jan 19, 2023
Why Do Dreamwork in Groups?
Most of you probably do not pay attention to your dreams from sleep. You might believe dreams mean nothing, or that its interpretation belong in the domain of psychoanalysts, where “the patient” passively receives the meaning of her dreams from “the expert”. Otherwise, dreams may be relegated to the domain of biblical times where its significance has peaked. Who needs to receive messages from the Divine when we’ve got our smart phones? Science is surely right about dreams as nothing more than the waste products of the workings of our consciousness, itself a byproduct of the workings of our cognitive brain.
I know dreams are very relevant for our modern lives for more and more of us are waking up to the fact that “the good life” can only do so much for our sense of well-being. Stress, depression, loneliness, and the shadow of a terrible death cast upon us by cancer and other incurable diseases are all “normal” for the modern man and woman. Is this really normal or have we forgotten who we really are?
The significance of dreams lies in its power to change your perspective about who you are and what your life is about. This power is fully channeled when dreams are given its due place within the dynamics of group exchange. Conversely, the power of the meaning and wisdom of your dreams are of a lower order when it is only worked on individually.
An experienced psychoanalyst can give you interesting perspectives about the meaning of your dreams. However, this remains the analysis of one person whose life experience, knowledge, and perspective will be necessarily limited. On the other hand, a group of ten people can easily outperform what an experienced psychoanalyst or even an experienced dream interpreter might be able to tell you because here we will be drawing from the life experience, knowledge, and perspective of ten different people. Moreover, each person who is “in” on the dynamics of group dreamwork get to benefit in someway from the dream that is being shared. Therefore, one private dream from an individual can become a public dream from which there are universal lessons to be learned by the group that engages with it.
The community aspect of group dreamwork inevitably activates a process of self-awareness and introspection that is enhanced precisely because the self can hardly mean anything unless there was a community of “others”. The warmth and unconditional acceptance of the community is essential for the self to come out of its shell, and the group dynamic coupled with dreamwork often leads to the natural expression and awakening of compassion. This is no small gift if you have ever tried to get a group of people to become more compassionate with each other.
“All dreams come in the service of health and wholeness” is the conclusion reached by my teacher Jeremy Taylor after fifty plus years of dreamwork. My experience with dreamwork for nearly a decade attests to this statement. I hope to see you in one of our “Dreamwork in Community” events soon !~ H.D. Lee.
Image credits: (1) Kevin Erdvig on Unsplash, (2) Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Pexels
Article by H.D. Lee
Founder of Nomadic School. Committed to the spiritual adventure of his own life and the role of midwifing beauty, goodness, and truth into the world, H.D. Lee is here to share what he has learned through his teachers and peers in transpersonal psychology, spirituality, and the arts. Read more