I was first introduced to dreamwork during my training to become a counsellor. I was preparing a self development and awareness essay that related to the various aspects of my 'self' and to help me to discover those aspects I took my dreams to my personal counsellor. Together we used them to explore my innermost feelings and emotions and it was this relationship and the work that was done within it which has inspired me to incorporate dream work into sessions with my own clients.
Dream work is significantly different to dream interpretation. In dream interpretation the work of the counsellor is to be the expert on the symbols and meaning of the dream whereas a person centered counsellor, such as myself, does not analyse the client's dreams or provide a clear interpretation but rather acts as a guide in the exploration of the dream, encouraging the client to explore with curiosity and aiding them to discover the meaning for themselves. By using therapy to look at dreams this gives the opportunity for the client to explore and express their deep emotions, problem solve, gain self awareness and improve overall well-being.
I integrate dream work into my counselling practice as and when a client wishes to do so. I help my client to explore their dream and how it relates to them and in doing so I am respectful of their own perception of their dream as it is an individual and unique experience.
Dreamwork can help to:
Access unconscious material
Can be used as a mirror to issues being faced
Provide insight into a persons hopes and fears
Enhance personal growth by discovering hidden aspects and inner conflicts
Can be used as a tool for exploring one’s shadow aspects or the masks which one might hide behind