You're in Charge:
A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
Chapter 6 (an excerpt)
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5 6 7
8 9 p.4
And as you enact each
part, be alert for the emergence of associations to your current
life. Or to the book, TV program, or conversation right before bedtime
that you didn't have time to process. You will usually experience
an "ah-ha" sensation when the right fit is made.
How do you know where
to start working on your dream or which elements to identify with?
There are no rules. You can identify with each and every part of
the dream, For instance, if I had wanted to work on my heroine dream
in this metaphorical way I could have been the murderer, the young
victim, the policeman, the heroine, the automobile, the emergency
room of the hospital, and the non-functioning horn.
Be sure to include those
parts of the dream that seemed most vivid, and where you felt the
most emotion.. Here's a checklist of parts of the dream with which
you can identify:
A.... Be the landscape
or the environment, which could include a house, or the air, or
the rain, or a desert, etc. Fritz once asked a man who had had a
dream of riding a horse in central Park to be the bridle path, and
the man immediately replied, "What, and have all those horses
shit on me?"
B.... Be all of the people
in the dream. If they are strangers, see if they remind you of anyone
who is important in your life.
C.... Be any object that
links and joins, such as bridges, telephone lines, highways, and
D.... Be any unusual
element, such as a safety lock that is on the outside of your car
door, or a flying cat, or an object that mysteriously disappears
only to reappear.
E.... Be any interesting
or mysterious object, such as a wrapped package, an unopened letter,
or an unread book.
F.... Be any powerful
energy object, such as a tidal wave, or an automobile, or an electrical
G.... Be any religious
object from a crucifix to a statue of Buddha.
H.... Be any object (or
person) whose left side is different from its right side. Be the
left side, then be its right side. Have a dialogue between the two.
I.... Be any two contrasting
objects, such as a new carpet and a worn carpet, or a young woman
and an old woman. Have them dialogue.
J.... Be anything in
your dream that is missing. It could be something you have lost
in your dream and for which you are actively searching. It could
be a missing part of a signpost. Or a half-written word on a notepad.
("Promis" on a scrap of paper was the beginning of "promiscuous"
in one man's dream.)
Sometimes there will
be an important missing object in your dream that you don't realize
is missing. This is where that therapist or objective friend can
be helpful again.
Lucy worked with me
on a dream that had two segments: a woman being wheeled into surgery
on a gurney and then the same woman waking up in the recovery room.
I asked Lucy to be the surgeon and reenact the scene between the
two fragments. In doing this Lucy realized that the dream was about
her recent hysterectomy and she did some much-needed and long-denied
grief work for her uterus (which was another missing part).