Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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  Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu You're in Charge: A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
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           Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu  On Dreaming
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You're in Charge: A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist
Chapter 6 (an excerpt)                    1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9         p.4

On Dreaming

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 railroad tracks.

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 generator.

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).

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This site was last changed November 28, 2001. It was created on March 20, 1997.

© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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