Being a broad term used for describing the exploration and incorporation of dreams in psychotherapy, dreamwork intervention have proven itself to be substantially effective. Modern dreamwork models that are used holds true to the tenet that any meaning one can draw from a dream should be exclusively personal to the dreamer.
What to expect?
In the psychoanalytical models of psychotherapy, dreamwork forms a key component of several different therapeutic models and it can also be employed as self-help technique or as part of a broader therapy. The term dreamwork generally refers to the dreamwork field as a whole or to the therapeutic process of using dreams in therapy. Though many psychotherapy frameworks employ dreams in one way or another, the way in which different models employs dreamwork differs greatly.
One of the basic principles in dreamwork is that each person explores their dreams using unique dream language. Dreamwork therapists believes and formalizes dreams are formulations and continuations of waking thoughts, emotions, concerns, and memories and thus these are unique to each individual, leaving only that individual to understand and comprehend their dream accurately.
How does it work?
Group work: In group settings, the therapist, usually do not offer any interpretations until all questions have been answered and thoroughly examined. At this point, the therapist might come up with feedback with a neutral statement that facilitates dreamers to create their own interpretation.
Image Rehearsal Therapy: In IRT, the therapist designates homework to the clients under therapy. The homework often asks the person to note down their recurring nightmare every day for at least 20 minutes a day. The dream is rewritten over and over with new, and more pleasing endings. The aim is to utilize cognition to influence the dream creation process, resulting in effective changing the content of the dream via conscious steering.
Cognitive experiential dreamwork: Cognitive experiential dreamwork has three gross phases: exploration, insight, and action. In the exploration phase, the dream is narrated in present tense; images and symbols are hereby identified; In the insight phase, connections are established with the imagery. These connections might include real-life experiences, areas personality dynamics, etc. The final phase, in the action phase, the therapist assists the person in therapy decide what to do with the information that he or she gleaned from the dream. They might now decide to creatively adapt or rework the dream, which is often done by IRT or make changes in waking life, or involve deeper into the dreamwork.
When is it used?
Mental health professionals who have successfully incorporated dreamwork into their therapeutic practice frequently employ it to assist people to problem solve, gain self-awareness, or enhance there overall well-being.
Role of therapist:
During a session of dreamwork, the dreamer is comes up with their dream and share with the therapist, meanwhile, the therapist might ask probing questions in order to collect as much information as possible from the dreamer who in this case is the client. Only after having access to all possible material, does the therapist share their reactions towards the content, symbols, or imagery under discussion.
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