Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Health Dreams

If clinicians use dream journalling as part of a therapy program for both physical and mental illness, what would be some of the key features that are required for a) patient insight, b) treatment direction and c) prognosis of illness?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Content Analyzing Dreams

Research on dream science has made great progress with the design of content analysis (Hall & Van de Castle, 19966). If you were designing a study to examine relationships in dreams (e.g. romantic and otherwise) what content categories would you include in your study?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Heads up Dreams: Dreaming about Tomorrow

Dr. Carlyle Smith has had a long career studying sleep and dreams and has recently presented research combining quantum physics and dreaming. In his work he provides explanations for how people can dream about future events when they have not happened yet. Have you had an experience where you dreamed about an event and then it happened in the future? If so, describe the event and explain how likely Dr. Smith's theory can explain the phenomena.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Do dreams have meaning?

After studyng the reseach on dream science and particiating in dream interpretation with 3 methods, would you now say that dreams do or do not have meaning? If so, why?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Health Dreams

We know from the scientific literature that dreams contain information about the dreamer's health, well-being and even illness. Dreams can reveal location of illness, type of illness, prognosis and treatment outcomes, to some degree. Of course not all health-related dreams are about health and dreams also contain images of character distortion and extreme imagery. Given this, how can a dreamer use dreams to track health and illness without getting afraid of every image that might be related to health? What are the key features of health dreams that should be attended to and what features should not?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dreaming in Colour

A recent publication by Okada, Matsuoka and Hatakeyama (2011) examined the developmental and generational differences in dreaming in colour. They found that the frequency of dreaming in color has increased in the population from 1993 to 2009for people 20 years of age and older. How might this be explained?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You as Dream Workshop Leader

You are a dreamwork leader and you have 3 methods that you use in your workshop. One is TSM, the second is the 2A and the third is The Projective Method. You have 6 people in your workshop and they meet with you once a week for group work. How would you personally run your workshops and why?

Also, one person in the group just cannot get past her first dream which is a nightmare about her exboyfriend. She tends to dominate the group and wants to constantly talk about her nightmare. What is the best approach to deal with this and the group as a whole?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sharing What We Know About Dreams

Dreams have been written about in the scholarly literature since the beginning of time and more recently, dream research has allowed for a more accurate understanding of the dreaming mind. As scientists, we have a good general understanding of dreams and how they link to the dreamer's life. However, the general public is still mostly unaware of how their dreams link to their lives and often believe that dreams do not have meaning. Despite the vast body of evidence that: 1) dreams have meaning for the dreamer, 2) dreams can help dreamers with waking day issues, and 3) dreams are a problem-solving, emotion-regulating mechanism, people are still unaware of the value of their own dreams. How can researchers get this information out to the general public in a way that will help them understand their own dreaming mind?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Self-Directed Dream Therapy vs Therapist Assisted Dream Therapy

There are two major streams of dream interpertation or dream therapy that are practiced today. One is therapist assisted therapies such as the Hill Method or Jungian Analysis. The second is self-directed such as TSM or The Delaney Method. The concern often posed by clinicians is that people have too many blind spots and resist learning something about themselves that is going to bring discomfort. Therefore, people prefer to keep some material unconscious rather than bringing it into the conscious mind because it will change their waking day life.

If this is the case (and it appears to be true at some level) than when is it appropriate to use self-directed methods, and, when should a therapist assisted method be chosen?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Remembering Dreams

In The Giant Compass Chapter 3 discusses tips for remembering dreams. This is especially important since people often say that they do not remember their dreams. We know from EEG studies that people dream every 90 minutes while sleeping so dreams are being generated but not always remembered. What are some of the important features that allow people to remember their dreams upon waking?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

...back from summer dreams

As summer is now in it's last weeks in Canada it is time to reflect on the progession of dream research. One reseaon for this is that The International Association for the Study of Dreams has it's annual conference every July and this marks a new year for dream projects.The second reason is that I teach dreams and dreaming as a 3rd year university course, as a 4th year course and as a supervisor to Masters and PhD students. It is time to bring forth new dream research findings and to look forward to new clinical application of dream therapy.

Some of the topics I will be covering will be the applications of dream therapy for finding meaning in dreams and for psychopathology. Such issues as illness, pain, and mental illness continue to make progress in terms of understanding the role of dreams in these functions. Another intersting break-through has been the continuing marriage between physics and psychology in order to explain dream phenomena. Some very interesting theories have arisen in terms of explaining precognitive dreaming which have been recorded since the beginning of time yet not fully explained by science.

Thanks to the many researchers and practitioners around the world, it is again time to push our knowledge of the dreaming mind forward and I look forward to sharing some of this with you. Until is back to our summer dreams for just a few more weeks.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ava's Dream...

Ava Clark is a 7 year old girl living in Toronto, Canada and had a wonderful dream of publishing her own book. Ava loves to write so she put her passion to work on writing and self-publishing her first book called "Nageeta the NARWHAL".

The book is a delightful story of whales who have great adventures and relationships throughout the book. The 19 page book is beautifully illustrated and guides readers through what could be, the day in the life of a narwhal, as told by a young girl. Many lessons are learned about honesty, love, and friendship through the eyes of narwhals. It is a great testament to life and to passion, that a 7 year old girl can teach us so much through her writing.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to learn through stories and also likes to hold the dreams of others. Not to mention, Ava is my granddaughter!

Ava and I are now co-authoring a new book that will take readers through many more adventures through the lives of animal characters. For information on Nageeta the NARWHAL please email me directly at Stay tuned for our new book as we will post on this blog when it is launched.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Presentation in Tuscany

My colleagues Drs. Donati, Tallarico, Falciai and Pini presented the dream book La Bussola dei Sogni (by Teresa L. Decicco, Francoangeli, publisher) in Tuscany, Italy this past week. It is a great pleasure to be sharing this work with these colleagues but more importantly, the significance of dreams and sharing this information is making its way around the world. This area of research is the new frontier of science, being the dreaming mind. The research has revealed that dreams are meaningful, they relate directly to the dreamer's waking life, they are a mechanism of problem-solving, they are an emotional regulation system, and they provide profound meaning to the dreamer. Dream research is occurring in Germany, Italy, Australia, Finland, The Netherlands, Canada, USA, and many, many other countries. It is my hope that we as dream researchers will continue to share this work with each other and the general public.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Radio Show on Dreams

This past week I was invited to do a radio show in the US where callers could call in and ask questions. This is no doubt, one of my favourite things to do as it allows me to share dream work with so many people that I otherwise would not chat with. One caller asked me if there was a special "crystal" that she could get that would help her dream and recall her dreams better. My response was that this was not an area that I am familiar with but I would say two things.

Firstly, dreams are from the dreamer's own psyche and therefore, there is really no need to reach outside of one's own mind to work with dreams. In order to remember one's dreams a dreamer just simply has to focus on them. Once dreams are focused on in waking day then they are remembered. I often compare this to a physcial exercise program. If someone has never participated in a physical exercise program and suddenly begins to run or cycle, the muscles respond with pain. This is new for the body and it takes some time for those muscles to get into shape. The best approach is to go at it slowly and allow the muscles time to respond to your new needs; that is, I want you to get working for me!

This is similar to working with dreams. Once the psyche says "this is important and I want this information" the mind will slowly respond with more and more imagery and more and more information. The psyche will reveal intense emotions, waking day revelations and other deep layers of being. Having said that, dreamers often find the information so profound that they cannot comprehend or accept it. This is why working with dreams should be progressive and over a long period of time. Just like your muscles, you never want to over do it!

The reward for working with dreams is that the mind is revealed and waking life becomes richer and fuller with the information that is worked with. It is without a doubt, a great reward for dreamers to unearth their own treasures.

Secondly, though I know nothing of crystals, I am quite in awe of the beautiful amethyst stone that has been coined the stone of "dreams and dreaming". I do not know the origin of this but the stone itself is a deep beautiful purple and is mined in Northern Ontario, Canada. For that reason alone, I think it's fun to own an amethyst or two.