My colleague Heather Higgins and I embarked on a research study to investigate the dreams and the meaning derived from dreams, from recovering alcoholics (DeCicco & Higgins, 2008; 2009). We found that alcoholics dream about their past, their issues revolving around their addiction but most imporantly, more than 90% of the participants had a revelation about their own waking life addiction. There was a significant difference between the discovery of alcoholics and the discovery of non-alcoholics. Though the discovery from the recovering alcoholics about their addiction varied (e.g. I drank to numb the pain of relationship rejection, I drank to feel more alive and confident etc.) it was highly salient and relevant to them. This study revealed that dream work was not only important to people recovering from addiction but also, could be a valuable tool that they could use throughout their lives. It appears that addiction recovery and management programs could benefit from adding dream interpreation to the process. Dream work may help with waking day triggers, with past issues that have not been addressed, with becoming aware of high risk thoughts, feelings and behaviors, or any other issue that needs to be attended to, regarding addiction.
Heather Higgins is an addictions councellor who runs Dream Interpretation Workshops in the East Toronto Area, Ontario Canada. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Her workshops are titled: Dream On... (Nice)