098 - Gwendolyn

29-8-00 0:48:46 -0000

Childhood

I went through a period of relatively frequent nightmares from the ages of 7 - 11/12 or so. Neither my family nor the community put much stock in dreams - I don't recall sharing them, actually.

Turning point

Remembered nightmares from childhood, a few "big dreams" from late teens / early twenties. Then heard Gayle Delaney's radio talk show re dreams in the early 80's and have been VERY interested since then - read her books, as well as some by Patricia Garfield, Stephen LaBerge, Jungian writers...
A good friend committed suicide in early 90's - began having more vivid dreams / nightmares then - joined a Jungian dream group and have kept a dream journal since then. To a limited extent, used artwork, movement, poetry, Tarot & dream cards to explore dream images/messages.
In 96, entered MA program in counseling psychology and co-led dream group at counseling center practicum.
Have found dreams to be key to self-discovery - working through "shadow / animus" issues, spiritual questions, life transitions, relationships. Long-term dreamwork seems especially beneficial - see recurrent themes / images - and changes as well. (This paragraph has more to do with "now")

Definition

In the past, I looked at dreams as a psychological phenomenon, useful for understanding current / past concerns and for self-discovery, as mentioned above.

Now

Have worked through problematic relationships with father / opposite sex, shadow / animus elements, gone through transitions more consciously, become more aware of deeper "soul-level" self. Dreams are very important to me - want to make them a significant part of work as therapist, and eventually lead dream groups/workshops. Am now interested in Buddhist view of dreams, especially dream yoga. Have "played" with dream re-entry, active imagination - and other methods mentioned earlier.

Definition of dreams is more inclusive - see them as a link between mind (i.e. mental / emotional), body and spirit now - on personal and collective levels as well.

Remarks

Please let me know if you have any questions about my replies - I used "shorthand"! Would be interested in the results. Thank you.



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