I used to think dream journals and dream analysis were somewhat shallow -- sort of like the Sunday newspaper horoscopes. Too general to really have any meaning in one’s personal life. But during a crisis in my life a few years back, I read a book entitled Inner Work by Robert A. Johnson and realized that a higher part of ourselves that needs to use symbols and “right brain hemisphere” pictures to communicate is trying to get very valuable information to us via dreams, and/or there’s something “stuck” that wants to be witnessed and released so we can stop unconsciously recreating similar unwanted outcomes in our lives.
Desperately wishing I could travel to one of those specially trained dream counselors I read about in the book that works with Carl Jung material, I searched and found several ideal therapists -- far away in New York and other distant states. So gave up and went towards other ways of healing and releasing stuckness. And those other methods are great also.
But guess what.
Apparently I hadn’t searched hard enough. Right here in my own hometown of Anacortes, I heard about an afternoon dream workshop to be held at the Anacortes Center for Happiness for only $20, and I immediately signed up. It was led by Carol Weiss, a licensed therapist trained in Carl Jung techniques and who followed the protocol in that very book I’d loved! She practices on nearby Lopez Island and comes to our Fidalgo Island once a week. As they say, sometimes the very thing we’re looking for is right there at home.
It was a wonderful topic for a great group activity. We spent the afternoon learning a four step process for really decoding the language of our dreams to know what they’re trying to tell us. Not shallow at all in this case. As Carol said, two people can have a similar dream (such as being back at high school and you can’t get your locker open) but they mean very different and completely personal things to each dreamer.
We each wrote down a dream we wanted to share, then, using samples and a dry erase board, she showed us how to continue from that point to decode the secret message. We witnessed just what she said we would -- that even though this work can be done on our own and no one accept ourselves can tell us what our dreams mean -- it’s fun and valuable to do this in group to get the support and sometimes brainstorming with others when we feel stuck as we write our own personal roadmap to the language of our dream world.