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What Happens in a Dreamwork Session?

On the one hand, the answer to the question in the article title is simple. In a one-on-one dreamwork session, you bring your dreams and we re-enter a few of them together. However, the fuller answer is that in a dreamwork session, we spend an hour together with our full focus and attention on your dreams. We do this with the belief that our dreams are able to provide us with insights and opportunities we sometimes miss the first time we dream them.

In session, we can’t re-dream the dream, but we can re-enter it, the way we might a potent memory, and linger in it, dwell on it; rather than move through it the way most of us move through our dreams, which is reactively.

When we re-enter the dream, and slowly re-experience it, we may find a feeling arises. Our feelings inside the dream often lead to an insight, realization, or some other useful or revelatory experience that we would not have arrived at through thinking or talking about the dream or trying to interpret our very personal dream images through another person’s lens (ie. via dream dictionary definitions). 

In a session, a client will read through a dream, and I will listen. As we make our way through the dream, I may ask a question or I may ask you to slow down and re-experience a dream moment. I may ask you what arises when you do slow down. I invite you to do this because there may be images in the dream you missed or discounted. We actually miss a lot the first time we dream a dream. Dreamwork, in a way, gives us a second chance to be inside the dream; more slowly, less reactive. 

A colleague of mine wrote a nice article recently titled “Let Your Dreams Set the Agenda.” This, too, is a way of describing what we do in a dreamwork session. For one hour, we purposefully let go of whatever is going on in our lives on any given day — our to-do lists, our past, our rigid beliefs, our assumptions — and we choose to be inside the dream events, images, and feelings instead.

In a dreamwork session, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about our history or our stories from waking life. We really stick to working the dream, and I may only ask you about autobiographical details when it’s really necessary to understand the context of the dream. 

Working a dream can sometimes bring up some strong feelings. In dreamwork sessions, we allow a lot of room for this, too. Often, making room for experiencing strong feelings that arise from dreams — whether positive or negative — can create a welcome shift in waking life.   

Most people end a dreamwork session feeling heard and seen in a way they are not used to feeling heard or seen in waking life. They appreciate having the space to be with dreams in a meaningfully way with someone who’s interested in exploring them. 

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