The Dreams We Dream: The Benefit of Digging in as a Tool in Psychotherapy

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imgres-200x200Creative expression and psychotherapy go hand in hand, particularly in the fields of Transpersonal and Jungian psychology. Courses in the ITP at Sofia U doctoral program , such as the Psychology of Dreams taught by Dr. Stanley Krippner include archetypal influences in dream interpretation, the physiology of sleep and dreams, daydreams, and nightmares.

FB Animoto photosProfessor Emerita, Dr. Jill Mellick, who has been in private practice as a Jungian-oriented psychologist in Palo Alto for over twenty years and directed and taught Creative Expression in the masters and doctoral programs at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, also worked with dreams in her book “The Art of Dreaming: Tools for Creative Dream Work.” In this book she asks readers to think about how you enter the dream world and how you can you merge your dreams with creative expression.


We asked our students to take a moment to think about how dream work fits into their lives or even the lives of others. Here are some of their responses. What would you say?


“I have been an avid dreamer from a very young age. I find that my relationship to the realm of dreams is often as deep as waking reality, if not more so. I find support, questions, communication with my ancestors, symbolism, prophetic vision, melding of the worlds, and communing with spirit (and the deepest part of myself and my psyche) through this symbiotic relationship. I look forward to diving, ever deeper, as I walk through the remainder of my life.” – Sarah

Jungsm“I attribute all of my successes in life to my dream work from a Jungian perspective, which I was introduced to in my early 20s. I am in agreement with Dr. Russell Lockhart, that “everything has a secret soul,” (Psyche Speaks, pg 14), and I believe our dreams, if we listen, guide us like our own North Star, connecting us to that collective soul, and providing a “map” to show us the way back home to the Self.

Though I’ve been working with dreams for over two decades, it was Dr. Lockhart just this year, who introduced me into the notion that the dream is “just so,” and I can go much deeper by “allowing” myself to “experience” the Dream, rather than “interpret” the dream, and in this way, “take communion.” As such, a result of these encounters, I am open to exploring various Jungian approaches to the dream, that I will be able to use in my own work in the future as I’m beginning a counseling Psychology program this fall, with a focus on depth Psychology.” – Tanya

“I recently started working on allowing myself to have more lucid dreams. It has been fun. It’s almost like creating a small movie for yourself out of your own life every night, and you don’t know what to expect. Traditionally in my culture we didn’t like to dream. I used to always associate dreams with nightmares. But now I am enjoying the freedom to allow my hidden thoughts to come out.” Ting

“I love discussing and exploring my dreams with others after recording them in a notebook, looking over the themes in a dream interpretation source and connecting my dreams with my waking life. This has been a self learning process for me and I have never explored my dreams with a clinician or clients I have worked with. Although it is something I would enjoy delving into with clients.” Sabra

imagination-2699130_1920“The concept of language and what is seeking to be communicated equates to the symbolism behind truth, and that which seeks to be expressed. Truth is the consistent underlying factor behind the subconscious realm of the mind body and spirit. Everything we experience is emblematic in divine language. The projective force of truth is the very essence of universal communication. As we begin to co-create a relationship between ourselves and our truth we start to ask ourselves, are we being honest?

So much of illness and imbalance lies within what lies dormant, stagnant and residual calcified energy, energy that houses our well being, that seeks to move forward and expand and ascend in consciousness. In dreams our subconscious communicates. Patterns emerge that can only be interpreted by our own truth. These are valuable channels of healing and awareness that live in dreams and intuition, channels that seek to carry that energy forward into our waking lives.

Indigenous Toltec philosophy believes our entire life is a dream and our dreams are our reality. If this is true then are our experiences are “access points” towards a universal body consciousness. It’s a mirror of un-foldment to induce all the truth in knowing. Dreams can offer such a reflection …. the best part is this subconscious infinite well of truth is communicating whether we are awake or asleep. ” Kris

people-2562024_1920“I find dream work quite fascinating and to be one of my favorite therapy approaches. I have tried dream works as an experiment on myself before after attending the Dream interpretation in Spring intensive 2016 at Sofia University. I find using art expression to be one of the most helpful ways to express out my dreams and then to observe my art work to find the story my unconscious has tried to reveal about myself in my dream.

Using dream works has helped me discover and become aware of a lot of inner issues from my sub-conscious that I have been unaware about before, which has then helped me grow more as a person. Hence, from my own personal experience, I can tell that dream works can be very beneficial in various well-being practices such as psychotherapy, counseling, substance abuse, PTSD therapy, etc.” Sneja

ITP-logo_smallAbout The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University

Since 1975, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University has continued to be an international leader and pioneer, moving humanity forward in the areas of transpersonal research and transpersonal education. training clinicians, spiritual guides, wellness caregivers, and consultants who apply transpersonal principles and values in a variety of settings.  The Sofia educational model offers students not only a solid intellectual foundation, but an extraordinary opportunity for deep transformational growth and personal experience of the subject matter. How does Sofia University accomplish this? The university builds upon its strong, whole-person psychological foundation to give students a greater understanding of the human condition.

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