to the term “computational linguistics” the term “computational visualistics” is proposed for addressing the domain of investigating pictures scientifically using the computer. Wikipedia Encyclopedia observes that so far, a unique scientific basis for circumscribing and describing the heterogeneous phenomenon “image” in an interpersonal verifiable manner has still been missing while distinct aspects falling in the domain of visualistics have predominantly been dealt with in several other disciplines, among them in particular philosophy and psychology, where we deal with mental imagery topics and art history.
In the science of images the main objective, the entity called “image”, stands in the center of interest together with the potential implementations. There are three main groups of algorithms for that data type that are considered in computational visualistics.
First is the algorithm from »image« to »image« where the focus of attention is formed by the operations that take (at least) one picture (and possibly some secondary parameters that are not directly images) and relate it to another picture. With these operations, we can define algorithms for improving the quality of images that will later help in image analysis, and procedures for extracting certain parts of an image (e.g., edge finding) or for stamping out pictorial patterns following a particular Gestalt criterion (e.g., blue screen technique).
Second is the algorithm from »image« to “not-image”. Two disciplines share the operations, transforming images into non-pictorial data items. The field of pattern recognition is actually not restricted to pictures. But it has performed important precursory work for computational visualistics since the early 1950s in those areas that essentially classify information in given images: the identification of simple geometric Gestalts (e.g., “circular region”), the “seeing” of spatial objects in the images or even the association of stylistic attributes of the representation. This means, the images could be associated with instances of a non-pictorial data type that might be retrieved from dream journals forming a description of some of their aspects. Hence the computer vision goal is “semantic”, i.e., the procedure approximates the human seeing of objects in a picture.
And third algorithm is from “not-image” to »image«. The investigation of possibilities gained by the operations that result in instances of the data type »image« but take as a starting point instances of non-pictorial data types from the dream journals is considered information visualization. The starting point of the picture-generating algorithms in computer graphics is usually a data type that allows us to describe the geometry in three dimensions and the lighting of the scene to be depicted together with the important optical properties of the surfaces considered. Information visualization is interested in presenting pictorially any other data type, in particular those that consist of non-visual components in a “space” of states.
Since 2003 Psiber gallery archives images originated from the dream journal. Examples will be presented and discussed at the Introductory level.
How to Use Our Dreams for Spiritual Growth (Workshop)
Through dreams we can discover ourselves as spiritual beings, receive inner guidance and messages that uplift our consciousness and free ourselves from the limitations of the human condition. What are spiritual dreams and what kind of experiences can we expect from them? How to cultivate them? A personal viewpoint.
Elsie Sechrist in her book Dreams, Your Magic Mirror says: « According to Edgar Cayce, unless an individual is seeking to improve his spiritual life by asking for help in terms of prayer, his dreams will primarily be a meaningless jumble. If, however, he is unselfishly seeking God’s will for him, then the higher consciousness will monitor his dreams and give him a clearer sense of direction in his daily life. There is little therapy or value in simply learning the meaning of a dream, especially if it is related to an aspect of behavior, unless an individual wants to change or improve himself. »
In a lecture given at the 2013 IASD Conference, Tenzin Wangyal Rimpoche said: « If you want to have better dreams, you have to be aware, to be more conscious… Dream practice is also a wake practice. »
These two ideas are key components and can be seen as the spinal column of this talk. In order to cultivate spiritual dreams, our waking life must be oriented by spiritual values and coherent behavior.
The presentation is made in four parts:
1-The challenge of maintaining the highest level of consciousness available during day time.
Sharing and discussion with participants
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 sharing of experiences with participants
4-Presentation of a methodology utilized by the presenter to cultivate spiritual dreaming.
a. Control of attitude and attention
b. Spiritual exercises
Experimentation of several spiritual exercises based mainly on the metaphor «We are the Pharaoh of our life.»
Visualizations – The pharaoh in his chariot;
The River of light and the snowball technique
Experiencing a mantra in meditation: the HU Chant
c. Dream incubation There will be also an exercise on this subject. – The Pharaoh asking for guidance
d. Dream recovery and understanding
e. Honoring the message of the dream exercise: How to use the message of a dream for a meditation
Solution Oriented Dream Decoding; Problem Solving While We Sleep (Workshop)
This workshop is for any and all levels of working with dreams. Attempting to understand a dream’s meaning is exactly like trying to do a puzzle. You try one piece. It doesn’t fit, so you try another. I call these attempts “Points of Entry”, using the theories and frameworks of Perls, Freud, Jung and Adler with each try. I will explain each of the 6 different “Points of Entry” I use, with the goal of better understanding the dream’s meaning. Participants will learn how to discover what “Point of Entry” works best for a particular dream, or is the most comfortable for the dreamer. These include: the Feelings, the Action, the Symbols, Play on Words and Puns, the Plot, and the Repetition. I will teach ways to look at and work with symbols, emotions, and noticing the atmosphere in the dream space. The workshop will run for one and a half hours and begin with a short lecture. I will pass out notes on the lecture portion to each group member so they can relax and focus on the discussion rather than having to take notes.
We will then attempt to understand the dream of a volunteer from the group with the participants using Montague Ullman’s “If this were my dream” format. The group will help define the layers of the dream using these different approaches, as the dreamer connects to each level of the dream. Once the current issue the dream is addressing is uncovered, solutions to the problem as they may be presented in the dream become the focus of discussion. In this section, I have two goals. As we so often focus on the negative or frightening aspect of a dream, one goal is to show participants how to recognize and apply the strength in the dream. Often the dream actually discloses the solution to the problem quite directly. I will also look at polarities that present themselves and how we might benefit from noticing and working with them. My second goal is to help dreamers see the solutions our unconscious introduces before our conscious mind catches the message. In my use of an eclectic approach to understanding our dreams, I strongly emphasize practical methodology and individually directed results over abstract theory. For example, I will ask the dreamer questions such as: What familiar stories, fables, movies, or characters come to your mind when you think about the story and people in this dream? What do you think these stories or characters have to teach you about your current situation?
I will reserve 15-20 minutes at the end of the workshop to reexamine the process and answer questions or engage in discussion.
Using Self-Portraiture to Gain Insight into Severe Nightmares (Talk)
In this presentation, I will begin with a look at Darcie Richardson’s theory that self-portraits are mirrors of the soul. I will explain some of Betty Edwards’ drawing techniques, along with her understanding of divided consciousness. I will show how these ideas are useful for gaining insight into severe nightmares or severe bad dreams, and how self-portraiture can be efficacious for understanding them.
*Darcie Richardson (2016) explains how facial images that are drawn while looking in the mirror are pathways to “profound internal awareness” (p. iii).
Richardson, D. A. (2016). Mirroring Self, Mirroring Soul. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. Retrieved from https://ciis.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.ciis.idm.oclc.org/dissertations-theses/mirroring-self-soul/docview/1877957635/se-2?accountid=25260
*Betty Edwards (2020) has said that the human brain is divided into two hemispheres with different minds and that our eyes reflect this division of our hemispheres (p. 18).
Edwards, B. (2020). Drawing on the Dominant Eye: Decoding the Way We Perceive, Create, and Learn. Tarcher Perigee.
Edwards has also said, “it is no use going up against the strong, verbal, domineering left brain to try to keep it out of a task. It can be tricked, however, into not wanting to do the task, and, once tricked, it tends to ‘fade out,’ and will stay out, ending its interfering and usurping” (2012, p. xxvii).
Edwards, B. (2012). Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. TarcherPerigee.
*Carl Jung’s “Big Dreams” are mythological and make use of collective symbols. These dreams can be dreamed by anyone, especially if they are “mentally or spiritually, in a fix” (p. 152). Jung has said, “no dream can be interpreted with knowledge alone. This knowledge, furthermore, should not be dead material that has been memorized; it must possess a living quality…” (p. 153).
Jung, C. G. (1970). Collected Works of C. G. Jung: Civilization in Transition. (G. Adler Ed.). (R. F. C. Hull trans.). (2nd ed., Vol. 10). Bollingen Series XX. Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1964).
*Presenting Richardson’s theory for self-portraiture as a mirror for the soul. Defining soul as “a function of deep knowing akin to psyche” (2016, p. 21). Looking at why mirror projections can be important and the unexpected feeling of not being able to recognize your expression. 5 min
*Presenting Edwards’ theory of drawing and a “slightly altered state of consciousness;” observing mental arguments: step by step; and trying to “fit the pieces of your drawing together like a fascinating puzzle” (Edwards, 2012). 5 min
*Briefly presenting existing ideas about nightmares, bad dreams, and big dreams. Defining a severe nightmare as a destructive force within the unconscious, and what I mean by severe nightmare as an area covered under Big Dreaming. 5 min
*Presenting my ideas about how self-portraiture can help uncover possible meanings in a comfortable way. Explain how I use self-portraiture to find motivation and inspiration to continue my inquiry into severe nightmares. 5 min
Target audience = For All.
Deepening the Research and Scholarship of Ancestral Dreaming, Cultural Memory, and Cultural Continuity (Talk)
How can we deepen and expand the research and scholarship of Ancestral Dreaming in ways that will benefit Dream and Cultural Memory Studies?
Ancestral dreaming is the transmission of identity, cultural identity, and cultural knowledge across generations. It is a remembering of the origin of one’s cultural heritage and the lucid experience of awakening to ancestral memory through dreams (Dannu, 2019, p. 12). Dorothy Eggan (1956) defines cultural continuity as “the transmission of cultural heritage across generations, and the means of its transmission.” Wade Nobles (2015) suggests that “as cultural continuity, consciousness functions as both retentive and residual knowing and awareness…allowing for the ‘remembering’ or retention of all previous information, experience, and ideas” (p. 46). It is the passing along of this ancestral knowledge that supports not only the survival of a culture but the empowerment and evolution of individuals within said culture. Undoubtedly, it is this indigenous/alternative way of knowing that is a fundamental means of communication that provides illumination on how to find information that would otherwise remain hidden.
Be that as it may, how does one carry out research that advocates for the utilization and honoring of cultural knowledges while contributing to contemporary scholarship, especially if “cultural longevity depends on the ability to sustain cultural knowledges” (Kovach, 2009, p. 12)?
The biases that characterize a Eurocentric world-view of history, archaeology, anthropology, and religious studies (to name a few) do not support alternative ways of knowing that could be useful for the deepening and expansion of scholarly inquiry within dream and cultural memory studies. However, Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous methodologies are two frameworks that can provide the appropriate containers to assist with the development and expansion of research on ancestral dreaming and ways it can be used to enhance the scholarship process.
This presentation will: introduce ancestral dreaming; explore why the development of cultural memory and cultural continuity in tandem to this alternative way of knowing is of value to dream studies and research; provide an introductory overview of an emerging methodology that integrates these three motifs; and demonstrate how, through the presenter’s use of personal ancestral dreams and genetic genealogy, this emerging research method works.
Aurélien de la Chapelle
Dreams of the Deceased: Evolution of Content and Frequency During the First Year of Bereavement (Hot Off the Press)
Aurélien de la Chapelle, Aurélie Venditti, Lesly Fornoni, Alain Nicolas, Perrine Ruby
According to an hypothesis attributing a role to dreaming in emotional regulation, one would expect a link between dreams and the mourning process.
In recently bereaved persons, over a 1-year period, we collect dreams and questionnaires on the mourning process to test whether these measures are related. Each dream is scored by the participant on several scales (positive/negative emotions, fear, weirdness, link/association to the deceased…).
The role of sleep in emotional memory modulation is supported by several studies, such as sleep deprivation studies or day-mood studies. There are also some arguments for a role of dreams in emotional regulation, including studies of dreams in depressed populations.
To further test this hypothesis, the investigation of whether and how dreams reflect emotional regulation after the occurrence of a highly negative event may be useful. In most previous studies, dreams of the deceased, which are strongly associated with the mourning process, are positive and frequent dreams, potentially reflecting a compensation process.
However, few have investigated dreams in relation to the mourning process, and there is a large variability in results between these works. All had the limitation of investigating dreams a posteriori, i.e., they relied on retrospective analyses of recalled dreams at the moment and after the death of a relative.
To improve the precision of the data collected, we collect dreams of the deceased and questionnaires on the mourning process regularly during one year after the loss of a relative.
If dreams do play a role in emotional regulation, we should expect a correlation between their frequency or their content (emotionality, dream characters…) and the evolution of the mourning process.
After a short presentation of our protocol, I will show preliminary results from about 17 of our 50 planned participants. First, we will see that grief intensity does not modulate the frequency of dreams of the deceased. Secondly, we will focus on their content, more especially how these dreams become more positive with time but not less negative. Finally, we will discuss these results in comparison to previous studies and their implications for clinical purposes.
Dream Surfing: Embodied Fluidity of Experiential Dreamwork (Workshop)
When we truly enter our living dream experiences, we are changed and so is the dream. In this experiential workshop, participants will learn about, witness and experience embodied dreamwork practices based on a combination of Jungian and focusing approaches.
Participants will learn how to surf the dream world while awake, to capture and embody the dream’s inherent life force, sample the subjective experience of dream characters and invite the dream to play forward with their active, imaginative participation. Learning will be in three parts: a brief talk with a detailed clinical example of how to artfully use and blend these methods, a live demonstration, and a group experiential practice. Special emphasis will be placed on how to safely enter and deepen experiencing of the dreamscape.
This workshop is based on a combination of three substantial dreamwork theories and practices: the Focusing-Oriented Dreamwork practices developed by Eugene Gendlin, active imagination techniques pioneered by Carl Jung, and the Gestalt approach to dreams developed by Fritz Perls. The integration of these methods has been developed and documented extensively by Dr. Ellis.
Introduction to the embodied experiential dreamwork practices (30 minutes)
Using a detailed clinical example, Dr. Ellis will offer the unfolding story of a deep dreamwork process. Through this living example, she demonstrates how finding the inherent ‘life force’ in a dream, embodying dream elements and characters, and dreaming the dream onward are techniques that can be seamlessly woven together to create a rich and fluid experience of dreamwork that ultimately changes both the dreamer and the dream.
Live demonstration (30 minutes)
Dr. Ellis is very practiced at demonstrating her dreamwork methods. She will offer a live demonstration with a volunteer from the class showing how to invite the dreamer to embody aspects of their dream in safe and constructive ways. She will offer a transparent commentary of her decision-making process during the dream session, allowing participants to not only see the methods in action, but to understand the internal thought processes underlying specific prompts and invitations to the dreamer. She will also demonstrate how to safely deepen levels of experiencing in a way that offers complete autonomy and authority to the dreamer.
Group Experiential and Discussion (30 minutes)
Dr. Ellis will offer a guided session for participants to try finding the ‘help’ in their dream and embodying its ‘life-forward energy.’ They will then be invited to dream the dream forward from there, and to debrief in pairs. For these discussion dyads, it will be made explicit that this is not a venue for offering interpretation of any kind – in this method, the dreamer is the sole arbiter of what meaning they take from this deep dive into their dream world. After participants have had a chance to briefly try out these embodied experiential techniques for themselves, they will be invited to discuss their experiences in the larger group and ask questions.
Open to all.
G. Nathan Feinstein and Georgine Brave
Remember and Understand Dreams Insightfully (Workshop)
Patricia Garfield, IASD founder and past president, advocated writing about dreams with eyes closed, resulting in fast insights. Nathan Feinstein has created a tool to make Dr. Garfield’s method easier. The resurrection of Pattie’s method can start here, if we can share its value (why this should be revived) and inspire its use and promotion.
Basis – practice
The world will little note nor long remember, if we do not tell you about this.
In 1974 Dr. Patricia Garfield, PhD., future IASD founder and President, wrote a bestseller, Creative Dreaming. What is the best way to write about, remember, and understand dreams? Per Dr. Garfield (pp.210-212): “…the writing technique described above…gives, for me, the most complete recall with the least effort. When I self-awaken from a dream, during the night or in the morning, I remain still with my eyes closed. I pick up the …pad on my night table with the pen that lies on top of it and record the dream with eyes still closed… “
For health reasons Dr. Garfield did not attend the 2018 or 2019 conferences and will not attend this year.
I have learned to remember and understand dreams insightfully (literally with eyes closed) as Dr. Garfield advocates. With well over 1000 dreams written with eyes closed, many of which yielded same-day insights, I have realized that Dr. Garfield conceived a simply brilliant idea. To reiterate, I have found that when the eyelids are closed during the dream-writing, the eyes are turned inward—actually seeing the dream. Sight inward during dream-writing prompts inward sight (insights) The insights occur during the review of what was written.
The review of what was written is necessary, because some of what was written requires rewrites of sloppily written words for readability. Fortunately, the dream can often be seen again while looking at what was written with eyes closed.
Conclusion: Pattie’s eyes-closed method is simply fantastic. It should be studied and widely used.
Disclaimer: Pattie gives a description of her technique for writing about dreams with eyes closed in considerable detail. I prefer a writing tool that I made when I first tried to write with my eyes closed. My dream-writing and insight finding tool is called My Dream Guides. I hope that my tool can make Pattie’s eyes closed method easier to do and more useful for more people. My Dream Guides tool and workbook is available at the conference bookstore.
In closing, to keep alive the eyes closed technique for dream writhing and insight finding, the most important 1st step is to try it. You can start by trying it here and now.
Rev. Azima Lila Forest
Leading Dream Groups in Person and on the Internet (Workshop)
Offered by the Rev. Azima Lila Forest, this presentation will focus on structures and techniques for leading dream groups, both in person and via the Internet. The material presented is based on Rev. Forest’s 45 years of experience in leading dream groups, and wisdom she has gathered from her two primary mentors in dreamwork, Jeremy Taylor and Robert Moss. It will include material on guidance given to participants for better recall of dreams, the format used for each dream session, and the process used in working with each dream. Once the description of the process has been given and any questions responded to, the participants in the workshop will be invited to engage in an experience of applying the material in a practice dream group for the purposes of understanding how the process works.
Questions and comments from participants will be entertained throughout the workshop. It is a firm and important principle of Rev. Forest’s work and this workshop that the dreamer is ALWAYS the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream. Attendees are invited to bring dreams that might be considered for inclusion in the practice dreamwork session. All are welcome to attend: those brand new to dreamwork, those considering or beginning to lead dream groups, and those experienced in leading such groups.
The basic assumption, that parts of ourselves are manifested in most dreams, is in keeping with Jungian and humanistic existential thought. Dreams cannot only manifest disowned and unavailable aspects of ourselves but also can disclose their patterns of interaction. Parts can be manifested in dreams in an infinite variety of ways such as human beings, animals, places, objects or feelings.
In my clinical work I developed 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 of multiple and often different subparts that are both interconnected and autonomous from each other, each having specific characteristics, styles of communication, intentions and feelings. This model sees the Self, another aspect present in all human beings, as different from the parts. When the Self is fully differentiated from the parts, the person describes a feeling of well-being, “feeling centered,” totally energized and in the present. The Self is not a passive state; on the contrary, it can be an active leader for the system, leading to its optimal functioning, due to its clarity and ability to be compassionate and understanding towards all its parts. The goal of this model is to help the person to differentiate the Self from the parts and regain its leadership status.
I initially have the person tell the dream and describe specific feelings, sensations and characteristics. The dreamer is then asked to go inwards, preferably closing his or her eyes and noticing which image stands out in the dream. Because other parts may have reactions to that image 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 describe itself, know what it wants from the person and what it fears would happen would happen if it was not there. The Self can also help resolve polarizations between dream images by helping the parts to compromise and understand their exaggerated assumptions about the opposing part. After this process is repeated with all the different dream images, I then help the person tie together all the meanings found in the dream and to discover what part of the person feels, thinks and acts like the dream images. 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 presentation of this model, participants will have the opportunity to witness and discuss live demonstrations of this work and will be able to differentiate between this approach and other approaches to dream work.
Intersection of Dreams and Life: Mysteries of Synchronicity and Spirits (Talk)
This presentation considers examples of the interplay of dreams and life, involving several synchronicities. Shared intersubjective experiences appear to demonstrate a transpersonal, nonlocal consciousness. Events involving apparent mind-matter interactions cause the author to ask, “Are spirits real?” The presentation concludes by questioning the role of mind in creating material reality.
The author combines the concepts of synchronicity, intersubjectivity, and transpersonal nonlocal consciousness with metaphors drawn from chaos and quantum theory to describe reality as simultaneously random and deeply structured. Four instances of possible mind/matter interaction are described. Attempting to explain these events the author considers dream research, the history of poltergeist phenomena, the history and research of out-of-body experience.
The presentation begins by combining a synchronous event with an intersubjective dream. The author’s wife (sixty miles away) hears her doorbell inexplicably ringing as the author reads Jung’s description of his front doorbell being rung by a poltergeist. This event is followed by his wife dreaming of an experience the author had two days before, an event she had no knowledge of. These two examples demonstrate the author and his wife share a transpersonal and nonlocal mental state.
In a second example, the author has a dream which precedes a pair of mysterious events. The author dreams of an inanimate container spontaneously coming to life. Then the author and one of his patients synchronously encounter inexplicable combustible situations. A gas valve on the patient’s stove appears to turn itself on, leading her to propose a ghost as the cause.
In a third example, overnight an unsealed envelope in a locked office is mysteriously glued shut in what appears to be an intentional act of dramatic artifice, creating the impression the envelope was licked by a nonexistent person. Then the author dreams of a woman floating through his studio. As she levitates, heavy pieces of equipment lift off the floor. A stream of water springs from her fingertip. The author asks whether someone miles away, through an act of mental projection (OBE), could have sealed the envelope.
In the final example the author’s stepson appears to be haunted by his dead grandmother. The straight-arrow stepson (with no previous psychic experience, mental disorder, or drug use) is unable to sleep, sensing a presence hovering over him. For several days he hears footsteps walking in the attic above him. He makes video recordings of the unfinished space and begins to wonder if he is being haunted by his deceased grandmother, whose dying words were, “I’ve been walking the floor over you.” While he is taking a shower, the wall appears to dissolve, a purple orb hovers in front of him while the vanity light flashes on and off. Later, examining his video of the attic, he discovers it has been altered. The video, made a month earlier, depicts the purple orb. If this isn’t crazy enough, objects materialize out of thin air, dropping at the stepson’s feet. The author asks, “Are spirits real?”
Mary Gomes and Victoria Brekelmans
Spiky Purple Medicine: Dreaming of a Plant Spirit (Talk)
This paper presents a series of two dreams experienced by the second author that appear to address a chronic health condition of fibromyalgia. The first dream occurred spontaneously, and the second occurred in response to dream incubation. The imagery in the two dreams conveyed new information about her health and suggested a treatment with a specific plant, with imagery that is resonant of shamanic plant spirit medicine practices.
This paper is a case study employing dream incubation and Jungian dream analysis. The interpretation includes theory related to shamanism and plant spirit medicine.
Sequence of presentation:
- Dream 1: The first dream was a recurrent nightmare. A voracious spider-like female figure killed and dismembered a woman (referred to as “the victim”) and threatened the dreamer, who was protected and ultimately saved by a fearless purple-haired woman. By the end of the dream, the spider woman had stabbed the purple-haired woman in the right side and was proceeding to eat her entrails. The purple-haired woman was undaunted, mocking and taunting the spider woman as the dream concluded.
- Incubation process: The dreamer connected the victim character to her health struggles, as she was in a cycle of pain and isolation at the time of the dream. This led to a dream incubation process, in which she asked herself the questions “what is the message?” and “what is the cure?” every night before sleep for approximately one month.
- Dream 2: In her resulting dream, she developed pains from eating sweets, and ran off into the forest, where she was stabbed in the right side by a male assailant. Looking around for help, she noticed that there were spiky purple-flowered plants growing around all the trees. She was then rushed to the hospital, where a part of her liver, covered with candy sprinkles, was removed. She was shown that the remaining part of her liver was also candy coated.
- Follow-up research and interpretation of the dream sequence: In follow-up research, the dreamer discovered that the spiky purple plant was milk thistle. She connected the plant to the purple-haired woman from the first dream, due to the physical resemblance, and the fact that the spiky shape of the flowers was similar to the woman’s edgy style. The flowers were protecting the trees, which corresponded to the protective role of the purple-haired woman. Further research revealed that milk thistle was used to detoxify the liver, and that some medical professionals were starting to explore the role of the liver in fibromyalgia.
- Actions taken: She began taking milk thistle capsules, and quickly noticed significant improvement in her symptoms of pain and fatigue. The improvements have continued to the present time.
- Connection to shamanism: In some shamanic healing traditions, plants appear in personified form in visionary states to convey knowledge regarding healing. This pattern is consistent with the current two dreams.
Target audience: all.
Serious Play: Surrealist Dream Writing (Workshop)
In Freud’s seminal essay, “Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming” (1908), he states, “The creative writer does the same as the child at play,” that this is a sort of play the child “takes very seriously,” and furthermore, that “the opposite of play is not what is serious, but what is real.” In reaction to the classicism, hyper-rationalism and excessive materialism that led to the horrors of World War I, the Surrealists sought alternatives for artistic expression through the exploration of dreams, collaborative play, and automatic, associational composition. Inspired by the dramatic, evocative juxtapositions of dream language and imagery, Surrealist artists and writers embraced the unity of dreaming and waking life, the synchronicities and random processes of the universe, abandoning all systems of oppression to give flight to the fully-ranged (or de-ranged) imagination and expression.
This workshop encourages participants to approach dreams as a rich and abundant source for literary artistic production both in verse and prose. In it, we will experiment primarily with the collaborative, collage-like Surrealist technique known as the “exquisite corpse,” a technique for generating literary artistic texts which Surrealist pioneer André Breton described as having started as a game, “in fun,” which “then became playful and enriching.” Experimenting with at least three permutations (total, partial, zero) of this method will help us produce, share and offer insights into our own dream literature collaborations. While this workshop will focus on dreams as a source for literary-poetic inspiration and production rather than interpretation, the ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream is the dreamer. This workshop is designed for audiences and participants of all levels and backgrounds.
Loren Goodman and Bernard Welt
First-timers Morning Dream Group: Welcome to the World of Your Dreams (Morning Dream Group)
The first-timers’ morning workshop is a “home room” experience for newcomers to IASD conferences, offering a built-in base group and key point of contact as well as practical training in dream recall, exploration, and discussion. The focus is on the power of dreams to overcome outworn habits of thought and to break conceptual deadlocks, and the capacity of dreamwork to enhance intuition, creative response, and sensitivity to others. Each session features voluntary dream-sharing and open time for questions and comments on the conference experience.
This workshop is intended to continue the tradition of the workshops facilitated by Kelly Bulkeley and Jane White-Lewis, which welcomed IASD newcomers by providing support and broadening perspectives, and often secured their continuing loyalty and interest in IASD.
Following the opening reception, this workshop will be the very first event of the attendees’ very first IASD conference. The initial meeting will solicit participants’ current awareness of and interest in dreams and dream-sharing, encourage sharing of ideas and experiences, and introduce the mission and guiding principles of IASD. Basic methods for recalling and recording dreams will be offered and explained.
The subsequent sessions will first of all allow members to raise any issues they encounter regarding dream recall and recording, with the goal of establishing a consistent dream-journal process over our 4 sessions.
Second, they will proceed from careful training in a non-intrusive process of sharing dreams with others (based in Montague Ullman’s work), to encouraging participants to experiment with different ways of working with their own recorded dreams—drawing especially on Freud, Jung, Gestalt, and the advice of creative artists in different media. Group process will be offered as a model for personal dream-journal exploration and reflection.
Third, they will provide a place to check in with other first-timers, comparing experiences and resources as they encounter them day by day.
Lucid on the Page: A Writing Experience for Dreamers (Workshop)
Poet Jorge Luis Borges has said, “Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.” Novelist Robert Olen Butler advises writers to pick up the pen first thing in the morning to capitalize on the chemistry of the half-asleep brain when composing their stories. Harnessing the literary imagination requires many of the same skills of balancing rational thought with surrendered deference to the subconscious mind that a lucid dreamer employs.
In this workshop, we will draw from literature, personal experience, and research on the dreaming brain to explore the intersections between lucid dreaming and writing. We will also consider how lucid and semi-lucid dreaming can serve the writer, and how writing can serve the dreamer. We will then apply the lessons of lucidity to our own dreams and writing.
We’ll discuss the benefit of keeping a dream journal on dream lucidity and writing. We’ll also practice techniques to promote lucidity and waking states of awake and aware mental clarity and learn how these can be used as a source for ideas for writing, problem-solving, and curing creative blocks.
This workshop is based on my study of consciousness, dreams, and creativity, including the works of Amit Goswami Ph.D., author of Quantum Creativity, Dr. Clare Johnson, who developed a Lucid Writing Technique, and Robert Olen Butler, who has written about dreams and writing in From Where We Dream, in which he compares writing to a “daydream that you are and are not controlling.” Other writers like Toni Morrison describe a flow-state during their writing that is similar to lucid day-dreaming or visioning in the tradition of shamans and others. The ideas in this workshop are also based on my study and practice of Proprioceptive Writing, a technique developed by Linda Trichter Metcalf, Ph.D. and her husband Tobin Simon, in which a ritualized form of writing involving specific types of music, candlelight, and a suite of focused questions helps create a unique mental state conducive to gently guided contemplative writing.
The workshop will begin with a brief introductory PowerPoint to introduce participants to lucid dreaming and writing, and how the two complement one another.
Participants will be introduced ways to recognize various degrees of lucidity within their dreams, and will be invited to make connections between these states and types of active imagination employed while writing.
Participants will then be guided through a series of steps to experience active imagination and experience this state for a writing exercise.
Participants will have a chance to reflect on their experience and share their writing in a structured format that will encourage a positive, welcoming and safe environment.
Participants will also be introduced to techniques for using lucid dreaming and dream incubation to support their writing.
Journaling prompts will be offered to encourage participants to reflect on what they learned and experienced about applying lessons from lucid dreaming to their writing life.
Participants will be instructed that the dreamer is the ultimate authority for her or his own dream, and the dreamer determines the dream’s ultimate meaning.
Dale E. Graff
Experiencing Art and the Future News in Precognitive Dreams (Talk)
This presentation reviews spontaneous dreams and experimental precognitive dream projects; examines the correlation between the dream imagery and future events; evaluates how the dreams illustrate visionary art principles and cognitive processes; discusses retrocausation and the Associative Target Pictures (ATP) protocol for event predictions. Guidelines for achieving precognitive dream proficiency are provided.
Several spontaneous precognitive dreams and precognitive dreams for long-term experimental projects illustrate the correlations between the dreams’ imagery and future events, and how the dream context illustrates art principles related to pattern recognition and cognitive processes involving boundary and contrast perceptions. Results from some of the precognitive dreams for exploratory future news projects have been published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (JSPR) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) publications as part of a theoretical physics conference on Quantum Retrocausation.
I review key findings of these exploratory precognitive dream projects, including their statistical validations with focus on the insights they provide for understanding the precognitive dreaming process and for considering the nature of time. These results indicate that time has a non-linear or discontinuous feature with a time loop or retrocausal effect, and that time flows backwards through “time holes”, i.e., worm holes. I discuss this time jumping aspect and if the perceived futures are fixed or probabilistic. I show how results of these precognitive dreams help support Daryl Bem’s controversial research publication, Feeling the Future, and how these relate to cognitive processes and learning. Some of the precognitive dreams reviewed related to lucid dreams experienced by Ingo Swann, remote viewing pioneer and visionary artist. They provided insights into Ingo’s lucid dreams and the creative energetic aspects of his visionary art process.
Other art related precognitive projects were for art pictures in target pools for the Maimonides dream telepathy studies. These projects illustrate how accurate pattern recognition can occur in precognitive dreams, but that the context and interpretations are often incorrect. Reasons for these distortions relate to memory associations and target picture characteristics. Other precognitive dream experiments used an Associative Target Picture (ATP) protocol. This method is based on an Associate Remote Viewing (ARV) protocol used by remote viewers for futures that have “up or down”, “yes or no” or “win or lose” outcomes. Statistically successful results were achieved for predicting future sporting events and stock market levels. One of these projects was facilitated by the Rhine Research Center (RRC), Durham, NC. Occasionally, some synchronicities occurred that related to the future target pictures. I explain the ATP methodology, how to develop the binary associative target pairs, precognitive dream incubation strategies and provide evaluation guidelines. I conclude with recommendations on how to achieve repeatable and reliable precognitive dreams for spontaneous occurrences and for experimental projects. Proficiency in precognitive dreaming provides help to be more efficient and remain safer in difficult situations.
Target Audience: For all.
Out of the Shadows, Into the Light (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Psycho-spiritual Healing in Lucidity”)
Diane Greig will discuss the healing properties of light in lucid dreaming by reviewing a series of lucid light dreams within a psycho-spiritual trajectory. In completing her Ph.D. research in 2006, using the intuitive inquiry research method, one of the major outcomes realized was the deep and rich imaginal capacity held in individual and cultural shadow. This capacity has been hidden and unavailable to us through political control inviting the western societal suppression of the importance of dreams, lucid light and any extraordinary imaginal events. Imaginal events are internally repressed and denied due to the assimilation of cultural norms in our early life. The endarkenment results in the difficulty in uncovering these unperceived lenses, confounding awareness of them. Without asking the right questions, these invisible lenses continue to guide us, resulting in a limited cultural reflection rather than an experiential understanding of the imaginal world. This in turn reduces the spectrum of the imaginal through suppressing our creative individual voices, which are in dire need today. Diane will begin her presentation by discussing how a lucid dream image captured her awareness and its 15-year trajectory to her work today.
Somatic Art Therapy Dreamwork (Workshop)
Combining the author’s expertise on Art Therapy Dreamwork and on Somatic art therapy, this workshop offers an original way to work on dreams through bodily dream sensation. Dr. Hamel will briefly explain her 4-Quadrants method and then, facilitate participants’ experimentation with their own dreams. Participants will be able to make connections with their lives through exploring these sensations, being of course themselves the ultimate authorities on their own dreams’ meaning.
Inspired by her art therapy practice of more than 35 years, she developed her 4-Quadrants method as a new tool for dream exploration. Dreams have always been an important part of her art therapy practice. Combined with her expertise on Somatic art therapy, she believes this might be a very powerful dreamwork method. Soma refers to the inner bodily sensation as experienced by a person, as opposed to the external body image of a person.
The Four-quadrants method is a sequence of four interrelated drawings or paintings, with specific themes for each of the four productions, each one having a specific purpose. This sequence is based on neuroscience, so that each of the four productions contributes in a meaningful way to elucidate or heal the issue portrayed in the dream. Although the method was originally designed for alleviating chronic or acute pain or discomfort, we can also adapt the same sequence to dreamwork.
In the workshop, I will offer four large sheets of drawing paper and art media to recreate the same sequence. For the first production, we choose a specific sensation felt in a dream. The sensation explored might be the dreamer’s bodily sensation or one felt by another dream figure. The assignment is to focus on and draw specifically the sensation itself. In the second drawing, we draw the very first time we experienced that sensation in real life. Most of the time, as soon as I give this suggestion, a specific memory comes to mind: an inner tension, a traumatic moment, a psychological pain, a meaningful interpersonal moment or a pleasant situation. This gives the origin and the meaning of the sensation, which is a symbol carrying an emotional meaning. In the third drawing, we draw how that part of the body would look like visually if the pain or discomfort was totally gone of it the pleasant sensation would be even more pleasurable. By doing that, the person creates an image allowing the psyche to develop a new neurological pathway in the limbic system in the right hemisphere of the brain. That image opens up new possibilities of well-being for the person. The fourth drawing is said to be the transition. Here we want to find concrete ways and actions in daily life to make the transformation possible and to maintain it.
There will be a period for sharing at the end of the 4 drawings.
It is not necessary to know how to draw or paint to do the workshop.
The Healing of Trauma in Lucidity (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Psycho-spiritual Healing in Lucidity”)
Nigel Hamilton will present a case history of a man suffering from a severe schizoid split in his personality due to early maternal neglect. Healing of the traumatic internalized images of mother and his inner feminine during the Lucid Dreams will be reviewed in this presentation.
The client’s clinical condition, initially presented during his personal therapy is first discussed, using his Lucid Dreams and visual art, which depicted the gradual emerging of a positive internalized mother archetype.
Later Lucid Dreams which lead to a letting go of his profound existential fear of aloneness will be reviewed. Finally, the aloneness and fear of the feminine are shown through the dreams to be connected and healed.
This symposium is open to all.
Lucid Dreaming: Therapy as a Catalyst to Experience Clear Mind, Inner Light (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Lucid Dreaming: Therapy as a Catalyst to Experience Clear Mind, Inner Light”)
In alchemy, the Sun force is seen as a metaphor for our spirit, or essence. In dreams the Sun, first appearing as a metaphor for spirit, can be shown to subsequently change to the experience of clear light during a Lucid Dream. A case history of a client’s Lucid Dreams is presented in which the Sun force, first appearing in different guises, is ultimately experienced as Clear Light in the dreams. The profound impact of this is seen as unfolding in stages during the dream series: initially as an uplifting, very subtle energy (subtle consciousness), to the experience of dissolving the subject/object split in the client’s psyche, to seeing the illusory nature of his mental projections.
Finally, he experiences an explosion of Clear Light in a Lucid Dream, having the mind quality of clarity and limitless spatial dimensions. This is followed by vision of light and colourful images in which looker and looked at are one. “There is absolutely no division between me and the image, a feeling of sublime liberations and freedom”.
Clinical approaches to using the Waking Dream Technique to escape the Lucid experience will be discussed.
Virgil’s Aeneid and Aeneas’ False Dream of Ancient Rome (Talk)
In Book 6 of Virgil’s epic, the Aeneid, the dream of the hero Aeneas is equated to a false dream. Building on the work of Tarrant and others, this presentation uses the Platonic explanation of false dreams as wish-fulfillments to explain the contrasting presentations of Roman history found in the Underworld and Shield episodes of the Aeneid.
The presentation is grounded in the study of intellectual history, philological (linguistic)
analysis, and secondary scholarship.
This paper tackles three questions: In Virgil’s Roman Imperial epic, the Aeneid, why does its hero Aeneas exit from the Underworld through the ivory gate of false dreams (falsa insomnia)? How should his departure affect our understanding of the version of Roman history and Roman grandeur found in the so-called Parade of Heroes in Book 6? And why do the events of the Parade differ from those on the ecphrastic Shield episode in Book 8, which presents a much darker vision of the Roman past?
These problems have dogged scholars from Servius onward. One solution has been to read Book 6 as a dream or as possessing “dream-like” qualities. Aeneas’ departure through the Ivory Gate has accordingly been interpreted as an indication that the Parade is a dream-like projection of Aeneas’ psyche or as a reflection of Virgil’s allegiance to one ancient dream theory or another.
Building on the seminal work of Richard Tarrant, this paper argues that a better explanation for Aeneas’ departure through the Ivory Gate will be found in the common theory, extant from Plato onwards, that non-predictive dreams are products of the body and reflect the irrational desires of the dreamer. True dreams, Plato tells us, are perceived only by souls capable of philosophical detachment from these negative, appetitive impulses.
Aeneas, in viewing the Parade and then exiting through the gate reserved for falsa somnia, is likened to a dreamer or messenger of a false dream. In particular, he possesses all the qualities of Plato’s false-dreamer: his corporeal status, in contrast to the purified souls of Elysium, is emphasized throughout Book 6 and his departure through the Ivory Gate recalls his previous dream-induced departures from Troy and Carthage, where the tension between Aeneas’ commitment to his journey and desire for cessation from toil reaches its peak.
The Parade is, accordingly, Aeneas’ “false dream” of Roman history. As such, it functions as a wish-fulfillment, reflecting his desire to realize his destiny without having to endure any further hardship. This accounts for the differences between the glorious but bloodless version of Roman history seen in the Parade and the similarly glorious but relatively violent version depicted on the Shield. In the conclusion, I suggest that Virgil incorporates Platonic dream theory in the Underworld to comment on the human propensity to alter or mitigate reality in ways that appeal to our inner-desires.
Intended for an intermediate-level audience interested in the history of dreams and dream-interpretation.
A Dream for Earth (Talk)
Science mediated spiritual revolution.
In the Psi Forum at the Rolduc conference, 2019, I presented a lifetime sample of precognitive dreams and prophetic experience ending with a dream of 11/8/2016, which had already apparently predicted the election of Donald Trump and alleged Russian involvement, and which suggested further precognition in “three and a half years.”
May 8th 2020 was exactly the middle of UK Covid Lockdown. The dream had been about a Journey to the Space Station for an uncertain amount of time. On May 30th Elon Musk sent astronauts to the ISS for the first time in nine years from American soil and for an uncertain duration – two weeks to six months. It was an historic first manned mission by a private company. In the post launch speech Donald Trump, standing in front of the NASA logo, twice said “three and a half years.” And there is more.
This presentation was witnessed by all in the room in 2019 and it is on the conference tape. I still have the original dream recording on my telephone. There is no doubt the event is real. Any difference can only be in how we think about it. The rest of the presentation is what I think after a lifetime of private training by such dreams.
My experience suggests that all dreams present higher dimensions of knowledge, wisdom and perception to consciousness. My dreams are only unusual in having been caught in the act. In my presentation I see the world as artificially divided between 4D spacetime science and 5D totality, which I’m sure contains total love and wisdom but for our convenience as scientists also contains total time. Dreams are influenced by all of this, which may include things we have never imagined, but if we study enough dreams and learn from their precognicity we will have gained a way of accessing all else they are saying.
It will be enormously important to have a well-developed and publicly respected knowledge of dreams before super artificial intelligence hits its stride and outperforms us so completely that we are imprisoned in a 4D superspace forever. Of course there may be more ways than one to break out of it but we may never find them.
In related fiction I have the machine itself break out for us. Because it works at the quantum level, it can read our quantum-based dreams directly and demonstrate to us how they bridge 4D and 5D. In fact, we will do such a brilliant job of demonstrating the higher dimensions of dreaming to the world that Elon Musk, at least, will see how we have to take this higher dimensional intelligence into account when building super AI. Collating the world’s dreams will be the first obvious global use of such technology. Engineers, scientists, mystics, poets, storytellers and painters, especially, will all dance their separate ribbons around this Maypole and twine them joyfully together.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Exploring Dream Geography (Talk)
When we dream, we often find ourselves in defined locations. Many of these are familiar places, which would tend to confirm the Continuity Hypothesis. They include both locations prominent in the dreamer’s current circumstances: home, work, etc., as well as locations visited on trips to other countries. The author has explored these in some detail in a previous talk, “Dream Delay, Dream Decay”. But sometimes we dream into locations which we’ve never visited, even if they are actual locations here on Earth; or into locations which exist only in dreamspace and creative fiction. Sometimes these dreams are set in different time periods as well, which has suggested to some the possibility that they may represent past life recollections. But that idea is disconfirmed by dreams whose timelines overlap those of our present lives. The author will explore some of these dreams, derived from his own dream database of over 15,000 dreams. Rather than dismissing these dreamscapes as purely symbolic, he concludes that at least some of our dreams allow us to enter into what he refers to as “othermind”: the experience of other selves which is accessible through the dream state. Do these relate to Jung’s “second psychic system” which draws upon the Collective Unconscious of humankind? Participants will be invited to explore how they might apply these ideas to their own dreamwork
Developing the Intuition in Group Dreamwork (Morning Dream Group)
We will explore the ways in which intuitive perception can help in group dreamwork, following the Ullman technique as modified by Taylor along with Jungian amplification methods. Note: attendance limited to 25 attendees.
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 called “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 dreamworkers’ views in an authoritative way, these intuitive sparks can be nurtured and the capacity to recognize them can be enhanced. This is especially likely to occur in a group setting, as the group works together over an extended period (in this case, 4 days) to generate bonds and interaction patterns that resonate with one another and their dreams also weave together in mutual patterns. As a way of augmenting this yet further, dreams will be explored beyond the personal dimension with reference to the archetypal ideas emerging from the collective unconscious, using the method Jung referred to as “amplification”, which draws historical 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 and Taylor.
Dreaming in the Digging Fields (Talk)
The Middleborough Little League Site, in southeastern Massachusetts, has been the locus of the author’s archaeological field schools through his home institution, Bridgewater State University, for 20 field seasons, from 1996 to 2019 (Hoffman 2020). It is situated on three successive terraces overlooking the Nemasket River, and on the basis of 28 radiocarbon dates it was occupied by Native Americans for over 7,000 years, from ca. 6200 B.C. to ca. 1100 A.D. Over 34,000 artifacts have been recovered from the site by our operations, an estimated 1.9% sample of the remaining site area. While it was a locus for a range of subsistence-related activities, including the processing of meat, hides, and wood, its principal function throughout this period appears to have been the collection and deliberate interment of ceremonial objects, including large quantities of red, black, and yellow pigment stones, highly polished pebbles of various colors, quartz crystals (including biterminated Herkimer “diamonds”), cylindrical stone rods, and pendants. Over the course of the excavation of the site, the author has compiled not only well-documented inventories of all these recoveries, but also 350 of his dreams during this period which directly relate to the site’s contents and to the process of its excavation. The current presentation is an attempt to provide some quantitative and qualitative analysis of the dreams, with reference to the site context, viewed through the lenses of a number of theoretical perspectives. As such, it represents a foray into the ways in which dreams relate to the practice of a particular profession, in this case, archaeology.
The Data Set,
Analysis of the Data Set
Level – Intermediate
Robert Hoss and Kristen Hoss
Dream to Freedom: Combining EFT with Dreamwork (Workshop)
In clinical or personal work, working with dreams have become an important means of quickly and effectively identifying a critical issue, as opposed to peeling away at surface-level problems and emotional layers until the critical issue surfaces. While dreamwork is useful for identifying or experiencing inner emotions, unless it is part of a more encompassing therapeutic process, dreamwork by itself does not necessarily deal with those emotions or reduce the barriers to progress that they impose. A traumatic stress reduction approach called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), on the other hand, provides some relatively simple approaches for reducing emotional reactions and stress once the condition is identified. The integration of the two disciplines in a single protocol provides a means for revealing underlying traumatic emotional memories and dealing with the stressful reactions stimulated by those memories. The approach follows that referenced in the 2013 Clinical EFT Manual (EP Press) and the Dream to Freedom handbook.
There may also be a natural neurological synergy between the approaches. REM state dreams appear to reflect the nocturnal processing of unresolved emotional issues, which involves activation in the limbic system among other paralimbic centers. EFT has been shown in various research studies to produce neurological shifts which alter or extinguish emotional patterns in the limbic system, formed when the amygdala responds to waking life experiences. It has been employed in a number of clinical applications, including a Veteran Stress project.
The workshop will demonstrate: 1. a scripted 6-step Gestalt role-play dreamwork method for identifying an emotional issue the dream is working on; 2. application of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to the dreamwork process, which uses self-stimulation of acupressure points while holding the problem in mind, to reduce any emotional stress surrounding the issue the dreamwork reveals; and 3. once the stressful barriers are reduced, use the dream and/or a Jungian Active Imagination approach to stimulate a closure metaphor, and definition of next steps. A discussion of the theoretical and research underpinnings is provided in the first half hour of the workshop, followed by a case study demonstration, then a step-by-step experiential session, for those attendees who choose to practice the protocol using one of their own dreams. The workshop will include a handout and worksheet.
The target level is all audiences and the aim of the presentation is: increasing all attendees’ knowledge about the synergy between dream and energy theories; training professionals in the combining of dreamwork and energy work in clinical practice; and, for all participants, increasing personal self-awareness and emotional growth.
PTSD Nightmare Content: A Comparative Study of a Vietnam Vet with 45 yrs. of Dream Records (Talk)
Classified under Trauma and Stress-Related Disorders in the DSM-5 (APA, 2013), PTSD is considered a mental health problem resulting from direct or indirect exposure to a traumatic or stressful event. Sleep disturbance is also a core feature of PTSD, and the related nightmares are perhaps some of the most emotionally intense and can include flashbacks bearing varying degrees of resemblance to the actual traumatic even, some being repetitive without resolution or progress. Based on various studies, up to 72% of individuals with PTSD report post-traumatic nightmares. Not all such the nightmares are replays or replications of the event, but post-traumatic and PTSD nightmares contain a great deal of variability (or “distortion”) suggested to relate to many factors, including the nature of the trauma and degrees of recovery. Many picture the traumatic emotions initially or over time in metaphorically representative ways. Over time or even at the onset they may weave fragments of the traumatic memory into past or present-day memories as well. As the patient receives therapy and/or in other ways gains a degree of mastery over the effects of the trauma, the nightmares and dreams continue to change, becoming more of a mixture of reduced replication and increased metaphor as recovery occurs.
This presentation will briefly list some of the typically reported content characteristics of post-traumatic and PTSD nightmares from various research studies. These are compared with the nightmare and dream content of a Vietnam war veteran (Mark Levy) who recorded them over a 45-year timeframe following combat from 1970 to 2015 – doing this in four periods during which he was twice hospitalized for PTSD. Although a single case, it is unique in that it is a continuous study that provides insight to a changing content profile over time which might suggest stages of recovery as discussed, but not quantified, elsewhere. The source of the dream records is the UC Santa Cruz dreambank.net database and his two books: Dreams Vietnam and Other Dreams. The variation in 23 content parameters, 12 emotional parameter and degree of mastery attempts, success and failure were compared across the four recording periods. In brief, just looking at the end-to-end variation over the 45 years: replications went from 70% to 0%; metaphoric representations from 20% to 94%; war references reduced from 100% to 28%; actual combat scenes from 90% to 0%; victim of a threat from 100% to 56%; life or death situations from 100% to 19%; negative emotion in his nightmares (fear, anxiety and confusion being the top 3) from 70% to 58% with positive increasing from 0% to 21%; and degree of mastery (acting to contain the threat) from 40% to 83%.
The Healing Power of Dreams: From Death to Rebirth as the Wounded-Healer and Dream-Shaman (Talk)
The Hero’s Journey (Jung, Campbell), a monomyth, arises in the dreams and myths of all people, demonstrating a universal structure: calling, death, rebirth and transformation. Campbell’s personal and collective archetypal hero transverses ten key stages, creating a map to guide the journeyer through Inner and Outer worlds of transformation. Irvine illustrates how series of dreams may follow The Hero’s Journey, and inform aspects of the Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model of Healing. Irvine demonstrates and maps series of dreams from her life, illustrating her Hero’s Journey from death to rebirth, healing and transformation as The Wounded-Healer and Dream-Shaman.
1.The Ten Stages of The Hero’s Journey (Campbell, Jung) as a map for dream guidance/transformation/healing.
2.The Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model of Healing in clinical research and psychological practice.
3.An Illustration of Series of Dreams from Irvine’s life (2005-2019) demonstrating The Hero’s Journey, and The Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model with clinical proof of healing as recorded in Irvine’s clinical research, An Auto-Ethnography: The Wounded-Healer (MCOUN, UQ 2016).
4.The Hero’s Journey as a template for use by dreamers/therapists/clients/writers.
5.Variety of Dream-Types providing Information/Guidance/Inspiration
- Introduction: Brief Bio
- Rationale: The ten stages of The Hero’s Journey provide a map for dream series to guide a dreamer/therapist/client/writer to healing and transformation. Irvine demonstrates The Hero’s Journey utilizing dreams from her life (2005-2019), evidenced with Clinical proof of healing and Clinical Research utilizing Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model of Healing (MCOUN, UQ 2016).
- Utilize Slides for Power Point Presentation, Handouts detailing The Hero’s Journey demonstrating each stage with dreams of varied types and correlated to the Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model of Healing and the birth of The Wounded-Healer-Dream-Shaman.
- Questions, Discussion
1.Call to Adventure: Feb 2005
i.Precognitive Dream: Warning
2.Initiation, Vows, Accepting the Call: Jan 2006
ii.Lucid Dream Vision: Information of Key steps/stages for Tests/Trials/Rebirth/Transformation/Healing 2005-2019.
3.Road of Trials/The Cave/Dark Night of the Soul
iii.Lucid Dream October 2008
4.Crisis, Resurrection: Dreams May-June 2010 informing/guiding/inspiring movement, positive changes, seeds of healing in psychosocial-spiritual domains
iv.Dream-Songs: Information/guidance Marriage separation
5.Crossing the Abyss/Threshold/Allies-Mentors: Out of the Cave into the World 2012
v.3 Dreams: November 2011-February 2012
vi.Positive repeated Dreams of walking again 2012 demonstrating healing
6.Further Road of Trials
7.Healing/Resurrection/Rebirth: June/November 2016
vii.Dreams of healing predicting reductions of IVIG amounts, proof of healing
viii.Lucid-Dreams: Information for MCOUN Wounded-Healer
8.Further Rebirth: December 2016
Crucial Dream Information/Guidance/Inspiration to unfold final steps, shamanic-dream training, towards rebirth/transformation and full Healing
9.Dreams of Treasure: April/July 2018
xi.OBE Dream: My healed body
Dream demonstrated/predicted/informed me of healing, prior to suspended IVIG treatment September 2018
10.Holy Grail of Healing
xii.Dream May 2019: Announcement by hospital doctors I am fully healed, prior to actual test results/permanent discharge
Conclusion: In July and November 2019, Debbie’s hospital test results showed healthy, “normal,” immune function without IVIG therapy. In May 2020, further tests showed stable and improved immune and antibody functions and Debbie was discharged permanently, being declared “healthy and healed.”
Jerry L. Jennings
Dora Contra Freud: Enabling Dora to Interpret Her Own Dreams (Hot Off the Press)
Freud’s 1900 psychoanalysis of Dora and her two dreams remains one of the most famous and discussed examples of dream interpretation in history. But Freud’s drive to demonstrate his new psychoanalytic methods and Oedipal theory forced meanings upon Dora’s two dreams that distorted and violated what could have been her own direct experience and understanding of her dreams. To make matters worse, the standard English translation of Dora’s dreams by Strachey actually changed the meaning of Freud’s original German in significant ways. This means that generations of analysts and clinicians have been critiquing Dora’s dreams based on an inaccurate translation. By applying a correct English translation and an in-depth familiarity with the actual historical Dora (Ida Bauer), the presentation provides an alternative portrayal of Dora’s dreams that hopefully reflects the direct “undisguised” meaning of her dreams to herself.
The presentation is based on Jennings’ well-published model of person-centered dream analysis, also termed “dream-centered dream analysis” and “dreams without disguise,” which provides a methodology for enabling dreamers to understand the meaning of their own dreams.
Sequence: The presentation begins with a description of why Freud’s pioneering application of dream interpretation in the case of Dora remains so important today. Then the presentation briefly describes Jennings’ model of dreamer-centered dream analysis that enables the dreamer to understand her own dream. Then the presentation will explain how inaccuracies in Strachey’s English translation of Freud’s original German distorted the original dream narrative. In the next section, the presenter will give examples of how Freud took Dora’s initial dream associations and then added interpretations that transformed Dora’s dream from her own dream into a demonstration of his new Oedipal theory. The presentation concludes with a more direct portrayal of the meaning of Dora’s dream that is based on known details of Dora’s actual life.
Target audience: For all.
William E. Kelly
Nightmare Proneness and Psychological Boundaries as Predictors of Nightmare Frequency (Hot Off the Press)
William E. Kelly and Sarah Rhodes
Weekly nightmares, disturbing and easily recalled dreams that awaken the sleeper, are experienced by an estimated 2-6% of the population (Levin & Nielsen, 2007). Recently, Kelly (2018) identified the personality dimension nightmare proneness, a dispositional tendency to experience frequent nightmares, as a potential etiological mechanism for nightmares. To some degree, nightmare proneness appears to be a distress-like dimension. However, it accounts for nightmare frequency above general distress, neuroticism, and trauma symptoms (Kelly & Yu, 2019). The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between nightmare proneness and one potential correlate – psychological boundaries.
Hartmann (1984) proposed that “thin” psychological boundaries might contribute to the experience of nightmares. Boundaries refer the mind’s internal structure of classifying and separating feelings, experiences, and self from others. Boundaries have been inconsistently related to nightmares, particularly after controlling distress (i.e., Kluzová Krácmarová & Plháková, 2015; Miró & Martínez, 2005), suggesting that other variables might influence this relationship. Given that individuals with “thin” boundaries have more sensitivity to their outer worlds and less ability to manage distress (Funkhouser et al., 2008; Hartmann, 1984), it is possible that nightmare proneness could be a manifestation of thin boundaries. In that case, thin boundaries might mediate the relationship between nightmare proneness and nightmare occurrences.
Method: University students (N=123) completed the 18-item Boundary Questionnaire (BQ18; Kunzendorf, Hartmann, Cohen, & Cutler, 1997), the 14-item Nightmare Proneness Scale (NPS; Kelly, 2018), and the 12-item version of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Neuroticism Scale (EPQN; Eysenck, Eysenck, & Barrett, 1985). Participants also estimated the number of nights they experienced nightmares over the past two weeks as a measure of nightmare frequency.
Findings: Correlational analyses indicated that nightmare proneness was significantly, positively related to nightmare frequency, BQ18 scores, and EPQN scores. Both the BQ18 and EPQN were also significantly related to nightmare frequency as well as each other. In a linear regression using nightmare frequency as the criterion and BQ18, EPQN, NPS, and gender as predictors, only the NPS accounted for unique variance in nightmare frequency. A second regression found that EPQN, BQ18, and nightmare frequency all accounted for separate variance in NPS scores.
Conclusions: The results indicated that though nightmare proneness is related to thin psychological boundaries, the two are distinct concepts, with nightmare proneness accounting for its own variance in nightmares. Somewhat consistent with previous findings (Kluzová Krácmarová & Plháková, 2015), it could be that nightmare proneness is partly responsible for the relationship between boundaries and nightmares, and perhaps neuroticism and nightmares. Further, despite concerns that Hartmann’s boundary questionnaire scores are saturated with neuroticism (Schredl et al., 2009), the two also appear to be distinct accounting for their own unique variance in nightmare proneness. Additional research is needed to better understand the mechanisms behind the nightmare proneness concept and how it is distinct from related constructs such as neuroticism and distress in predicting nightmares.
William E Kelly
A Questionnaire to Measure the Dream Work (Hot Off the Press)
William E Kelly and Elida T. Stewart
The dream work refers to a cognitive process through which unacceptable thoughts and affects are cognitively distorted in dreams (Freud, 1900). The essential function of the dream work is to allow the benign granting of a psychical wish while protecting sleep (Binswanger & Wittmann, 2019). Few measures exist to measure dream work. The current research sought to develop and examine the psychometric properties of a retrospective, self-report measure of dream work.
The dream work consists of three processes: condensation (more than one dream element is combined into a single element), displacement (a dream element is replaced by another element to lessen its impact), and symbolization (a manifest image is used to represent a person, thought, or feeling) (Fosshage, 1983). Despite evidence of its existence (Yu, 2012) and relations to neuroanatomical structures (Yu, 2016) and trauma (Yu, 2014), limited empirical investigation has examined the dream work. A specific scale to measure the concept might spur research and improve understanding of the dream work and its mechanisms. This could provide more insight into relationships between dreams and waking-life emotions and how, or if, dreams protect sleep.
Method: Thirteen items were developed based on descriptions by Freud (1900) and Fosshage (1983) to measure general experiences of condensation, displacement, and symbolism in dreams. These items were administered to a sample of 206 university students using a 5-point scale (0=Never, 4=Almost always). A subset 155 participants also completed measures of dream recall frequency, attitudes towards dreams, dream intensity, emotional tone of dreams, and nightmare frequency (Schredl et al., Göritz, 2014). Another subset of 51 re-took the scale after one week to examine retest reliability.
Findings: After an exploratory factor analysis, one item was omitted due to low factor loadings, leaving a final 12-item measure termed the Dream Work Questionnaire (DWQ). Three DWQ factors, accounting for 57.86% of the variance in responses, were identified. The factors appeared to represent condensation (4 items), displacement (3 items), and symbolization (5 items). DWQ scores were significantly correlated in expected directions with other measures that supported its validity, including dream recall frequency (.38), nightmare frequency (.23), attitude toward dreams (.54), dream emotional intensity (.40), and more emotionally positive dreams (.30). The test-retest coefficient was .73.
Conclusion: The current study supported that Freud’s (1900) concept of the dream work can be measured empirically using self-report methodology. Additional research is needed to better understand the DWQ and identify how the dream work affects relationships between waking-experiences and dreams. Additional study could use the DWQ to investigate how the dream work might serve as a protection against sleep disturbance. Additional research could also examine how the dream work might allow wish fulfilment during dreams and the role of dream work in nightmares.
Target Audience: Intermediate
Patricia A Kilroe
The Hero’s Journey Dream-Series and Key Dreams (Talk)
Engagement with the content of dream reports can shine a light on the dreamer’s concerns and preoccupations. Five approaches to dream reports are illustrated, including both a traditional and a modified form of textual analysis, textual maps, word clouds, and found poetry.
The written dream report is a critical index to a dreamer’s state of mind. Textual analysis is a well-established research practice in dream studies. In literary studies, close reading of a text for purposes of understanding its deeper meaning is also well-established. Employment of both approaches confirms the value of dream reports as objects of study and offers fresh ways to engage with dream texts, from the analytic to the creative. Word clouds are used in language arts education, and the roots of contemporary found poetry are in early twentieth century Dadaism.
Traditional textual analysis is our starting point. This involves a close, systematic study of a text for the purpose of understanding the content, structure, and/or functions of the language contained in the text. For example, a dream researcher might count the number of times a word form is used in a text. Or, a collection of dream reports might be analyzed according to sensory channel (e.g. visual vs. tactile), setting type (e.g., indoor vs. outdoor), or emotivity (e.g. expression of emotion or lack thereof).
Next, in an adapted form of textual analysis, a close reading of dream reports reveals a mixture of literal statements of cognition or emotion with descriptions of symbolic imagery, and literal statements are viewed as having equal potential to figurative ones to mirror a dreamer’s preoccupations.
Then, textual maps of dream reports are illustrated. These configurations of text map the positions and movements of the dreamer onto a two-dimensional space through a sequenced, dissected version of the dream report, using text rather than images to chart the dream.
Next, word clouds of dream reports generated with software are illustrated. A word cloud is a visual image of a text that presents the sizes of words in proportion to their frequency in the text. A word cloud of a dream report provides a visual perspective on the dream’s salient themes.
Finally, creating found poems from a dream report word cloud is demonstrated. A found poem is a text created by arranging fragments of language found in printed text into a poetic form. The demonstration poem is an arrangement of the most frequent words from a dream report word cloud. A found poem moves the passive generation of a word cloud to a more creative result.
With found poems, the approaches presented span a gamut from strict analysis to creative endeavor. For each approach, sample dream reports are offered in illustration. Each approach has the potential to aid dreamers gain alternate perspectives on their dreams.
Target audience: All who are interested in working with dream reports in order to gain insight into the dream itself and the dreamer’s state of mind.
A Critical Investigation into Precognitive Dreams: Dreamscaping without My Timekeeper (Talk)
This lecture will examine precognitive dream experiences, offering comprehensive information pertaining to their history, phenomenology, potential neural underpinnings, and the implications for consciousness and the philosophical theories of determinism and non-determinism.
This lecture is based on both extensive theoretical research and a quasi-experimental study conducted by the presenter himself.
This presentation will include the following elements: (1) Operationalization of an extraordinary precognitive dream experience, (2) A condensed summa covering the history of the phenomenon, as well as some famous examples, (3) The investigator’s quasi-experimental study, including descriptions of data collection methods, results, and interpretations, (4) The implications for contemporary philosophical debates around determinism and non-determinism and descriptions of paradigms able to account for them, (5) Brief review and space for reflection and answering questions posed by the audience.
Thirty Dreams from Transgender Males in Retrospect (Talk)
In 1974 I published a content analysis of nighttime dreams reported by 10 males who identified as female, with no more than 3 dreams per participant. All 37 participants were patients of Harry Benjamin, M.D., the pioneer of U.S. sex reassignment surgery. I interviewed each participant in Dr. Benjamin’s office, gave them notebooks for recording their dreams, and requested that they return in three months. Of this original number, 10 brought back dreams reports; I utilized the first three reported dreams for analysis in this study, bringing the total to 30. A test for each category (e.g., activities) separately compared participants’ dream reports to those in Hall and Van de Castle’s male and female groups. A t-test for independent proportions yielded a score for each comparison between participants’ dreams reports in this study and those from the normative groups. The participants’ reports differed from the normative male reports in that they contained fewer references to money, nature, ambiguous and questionable settings, geographical settings, individual characters (as opposed to group characters), adult and male characters, cognitive activities, acts of friendliness where the dreamer is involved, modifiers using negative evaluations (such as “ugly” and “bad”), and modifiers signifying velocity (such as “fast” and “slow”). Participants’ reports differed from normative reports in that they contained more references to clothes, unfamiliar settings, characters of indefinite sex, group characters (as opposed to individual characters), groups containing members of both sexes, acts of friendliness witnessed by the dreamer, and positive modifiers such as “pretty” and “good.” Of the 72 comparisons made to normative male reports, 20 statistically significant differences were found, 12 in which they demonstrated fewer references, and 8 in which there were more. Participants’ reports differed from normative female reports in that they contained fewer references to individual characters (as opposed to group characters), nature, questionable settings, geographical settings, cognitive activities, adult characters, negative modifiers such as “ugly” and “bad,” and modifiers indicating velocity such as “fast” and “slow.” Participants’ reports differed from normative female reports in that they contained more references to clothes, unfamiliar settings, characters in groups (as opposed to individual characters), characters of indefinite or joint sex, teenage characters, and modifiers using positive evaluations such as “handsome,” “beautiful,” and “good.” Of the 72 comparisons made to normative female reports, 18 statistically significant difference were found, 11 in which there were fewer references and 7 in which there were more. It is noteworthy that clothes were mentioned more often than for either of the comparison groups; cross-dressing was commonly reported by Benjamin’s transgender patients and becomes an important part of the hoped-for surgical procedures. Other findings that would be expected pertain to more positive and negative evaluations, as well as more characters of indefinite or joint sex. Obviously, this study needs to be repeated with more participants. If a profile is forthcoming, it could be used in diagnosis of people claiming to be transgender, identifying those with a deep-rooted rather than transitory condition.
Group Projective Method (Morning Dream Group)
Attendees will bring a dream to read to the group, and various methods of working the dream will be demonstrated. Methods of interpretation in the dream group will be Group Projective method, also Dream Interview, Gestalt, Dream Theater, the Bob Hoss color chart and art materials to draw or paint the dream.
Leading Innovative and Successful Dream Groups (Workshop)
Participants will explore step-by-step processes of organizing and leading dream groups. You will develop a template for your group — focusing on responsibilities, group makeup, promotion, group guidelines, group problem solving, and mentoring personal transformation. Participants, while focusing on individual goals, will learn innovative and successful techniques by working in a dream group.
I use various methods in my dream groups. I will use Jungian, Gestalt, and Psychoanalytic approaches. I will introduce ways of working with dreams that I have developed over the past 30 years, incorporate what I have learned from other dream experts and focus on the sacredness of the dream. I organized and facilitated dream groups for 30 years. I conducted numerous day, weekend, and week-long workshops on dreams. I enjoy leading dream groups, lecturing, and training for dreamwork and believe that I am a good facilitator for that type of work.
After an introduction to the successful organization and leadership of dream groups, participants will be given time to develop their personal unique dream groups and face their personal challenges. Afterwards we will work within a dream group and observe the process of successful and innovative dream group leadership. If you are a group leader, I want to inspire you to enhance your work. If you are not a leader, I want to encourage you and give you the support you need to take the leap to leadership.
My special interest and research is in personal growth and individuation through dreamwork. Group work magnifies the impact of the individual’s dream and enhances the personal growth of the dreamer. Dream group leaders are rewarded, whether a volunteer, professional, or trained therapist. The success of the group depends on the leader’s ability and training. It is important that a leader be well prepared for the role. The workshop will allow time to focus on your individual challenges and to create a template for your unique dream group. We will look at the following areas of group dreamwork:
•Benefits of dream groups
•The role of leadership
•Organizing your dream group
•Developing group guidelines
•Creative methods of dreamwork
•Group problem solving/ Challenges of group work
•Creating a bond and safety in group work
•Commitment of the leader to personal dreamwork
•Resources to enhance leadership
Through the workshop, I will share my experience of leading dream groups for over 30 years, writing Honoring the Dream: A Handbook for Dream Group Leaders, and creating the Institute for Dream Studies, which offers a certification course for dreamwork leadership. There are many styles of leadership and types of groups. I will share my thoughts and experiences, while incorporating the work of many people who have shared with me. Time will be allowed for questions and for group sharing.
Throughout the workshop, the dreamer has the ultimate authority over the work to be done with his/her dream.
For All! Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced
Dream to See Patterns (Workshop)
A pattern is a discernible form in the way something happens or is done. Across our pre-linguistic evolutionary history, we used visual skills to detect the complex, non-obvious, probabilistic patterns inherent in human and animal behavior – as they moved about to secure resources (food, water, mating opportunities). These patterns aided our survival because we could visit dependable food and water sites when predators were likely to be absent but mates present. I think we identify non-obvious associations to detect complex patterns during REM sleep, with the pattern visualised in a REM dream, but dreams don’t seem like complex pattern identifiers. They appear chaotic. Apparent disorder comes about because, first, the elements of the pattern are unlikely to have appeared together in time or even in place; and second, many of the pattern elements are contingent. Dreams are derived from our experiences, but we haven’t usually experienced the dream patterns because they associate elements from different experiences.
For example, when do “sit and wait” predators like lions visit waterholes? Time of day, seasonality, thirstiness, absence of elephants, presence of prey and undergrowth cover around the waterhole (to facilitate “sit and wait”) are all elements in the lion at the waterhole associative pattern. Observing all these elements at one time is highly unlikely, so, to portray the pattern, a dream would have to take elements from many different lion-associated waterhole experiences. Also, there are complex associated contingencies: lions usually visit at night; but in the dry season, when they are thirsty and prey are around and there is good cover, they may visit during the day. I think we retain these dream patterns at an unconscious level because, originally, we used them unconsciously in wake, in conjunction with sensory input, to predict the likelihood of danger and to enable fast, appropriate reactions.
Dream construction doesn’t only recognize patterns; it searches for and discovers patterns or even creates patterns by bringing together experiential elements which, in wake, aren’t seen as associated. We define insight creativity as the ability to make novel associations among loosely connected elements of prior experiences or knowledge, where incremental unconscious processing precedes such insights. I propose that creative people are in a more dreamy state of mind during wake.
My proposal on the evolutionary origins of dreaming implies that the novel, non-obvious associations formed during REM dreams are, personally, very meaningful. What’s more meaningful for me than my own survival and reproduction? We no longer risk our lives on daily visits to a waterhole which may harbour predators, but our dreams still embed emotionally charged, personally meaningful, patterned associations. We can uncover these patterned associations through identifying the experiential elements, which the dream embeds. This decoding presents some difficulty, because our minds in wake are attuned to sequential, logical, more obvious associations rather than the creative, divergent ones we make in dreaming. Nevertheless, I will conclude by presenting a short guide to decoding dream associations.
Theoretical contribution, for all, based on research evidence.
Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Increase Threatening Events and Threats Related to Diseases in Dreams? (Talk)
Co-authors: Loukola, V., Ranta, E., Kirsilä, S., Revonsuo, A., & Valli, K.
The Threat Simulation Theory advocates that dreams are specialized in the simulation of threatening events. In dreams, threat detection and avoidance skills can be practised without risks, and in the human ancestral environment this feature of dreaming was selected for. The threat simulations are based on waking experiences stored in the long term memory, and the stronger the negative emotional salience of a memory trace, the more likely it is to be selected for simulation. We therefore predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed on everyday life would increase the number of threats in dreams, and especially threats related to diseases. Previous research indicates that stress related to the pandemic increases the amount of threats in dreams, dreams related to COVID-19 and negative emotions (Barrett, 2020; Iorio et al., 2020; Schredl & Bulkeley, 2020) while some studies show an increase in the amount of threats in dreams but not an increase in threats related to diseases (Wang et al., 2020).
Between mid-April and mid-June 2020, when lockdown and strict restrictions were in place in Finland, we collected systematic anonymous dream diaries for 14 days from Finnish participants. The final sample included the 1276 dreams of those 91 participants who reported at least five dreams during the two-week period. The participants also filled in a general questionnaire addressing physical and mental health, and in conjunction with each dream report, were asked to assess their daily anxiety level caused by COVID-19, whether they or their close ones had caught or were suspected of having caught COVID-19, and how much they had followed news related to COVID-19 in various media.
Three independent raters content analysed the dreams with the Dream Threat Scale. To investigate whether the dream reports collected during the pandemic included a higher number of threatening events, and more threats related to disease and illnesses, the results of the current sample will be compared to results obtained on other dream samples collected prior to the pandemic and analysed with the same method. We will further investigate how anxiety induced by COVID-19, potential exposure to the virus or having symptoms, and amount of time spent on following news about COVID-19 correlate with threatening events in dreams and especially threats related to diseases.
Target audience: Intermediate
Barrett, D. (2020). Dreams about COVID-19 versus normative dreams: Trends by gender. Dreaming, 30(3), 216.
Iorio, I., et al. (2020). Dreaming in the time of COVID-19: A quali-quantitative Italian study. Dreaming, 30(3), 199.
Schredl, M., & Bulkeley, K. (2020). Dreaming and the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey in a US sample. Dreaming, 30(3), 189.
Wang, J., et al. (In press). Does COVID-19 impact the frequency of threatening events in dreams? An exploration of pandemic dreaming in light of contemporary dream theories. Consciousness & Cognition. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2020.103051
Avoiding Premature Closure: Reconsidering Your Dream’s Meaning (Workshop)
Recalling Jeremy Taylor’s frequent warnings against premature closure, many of us obviously wonder about dimensions of meaning in important dreams, that we perhaps either didn’t sufficiently understand, or missed altogether. (It is preferable, although not necessary, that participants have already worked the dreams they would like to explore further.) In this workshop dreamers will re-evaluate meanings through small group work involving key questions about the dream in question, the larger life journey (portrayed by other dreams) that it may offer insight on, and will attune to the feelings which may be the meaning’s greatest aspect for growth and self-understanding.
Workshop Detail: Brief definitions will be given, involving criteria for what constitutes a perceivable dream meaning or message (those two terms being technically synonymous but having different associations). Reasons for the widespread acceptance of Taylor’s principle “there’s no such thing as a dream with only one meaning” will be reviewed, followed by examining the notion of the “ideally appropriate” meaning and why it is often never entirely discovered. (These introductory comments will be done with PowerPoint and I think will occupy about five minutes.) Participants will then be divided into small groups and given forms to help each other fill out. The first part of the group process will involve each participant choosing two of their own dreams to possibly re-work: a short simple dream and a longer complex dream. Then, certain questions will be posed concerning the entire dream, rather than specifics within it that may have been covered (differentiating this process from a “ordinary dream group”). After that, different “dream-type” schema, along with psychological schema of personal growth and unfolding, will be applied to enable participants to understand their dreams in broader contexts of their own life journey, which they may have missed previously. This may involve partially using Hill’s CEDM method. Finally, in the interests of time, each group will choose one dream from one person in the group to work with an embodiment process. Basically, the chosen dreamer in each group will be asked to recount their dream, attune as best they can to the central feeling involved while—if reasonably convenient—assuming the physical posture or actions involved in the dream. Others in the group will do a type of meditation to invite the same feeling to manifest within themselves, and to clarify for themselves similar or tangential issues that they may be dealing with in their own lives.
IASDer Dream Messages: Psychology, Reliability and Life-Journey Benefits (Talk)
Many anecdotal accounts exist of messages, along with psychological insights around each, but little systematic work has been done with groups of messages from different dreamers, neither comparatively and certainly not cross-sectionally. After briefly describing the survey instrument’s advantages and shortcomings, some basic terms and definitions will be discussed, along with the survey’s 21 questions as they were answered by 45 IASD members. Six relevant areas are covered, including: 1) the dreamers’ understandings concerning dream-message nature, value, source(s), and factors influencing their integrity; 2) their awareness of the affective component of meanings and its perceived importance; 3) the particular mechanisms or combinations of mechanisms (I analyzed ten of these—for example, “literal visual” verses “symbolic visual”) utilized by dreams in communicating their messages, along with any longitudinal changes or correlations that took place therein; 4) the range of personal benefits experienced, involving a common-sensical terminology allowing respondents to classify messages by type of benefit; 5) the perceived reliability and message dialogue in the life journey, involving causes of message inception, and issues with discernment and compliance; and 6) the life passages and milestones impacted, including 25 different life events which respondents may have remembered in connection with dream messages. Directions for possible future research and application will be mentioned for each area as well. During the Q & A period, audience members’ comments on the survey itself will be also be briefly sought.
Spirituality and Lucidity Dream Group (Morning Dream Group)
Size limit: 12. Methodologies: 5-Star and Archetypal Projective, with standard guided imagery at beginning and end. Authority: The dreamer whose dream is being worked.
–First session: an introductory discussion (or questions from previous sessions): methodologies employed, group’s all-embracing nature, caveats, learning goals (% minutes max).
–Facilitator does brief guided imagery to start group
- Facilitator gets dream titles and lucidity levels from group members
- Group determines which dream to work
- Group assumes “open” sitting posture, to listen to/experience the dream
- Dreamer relates dream in present, slowly
- Participants all give a single feeling word
- Dreamer specifies most important or “keystone” event in the dream
- Facilitator introduces underlying theme (or process narrative), and group attempts to formulate it
- Facilitator asks dreamer, and then others, if there is something in the underlying theme that he or she recognizes from their life
- Participants mention what they might have done differently in the dream (if it was theirs)
- The dreamer gives his/her feedback from group remarks, and shares any new feelings and insights
- If appropriate, facilitator initiates conventional projective sharing from other group members
- Dreamer shares more self-understandings, if any
- Dreamer shares how they will honor the dream.
–Towards end of session: Q & A, experiences of induction techniques
–Facilitator closes group with guided imagery, for individual and group dream intentions.
Such Stuff as Lucid Dreams are Made on: Characterizing of Lucid Dream Phenomenology Using Big Data (Hot Off the Press)
Remington Mallett and Ashwini Ashokkumar
Fully lucid dreams are a fundamentally different experience than non-lucid (i.e., “regular”) dreams. Lucid dreams – by definition – are characterized by the cognitive component of dream awareness while dreaming, yet other phenomenological characteristics that come along with dream awareness have not been established. To better understand what distinguishes lucid from non-lucid dreams, we extracted a large database of dreams (>50,000) from an online forum and applied automated text analysis methods to lucid and non-lucid dream reports. Using a variety of dictionary-based and topic modeling analysis approaches, we found that lucid dreams have less negative emotion than non-lucid dreams. Consistent with prior work, we also show that lucid dreams are less social and contain more reference to perceptual content than non-lucid dreams. This application of text analysis to “real-world” online datasets revealed novel insights into the phenomenology of lucid dreaming and might be applied to future questions about the nature of dreaming more generally.
Associations Between Dream Recall Frequency, Nightmare Severity and Daydreaming Characteristics (Hot Off the Press)
Authors and Institutions
Marquis, Louis-Philippe1,2; Julien, Sarah-Hélène1,2; Blanchette-Carrière, Cloé1,2and Nielsen, Tore2,3.
1)Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal; 2)Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal; 3)Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
There is a well-documented continuity between our waking and dreaming lives, but the role of daydreaming in this continuity has been less explored. In Hartmann’s contemporary theory of dreams, daydreaming is a state characterized by boundary thinness, but to a lesser extent than dreaming. Recent research into the brain’s default mode network emphasizes the latter’s role in self-generated thoughts believed to be akin to dreaming. Furthermore, some empirical work suggests that suppression of self-generated thoughts is related to nightmare formation. Other work has linked frequent nightmares with heightened bodily sensations and bizarreness during daydreaming. These results highlight the need for more research, and here we present new findings addressing relationships between dreaming and daydreaming.
We used recordings from a larger brain imaging project. Participants were either healthy controls or frequent nightmare recallers (CTL group; N=25, 24.4±4.9 yrs (18 W); NM group; N=23, 25.1±4.4 yrs (19 W)). All participants completed the Nightmare Distress Questionnaire (NDQ). We also obtained estimates of retrospective and prospective dream, bad dream and nightmare recall frequencies. Second, we obtained reports from a subset of our sample (21 CTL; 18 NM) about their daydreaming experiences during an MRI scan. A total of eight daydreaming characteristics (e.g., bizarreness, fragmentation, positive/negative emotion) were rated on 1-9 scales (0=no recall). For statistical analysis, we used Spearman rank correlations between dreaming and daydreaming variables. Variables concerning bad dreams and nightmares were also analyzed separately for the NM group.
For the whole sample, NDQ scores correlated with daydreaming fragmentation, r(36)=.47, p=.003, with daydreaming negative emotion, r(36)=.36, p=.029 and with how much the mentation in the scanner was identified as daydreaming, r(36)=.51, p=.001. Retrospective dream recall was associated with daydreaming negative emotion, r(36)=.38, p=.02 and with how much the mentation in the scanner was identified as daydreaming, r(36)=.37, p=.023, but marginally with daydreaming fragmentation, r(36)=.28, p=.086).
For NM participants, NDQ scores correlated with daydreaming bizarreness, r(16)=.52, p=.025. Retrospective dream recall correlated with daydreaming bizarreness, r(16)=.49, p=.039 and with how mentation in the scanner was identified as daydreaming, r(16)=.49, p=.04. Retrospective bad dream frequency correlated marginally with daydreaming fragmentation, r(16)=-.42, p=.086, while retrospective dysphoric dream frequency correlated with daydreaming focus on the past, r(16)=-.51, r=.031). Further results for prospective estimates will be reported during the presentation.
Our results provide further evidence for a continuity between dreaming and daydreaming. Moreover, nightmares were associated with intensified daydreaming, but among nightmare measures, only NDQ scores were associated with daydreaming negative emotion. Our results are also consistent with results suggesting links between nightmares and daydreaming bizarreness. Further research is needed to document the continuity between dreaming and daydreaming, particularly regarding their relationship with nightmares.
Support: research grants from CIHR, NSERC and scholarship from FRQS.
Kimberly R. Mascaro
Yoga Nidra: An Effortless Sleep-based Meditation (Workshop)
Yoga Nidra is an age-old sleep-based meditation. Body, breath, and awareness techniques merge to support states of expanded awareness and deep relaxation. Here, in between sleeping and waking, we can restore balance and feel wonderfully rejuvenated. This is so much more than a nap! Come experience the art and practice of this non-doing state of being. No previous experience necessary. All are welcome.
Practice and Theory. Yoga Nidra is an age-old, sleep-based meditation. This little-known ancient meditation technique initiates shifts in conscious sleep states where change happens outside of doing. Dr. Mascaro will first describe and explain the practice of Yoga Nidra. Next, attendees will be invited to lie down and get comfortable just prior to being led in a 45-50 minute experiential. Body, breath, and awareness techniques come together to support participants to enter profound states of expanded awareness and deep relaxation, offering effortless disengagement from the all-too-common overthinking mental states. In this regenerative meditative state, between sleeping and waking, we can restore balance and feel wonderfully rejuvenated. This is so much more than a nap! Come experience the art and practice of this non-doing state of being. There is no right or wrong way to do this – All you need to do is get comfortable. After the experiential, Dr. Mascaro will lead a grounding exercise and participants will be given space to verbally share their experience. Please bring a yoga mat or towel to lay on and something to cover your eyes, such as a scarf or eye pillow, if you like. All are welcome. No prior experience necessary.
The Serpent and the Lion: An Exploration of Place, Dreams, and DNA (Talk)
Have you ever deeply resonated to places in your dreams that you’ve never visited in waking life? If so, what did you discover? In this presentation Linda Mastrangelo will be exploring a series of personal dreams that surprisingly connect with her family genealogy and ancient ancestral roots with places of origin. Using psychology, myth, art, sacred geography as well as DNA testing, Mastrangelo makes symbolic connections between dreaming and place.
“My soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak. I call you—are you there? I have returned. I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you again.” – Carl Jung, The Red Book
“The Serpent is the living genius of the family bloodline itself, personified as a spirit.” -Iona Miller
For almost thirty years Linda Mastrangelo has been archiving her dreams and one of the many riches she’s discovered in this process is many have been snake visitations. And in her nightly reveries, these creatures have come in many forms and guises: plumed and colorful, hidden or ready to strike, poisonous and benign, in packs or solitary; terrifying and exhilarating and always urging me to keep shedding my skin.
These dreams have left an imprint that something more mystical and strange was afoot. That snake as well as lion motifs connected with her family of origin as a calling to something more primal and ancient that she needed to own in herself. Like the salmon’s primal urge to migrate back to the river they were born in, she too was being carried back home to a more ancient place through the dreamtime.
In this presentation Linda will be exploring a series of personal dreams of the Serpent and Lion that dynamically connect with family genealogy, ancient ancestral roots and places of origin. From Carnac in France to the Orphic Pits in Italy to an ancient city in Turkey, using psychology, myth, art, sacred geography as well as DNA testing, Mastrangelo makes symbolic connections between dreaming, ancestry and place.
Intermediate to Advanced
Pain and Nightmares: An investigation of a Chronic Pain Patient Sample (Talk)
Co-authors: Jennifer Schuffelen, Benjamin Dickmann, Annika Gieselmann & Reinhard Pietrowsky.
Chronic pain is highly related to poor sleep quality. However, there is still a lack of research concerning nightmares and pain in dreams of chronic pain patients. Previous research indicates that chronic pain patients have a high nightmare frequency and a high dream recall ability. Moreover, despite the fact that pain in dreams has been reported rarely, chronic pain patients are assumed to report pain in dreams quite frequently. This study aims to investigate the occurrence of pain in dreams more deeply. For this purpose, a sample of patients with chronic pain disorder was investigated, including an age- and gender-matched control group. All participants kept a dream diary for 28 days and recorded their dream emotions and pain perception they had during their dreams. The patient group showed a significantly higher dream recall frequency and a significantly higher nightmare frequency than the control group. Moreover, patients reported more dreams including pain, whereas the control group seldom reported pain dreams. The intensity of pain in dreams was rated significantly higher for the patient group. According to these results, enhanced pain in waking-life continues in dreams.
Rose Redding Mersky
A Social Dream-Drawing Workshop: What do I Risk in My Transition? (Workshop)
Social Dream-Drawing (SDD) is a methodology that helps those going through major personal and professional transitions to better understand and cope with the inevitable pressures associated with these big life changes.
The development of this method and the evaluation of its value to participants formed the basis of the presenter’s doctorate, which was awarded by the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of West England in Bristol, U.K. in 2017.
This method relies on various psychoanalytic theories and theorists, including Freud (unconscious, free association), Jung (creativity, amplification), Bion (dreaming as thinking), Winnicott (play, transitional space) and Benjamin (third object). It is also based on Arnheim’s concept of visual thinking and on research demonstrating the great benefit of combining the drawings and telling of dreams (Hau). As a socioanalytic method, its roots lie in Gordon Lawrence’s method of Social Dreaming, which holds that dreams have a social as well as a personal meaning.
The workshop will offer a general introduction to the method followed by a demonstration by the presenter, which will involve all participants. Issues such as how to contain group anxiety so that participants can regress and freely associate and how to manage time boundaries will be emphasized. One participant will be given the opportunity to facilitate a second session. The workshop will end with general reflections on the method and discussion of its use in various contexts.
The workshop will proceed as follows:
- General introduction to the method
- A workshop (facilitated by the presenter) with the group working with one dream drawing of a participant
- Exploration of the challenges of the role of facilitation.
- A second workshop with one participant taking the role of facilitator.
- A final discussion of the challenges and limitations of the method and a review of the learnings.
The method itself is quite straightforward.
•Step 1: Person tells the dream.
•Step 2: Person shows and explains the dream drawing.
•Step 3: Participants ask clarifying questions of the dream drawer.
•Step 4: All of us (including the dreamer and the facilitator) offer free associations and amplifications.
•Step 5: Dreamer responds to free associations; discussion follows.
•Step 6: Group reflection on the theme “What do I risk in my transition?”
This workshop is valuable for anyone who works with people going through major personal and professional life changes, such as human resource professionals, business school leaders, grief and trauma counselors, action researchers, social workers, supervisors, career and outplacement counselors, support group facilitators, coaches, organisational consultants and group supervisors. It would also be valuable to any conference participant who is going through a major life change.
Neither the dreamers nor the dreams are interpreted in this method. Instead the dream drawings serve as the raw material for gaining insight into the challenges and potential coping strategies relating to the particular transition of the dream drawer.
Roberta Latefa Mineo
Talking Hands, Moving Bodies; Exploring Similarities Between American Sign Language and Dream Language (Talk)
We verbally speak our way through each day, yet each night we revert to the visual language of dreams. Deaf children who are taught signed English in the classroom revert to the unique visually based grammar of ASL (that they have never been taught or exposed to) once on the playground. This seems to indicate that there is a primal, innate linguistic organization that is uniquely rooted in the visual modality. What can we learn about the roots of human language, the nature of psyche and dreams through a comparative study of sign-language and dreaming?
This presentation will be a summary of the dissertation “Talking Hands, Moving Bodies”. The research methodology and the subsequent content will constitute the dual focus of the presentation.
The research methodology is an innovative blend of intuition and intellect. A dream that captures a core concept is presented and then is analyzed using the processes of Free Association and Amplification. Associations and Amplifications in turn draw upon literary sources from a broad range of various fields of study, as well as lived experiences that inform the core concept. Because the researcher has had many years of study in fields including linguistics, ASL, dreamwork, cerebral lateralization, indigenous studies, metaphor and mental imagery, all of these sources are assumed to have informed the core concept exemplified by specific dreams. The intense study of various pertinent topics led to the coalescence of a dream that emerged into a core concept.
The content of “Talking Hands, Moving Bodies” provides an exploration of the centrality of visual language to human thought and psyche, through a comparison of ASL and dreaming. Dream language, the linguistic nature of dreams is given definition as an important aspect of the study of dreams.
“Methodology; The 2 Keys”, Intuition and Intellect presents a structured approach to combining dream work with formal literature review. A dream that represents a core concept is explored via the processes of Associations and Amplifications which include literature from a variety of fields as well as lived experience.
“Bread” My first dream that speaks to the importance of the nature of embodiment especuially as it pertains to dreaming and ASL
“Talking Hands, Moving Bodies” The central image of the study which led to an awareness of embodied language beyond American Sign Language.
“Thai Hand Dancer” Explores instances wherein hearing people choose to use sign languages rather than speech: Indian Classical Dance, Native American Sign and the Hula.
“Sticky Tongue/ Mirrored Ceiling” Contrasts verbal/auditory and visual imagery modalities.
“Cats and Snakes” Brings cerebral lateralization into the discussion.
“Metaform” Examines the central role of metaphor.
The presentation will use PowerPoint to illustrate dream imagery and provide a brief introduction and summary of the work.
Lucid Dream Drama (Workshop)
This workshop is based on Morgan’s research and practice (2008 – 2020/present) as the founder/director of Dreambridge in Ashland, Oregon where she has taught Improvisational Dream Drama in Dream Arts workshops and courses with pre-teens and teens, and Dream Psychodrama in courses and seminars for adults, therapists, counselors, and psychologists. Ideas articulated well by Fritz Perls on Gestalt psychology, and Wilma Scategni on dream psychodrama will also be experienced. In addition to psychology, Morgan has a lifelong background in theater, a BA in Theater from UCLA, and years of professional experience in Theater. In this workshop, you will learn how to bridge dreams into theatrical form. With elements from Gestalt psychology, Psychodrama, Lucid Dreaming, and Improvisational Dream Drama, volunteer dreamers will cast, direct [similar to the LD “observer” state (LaBerge, 2014)], and if they wish, act [similar to the LD “actor” state (LaBerge, 2014)] within their dream ‘scenes’ with Dr. Morgan’s assistance. The dreamer calls the shots. You will also learn when and how (as the dreamer, or assisting the dreamer) to creatively, intuitively rewrite and redirect parts of the dream ‘script’ in the service of insight, health, healing, and wholeness. For All.
LaBerge, S. (2014). Lucid dreaming: Paradoxes of dreaming consciousness. In E. Cardena, S. J. Lynn & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of Anomalous Experience, Second Edition (pp. 145-173). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Dreams, Creativity, and the Arts (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Dreaming, Imagination, and Creativity”)
This presentation is based on Morgan’s (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) research of the link between dreams and creativity using both documentary filmmaking and phenomenological psychology as research methods, and her subsequent research and practice (2008 – 2020/present) as the founder/director of Dreambridge in Ashland, Oregon. She weaves, from her research and practice, examples of: dream inspired creativity; creativity in dreams; and dream incubated creativity. Visual, performing, and literary dream art is revealed from Ancient Egypt and Greece through the 21st Century. Morgan defines “Dream-Arts” and the term she uses in her work with the verb, “Dreambridge,” which is to consciously transform an experience during sleep into a creative form of expression that can be shared with others in the waking life world. With a diagram of Dream-Arts, she describes how dreamwork can “Dreambridge” into various creative fields and domains. She then presents sub-links within the links between Dreams and Creativity in order to identify the direction of energy: Dream (links to) Creativity; Creativity (links to) Dreaming; and Dreams (links from and to) Creativity. She demonstrates examples of these directional flows of dream creativity as they apply to visual, performing, and literary arts.
For all audiences.
Long-term Statistics of School Dreams (Talk)
This study uses statistics and other methods to analyze dreams from 1979 to 1999. For two of those years, I attended graduate school. This study will track the number of school dreams during years of enrollment, compared to years when I was not enrolled in school. It will also track how soon school dreams began, and how long they continued after graduation.
The first decade in the sample, I lived in a religious cult. The second decade, I left the cult, enrolled in a graduate program in youth counseling, then went back to help the people who were abused as children in the cult. The dream sample ends in 1999, when the children filed a lawsuit against the organization.
The study will take nuances into consideration. In addition to attending graduate school, I also attended UCLA Extension for several years, and later went to art school for several years. I anticipate the highest concentration of school dreams occurred when I was in graduate school. Daytime notations will verify whether I was enrolled in school during school dream clusters. The set includes 6,514 dreams and 4,044 daytime notations.
Nearly everyone has school dreams, including being late, forgetting to study for a test, getting lost on the campus, and so on. Most often, people classify these as anxiety dreams. This study will show statistical evidence to suggest school dreams may also literally be about school.
Basis. The main method is to gather statistics on the appearance of the word “school,” as well as school-related words, such as “classroom” and “grades,” and proper names of schools and professors. Because the journals are dated, and include daytime notations that reveal daytime concerns, the journals themselves provide statistical data.
I will gather statistics based on a timeline of how school dreams and periods of school enrollment coincide. I will also look for statistics on how long an increased rate of school dreams continued after graduation.
Another confirmation of the statistics is the dreamer’s subjective experience. While the authors of most long dream series are deceased, in this case the dreamer is still living, and I am able to share insights about the school dreams and how they relate to my daytime concerns.
Outline of Presentation
The presentation will begin with an overview of the dream journal. It comprises 245 notebooks spanning 1979 to present, with an approximately 12,000 dreams. The main characters over decades are my parents, brother, husband, aunt and cousin, and several lifelong friends and their families. Sanskrit-named characters from the religious cult appear in most dreams for the first ten years, then gradually fade away after I leave. Simultaneously, new characters began to join the dreams, including two college professors.
I will share as many school dreams as time allows. I will also briefly explain how the dreams corresponded to my daytime experience of attending graduate school, and other schools, between 1979-1999.
Time for Q&A.
This presentation is appropriate for all levels of researchers.
Julie Nauman-Mikulski and 12 artists selected from exhibiting artists
Visual Artists Panel: Artistic Processes of Working with Dreams (Panel)
Twelve of the exhibiting artists explain their creative process and how it is related to dreams and dreaming. Each artist presents visuals of their work. Conference attendees will be provided the opportunity to gain a more comprehensive understanding of works in the exhibition narrated by the artist themselves.
This panel is for all attendees.
Do We Gesture While Speaking in Dreams? (Hot Off the Press)
Many, if not most people tend to gesture when speaking in waking life. It would seem natural, then, if when we speak in dreams, that we (our dream egos) also gesture while talking. Electromyography (EMG) gathered from the University in Texas in 2016 supports this idea.
Prior research has suggested a correspondence of dreamed speech and dreamed motor behavior with associated muscle activity as measured by EMG.
The presentation will consist of the display and discussion of EMG muscle data as it relates to the notion of dream-body gesturing while speaking in dreams. The research presentation is based on EMG data collected from two subjects at the University of Texas, Austin, in 2016. The display via virtual screen-sharing will exhibit EMG data from the chin and arm muscles during REM periods. An EDF browser will be the tool exhibiting the muscle activity. The exhibition should demonstrate a correlation between chin (speaking) and arm (gesturing) muscle activity during dreamed speech.
The target audience is general as electromyograph technology will be explained in the presentation.
Post-trauma Nightmares Language Use and Nightmare Severity (Hot Off the Press)
Author names: Caitlin Paquet, Chelsea M. Cogan, Joanne L. Davis
Introductory summary: Exposure, Relaxation, and Rescripting Therapy incorporates the writing down, and rescripting, of a trauma survivor’s most distressing nightmare. The current study established significant relationships between the language used in nightmares and their rescriptions within cognitive and emotional domains and nightmare severity, when controlling for PTSD and depression symptom severity.
Basis: It has long been established that the language individuals use to describe their internal and external experiences may reveal underlying mental processes that are important for understanding a person’s current state of functioning. Preliminary evidence suggests that language use within specific domains, such as emotions and cognitive processing, is especially relevant to PTSD symptoms. This has yet to be explored regarding understanding the relationship post-trauma nightmares (PTNM) narratives may have to PTSD and nightmare symptoms. PTNM are considered more severe forms of disturbed dreaming relative to idiopathic nightmares, and often involve recurrent replaying of trauma-related imagery and themes. Furthermore, PTNMs are associated with greater risk for developing PTSD, greater severity of PTSD symptoms and often remain unremitted in response to trauma-treatment. Therefore, understanding the language used to describe content within PTNM may help to understand how PTNM may play an etiological and perpetuating role in PTSD through elucidating underlying emotional and cognitive processing relevant to the trauma.
Sequential summary: After a brief introduction of the supporting literature, the author will explain the rationale, hypotheses, and methods of the current study. The author will then discuss the results of the data analysis. Lastly, the author will discuss the implications of the results, as well as the limitations of the study and ideas for future directions.
Target audience: For all
Bess Park and Nancy Huslage
Where Do Dreams Live in the Body? (Workshop)
An Artistic Movement Approach to Embodied Dreamwork, this workshop explores embodiment as a bridge that deepens dreamwork by engaging the body through somatic approaches richly informed by arts-based experiential practices. Participants will be guided to access the wisdom of the body as a crucial and often overlooked step in bringing the contents of our unconscious into consciousness awareness. From the beginning, a temenos, or safe space, will be established to allow this work to honor the content of the dream as belonging to the dreamer and the projective and responsive material as belonging to the witness.
Based in the work of Henri Corbin, Jeremy Taylor, and Robbie Bosnak, all influenced by Carl Jung, dreamwork will be explored from the perspective of the power of the image to capture us and hold us in its grips (James Hillman, 1979, The Dream and the Underworld). The projective dreamwork approach taught at the Haden Institute, and interpreted by the presenters, formulates the basis of this presentation, and, uniquely, will act as a springboard that critiques dreamwork approaches that tend toward privileging mind, knowing, and understanding over uncertainty, instinct, and somatic wisdom.
The workshop begins with a 20-25 minute presentation to provide its theoretical foundations, followed by a 10-12 minute experiential practice where participants will explore dropping into a somatic practice that invites them to feel into and track their own body’s felt-senses through various perceptive and somatic devices. This is particularly important because often we are not in touch with our felt sense (Hanna, 1979) and thereby, do not have the tools by which to connect or know when or how to notice or identify concrete embodied experiences when they happen to us. Authentic movement, as envisioned by Whitehouse and Adler, and supplemented by Woodman and Stromstead, will then be introduced with a 2-3-minute series of instructions for the next section. Authentic movement’s approach to witnessing and tracking one’s own responses/sensations toward a dream image hopefully eliminates the potential for appropriation or dismantling of the authority of the dreamer.
A 10-12 minute demonstration by the presenters will provide an example of how participants can tune into the wisdom of their own bodies as they track the embodied witnessing of a dream. Following a short Q&A, instructions will be given for those who would like to break into 12-16 minute dyads to explore one or two dream images (6-8 minutes each) with the presented approach. The presenters will be available during this time for questions and clarifications. Finally, the conclusion of this workshop will be a coming together for 8-10 minutes of sharing and short closing comments. This workshop is open to all levels and would prefer to have a limit of 30.
How Is It We Can Dream of the Future? Speculating on the Results of 18 Precognitive Dream Contests (Talk)
Since the first Psiber Dreaming Conference in 2002, we have encountered many precognitive dreams and come to appreciate the scope and variety of the ways that dreamers hit on a picture that hasn’t yet been selected. But how or why is this even possible?
Basis: In this presentation we will illuminate the question by exploring research and provocative perspectives such as field consciousness, retrocausation or “premory”, and simultaneous time. Illustrations will be provided from the results of our Precognitive Dream Contests.
After a brief description of the protocol for our precognitive dream contests, we will cover research and speculations about the nature of precognition. Dean Radin, in his 2006 book Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality, cites the research of psychologist Roger Nelson in “field consciousness.” When a random number generator (RNG) is “placed near groups engaged in highly focused attention,” the randomness of its output decreases. Nelson found the most positive results involved “unusually warm or close feelings of togetherness, with emotional content that tends to draw people together, where personal involvement is important but focused more toward a group goal involving a deeply engrossing theme . . .” This description could easily be mistaken for what participants say about the Psiber Dreaming Conferences, and especially our contests.
In Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious (2019), science writer Eric Wargo summarizes how findings and theories in quantum physics describe time as capable of flowing in both directions. Thus precognition can be seen as “memory of things future,” or as he calls it, “premory.” He argues that precognitive dreams represent “not just future experiences but also our thoughts and emotions associated with those experiences.” An illustration will be presented from the 2015 contest.
In his discussion of retrocausation, Wargo suggests that our dreams contain fragments of our emotional reactions to future events, although “the precognitive unconscious cannot know the meaning of what it is producing; the meaning only emerges when a dream . . .is interpreted in light of subsequent events”. This principle is uncannily demonstrated in the contest results of 2017.
Finally, we will explore the concept that “all time is simultaneous,” introduced by Jane Roberts in her famous Seth books. According to them, the source of our physical reality, and of All That Is, is consciousness, and in dreams we spontaneously navigate through the field of probabilities. Roberts/Seth offer a framework for precognitive dreaming: “The mind, as opposed to the brain, perceives in terms of a spacious present. Therefore it draws its associations not only from your present and past but also from your future . . .” An example will be a most remarkable precognitive hit in the 2012 contest, from a practiced lucid dreamer making skillful use of the spacious present.
Dreaming of the Sleep Lab: A Large Database Study (Hot Off the Press)
Claudia Picard-Deland, Michelle Carr, Tore Nielsen
Context: Ever since Aserinsky & Kleitman’s discovery of a link between vivid dreaming and REM sleep opened the doors to laboratory investigations of dreaming, the phenomenon of dreaming about the laboratory has proven to be a ubiquitous feature of the research landscape (see review in Schredl, 2008). The content of such dreams draws upon episodic memories—or memory fragments—of the participant’s lab experience (e.g. experimenters, electrodes, hospital, tasks). As common as such lab reactivations are, they have never been given a thorough quantitative or phenomenological treatment.
Methodology and goals: Here we made use of a large database of 528 dreams (N=487 participants) collected in the sleep lab along with polysomnographic recordings to 1) investigate state (e.g. circadian factors, sleep stages) and trait (e.g. anxiety or nightmare proneness) factors that underlie such lab reactivations in dreams; and 2) investigate the phenomenology of lab reactivations using a new taxonomy (scoring system) of the variety of ways laboratory elements are reactivated in dreams
Results: 35.8% of all dreams reactivated some elements of the laboratory. Generalized linear mixed models revealed that these were more frequent in REM dreams (44.2%) than in NREM dreams (20.9%), and more frequent after REM morning nap awakenings (55.6%) than REM overnight awakenings (24.6%). They were also more frequent in women (39.0%) than in men (29.9%); and in nightmare prone participants (62.0%) than controls (31.3%). They were not related to anxiety or depression scores. Lab reactivation dreams were higher on scores of Negativity, Fear, Bizarreness, Confusion and Clarity of Recall, but not on Positivity, compared with dreams featuring no lab elements. Three judges assessing common themes associated with lab reactivations identified 7 themes, including False awakenings (36.5%), Sensory incorporations (27%), Wayfinding to, from or within the lab (24.3%), Sleep as performance (19.6%), Friends/Family in the lab (14.8%), Being an object of observation (9.5%) and Sleep-related activities outside the lab (9%). Finally, 31.7% of these dreams included projections to the near future (e.g. the experiment being over), while only 2.6% included projections to the near past (e.g. coming to the lab) – the remaining dreams had neither (66.7%).
Implications: Results clarify sleep stage, gender and personality factors associated with lab reactivations in dreams. Phenomenological results such as for False awakenings, Wayfinding and Future projection are consistent with the novel hypothesis that, during lab reactivation dreams, episodic memory processes and their hippocampal correlates are more fully activated than usual.
This presentation is intended for all audiences.
The Waking Dream Incubation (Workshop)
In antiquity, pilgrims traveled miles seeking dream incubation temples. They brought their petitions and life challenges to present for healing via the dream. Today we enter the incubation temple within our dream consciousness without the physical journey. Participants are taught to create their place of departure and return along with the necessity of formulating the reason for their journey. As in waking reality, they find appropriate inner guides to aid them. They shift their focus inwardly, expanding consciousness to journey to the incubation temple, all facilitated by shamanic drumming and chanting. They experience dream communication in the softened waking state. Like the lucid dream which comes during sleeping, the waking dream experience allows the participant to have increased awareness of being awake on an inner dream landscape. All begins with a discussion of dream consciousness beyond sleeping, awakening respect for the many gates that open to the inner voice. In the end, experiences are shared and are open to discussion. Participants leave with the ability to repeat this experience in the privacy of personal safe settings
First half hour: Workshop begins with a discussion setting goals, the rationale for wishing to enter the waking dream, and the use of shamanic techniques.
Second half hour: Setting up the experience; discovering the perfect guide. Setting up the place of departure and return. Formulating the incubation petition. A short journey with drumming to experience shift of consciousness in the waking dream.
Third half hour:. Waking Dream Incubation experience. Twenty minutes of experiencing the incubation dreaming. Ten minutes of discussion.
Target audience: All interested in experiencing what can be compared to a lucid dream. All who are interested in experiencing a dream which is not quickly forgotten upon leaving the dream state. Dreamers in general. Also, any interested in meditation and shamanism, expanding the manner in which they may enter the dream state.
The Healing of Personal and Collective Memory in the Lucid Void (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Psycho-spiritual Healing in Lucidity”)
Melinda Powell’s presentation starts with an overview of the key features of the lucid void and the nature of experience therein. The healing of memory in what has been called ‘imageless’ or ‘formless’ dreaming of the void in lucidity is explored. In the practice of what she refers to as ‘Lucid Surrender’, Powell has experienced the void as ‘Black Light’, a luminous darkness, alive with deeply felt emotion and awareness, out of which abstract or unusual forms of light arise.
In Black Light, she has found that personal memory vanishes, having no apparent significance, unless it re-emerges spontaneously to deepen the experience and facilitate psycho-spiritual transformation. Her presentation will highlight themes that emerge from hundreds of Lucid Surrender dreams she has had over a ten-year period. In particular, she will look at how time and memory function in such lucid experiences and at how memory itself may be transformed within the void, moving the dreamer towards psycho-spiritual healing and re-visioning our understanding of darkness.
She will also discuss how she draws on her experience in the void when working therapeutically with clients.
Technodelic Learning: Transformative VR and Dream Competencies (Talk)
Technodelics, or computer-mediated psychedelic applications, may have profound implications for dream studies. This talk presents emerging research on transformative change using a technodelic “SoundSelf”, and related narratives of VR affecting dreaming and lucid dreaming competencies. It will conclude with a VR demonstration/performance.
This talk will draw on a research study in progress, “Transformative Change in Virtual Reality: A Mixed Methods Study” The study focused on psychological, mystical, and well-being metrics associated with a VR experience, “SoundSelf”, and generated additional data on a variety of topics, including dreams, technodelics and dreams, and dream competencies. The author also conducted an informal dialogue with VR users, generating themes related to dreams and: 1) building worlds in VR with AltSpace, 2) art-making applications such as Gravity Sketch, and 3) art-music VR apps such as SoundSelf and The Wave XR.
4min- What are Virtual Reality Technodelics?
5min- Ways VR may shape dreaming: themes from research with SoundSelf
5min- Pilot studies with Gravity Sketch: Making worlds and art in VR and dream competencies.
6min- Demonstration of VR technodelic experience
Effectiveness of Lucid Dreaming and Sleep Hygiene Techniques to Reduce Stress in Graduate Students (Hot Off the Press)
Authors: Pat Precin and Sharon Guttman
[Not to publish]
The top three impediments to academic success self-reported by 2,149 college students were stress (29%), anxiety (22%), and sleep difficulties (19%) (American College Health Association, 2018). Stress levels heightened when healthcare students transition from classroom to clinic (Moridi, Khaledi, & Valiee, 2014). Although lucid dream induction techniques have been used to reduce nightmares (Macedo, Almondes, Mota-Rolim, 2019), they have not been extensively used to alleviate stress in healthcare students in rigorous academic clinical programs. This research poster presentation will include the results of a 12-week lucid dreaming/sleep hygiene/stress management intervention to reduce stress in graduate students during a clinical health care affiliation.
This is a mixed method intervention effectiveness study. Researchers utilized convenience sampling to recruit 20 participants from the Occupational Therapy Program at Columbia University who were completing their first year and enrolled in mental health fieldwork. Participants were in the age-range of 22-42 (mean 24), 90% female (n = 18), 67% Caucasian (n = 12), 20% Hispanic (n = 4), 15% Asian (n = 3), and 5% Caucasian/Hispanic (n = 1). Participants completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the Lucidity and Consciousness Dream Scale (LuCiD) as both pre- and post-test measurements in order to measure change in stress levels and dream lucidity and a qualitative post-intervention-22-item survey.
The intervention was manualized and administered by the principal researchers over a 12-week period bi-weekly, for a total of 6-1-hour online video sessions. Each session consisted of the following: (1) psychoeducation regarding lucid dreaming, stress reduction, and sleep hygiene; (2) practice of lucid dreaming induction techniques; (3) guided visualization; and (4) opportunity for participants to discuss their experience. Participants completed the following intervention components individually, outside of the sessions: (1) a daily Home Exercise Program in which they practiced lucid dreaming induction techniques, (2) a dream journal, and (3) a sleep hygiene journal.
There was no statistically significant difference between pre- and post-test PSS scale scores (Z = -.626, p < .53) or pre- and post-test LuCiD scale scores (Z = -.915, p < .36) according to a Wilcoxon signed rank analysis. Fifty-five percent reported decreases in stress while 45% reported increases, thereby averaging out significant change. Constant comparative analysis of qualitative data revealed that 60% of participants found the lucid dream techniques helpful in managing stress. Thirty-five percent reported that mindfulness was the most helpful technique. Eighty-five of participants reported that they were better able to remember their dreams. Fifty-five percent of the subjects reported experiencing at least one pre-lucid/lucid dream during the study. Seventy-five percent found the sleep hygiene techniques helpful and 90% stated they would continue using lucid dream and sleep hygiene techniques. Two major themes appeared: strong interest in lucid dreaming and too many home assignments. Results support the merit of using this intervention protocol with students who have time during fieldwork.
For ALL participants
Fluidity of Dreams (Workshop)
The intention is to provide an embodied dream experience, in which the dreamer is the change agent. We will take the energy of significant parts of the dream and create poetry. The poem, as the condensed version of the dream, builds the base for a signature movement that embodies the essence of the chosen dream. How would your dream morph and shift if you had magic capacities?
This workshop is an embodied experience using imagination, movement, and sound. Based on drama and poetry therapy, the chosen dream will be put into motion, focusing on the core energy of the dream. Participants will step in and support each other’s dream signature movement. The dreamer will be encouraged to step beyond the mind and allow the soul to shapeshift or expand the movement sample of the dream. This process offers the dreamer an experience to become an agent of change in the dream.
Further, there will be time to journal and share with a partner how to take the learning from the dream into waking reality. We will complete with a short closing circle. Open to all.
The Universal Language of Dreams (Morning Dream Group)
Each morning, participants will share dreams with an amalgamation of contemporary and innovative dreamwork methods and techniques which will unravel the riddles of the night with creative conversations from the communal richness of diverse international backgrounds. Dreams explore universal themes shared by all human beings in all cultures, religions and philosophies. In an atmosphere of respectful and appropriate inquiry, dreamers of all skill levels and backgrounds will practice a variety of techniques for understanding the language of metaphor and symbolic thought. Participants will explore dream symbolism from personal, collective, archetypal, and allegorical perspectives. Together the group will create a model for an international dream community in atmosphere of respect and curiosity.
The Language of Dreams: Poetry of the Soul (Workshop)
The creative potential of DreamWriting is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for dream interpretation. In this workshop, participants will practice a variety of techniques for understanding the language of metaphoric and symbolic thought. Dreams will be transposed into poetry and prose with language that is bursting with juicy, impassioned vocabulary. Provocative writing prompts will unravel the riddles of the night with new insights. International DreamMentor, Victoria Rabinowe, offers an invitation to experiment with different approaches beyond rational systems of logic. In collaboration with the dreaming mind, creative forms of dream work can become the key to shift away from standard left-brain strategies for dream analysis. She will share a variety of innovative tools that help to unravel complex messages and to decrypt codes by switching creative functions that originate from different parts of the mind. Through carefully crafted workshop development, many senses will be employed to reveal multiple layers of meanings. Coaxed out of the chaotic and mysterious Prima Materia of the dream, writing prompts will engage the senses with breathtaking Aha! moments. Dreamers of all skill levels and backgrounds are welcome. No special talent or acumen is required. DreamWriting will expand, deepen and enrich the tools for professional psychotherapists and spiritual guidance counselors; it will open up creative styles of dream inquiry for educators, artists and writers; It will inspire current and future dream workshop leaders. www.VictoriaDreams.com
Dream Haiku: Surfing the Edge Between Sleeping and Waking (Workshop)
Haiku – short, structured poems of Japanese origin – can mine rich seams in dreams, offering clarity and focus. They can sometimes unearth kernels of truth which are just beyond conscious understanding. We will explore a dream/dreams through a series of exercises, each participant writing and sharing several dream haiku during the workshop.
Asha has been working with dream haiku since 2018, refining methods and ideas for facilitating the writing of dream haiku with groups and individuals. She first started working this way when she conceived dream haiku as a vehicle for bringing together her interests in dreams and writing. Her dissertation for her MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP) is a personal exploration of dream haiku, reviewing the learning gained to inform the CWTP field.
The workshop will consist of the following:
1) A brief explanation of the haiku poetic form.
2) Introductions (participants will be asked to mention if they wish their level of experience with both dreams and writing/poetry).
3) Identification of a dream to work with initially – sharing of this dream in pairs/small groups depending on participant numbers.
4) Writing a haiku to summarise the dream/the essence of the dream – participants will be encouraged to focus on key words/images/people in the dream as the starting point for this first poem.
5) Sharing the haiku in pairs/small groups (a few minutes each for sharing and discussion).
6) Writing a second haiku inspired by writing/discussion, followed by more sharing/discussion in the same groups.
7) Return to the larger group – participants will be asked for any reflections they have on the process so far, and space will be given for anyone who would like to read their haiku to the larger group.
8) Writing a third haiku in relation to the same dream or a recent dream that participants feel warrants exploration; this haiku will ask a question/questions the dreamer would like answered.
9) Writing a haiku response to the question – participants will be offered the opportunity to do this themselves or if they wish collaborate with another member of the group to create a joint poem. Time will be given for single or collaborative work, with time for sharing in pairs or small groups.
10) Participants will be asked to pick the favourite poem they have written in the workshop and read it out; these poems will be shared in the larger group without comment or explanation, thus offering space for the formation of a larger shared poem which belongs to the group.
11) Wrap up – review of what has been done, closing round with people offering a word/sentence about what they will take away from the workshop.
This workshop is suitable for all – previous experience has shown that people who do not consider themselves writers or poets can find dream haiku a safe, contained yet inspiring way of exploring dreams through the writing of poetry.
Linda Yael Schiller
PTSDreams: Transforming Nightmares into Healing with the GAIA Method (Guided Active Imagination Approach) (Workshop)
This workshop focuses on recognizing the connections between traumas and nightmares, how they show up in dreams, and best practices for resolving and healing both the upset in the dream and the root cause. The GAIA method designed by the presenter is one of several methods explored, with roots in best practice trauma treatment that emphasize the creation of safety before engaging with frightening material, integrative body/mind healing practices, and Jungian Active Imagination and dream re-entry approaches. Integrated healing for trauma is well documented in the field (van Der Kolk, Levine, Porges, Shapiro), as is the connection between both recent and historical trauma and their direct or indirect appearance as nightmares (Hartman, Krippner, Ellis). After explicating these areas of research and practice didactically and though Q and A, case examples and live demonstration of the method will be shared.
The dreamer is the ultimate authority of their dream. Workshop includes both didactic and interactive styles, including an exercise in understating the nature of dissociation and how it may show up in dreams.
The target audience is intermediate to advanced dream workers.
Lauren Z. Schneider
Tarotpy®: Finding Resilience and Guidance for Life Challenges (Workshop)
Tarotpy, like dream work, connects us to our inherent wholeness and resilience. Especially during challenging times, such as a worldwide pandemic, social and political upheaval, and personal suffering, Tarotpy reinspires us and indicates new pathways through hardship. It brings the Soul’s perspective back into everyday life. Like dreaming, Tarotpy reveals that all experience, even death, is guided by intelligent and transcendent forces.
The archetypal images of Tarot, Soul Cards, Tao Cards, etc. come from the same psychic pool as dreams. Tarotpy shows meaningful correlation between dream material and waking life imagery. Tarotpy is an innovative method to enhance the practice of dream work and enter dreaming consciousness with eyes wide open.
We approach the images without preconceived ideas or “meanings.” We are present to Psyche as she expresses through images, and we are guided in a co-creative process with the material. There is a reciprocal relationship that happens: this focus of attention begins to heat up the image. This in turn inspires our active imagination, which then enlivens the spirit within the image. In this shared state of inspiration between active imagination and the “living image”, a communication materializes. We develop a personal relationship with the imagery, so that meaning, insight and shifts in perception arise from within each individual.
By inviting synchronicity into a ritualized and sacred space, Tarotpy sets the stage for an extraordinary experience to occur. The closer we are to the imaginal realm – working with dreams and divination tools such as Tarotpy – the more transparent we are to its intelligence, and the less attached to our personal or collective ego constructs. Synchronicity is like a glitch in the matrix, momentarily cracking open the calcified illusion of separateness from oneself, one another, the natural world, the realm of dreams and spirit. Synchronicity allows us a momentary glimpse of and alignment with Soul. This encounter with oneself and/or the Divine activates healing and wholeness.
This workshop on Tarotpy – didactic (1/2 hour) and experiential portion (1 ½ hours) – is appropriate for any and all participants. Also, the workshop can be open to any size group as participants will be divided into dyads or triads to have supportive input from fellow participants.
Experiential: Participants will be guided in using an interactive method, Tarotpy, to work personal and/or collective material. They will focus and reflect on a pattern of images, describe two or three in detail, and sense into the embodied presence of each image. They will explore how the outer image relates to personal and collective material through methods of dream work, including the Projective Approach, dialogue with images through active imagination, automatic writing, association, amplification, archetypal analysis, and Embodied Imagination. Participants develop their own relationship to the images and meaning. They are the ultimate authority. If time allows, participants will practice shifting and replacing images to evolve the material or issue at hand.
Does Global Warming Affect Dream Content? Analyzing a 30-yr. Dream Series (Hot Off the Press)
The continuity hypothesis of dreaming postulates that dreams reflect waking life, e.g. preoccupations, experiences, thoughts; however, other topics like seasonal changes have been studied very rarely. A long dream series recorded between 1984 and 2015 (over 30 years) including 11,808 dreams showed that “cold” elements like snow, ice, and hail occurred less often over time and, thus, indicates that dreams might provide clues regarding global changes. Using modern tools for digital dream content analysis might enable researchers to validate this preliminary finding using other large data sets.
Nightmare Distress, Nightmare Frequency, and Beliefs About Nightmares (Talk)
Co-authors: Michael Schredl, Louisa Holyba, Tina Köllmer, Jessica Körfer, and Annika Proß.
Nightmares are extremely dysphoric dreams that can awaken the sleeper. As nightmares are experienced by many persons, a nightmare disorder as diagnosis (F51.5) is present if nightmares occur so often that they cause clinical significant distress, e.g., anxieties at sleep onset, poor sleep quality, mood disturbances due to persistence of the nightmare affect (American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2014). The first author received a phone call from a desperate young man: He had dreamed that he was shot (a very intense and realistic dream) and had developed severe panic about the belief that the nightmare might come true. So, the research question was: How strong is the contribution of nightmare beliefs to nightmares distress (in addition to nightmare frequency)?
Method. Overall, 2056 persons (1212 woman, 844 men) completed the online survey (wisopanel.net) between April 7, 2019 and April 15, 2019. The mean age of the sample was 52.48 ± 14.23 years (range: 19 to 95 years). The questionnaire included an eight-point scale measuring nightmare frequency and a five-point scale measuring general distress due to nightmares (Schredl, Berres, Klingauf, Schellhaas, & Göritz, 2014). In addition, a six-items scale was used with items like “Nightmares contain clues to unconscious fears.”, “Anyone who regularly has nightmares has experienced something bad in the past.” or “Some nightmares can become reality.” (Schredl, Holyba, Köllmer, Körfer, & Proß, 2019) with a Cronbach’s alpha of .771.
Results and Discussion. The problematic nightmare belief was related to younger age, female gender, and lower education. A regression analysis indicated that nightmare frequency was the strongest predictor for nightmare distress, but the contribution of the beliefs about nightmares scale was almost as strong in explaining inter-individual differences in nightmare distress. The study clearly indicates that treatment programs for nightmares should also include psycho-educative elements like the current etiological model for nightmares (disposition-stress model), in addition to techniques like Imagery Rehearsal Therapy that are focused on reducing nightmare frequency.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2014). The international classification of sleep disorders. (ICSD-3). Darien, IL: AASM.
Schredl, M., Berres, S., Klingauf, A., Schellhaas, S., & Göritz, A. S. (2014). The Mannheim Dream questionnaire (MADRE): Retest reliability, age and gender effects. International Journal of Dream Research, 7, 141-147.
Schredl, M., Holyba, L., Köllmer, T., Körfer, J., & Proß, A. (2019). Nightmare distress, nightmare frequency, and beliefs about nightmares. International Journal of Dream Research, 12(2), 60-66.
Listening to the Dreamer (Morning Dream Group)
This approach is based on the client-centered therapy developed by Carl Rogers. Interpretations in any form are discouraged because the interpretations reveal more about the interpreter than about the dreamer. Even the dreamer herself/himself is not encouraged to use interpretative methods. The group will learn to ask open-ended questions to stimulate the dreamer to think about the links between the dream (emotions, cognitive patterns, and the way the dream ego acts) and current waking life issues. After working with the dream, group members can share their own thoughts and feelings connected to the dream’s topics.
Michael Schredl and Lara C. Wood
Partners and Ex-partners in Dreams: A Diary Study (Talk)
Romantic relationships are an important part of human life and, thus, according to the continuity hypothesis of dreaming, the romantic partner should show up in dreams quite frequently. This has been shown by previous research; however, research into the content of partner dreams and ex-partner dreams is scarce; solely Schredl (2011) reported for a single case the types of activities the dreamer and the partner were engaged in within the dream: Shared activities (e.g., driving in a car, visiting someone) was the most common topic (ca. 43%); meeting/talking to each other (ca. 26%) and erotic activities (ca. 20%) were less frequent. Single-case studies (Domhoff, 2003; Schredl & Neuhäusler, 2019) showed more negative emotions and aggression in the dreamed interactions with the ex-partner, even after 20 yrs. (Domhoff, 2003).
Method. The present study is based on 1612 dream reports provided by 425 students (361 women and 64 men) with a mean age of 23.40 ± 5.41 years. Dream content analysis was carried out by independent judges using the scales of friendly and aggressive interactions published by Hall and Van de Castle (1966). In addition, scales for measuring the emotional quality and the type of the dream interaction with the partner respective to the ex-partner were developed.
Results and Discussion. The findings confirmed the hypothesis that partner dreams are more frequent than ex-partner dreams and, thus, support the continuity hypothesis of dreaming. Moreover, interactions with ex-partners within the dream were more often negatively toned compared to dreamed interactions with the partner – a finding that is also in line with the continuity hypothesis of dreaming. Unexpectedly, we also found more positive emotions and friendliness in ex-partner dreams compared to partner dreams, indicating that partner dreams might often include more mundane topics like sharing activities with the partner. To conclude, dreams reflect important aspects of romantic partnerships and their break-ups.
Domhoff, G. W. (2003). The Scientific Study of Dreams: Neural networks, Cognitive Development and Content Analysis. Washington: American Psychological Association.
Hall, C. S., & Van de Castle, R. L. (1966). The Content Analysis of Dreams. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Schredl, M. (2011). Dreams of a romantic partner in a dream series: Comparing relationship periods with periods of being separated. International Journal of Dream Research, 4, 127-131.
Schredl, M., & Neuhäusler, A. (2019). With or without you? Dreaming about the romantic partner – A case study. International Journal of Dream Research, 12(1), 141-146.
Coaching the Dream: An Ancient Experience in a New Context (Workshop)
The central idea in coaching is that clients are seen as naturally whole, creative and resourceful; so, when they hire a coach it is not because they have a problem but because they have an agenda. Initially that agenda may not be clear; it may be just a vague sense that something is missing. By using this container to work with dreams, we establish a dialog between the client’s experience in what we call Day School (the time that they are awake and primarily operating under the influence of the ego) and Night School (where they collect the dream stories that are messages from the soul). The mission of coaching in working with dreams is to foster that conversation in the service of helping the client step into the next larger version of themselves. As with their waking experience, the client is the arbiter of the experience of the dream; the coach is there to facilitate the client’s process.
The lecture part of the workshop (20 minutes) will cover four ideas:
1.The tools of coaching, active listening and asking powerful questions are as well suited to dreamwork as they are to any other human experience. While being human may be an extraordinary experience, dreaming within that context is very ordinary. By making dreams less mystical and more accessible, we allow clients to embrace the full array of their consciousness.
2.The clinical concepts of subconscious and unconscious are devices created in the early part of the 20th century, and it is useful to question their utility as we understand that all things in the universe are conscious. We’ll discuss how this language poses a barrier to accessing our dream states and perpetuates a fractured sense of consciousness.
3.Often the stories we tell about ourselves and the stories we believe about ourselves are limiting, and we interrupt them by entering into a healing process to change them. The stories in dreams are different. Even a repetitive dream has a unique aspect; they are stories told only once. So, as we listen to the dream, we honor the story, understand the emotional arc and then the message. We’ll describe how listening on these three levels help the client embrace the dream and allow it to live within their awareness.
4.The English language has in excess of 177,000 words; of those words, 70% are nouns. So, we are forced to describe our experience as “things”. Nouns, in addition to being not particularly descriptively present, require that we eliminate aspects of our experience that are excluded by their definitions. Herein lies the problem with extensive categorization of dreams. We’ll discuss two broad containers of dreams and why it is helpful to minimize their use.
We’ll use the next 40 minutes to demonstrate these ideas by working on dreams with volunteers from the attendees. We’ll debrief with the group and explore alternate lines of questions and intuitions.
Literature, Dreams and the Arts: Imagination and Transformation Through Understanding Simultaneous Time (Talk)
I will be presenting on the nature of dreams and the fantastic, especially in the ways that time is represented from antiquity to the present. It will be interesting to compare the use of dreams as portents in literature from antiquity and the ways in which the modern literary movement of surrealism transformed the dream landscape from background to foreground. I will examine they ways in which dreams are used in modern literature to communicate the simultaneity of time using analogy, particularly in Latin American and North American literature and film.
This presentation will attempt to demonstrate to participants the ways in which the dreamscape has become part of mainstream literature, from the Romantics to 20th century world literature. Artistic images also accompany this movement, starting with surrealism, and are evocative of the greater reaches of the imagination as it delves into the subconscious as a source for artistic expression. I am interested in demonstrating the importance of dreams in transforming how modern literature is read and presented. I will also draw upon mystic literature to show how altered states have transformed modern literature.
I will begin by using examples from literature in which dreams are invoked as a means to introduce how time functions differently from linear narratives. I would like to identify ways in which modern readers are schooled to “read” texts and film differently, as they easily accede to suspension of disbelief with regard to fiction. I would like to demonstrate ways in which film seems to be able to represent the simultaneity of time visually, while verbal narratives also can imitate dream sequences through techniques such as automatic writing and discontinuous sequence in written narrative. With the notable exception of Don Quixote, western narrative literature has not strictly followed linear sequence since the 18th century. With the mirror turned to a lamp (Abrams), the romantics began to focus on the interior world of the artist and surrealism was a natural outgrowth of that inward illumination. However, the ways in which dreams are represented over time has also transformed modern narratives.
Level – For all
Understanding and Exploring Children’s Nightmares: Clinical, Cultural, and Creative Perspectives (Workshop)
There is an epidemic of anxiety and depression in children linked to social media, bullying, academic pressure, trauma, abuse, and the stress of climate change in the 21st Century. Suicide rates are rising fast, and children are more vulnerable and isolated due to reduced social contact being replaced over time with devices and screens.
Dreams can be a vehicle for children to communicate distress that is taxing their ability to cope. Nightmares are often disturbing and may become a symptom causing enough distress (like intrusive anxiety or suicidal thoughts) to motivate the child to communicate rather than keeping silent. This may help psychotherapists, educators, and parents, to become more aware of issues bothering the child. Sharing nightmares can lead to a discussion of feelings and conflicts that a child may not be aware of or may not have the words or self-awareness and self-advocacy to communicate.
We will explore the natural history of children recalling and communicating dreams as their verbal and communicative powers grow during childhood. In a discussion format, we will verbally survey common childhood nightmares and look at how the nature of dreaming changes from early childhood into adolescence.
Exercises and discussion will include a brief creative writing and art exercise using an early childhood dream. Sharing is not required, and several childhood dreams will be available for participants who don’t want to share personal vignettes or who don’t have an example from their life or their professional work. The dreamer will be considered the ultimate authority if a personal dream is shared, and dreamwork techniques are intended to be demonstrations and not a substitute for psychotherapy.
In a short exercise combining individuals writing, sharing in small groups and then in the larger group discussion, participants will be asked to recall general themes from their own early childhood dreams and nightmares, or those of their children and of clients (if the identity is concealed). Sharing is optional.
Basic distinctions between nightmares and night terrors and between PTSD nightmares and other dreams will be presented and discussed with an accompanying handout. Gender differences and developmental changes in dreams and nightmares with maturation will be summarized, with a focus on nightmares.
Examples and patterns of dreams linked to transitions and crises, such as family conflicts, divorce and traumatic events will be discussed. Vignettes of nightmares linked to divorce and custody conflicts, learning, and behavior problems will be shared. The first will be explored via group discussion, and the second will be used as part of a role play, with a dream provided by the presenter.
Techniques for working with children’s nightmares in psychotherapy, assessment, crisis intervention, and in medical and educational settings will be discussed and demonstrated, including IRT and variations on rescripting dreams, exploration through creative arts, keeping a family dream journal, and working with parents to understand the meaning and strategies for helping children soothe and decode their children’s nightmares. Brief role plays and simulations of some of the above techniques will be conducted (time permitting), using nightmares supplied by the presenter.
Dreams of Trees (Workshop)
Dreams of trees often seem to have an existential quality, not so much about the meaning of our existence on earth, but about what it feels like for us to exist on this earth. Dr Sowton will present several tree dreams that he has collected from his naturopathic practice, and then will give participants a chance to share and discuss. You are invited to share your own tree dream.
Basis for presentation:
I have been in private practice as a naturopath and dreamworker since 1988. Over this time I have worked with many clients who have reported significant dreams featuring a tree, or trees. Both my clients and I have been struck by their emotional power of these tree dreams. Many clients also reported that tree dreams seem to have a double layer of meaning–simultaneously both personal and collective. I would like to present an illustrative selection of tree dreams, and then open the discussion for participants to share their own experiences with dreams of trees.
Introduction: 5 minutes
All participants will be given paper and drawing materials invited to draw a tree: 5 minutes
Presentation of six dreams collected from the records of my private practice, using a PowerPoint with verbatim transcripts of dreams and dreamworking sessions : 40 minutes
Open circle discussion of the elements observed in these dreams: 35 minutes
Open circle opportunity for dream sharing, using the “If it were my dream” format: 35 minutes
Target audience: Suitable for all participants
Specific techniques to be utilized:
Experiential segment: all participants will be issued art materials and invited to draw a tree.
PowerPoint presentation of verbatim session transcripts
Group discussion: Group dream sharing circle moderated by the presenter, using the “if it were my dream” format
Throughout this presentation it will be clearly stated and assumed that the dreamer is the ultimate authority on the meaning of the dream.
Testing an Integrated Protocol for the Treatment of Nightmares and Other PTSD-Related Symptoms (Hot Off the Press)
Co-authors: Scott Sparrow, Remington Mallett, Ryan Hurd, Mark Thurston
Preliminary data shows increases in lucidity, reflectiveness, fear, conflict, and negative emotions in dreams (over galantamine or placebo conditions alone) as a result of the integrated protocol (Middle of the Night Meditation/Nightmare Reliving/galantamine), which supports the hypothesis that the protocol may establish conditions for exposure and resolution of nightmare content.
This study is the third stage of an integrated research agenda which attempts to test the effects of combined lucid dream induction methods, as advocated by Stumbrys, et. al’s metaanalysis of lucid dream induction studies, which found that cognitive strategies alone had low effect levels. Also, the finding in stage 2 (Sparrow, et al, 2018) found unexpectedly that the integrated protocol increased fear and conflict in dreams, as well as lucidity and reflectiveness associated with galantamine alone. Our objective in this stage is to further substantiate this somewhat paradoxical effect, which coincides with the current trauma resolution paradigm of exposure plus reprocessing.
Since this is only a fifteen minute presentation, I will cover the following facets:
- Two previous studies
- Current study approach using the Advanced Lucid Dream Induction Technique (ALDIT)
- Data in the form of a chart
- Some preliminary quantitative analyses
- Next steps (restart study in late 2021, NIH grant application)
The Construction and Analysis of Metaphors in Co-Creative Dream Theory (Workshop)
Co-creative dream theory posits that the dream experience is co-determined through the reciprocal interplay between the dream ego and the emergent content. Thus, the dream imagery coalesces in response to the dreamer’s subjective stance interacting with emergent content, and adjusts accordingly through the course of the dream. Consequently, the resulting dream can be seen as one of many contingent outcomes based on the dreamer’s range of possible reactions through the course of the dream, as well as the broad constraints of underlying domains that account for the nature and thrust of the emergent content. From this dynamic relational view of the dream, the visual imagery serves as the “mutable interface” (Sparrow, 2013) between dream ego and emergent content. The purpose of this paper is to draw on three sources—Jung, Ullman, and Lakoff—to extend the co-creative paradigm more specifically into a view of dream metaphor construction and analysis. By viewing dream content as representing broad universal domains of human experience rendered as specific metaphors during the dream encounter as a consequence of the dreamer’s subjective stance, we can discern where the dream ego stands in relationship to the developmental tasks associated with these emergent domains. Finally, I will introduce a structured approach to co-creative dreamwork that reflects an approach to metaphors consistent with co-creative theory, as well as a series of questions consistent that can guide the dream worker in deconstructing dream metaphors. My workshop will be divided into:
1) Presentation of co-creative dream theory
2) Descriptions of the contributions of Jung, Ullman and Lakoff, which fall short of providing practical interventions.
3) Delineation of practical methods
4) Whole audience participation in dreamwork using the methods that I’ve delineated
Gregory Scott Sparrow
“A Comparison of the Common and Idiosyncratic Aspects Three Advanced Lucid Dreamers Using Galantamine to Induce WILD Lucid Dreams” (Talk)
Co-authors: Gregory Scott Sparrow, Peter Maich, and Mike Marable
This presentation is based on a survey that was administered to three advanced lucid dreamers, each of whom has used galantamine as a way to induce lengthy and stable experiences from the waking state. The questionnaire was developed by the three participants in collaboration, but then administered blindly, such that the responses were not known to each other.
The efficacy of using galantamine for inducing lucid dreams has been was tested for the first time by Sparrow, Hurd, Carlson & Molina (2018). Their participants awakened intentionally in the middle of the night and applied an integrated protocol (meditation/dream reliving and galantamine) before returning to sleep. The evaluation of post-treatment dreams provided the first empirical verification of galantamine’s awareness enhancing effects in dreams. After conducting this ground-breaking study, Sparrow and his research team (Sparrow, Hurd, Thurston, Mallett, and Malinowski) conducted a second study that focused on the impact of the integrated protocol on the dreams of nightmare sufferers.
The dream narrative data from the combined studies indicated unique phenomenal features of lucid dreams induced with galantamine. To explore these features more fully, Sparrow solicited the participation of a subject — Peter Maich — who completed both galantamine studies, as well as a second individual –Mike Marable — who has used a similar protocol successfully. Sparrow served as the third participant in this initial inquiry. Working together, Sparrow, Maich and Marable have created an original survey to assess the common and idiosyncratic features of their lucid dreams induced through galantamine use. Then they each completed the online survey independently (without knowledge of the others’ responses) to produce the data for comparison purposes.
Sparrow will introduce the empirical rationale of using supplements to enhance lucid dream frequency and depth; summarize his own discovery of galantamine’s efficacy; briefly cite the findings of their studies, along with LaBerge, LeMarca and Baird (2018); describe the methodology of collecting survey data and dream examples from Maich, Marable and himself; describe the common and idiosyncratic features discovered in the survey data; and propose research hypotheses and methodology that could prove fruitful in future studies.
Correspondences Between Dream Narratives and Societal Events: A Transpersonal Interpretive Framework (Talk)
This presentation offers compelling evidence of dreams that reflect contemporaneous events in the dreamer’s community, society, and world. More specifically, Dr. Stepakoff has drawn from her long-term dream journal to provide three examples in which she had a dream in which the visual and/or linguistic and/or thematic elements were strikingly congruous with societal events that had not yet been announced publicly and that she had no means of knowing about based on our current understanding of ordinary ways of obtaining information. She will share about her initial bewilderment when the relevant news events were subsequently announced, given the astounding correspondences with her dream reports (which she had already written, typed, and made notes about before the public announcements), and will describe her efforts to make sense of this phenomenon. Her search for ways to understand this mystery led her to the work of several dream theorists and dreamwork practitioners. In particular, she relied on Montague Ullman’s concept of species connectedness, Meredith Sabini’s concept of community dreams, Jung’s dream reports that he retrospectively came to understand had accurately anticipated the First World War, Fred Alan Wolf’s insights into the dreaming universe, Robert van de Castle’s experiences with clairvoyant, telepathic, and precognitive dreams, Robert Moss’s idea that traditional shamans interpreted dreams for the benefit of the wider community, Marie Louise von Franz’s remarks about the autonomous psyche, and related theories and research. During the presentation, Dr. Stepakoff will provide excerpts from three dream narratives, and then share the news report of each of the three corresponding events, using both verbal methods (e.g., narrative reports of the dream and the news event) and visual images (i.e., photos related to the news events that were reflected in the dreams). This evidence underscores the need for a transpersonal approach to dreaming, one that views dreams as having a significance beyond personal and/or dyadic concerns. In particular, the presenter’s experience of grappling with the implications of her experience of having dreamed about events that were going on in the larger society contemporaneously with these events but before these events had been reported led her to a profound awe about the dreaming mind and a recognition that much about human consciousness (and the deep unconscious) remains a mystery. Becoming aware of dream experiences that have no easy or rational explanation based on ordinary Western approaches to interpretation fosters a more profound respect for the unfathomable intelligence that underlies dreams, and points to the importance of new interpretative frameworks that consider the potential benefits that dream reports from a long-term dream journal may have for the wider society.
The target audience is For All.
Alixandra Summitt, Melissa Parks, and Denise Kester
Living the Dream that Every Child Is a Work of Art (Panel)
Our presentation will start with artwork of Alixandra Summitt on the theme of women’s empowerment. Half a century ago, Summitt pictured herself in a cosmic mandala-but far from the center of the universe. Today, in order to create the necessary compassion needed to sponsor a new world where everyone is cared for and the needs of no child go unrecognized, Alixandra’s artwork affirms that women must always be included where decisions are being made (RGB) By listening to artists anticipating the future, a preferable future can be recognized and sought. Look to the avant garde to see it first. As artists, even though each of the members of the panel travels a different road, they have processes that can help everyone with images, stories, and tools to create that future.
In one long-term project, Alixandra used the Vesica Pisces form, thought to combine shapes that represent animate life by the hexagon and inanimate life by the octagon, according to Albrecht Dürer in “The Art of Measurement”, which he used to teach sacred geometry. We don’t really know why growth follows sacred geometry patterns, but from a quantum physics perspective it does, and the creation of patterns is immanent in all forms in our solar system. Even that which seems chaotic, if viewed from a closer perspective, will have an order to the formation. What does this mean? When we put an idea out there—no matter how improbable it may seem–it can happen (dreams do come true). As Melissa Parks will profess, ‘every child is a work of art’ and is therefore entitled to a forever home; her work nets success for each child pictured. Through her attention, each child knows they are important.
The genesis of the grassroots non-profit, Art&Soul Dreams, began the summer of 2015, and is the dream of Melissa Parks, a mother, artist, art teacher, and social entrepreneur. This initiative is designed to increase the rate of adoption for abandoned children in the Michigan Foster Care system. To achieve this mission, we have generated an exceptional traveling photo exhibit where every child is seen as a work of Art. The photos of children are taken by photographers recognized for their excellence. Booklets are available to share the images and stories as well as their hopes and dreams. 100% of the children are matched with families, mentors or community opportunities. Once seen, we believe the people will open their hearts to them in this sensitive and compelling exhibit. Knowing that everyone has the power to create durable change on a small and grand scale motivates us. 30% of the featured children have been placed with pre-adoptive families. We have exhibited in 50+ venues and 30+ cities. We are not a housing facility or agency. Rather, Art&Soul Dreams partners with the State of Michigan and local agencies in shaping our communities to be places that believe: EVERY CHILD IS A WORK OF ART.
Denise Kester draws from the “Dreamtime” and uses art to illustrate her relationship with the world we live in. Using the wealth of information from dreams and “Dreamtime,” Denise creates stories and images that speak to people on many levels of awareness.
For Denise Kester, making art is a sacred relationship between her heart and the life force of the Universe, which she refers to as the dreamtime. She believes this force runs through our night dreams and day dreams. It is alive in our intuitive wisdom and our hearts. This dreamtime nourishes our imagination and inspiration which in turn replenishes the soul adding to the wellbeing of people and also our planet.
Within the context of art and dreamwork and drawing from the dream, Denise has come to understand the importance of doing her art not only for herself but for others. The visual stories are for us to ponder. Denise Kester has been drawing on the dream and exploring the interconnection with the universe for 45 years.
Denise will discuss and reveal the important relationship between dream work and art work. She will share art and story illustrating the importance of tapping the resources of Art, Dreams, and Life.
Alixandra Summitt’s artwork focuses on ‘what needs to be said’ to inspire change and to bring women and minorities into full participation in the culture.
Melissa Parks dives into creating the empathy needed to become responsible for the children of our planet. The creative process designed by Denise Kester provides dream tools for accessing deeper regions of the hidden self. By showing imagery to access inner consciousness, Denise will help participants sweep away the cobwebs that prevent seeing and experiencing truth and basic humanity. The trio collaborates to facilitate participant contributions.
For All healthcare workers, family members, social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, artists, educators, counselors, nurses, MD’s, naturopaths, integrative medicine practitioners, ministers, chaplains, DO’s, chiropractors, hospice practitioners & workers, dream therapists, & teachers.
A Layman’s Interpretation of Vivid Dreams and How They Affect His Life (Talk)
The speaker will walk the audience through his methodology for recording/recollecting dreams, and his lay interpretation of what his dreams mean to him and how they reflect his past life and impact his current living.
The focus will be on 3 – 4 very vivid, powerful, detailed dreams.
Q&A will follow: an interactive session with a non-professional dream analyst and author.
The basis for what I am presenting is my real-life experience and the subject matter for a published book
Target audience: For all
How to Make Change in the World: Can Dreams Help? (Workshop)
“It is very good news when we dream about the current planetary crisis,” Jeremy Taylor told me once, “because we never dream about things we can’t do anything about.” With this in mind, we will look at a couple of the presenter’s dreams about the global environmental and social crisis, and see if we can unearth some good news.
This workshop starts with a presentation of a dream called “How to Make Change in the World.” The dream indicates that the way to make change is to “sit still, and discover what you love.” This will lead us into a ten-minute guided followed by journaling. Participants will have a chance to share what they discovered in the meditation. Then they will be invited to tell their own social change dreams, if they choose.
In the second part of the workshop, we will discuss another social change dream, “Faraway Planet,” which takes a very expanded view of the troubles we face. This will open the way to an art activity, the creation of small flags to hang outdoors, which will serve as visual touchstones for going forward.
Together, these two dreams invite us to experience and imagine awe, love and possibility in the face of seemingly impossible odds.
The ultimate authority on the personal meaning of any dream is the dreamer.
This workshop is open to All.
Spiritual “Big Dreams” in Japan: Dreams that Set Shinran on the Path as a Buddhist (Talk)
Enryaku-ji Temple is one of the fundamental temples in Japanese Buddhism. It is also known to have served as a “cradle” for several founders of Buddhist sects during Kamakura-era. One of such founders, Shinran, was known to have pivotal “Big Dreams” that led him to his serious path as a Buddhist priest. He eventually became the founder of Jodo-Shinshu (as sometimes called “Shin-Buddhism).
After he studied at Horyu-ji Temple, at the age of 19 he visited the tomb of Prince Shotoku at Shinaga, incubated dreams for 3 days and got a dream brought by Prince Shotoku. Essentially, in the dream message Prince Shotoku told Shinran to propagate real Mahayana Buddhism in the land of Japan.
In that dream, Shinran was also told that he would have only 10 years to live. Toward the end of those 10 years, when he was 28, pressured, he incubated dreams for 21 days at Mudo-ji Temple, part of Enryaku-ji Temple. Then he got a dream that told him that his wish would be fulfilled. Rejoiced, he began his 100-day incubation in the Hexagon Pavilion that was built by Prince Shotoku. In the morning of the 95th day, he got a dream from Guze Bodhisattva that essentially told him: Even if you commit the sin of knowing a woman, I would be that woman and bless you, and take you to the Pure Land at the moment of your death.” This led to resolution of his long-held religious question: should Awakening be only attained by special, talented priests who desert their home and family and undertake lengthy, agonizing practices and trainings that result in spiritual visions? Would it be possible for ordinary people to attain Awakening without having such agonizing processes? This resolution eventually guided him to the foundation of his own sect, Jodo-Shinshu.
Shinran lived his life in the time when the power of dreams and people’s faith in it had gradually declined. Nonetheless, as a dedicated Buddhist, he was able to incubate and gain dreams that were significant for his career and life.
Imai, M. (2015). Shinran to Tan’nisho. [Shinran and Tan’nisho.] Tokyo, Japan: Yoshikawa-Kobunkan.
Koyama, S. (2017). Jodo-Shinshu toha nanika. [What is Jodo-Shinshu?] Tokyo, Japan: Chuko-Shinsho.
Target audience: For All.
Effects of Social Seclusion on Social Dream Content (Talk)
Co-authors: Katja Valli, Tuominen, J., Olkoniemi, H., Revonsuo, A.
Humans and many other social animals have a fundamental need to belong to groups. The Social Simulation Theory of dreaming (SST; Revonsuo et al., 2016) proposes a Sociality Bias hypothesis, i.e., that our need to belong might explain why our dreams are biased toward social content as compared to waking life (e.g., McNamara et al., 2005; Tuominen et al., 2019a). It further outlines a Strengthening hypothesis, which predicts dreams especially to simulate interactions with close individuals. A later addition to SST posits a Compensation hypothesis (Tuominen et al., 2019b), i.e., a prediction that a decrease in social interactions in waking life should lead to an increase in social events in dreams, with the aim of increasing our likelihood to remain or be reincorporated into our social group.
Previously, one-day social isolation has been found to increase social content of dreams the subsequent night (Wood, 1962). Here, we studied how decreased social interaction during longer social seclusion affects subsequent dream content. Altogether, 18 participants kept dream diaries at home for baseline measurements (3 days), at a retreat involving social seclusion (3 days), and after returning home (5 days). They also logged their daily social interactions during the study period. The seclusion retreat took place on a remote and sparsely populated island, where the participants were housed in single rooms in small cottages, food was delivered three times a day without social interaction, the participants were instructed to avoid social contact, and their laptops and online devices were collected for safe-keeping. Questionnaires related to well-being and social behavior were collected before and after the seclusion period.
The dream reports were content analyzed by two external blind raters using the Social Content Scale (Tuominen et al., 2019a), and data will be analyzed with Linear Mixed-Effects Models (LMM) using the lme4 package in the R statistical software. To investigate the Sociality Bias hypothesis, we will compare the number of social interactions in dreams during baseline vs. seclusion retreat while controlling for the number of social interactions during waking hours. As to the Strengthening hypothesis, we will investigate whether there is an increase in interactions with family members and a decrease in interactions with strangers in dreams as a function of seclusion. Finally, we will test the Compensation hypothesis by comparing whether the seclusion retreat leads to a higher number of social interactions in dreams compared to baseline. The results will be presented and discussed in light of SST.
Target audience: Intermediate
Jeanne Van Bronkhorst
The Dual Nature of Visitation Dreams (Workshop)
Visitation dreams, in which a loved person who has died visits the bereaved with messages of love and reassurance, can feel both powerful and healing. Their vivid sense of presence has inspired many discussions on whether they are evidence of an afterlife.
The problem with visitation dreams is that they don’t happen for everyone, as much as they are longed for. The intense disappointment this brings stems from the understandable hope that a visitation dream is at its core more of a real visit and not ‘just’ a dream.
Using research, interviews with two grief counsellors, and a personal visitation experience, I will present the benefits that come when we recognize and respect the dream aspect of visitation dreams. Visitation dreams may very well be our loved ones visiting us from beyond this physical life, but they still need our creative dreaming imagination to hold a space for them. They need our emotional openness to receive them. And sometimes they need our focused intentions to draw them to us.
This workshop will explore dreams in the context of end-of-life care, and will present one approach people without dreamwork expertise can use.
The presenter will draw upon research, interviews with healthcare professionals, and her own experience as a hospice social worker to explore dreams at the end of life. The workshop will have three sections, with questions in each for participants to apply the knowledge to their own experience. The first section explores ways in which dreams and talking about dreams can help people who are dying, as well as their families. The second section describes common dream themes that appear more often and bring more comfort at the end of life. The third section introduces a basic dream appreciation approach that can help people engage with dreams even if they are not familiar with dreamwork. By keeping the dream and its meaning firmly in the hands of the dreamer, this approach has been successfully used by hospice professionals with little or no dreamwork training.
Suitable for all audiences
Alwin E. Wagener
A New Lens on Dreams and Nightmares (Talk)
The results of a new study on dreams and nightmares among survivors of intimate partner violence will be presented. Participants will learn of five types of dreams and nightmares, their relationship to PTSD and insomnia, and how these findings may inform counseling and psychotherapy.
Two recent dream theories suggest that nightmares with novel content may be part of a process of psychologically healing from trauma. The AMPHAC/AND Neurocognitive Model describes the occurrence of a fear extinction process in nightmares, while Hartmann in The Nature and Functions of Dreaming proposes that nightmares allow trauma related emotions to be connected to other experiences, imagined and experienced, thereby lessening the intensity and disruptive quality of those emotions. These conceptualizations of nightmares also suggest that repeating nightmares (both those that replicate trauma and those that recur without replication of trauma) may be an impairment of the psychological healing process and that dreams (not nightmares) indicate there is a lower level of affective distress. To better understand the reality of these relationships among survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), a correlational research study examining the relationship of PTSD symptom clusters (excluding cluster B, intrusion symptoms, due to nightmares being a focus of that cluster) and insomnia to the frequency of novel dreams, repeating dreams, novel nightmares, recurrent nightmares, and replicative nightmares was conducted, with the grant support of IASD and the Dream Science Foundation. Over 450 participants completed the survey. Those participants provided information on how many of the five types of dreams and nightmares they had experienced in the past three days, and completed instruments on PTSD and insomnia. A significant portion of participants reported experiencing both dreams and nightmares within the previous three days. To better understand the data and to minimize the effects of individual differences in dream recall, each participant’s scores were converted into ratios, such that the frequency of each type of dream experience was in relation to the total dreams and nightmares experienced by the participant. Results showed significant correlations, both positive and negative, between the ratio scores for dream/nightmare types and PTSD and insomnia. The findings have implications for counselors and psychotherapists. In addition, the ratio score has potential for aiding clinicians and researchers in understanding clients’ dreams in relation to PTSD and insomnia, because it generates a baseline of all dreaming from which changes in the proportions of dreaming types can be monitored. It also acknowledges the reality of coexisting dreams and nightmares in trauma survivors, which has generally been ignored by researchers.
The presentation will occur as follows: 1. The theoretical basis of the study will be explained. 2. The study terminology will be provided. 3. The study methodology will be presented. 4. Results of the study will be explained. 5. Implications for counseling and psychotherapy will be provided. 6. Participants’ discussion and questions will be encouraged.
Probably intermediate-advanced, though all are welcome.
Accessing Unique Levels of Creativity in Lucid Dreams (Talk)
In this presentation, you will learn how lucid dreamers access three unique levels of creativity, interact with a non-visible responsive inner awareness, and utilize the hidden framework of dreaming.
Lucid dreaming serves as a revolutionary psychological tool, which allows for observing, exploring and scientifically experimenting while consciously aware within the dream state. For experienced lucid dreamers, lucid dreaming allows one to “probe the unconscious” and explore the inner nature of creativity.
Through active engagement, lucid dreaming illuminates both the subjective and objective aspects of the dream experience more clearly. In lucid explorations and experiments, the “hidden framework” of the dream experience begins to appear. Moreover, the dream shows itself as a “happening” in that moment, based partially upon the dreamer’s beliefs, expectations, emotions, focus and intent, which serve to help create and “project” responses to dream stimuli and the dream narrative. Thus, a truer picture of “dreaming” emerges.
Based upon the observations, explorations, personal and scientific experiments of experienced lucid dreamers, this psychological tool of lucid dreaming also possesses broad potential to engage the following topics:
1) Accessing creativity,
2) Interacting with a responsive inner awareness, and
3) Exploring consciousness, the psyche and the dream state
In this presentation, I will focus on three unique and discrete levels of creativity, which can be observed and experimentally explored in lucid dreams.
Carl Jung once wrote that if someone could show a second psychic system possessing an inner awareness existed within us, 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 see its comparatively greater creativity, which makes it a unique and discrete level of inner creativity.
I first became aware of this larger awareness while conducting a lucid dreaming experiment for a small group of lucid dream explorers in 1985. That same year, Stephen LaBerge published his first book, Lucid Dreaming, and suggested that experienced lucid dreamers “surrender” within the lucid dream, yet he avoided the topic of “who” or “what” responds – whether it be the randomness of dreaming, mental constructs or something else.
In lucid dreams, we can explore this situation and consciously put forth requests, questions and conceptual experiences to a 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 — and also evidence for another level of inner creativity.
This presentation, suitable for all audiences, will show how lucid dreaming enables the exploration of dreaming to access creativity, and the discrete levels of creativity.
Suitable for all
Five Ways Lucid Dreaming Should Revolutionize Psychology (Talk)
Summary: Lucid dreaming offers unparalleled access to the state of dreaming and allows for experimenting with the unconscious (the hidden foundation of consciousness) and the very nature of creativity. As such, lucid dreaming provides the possibility for radical new insights which could revolutionize psychology. Five exploratory insights will be shared.
Lucid dreaming”s scientific “discovery” dates to the late 1970”s and the work of Stephen LaBerge in California and Keith Hearne in England. Before that time, lucid dreaming was actively used in numerous spiritual traditions for thousands of years. The Buddhist yogi, Naropa, considered dream yoga, which uses lucid dreaming as a primary technique, as one of the six paths to enlightenment.
Spiritual traditions saw lucid dreaming as a revolutionary means to exploring the actual nature of reality. Why? What revolutionary insights could lucid dreaming bring forth? And why would anyone consider these insights fundamentally objective, capable of being taught to others?
As a lucid dreamer for more than 40 years, I have explored the potential of lucid dreaming deeply. While scientific researchers have called lucid dreaming “a hybrid state” of consciousness, since the dreaming brain and portions of the waking brain seem simultaneously active, science has yet to investigate the deeper nature of lucid dreaming.
In this presentation, I will share five exploratory insights into lucid dreaming, and how they could serve to revolutionize the field of psychology.
First, lucid dreaming shows the existence of dreaming’s functional nature; namely, how the person’s mind-stream works to create dream figures, dream objects, dream situations and a narrative — largely through the power of the dreamer’s projected mental energy. This suggests that dreaming itself has a practical function, and does not exist as random chaos.
Second, lucid dreaming shows the existence of a responsive level of awareness, which shows creativity, imagination, will, affectivity, feeling, judgment, perception, etc., “all in subliminal form”. Elsewhere, I have argued that this responsive level of awareness meets the criteria established by Carl Jung to confirm the existence of a second psychic system within the self. Jung himself stated that evidence for a second psychic system or inner ego would “radically” change our understanding of the self.
Third, lucid dreaming allows for exploring the nature of emotional and physical healing, while in the dream state. Besides giving an enhanced understanding of the unconscious and the nature of placebo, it also gives insight into the process of healing itself.
Fourth, lucid dreaming allows for experimenting with the nature of time and space.
And fifth, lucid dreaming allows for understanding how “experience” gets created (and reflects back to the person an experienced reality) — and how this process can be reversed to erase perceived experience and return to rigpa or the light of base awareness.
Collectively, lucid dreaming seems a natural path to explore the actual nature of the self/Self, and the context in which it has its perceived existence.
Audience — everyone.
The Experience of Light in Lucid Dreams (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Lucid Dreaming: Therapy as a Catalyst to Experience Clear Mind, Inner Light”)
Lucid dreaming serves as a revolutionary psychological tool, which allows for observing, exploring and scientifically experimenting while consciously aware within the dream state. For experienced lucid dreamers, lucid dreaming allows one to “probe the unconscious” and explore concepts from the nature, variety and development of dream figures to an apparently creative and responsive, non-visible inner awareness.
Through active engagement, lucid dreaming illuminates both the subjective and objective aspects of the dream experience more clearly. In lucid explorations and experiments, the “hidden framework” of the dream experience begins to appear. Moreover, the dream shows itself as a “happening” in that moment, based partially upon the dreamer’s beliefs, expectations, emotions, focus and intent, which serve to help create and “project” responses to dream stimuli and the dream narrative. Thus, a truer picture of “dreaming” emerges.
Based upon the observations, explorations, personal and scientific experiments of experienced lucid dreamers, this psychological tool of lucid dreaming also possesses broad potential to engage the sudden presence of “light” in lucid dreams. Lucid dreamers often note the spontaneous and dramatic presence of light during experiences of inner clarity, resolution of fear/s, increasing awareness, complete acceptance of dream figures, spiritual practices and personal transformation.
In this presentation, the nature of light in lucid dreams will be considered from various perspectives.
Kelly Sullivan Walden
The 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey in Dreamwork (Workshop)
The Hero’s Journey, a book written by Joseph Campbell, is a model of the predictable stages that a hero encounters on his/her noble quest. It is most commonly referred to in screenwriting courses as a template that outlines the phases of a transformational story (i.e. Star Wars, The Matrix, even Groundhog Day). The process of Dream Mastery, or any transformational journey, is best understood when you can anticipate if not the exact unfolding of events, at least the theme and the timing of them. The Hero’s Journey outlines these human developmental stages as it relates to one who sincerely desires to be a strong dreamer with an awakened life of power, wisdom, and mastery.
The 12 stages are as follows: 1. Ordinary Life 2. The Call to Adventure 3. Refusal of the Call 4. Meeting the Mentor 5. Crossing the Threshold 6. Tests/Allies/Enemies 7. Belly of the Whale 8. Ordeal 9. Reward 10. Journey Back 11. Resurrection 12. Return with the Elixir
In my experience over the past fifteen years of working with clients, I’ve come to see the Hero’s journey as a map of the road to dream mastery—one that can spans the course of a person’s lifetime, one that is fulfilled in a single night, or in a single dream. The Hero’s Journey is a context that dignifies the process of the inevitable ups and downs, challenges and triumphs that are par for the course when one commits to becoming a strong dreamer and thus the master of their destiny.
In other words, many people set out on a noble task feeling very optimistic about their journey. If they don’t have a map to chart the route or to maximize the challenges and opportunities along the way then they run the risk of getting discouraged and disheartened. However, when one understands the map of the Hero’s journey they are prepared, aware, and in a position to fulfill their mission with a greater sense of empowerment and perspective.
By overlaying the map of the Hero’s journey on dreamwork, we are given a context in which to interpret the phase of development the dreamer is in at the moment of the dream, and we can see the ways in which the dream is helping to facilitate growth and wisdom. With this awareness, the dreamer is given an advantage, as they are supported to courageously “return home with the elixir”—and drink from the chalice of dream wisdom.
The Aesthetics of Dream Narrative in the 19th British Novels (Talk)
Dreaming is a universal and special physiological and spiritual phenomenon possessed by human beings. Previous studies mostly focus on psychological aspect, such as Freud and Jung’s studies. Dreaming itself is a process of practice, and when it is written down or expressed in speaking, then it becomes a dream narrative. Exploring dreams in writing texts or oral narration from narratology is meaningful, theatrically and practically. This study chooses several classical novels of Victorian period to look at the aesthetics of dream narrative. This age, although it undertakes the realism of the eighteenth century, yet it possesses a romantic color. And the dream narrative is a common phenomenon in this period. Aesthetics is the science of feeling, which can be displayed in different aspects. Especially, the aesthetics of dream narrative are unique and worthy to be explored further. Looking at the Victorian novels, dream narrative has two forms, according to the structure. One is that the whole text runs through the framework of dreams, such as Alice in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll; another is that some dream narratives are embedded in the text, such as Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë. This study selects several classical novels that include dream narrative, such as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843), Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847), and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (1847), Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) to discuss the aesthetics of dream narrative. It discusses dream narrative from four dimensions: the ambiguities in characters’ identities and the borederline of waking and dreaming; the grotesqueness in body transformations and logic thinking; the poetic existence in dream images; and the strong and real emotion of characters’ dream narrative to reveal its aesthetic values.
The Dreams Behind the Music of Classical, Popular, and Folk Artists, Instrumentalists, Producers, Shamans (Talk)
This audio-visual presentation is based on over 3 years of research and interviews, and 20+ years of the presenter’s own musical dreams that are the basis for his book, The Dreams Behind the Music.
It will explore dreams that include sound, music, lyrics, or other elements that have inspired songs. It will include research about sound and music in dreams, synesthesia, as well as ways that various indigenous cultures use dream songs.
A central element will be case-studies of well-known composers and artists in various genres whose work is directly dream-inspired.
Also revealed will be principles, techniques, and musical inventions related to music dreams, well-known artists’ premonition and visitation dreams, as well as dreams that guided their career decisions.
The presenter will also share melodies that have come to him in dreams, since he is fortunate enough to dream of music, sounds, and lyrics multiple times per week.
Life-Altering Dreams, Lucid Dreams, Premonitions and other Inner<>Outer Catalysts (Workshop)
One of the most sacred gifts we are all given here on Earth is the freedom to make choices. When given the opportunity, most people would choose events and experiences that bring them great joy, aliveness, learning, and the deepest fulfillment possible. Decisions in life are not always so simple, however. One challenge is that we each have important life lessons to learn along our journey, and the lessons may not always seem as fun as we’d wish while we’re learning them. Furthermore, what people enjoy and find fulfilling is quite open to interpretation. Still another factor that adds spice to the choosing process and brings variations between everyone’s paths, is that our personal interests, skills, styles and needs at any given time can vary greatly.
Perhaps there are significant learning events pre-scattered along our path in a semi-destined yet semi-flexible way, like stops on a scavenger or treasure hunt. How we respond to these events may well be what determines how close we eventually come to living our best life. Can dreams give us insights about what our best life is and how to move towards it?
The workshop will explore these and many other questions with a focus on participants sharing intriguing examples and experiences of how dreams, lucid and precognitive dreams, synchronicities, visions, and other subtle experiences can become a valuable tool to fulfill our best soul path.
Although group discussion, input, and other perspective are welcome, any participant who shares dreams or other personal experiences will be respected and understood to be the ultimate authority as to what such dreams or experiences mean for them.
Music from DreamLand: A Dream~Artist+Pscientist’s Journey (Talk)
This audio-visual presentation grows from hundreds of the presenter’s own musical dream experiences over 30+ years, as well as his adventures as a degreed physicist, professional yet playful artist/inventor, and intrepid pscientific inner world explorer.
The presenter is grateful to share (before he one day de-composes) personal insights, principles related to music dreams, and a diverse medley of soundscapes, melodies and other audio experiences that have come to him in dreams, since he is fortunate enough to dream of music, sounds, and lyrics multiple times per week.
Target audience: all
The Dream from Shakespeare’s Time to Ours (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “What’s in the Dream? A Midsummer’s View of Shakespeare’s Play of Dreams and Dreamers”)
This presentation is based upon historical research on views of dreaming from antiquity through the 16th century; literary criticism of Shakespeare and the Dream; production history of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with special emphasis on versions that have focused on the power of imagination and the capacities of theater.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream fashions a dream world more richly, complexly, and completely than any other play prior to 20th-century experimental theater. The structure of the comedy toys with the impossible possibilities of dreams, as the very title implies. The characters dream; they respond to dreams with wonder and with witty theorizing; they propose to seal the bond among them with a pleasurable session of dream-sharing.
We can view the Dream, intuitively or analytically, as a dream. Where do we find the most important images and metaphors? What surprises us? What seems the most bizarre, or carries the greatest emotional weight? Our reflections may be the foundation for our own views of the Dream. But because it is a text deriving from a particular time and place—and set of artistic conventions—we should also consider the value of dramaturgical research, pursuing two important questions:
- What were the common and scholarly views of dreams in Shakespeare’s time and place, and how do they appear in the playtext?
- How has the play been interpreted and reinterpreted through stage and film production, and where do those interpretations find the key themes of the play—including its view of the place of dreaming in human life?
First, we will consider (with examples) how Shakespeare’s contemporaries viewed dreams, according to evidence external to the play: as mere absurdities; as symptoms of physical or psychological disorder, sometimes accompanied by prescriptions for healing; as metaphors of significant private or public concerns; or occasionally, as divinely inspired revelation.
Then we will consider the evidence in the play itself: what characters make of their dreams; and what characters say about dreams and dreaming. Do they take them seriously or dismiss them? Or do they have trouble making up their minds?
To conclude, we will examine how key productions of the Dream over the years have derived much of their unique character—and there have been many productions and many re-interpretations—from their stances toward the dream. Each evolving vision of the play—as we’ll see with examples—not only explores dream themes we all recognize, but also proposes theater as a space for collective dreaming and argues for the power of imagination and dream experience to change lives for the better.
Intended for all audiences.
Dreaming, Imagination, and Creativity: From Cave painting to the information Superhighway (Talk within pre-arranged symposium titled “Dreaming, Imagination, and Creativity”)
The basis for this presentation is a comparison of theories of creativity in the history of philosophy, psychology, and critical theory in the arts, with examples drawn from celebrated instances of dream-inspired artwork and innovations. Key terms in the relation of dreams to creativity and artistic expression are examined, along with the accounts of artists, philosophers, and psychologists; the range of views among cultures and systems of belief; and the most prominent themes we find in stories and beliefs about creative inspiration in dreams. Though we find common elements in the contending accounts of inspiration from dreams across history, cultures, and disciplines, they also reveal contrasting views of mind, meaning, and purpose in human experience.
First, we examine our key terms. How is “creativity” defined in the respective discourses of the arts and social sciences, and what kind of interplay do we see among the terms “dream,” “imagination,” and “creativity”? What really counts as a dream?
Then we consider evidence. Regarding history: What do we really know about the beliefs about dreaming among pre-historic peoples? How have we arrived at the common accounts of dream incubation in Greece and Japan? How do we know what we think we know about the great shifts of worldview with the European Renaissance and the advent of Romanticism? More recently, the creative power of dreams has been documented in quantitative psychological studies. How relevant and reliable are their definitions, premises, tests, and samples?
Finally, we identify key themes across the various accounts of creativity in dreams, and the testimony of dreamers, and elaborate upon the key ideas of the previous presentations in this seminar: 1. The capacity of dreams to innovate and reinvent according to associative and metaphorical thought; 2. The explanation of dream creativity as the effect of access to the unconscious mind; 3. The variety of modes of thought and imagination experienced in dreams; 4.The understanding of creativity in dreams as a private, self-directed psychological phenomenon vs. a transpersonal, socially beneficial activity.
For all audiences.
Bernard Welt, Loren Goodman, Marta Aarli and Asha Sahni
Open Reading: Dreams and Poetry (Special Event)
We seldom encounter a forum where dream accounts are allowed to just be, and be appreciated, without the intervention of theories or explanations, without the dreamer or the listener searching for meanings or reasons. Taking a cue from Archibald Macleish’s famous dictate, “A poem should not mean / But be,” this special event allows both dream-tellers and dream-listeners to stand back and let the dream speak for itself, as poems do.
No introduction or explanation; no comments from the audience. Readers may tell their dream in any format they like, as long as they share an authentic dream experience and stick to the time limit. If you wish to participate, please be respectful of the audience and select a dream account that is unlikely to trigger distressing reactions in the audience. Readers agree to being recorded.
Open Reading: Dreams and Poetry
First hour: Dreams co-hosted by Bernard Welt and Loren Goodman
Participants read one dream in any format they choose, as long as they share an authentic dream experience and stick to the 3-minute time limit. The dream speaks for itself. No introduction; no explanation; no comments.
Second hour: Poetry co-hosted by Marta Aarli and Asha Sahni
Participants read one poem, or a few short ones, in any format they choose, as long as it is their own original dream poetry and stick to the 3-minute time limit. The poems speak for themselves. No introduction; no explanation; no comments.
Intended audience: All levels.
Donna Glee Williams
From Pillow to Publication: Bringing the Boon Back to the People (Special Event)
From the get-go, the bones of good art are baked into dreams: Metaphor, imagery, emotional intensity, associative richness, mythic patterning, vividness. But how do creative oneironauts bring back The Boon from their nighttime journeys and set it before their people in the form of art? Between readings of short excerpts from her published novels, short stories, and poetry, the author will storytell how the works unfolded from her 17 years of dreamwork with Jeremy Taylor and share a few raw dream-journal entries to illustrate the evolution of dream material into crafted writing. We will consider the unique contributions that Senoi, Gestalt, and Projective practices each bring to the transmutation of dream material into crafted art, and discuss the ethical complexities inherent in the “if this were my dream” approach for creatives; if another person’s dream stimulates you to artistic creation, who is the art by? The author will leave the audience with a long-tested protocol for freewriting that has expanded her dream landscape into three novels, as well as many shorter works.
All are welcome. No previous expertise will be assumed
Anton Zemlyanoy and Dr. Rose Redding Mersky
Taking Dream Work Online in the Time of Corona: Group Dynamics and Voyeuristic Tendencies (Talk)
Working with a person’s dream is the closest we have to “raw” data of what is going on inside our minds. Furthermore, using the collective psyche of a group taps into the individually lived experiences of other members to create a web of associations not available when working with dream drawings in a one-on-one format.
Social Dream Drawing, a method for working with dreams in groups and developed by Dr. Rose Redding Merksy, has previously been an in-person-only method. At the end of 2020 it has been successfully adopted to be used online, not only with dreamers, but also to train facilitators. However, online facilitation and participation brings with it its own unforeseen peculiarities and difficulties, such as:
The need for a new Technical Support role, specifically when facilitating Social Dream Drawing online
What such a role brings to the group dynamics, specifically anxieties (“He knows more than we do”) and voyeuristic associations
The group’s projections onto the person holding this new role and this person’s
Increased vulnerability which the dreamer might experience specifically in the online format
The increased tendency for the dissolution of roles, with brief definitions of projective identification, individual’s valency and enactment
What can stepping out of Role create: the dissolution of personal boundaries
Suggestions for practical application of Online Social Dream Drawing
Ways for a Facilitator to create a feeling of trust and safety for participants
The importance of keeping to an agreed Task despite the inner tension
The basis for this presentation are discoveries that resulted from a practical application of Social Dream Drawing by the presenters at the end of 2020, substantiated by extensive practical application of this method in-person by Dr. Rose Redding Mersky.
Xiaofang Zheng and Richard Schweickert
Differentiating Dreams from Wakefulness by Automatic Content Analysis and Support Vector Machines (Talk)
This study tested inconsistencies between dreams and waking life using the automatic content analysis technique by LIWC. Furthermore, we built SVM models to precisely detect binary characteristics of dreams, and here it was to determine whether a text described waking life or dreams, based on the word frequencies of various categories.