The CAPA Quarterly
Issue Three 2013
Journal of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW, Inc.
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We depend entirely upon the benevolent co-operation of our unconscious. If it does not co-operate, we are completely lost.
Jung is often quoted as having said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”. By learning to ‘work’ our dreams, we can begin to distinguish ourselves from the unconscious contents of our psyche and direct ourselves along a path that better serves us, is more inclusive of all aspects of Self and less fraught with the short-term and near-sighted reactions of the ego’s defences. We can come to learn our own personal narratives—the stories of our lives of which we alone are the heroes/heroines—and to see our lives, both the challenges and the blessings, as the symbolic manifestations of our internal representations. Dreams offer us an immediate and accessible gateway to the unconscious, a safe environment within which to approach and address the parts that might otherwise threaten to overwhelm us if approached directly. Dreaming is also effortless—making a dialogue with the more hidden parts of ourselves all the easier. The topic of dreams is vast, and I have tried in this issue to select coverage of aspects of the field of dreams that will speak most directly to the experience and context of our readers as counsellors and psychotherapists. Although this issue might initially seem somewhat skewed in favour of a Jungian approach to dreams, it has been my intention to include a broad coverage of the topic beyond a purely Jungian perspective. I hope this issue makes you question how you can better understand and help your clients by focussing more on their imaginations and the enormous implications that the imagination has on their everyday feelings and decisions. I also hope it makes you consider whether you and/ or your clients might be well served by working either one-on-one with dreams or within a dreamgroup. Finally, I hope this issue leaves you with more questions than answers as an introduction to various approaches that can be used in working with dreams. For me this has been a much anticipated issue of CQ, as I have for many years kept a dream journal, ‘working’ my dreams and finding enormous personal value and wisdom from doing so. I first started by reading Jeremy Taylor’s wonderful books, introduced to me by my mother, who was then a student of Jeremy’s at University of California Berkeley. It has been a great pleasure for me to research and plan this issue, and to have the opportunity to correspond with our contributors—all of whom are renowned scholars in the field of dreams—and with whom I have enjoyed working. In particular, it was my good fortune not only to meet Susan Benson, President of Dream Network Australia and board member of IASD, but also to discover last year that we both attended the same creative writing class. It is with an enormous amount of gratitude that I thank Susan for her support, knowledge and generosity in guiding me through my questions and directing me toward all of the contributors in this very special issue of CQ. We start with an overview of the neurobiology of dreaming by Robert Hoss, a long-time researcher in the field of dreams, who sheds light on what we know about dreaming: its role in healthy brain function, the location of dreaming activity within the brain, and the neurobiological basis for dreams. Judith Pickering, an analytic psychologist and Jungian analyst with extensive knowledge over a broad range of related subjects, August 2013
discusses dreams and the working of dreams from multiple perspectives within the psychoanalytic field. She examines the unique and organic nature of the relationship between the client, therapist and the ‘analytic third’. Following on from Judith’s article, transpersonal counsellor and educator Susan Benson makes the case for the importance of working our dreams within dreamgroups. “As with the process of the analytic dyad and counselling relationships, dreamgroups form the relational container of an intersubjective field that can serve to help deepen personal and social/cultural insights, facilitate personal change, and contribute to developmental transformative shifts in consciousness.” Kelly Bulkeley has written extensively on his dream research and focusses our attention on “[b]ig dreams [which] seem to be especially frequent in childhood, a fact that has profound implications for therapeutic practice, education, and parenting”, and offers an interesting case example as to how a Jungian would ‘work’ such a dream. Nightmares are dreams we have all experienced, remembered and even tried to forget. Margaret Bowater, a senior psychotherapist, discusses the factors that contribute toward having nightmares and how best to approach a healing resolution. Robert Bosnak, a long-practicing Jungian analyst, continues in this theme of healing through dreams and introduces us to his technique of ‘embodied imagination’, offering case studies to better illustrate the technique. Our columnist, Jewel Jones, explores shame and how it translates in the therapeutic context both for the therapist and the client. Finally thank you to all of you who contributed to this issue. Your generosity has made it possible, and I hope you enjoy the result of all your efforts. The CAPA website is now live at www.capansw.org.au. CQ contributor guidelines and advertising rates and specs can be found there or can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, depending on the nature of your enquiry. As always, this journal is for you, our valued members, and I enthusiastically encourage your active participation in the professional dialogue and sharing that this journal provides. Please have a look at the upcoming themes announced on Page 36 of this issue and have your say on the topics that interest you. Journal articles are, by the nature of page space, limited, and early contact with me improves the chances of your contribution being included. Dialogue is welcome and encouraged. If you’d like to contribute to future issues, please contact me at email@example.com.
Roberta Parrott Editor Roberta Parrott, BA, Dip. is a freelance editor based in Sydney. She is a keen student of art history and languages, particularly French and Spanish and travels every chance she gets. Trained also as a Cordon Bleu chef, she balances her passion for cooking with an active lifestyle.
CAPA NSW Executive and Staff President Gina O’Neill firstname.lastname@example.org Vice-President Ebinepre Cocodia email@example.com Secretary Linda Newcomb firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer Juliana Triml email@example.com Ethics Chair Tara Gulliver firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Chair Linda MacKay email@example.com Regional and Rural Liaison Chair Jo Fleet firstname.lastname@example.org Professional Recognition Chair Ebinepre Cocodia email@example.com Marketing and Communications Chair Alison Hood firstname.lastname@example.org Website Development Chair Barry Borham email@example.com Executive Member Tim Harvey firstname.lastname@example.org PD Coordinator Juliana Triml email@example.com Consultant Operations Manager Jane Ewins firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Coordinator Melissa Neve email@example.com Administrative Assistant Freddy Ortega firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial ~ Roberta Parrott
CAPA News 3
From the President’s Desk ~ Gina O’Neill
Features 4 6 8 10 12 14
The Neurobiology of Dreaming ~ Robert Hoss Dreaming in the Psychotherapeutic Space ~ Judith Pickering Reflections on Dreams and Dream Sharing in Dreamgroups ~ Susannah Benson Big Dreams in Childhood: A Jungian Approach ~ Kelly Bulkeley Calling for Change: Working with Nightmares to Facilitate Healing ~ Margaret Bowater Working with Pain and Trauma: Dreams and the Embodied Imagination ~ Robert Bosnak
In the Therapy Room 16 Taboo or Not Taboo? ~ Jewel Jones Professional Development 18 Clinical Hypnotherapy: A Demonstration ~ Review by Juliana Triml 19 Professional Development Events Modality Profile 34 Person-Centred Approach ~ Ebinepre Cocodia Noticeboard 35 Classifieds 36 Calls for Contributions & Ad Rates Back Cover Conference Calendar
CQ: The CAPA Quarterly Editor Roberta Parrott email@example.com Advertising Coordinator Roberta Parrott firstname.lastname@example.org
CQ: The CAPA Quarterly respectfully acknowledges the Cadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which the CAPA NSW office is located; and the traditional owners of all the lands through which this journal may pass.
Cover art by Jim Frazier Design by Cheryl Ward Printed by Unik Printing
© CAPA NSW 2011. Copyright is held with CAPA NSW and individual authors. Please direct permission requests to the editor. Opinions expressed in CQ: The CAPA Quarterly do not necessarily represent those of the Editor or of CAPA NSW. While all reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no liability is assumed for any errors or omissions. Liability howsoever as a result of use or reliance upon advice, representation, statement or opinion expressed in The CAPA Quarterly is expressly disclaimed by CAPA NSW and all persons involved in the preparation of this publication. The appearance of an advertisement in CQ: The CAPA Quarterly does not imply endorsement of the service or approval of professional development hours from the service. Advertisers are advised that all advertising is their responsibility under the Trade Practices Act.
CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
From the President’s Desk Welcome to the third issue of CQ for 2013. We are weathering the storms of winter, and I hope that you are using the time to reflect and restore your energies in preparation for spring. I am always so surprised by the work that is being completed by the Executive Committee. I am also grateful to the members for your support of our request at the EGM last December for more ‘people power’ to undertake the changes needed for CAPA to grow and stay relevant. We are so close to achieving most, if not, all of our strategic plan tasks due not only to the increased number of people on the Executive this year, but also to those members who put their hands up to offer their skills. It is an exciting period of change and growth for CAPA, and I am proud to be President. Thank you to my Executive Committee who are passionate, honest, motivated and creative. As we begin preparing for our Annual General Meeting in October, I wish all of our members to know how hard the Executive Committee have worked this year to get the website up and running, to streamline the office and membership renewal systems, and to complete many other behind-the-scenes tasks that are crucial to our operation as a successful not-for-profit organisation. A big thank you goes to Sharon Ellam, Regional and Rural Chair, who has been standing in as Secretary despite experiencing many personal and physical challenges that have coincided with her time spent in these roles. Sharon’s dedication has been a huge example for us all. A big welcome to Linda Newcombe who has taken on the role of Secretary with gusto, pragmatism and a great sense of humour! As always, I want to remind all members about our Professional Development Events, which are free! Juliana Triml our PDE Coordinator brings her years of experience to the fore again this year with an interesting program, which you can see in this issue of CQ (see Page 19). A benefit of CAPA membership is that you can earn PD points for free and learn something new while networking with other professionals in the field. I look forward to seeing you at the next PD Event on 22 August featuring Jackie Burke, Director of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, a pioneer in the field of Vicarious Trauma Management, the topic of her PD event. Another PD opportunity comes immediately following our AGM on 26 October. The topic of that PDE is Disability and Relationships, presented by Liz Dore. Liz has a long history of working with people on their relationship and sexuality issues and specialises in working with people with disability and their sexuality and relationships. This issue of CQ addresses the topic of Dreams, what they may mean in therapy, and therapies that use clients’ dreams. As Freud once said, dreams are “the royal road to … the unconscious” a phrase that has become synonymous with psychology, psychotherapy and counselling modalities worldwide. Many a friend has confided at a social gathering, “I had a memorable dream last night” and asked, “Can you tell me what it means?” Dreams have since become a key part of August 2013
psychotherapeutic work. Dreams have also been reduced by pure science to nothing more than radioactivity in the brain, in what is called a ‘clean out’ or a ‘house clean’ that the brain does at night. Dreams have been deduced and categorised, and many books on the meaning of symbols in dreams are sold. In psychotherapy, however, the dream is the dream, yes? It is the dreamer’s attempt to make sense of those images that reveal something very important about the person’s current psychological process. Dreams are a metaphorical interpretation of experience, a way of expressing one’s presence in the present! In 2011, I attended the World Psychotherapy Congress Conference. The Conference theme was World Dreaming, in recognition of our human interconnectedness and ever increasing understanding of a ‘global village’. Within this concept is the paradox that while we may see shared common issues, we are also made aware that there is a need for local understanding, actions and solutions. I heard Nicole Aknin speak about dreams. Nicole is a professor, teaching psychotherapy in Paris, and is also on the Committee for the World Psychotherapy Council. In her address at the Conference, she spoke about how humans create forms to explain the world and that dreams allow us to release drives and sexual energy, because our reptilian brain is in full action during a dream or fantasy. Aknin also offered Carl Jung’s explanation of dreams that “no universal is possible with the unity of light and dark … Symbolism is related to archetypes and the collective unconscious” as, for example, is our experience of mother/ father and love/hate. Nicole Aknin proposed a hypotheses in her presentation: “As an adult, form will be less important than the essence of who we are”, and she cited an example of this hypotheses in a client she had had who had been in psychoanalysis for four years. She quoted the client as having said his vision of people and himself had gone beyond forms. He went on to say that age had lost its importance in comparison to what he could now feel through non-verbal communication. Nicole’s view is that we are able to shift from our ego to our essence. A view shared by many philosophers, teachers, spiritual leaders, therapists and people around the world. I hope that you enjoy this edition of CQ. I end with a quote that Nicole Aknin shared at the Conference. We are universal beings who live a human experience and not the contrary. ~Teilhard de Chardin
Gina O’Neill President email@example.com 3
The Neurobiology The unique state of the brain in REM sleep, when our more vivid dreams occur, appears to be involved in emotional processing and connecting new material with existing memories, often revealing these connections in the form of personally â€˜meaningfulâ€™ picture-metaphors. The complex of active centres in the frontal regions appears to provide the cognitive capability for managing emotion, psychological restoral, conflict resolution and adaptive learning. The Diverse Nature of Dreaming Dreaming occurs in many stages of sleep: hypnagogic images at sleep onset (Stage 1), NREM dreams in deeper sleep (Stages 2 and 3), and the more vivid dreams during lighter REM or paradoxical sleep. Dreams differ between REM and NREM. REM (for rapid eye movement) stages begin at roughly 90-minute intervals and are of short duration at the beginning of sleep. REM stages become more frequent and lengthy as sleep continues; REM occupies on average about 20 to 25% of our sleep time. When subjects are woken from REM sleep
in laboratory studies, dreams are reported over 80% of the time. These tend to be the more vivid, highly visual, story-like dreams. During NREM periods the dreams are less frequent, often more thought-like and more like a replay or practice of prior day events. Although the function of each state is not fully understood, studies have suggested the REM stage is involved in brain development and psychological restoral and adaption as well as consolidation of procedural memories by linking distant but related emotional memories and consolidating them into a smooth narrative. The NREM state is thought to be more involved in physiological restoral and consolidation of episodic and declarative memory. Researcher Alan Hobson (Hobson et al. 2003) theorises that dreaming is a parallel state of consciousness, which is continually running but normally suppressed during waking. Ernest Hartmann (2011) contends that waking, day dreaming, and the various stages of dreaming are a conscious continuum. Lucid dreaming (being aware in the dream that you are dreaming), for example, appears to be a hybrid state between REM sleep and waking.
Figure 1: Relatively active (white) and inactive (dark grey) centres in the brain during REM sleep derived from PET scan data (Maquet, Braun, Nofzinger and Hofle in Hobson et al. 2003). 4
CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
of Dreaming Physical Manifestations of Dreams in the Brain Researcher Alan Hobson (Hobson et al. 2003) indicates that the unique state of the brain, the combination of active and inactive regions, accounts for the unusual characteristics of dreams as well as some of the functions that psychologists have attributed to dreaming. His conclusions came from compiling neuroimaging PET scan data from studies performed in 1996 and 1997 by four teams led, respectively, by Pierre Maquet, Allen Braun, Eric Nofzinger and Nina Hofle. These studies revealed that a great deal of our brain is active during REM sleep and dreaming. As expected, areas that regulate sleep, consciousness, alertness and metabolic function are activated (i.e., pons and midbrain, hypothalamus, and thalamus—which also provide a central relay function). High activity was seen in the limbic regions involved in emotional processing (amygdala and hypothalamus) and short- to long-term memory consolidation (hippocampal regions). Adjacent regions involved in emotional control, fear extinction and reward-based adaptive action planning and learning functions (basal ganglia, medial prefrontal, anterior cingulate, lateral, medial and caudal orbital, and infralimbic) were also activated (to be discussed later). Regions involved in perception of the dream were active. Although the primary visual cortex and much of the parietal cortex remains inactive, activity is heightened in the visual association cortex, which processes imagery associations, and the right inferior parietal cortex, which organises the imagery into a visual space. Other fictive sensory dream experiences may be due to internally stimulated activity in the vermis cerebellum and other motor and sensory regions as well as activity in the temporal areas involved in facial recognition, auditory processing and episodic recall. Areas that are deactivated include functions such as rational thought and linear logic (the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and episodic memory (precuneus and posterior cingulate). As Braun (Braun et al. 1997) puts it, dreaming is a “state of generalised brain activity with the specific exclusion of executive systems”. In NREM sleep these same studies indicate that executive activity remains diminished in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as in REM. As opposed to REM, however, there is a decrease in activity in the midbrain, thalamus and cerebellum as well as areas involved in emotional processing and analogical decision-making and learning (amygdala, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, anterior insula, medial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal regions, right temporal lobe and pole, and basal forebrain). While activity in NREM decreases in one area of imagery formation (the right inferior parietal cortex), it increases in the visual association and primary visual cortices. Brain activity also increases in the left parietal region and left temporal lobe, both of which are involved in activities such August 2013
as contemplating distance, recognition of known faces and accessing word meaning. During lucid dreaming, the normally REM inactive regions of the prefrontal cortex, which control logical reasoning and executive decision-making, become activated, and EEG tracings become similar to those of the waking state. PET scans indicate a greater sense of control over the dream (lucidity) when the medial frontal cortex (involved in consciousness) is active and the amygdala (involved in emotion) is dampened. Conscious control is real, as shown in studies by Stephen LaBerge (1981) who discovered that lucid dreamers could communicate with researchers in the outside world by moving their eyes or flexing their muscles in predetermined patterns. The Function of Dreaming Whether the dream itself has a function or is simply a reflection of processing taking place within active centres of the brain during REM remains controversial. What is becoming apparent, however, is that the known processing capabilities of those centres that activate during REM sleep can be observed to a degree in the content of the dreams. Dreams as an Expression of the Unconscious The majority of the centres of the brain that are active during REM are those which process material unconsciously or prior to their output becoming conscious. This supports Sigmund Freud’s (1900) and Carl Jung’s (1971) claims, respectively, that dreams are the “royal road to the unconscious” and “the most readily accessible expression of the unconscious”. Jung (1973) observed the language of the unconscious to be symbolic, an “emotionally charged pictorial language” where a conscious event can express its unconscious meaning. This non-rational, figurative nature of dream imagery is due in part to the lack of a rational reference (deactivated dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and the visual activity taking place in the visual association cortex and right inferior parietal cortex. These regions form picture associations with the emotions, memories and conceptualisations processed within and organise them into a dream space. Hartmann (2011), states that the dream, especially the “central image”, pictures the emotion of the dreamer—the intensity of the image being a measure of the strength of the emotion. The meaning of the dream, therefore, may lie in the personal associations each visual construction represents. Fritz Perls (1976), a founder of Gestalt Therapy, understood this well and asked clients to role-play or “become” the images in their dreams, urging them to experience that “thing” in the dream and express the emotions it contains. (continued on Page 20) 5
Dreaming in the
I dreamed that I was going up the hill to a beautiful house on a cliff near the sea where my analyst lived. I knocked on the door and he bade me enter. I sat down. I noticed through the window the sunlight on the ocean refracting light. Next I found myself diving down into the depths of the ocean. I was scared, it was so gloomy, but looking back to the surface I could still see the sunbeams penetrating the murky depths. Next I saw my analyst’s hand coming down to scoop me up and bring me back to the surface. I woke from this feeling my journey had already begun, and I hadn’t even met him! His rooms weren’t, however, in a big house by the sea, but in a rather dingy medical centre, and he was much older and fatter than the analyst in my dream… Often the first dream a patient brings to therapy can be highly significant. It may not occur on the first day of therapy but some time into the process. This ‘initial dream’ often indicates, in symbolic form, the heart of the issue bringing the patient into therapy. It is multivalent, although often opaque, revealing its layers of meaning only over time. In that it indicates the central issue preoccupying the patient, it can be diagnostic as well as prognostic, indicating crucial areas for the work of therapy. This is what Jung calls the teleological rather than the reductive dimension of analysis—that symptoms and dreams can show the way forward towards psychological growth. Dreams also often generate the metaphoric language of the therapy, and the analytic space becomes what Henry Corbin (1972) called the mundus imaginalis—an intermediate imaginal space filled with symbolic images from the dream, as it reveals its inner meanings to both analyst and analysand, the analytic couple, over time. Dialogue is ongoing in psychoanalytic circles regarding the relationship of the dream to the dreamer who dreams it and the waking ego that remembers and recounts it, as well as the role of the analyst and the space of analysis upon dreaming. Psychoanalysts such as Bion and Ogden have emphasised the importance of the associations and linkages made by the patient when remembering and recounting the dream, cautioning analysts not to interfere in this process by premature interpretations based on their own readings (Ogden 1994:138). Bion saw dreaming as a state of consciousness, a continuum between sleep and waking states, a particular function of mental processing such as occurs in reverie. From one angle, all the communications that a patient brings have symbolic meaning similar to that of dreams and can be so treated. I will first outline Jungian approaches to dreaming and then focus on current thinking in psychoanalytic circles, which draws on Bion’s concept of dreamwork—how dreaming is a function of both waking and sleeping and a form of mental processing. A dream arises in the context of the analytic field which consists of unconscious symbolic material generated in the analytic space. 6
In the analytic encounter, analyst and patient may find themselves in a unique imaginal and embodied environment—a dynamic, interactive space where there are fluid realms of experience between internal and external reality, conscious and unconscious communications, shared states of mind, bodily sensations, attunements and malattunements or, as Balint put it, “a harmonious interpenetrating mix up” (Balint 1959:62–69). Analysts become attuned to how their subjective experience in the consulting room becomes like a resonating chamber, echoing and amplifying, tuning into nonverbal, pre-symbolic, unconscious material, transforming it into conceptions, thoughts, and myth. The analyst takes in primitive emotions and, in a state of reverie, absorbs unconscious communications, inchoate, fragmented psychic material, and the intersubjective analytic space itself, becoming an empty vessel for the incarnation of dreams and mythic elements. I will also draw on the Baranagers’ concept of the analytic field—the concept of the analytic situation as a dynamic field, with spatial and temporal components, containing an unconscious bi-personal fantasy co-created by analyst and analysand (albeit in asymmetric ways). The analyst is not a detached observer but has a large part to play in the creation of the analytic situation (Baranger & Baranger 1961–1962, cited in Ferro & Basile 2009). My focus will be on exploring the relationship of dreams and dreaming to both the creation of a narrative of self within the analytic relationship and how such dreaming may come to form a ‘royal road’ to the ‘heart of darkness’ of traumatic zones. Dream symbols and metaphors generated within the dreamscape of therapy may help access a traumatic memory system (Meares 2000) aiding the process of integration and healing. As therapy progresses—as the system becomes teased out, untangled and reintegrated into the conscious personality—the dream metaphors will show a process of change and development. This can take place only within the context of a therapeutic relationship—a relationship with another who is neither wholly a creation of oneself nor wholly other, which allows development of reflective awareness and a safe container in which a transitional space can be created. Hobson (1985) likewise sees a crucial task for the therapist to “enliven significant figurative expressions, to share in creating moving metaphors which shift forward personal growth and open up new possibilities”. The meaning of such a moving metaphor is revealed within a personal and cultural context, within a society of other utterances. The psychotherapist’s concern is with moving metaphors which express pre-conceptual experiencing. A moving metaphor opens up depths of experiencing ‘where silence reigns’, a kind of living symbol (Hobson 1985:61). CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
Psychotherapeutic Space Judith Pickering Dreaming is an agent of our subjectivity, our uniqueness and difference, as well as our being subject to the ‘otherness’ of the other. Dreaming is unconscious and constitutes an integral aspect of free association in therapy, alongside the analyst’s observations and responsiveness. Dreams are “imaginative fictions that preserve emotional truths” (Grotstein 2009:4). Dreams in Jungian Analysis Jung, unlike Freud, did not see a dream as deliberately deceptive, requiring careful decoding, but saw dreams as expressing symbolic truths in the most appropriate manner (Jung 1938:27). I take the dream for what it is. The dream is such a difficult and complicated thing that I do not dare to make any assumptions (Jung 1938:27). Jung did not undertake a simple, reductive, one-to-one translation such as one might find in a dictionary of dream symbols: for example, the sea = the unconscious, a shoe = sexual symbol, etc. Jung felt that “Freud did not work with symbols but rather signs which do not, as symbols do, point the way ahead or express a complicated situation in a unique way, but rather refer to something already known. A sign is always less than the concept it represents, while a symbol always stands for more than its obvious and immediate meaning” (Jung 1964:41). The dream is a spontaneous self-portrayal, in symbolic form, of the actual situation in the unconscious Jung 1967: para. 505). I will show later how this statement relates to the concept of the analytic field. Amplification Amplification is a process developed by Jung through which one expands the meaning of a dream image by connecting it with mythology, religion, literary motif, or other metaphorical systems. Jung saw this as the opposite of ‘reductive analysis’. Amplification can break patients’ sense of isolation, enabling them to feel that their internal struggles have resonance and meaning in the history of humankind—a kind of cultural contextualisation. For example, a patient dreams he is standing before a judge who, he fears, will execute him for his beliefs. He finds all his friends have abandoned him, and he feels totally alone. The patient links this dream to the mythological narrative of the trial of Jesus alone without his disciples. The patient then feels that his personal pain about remaining true to his beliefs in the face of collegial criticism is one which
has noble precedent. This makes his pain bearable. It is important from this example to note that the association and amplification with the Trial of Jesus was one made by the client, not the therapist. Active Imagination Active imagination was a technique Jung developed in which he induced an active dialogue with the unconscious while in a waking state. In a state of reverie, one holds in mind an image and inquires of the image its origins, meaning, etc. as if it were another person. Dreams are, for Jung, to be lived, their messages vital calling cards, areas of danger, of one-sidedness, of folly, and also the way out of a difficult conflict as well as beacons beckoning us towards becoming who we are meant to be. In a letter to Count Hermann Keyserling on 23 April 1931, Jung wrote: Who or what has come alive? ... Who or what has entered my psychic life and created disturbances and wants to be heard? To this you should add: “Let it speak!” Then switch off your noisy consciousness and listen quietly inwards and look at the images that appear before your inner eye, or hearken to the words which the muscles of your speech apparatus are trying to form. Write down what then comes without criticism. Images should be drawn or painted assiduously, no matter whether you can do it wel l or not. Once you have gotten at least fragments of these contents, then you may meditate on them afterwards. Don’t criticise anything away! If any questions arise, put them to the unconscious again the next day. …The important thing is to let the unconscious take the lead (Jung 1992:82–83). Compensation The Jungian theory of compensation is based on the idea that, at an unconscious level, an overly one-sided conscious attitude will be reversed, leading to balance. The person who appears grandiose is often very insecure. We may feel powerful in a dream but disempowered in waking life. A woman has a recurring dream of being chased by a golden lion. Her analyst suggests she needs to befriend the lion and own her own leonine power and strength. Archetypal Dreams Jung called dreams containing archetypal material ‘Big Dreams’. Big dreams have a numinous quality, are vivid, impressive and memorable; often functioning like a revelation, a big dream may guide us over a long period, even throughout a lifetime. (continued on Page 22)
Reflections on Dreams and Dream Dreams, dreaming and, in particular, reflections about dreamgroups are best considered within the context of a multilevel discourse. Dreamgroups invite a multi-nodal approach that values and invites mutual sharing, emergent insights, creative discipline, imaginal awareness, a metaphoric sensibility, and present-centred awareness. As with the process of the analytic dyad and counselling relationships, dreamgroups form the relational container of an intersubjective field that can serve to help deepen personal and social/cultural insights, facilitate personal change, and contribute to developmental transformative shifts in consciousness (Benson 2008, 2012). The Social and Cultural Context of Dreams The Third Reich of Dreams (Beradt 1985) takes the reader into a collective narrative of dreams, into a remembered world, reconstructed, storied and told through a collection of 300 dreams of people living in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939. The dreams are sourced from both those of Beradt’s own sources and those of a doctor friend and were collected prior to her leaving for North America. In her subsequent work on these dreams, and with the added benefit of hindsight, Beradt makes the following points: these dreams are explicit, they stemmed directly from the political atmosphere in which these people lived, they are almost conscious, their background is clearly visible, and what lies on their surface lies also at their roots. The dreams in some instances provide remarkable examples of precognition, or prescience in terms of future events. More generally, the dreams seem to foreshadow subsequent ideological and behavioural changes individually and collectively. Beradt’s text sparked my interest in the social, cultural and historical aspect of dream studies; it also helped me to consider in a research enquiry how the broader social/political landscape is being assimilated and reframed through dreams. Research interest in the social/cultural valuing of dreams is well supported by the work of Kelly Bulkeley (1994, 1995, 1996), Iain Edgar (1995, 2004, 2011), Wendy Doniger (1984), and Montague Ullman (2006). Bulkeley (1994:83) asks: “Is there a way in which culture influences the meaning of dreams? And is there any way in which dreams are meaningful, not just for the dreamer, but for the dreamer’s culture?” Bulkeley argues that meaning cannot be known a priori, but can only be known through the process of enquiry, of questioning and interpreting. Dreams may be more or less meaningful for a culture dependent upon the questions we ask, and the types of questions we ask are influenced by our subjective, historical and cultural orientations. This has not been a common approach within the Western1 tradition of theorising around dreaming. Traditionally, non-Western cultures that have valued dream-sharing and sought guidance in dreams have been described as primitive, tribal and nonrational whereas, in non-Western communities where dreamI am using the term ‘Western’ to refer to theoretical systems of thought and meaning that have been generally identified with and regarded as central to the construction of the Western tradition and culture in the sense of dominant patterns of knowledge, world views, paradigms and themes.
sharing has been valued, it has been regarded as a spiritual, psychological and practical aide for keeping the society healthy by enabling a communal exchange of insight and awareness. Bulkeley has a continuing interest in the study of personal dreaming and cultural interface and more recently, in particular, with relevance to political ideology (2001, 2002, 2006). His work has highlighted the inter-relationship between personal psychological states and political affiliation, as revealed through dream content analysis. His work has also shown that people do dream objectively or literally of social and political phenomena and that, in some cases, dreams reflect attitudinal changes or transformations in relationship to these phenomena. That dreamwork or dream interpretation is a cultural, rather than a solely psychological activity is something few people other than interested anthropologists and some dreamwork practitioners and researchers usually emphasise (Edgar 2002:80). Edgar (2011) discusses how an interior, individual dream can be co-opted and immersed into an existing theoretical paradigm within the culture; he has focussed particularly on the function and interpretation of dreams within the Islamic culture. Amira Mittemaier (2011) offers an insightful personal narrative and qualitative study of similar themes. In Guide to Imagework (2004), Edgar discusses the use of imaginative, experiential ‘imagework’ practices such as visualisation, dreamwork, dream re-entry, art and symbol work, psychodrama and gestalt work to help reveal explicit knowledge about identity, belief, culture and society. His discussion emphasises the importance of the cultural dynamics of the communication of dream and image work, and how the significance of construction of meaning in a dreamgroup is fused with the social action of narration of the dream. Doniger (1984) speaks of a hard (objective) and soft (subjective) reality and of the cultural context and shaping of the current, dominant Western assumptions on dreaming. These assumptions privilege a view that dreams are softer—more subjective, false, private, and illusory than the hard facts of waking life, which are more often thought of as separate and objective, true and real. In contrast, Naropa says that “A dream is as much an immediate reality as is the waking state, and it is even possible to see the world more clearly in our dreams, than in our waking state” (emphasis added) (Guenther 1995:183). Hunt draws on a broad source of dream accounts, texts, clinical reports and sleep laboratories to explore the following dream typology: personal-mnemic, medical-somatic, prophetic, archetypal-spiritual, nightmares, lucid dreams. He argues that cultural attitudes influence what type of dreams will be found valuable and meaningful, and also impact on the type of dream interpretations to be given authority and validated (1989). Paul Lippman is also a strong advocate of the influence of culture on dreaming (1998:204). He argues that the way dreaming and dreams are viewed is thoroughly shaped by the culture. Lippman discusses (2000, 2003a, 2003b) how dreams may be thought of as continuously exploring, commenting upon, CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
Sharing in Dreamgroups criticising, adding to, varying and improvising on the socially shared aspects of the culture. In his view, dreams contribute to the development and maintenance of social life and character. For integral theorist Ken Wilber (2000), dreams have both a personal and collective dimension and will be both shaped by the culture and, in part, shape the culture. Dreams and culture interpenetrate and reflect each other. Gordon Lawrence (1998), influenced by Wilfred Bion’s (1989) group work and also by Beradt’s text, initiated a group dreamwork process called Social Dreaming. A major outcome of this early and subsequent work is the working hypothesis that people can dream socially if invited to do so, and that such dreams can illuminate both the social and political condition of a society (Lawrence 2002). Ullman (1979, 1999) is a major advocate of sharing dreams in a dreamgroup process. For Ullman, dreams are not only of personal relevance but also offer a window of insight and reflection on social and cultural processes. Dreams in this context provide an aperture on both personal and social conscious and unconscious processes and, as such, are a potential source for realising transformative changes. David Kahn speculates that the biological function of dreams, which may have an evolutionary benefit, is likely not limited to dealing with threatening events, but may also help “to prepare us for social encounters when we are awake, to flee, fight or mate” (2005:56). “We both live and dream our awareness of the feelings of others” (2005:54). Kahn (2007) concludes that, if anything, dreams are social.
Stanley Krippner (1990), Justina Lasley (2004, 2007), Jeremy Taylor (1992, 1996, 2006), and Montague Ullman (2006). Taylor comments that the sheer dynamic of bringing a collective witness and a multiplicity of viewpoints provides the dreamers an opportunity for gaining a broader insight both individually and collectively into conscious and unconscious processes. Individuals are aided in this process by the combined knowledge of the group, which offers a wider range of interpretive possibilities from which the dreamers can select. Metaphorical meanings are extended, and the group process assists the dreamers to increase their understanding of the imagery of their dreams. Group processes can also help evoke the mood, feeling tone, and alive ‘sensorial awareness’ of the dream images. Lasley (2007) comments that dreamgroups can provide participants with a sense of belonging and of being known and accepted in a manner that is not easily available in other social groups.
Dream Studies The contemporary dream studies field has emerged as a distinct field of inquiry, which is keynoted by a wide variety of research methods and through “seeking in dreams, answers to a broad range of theoretical and practical questions” (Bulkeley 1996:237). The subject focus of the current dream field literature has discussed, for example, how dreams affect the dreamer’s self development; help resolve intra- and inter-personal conflict, negotiate life-transitional points; cope with loss, illness, separation, bereavement or trauma; find acceptance of death; find meaning; experience numinous states; explore and develop creativity; experience direct knowing as in telepathic and clairvoyant knowledge; process and anticipate future events. While debate continues around the function of dreams in terms of evolutionary and adaptive value function, the weight of evidence from many researchers supports the value of dreams in terms of emotional processing, memory consolidation and creative problem solving. The study of the linkages involved between the causal aspects of dreaming, the value of dreaming and the secondary function of meaning-making continue to draw interest.
Grassroots Dreamgroups Ullman’s contribution within the field of group dreamwork process has been significant, pioneering a method of dreamwork he called Dream Appreciation that validated the significance of dreamwork for gaining personal insights and for deepening social and cultural awareness. In this method, reliance is placed on creating a degree of safety that in combination with the dreamer’s natural curiosity about the dream, results in the dreamer moving into the dream at his/her own rate and only to the extent the dreamer wishes. Ullman researched, practiced and taught that dream skills and insights are not the preserve of dream experts or theorists, but instead are a native or natural quality that can be further developed through shared group work. He felt the lack of preparedness and general neglect of dreamwork stemmed from an irrational prejudice within the culture that he labelled as ‘dreamism’. Krippner (1990) referred to this popular dreamwork movement as ‘a grassroots’ dreamwork movement. He differentiated this movement from the psychological and psychoanalytic tradition, but observed that, ironically, as dreams become more public, at least in the United States, a new kind of dreamwork professional is emerging outside of the traditional psychological and clinical realms. This pattern has increased with several degree-granting institutions and private institutes now offering specialist dream certification courses and programs. The International Association for the Study of Dreams offers a continuing education program and study guides and promotes a set of ethical guidelines for dreamwork (http://www.asdreams.org/idxabouts.htm).
Dreamgroups The value of working in dreamgroups has been enthusiastically validated in the work of Susan Benson (2008), Robert Bosnak (1998, 2007), Gayle Delaney (1979), Iain Edgar (1995, 2004),
Case Study My readings in cooperative participatory research, feminist fields of study, social ecology, depth psychology, and transpersonal studies underpinned my interest in exploring dreamgroup, field (continued on Page 25)
Big Dreams in Childhood: Modern science is slowly coming around to the idea that all dreams are not the same. Some dreams have a clear narrative plot, while others are more like a free-form collage of images. Some are intensely emotional, while others have no emotion whatsoever. Dreams can be short or long, realistic or fantastical, sad or happy, terrifying or sexually arousing. In light of all the evidence showing the tremendous diversity of dreaming experience, it’s important for clinicians and therapists who work with dreams to be aware of the patterns and potentials associated with the various types of dreams. In this article I will focus on one of these distinctive dream types, namely ‘big dreams’ from childhood. Big dreams are characterised by their unusually intense and long-lasting memorability. In contrast to ‘little dreams’ which tend to pass quickly out of awareness, big dreams are literally impossible to forget, remaining a vivid presence in a person’s memory for the rest of their lives. Big dreams seem to be especially frequent in childhood, a fact that has profound implications for therapeutic practice, education, and parenting. The term ‘big dream’ was coined by Carl Jung, and this article traces Jung’s approach to children’s big dreams from his own early life experiences to a fascinating and highly educational series of seminars he taught on this subject. I will describe Jung’s method of interpreting the big dreams of childhood and give an example of how to apply that method. Jungian psychology is not necessarily the best approach for understanding all the different types of dreams—no theory seems capable of that kind of comprehensive explanatory relevance—but on the topic of children’s big dreams, Jungian psychology is at its best, helping illuminate a powerful yet often overlooked dimension of healthy child development. Jung’s Childhood Dream Carl Jung grew up in rural Switzerland in the late nineteenth century, the oldest child of a stern Lutheran pastor and his dutiful wife. None of the technologies of modern life had yet been invented, and he enjoyed a childhood immersed in the glories of the lakes, mountains, forests, and valleys of the Swiss Alps. When he finally sat down to tell his life story in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung (1965) started by describing the earliest dream he could remember, a mysterious revelation that became a lifelong touchstone for his psychological and spiritual approach to the world. He says the dream came when he was between three and four years old, and it starts in a familiar field near his home: Suddenly I discovered a dark, rectangular, stone-lined hole in the ground. I had never seen it before. I ran forward curiously and peered down into it. Then I saw a stone stairway leading down. Hesitantly and fearfully, I descended. At the bottom was a doorway with a round arch, closed off by a green curtain. It was a big, heavy curtain of worked stuff like brocade, and it looked very sumptuous. Curious to see 10
what might be hidden behind, I pushed it aside. I saw before me in the dim light a rectangular chamber about thirty feet long. The ceiling was arched and of hewn stone. The floor was laid with flagstones, and in the center a red carpet ran from the entrance to a low platform. … Something was standing on it which I thought at first was a tree trunk twelve to fifteen feet high and about one and a half to two feet thick. It was a huge thing, reaching almost to the ceiling. But it was of a curious composition: it was made of skin and naked flesh, and on top there was something like a rounded head with no face and no hair … On the very top of the head was a single eye, gazing motionlessly upward … I was paralyzed with terror. At that moment I heard from outside and above me my mother’s voice. She called out, ‘Yes, just look at him. That is the man-eater!’ (Jung 1965:11–12) This haunting dream remained a clear memory in Jung’s mind until the end of his life more than eighty years later. Looking back on it, he marvelled at how the images had no source in his daily experiences as a young child; the dream seemed to come from someplace else entirely. He described it as a sudden, unexpected, but ultimately beneficial transformation of his young consciousness: Who spoke to me then? Who talked of problems far beyond my knowledge? Who brought the Above and Below together, and laid the foundation for everything that was to fill the second half of my life with stormiest passion? Who but that alien guest who came both from above and from below? Through this childhood dream I was initiated into the secrets of the earth. What happened then was a kind of burial in the earth, and many years were to pass before I came out again. Today I know that it happened in order to bring about the greatest possible amount of light into the darkness. It was an initiation into the realm of darkness. My intellectual life had its unconscious beginnings at that time (Jung 1965:15). Jung knew from direct personal experience that unusually memorable and symbolically complex dreams can be vital turning points in a child’s psychological development, with meaningful consequences unfolding throughout a lifetime. When he grew up, Jung studied medicine in college, then trained as a clinical psychiatrist working to heal people of their mental illnesses. He formed a close relationship with Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis and author of The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). After splitting with Freud (in part over their differing approaches to dreams), Jung developed his own ideas about the mind. He felt these ideas were best illustrated by the lifelong psychological impact of childhood dreams such as his own. The 1936–1940 Seminars From 1936 to 1940 Jung taught a series of seminars on children’s dreams at a graduate school in Zurich, Switzerland. CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
A Jungian Approach A new translation of the lectures and class discussions appeared in 2008, opening the way to a better understanding of the actual practice of Jungian dream interpretation. The seminars offer a fascinating portrait of Jung as a living, breathing, downto-earth human being: he swears, cracks jokes, tells politically incorrect stories, and sharply scolds one of his students. Jung’s students in the seminar were mostly clinicians and medical professionals, but the essential simplicity of his method allows anyone to understand and benefit from it. Jung told his students in the seminar that when we are awake, ego consciousness maintains control of the mind. It focusses on external reality, constantly surveying our physical surroundings, analysing our social situations, and planning our next actions, but when we go to sleep, all of that changes. We withdraw our senses from the world, surrender the ego’s strict supervision of our thoughts, and re-enter a psychological realm that is vastly older than our individual selves. Dreams are a nightly revival of the unconscious mind. In dreams, the ego recedes and the energies of the unconscious come to the fore. Dreaming takes place in a kind of middle zone between waking consciousness and the unfathomable depths of the collective psyche. Jung took special interest in big dreams because they directly connect the individual to the tremendous power and wisdom of the collective unconscious. He contrasted them with little dreams, which are more common, less memorable, and not as existentially significant. Little dreams stem from the personal unconscious, with content relating to current activities and daily concerns. They may be meaningful but do not make the same impact on people’s minds as big dreams, which seem to come from a place very different from their regular dreams. From Jung’s perspective, that is a true statement in the sense that big dreams do indeed emerge from a part of the mind very different from the waking ego. Some people remember dreams nearly every night, while others remember only one or two a year, if that. In Jung’s approach the quantity of dream recall does not matter. What matters is the quality of your understanding of the few dreams you do remember. Just one big dream can become a lifelong treasure of creative insight. Big dreams often take the form of nightmares, with intensely negative emotions (fear, anger, sadness), aggressive interactions, and harmful misfortunes. One of the most paradoxical ideas in Jung’s theory is that nightmares can be valuable sources of psychological growth. The natural temptation is to shy away from nightmares, as we shy away from anything that seems dangerous or threatening. Indeed, the most likely situation for parents to use the dismissive phrase ‘it was just a dream’ is when their children have woken up in the middle of the night from a bad dream. Most parents will say or do anything to comfort a sobbing, terrified child, and it certainly can be helpful for children who have just had a nightmare to recognise the difference between what was happening in the dream and
Kelly Bulkeley what’s happening now, in the arms of their parents. From Jung’s point of view, however, we can see nightmares as dreams in which especially strong archetypal materials have emerged that frighten the ego precisely because they are so strange, powerful, and alien. The dreams are scary because they overwhelm the ego, but if the ego can learn to expand its range of awareness to include these new archetypal energies, the result can be a lessening of fear and a new burst of psychological growth. Jung taught that nightmares often arise as a symptom of failed integration, an unhealthy split of consciousness and the collective unconscious. This is why his therapeutic approach to nightmares was to encourage the dreamer to accept the frightening elements as parts of themselves. Jung said to his students, “A persecutory dream always means: This wants to come to me … You would like to split it off, you experience it as something alien—but it just becomes all the more dangerous” (Jung 2008:19). Jung’s interpretations of early childhood nightmares concentrate on identifying which aspects of the unconscious are symbolised in the nightmares and helping the dreamer find a way to heal the split between consciousness and those alienated parts of the psyche. Instead of fighting against such inner psychological powers, Jung advocated accepting and embracing them: “The best stance would be: ‘Please, come and devour me!’” (Jung 2008:19) That’s easier said than done, of course, but Jung’s interpretive principle remains important to remember: Nightmares can reveal aspects of the mind that need to be better integrated into the dreamer’s conscious personality. The healthy development of a child’s mind depends on balancing the demands of both consciousness and the collective unconscious, making sure the ego grows up to be stable, secure, competent, adaptive, and resilient, while maintaining a free flow of emotional energy and instinctual wisdom from the unconscious. A failure to balance the demands of conscious and unconscious life lies at the root of many people’s psychological problems, Jung said, and he looked to children’s dreams as early warning signs of conflicts and tendencies that may, if left unaddressed, lead to problems later in life. Jung also emphasised the preparatory value of dreams in terms of spiritual growth and insight. The big dreams of childhood can give people their first glimpses of transcendence, their first encounters with sacred powers and mind-stretching possibilities, their first feelings of profound wonder. The spiritual path of a person’s life often begins with such experiences. The Practice of Interpretation When Jung set out to interpret a particular dream, he said, “I proceed from the very simple principle that I understand nothing of the dream, do not know what it means, and do not conceive an idea of how the dream image is embedded in each person’s mind”. This might sound like a surprising admission from one of history’s all-time great dream experts, but Jung insisted that we (continued on Page 27)
Calling for Change:
W orking with Nightmares
I regard nightmares as a signal of distress in the mind, parallel to pain in the body—a call for attention to some emotional, psychological, spiritual or even physical issue in need of healing. Since nightmares are expressed in the form of mental imagery, therapists can often help the dreamer turn the imagery into a story focussing on active survival, rather than remaining a victim. The Emotion Is Real Nightmares are a form of dreaming distinguished by intense fear or horror and a sense of helplessness, such that the dreamer awakes before some dreadful event can happen in the dream story. Or there may be no story, just fragments of chaos, particularly if it is a post-trauma memory-dream. Either way, the dreamer’s body responds to the emotion as a reality, and the dreamer wakes in terror, feeling as though the traumatic event has just happened. If this is a recurring pattern, the impact on the dreamer’s mental and physical health is serious. According to Krakow’s research (summarised in Rosner et al. 2004:92), “We have observed that nearly all [chronic] nightmare sufferers develop psycho-physiological insomnia as a by-product of their bad dreams … in the form of sleep fragmentation and miniawakenings”. This Krakow explains, influences the mental health of trauma survivors by disturbing the natural imagery system that flows through healthy minds. Since a significant proportion of our population admit to being poor sleepers, this condition may be quite widespread. Aside from chronic nightmare sufferers, many other people report having a repetitive, disturbing dream about an unresolved personal issue and/or occasional bursts of nightmarish dreams related to stressful events. I have even worked with a man ninety-four years of age to resolve a buried fear of death that he had carried since early childhood, when persistent nightmares brought it into consciousness (Bowater 2008). Once resolved, he was free to die in peace. All such dreams deserve close attention and, when they have settled into a habitual neural pathway, we can help the sufferer to break the pattern. Although our nightmares may express powerful emotions of fear and anger, under the normal conditions of the sleep cycle, we are immobilised during the regular REM-sleep periods of vivid dreaming, which occur approximately every ninety minutes. Motor control is switched off along with other parts that process input from the outer environment obviously to protect against acting out what we dream. Under severe stress, this protection can fail, and dreamers may take real action against the threat without waking up, producing a REM-Sleep Behaviour Disorder, in which, for example, they punch holes in the wall or attack their partners in bed.
Toxic Conditions and High-Stress Environments Nightmares have different causes, which may require treatment using different forms of therapy. Some result from toxic conditions in the brain caused by drugs, fever or sleep deprivation, or simply over-exposure to on-screen violence and will resolve with lifestyle changes. Some nightmares are caused by high-stress living or working conditions, and here the focus of treatment is practical, such as encouraging the dreamer to find protection, change jobs or learn assertive skills. Evolutionary psychology has suggested that nightmares may have developed originally as a way to simulate threats from the environment for the purpose of getting us to practise how to handle such threats in future (Revonsuo 2004, Barrett 2007). This purpose highlights the need to help dreamers create new endings with a focus on survival. Another theory focusses on terrifying nightmares of spiritual attack, a common explanation of nightmares in earlier times, and the necessity to fight off the demons involved. In tribal societies, those who succeeded gained respect as shamans (McNamara 2008). I have heard of similar nightmares from sensitive people in certain religious and cultural groups today. Illness Our dreaming mind has access to body cues beneath the level of conscious awareness. Mark Barasch, in Healing Dreams (2000), has gathered many examples of nightmares signalling malfunctions in the body. A client of mine in a high-stress job had a vivid dream that there was a line of shingle-spots around her middle. She woke in alarm and immediately checked her body for shingles. There were none there, but she heeded the warning by promptly reducing her workload. The onset of mental illness may also be diagnosed from an intensifying series of nightmares, as a group of women described to me from their experiences of sliding into post-natal psychosis. A clergyman whose wife had died told me about his nightmares, which recurred for months, of being trapped on a huge rock that was bouncing ever farther down a mountainside, down and down. Had he understood the metaphor, he could have sought professional help before clinical depression was finally diagnosed. Later dreams reflected his shift of mood into hopefulness—a shift I watch for in my clients to see how therapy is progressing. Internal Conflicts Some recurring nightmares result from severe, internal conflicts of values arising from heavy parental, religious or
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to Facilitate Healing cultural scripting. These dreamers are often sensitive people who survived childhood by adapting to authority but find it difficult to hold their ground in a different environment. They require longer-term therapy to sift out the self defeating beliefs, and a concurrent process of building autonomy and self esteem. Ernest Hartmann (2001), a leading dream researcher, has identified a personality condition, “thin boundaries”, which make some people more susceptible than most to nightmares throughout their lives and to mental illness if under strain. They also tend to be artists, inventors and visionaries. Hartmann stresses the significance of the central image around which the dream is constructed, such as an approaching tidal wave, warning of a threat to emotional stability. Anyone can begin work quite quickly with a story-nightmare by asking the simple question, “What could happen next?” and by encouraging the dreamer to consciously imagine a more hopeful ending. The imagination can exert strong ‘pulling power’ towards creating a better future. One example is the common nightmare of being endlessly pursued by a threatening figure of some sort. Ernie had nightmares about dark animal shapes pursuing him through a war-zone, and he would wake in fear. One night it was a big black dog, and he knew he could never out-run it, so this time he decided to turn and face it, expecting to be savaged. The dog seized hold of his hand and held on without biting, conveying to him that it was not going to harm him, but nor would it let go. He woke up pondering the dream and realised that the dog symbolised the anger he had learned never to acknowledge in his severe religious training. He never had the nightmare again. Any character in a dream may have something useful to say if interviewed in a respectful, open-ended way. I call this ‘Martian enquiry’, since the interviewer/counsellor is like a visitor from Mars in someone else’s territory, trying to make sense of what he or she observes in the dream scene, a concept I have adapted from Transactional Analysis and Psychodrama. Use caution, however, and do not ask a dreamer to enter the role of a character believed to be mad or evil. Ask the dreamer instead to observe the character from behind a ‘wall of glass’ and ‘overhear’ it thinking. This often brings out surprising information which reduces the dreamer’s fear. Some people are able to become ‘lucid’ while dreaming, that is, become aware that they are dreaming, and can, therefore, steer the story at will—a desirable skill for nightmare-sufferers—but not many people can do it. What most of us can learn to do is wake up, calm down, and (probably later) figure out a solution,
Margaret Bowater then consciously re-enter the nightmare and practise ending it in a better way. This not only creates a new neural pathway but also lifts self esteem as a result. One woman client of mine who had been raped at twenty ended a recurring dream she had had for many years in which she could hear a woman being raped in the next room, but the door was locked. She imagined taking a screwdriver to the lock and bursting into the room to attack the perpetrator, who fled, much to her satisfaction. Post-Trauma Dreams I believe, however, that the most common type of remembered nightmare originates from either actual or threatened traumatic experience. Deirdre Barrett (1996) has gathered many significant research articles into an excellent volume, Trauma and Dreams, ranging from Harry Wilmer’s work with Vietnam veterans, through therapy with sexual abuse survivors, to findings from psychologists working in a children’s hospital. One of Wilmer’s findings was that post-trauma memorydreams, when processed, tend to evolve into nightmares containing more fantasy elements, then, as the emotional intensity fades, incorporating more present-day concerns, realising a natural process by which the trauma memories are gradually diluted by other elements. As therapists, we can encourage this process by inviting dreamers to create new endings to the story. Historical events, such as an accident that killed a friend, cannot be changed, but why not imagine the spirit leaving the body to go to the ancestors as most indigenous people do? Or if the dreamer was a victim of violence, why let the perpetrator continue to win? Encourage the dreamer to create an alternative story of escape, confrontation or achieving justice, giving the brain a new choice of pathways. One of my clients, Rhys, age sixty, had suffered a terrifying nightmare at intervals all his life. He only ever remembered fragments of the nightmare, but he always knew that something evil was coming to kill him. Eventually Rhys recalled that he had been hospitalised at ages two and four without parental support—totally terrifying events recorded in implicit memory before the development of episodic memory (Arden 2010). He began to practise a new ending, and the next time the dream began, he simply escaped. He has slept better ever since. Another client Mattie, a dignified Polynesian of sixty-nine, had been shouting and fighting in her sleep, trying to fend off a male attacker. She poured out a horrendous history of violent abuse by men, which she had never told anyone before, believing (continued on Page 29)
W orking with Pain and
I work with the embodied imagination. The notion of the embodied imagination comes from the phenomenology of dreaming. Phenomenology is the science of experience. It is important to first pay some attention to the difference between phenomenology and the paradigm of contemporary science, which is based on the queen of all modern sciences, Physics. Physical science starts with Matter as its first principle. It asks what matter is and how it behaves by itself, apart from human observation. This attitude is called ‘objective’. In physics we want to know, for example, what the solar system looks like by itself, objectively, even if we have never observed it. Physics posits that the earth circles around the sun in an elliptical path whether we look at it or not. Our observation does not affect the factual workings of the solar system. So the ideal of science, based on physics, is to answer how the world behaves objectively, no matter who looks at it. I shall not go into the fact that it was physics itself, in its incarnation as quantum physics, the science of the infinitesimally small, which proved this idea of objectivity to be applicable only to a limited portion of reality, but if we look at the solar system, the ideal of objectivity appears to hold up. The earth rotates around the sun whether we observe it or not. The science of experience, phenomenology, by its nature cannot study what the world of experience looks like when we are not experiencing it. That is a contradiction in terms. So the science of experience must necessarily work with criteria other than those of physics. The science of phenomenology has reports about sense data as its subject matter. Subjectivity is at the centre of phenomenology, which doesn’t make it of any lower scientific standing than physics with its striving towards objectivity, because if this were the case, quantum physics, which has fundamentally eliminated the notion of objectivity, would be a science of lower standing than the study of the solar system where the notion of objectivity is very effective. Obviously, in the eyes of academic science, this is not the case. Quantum physics, with its fundamental uncertainty and the primacy of the presence of the observer, enjoys the same respect as the study of the solar system. How does the science of experience function when its lens is trained on imagination? First of all, we should look at imagination in its purest form. The most pure form of imagination is experienced while dreaming. Everything in dreaming is created by imagination. When a painter makes a painting, another product of imagination, she is limited by the pigments of her paint, the quality of the canvas, the nature of the light with which she works. These factors were not created by imagination but by 14
the physical world. It is even clearer in another product of imagination, architecture. The architect is limited by the physics of the space where the building is going to appear. Is the ground flat or is it hilly, is the ground firm rock or is it muddy marshland? Most importantly, all arts require the physical body as the vehicle to perform it. All forms of imagination incorporate the physical world in some form or other—except dreaming. In dreaming everything we experience is a product of imagination, including the experiencing body. I just wake up from a dream in which I am looking everywhere for a piece of paper to use to write down an article, this paper which I am writing right now in the physical world. I have little time to write this paper. I am unprepared. The deadline is upon me, and I can’t find any paper on which to write. All the paper around contains writing. A woman assistant to the editor will go out to get me paper. She tells me that at my age I should work with lined paper so I can write in straight lines. This is as much as I remember. Everything in this experience has been imagined: the room, the chairs and tables, the pieces of paper, editors, the ground on which I walk, and the person I call ‘I’ or ‘Robbie.’ The body of this ‘I’ in the dream in which ‘I’ move around is also imagined, since the physical dreaming body lies without moving in my bed in the mountains of Santa Barbara and is not in a room full of papers together with the assistant editor. Since everything in a dream experience is imagination, even the body of the one who is experiencing the world around, I take dreaming as the ultimate paradigm for imagination. By studying the experience of the dreaming imagination, we may also find how imagination works, in general, when the physical world is present and the body moving about in the experience is a physical body. So let me try to get this to paper now. I assume that the assistant has returned with the lined paper, and I can write down this article, hoping it will still be here when I wake up after going back to sleep. This writing which I am now doing could be part of another dream and, then, I would wake up and there would be nothing written down. So I hope I am awake right now and not in yet another dream. I hit the ‘save’ function on my computer twice, just to make sure my thoughts are saved and won’t disappear—a futile gesture if, indeed, I am still dreaming. Why speak of the imagination as embodied? In my dreaming, half-an-hour ago, everything—the dreamed room, the papers and the assistant—presents itself in a convincingly embodied form. The chairs are real and hard, the tables stand firmly on the ground, and when I touch the surface CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
the Embodied Imagination to pick up a piece of paper, it feels to the touch like smoothly polished wood; the papers are full of writing, the assistant walks around in a female body, and the ‘I’ called Robbie behaves much like the physical ‘I’ who is now sitting before the computer writing up this experience. Chairs, tables, papers, assistant and Robbie: we all are bodies. The first principle of the experience of imagination in its pure form as dreaming is that it occurs in apparently physical space with apparently physical objects, including the experiencing self. Since the first principle of the ultimate paradigm of imagination is the convincing appearance of physicality, I believe a disciplined science of experience where it concerns imagination should be called embodied imagination. Let’s try to stake out the field of study of the embodied imagination and what it has to contribute to science in general. Observation and Methodology In the same way that classical physics extrapolates the way in which matter exists apart from observation—which has been followed ever since by all the other sciences—our science of experience in relation to imagination posits the primacy of imagination itself in the moment of observation. The disciplined observation of the embodied imagination has led to a methodology—a method by which to scientifically study the experience of imagination. Since the room in which I am to write this article is already filled with previously written pieces of paper strewn all over the tables and chairs, let me start with some principles that have already been put to paper in our study of the embodied imagination. The original piece of paper I briefly want to look at is CG Jung’s Red Book (2009). In this magnificent tome, Jung describes his journey to what he calls the “World of the Deep”. In his autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1989) he had already told us about his mode of transportation into this realm of the embodied imagination. He lets himself drop down a cliff, observes the rock face and lands with his feet to his ankles in mud. Every element in this experience appears physical: the body called Jung dropping down the cliff, the rock face and the mud he can feel to his ankles. The physical Jung sits in his study at his home in Küstnacht, entranced by the embodied imagination. Jung tells us that all his later thinking is based on the experiences he describes in his Red Book. Therefore, Jung begins with the primacy of the embodied imagination on which he bases his psychology. Note that all his experiences are apparently physical experiences of an apparently physical world, yet he knows that this world exists purely in imagination. Thus, Jung has what may be called a ‘simultaneous dual consciousness’. Jung is fully aware that he is sitting in his study,
and he is fully aware that simultaneously he is falling down a rock face. Neither awareness excludes the other. A voice that would tell him: “No CG Jung, you are not falling down a rock face but just sitting on your chair in your study” would be the rational voice of simple consciousness. A voice that would tell him: “No CG Jung you are not sitting in your study, your physical body is actually falling down a rock face” would be the irrational voice of delusion. The experience of a simultaneous dual consciousness lies between simple rational consciousness and irrational delusion. The experiential state of simultaneous dual consciousness is, therefore, the state in which the embodied imagination can be studied. While awake we are in a rational single consciousness, while dreaming we are deluded into thinking that we are awake and moving around in a physical world, while in simultaneous dual consciousness, we know that the reality in which we find ourselves is embodied imagination and that our physical body exists outside of this imagined landscape. The most efficient state in which to experience this simultaneous dual consciousness to its greatest effect is what is called in sleep research the hypnagogic state. In the same way that simultaneous dual consciousness is the state between simple rational awareness and irrational delusion, the hypnagogic state is the state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. In this state, simple rational awareness of the physical world—I’m lying in bed—coexists with awareness of a world that appears as physical, but we know to be imaginal—the quasi-physical realm of the embodied imagination. As we slip fully into this world and lose our awareness of the physical world, we are dreaming and, thus, no longer capable of a rational study of the imagination. Direct study of the embodied imagination requires this simultaneous dual consciousness in a hypnagogic state between waking and sleeping. Or it requires a state called lucid dreaming—the state in which one is in simultaneous dual consciousness in the dream world while knowing that the physical body is in another realm. What the microscope and telescope are for the science of physics, hypnagogic simultaneous dual consciousness is for the science of the experience of the embodied imagination. This state of consciousness and the process of slowing down the experience of imagination to a slow-motion crawl are the technological instruments of the method. As important as was the telescope for Galileo, simultaneous dual consciousness and slow motion are the prime technologies needed for in-depth study of the embodied imagination. Once entering upon this world of embodied imagination, such as a dream, we make another important discovery. For myself, I made this discovery in a seminal dream, which I (continued on Page 30)
In the Therapy Room
Taboo or Not Taboo? Which emotion would you say is the most difficult or complex to work with when you are counselling? Can you identify the emotion clients struggle to name, or the one which triggers the most responses in you? Is it grief? Anger? Fear? Perhaps it could be any one of these. Your answer may depend on what is currently happening in your life, your history with a client, or your own story’s resonance with the themes that emerge in a session. I’d like to suggest that there is one emotional experience which is, generally, the most demanding for both counsellor and client. This particular experience leaves us wishing there was a hole that would open and swallow us up. It makes us want to hide. I’ve heard people say they thought they’d die from this feeling. That feeling is shame. When we are fully in its grasp, shame leaves us speechless. We drop our gaze, defer or avoid connection with others, our shoulders may drop and ‘the wind goes out of our sails’. It’s a demanding place because we feel exposed, naked, vulnerable. All our history of imperfection can feel on show, magnified as if announced over a loudspeaker, “Come and see this excuse for a human being! This person is excrement!” We feel BAD that we are badness personified. No wonder shame has the power to derail a session. If shame is triggered in you, it can feel dread-full. Have you ever been hit with a wave of total failure in the middle of a session, perhaps after a client has challenged or attacked you? Or, perhaps, as you wrote your notes you felt your cheeks burn as you became aware of failing the client. Maybe the client called you to say how hurt he/she was by an intervention you made that left the client bruised. As a result, you may find yourself tarrying in your office more than usual to avoid colleagues, or you may need to off-load (or confess?) to someone before your sense of overwhelm dissipates. If shame is triggered in a client, it will interrupt the flow of the work, but, unless you are very familiar with working actively with shame, you may miss it, and lose the opportunity for timely relationship repair, or for some gentle healing interventions to detoxify the event. Shame may be triggered because of a client’s internal issues or by your own interventions in the session. If the shame is not identified and worked with, it can go underground, undermining your work together. Such is the power of shame that many of us have not learned 16
how to work with it. How many courses have you been to on shame? How many times have you talked about it with someone? Compare that with the number of times you have discussed grief, anxiety, sadness, sexual feelings, happiness... Was shame mentioned in your training? Perhaps shame is taboo? As my son would say, “Jussayin...” I am suggesting that working with ‘shame awareness’ can be a powerful and productive framework for shifting the client and deepening the therapeutic relationship. Naming and dealing with shame has risks. It can cause both client and therapist to flee from the shared connection or may result in the client choosing not to return. There are also risks in being unaware of shame, ignoring its impact in the room, or avoiding your own discomfort. Perhaps it would be good to establish what is meant by shame. It’s not guilt. Guilt is about what we have done. Shame is about who we perceive we are, or how we believe others see us. That is, shame happens when we make the judgement that we are bad. Shame occurs when we believe something we have felt, said, done, or noticed (or not done, said, or noticed) makes us faulty to our core. Then we want to hide. We may be alone, yet we could still blush to the roots of our hair and to the last painted (or not) toenail as we hit the wall of shame. In this way, shame is a self-conscious emotion. Some argue that babies feel shame others argue that it evolves at a later developmental stage, because it involves a sense of self-as-object of others’ disdain. I can’t decide which of these developmental frameworks is the most helpful, but I am more confident than ever that working with shame is an important part of our personal work and our clinical practice. Shame work has transformed my sense of self and my work as a therapist, and it has effected a significant change in many clients I have worked with. People who have been stuck for years have been able to work more effectively with their anger in relationships, or build self esteem, or leave an abusive relationship. Most of the time my awareness of the implicit shame in the room has helped me to subtly shift the way I work to re-connect with the client, deepen the work or dig us out of a hole. What I’d like to suggest is that we counsellors begin to talk about shame with each other. Consider the following list of adjectives applied to self as a starting point of exploration: CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
branded, devalued, degraded, diminished, disrespected, dumb, diseased, defective, exposed, inept, empty, embarrassed, flawed, helpless, humiliated, humbled, insignificant, inadequate, incompetent, inept, idiotic, mortified, overlooked, pathetic, powerless, ridiculous, stupid, shy, seen, small, stupid, silly, trivialised, undignified, uncomfortable, unimportant, worthless. (Note that these words may be markers of shame in a session.) Why start with us therapists? I suggest we need to be desensitised to the affect of shame so we can bear it more readily. Shame can be an overwhelming experience. Talking about shame is inherently shaming, so it is important to be in it, feel it, recognise and breathe through it. Only when we are able to self regulate our own shame will we feel ready to work with client shame; at least, that is my experience. Shame involves the ‘other’: a perception or experience as if there is a negative evaluation from another. Therefore, the therapeutic space, the counselling room, has an important place in the healing of shame. Therapy is about relationship. Shame is created within interpersonal relationships; therefore it needs an interpersonal relationship to heal and transform it (Greenberg & Iwakabe in Dearing & Tangney 2011:74). As I am writing this, I am struggling to acquire the word count needed to submit my column. This is a more difficult task than usual. What a surprise! The topic is shame. It’s not even popular with me! Let me give you a bit of background. I used to be a high school English and Drama teacher. At my last school, I had a particularly difficult Year 9 class—a double-period every Wednesday with recess in the middle. The classroom, on ground level, had large windows directly opposite the science department, which was full of creative, energetic staff with whom I shared a passion for producing school musicals on a grand scale. We knew each other well and spent a lot of time out of school hours, planning and rehearsing for these productions. These staff members knew about my BLUSHES. My blushes had the heat and colour of a large rural bonfire. I went red from here to there and in places you couldn’t see. In addition, the staff knew I was highly reactive, extraverted and a bit colourful. They also knew that this class were a pretty
rough lot and had seen more of the world than most. They were loveable but rough and street-wise. They were a handful! The science department set me up, sending multiple packages marked ‘Urgent for Mrs Jones’ via a naive Year 7 student. I sniffed trouble and kept returning them. After recess, though, the phallic-looking pea-shooter they had tried to send, now appeared unwrapped and prominently taped to the whiteboard with a huge scrawled note: “Ask Mrs Jones what this is.” When I turned to face the class, the entire science department was lined-up at the window to watch THE BLUSH. I felt exposed ... shamed. I had strategies by this time to deal with my blushes. All my students knew they could make me blush easily and, as a consequence, I had had lots of practice, so I sailed through the experience relatively unscathed. It was a familiar place, and I was already working in therapy to manage it. I was in a place where I could join in on the joke, find my feet (after lunch!) and not feel too battered by the experience. Yet, this event illustrates how vulnerable I was to feeling completely naked and every other word on the list above. It would still be years before my struggles were named as shame and dealt with at depth in my therapy. I rarely blush now, yet I had once been famous amongst staff and students at two schools, over many years for my blushing. The healing took place in the space between the therapist and me—the client. The therapist had dealt with his shame; he wasn’t afraid of mine. When I dropped into shame, he knew. I had another therapist who had been non-shaming, but this was qualitatively different. He put shame out there where it could be named, examined, discussed, tolerated and accepted. It was as if a landmine removal specialist entered my sensitive internal world and carefully de-activated each trigger, one by one. It was repetitive, slow and arduous work. Once the mines were removed, we could plant new affects, experiences and beliefs, heavily fertilised by humour and pride in my strengths. We regularly added extra nourishment by cultivating ecstasy, joy and spirituality. I have a term I use when training: “And then you tread on a stick”, and the client jumps. What I mean by this expression is that clients are watchful, waiting for the therapist or worker to put a foot wrong, to prove the counsellor or process is not safe. They are sitting in a silent forest and when we tread on a twig, they run. Shame is like that. When we tread on a stick, clients believe they have proof that they are perceived by the therapist (continued on Page 33)
Clinical Hypnotherapy: A Demonstration Review by Juliana Triml
Leon Cowen has been a clinical hypnotherapist for thirty-seven years and is at the forefront of clinical hypnotherapy practice and training. He is the Executive Director of the Academy of Applied Hypnosis in Lindfield and a PhD candidate with the University of Western Sydney, researching educational guidelines for clinical hypnotherapy. Leon’s talk focussed on the clinical applications of hypnosis and its various uses. Although some practices of hypnosis may be considered controversial—such as when entertaining an audience and influencing members of it without appropriate consent and/or without base histories relating to the participants—it is important to be aware that it is the clinical purpose of hypnosis that makes it such a potent tool. Hypnosis is not the same as sleep. Clients are at all times in control of their behaviour and under hypnosis would not commit an act that is incongruent with their ethics and morals. Clinical evidence suggests that when a client has an open mind a change or acceptance is facilitated more easily. Hypnosis can be used very successfully in medical and surgical procedures to ‘block’ pain and to promote a faster healing. As the brain is in sync with the body, rather than anesthetised, it sends its own natural chemicals to the part—physical or emotional—that needs it. Therefore, hypnosis reverses the damage and promotes physical and psychological healing. Some very skilled hypnotherapists have successfully assisted clients through regression. Obviously, therapists must avoid any form of suggestion to avoid re-traumatisation or the formation of false memories and, therefore, regression is generally to be avoided in counselling. On occasion, a client may wish to resolve some issue concerning a past life, which can be done successfully but only when a client has a belief in past lives and wishes to go there. It is well known that we are all guided by our beliefs, whether or not they are helpful in a given situation, and often we need to question this phenomenon. There is no universally accepted definition of hypnosis, as there are different levels and verbal and non-verbal forms. Definitions, therefore, often fail because they include things they should exclude and exclude that which should be included. All people can, for example, bring themselves into 18
a hypnotic state while day-dreaming, during meditation, or progressive body relaxation, while working on a piece of art, or while experiencing either pain or pleasure. The hypnotherapist, however, can make skillful use of the trance state by making ‘suggestions’ to facilitate a change. Einstein stated that you cannot solve a problem in the state of mind it was created, but the opposite can work: a therapist can assist us to create a new state of mind in order to facilitate change. As Cowen once explained, “scienticism is bringing reality to something that the science can understand”. There are many forms of induction, and Leon demonstrated a brief professional induction with three volunteers who gave their permission to participate in the demonstration and later described their experiences to the audience. The volunteers were advised that they can at any time stop the process by raising their hands and that they had no physical or mental disability to which the induction might have a damaging effect. Using appropriate techniques, the volunteers were brought into a comfortable, relaxed hypnotic state. When questioned upon coming back to full consciousness, each stated that during the process they were aware of everything and were very relaxed. No specific intervention was administered to any of the three volunteers, and Leon ensured for safety reasons that all individual ‘anchors’ were removed after the demonstration. While this presentation did not teach any particular skills per se, it was intended to demystify common misconceptions about hypnotherapy and to remove any sense of taboo that is often associated with the practice.
Juliana Triml, is the CAPA NSW PD Coordinator. If you have any suggestions regarding future professional development events, please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
CAPA NSW Professional Development Events CAPA NSW members must complete twenty hours of approved professional development each year. To help members meet this requirement, CAPA is hosting PDEs on the following dates:
Tuesday 20 August 2013 7.00–9.00 pm PD hours: 2 Jackie Burke
Identifying Vicarious Trauma and Managing the Inevitable Triggered by analysis of attrition rates throughout the industry, the NSW Rape Crisis Centre identified psychological injury stemming from vicarious trauma as the primary health and safety hazard for its counselling staff. A comprehensive package of management strategies was developed to effectively monitor and respond to this risk. As a result of implementing this package, no psychological injury claims have been made in the past eight years, and the Centre received the 2007 Safe Work Award for the best solution to an identified workplace issue from Workcover NSW. Jackie Burke, Clinical Director of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, will discuss the key factors in this success and examine the implications of these results for other workplaces and industry sectors. The training is suitable for frontline and managerial staff. (A maximum of twenty-five participants is recommended.) Learning outcomes: Understand the vicarious trauma construct. Differentiate between vicarious trauma and burnout. Identify predictors of vicarious trauma. Recognise symptoms of vicarious trauma. Understand effective strategies to manage vicarious trauma. Jackie Burke has a background in both psychology and counselling disciplines and is a pioneer in the field of Vicarious Trauma Management. She is the co-author of A Best Practice Manual for Specialised Sexual Assault Crisis Telephone and Online Counselling.
Saturday 26 October 2013 1.00–3.30 pm PD hours: 2.5 Liz Dore
Relationships Counselling: People with Intellectual Disability and Autism, and their Carers
Counselling needs to be tailored to meet the special needs of people with intellectual disability and Autism. People with disability desire a range of relationships including intimate companions. They benefit from counselling to develop and maintain relationships and to cope with loss associated with them. This presentation will focus on practical strategies for increasing the effectiveness of relationships and grief counselling for people with a disability and for those carers and family members that support them.
Liz Dore is a relationships counsellor and provides relationships, sexuality and grief counselling using a combination of systemic, narrative, cognitive behaviour, mindfulness and solution focussed therapies. She specialises in counselling and educating people with intellectual disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her qualifications are in Special Education, Systemic Relationships Counselling and in Sexuality. Monday 4 December 2013 7 pm to 9 pm PD hours: 2 Elana Leigh
Ego States: Theory and Application
The therapeutic alliance is often thought to be one of the most significant contributions towards meeting a client’s goal in counselling and psychotherapy. The counsellor/psychotherapist and the client continuously have an impact on one another. Understanding both the implicit and explicit ways this happens can strengthen the therapeutic relationship and the work that takes place. The theory of Ego States is one of many models that can offer a sound way to diagnose and plan treatment. This is applicable to both short- and long-term work. In this professional development evening, we will revisit the model of Ego States and its application. This evening will include both theory and application. Elana Leigh, BSc (Social Work), MSc (Integrative Psychotherapy) is a Certified Transactional Analyst, and Training and Supervising Transactional Analyst (ITAA). Her specialty is long-term training, taking trainees through the rigorous journey of becoming ethical professionals. Her passion lies in integration and diversity in both theory and application. Elana is actively involved in professional bodies that maintain and advance training standards in the field of psychotherapy. She currently works as a psychotherapist in private practice, and as a supervisor and trainer in Sydney. Bookings: (02) 9235 1500 or email@example.com Please book as soon as possible. Spaces are limited due to Occupational Health and Safety requirements. Cost: Free for CAPA members. $30 for non-members. Venue: Crows Nest Centre, 2 Ernest Place, Crows Nest, Sydney (unless otherwise stated).
If you have any suggestions for future PDEs, contact PD Coordinator, Juliana Triml, on firstname.lastname@example.org. CAPA is also exploring more options for members in rural and regional areas. Please email the Regional and Rural Committee with your suggestions email@example.com.
Features (continued) (continued from Page 5)
Emotional Processing High limbic activity has lead researchers to conclude that dreams selectively process emotionally relevant memories via interplay between the cortex and the limbic system (Seligman & Yellin 1987) and that the amygdala “orchestrates” the dream activity, integrating dream emotion with dream action (Dang-Vu et al. 2007). The effect of dreams on managing emotion has long been suspected. Freud suggested that bad dreams let the brain learn to gain control over emotions resulting from distressing experiences. This emotional regulation may result from an activity in REM described by Els Van der Helm et al. (2011), who proposes that adrenergic neurotransmitters coupled with activation of the amygdalahippocampal networks (re)process and depotentiate previous emotional experiences, decreasing their emotional intensity. Nightmares are the extreme. Although negative emotion appears more frequently than positive emotion (likely due to high limbic activity), we do not usually report the dream as a nightmare unless it is extremely upsetting, contains overwhelming anxiety, apprehension or fear. Nightmares have a number of causes including: heavy emotional stress severe threat to self or self image unresolved or extreme trauma (PTSD) long-term psychological problems the influence of certain drugs emerging medical problem requiring attention, or sleep disorders affecting REM/NREM balance. Stanley Krippner et al. (2012) states that PTSD -related nightmares are not characterised by metaphor but are instead life-like replays of the event and are, therefore, not treated by interpreting the narrative or imagery. Therapy involves “modifying the nightmare (imagery rehearsal therapy) and resolving the issues it presents”. Alan Siegel (2012) indicates that recovery (mastery) can be seen as the nightmares begin to
incorporate images from the present and the pre-trauma past and include more figurative imagery and metaphors. Problem Resolution and Psychological Restoration As indicated previously, a number of cognitive frontal regions of the brain are highly active in REM. This suggests that the dreaming brain may be capable of problem resolution, psychological restoration and learning. Ernest Hartmann (2011) finds that the “broad, loose connections of dreaming can provide a different perspective and can help us make important decisions and discoveries”. The creative, problem-solving history of dreams is also well documented by Deirdre Barrett (2001) who researched the many inventions and artistic creations that have originated within dreams. Jung (1973) indicated that dreams restore psychological balance by recognising and compensating for misconceptions in order to bring our awareness back to reality and/or to warn of the dangers of our present course. Alfred Adler suggested that dreams solve problems by diverging from rational logic towards an inner logic, driven by emotion, that either reinforces or inhibits the contemplated action. Coutts (2008) agrees, stating that dreams improve the mind’s ability to meet waking human needs by testing dream scenarios and adapting or rejecting them, depending on their outcome. A study by McNamara et al. (2002) demonstrated that the cognitive operations in dreams may function to identify norm violations and generate counterfactuals (‘what-if’ scenarios that, in effect, compensate for the violation). Many psychologists believe dreams serve an adaptive function such as adapting to emotional stress (Stewart & Koulack 1993), threat rehearsal for purposes of survival (Revonsuo 2000), or practicing physical, intellectual and social skills needed in waking life (Blackmore 2004). Dreams may also help bring about our psychological growth and maturation. Jung (1971) claimed that dreams provide a ‘transcendent’ function, which brings about new awareness and
Upcoming Supervision PD Events in Sydney Wheel of Supervision Part 1 Accountability or Freedom? for Supervisors & about-to-be Supervisors 5 day Training Mon 12 to Fri 16 August 2013 PD Points: 36
The Responsible Supervisor’s Approach 1 day workshop Fri 30 August 2013 PD Points: 6
Other Upcoming PD Events In Sydney CEP offers a range of Supervision Services to Professional Practitioners that include Training, Workshops and Supervision-on-Supervision Practice. Our Training programs fully meet PACFA’s Supervisor Accreditation Pathways and are endorsed by AAOS (Australasian Association of Supervision)
Yoga for the Mind
The Compass of Emotions
Mindfulness and the Embodied Self 1 day workshop Fri 6 September 2013 PD Points: 6
Feeling Your Way through the Haze 1 day workshop Fri 25 October 2013 PD Points: 6
For details of workshops, trainings, other PD activities in 2013 and to register visit our website:
Phone: 0431 401 659
CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
a more integrated personality (a process he called “individuation”) whereby gradually a wider and more mature personality emerges. Others agree that dreams help develop the ego (Jones 1962) and integrate our fragmented personalities (Perls 1976). David Feinstein (1990) describes how dreams either find a way to accommodate new material into our internal model (‘old myth’), strengthen an unconscious ‘counter myth’, or creatively develop a ‘new myth’ (new model) that better accommodates internal and external reality. Hartmann (2011) characterises dreams as an emotionally guided, hyper-connective mental function—which is “in part how the brain learns”—organizing memory based on what is emotionally important to us, creating new connections, and weaving new material into established memory to arrive at new insights. Neurobiological Basis for Dream Cognition A compilation of neurological studies (Hoss 2013) suggests that a networking between REM-active frontal regions might provide many of the cognitive functions referenced above. For example, the anterior cingulate is found to be involved in: monitoring anomalies and initiating action to resolve conflicting perceptions mediating resolution by anticipating consequences based on experience or imagined outcomes (dream scenarios) selecting a response based on valuing the reward monitoring the outcome, and adapting behaviour based on that outcome. The anterior cingulate also networks to perform these activities with other adjacent structures including: the basal ganglion, which is involved in novelty detection, motivation, deciding which of several possible behaviours to execute, and reward-based adaptive action planning and learning the lateral and caudal orbitofrontal cortex, which are involved in emotion control, regulating planning behaviour based on reward, cognitive empathy, and personal social behaviour and decision making the medial prefrontal cortex, which is involved in goaldirected behaviour, social and self referential activities, self monitoring of learning, and our ‘sense of knowing’ the infralimbic region which is involved in fear extinction, and the hippocampal and entorhinal structures, which provide memory consolidation, optimisation, encoding and retrieval functions, as well as extinction learning, are active. Conclusion In summary, the capability may exist for our dreaming mind to not only make new connections and reveal them in personally ‘meaningful’ picture-metaphors, but also to dampen emotional response and bring about conflict resolution or adaption to external threats by: recognising anomalies, conflicting perceptions and threats to our inner sense of self; mediating a resolution by creating and testing imagined outcomes in the form of dream scenarios; selecting a scenario based on achieving the anticipated rewards; and emotionally reinforcing certain scenarios, thus encoding the result in memory as new learning. References Barrett, D 2001, The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists, and Athletes Use their Dreams for Creative Problem Solving—and How You Can Too, New York: Crown Books/Random House Blackmore, S 2004, Consciousness an Introduction, New York: Oxford University Press, 342 Braun, AR, Balkin, TJ, Wesenten, NJ, Carson, RE, Varga, M, Baldwin, P, Selbie, S, Belenky, G and Herscovitch, P 1997, ‘Regional Cerebral Blood Flow Throughout The Sleep-Wake
Cycle. An H2(15)O PET Study’, Brain: Journal of Neurology, 120(7): 1173-1197 Coutts, R 2008, ‘Dreams as Modifiers and Tests of Mental Schemas: An Emotional Selection Hypothesis’, Psychological Reports 102(2): 561-574 Dang-Vu, T, Schabus, M, Desseilles, M, Schwartz, S and Maquet, P 2007, ‘Neuroimaging of REM Sleep and Dreaming’ in D Barrett and P McNamara (Eds) The New Science of Dreaming: Volume 1 Biological Aspects, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 95-113 Feinstein, D 1990, ‘The Dream As a Window to Your Evolving Mythology’ in S Krippner (Ed) Dreamtime & Dreamwork, Los Angeles: Jeremy P. TarcherInc, 21-33 Freud, S 1913, The Interpretation of Dreams, (3rd edn) trans. AA Brill, New York, NY: Macmillan Hartmann, E 2011, The Nature and Functions of Dreaming, New York: Oxford University Press Hobson, JA, Pace-Schott, EF and Stickbold, R ‘Dreaming and the Brain: Toward a Cognitive Neuroscience of Conscious States’, in EF Pace-Schott, M Solms, M Blagrove, S Harnad (Eds) 2003, Sleep and Dreaming: Scientific Advances and Reconsiderations, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1-50 Hoss, RJ 2013, ‘Neuropsychology of Dreaming: Studies and Observations’ viewed at http://tinyurl.com/neurospsych on 22/5/2013 Jones, R 1962, Ego Synthesis in Dreams, Cambridge, Mass: Schenkman Publishing Co., Inc. Jung, C 1971, The Portable Jung, J Campbell (Ed.), New York: Viking Press, 273, 279 ——1973, Man and His Symbols, New York: Dell Publishing, 30, 34 Krippner, S, Pitchford, DB and Davies, J 2012, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Biographies of Disease, Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood LaBerge, S, Nagel, L, Dement, W and Zarcone, V 1981, ‘Lucid Dreaming Verified by Volitional Communication During REM Sleep’, Perceptual and Motor Skills 52, 727-732 McNamara, P, Andresen, J, Arrowood, J and Messer, G 2002, ‘Counterfactual Cognitive Operations in Dreams’, Dreaming, 12(3) Perls, F 1976, The Handbook of Gestalt Therapy, C Hatcher and P Himelstein (Eds), New York: Jason Aronson, Inc. Revonsuo, A 2000, ‘The Reinterpretation of Dreams: An Evolutionary Hypothesis of the Function of Dreaming’, Behavioral Brain Science, 23(6) Siegel, A 2012, ‘Ethical Practice Guidelines For Working With Survivors Nightmares’ presented at the 2012 International Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Berkeley, California, viewed at www.dreamwisdom.info on 5/5/2013 Seligman, M and Yellen, A 1987, ‘What is a Dream?’, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 25:1-24 Stewart, D and Koulack, D 1993, ‘The Function of Dreams in Adaption to Stress Over Time’, Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams 3(4): 259-268 Van der Helm, E, Yao, J, Dutt, S, Rao, V, Saletin, J M and Walker, MP 2011, ‘REM Sleep Depotentiates Amygdala Activity to Previous Emotional Experiences’, Current Biology, 21(23): 2029-32 Robert Hoss, MS, is a Director and Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and directs the DreamScience foundation for research grants. He has been researching and instructing courses on dreams for over thirty years, is a faculty member of the Haden Institute and former adjunct faculty at Sonoma State University and Richland College. He is the author of Dream Language and Dream to Freedom and has published in the International Journal of Dream Research, and the Energy Psychology Journal.
Membership Total as at 1 July 2013
Life Honorary Member
Total Financial Members 110 Note: CAPA memberships are undergoing renewal, and numbers reflect only those members who have renewed their memberships.
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This is similar to Buddhist analysis of dreams, which distinguishes between karmic dreams, containing karmic material relating to our neurotic habits and tendencies, and dreams containing revelations of wisdom. Bion On Dreaming Bion, like Jung, saw dreaming as fundamental to psychological wellbeing, its function to process primitive and raw experience into something out of which symbolising and meaning-making occur. Bion focussed on the integrating, synthesising function of dreamwork, which he believed enabled conscious and unconscious material to be processed into elements that were more comprehensible. Dreamwork is a continuous process, belonging to waking as well as sleeping. Where Freud believed that incomprehensible unconscious material is rendered comprehensible through dreamwork, Bion also saw that conscious material needs to be subjected to dreamwork reverie, in order for its deeper meaning to be discovered. Bion saw the capacity to dream as the bedrock of sanity, as it enables trauma and emotional experience to be worked through. Bion relates dreaming to reverie. Analytic reverie is a state of mind akin to daydreaming—an openness, receptive to whatever the patient communicates, yet holding it in mind without jumping to premature conclusions. The analyst daydreams, muses, ponders as he or she receives the material the patient brings. The patient and analyst together ‘dream’ the material through the moving metaphors that are generated within the analytic setting. The analyst dreams the analysand into existence in the same way that the mother in her reverie dreams her baby into existence, containing the baby’s raw inchoate experience, metabolising it and returning it to the baby in a more manageable form, holding the suffering the baby cannot bear, transforming unbearable pain into something manageable. Bion also formulated the concept of alpha function (Bion 1962:3) and saw this mental function as what enables raw emotional experience to be processed during both waking and sleep, leading to the production of alpha elements, which generate dream images, dream thoughts and dream narratives, rendering raw emotional experience something that can be processed, thought through and eventually symbolised. Alpha elements may form as visual pictograms that poetically syncretise sensory-proto-emotional experience of every instance of relatedness (Ferro & Basile 2009). Beta elements not subjected to dreamwork tend to remain undigested, unthinkable, often evacuated, or projected. Visual images produced by dreaming accumulate into narremes, which in turn become dream narratives. Bion wrote: It must mean that without phantasies and without dreams you have not the means with which to think out your problem (Bion 1953:25). Bion postulated that the inability of some psychotic patients to dream was due to the overwhelming fear of realising painful psychic or traumatic realities. The analytic setting, and the calm and emphatic stance of the analyst is a precursor for dreaming, which in turn enables processing of traumatic experiences. Ogden From the intersubjective perspective, dreams that a patient brings occur in the context of an ongoing analytic relationship 22
and are part of the ebb and flow of conscious and unconscious communication within the intersubjective space of analysand and analyst. The psychoanalyst Thomas Ogden speaks of the analytic process as involving the “interplay of conscious and unconscious states of reverie of analyst and analysand leading to the creation of a third subject which Ogden calls ‘the intersubjective analytic third’ (Ogden 1994). Ogden describes how from the initial analytic meeting onward, the analysand’s personal psychological space in which his or her thinking, feeling, bodily experience and dreaming occurs is no longer entirely coincident with his or her “own mind” as had been experienced prior to this relationship. The analysand’s “personal psychological space, (including his ‘dream space’) and the analytic space become increasingly convergent and difficult to differentiate” (Ogden 1994:141). Further: Dreams, particularly the latent content of dreams, have been viewed as the patient’s unconscious constructions and the role of the analyst has been likened to that of the skilful obstetrician delivering a baby as unobtrusively as he can. The analyst must give the patient room to associate as freely as possible to his dream ... the analyst’s offering of an interpretation concerning a dream in the absence of the patient’s associations ... would be considered ... to be a form of ‘wild analysis’. After all, the analyst under such circumstances is simply offering his own associations (Ogden 1996:891). From this perspective, dream symbols can be forms of the analytic third. Ogden (1994) writes of an intersubjective, ‘analytic third’ subject of analysis that arises out of a complex, multi-layered dialectic involving an interplay between conscious and unconscious, fantasy and reality, within the analytic setting. The ‘analytic couple’—‘analyst’ and ‘analysand’ as such—truly come into being only in the process of the creation of the analytic subject (Ogden 1994:5). Thus dreams, too, can be considered as connected with the analytic third, generated in the context of that particular analytic relationship. Ogden’s concepts are also very much related to the Barangers’ (as cited in Ferro & Basile 2009) concept of the analytic field. In recent times, field theory has described how an analytic couple create a fluid, interpenetrating, dynamic and intersubjective space in which the subjectivity of each participant can be understood only within that context, giving rise to something new between, around and even beyond them. The analytic field includes the spatial aspect of the physical environment of the consulting room, its temporal dimension as indicated by rhythm and length of sessions, separations, breaks, and interruptions. The unconscious aspect relates to how the situation of analysis gives rise to a bi-personal unconscious fantasy of the analytic couple, which is above and beyond individual fantasies. This shared, unconscious phantasy can in no way be regarded as determined by the patient’s (or, of course, the analyst’s) instinctual impulses, although the impulses of both are involved in its structuring. Nor can it be seen as the sum of the two internal situations. It is something created between the two, within the unity they constitute during the session—something radically different from what each of them is individually (Baranger & Baranger as quoted in Ferro & Basile 2009:20). CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
The Analytic Hour as Dreamscape Following Bion’s idea that dreaming is a continuous process that takes place in waking life as well as in sleep one could consider the analytic session itself as a dream. Each narration, whether of a dream or of events in the patient’s life, becomes like a hologram that expresses the emotional reality of the analytic field seeking representation (Ferro & Basile 2009). Such waking-dream thoughts arise within the analytic field, giving rise to narrative derivatives. For example a fictional client ‘Jenny’ comes into the consulting room, saying that at the door to the building she encountered an ‘old hag’ with rubber gloves on washing the floor, muttering and cursing under her breath. The woman accosted Jenny, barred her way, and demanded to know where Jenny was going. Jenny had to push past her to get to me. She looked accusingly at me, as if it were my fault. The way she related this story had a dream-like quality. The old hag was like an archetypal witch in a dream, one who barred the way to Jenny’s development. She felt angry with me that she had met this ‘old hag’. I had not formed a means of ‘environmental protection’ to prevent such an event from occurring, just as her parents had not protected her from a bullying old headmistress at boarding school. The art of analysis is, from this perspective, one of holding all communications a patient makes as being like a dream, encoding symbolically the whole analytic field—in terms of their symbolic meaning, archetypal meaning, content relating to internal figures or people and situations in their current life, transferential elements—as different aspects of a whole, held in a state of analytic reverie. In the case of Jenny meeting the ‘old hag’, we can view her relating this incident from the vertex of how she feels welcomed or not into any situation. When a patient presses the intercom to my building, I usually say a friendly “Hello, come in”, but sometimes with Jenny, I am so primed for her accusing look as she comes into the room, I have to steel myself to do so. She has set up an expectational field (Meares 1992) where I am expecting criticism, which is what she feels herself from those in her life. I pondered how she might see me as treating her not with kid gloves but with rubber gloves, keeping my hands from being burned by her scorching hot anger. The woman questioned her right to be in the building. Jenny is often concerned to know whether she has a right to be here, and this relates to her right to be born, to have been a member of her family, her right to happiness, to a relationship. Can she tell me this directly, or does she say it indirectly by stating that the woman seemed stern, forbidding and unwelcoming, barring her way to the therapy room? Analytic responses need to sensitively match the vertices of most relevance, according to the need of the present moment, assessing whether elements relating to childhood, traumatic memories, the internal world in the present, the external situation, the transferential situation, the transgenerational, or those of the analytic relationship in the present moment lie within the analytic field. Hobson On Dreams In Forms of Feeling, Hobson (1985:5 ff.) describes how Sam, a fourteen-year-old boy, came into his consulting room one day and said, with a “new seriousness and decisiveness” which indicated a “note of confidence and trust in me and in himself” August 2013
“‘I had a dream the other night.’” He had spoken about a few dreams in the past, but in an offhand way. This dream he spoke about with “a strange intensity, akin to awe”. He said, “‘I was in a dark pool. It was filthy and there were all sorts of horrible monsters in it. I was scared but I dived in and at the bottom was a great big oyster and in it was a terrific pearl. I got it and swam up again’” (Hobson 1985:5). Hobson describes how he felt himself “caught up in mystery, in a sense of otherness”. He replied, “‘That’s good. Brave, too. You’ve got it, though, and pearls are pretty valuable.’” That’s all he said. He didn’t, as a classical Jungian might, amplify the dream by relating it to the ‘pearl of great price’ or other mythological stories. He stayed right with the actual feeling-toned experience of the dream, of the boy’s own language. From the perspective of the role of dreams in therapy, Hobson noted how Sam spoke about the dream with a “new seriousness and decisiveness”, which indicated a “note of confidence and trust in me and in himself”. It is this trust in the process and in the therapy, as well as in himself, that indicates some of the preconditions for such a big dream to occur. Sam didn’t refer again to the dream until many months later when he said, “‘It’s queer about that pearl. I suppose it’s me in a sort of way.’” “‘Mm,’” Hobson responded, wondering about ‘me’ and ‘myself’ and what Wordsworth [The Prelude, lines 347–50] meant by: “The calm existence that is mine when I/Am worthy of myself!” (Hobson 1985:148). Hobson held the dream in his heart and often pondered it. He writes of his analytic reverie: Often, reflecting in solitude, I ‘ listened’ again and again to Sam’s story of the pearl. I listened until I felt that I shared it—really shared it, I mean, in my head, in my bowels, and in my heart (Hobson 1985:8). He pondered the many myths of the hero “and his dangerous quest for the treasure hidden in the Otherworld and about how the basic themes of separation-transition-reincorporation, of loss-disorganisation-reorganisation, have been enacted in diverse rites at puberty”. Here is the archetypal level. This was what Sam was facing in his life: his quest for himself, the pearl of great price. For Hobson to have overlaid his theories on the boy would have robbed Sam of the meanings he made of it for himself, the truth that emerged from the depths. These layers can exist without the analyst necessarily articulating them. Sam’s dream, Hobson also realised, “re-combined many memory images—of a pool Sam had played by, of a documentary film about diving for pearls, of pictures of water-snakes”. These ‘contents’ combined in a pattern, in the sense that Coleridge writes of the imagination as dissolving, diffusing, dissipating in order to recreate. Here we find the narratives of alpha elements creating a narrative of self consisting of biographical elements, archetypal elements, elements related to the analytic field and the relationship between Sam and Hobson, teleological elements relating to the birth of a true self, and the pearl of great price, which required diving down into deep and murky waters. Hobson describes how an expectant, intuitive attitude helps promote active fantasy, an active willingness to “allow images to emerge, and to accept them as ‘mine’, a form of loving attentiveness”. Sam and Hobson each shared a receptive attitude towards the dream. “We sensed a kind of revelation— 23
Features (continued) an intimation of something strange and important which was happening now.” This leads to imaginative activity in which a person’s conscious attitude remains open and receptive. Would Sam have had this dream without analysis? Conclusion To conclude, sometimes a dream that a patient brings to therapy evolves over time, taking on a life of its own, becoming, in the analytic space, a moving metaphor of self. Shifting, developing, being amplified by and informing the language of experience that develops between analysand and analyst, such a moving metaphor of self may lead to the co-creation of a mythic narrative or story, which can encapsulate the analysand’s development of a more authentic mode of being in the world. It may also be a conduit for the transmission of (and, therefore, possible processing of) intergenerational traumatic complexes never fully worked through by the patient’s forebears, which haunt the analytic space until their origin can be located, avowed, thought about, and emotionally faced. Such moving metaphors of self are generated in the context of that particular analytic relationship, within the “intermediate realm of subtle reality” (Jung 1964:331) of the analytic space. They are a form of metacommunication stemming in part from an analysand’s need to process difficult internal relations but, once experienced and expressed in the intersubjective analytic field, they generate a language shared by the analytic couple. Out of this analytic field a potent symbolic image may arise. This “symbol is neither abstract nor concrete, neither rational nor irrational, neither real nor unreal. It is always both” (Jung 1968:283). Such moving metaphors simultaneously encapsulate within them past, present and future. They symbolically represent the subject’s internal processing of past problems—loss, failure, trauma—and thus have reductive as well as diagnostic characteristics. They point to what Jung called the individuation tasks of therapy, which are teleological, as well as prognostic. They depict various elements of the present intrapsychic and inter-relational situation of the patient. Such metaphors constitute a unique way in which that which was previously unknown, the “unthought known” described by Bollas (1987), can be reconceptualised to form a “thought known”. Such a living metaphor could be a dream image, a dream series, a shared fantasy, a bodily experience or theme. The image conceived intersubjectively and birthed becomes a character and
takes in its train a stream of associations, images, emotions, and bodily sensations, which shift and move between us. Dreams become interconnected, waking fantasies draw out further emotive images, memories, yearnings, fears, etc.—all pouring into our mixed imaginal realm. This becomes a narrative history, our language-game, expressing our myths of origin, which give us our changing identities and destinies. References Balint, M 1959, Thrills and Regressions, London: Maresfield Bion, WR 1953, ‘Notes on the Theory of Schizophrenia’ in Second Thoughts: Selected Papers on Psycho-Analysis, 1967, London: Heinemann, 23-35 ——1962, Learning From Experience, Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson ——1970, Attention and Interpretation, London: Tavistock ——1992, Cogitations, London: Karnac Bollas, C 1987, The Shadow of The Object, New York: Columbia University Press Corbin, H 1972, ‘Mundus Imaginalis, The Imaginary and The Imaginal’, Spring: 1-19, New York: Analytical Psychology Club of New York, Inc. Ferro, A and Basile, R (Eds) 2009, The Analytic Field: A Clinical Concept, London: Karnac Grotstein, J 2009, ‘Dreaming As a “Curtain of Illusion”: Revisiting the “Royal Road” With Bion As Our Guide’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 90: 733-752 Hobson, R 1985, Forms of Feeling, London: Tavistock Publishers Jung CG 1938, Psychology and Religion The Collected Works of C. G. Jung: West and East Volume 11, 41 ——1964, Man and His Symbols, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc. ——1967 Jung, CG 1967, The Collected Works of C.G. Jung Volume 8, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press ——1968 Psychology and Alchemy, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Volume 12, (2nd edn), London: Routledge ——1992, Letter to Count Hermann Keyserlin in G Adler and A Jaffe (Eds) C.G. Jung Letters Volume 1: 1906–1950 (trans.) RFC Hull, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Meares, R 1992, The Metaphor of Play, Melbourne: Hill of Content ——2000, Intimacy & Alienation, London: Routledge Ogden, T 1992, Projective Identification and Psychotherapeutic Technique, London: Karnac ——1994, Subjects of Analysis, London: Karnac Books —— 1996, ‘Reconsidering Three Aspects of Psychoanalytic Technique’, The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 77(5): 883-889
Judith Pickering, PhD, is a Jungian Analyst, Psychoanalytic Couple Therapist and Psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney. She is a Training Analyst of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Jungian Analysts and faculty member for the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy. Judith serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology, London. She holds tertiary degrees in Religious Studies, Asian Studies, Music Education, Musicology, Psychotherapy, Analytical Psychology and has a doctorate in Psychology. She is the author of Being in Love: Therapeutic Pathways Through Psychological Obstacles to Love (Routledge 2008). A second book Transformations in Love has been commissioned by Routledge.
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processes as a means of critical social enquiry. My doctoral research study engaged eight participants over a six-year process in shared dreamgroup work. My focus of interest was looking at mature-age women’s experiences of long-term marriage. The ages of participants ranged from forty-three to fifty. Four women were of Anglo-Celtic background and four women of Jewish heritage (three of whom had been born outside of Australia). Two of the members had prior experience of working with dreams, one member as a psychotherapist, and one member through Jungian coursework and experiential work. The processes we engaged in the study included: dreamgroups, conversations, dream incubation, interviews, questionnaires, contributed writing, collage, and artwork. The dreamgroup approaches incorporated an ‘embodied’ imaginal approach, elements of Ullman’s “if it were my dream”, imaginal role-play, amplifications, and symbol work. Over time we became familiar with each of the familiar dreaming metaphors that would appear regularly in our dreams, and we noted shifts and changes, weaving together a collective group memory and process. Factors influencing the sustainability and longevity of the group were: mutualism growing sense of confidence to work with the dream material increased attention interpersonal relationships new insights valuing of the processes spontaneity and sense of being immersed in the present moment experiencing multiple layers of awareness deep listening responsive and attentive to other. Outcomes The participants developed greater awareness into their own dreaming lives and were able to make meaningful connections with their dreams and their waking lives. Participants’ gained a greater sense of personal insight into their own marriage story, and how that story had been shaped through larger social and cultural stories. There were new levels of shared understanding as individual themes and group resonances unfolded, often
occurring together with synchronicities. All participants experienced through the dreamgroups an increased awareness of intersubjectivity. In the field of intersubjectivity each individual consciousness, like the tracks on a music disc, has its own lyric, rhythm and sound path to follow but is embedded within a larger circle or frames of relationship. Composite Dreamgroup Narrative The narrative is an abridged creative synthesis of the personal discussions, structured questionnaires and participants’ feedback on the question of dreaming and the experience of participation in a dreamgroup. Dreams are very important to us helping, at times, to inform, educate, entertain, nourish, and replenish us. Dreams can expand our consciousness of who we are in the world. By connecting to the felt sense of dreaming, we can feel greater depths of meaning in our lives. At times, we have made important decisions in our lives based on our sense of direction and guidance in our dreams. We can feel out of sync if we feel disconnected from our dreaming. Dreams can also challenge and confront us, and we may not be willing to look at the images. Having time to work with our dreams and write them down is important. Dreams linger with us and affect our waking day. While we all have a sense of a continuing ‘self ’ within our dreams, this sense of ‘self ’ is experienced by some of us as almost an invisible presence within the dream and not really distinguishable from the image itself. Some of us have a strong sense of physicality in the dream but make little connection to the familiar daytime image of ‘self ’. For others, there is a strong sense of identification with the form and figure of our waking-life ‘self ’, and this identification is felt more strongly when the dream takes place in a familiar setting. For some of us, there is also a very clear sense of a reflective part of dreaming consciousness that acts like an observer or witness self. Our perceptions and feelings of our changing sense of ‘self ’, as revealed in our dreams, continually engaged us. Sometimes we expressed the feeling, contained in memories, of a sense of ‘never having left our parent’s home’—whether desired or not. The metaphor of journey also seemed appropriate. We also saw dreams as sometimes serving as precursors of future actions and directional guideposts. For some of us, it wasn’t so much a sense of an awareness of a changing physical image or form, but rather an awareness of a felt, internal shift, reflected in the changing form(s). These perceptions also engaged us in a reflection of what was our relationship to other known figures or people in our dreams. Do
Features (continued) they change in reality, or is it only our perception of them that is remaining unchanging or changing? What role do other figures play in our dreams, either as part of ourselves, as our subjective interpretations of others, or as their objective selves? We wanted to know more about the inter-relationship of dream figures to waking life. We recognised that shifting relationships in dreams sometimes mirror or anticipate shifts in external relationships. We also confront mystery and the ‘unknown’ and unfamiliar in our dreams. The experience of the dreamgroup was very positively valued by us all, giving us insights into parts of dreams we found difficult to work with alone, but were able to through connecting, embodying, enriching, extending, and amplifying images. We also learned about our dreams by listening to other people’s dreams. We created a shared field of memories, dreams, images, stories and experiences that contributed to a sense of a greater depth of understanding and ways of working with dreams. The shared memories of the dreamgroup allowed a greater recollection of motifs and patterns. We also noted the resonance of parallel dream imagery with other dreamers and the overlap of dream images and sometimes waking life events amongst dreamers. The awareness of unconscious processes that can be operating in a group was valued for the insights it afforded about participation in other groups. Participation in a dreamgroup opened us to a greater sense of interconnectivity, as well as a possible sense of unity, and of mystery.
Copyright D.G.Mackean www.biologyresources.com
Reflections and Linking Thoughts My intuitive sense of the process of dreamgroup work is the image of a rhizome—a generous bulb feeding, nurturing and sprouting new roots and surface growth from beneath the compost, from below the surface, and where any point of the rhizome can be connected to anything other.
This metaphor of dreamgroup process is expanded and amplified further through the concept of Autopoiesis: it is generative, autonomous, organic, inter-connected, and fieldlike in character. Autopoiesis2 brings together an understanding of ‘self-making’, stemming from the concept of auto—self organisation and ‘making’, which shares the same Greek root as the root word—poetry. It also carries the idea of a network of connectivities and of inter-relationships that can also be thought of and held imaginally as an ecological network of interacting presences. Autopoiesis is a term used by Humberto Matura and Francesco Varela (1987) to discuss the self organising, self making systems of nature. 2
An open-systems view of dreamgroup process, invites an understanding of a self organising, self reflexive, interconnected field of activity; it strongly supports the understanding that group dreamwork can constellate common unconscious issues, as well as give insight into specific problems, themes, or potentials within individuals and groups. The creative use of image, empathetic resonance, dialogue, sensing, embodiment, visualisation, and the telling of the narrative are stimuli for generating a complex network association of thoughts and experiences. Dreamgroup work is valuable and can offer something new and emergent to participants; it will reflect the composition and interests of the individual participants and the social and cultural context of those participants. Dreamgroups provide a basis for exploring questions around how individuals heighten or limit empathetic responsiveness and develop social cohesion, and for exploring how individuals gain greater understanding of personal and interpersonal factors, influencing concepts of self identity and existential issues of life purpose and meaning. Discussion on the function and purpose of dreams continues to occupy the field, as does that of interpretation. Notwithstanding this debate, there is a growing body of cross-cultural evidence that suggests the very framing of the process, the attitudinal valuing or non-valuing, will also influence the outcome. To conclude, I propose a good conversation about dreams is one capable of opening in many directions and values that dreaming is multi-layered, multi-valent and multi-textual. It will also value that any theory of dream interpretation, as is the supposed remembered3 dream, is embedded within a complex system of social and cultural meanings. An appreciative cross-disciplinary approach accommodates and accepts multiple ways of working with dreams and dream interpretations ranging from adaptive, residue functioning, compensatory, anticipatory, wish-fulfilment, guiding, healing, self reflective, and spiritual. To help avoid the theoretical lens becoming the filter, an organic enquiry approach values a discovery-based orientation that orients itself around a phenomenological stance of ‘not knowing’, and allows space for image, metaphor, myth, narrative, and creative play to unfold. Within this space of openness and receptivity, linkages, resonances and subtleties of meaning and perception can be felt, embodied and brought into present-centred awareness. It is a relational, contextual field that reveals how personal shifts in consciousness are mirrored through inter-related webs of meaning arising out of process, place, context, dream, image and metaphor. References Benson, S 2008, Dreaming Across Borders and Boundaries: Meeting at the Edges, paper (research track) presented to the 25th International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), Montreal, 8-12 July ——2012, Exploring Aspects of Personal and Group Transformative Change in Long-Term Dreamgroups, paper presented to the 1st Australian IASD Regional Conference, Sydney, 19-22 April Beradt, C 1985, The Third Reich of Dreams: The Nightmares of a Nation 1933-1939, Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press Bion, W 1989, Experiences in Groups and Other Papers, London, Routledge Bosnak, R 1998, A Little Course in Dreams, Boston: Shambhala ——2007, Embodiment: Creative Imagination in Medicine, Art & Travel, London: Routledge Bulkeley, K 1994, The Wilderness of Dreams: Exploring the Religious Meanings of Dreams in Modern Western Society, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press ——1995, Spiritual Dreaming: A Cross-Cultural and Historical Journey, New York: Paulist Press —— (Ed.) 1996, Among All Those Dreamers: Essays on Dreaming & Modern Society, Albany, NY: Suny ——2001, ‘The Strange Politics of Dreaming’, Dream Time 16(2-3) ——2002, ‘Dream Content and Political Ideology’, Dreaming 12(2): 61-78 —— 2006, ‘Sleep & Dream Patterns of Political Liberals & Conservatives’, Dreaming 16(3): 223-235 Delaney, G 1979, Living in Your Dreams, San Francisco: Harper 3 Hillman (1983) explores in Healing Fiction, the imaginal, narrative, political and fantasy-based processes which, together with a participant’s personal biographical data, have informed the genre of the psychological study. He uses Freud’s case histories as an early starting point of this genre.
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Doniger O’ Flaherty, W 1984, Dreams, Illusions, and Other Realities, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press Edgar, I 1995, Dreamwork, Anthropology and the Caring Professions: A Cultural Approach to Dreamwork, Aldershot, UK: Avebury ——2002, ‘Invisible Elites? Authority and the Dream’, Dreaming 12(2): 79-92 ——2004, Guide to Imagework, London: Routledge ——2011, The Dream in Islam: From Quranic Tradition to Jihadist Inspiration, Oxford: Berghahn Books Guenther, H 1995, The Life and Teaching of Naropa, Boston: Shambala Hillman, J 1983, Healing Fiction, Woodstock, CT: Spring Publications Hunt, H 1989, Multiplicity of Dreams, New Haven: Yale University Press Kahn, D and Hobson, A 2005, ‘Theory of Mind in Dreaming: Awareness of Feelings and Thoughts of Others in Dreams’, Dreaming 15(1): 48-57 ——2007, ‘Dreaming as a Unique State of Consciousness’, Dreamtime Radio Series on Dreams viewed at www.dreamscience.org on 18/7/2007 Krippner, S 1990, Dreamwork: Decoding the Language of the Night, Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher Lasley, J 2004, Honoring the Dream: A Handbook for Dream Group Leaders, Mount Pleasant, SC: DreamsWork ——2007, ‘Perception through Dreamwork’, Dreamtime Radio Series on Dreams viewed at www.dreamscience.org on 18/7/2007 Lawrence, GB, (Ed.) 1998, Social Dreaming@Work, London: Karnac Books Lawrence, W 2002, The Complementarity of Social Dreaming and Therapeutic Dreaming’ in C Neri, M Pines and R Friedman (Eds) Dreams in Group Psychotherapy, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 220-232 Lippmann, P 1998, ‘On the Private and Social Nature of Dreams: The Privacy of Dreams’, Contemporary Psychoanalysis 34(2): 195-221 ——2003a, ‘The Canary in the Mind: On the Fate of Dreams in Psychoanalysis and in Contemporary Culture’, Dream Time 20(3): 4-7
——2003b, ‘The Canary in the Mind: On the Fate of Dreams in Psychoanalysis and in Contemporary Culture: Part 2’, DreamTime 20(3): 4-7,41 ——2000, Nocturnes: On Listening to Dreams, Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press Maturana, H and Varela, F 1987, The Tree of Knowledge, Boston: Shambala Mittemaier, A 2011, Dreams That Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination, Berkeley: University of California Press Taylor, J 1992, Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, New York: Warner Books ——1996 ‘Traversing the Living Labyrinth: Dreams and Dream Work in the Psychospiritual Dilemma of the Postmodern World’, in K Bulkeley (Ed.) Among All Those Dreamers: Essays on Dreaming and Modern Society, New York: State University of New York,139-156 ——2006, ‘How We Remember Dreams Offers Clues to the Evolution of Consciousness’, DreamTime 23(3): 4-8 Ullman, M & Zimmerman, N 1979, Working with Dreams, Los Angeles: Jeremy Tarcher Publishing ——1999, ‘The Experiential Dream Group’, in M Ullman and C Limmer(Eds) The Variety of Dream Experience: Expanding Our Ways of Working with Dreams, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1-26 ——2006, Appreciating Dreams, New York: Cosimo-on-Demand Wilber, K 2000, Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy, Boston: Shambhala Susan Benson, PhD, is an educator and transpersonal counsellor with qualifications and experience in education, transpersonal counselling, social ecology and publishing. She has facilitated dreamgroups and given workshops and presentations on dreams and creative imaginal processes for over fifteen years. Susan holds a doctorate from the University of Western Sydney in Social Ecology. She is founding President of Dream Network Australia (DNA) and Board Member and Co-chair of the Regional Events Committee for the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD).
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have to start the process of dream interpretation with a humbling admission of ignorance. Every dream is a unique creation of an individual’s imagination. We do not know at the outset how the dream relates to that person’s life, so we have to keep an open mind and approach the dream with curiosity, respect, and a willingness to accept ambiguity and paradox. Most importantly, we must listen very closely to the dream itself. Jung told his students, “In this I rely on a Jewish authority, the Talmud, where it says: ‘The dream is its own interpretation,’ meaning that we have to take the dream for what it is” (Jung 2008:238). Dreams appear strange and hard to understand not because they are random nonsense from a sleep-impaired brain (one of the biggest misconceptions about dreaming) but because our rational minds struggle to decipher the symbolic language of the unconscious. Jung said in another of his works, “To me dreams are a part of nature, which harbors no intention to deceive, but expresses something as best it can, just as a plant grows or an animal seeks food as best it can”. If we want to discover what dreams mean, we must learn to understand their natural language, the language of images, symbols, feelings, and metaphors (Jung 1965:161–162). The best way to do this, Jung said, is by using the technique of amplification: “I amplify an existing image until it becomes visible.” This technique involves circling around the dream from multiple angles, considering each element by itself and in relation to the dream as a whole. To amplify the dream is to highlight its possible connections with archetypal themes in myths, fables, folklore, literature and art. These connections help the dreamer find the meanings that are most relevant to his or her personal life situation. Jung often spoke of two general functions of dreams that he saw at work in people’s dreams. One is the prospective function: Dreams have a powerful capacity to prepare people for likely challenges in their waking lives. The other is compensation: Dreams tend to bring forth unconscious material that has been ignored or repressed by the conscious mind. The interpretation of a dream usually leads to more questions than answers. It is not a mathematical equation with a single objective solution. Jung made sure to caution his students about expecting too much or getting carried away: August 2013
We will see how far we will get with it. We will not always come to a satisfactory solution. The purpose of this seminar is to practice on the basis of the material. The point is not to worm out brilliant interpretations through speculations. We have to content ourselves with recognizing the symbols in their wider psychological context, and thus find our way into the psychology of the dreamer (Jung 2008:28). When interpreting a dream, how much input is needed from the dreamer? With little dreams, the contents relate primarily to personal memories and experiences from that individual’s life. It can be difficult to interpret those kinds of dreams without extensive input from the dreamer. With big dreams, the situation is different. There may be some personal content, but most and sometimes all of the content comes from outside the sphere of personal experience. The dreamer has few if any associations and can’t easily explain where the dream came from. This is a sign the dream has an archetypal dimension that can be amplified and interpreted without quite as much personal input (though discretion should always be used when offering third-person interpretations that may or may not resonate with the experience of the dreamer). One of the most useful tools Jung gave his students was a fourpart template for analysing a dream report at the very outset of the interpretation process. He saw dreams as symbolically equivalent to plays and dramatic performances, and so he took ideas from the world of theatre to divide each dream into four elements: 1. Locale: the place and time of the dream and a list of the characters 2. Exposition: the situation at the start of the dream, the beginning of the plot 3. Peripateia: how the plot develops, where it goes, what changes 4. Lysis: the result, solution, closure, how it ends (Jung 2008:30). Jung said, “Most dreams show this dramatic structure”, although he emphasised that some dreams do not have a clear-cut lysis or conclusion, which can be a sign of an unresolved conflict. An Application of the Method Here is an example of how this method can be applied to illuminate a big dream from childhood. 27
Features (continued) The Wayfarer’s Church “Brian” I am walking along a lane. The lane is long, long and straight, stretching into the distance, with fields on either side. The sun is low and red, round like a fireball, for the day is nearing sunset. I know I have a long way to go. As I proceed, I see two people in the distance, standing in the middle of the lane. They dressed in black; their clothes are stiff and old fashioned, belonging to another age. I approach with some apprehension. The couple are evidently man and wife. They are waiting by the entrance to a church, which stands by the left of the lane. The church is clear in the dream, with a square tower, after the manner of many Norfolk churches. There are three arched windows, filled with stained glass, in the long wall of the nave. It stands at right angles to the lane, with its tower overlooking the roadway. I see no sign of a graveyard. The old man and woman appear friendly, and invite me into the grounds of the church. We enter from the far side. Now it can be seen that the building is actually a ruin. The tower alone is intact. The body and roof of the church have collapsed, leaving only one wall standing - the long wall I saw as I approached. Using the fallen stone, a humble dwelling has been constructed - a cottage which utilises the remaining wall as its rear wall. The couple live in this subordinate lay building. They welcome me in. I am weary and untrusting. As the cottage door swings open, I see within a bright fire burning and an aspect of homeliness. Before I can cross the threshold, I wake up. Locale: A country road and an old church. The time is indeterminate; it could be the present or far in the past. The only characters are the dreamer and the old married couple. Exposition: He is walking down the road and encounters the old couple. Peripatea: He follows them to their dwelling inside the ruins of the church. Lysis: He approaches but does not cross the threshold into their home. ‘Brian’ is Brian Aldiss, an award-winning British science fiction author who described this dream for a collection of writer’s dreams called The Tiger Garden (Royle 1996:4–5). The writers, more than two hundred of them, were asked to relate a memorable dream, and many of them, like Aldiss, chose to describe big dreams from their childhood. Not surprisingly, the descriptions from this group of novelists and short-story authors can be quite detailed and even poetic—more so than we usually find in the dream reports of people who are not professional writers—making them an especially good source of insight into the creative subtleties of children’s dreams. Aldiss said he experienced this dream in the early spring of 1931, at the age of five. The setting is culturally familiar to him but does not seem to relate to any specific place in the world of his waking life. The presence of anonymous characters and generic settings opens up the possibility of archetypal meanings. Young Brian finds himself in a kind of fairy tale: A child, alone on a country road, meets some strange old people and follows them into their home amid mysterious ruins. He describes an ominous dread hanging over the scene, a feeling that intensifies as he goes deeper into the ruins and comes to the threshold of the old couple’s home. The fire inside represents the warmth and radiance of their abode and their compassionate feelings toward him, but the structure itself seems fragile and tenuous, as if it were fighting a losing battle against time. 28
Aldiss referred to this as a “life dream”. He said it was “more than a dream, a vision of the kind which helps to guide one’s future” (Royle 1996). He may not use Jung’s psychological language, but Aldiss is making the same basic observation about the power and lifelong impact of big dreams in childhood. He said he felt so moved by the dream he painted a picture of it after he woke up. He showed the picture to his mother, who proudly displayed it to the rest of the family and their friends. Aldiss does not say as much, but we suspect this was an important source of encouragement for him to pursue a life devoted to art and imagination. At one level Aldiss interpreted the old couple as his parents who were blocking his path through life, trying to restrain him within the crumbled confines of their religious faith. The ruins of the church reminded him of the decline of Christianity in modern society and in his personal life. Yet, paradoxically, the emotional tone of the dream was mostly positive. It “radiated consolation” and gave him a strong sense of comfort (Royle 1996). I would interpret this aspect of the dream as indicating the fall of traditional, institutional religion in his life and the possibility of connecting with an ancient but still-surviving realm of spiritual warmth and companionship. This dream came many times after that first instance in childhood. The details changed over time, reflecting new experiences and new challenges in his life. Ultimately, however, he said the dream had no final interpretation. Rather, he came to see it as a “prodromic dream, the dream of one who has a long way to go” (Royle 1996). The word prodromic means something that anticipates an attack or disease, an idea that is essentially synonymous with Jung’s notion of the prospective function of dreaming. The five-year-old Brian’s dream highlights a fundamental tension in his growing consciousness, a tension that will recur in various forms throughout his life. Will he pursue his own path, or will he go back inside the ruins? Will he become lost in existential solitude, or will he find spiritual connection? The lysis of the dream leaves him right at the edge of decision, and thus provokes his waking mind to reflect on this emotionally charged moment at the threshold. It’s like his own personal koan, an archetypal riddle he will ponder for a lifetime. Conclusion I wouldn’t want to leave readers with the impression that the only path to insight, health, and wholeness leads through a childhood big dream. We can draw guidance from archetypal wisdom and unconscious instinct in many different ways. Not every child, of course, has a dream like the ones described here, but many children do have such dreams, more so than is often recognised. Too many times to count, I have heard people describe truly amazing, life-altering dreams they had as young children, dreams they had never told anyone about until I happened to ask the question. Ultimately, that’s all there is to it: simply asking the question—opening up a safe and respectful space to share dreams and wonder at their strange yet compelling meanings for our lives, now and potentially far into the future. Note: This article is adapted from Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams and Nightmares of Childhood (Bulkeley & Bulkley 2012) References Bulkeley, K and Bulkley, PM 2012, Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams and Nightmares of Childhood, Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
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(continued from Page 13) Jung, CG 1965, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, trans. R and C Winston, New York: Vintage ——2008, Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936–1940, trans. E Falzeder and T Woolfson, Princeton: Princeton University Press Royle, N (Ed.) 1996, The Tiger Garden: A Book of Writers’ Dreams London: Serpent’s Tail
Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, is a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He earned a doctorate in Religion and Psychological Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School, an MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and a BA from Stanford University. A former President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and a Senior Editor of the APA journal Dreaming, he has written and edited seventeen books on dream research, including Children’s Dreams co-authored with Patricia M Bulkley (2012), American Dreamers (2008), and An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming (1997). He is the Director of the Sleep and Dream Database (SDDb), a digital archive and search engine designed to facilitate empirical dream research.
from her severe religious training that she simply had to put up with it. These conditions resulted in a REM Disorder caused by delayed post-traumatic stress and childhood scripting against defying male authority. As I listened, I validated her grief and anger and supported her desire to fight off the attacker. Within two weeks, the nightmares ceased; within a month, she was sleeping easily. After coaching in self assertiveness, she left with new self confidence. Conclusion Frequent nightmares are a serious issue and require prompt attention so that the sufferer is not left feeling powerless. Since most nightmares take the form of a story that threatens or echoes disaster, an effective method of healing is to assist dreamers to create more hopeful endings, in which they take action to find a new way forward. All dreams used in this article are quoted with permission, but names have been changed.
Dr Boris Drozdek, MD, MA HEALING TRAUMA ACROSS CULTURES: A CONTEXTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH TO ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT
Arden, J 2010, Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley & Sons Barasch, M 2000, Healing Dreams: Exploring the Dreams That Can Transform Your Life, New York, NY: Riverhead Barrett, D (Ed.) 1996, Trauma and Dreams, New York: Harvard University Press ——2007, ‘An Evolutionary Theory of Dreams and Problem-Solving’, in D Barrett and P McNamara (Eds) The New Science of Dreaming Volume 3, Westport, CT: Praeger Bowater, M 2008, ‘Facing the Fear of Death’, Transactional Analysis Journal 38(2): 151-4 Hartmann, E 2001, Dreams and Nightmares: The Origin and Meaning of Dreams, Cambridge, MA: Perseus Krakow, B 2004, ‘Imagery Rehearsal Therapy for Chronic Post-Traumatic Nightmares’ in R Rosner, W Lyddon and A Freeman (Eds) Cognitive Therapy and Dreams, New York, NY: Springer Revonsuo, A 2004, ‘Towards a Unified Science of Dreaming and Consciousness’, IASD Dream Time Magazine, 21(2): 8–11, 33, 41
17 October 2013 9.30am – 5pm Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
$185 each / $135 for students $215 each / $165 for students
Margaret Bowater, MA, TSTA, MNZAP, MNZAC, is a Senior Psychotherapist in Auckland and teaches New Zealand’s only Certificate in Applied Dreamwork. She has authored the book Dreams and Visions: Language of the Spirit (1997) and has over fifty published articles in professional journals in New Zealand and internationally. She is New Zealand’s Liaison Representative for the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
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described in my book Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming (Bosnak 1996:12): I am walking in the city where I went to University, Leyden in Holland, and become lucid. I know that I am dreaming yet I also know that the world around me is entirely real. In this simultaneous dual consciousness I get very excited. I walk up to the stone railing of the bridge on which I am walking, knock on the stone and feel how hard and rough the stone is. I can feel it with my knuckles. This is a fully embodied world. I get so excited that I have to tell someone. So when I see a taxi drive up the street along the canal I yell “Stop, stop!” The cabdriver stops and rolls down his window. “This is a dream,” I scream, “You are part of my dream!” The cabdriver looks at me as if I am insane, and utterly bored with my madness he rolls up his window and drives off. From this I concluded that the cabdriver exists in his own world, in his taxi, driving along a canal in Leyden, a world that appears physical and fully real to him. From his perspective, he is in a physical world in which a delusional megalomaniacal madman is telling him that he has created this whole world as his dream. The cabbie obviously wants nothing to do with this psychotic and leaves him to psychiatry as he goes on with his life. This led to a working definition of embodied imagination as a space in which each location is a potential perspective. Not only is the cabdriver a product of dreaming imagination but so are the bridge and the canal. The question then becomes one of technique: How do we participate in a variety of the multiple perspectives that occur in imaginal space? The reason this matters is that if we can experience the Leyden dream not just from the identified perspective, which is the one of the megalomaniacal Robbie who is being deluded into believing that he created this world, but also from the perspective of the cab driver who actually lives in this world in which the madman is just visiting as a tourist, we will get to know the way in which this world exists as perceived by its indigenous inhabitants. We also know from anthropology that the perspective of indigenous people is far more interesting and surprising than the perspective of the anthropologist. Embodied imagination as a technique is, therefore, the study of the multiple perspectives of presences indigenous to the world of imagination. Embodied Imagination Techniques From here on, I shall apply embodied imagination techniques to demonstrate their relevance for the healing of pain, illness and trauma. We are doing a pilot for a pain study—a followup of a study conducted at Columbia University by Jill Fischer, Damon Abraham and Tor Wager, which was based on the pain reduction that occurs when a person feels him/herself back in a memory from a time when the person felt very safe. The Columbia study was based on our experience with the National Nightmare Hotline, which Jill Fischer and I established after the World Trade Center attacks of 11 September 2001. I created a recording, which can still be downloaded from our website www.cyberdreamwork.com, in which I guide listeners into a memory of a moment in their lives when they felt completely safe. The person suffering from nightmares could listen to this recording on the National Nightmare Hotline in order to relieve 30
him/herself of the anxieties caused by the nightmare. We used the same technique for the Columbia University study. Jill would guide a person back into a safe moment. The most surprising part of this study, though, was the unexpected result: the research participant had significantly greater pain reduction when identified with a non-self position, such as the cabdriver in the dream I just recounted. Apparently, identification with a body other than self has a stronger analgesic effect than identification with him/herself in the memory. The Columbia study was done with experimental pain under laboratory conditions. Horse man The current study examines the effects of embodied imagination techniques on chronic pain. Horse Man is in his forties and suffers chronic pain. When asked to rate his pain on a scale from one to ten he says it is somewhere between seven and eight. He lives constantly with this pain. It ruins his life. Now we begin to apply the embodied imagination (EI) method. His safe memory is from a time when he was a teenager in the country. He lived on a farm where he would go horseback riding with his parents. He tells me that his favourite memory of his youth was the time when a new highway was being constructed nearby and remained in an unfinished condition for some time. It was a long, straight stretch, perfect for galloping. While he is in the hypnagogic state, I guide him back into this memory. Feeling himself galloping away on his horse, he reports a significant pain reduction. From seven or eight to four or five. Then I help him focus on the horse. With his legs around the horse (he is riding bare-back), he can feel the horse’s breath, muscles, and power as he surges forward. He can sense the horse’s joy at being able to run at full speed. He feels the powerful thrust of the horse—the rhythm of the front legs, the enormous power of the hind quarters—and suddenly he is fully identified with the horse. He senses the world from the point of view of the galloping horse. The horse has taken complete possession of his awareness while he remains in simultaneous dual consciousness, knowing that he is in a room with me doing an experiment. When asked about his chronic pain while he is still fully identifying with the horse, he reports no pain. Zero. I help him to stay in this identification for some time—about four minutes. He then practices it when at home. In a follow-up call, he reports that the pain reduction has lasted for well over a month. This experiment took less than twenty minutes. Six other participants in this preliminary pilot reported similar experiences of pain relief when identified with a non-self state in a safe memory. Wolf Woman For some historical context, in the year 500 AD the most common form of Western medical treatment—the prominent form of medicine for 1000 years—came to an end. It was based on the healing power of revelation—the presentation of non-physical presences in a way that changes the observer, convincing her or him that she/he has been witness to the Divine. Around the year 500, when Christianity took over the Roman Empire, private revelation was outlawed and the only permissible revelation could come by way of Holy Scripture. Before this fateful date, private revelation, especially by way of dreaming, was encouraged, particularly for the purpose of healing. Patients would come from far and wide and sleep in healing sanctuaries to meet divine presences. What was then CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
called a divine presence might today be called an embodiment of healing imagination. The place for the dreamers was called the Abaton. Literally translated this means the ‘inaccessible and un-trodden place’. The Abaton was the place of revelation. The Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary has an Abaton, and it is here that a young woman suffering from chronic pain had a wolf dream. She sees a wolf on a ledge overlooking the valley. She knows this wolf is surveying the territory ahead towards the mountains she will have to traverse. From the point of view of the dreamer, the mountains seem insurmountable, but when she finds herself within the awareness of this wolf, particularly in the way the wolf sits on the ledge, she sees in this wolfawareness that the path ahead is relatively clear. The attitude of surveying the territory makes her feel less oppressed and diminishes her pain. This affects all parts of her life: her body, her career and her attitude toward the future. Asclepius An elderly woman with late-stage cancer sleeps in the Abaton and is suddenly aware of the god of healing Asclepius, standing behind her back, tapping her on the shoulder. It gives her a profound sense of meaning. After some days this patient, who could not walk without assistance, walks entirely unaided. The Interaction of Trauma and Dreaming In his 1984 book Nightmares: The Psychology and Biology of Terrifying Dreams, Ernest Hartmann (quoted by Siegel 1996) demonstrates that a series of dreams belonging to people who have suffered trauma show at first massive intrusions of trauma memories. Slowly, over time, dreams begin to shift toward themes that are related to the trauma, though mixed in with concerns that are unrelated. In this way, Hartmann reports, the trauma is slowly digested by the dreaming mind. He calls this a process of re-contextualisation. Traumatic events are placed in a new context. Alan Siegel (1996) reports research on a group of dreamers who have suffered a horrible firestorm in San Francisco that burned down their homes and killed twenty-five people. The most startling finding is that the worst nightmares were suffered by those who did not lose their homes and were materially not much affected by the fire. He ascribes this to survivor guilt and other causes. These nightmares recur during times of anniversary of the traumatic events. This means that not just the actual survivors of the disaster should be paid attention to, but also those who were unhurt. Siegel shows how dreams help in the process of mastering the trauma. According to him, and others, even just keeping a dream journal helps. I want to give some clinical indications of what can be done by working the dream to enhance the natural process of recontextualisation and mastery that Hartmann and Siegel talk about. Peripheral Vision A woman has been hit by a car. It not only has hurt her physically, but after she comes out of the hospital she is not able to go back to work. She stays home and is afraid to go out of doors. She can no longer come to my office. We do therapy, at that time, in the early 1990s, by telephone. After a while, she wants to talk about the trauma itself. Before she starts, I help her to get back to the scene before the accident happens. It appears that there is a large oak near the intersection where she was hit. I help her August 2013
focus on the quiet street and then on the tree. She notices the strength of the tree and the quality of the bark, the exact way it is shaped, until she becomes possessed by the presence of the tree. She can feel its robust stability, I ask her to stay in this state for the week between the sessions, not moving on with the memory beyond this point. By the next week, she tells me that the tree presence has calmed her down substantially. It appears that she can stay in the environment of the trauma when removed to the periphery. By locating her consciousness in an identification with the tree, it becomes possible for her to go back into the outside world. Slowly, over a period of several weeks of walking around identified with the robust tree, her post-traumatic stress begins to subside. After a month, she goes back to work. She is no longer in the tree identification, it has slowly been absorbed by her entire biological system, and the trauma has let her go. In this case, we dealt with the traumatic memory, but stayed in the anteroom, as it were—the moment before the traumatic events took place from a point of view other than the client’s habitual perspective. Siegel reports a dream of a person whose home did not burn down, while the homes around her house did. What I recall is an absolutely terrifying nightmare in which the fire had developed an organic consciousness. It was the embodiment of evil. It hid itself very well up on the hill in a pile of brush where it waited for all the fire departments to leave. Then it came back to get the houses it had missed. Somehow it had marked these houses with a fire seed and all it had to do was pass by the fire seeds for the houses to ignite. I woke up screaming because I saw our ‘fire seed’ begin to swell. In the dream I was alone in the house (Siegel 1996:162). There are two possible approaches to this dream. The first is one in which we listen empathically to the dream and help the dreamer deal with her terror but do no further work with the dream. We recognise that the dream itself is part of the slow pattern of mastery over the events by embodying them in related imagery, thereby re-contextualising the original trauma. The second approach can be used only if we are invited by the dreamer: if the dreamer wants to go further into the material and feels that she has to delve deeper. In that case, if I were to supervise it, I would give the dream therapist of this firestorm survivor the following advice. First, go to the moment in the dream in which the firemen are around. Don’t go any farther than the very beginning until she is fully identified with one of the firemen. Have her stay in this identification for some time, maybe during the time between sessions. Help her anchor the fireman-identification at a place in the body of the fireman that is particularly activated—for instance, his legs. Don’t suggest this location, but wait until the location in a particular part of the body occurs spontaneously by an ongoing slow focus on the body of the fireman. Then, with the fireman identification firmly embodied in the legs help her focus on the house itself, but not the place where the fire seed was marked, until she can fully feel the solidity of the house before it becomes marked for destruction. She might come to sense this, for example, in the straightness of the walls as felt in the spine of the house. This can only be done by keeping the fireman identification simultaneously in place as she begins to identify with the house. In this way, we begin to lead her in to a multiple consciousness, away from the terrified self. If at this time it appears 31
Features (continued) that she wishes to go even farther, the dream therapist may help her to focus on the pile of brush where the fire was hiding in its personified form. By a process of extreme slow motion, one might help her to first identify with the pile of brush and then slowly become possessed by the embodiment of the fire spirit itself. This, for example, might be felt most strongly in the heat of the heart. By actively experiencing this fire spirit, its power may be accessed and the sense of being passively overwhelmed by it, of being at its mercy, might diminish. I would end the work by holding the legs of the fireman, the spine of the house, and the heart of the fire spirit at the same time in a single body. This body can become the antidote to her terror as it helps her contain the non-self elements of the dream. This will enhance the process of mastery Siegel talks about and the re-contextualisation to which Hartmann refers. In this way, the work on the dream may help the natural process by which the dissociated terror slowly diminishes, fighting fire with fire. Re-Attaching Shards of Soul From our studies of trauma, we know that the natural way of dealing with traumatic events is through dissociation. Parts of our soul are sparked off to places where we will no longer have to feel them. We pay for this by having less energy at our disposal. Re-associating with these dissociated sparks that flew off into deep space may lead to a sense of revitalisation.
The deadening aftermath of trauma might begin to lift and a renewed participation in life may follow. References Bosnak, R 1996, Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming, New York: Delacorte Press Siegel, A, ‘Dreams of Firestorm Survivors’ in D Barrett (Ed.) 1996, Trauma and Dreams, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 159-178 Hartmann, E 1984, Nightmares: The Psychology and Biology of Terrifying Dreams, New York, NY: Basic Books Jung, CG 1989, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, New York: Random House Jung, CG 2009, The Red Book, New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Robert Bosnak, JD, PsyA, is a Jungian psychoanalyst licensed by the State of New York, with over forty years of experience as a psychotherapist. After his law degree in Criminology from Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he was born and raised, Robert trained in Zurich, Switzerland (1971–1977). He then moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where he was in private practice for twentyfive years. He is the author of five non-fiction books, including A Little Course in Dreams (translated into twelve languages), Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming (includes conversations with a ngangkari [traditional Aboriginal healer]), and Embodiment (explicates Robert’s method of Embodied Imagination in detail). He moved to Sydney in 2002 and was in private practice there until 2009 as a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian Analysts (ANZSJA). He moved back to the USA to found the Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary which opened in 2011. Sanctuary medicine is a revival of the earliest method of Western medicine, practiced by the likes of Hippocrates, in which healing is partially based on the power of creative imagination accessed through dreaming. The scientific basis is now being studied in the field of the self-healing responses, usually called placebo studies. It is the only program in the world which, in tandem with conventional medical procedures, is centred around dreaming as a fundamental instigator of physical healing. Robert teaches internationally.
Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners As counsellors and psychotherapists, we are legally required to display two documents in our practice(s): • t he NSW Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners • information on how clients can make formal complaints to the Health Care Complaints Commission. Both are available online in the members area of the CAPA NSW website: www.capa.asn.au The Code of Conduct is also available in several community languages on the Health Care Complaints Commission website: www.hccc.nsw.gov.au These legal requirements are set out in ‘Public Health (General) Amendment Regulation 2008’ under the NSW Public Health Act (1991), and came into effect on 01/08/2008. 32
Ethics Checkout the CAPA NSW website for information on: • Ethics and Counselling • Problem Solving Steps • Client Confidentiality and Privacy and Relevant NSW and Commonwealth Legislation • Duty of Care • Workplace Bullying and Violence • Mandatory Reporting • Keeping Track of Paperwork • Information for Counsellors who have been served with Subpoenas • Complaints Form for Submission of Complaints and Grievances by a CAPA Member
Just login to the members area of www.capansw.org.au and click on the “Ethics” button on the left.
CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
In the Therapy Room (continued) (continued from Page 17)
as shameful (or any word from the list above). You could say my blushes were an external alarm for a ‘stick-sensitive’ internal state. We need to watch out for sticks! Reflection I find it interesting that I have chosen a post-war metaphor, removal of landmines, to talk about sensitivity to shame. Trauma is often inherently shaming, so it is not surprising that I am drawn to warfare imagery to describe some of the shame experience. It is also intriguing that I have needed to move to self disclosure. I believe that the therapist and client need to be at the same level when dealing deeply with shame. In fact, I am experimenting with a clinical model for working with shame-bound clients. One of the steps involves overt self disclosure by the therapist, obviously with some limits and guided by the needs of the client. I am interested in equipping others to engage more fully with these landmines. With that in mind, I am adding a bibliography of the books I have collected to help me become more skilled in the area of shame. Bradshaw and Potter-Efron are the most readable. Perhaps you are not an avid reader? I want, then, to encourage you to take the time to watch one or both of the following talks, which I discovered recently.
Recommended Reading Bradshaw, J 1988, Healing the Shame That Binds You, Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications Inc. Dearing, R and Tangney, J (Eds) 2011, Shame in the Therapy Hour, Washington: APA Gilbert, P and Miles, J (Eds) 2002, Body Shame: Conceptualisation, Research and Treatment, New York, NY: Routledge Hastings, A 1998, Treating Sexual Shame: A New Map For Overcoming Dysfunction, Abuse, and Addiction, Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Kaufman, G 1989, The Psychology of Shame: Theory and Treatment of Shame-Based Syndromes, (2nd edn), London: Springer Publishing Company Kaufman, G 1992, Shame: The Power of Caring, (3rd edn), Rochester: Schenkman Books Lee, R and Wheeler, G 1996, The Voice of Shame: Silence and Connection in Psychotherapy, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Nathanson, DL 1987, The Many Faces of Shame, New York: Guildford Press Nathanson, DL 1992, Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self, New York: W.W. Norton & Company Pattison, S 2000, Shame: Theory, Therapy, Theology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Potter-Efron, P and Potter-Efron R 1999, The Secret Message of Shame: Pathways to Hope and Healing, Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications Inc. Sedgwick, E and Frank, A (Eds) 1995, Shame and its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader, London: Duke University Press Tangney, J and Dearing, R 2002, Shame and Guilt, New York: Guilford Press
www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html The speaker, Brene Brown is a researcher in the area of shame, yet her talks are funny, heart-warming, challenging stuff. They have been a fresh approach for me after years of reading technical tomes on the subject of shame and are worth a look. I’d love to hear from you if you have any response to this trigger-happy topic.
Jewel Jones is a counsellor with over 14 years’ counselling experience in agencies and in private practice. She has a Masters in Adult Education and her private practice is increasingly concerned with having influence through training and supervision. www.jewel-jones.com.au, firstname.lastname@example.org
Person-Centred Approach Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers (1959) developed the Person-Centred approach to therapy. Rogers proposed that all humans are inherently trustworthy, understand themselves, and can solve their own problems without direct interference from the therapist. Hence, Rogers viewed trust as the foundation of Person-Centred therapy. The person-centred theory is entrenched in the notion of human beings’ actualising tendency towards reaching their full potential. Individuals are believed to be capable of self-directed growth. At the core of this approach is the therapist’s trust that clients are competent at self-direction and have confidence in the client’s self-healing ability. Ziegler (2002) pointed out that Rogers’ belief in each person’s ability for self-development is environmentally related to “basic estrangements” primarily responsible for negative beliefs. The person-centred therapeutic process, therefore, uses non-directive techniques by developing the client’s self-concept to bring about positive change. The therapist only acts as a channel for therapy (Myers 2000). Employing non-directive therapy indicates that the client rather than the therapist is in charge during the therapeutic process. The therapist’s role includes placing significant levels of accountability on the client, hence this approach is based on the client’s ability for awareness and a purposeful change in attitudes and behaviour. Rogers emphasised that the thoughts and personal characteristics of the therapist and the quality of the clienttherapist relationship are main determinants of the outcome of the therapeutic process. Therapists, for example, must be empathic and understanding of the views of their clients and are expected to be congruent or genuine. Hence, there must be genuineness linking both the thoughts and behaviour of the therapist towards the client (Rogers 1951). In addition, the therapist will have an interest in the client’s feelings and an understanding of the client’s emotions and actions. Rogers noted that congruence may occur on an on-going basis and at various levels during the therapeutic process. The personcentred therapist must also have positive regard for the client, whereby the client’s actions, whether negative or positive, will not determine or diminish the therapist’s regard for that client. Core aspects of the person-centred approach include, firstly, Rogers’ belief in maintaining a warm client/therapist relationship and focussing on the quality of that relationship (1959). ERRATA in ‘Ethics: A Phenomenological Enquiry’ by Elizabeth Day and Elizabeth Riley, CQ, August 2013 p. 7: column 1, line 4 The most significant philosophical influence on relational and humanistic therapy of the twentieth [not twenty-first] and twentyfirst [not twenty-second] centuries is Husserlian phenomenology. p. 22: column 1, line 21 In the current social and political field—a context in which marriage equality and the rights of religious groups to discriminate against people on the basis of, inter alia, their sexuality are currently being challenged [not contested]—a relevant example for enquiry into the ethics of change is the contested territory of reparative or conversion therapies. 34
Secondly, the person-centred therapist’s empathy is essential to therapeutic success. Here, the therapist is aware and develops an understanding of the client’s feelings on a continual basis. The therapist’s empathic understanding, however, does not suggest that the therapist begins to have the same feelings or emotions as the client. Thirdly, person-centred therapy requires that the client be self-directed. Rogers (1959) believed that the client/therapist relationship must be equal. Hence, the therapist does not aim to control or manage a client; rather, the therapist’s role is to be present and accessible to the client. Fourth, the client/therapist relationship is non-judgmental and excludes any suggestion by the therapist that the client’s irrational behaviour is either negative or positive in nature. Rogers maintained that the person-centred therapist is more likely to get positive results from the client if there is a significant level of caring without becoming controlling of the client. Finally, Rogers (1951, 1959) determined that congruence is essential during the therapeutic process, and openness on the part of the therapist may allow the client to be more expressive of specific emotions or irrational beliefs. Alternatively, from a longterm perspective incongruence may lead to a lack of productive outcomes for the client’s wellbeing (Ziegler 2002). Rogers further maintained that incongruence from the therapist may lead to a lack of healing or unhealthy outcomes for the client. References Myers, S 2000, ‘Empathic Listening: Reports on the Experience of Being Heard’, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 40(2): 148-173 Rogers, CR 1951, Client-Centered Therapy, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Rogers, CR 1959, ‘A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships, as Developed in the Client-Centred Framework’, in S Koch (Ed.) Psychology: A Study of Science Volume 3 Formulations of the Person and the Social Context, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. Ziegler, DJ 2002, ‘Freud, Rogers, and Ellis: A Comparative Theoretical Analysis’, Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, 20(2): 75-9
Ebinepre Cocodia, PhD Discipline Head Counselling University of Notre Dame p. 23: column 1, line 1 This means that with ground shame, the very place from which we relate with our world becomes inflected [not infected] with shame. p. 23: column 1, line 16 From a field perspective, shame is a co-created event; clients who have been shamed by expressions or even intimations of their [not his] same-sexuality will, therefore, be best supported through inclusivity and re-connection with the field. p. 23: column 2, line 4 It is core in relational therapy to support clients through the intersubjective relationship to locate the ground of their [not his] being-in-the-world. CQ: The CAPA Quarterly
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Calls for Contributions February 2014 – Open Forum Do you have an insight to share about the practice of therapy, but haven’t been able to align it with any of the announced themes for CQ: The CAPA Quarterly? Now we have an Open Forum each February so that articles on any aspect of therapeutic practice can be welcomed. Share your knowledge with your peers and open up discussion on topics of importance to you. Peer-reviewed papers due by: 1 August
Non-peer-reviewed due by: 1 November
May 2014 – Mindfulness and Spirituality Mindfulness is often thought of in relation to spirituality, given its roots in esoteric traditions; however, therapeutic models are increasingly incorporating a range of approaches focussing on mindfulness and acceptance due to a growing body of research suggesting that mindfulness-based therapies may be effective in treating a variety of disorders including stress, chronic pain, depression and anxiety. In this issue, we will explore the historical and philosophical roots of mindfulness therapies, theoretical underpinnings, specific applications, and mindfulness treatment strategies—and how they might also relate to spirituality. We invite you to share in this exciting discussion by contributing to the May issue of CQ. Peer-reviewed papers due by: 1 November
Non-peer-reviewed due by: 1 February
August 2014 – Cross-Cultural Issues in Counselling In this issue of CQ, we critically reflect upon the major concerns and sensitivities underlying issues of race and culture, and the impact they can have on relationships in counselling and psychotherapy. How can the cultural backgrounds of both the counsellor and client affect the therapeutic process? How do we become more culturally aware? What are the issues and what steps should we be taking to better prepare ourselves to meet the culturally diverse challenges faced in today’s therapy rooms? Share your professional insights and experiences surrounding the development of culturally sensitive counselling and cross-cultural awareness in the August 2014 issue of CQ. Peer-reviewed papers due by: 1 April
Non-peer-reviewed due by: 1 May
November 2014 – Psycho-Social Issues in Counselling Current psycho-social changes in society are constantly being reflected back into the counselling room. What are they and how do we deal with them? This issue of CQ explores the nature of these changes and their effects on both clients and practice. Psychosocial changes include shifts, changes and/or revisions to policies in education, government and the law. How, for example, do community and family court issues or the effects of incorporating new disability laws have on our clients, and what are the impacts on our practice? Help us answer some of these questions and share your experiences. Peer-reviewed papers due by: 1 May
Non-peer-reviewed due by: 1 August
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Training program provides 35 hours of professional development WHERE & WHEN:
SYDNEY – Friday 25.10.13 to Tuesday 29.10.13 inclusive 8.30am – 4.30pm. The Mahoney Room, Mary McKillop Place, North Sydney, just a 5 minute walk from rail $1300.00 (plus GST) covers tuition, training manual, notes, working lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments. Participants completing the ve days training will be awarded a Certiicate of Completion in Group Leadership and Facilitation.
Group Leadership June Lake is a counsellor and clinical supervisor and has been training counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and other health professionals in basic and advanced Group theory and techniques using the theory and practice of Dr. Irvin Yalom for the past 20 years and is considered a leader in this eld.
For more information Phone June Lake on 02 8216 0739 or 0412 494 479 or email email@example.com
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POSTAGE PAID AUSTRALIA
Journal of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW Inc ABN 50 035 123 804 If undeliverable, please return to: CAPA NSW Suite 134 / Level 13 183 Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000 Phone: +61 2 9235 1500 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.capansw.org.au Changed your address? Please notify CAPA NSW
Looking for a Conference? To include your free conference listing here, contact email@example.com 5–7 August 2013 Gold Coast 13–14 August 2013 Melbourne 15–18 August 2013 Sarawak, Malaysia 18–23 August 2013 Copenhagen, Denmark 22–25 August 2013 Warsaw, Poland 23–24 August 2013 Melbourne 22–24th August 2013 Gold Coast 24–25 August 2013 Brisbane 6–8 September 2013 Auckland, New Zealand
Looking for a conference? Some prominent psychology conferences in Australia and elsewhere this year are listed below. For a more comprehensive list of psychology conferences worldwide, visit http://www.conferencealerts.com/psychology.htm
14th International Mental Health Conference The International Conference of Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice
3rd Asia Pacific Rim International Counselling & Psychotherapy Conference
XIX International Congress for Analytical Psychology
ISPS Warsaw 2013: 18th International Conference
11th Annual Conference of the Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders
7th Annual APPTA Conference
2013 AABCAP Annual Conference The New Zealand Psychological Annual Conference
http://www.buddhismandpsychotherapy.org/ events/annual-conference http://www.psychology.org.nz/conf2013
13–14 September 2013 Sydney
The 2013 Institute of Group Leaders Conference
3–6 October 2013 Brisbane
19th APS Clinical Neuropsychology Conference
8–12 October 2013 Cairns
48th APS Annual Conference
24–27 October 2013 Adelaide 24–27 October 2013 Istanbul, Turkey
Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy 36th National Conference
The 8th European Family Therapy Association Congress
30 Oct–2 Nov 2013 Canberra
Infant and Early Childhood Social and Emotional Wellbeing Conference
31 Oct–1 Nov 2013 Brisbane
The 34th Australian Family Therapy Conference
9 November 2013 Sydney 9–10 November 2013 Lisbon, Portugal 28–30 Nov 2013 Adelaide 28–30 Nov 2013 Melbourne
Australian Radix Body Centered Psychotherapy Association 3rd International Congress of Art-Therapy/Psychotherapy ANZAPPL 2013 Annual Congress Australian Music & Psychology Society (AMPS)
http://www.iecsewc2013.net.au/ www.aaft.asn.au/ http://www.radixaustralia.com.au/ Radixmainpage.htm http://www.arte-terapia.com/ http://www.anzappl.org/annual_congress.htm http://conference.ampsociety.org.au/
Published on Aug 1, 2013
Published on Aug 1, 2013
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