Dreams in Counseling & Psychotherapy
Bees multiply and swarm in the bedroom of a remote chateau. A man’s legs fall from beneath him on the way to the bathroom. A female assassin targets friendly passers-by. The military forces people under water in a V-shaped canal.
These are all scenes from dreams that became enormously important to the clients who brought them into therapy. Understanding these images marked turning points in their self-awareness, and became foundational to their therapeutic process. Had my clients not shared their dreams with me, it may have taken months to discover what was available to them right now. Instead, over the coming months, they repeatedly returned to and built on their insights, finding validation, courage and direction in their own dream material.
Used professionally, dreams can offer a direct path to the unconscious emotions, beliefs and memories that are impacting your clients’ daily life. They are an honest expression of your client’s emotional state of being, a truth that is intertwined with past experiences and forgotten memories. Very often, vital therapeutic connections are made in the unconscious and brought into consciousness through a dream. As counsellors, if we learn how to work with dreams safely and respectfully, we can empower our clients to gain wisdom from their own natural resources, while deepening our therapeutic relationships. Come find out how dream work can be a therapeutic catalyst in your work with clients, and be used with Process-Experiential Emotion-Focused Therapy (PEEFT) and other Humanistic modalities.
Ilana Laps is the founder of Dream Lab, an educational organization dedicated to the study of dreams. She teaches Dream Lab’s annual educational program, facilitates groups and speaks at public events about the therapeutic application of Dreaming. Ilana and her people at Dream Lab combine Jungian dream theory with dream science and research from around the world, and collaborate with musicians and artists to bring dreaming to life. Ilana has just begun a role as Melbourne Representative for the International Association for the Study of Dreams.