NEW TRENDS IN DREAMWORK, PART I
by Richard Wilkerson
Wouldn't it be nice to have a friend that worked on our self-improvement while we slept? According to contemporary researchers, we have six of them every night! Who are these friends? They are our dreams.
While sleeping, dreams restore our psychological balance, keep us mentally oriented, and allow us to explore new avenues not always available in waking life. And as with all friends, the more we listen, play, and interact with them, the better friends they can become.
Shouldn't dreams be handled only by qualified therapists? While there are a few who feel this way, the vast majority of dream-concerned professionals believe that with a few simple precautions, we can all enjoy the benefits of dreamwork. Dreamwork is the process of recalling, recording, and finding the meaning and value of a dream. For some this means looking at the language of the dream in the form of symbols, while for others the dream inspires them to paint, sculpt, write stories, enact plays, and try out new forms of social interaction, both in and out of the dream itself.
The precautions are very simple and widely accepted.
Although the techniques used by psychotherapists sometimes require years of training and practice, basic dreamwork can be learned very quickly and easily through books, seminars, workshops, classes, and personal instruction. If you live in an area were these resources are not available, you can now use the Internet to learn the basics, join classes and dreamgroups, and exchange ideas on dreams and dreamwork. The basic idea is that dreams are saying something that can be understood; we simply have to learn the new language.
Here are a few techniques from several popular dreamworkers, each of which is a great start on learning the new dream language and using your dreams for self improvement, insight, and creative expression. Note, however, that most dreamworkers use several techniques, not just the ones mentioned below:
With just a little attention and effort, these and other dream techniques allow us to find in dreams a surprisingly complex and rich array of ideas, images, suggestions, alternatives, emotions, and imaginative doorways. A hundred years ago, Freud looked to dreams and found a whole new branch of knowledge. I have suggested that each morning we can find in dreams a friend. What will you find?
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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