Re-entering into the dream using the waking dream technique allows for direct experience and connection with the dream material.
Stage One – Exploration
Agree to re-enter the dream using the waking dream technique and recall the
dream in the present. Create the safe containing space for the client to recall their dream. Clients should not recount a dream in the presence of someone they do not feel safe with. The therapist should facilitate the process of helping the client to draw any associations from the narrative of their dream.
Therapist skills for working with dreams:
Attentive listening: Ensure that you have understood the dream story as it
is told. Avoid day dreaming. Check that you have understood the story by employing basic counselling skills of clarifying, questioning, reflecting back and summarisng.
Useful questions might be: “How did you feel when you woke up?” “How do you feel telling me the dream right now?” “What feelings do you have about the dream?”
Facilitate the client re-entering the dream using present centred awareness. Establish dream entry and exit points by grounding the client (and self) in
the body, establishing a connection with the breath and the heart centre.
Stage Two – Experiencing the dream in the present
The client recalls the dream in the present and is invited to describe in detail
what is happening. A rich description emerges and the client is invited to
enter into the consciousness of the various images, that is, become the image
and speak as the image. Where appropriate the client is invited to let the images dialogue with one another.
Facilitate deeper exploration of the images from the dream whilst keeping the client in present centred awareness. Facilitate the entry into the consciousness of the image and in dialogue. Help the client face potential conflict. Help the client to connect them to their body sensations and feelings. Pay attention to awareness of the client’s body language, voice tone and breath. Be aware of your own body, breath and feelings so that you are feeling the condition of the person in you. You are intuiting and imagining alongside your client. You are facilitating emotional release and insight. Mentally note any connections to the client’s process in therapy and the issues they are facing in life.
Be alert to the client seeking to manipulate or control or seeking to pre-determine
the work. Be aware of time management as dream work can potentially overtake a sense of time and space.
Stage three – Formalising the dream
The client will have an experience of re-emerging from the dream and distilling the essence of the experience. They will ask themselves “What is the central most important message that this dream is trying to communicate with me?” The client can look at the connection between the central message of the dream and the
current issues being faced in life. They can ask ho they can integrate the guidance of the dream into their life and what qualities they need to help them do so.
The job of the therapist is to help facilitate the client re-emerge from the dream by containing and grounding the client. The therapist must be aware of managing time appropriately. and helping to facilitate the integration of the dream insights into the client’s life and process.
The therapist may share appropriately their own hunches and insights into the dream using interventions like:
“I wonder if you have thought about ……
“I had a sense of …..”
“When I was listening to you, I felt like there might be a connection to ….”
From a transpersonal perspective look for the value of the dream in terms of helping the client develop and unfold their hidden potential. Encourage the client to live with their dreams over time and see them as a deeper process of unfolding. Challenge the client and where appropriate, set goals.