IINTRODUCTION TO THE DREAMS AND DREAMING DEPARTMENT

by Richard Wilkerson, Dream Educator

Dreams, a nightly gift and a part of the natural process of being alive, are being re-discovered by our culture. The meaning and value of your dreams will vary according to what you and your society decide. Our society is changing. We used to only value dreams in the context of psychotherapy. Now, after 30 years of self-help support groups and insightful professional research, we have learned that a dream need not be dismissed as "just a dream."

What does your dream mean? What have we learned? What does science teach us about dreams and dreaming? The dreams and dreaming department will be exploring these and many other questions about dreams.

We will also be making a few assumptions about dreams. These are:

  • You are always the final authority on what the dream means. Others can offer insight, suggestions and techniques for exploration and expression, but no one know what the final meaning & value of the dream will be for you, except you.
  • Dreams come in the service of wholeness and health. If you find an interpretation that does not fit this, perhaps you need to change methods of interpretation. Dream interpretations that lead you toward self-criticism, depression or despair are simply wrong and if these conditions persist, you may wish to seek help from others.
  • There is no such thing as a dream with one meaning. If you feel stuck on one meaning or feel another person is pushing one meaning, its time to reconsider your methods and approach.

Clinical vs Peer Dream Work

Clinical dreamwork is done within the context of psychotherapy and clinical & sleep research and has different approaches and goals than peer dreamwork.

Self-help mutual aid programs are made of peers who face a common concern. They provide emotional and other support by sharing their personal experiences and exchanging resources. Self-help programs organize to offer peer support, advocacy and a combination of the two. Peer dream sharing may have moderators, but the basic model is one of equal exchange.

5/28/98

New trends in Dreamwork, Part I
New trends in Dreamwork, Part II
Questions And Answers

 

Richard Wilkerson is general editor for The Internet Dream E-zine, Electric Dreams, and director of DreamGate, the Internet Communications and Dream Education Center. He writes the Cyberphile column for the Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter.

 

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