“One magical moment touches the stuff from where dreams are woven”.
(David Bowie – from the title track of his album ‘Station To Station’)
I love it when clients make an effort to catch their dreams! It usually requires pen and paper at the bedside, so as to foil memory fade. Dreams are the vehicle for important messages that counterbalance a tendency towards one-sidedness in the psyche. People come to therapy looking for answers to particular problems. They seek new skills they either don’t have or have lost contact with. Dreams often contain clues as to how to access such skills.
I have utilized my dream-life over the years to inform and advise my daytime decision-making in times of change, especially at crucial life junctures. I regard my dreams as an access point to relatively unknown and undernourished parts of my psyche.
My bias then, is that, rather than being random flotsam and jetsam brain projections, much dream material can help guide our daytime consciousness on the journey of self-awareness. Deep insights are not gained by simply referring to a book of dream symbol interpretations.
One’s inner world of meaning, one’s own personal metaphorical landscape, is comprehended by exploring the many dimensions of a dream. I invite my clients to immerse themselves through their senses into the dream, to unpack its visual narrative. This enables us to unfold the dream message, and integrate this, by applying it to the daytime situation we are working on in therapy. The context of the dream is crucial to comprehending it’s content; it doesn’t exist in isolation.
I find it useful to work with dreams that are somewhat disturbing, often bizarre, as they definitely get the dreamer’s attention, and like a ripe fruit, are ready for plucking. The dream points to something new that is trying to happen. I call this ‘news from the edge’.
It is important to pay close attention to all aspects of a client’s experiences, including their dreams, feeling states, body symptoms, moods, stress patterns, relationship struggles and so on. All these occurrences are part of a mosaic that is one’s constantly evolving sense of self. Dreams are a part of our navigation system.
Michael works from the Bardon Counselling and Natural Therapy Centre. To make an appointment to see him, feel free to call on: 0411 537 394, or reception on: 07 3368 1300. His website has an archive of other articles that may well be of interest to you.