Storytelling as an Approach to Dreamwork

In a recent communication, Henry Reed, a former assistant professor of psychology at Princeton who is sometimes referred to as the Father of the Dreamwork Movement, discussed the advantages of learning about dreams by reading stories about them. Using the book Live By Your Dreams as an example, he said, “This story approach to teaching about dreams has a particular and distinct advantage. Rather than getting bogged down in coming up with a perfect interpretation of a dream, we see in these stories how there are various ways to develop a relationship with the dream; and bring it in to making a difference in one’s life.  And I think that is very important.  There are many different ways in which we can enjoy the blessings that dreams bring to us without having decided that we have interpreted this dream and done the dreamwork.”

He went on to say how dreams have power and provide an imperative to live by them, follow them, believe in them, and trust them.  He also mentioned that dreams make an important difference in people’s lives.  Because of their importance, Reed pointed out a question that people frequently ask, “If dreams are supposed to guide us, why don’t they just tell us what to do straight forwardly instead of these roundabout symbolic stories and stuff?”  Reed’s answer was simple, “Well if they told us what to do, then we could ignore it—those instructions.  Instead dreams give us an experience, and they change us.  And that is the guidance provided.”

There are many approaches to dreamwork.  There are many people who will agree with Henry Reed and many who will disagree.  Let us know about your beliefs regarding how best to work with dreams. Through a lively discussion we will all profit.

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