Friday, March 2, 2012

The Use of Dream Journals in Self-Guided and Therapist Guided Work

A common practice with both self-guided and therapist-guided dream work is to keep a dream journal. The journal becomes a valuable tool for the dreamer and for the therapist, if it is therapist-guided. How might the journal be helpful and what are the major features of keeping a dream journal?

25 comments:

  1. a dream journal is helpful because it allows the patient and the therapist to sit down and see common themes in the dreamers dreams. these common themes can be linked to waking day problems, and the dream themes can be used to help the dreamer work through their waking day problem.

    melissa van grootel

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  2. Using a dream journal is therapist-guided dream work is beneficial because writing can be used as a form of therapy. The journal itself could be a healing process as it allows us to get in touch with deep feelings and emotions, find ways to resolve problems and deal with personal issues. Getting ideas or in this case, dreams down on a piece of paper can help clear the mind of confusion and "clutter." By keeping a record of the dreams, the patient can then move forward by allowing connections and insights to be made. The patient and therapist can then decipher common themes and hopefully resolve any issues or problem areas within ones life.

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  3. A dream journal would be useful for therapist-guided therapy because the therapist may be able to recognize some reoccurring themes that keep coming up over time. Also, as we've told in class, dream journals are very useful tools and they can tell a lot about an individual such as their gender, occupation, interests etc, and we've been told that the therapist can tell these things just by looking at a series of dreams from a single person. This will all allow the therapist to get a better understand of the individual in order to better help them to deal with the most important issues found with these dreams. Some major features of keeping a dream journal is writing the dreams in as much detail as possible and including the dates so that both the dreamer and the therapist can see how dreams changed over a specific time span. It is also important to try and write the dreams down right away when the memory of the dream is the most clear.

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  4. I would say that the major features of keeping a dream journal would be consistency as well as thoroughness. Therapeutic benefit is maximized when done consistently over time, and putting in as much detail as possible illuminates as much information as possible.
    This becomes essential to the therapeutic process with a therapist because it is a form of self-disclosure. No therapist can work without 'grist for the mill,' and no detail is insignificant. This is important because a therapist can be objective where the client is subjective: more panes in the Johari window become clear this way.
    For a client, other than what has already been mentioned, journalling of any kind is cathartic. It is also a behavioural measure of willingness to change, which enhances self-efficacy. With dream specific journalling, it could help to gain perspective/insight on images that are frightening or confusing.
    A good therapist will also hopefully be able to work with a client to the point where they no longer need them with interpretation. Journalling and insight become self-directed from being therapist-directed. After all, who wants to be in therapy forever?

    Chris Morris

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  5. Kristina PasnickMarch 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Some major features of keeping a dream journal is to keep a notebook or piece of paper beside your bed with the date on it. Upon wakening write down your dream in as much detail as possible. Dream journals are helpful to both the dreamer and the therapist because most of all it helps you to remember your dreams. It keeps them all together so that you can see if there are any reoccurring patterns or themes in the dreams. It also makes it easy for the dreamer to use methods to interpret their dreams. By having the dreams easily accessible dreamers are able to gain insight in their lives through their dreaming. Having a patient keep a dream journal helps the therapist because they can see if the patient is improving through looking through their dream journal. Anything that a patient may be holding back may become evident through looking in the dream journal.

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  6. The journal would be helpful to track progress. If the dreams are becoming less negative then you would know that the therapy is working. It could also bring up deeper issues that the patient hasn't mentioned yet or hasn't realized yet. Dreams can help provide solutions to problems as well.

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  7. I agree with the above comments that a dream journal is beneficial to track progress and determine common themes in the dreamer's dreams. Being able to figure out themes will allow the therapist to narrow down the abstractedness of the patient's dreams, and relate them much more accurately to waking day events.
    Tracking progress through dream journals is also vital to the dreamer's waking day insights as a therapist will be able to see whether or not the dreamer has made sufficient changes in his/her life to correct any problems or issues that have risen.

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  8. I think a dream journal would be beneficial to therapist guided dream work because it provides an objective source of information about the dreams. If the therapist were to rely solely on a verbal dream report, those reports might become unreliable and subjective to what the individual wants the share. Having a dream journal will allow the therapist to view things that the individual might not feel comfortable disclosing in any other way.
    A dream journal would also help the therapist identify themes or recurrent trends that appear, which might not be noticeable to the individual. While reviewing a dream journal with a therapist, the patient might identify new or different salient features of dreams, which may result in different discoveries.
    Another benefit to dream journals and use in therapy would be that it is a useful tool to date dreams. The therapist and patient would be able to easily review dreams from the past, and relate it to current experiences or waking day issues.

    Grace Williamson

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  9. It is helpful to keep a dream journal because keeping track of dreams and using dream interpretation methods dreams can provide the dreamer with discoveries about their waking day experiences. Dreams can reveal conflicts in work, school, social and personal life; but dreams can also reveal positive events and happenings. Since dreams closely resemble waking day experiences, the dreamer is better able to relate their discoveries to their lives. A major feature of keeping a dream journal is to better understand yourself and your life (as a dreamer). Dream interpretation techniques can be aid in assessing dreams, and to write them down and keep note of them in an important feature. Also, an important feature of keeping a dream journal is the ability to date dreams. This is rather important because an individual may have a dream (days, months, years) in advance of when the actual waking day experience. Since the dream is dated the dreamer can look back and discover what was happening around that time in their life. It is also important to keep a dream journal because of repetitive themes and features within dreams. Dreams reveal important information about the dreamer such as occupation, interests, gender, etc… By having dreams written down, it will be easier for the dreamer to keep track of how often these themes pop up. One final important feature of a dream journal is that that being able to write them down it will help the dreamer to clear their mind and interpret their dream more clearly (because being able to read the dream – rather than trying to remember it) is a beneficial way to process images and discoveries.

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  10. In therapist-guided dream interpretation, keeping a dream journal will be helpful for several reasons. The first reason is that it helps the patient to remember their dreams. With a journal beside their bed and the knowledge that they should write down their dreams when they wake up, they are more likely to remember their dreams in the morning. The second reason is that it is a good way of documenting your dreams with the date you had it and the details of the dream. The third reason is that it allows the patient and therapist to go back and connect certain themes in the patient's dreams.
    The major features of keeping a dream journal are: it allows patients to go back to the dream if they remember more, can be a great recorder of re-occurring dreams, and is a great way to document the patient's dreams.
    Tara-Lee Upshall

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  11. Maighan MackenzieMarch 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Keeping a dream journal can be very useful for the dreamer and the therapist because it can help to show any common themes that continue to show up. Having the dream journal and dating each dream can show the progress that the dreamer is having. Once the issue is brought up, it will probably continue to occur in their dreams until the dreamer deals with the issue that they are having in waking day. Once the problem is addressed and worked on in waking day, the themes of the dreams should start to shift, because they will not have to keep trying to problem solve that specific issue. Tracking the progress that the dreamer is having is very beneficial, and keeping the dream journal helps to track the progress.

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  12. A dream journal might be helpful in therapist guided dream interpretation since patients will be able to better remember their dreams if they have them written down. Personally, I know I have a hard time remembering my own dreams when I wake up in the morning, so I fully understand the importance of keeping a pen and paper nearby.

    Secondly, it would also be easier to identify common themes if the dreams are written down. For example, the patient could look back and realize that they have been dreaming about being chased several times recently, and they might be able to connect this to their waking day life and say that they have been trying to run away from their problems. So keeping track of dreams could also be a great way to help the patient with their discoveries, and will help them in solving any waking day issues that might be going on.

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  13. Some of the major features of keeping a dream journal are to write your dream down in as much detail as possible immediately upon waking (to try and control for memory bias). Another major feature of keeping a dream journal is to want to remember your dream, and verbally tell yourself that before you go to sleep. Once you record a dream(s), in sure you date the dream, such that in the future you are able to look back to recall what your dreams entailed.
    The journal may be helpful for both self-guided and therapist guided dream work because it allows for the client and/or therapist to look back at their dream periodically and not relying on memory. Being able to look over dreams, as they are related to your waking day life, allow you to make connections between your dreams and waking day life. For example, distinguish themes that appear before physical illness, during anxious times, etc… If these themes are determined they may help both the client and therapist during particular times or life events. Another helpful feature of the dream journals are for the therapist to be able to gauge the clients progress and/or details that they have not, or cannot see. Using dream interpretations on dreams, are especially helpful for the client, as they can allow for a deeper look into their own thoughts and feelings in regards to their waking day life, or their past waking day.
    There are endless benefits for both client and therapist, when using dream journals, and the most important thing is to be honest and as detailed as possible. Drawing can help as well.

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  14. A dream journal would be beneficial to therapist-guided dream work because instead of going just from memory the patient can write down everything that has happened and then bring it to the therapy session where all of the dreams can be looked at individually and as a whole. It is very hard to remember you dream so making a hard copy of them makes sure that they are not distorted in anyway and are always remembered accurately. Also as it was said by most people dreams are a good look into what the person is really dealing with and may not be telling the therapist but reading these dreams and seeing the themes and actions the therapist might figure out what is really wrong. Sometimes this can happen before the dreamer does (if they ever do) and therefore the therapy can be changed so that discovery can be made

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  15. One way that the dream journal is helpful is that it keeps your dreams organized and if you date them it gives you an accurate recollection of the dreams you were having at a particular point in your life. The journal is helpful because writing down dreams makes sure that important details aren’t forgotten at later times when you are trying to recollect the details of a dream. In “The Giant Compass”, Professor DeCicco discusses the importance of a dream journal. Professor DeCicco suggests that dream journals are important because having the dream written down somewhere is critical before you begin a dream interpretation method. Professor DeCicco also states that recording dreams in a journal is a good idea because you have a record of dreams that might not appear to have any meaning at the time you have the dream, but later on you might find some meaning or importance to those images and you will need your journal to refer back to. Its also good because a journal not only allows you to capture the details of the dreams, but you can also jot down notes about how you feel about the dream or how the dream made you feel upon awakening. These are things that you are not likely to remember even a day or two later. Dr. Smith during his presentations to the class talked about the importance of keeping pictures with your dream journal as well. He talked about the importance of drawing out images that you see in your dreams that might not be best captured in words. The date is another important feature of the dream journal. Having dreams dated allows you to keep things organized and in perspective as far as what life events coincided with those dreams.

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  16. A dream journal can be helpful by providing insight to the dreamers waking life and to some of the problems that they may be avoiding. By keeping a journal the dreamer has the ability to look back on a dream, and to notice patterns in the dream that may represent a problem they are ignoring in the dreamers waking life.

    Some major features of keeping a dream journal include writing down every dream that you remember first thing in the morning. It is also important to date the dreams as well. Another feature that can be helpful in a dream journal is to draw pictures to help clarify confusing dream imagery.

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  17. A dream journal is helpful for the dreamer because people often forget important details of their dreams. By documenting a dream right after it occurs, the dreamer is guaranteed to have all the small details and important information in the description. Also, when the dreamer writes down his or her dream, it could trigger emotions and realizations that could affect the person's waking life, even before dream analysis. The most obvious benefit of having a dream journal is being able to perform dream analyses on the dream.

    For therapist-guided therapy, it is beneficial to keep a dream journal because both idividuals can see common themes and changing themes in the dreams. This is important because it shows the dreamer's personal growth. It can also show the therapist important qualities about the dreamer's personality and if the therapy is working.

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  18. As what has been said previously, for the individual, dream journalling would be therapeutic. Most people feel better after they have vented to someone else and likewise, would benefit if they are able to get their thoughts onto paper and truly state how they are currently feeling in their waking day life. therapist guided dream journals are beneficial not only that the therapist/individual can recognize reoccuring themes in dreams over a long period of time, but also the therapist will be able to see whether or not the person is actually growing and making changes in their waking life to see these changes accurately in their dreams.

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  19. The dream journal is an important tool in therapist guided dream work because it allows the therapist to better understand the patient. They are able to find any themes that come across the dreams as well as help the dreamer to discover issues that they may not be able to see on their own. The major features to a dream journal are to be as detailed as possible in order for the therapist to have the best understanding possible of the dream and dreamer. As well, the journal should be dated in order to match the discoveries from the dream to the time period that the individual had the dream.

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  20. Keeping a dream journal helps identify recurring themes within your dreams. It also helps the dreamer connect their dreams with problems in their waking day life. Keeping a dream journal can also help improve dream recall. Keeping a dream journal helps one track their own progress in dealing with difficult personal issues. Therapists will also be able to track their client’s progress with a more objective perspective. Therapists may also be able to use the dream journal to pick out imagery the client may miss or think is irrelevant such as the importance of colour in dreams. Dreams should be written down with as much detail as possible as soon as possible. Dream journals are important because dreams are usually forgotten soon after having them. It’s crucial to capture the essence of the dream and writing them down as soon as possible helps with making them more accurate thus making the interpretation more accurate and helpful.

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  21. A dream journal would be helpful as it allows the dreamer to keep track of their dreams, even if it is just a minor detail. This would be helpful to a therapist as any detail allows the therapist to get a glimpse into the dreamer's waking life and any issues or problems relating to their waking life. The journal would also be helpful as the therapist may be able to see a connection or perspective of the dream which the dreamer cannot. Not to mention when one writes down their dreams details begin to come to mind that they may not of remembered if they did not begin to write down whatever they could remember. Therefore, a dream journal can be helpful in order to provide both the dreamer and the therapist with as much information as possible.

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  22. By keeping a dream journal, it allows the therapist to keep track of possible troubling thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This allows the therapist to properly guide a patient through their therapy. Sometimes an individual may not be aware of why they feel the way they do any their dreams allow them to come to some kind of conclusion. Perhaps the therapist is able to notice patterns that the patient not does notice. There could be possible associations with dream symbols and specific waking life events. The only way to determine these things is to keep a dream journal. By keeping a dream journal it may allow an individual to recognize certain things within themselves that they are unable to notice in waking life because of their busy schedules.

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  23. A dream journal can be essential for many reasons. Dream therapist highly recommend keeping track of ones dreams in a dream journal. This helps the individual remember their dreams and to be able to document each dream they have every night. It is easier to analyze ones dreams if they are written down shortly after the dream occurred. This allows the individual to remember as many details as possible for the specific dream and essential aspects of the dream. By keeping a journal, individuals will slowly start remembering more and more dreams and acquire a routine where they become used to documenting their dreams.

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  24. The most predominant feature of the dream journal is its ability to track the progress of a life issue through dreaming. This allows both therapists and dreamers to have a better understanding of the dreamers' waking day life. It is incredibly helpful to observe progress in this matter, as the discoveries offered by dream therapy enable the individual to become aware of waking day issues they may not have previously noticed, and work to solve these issues in a more aware and productive manner. Additionally, by observing the progress of the dreams in a dream journal, it becomes apparent whether these methods are working to resolve the issues or not.

    - Carey-Ann Bette

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  25. Dream journals are helpful because as a collection of your recent dream experiences, they can reveal or explain problems and stresses in your life that either you are not aware of, or are having a hard time trying to understand. Thus, it allows us to see common themes in our dreams that perhaps we normally would not notice if we did not record all our dreams and compare them. More importantly, we can then use these dreams to understand problems in our waking day life (since we know that dreams relate to our waking day life via the continuity hypothesis), and find solutions to make our waking day lives better.

    Major features of keeping a dream journal are that you should write down as much detail as possible of what you remember in your dream, and that you should write the dream down as soon as you have awoken. Dreams should also be dated so that you know when dreams occurred in relation to each other, and in relation to events and experiences (problems and issues) in your waking day life. Another major feature of dream journals is to conduct a self-guided dream interpretation method on your dreams (such as TSM or the 2A Method) when you have a chance. Doing so allows you to make real connections between your dream content and your waking life experiences and emotions to have a better understanding of what your dreams actually mean. Finally, dream journals also keep track of any insight and discovery that may come from dream interpretation (what you learned from your dreams, how they relate to your life, and what issues you have discovered in your life through it), and may include a waking day plan of action that includes steps on how to make changes to your life so that you can fix these problems you are experiencing.

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