Welcome to the Dream School Forum!
Our dedicated, private community forum is our community meeting place. You can post your monthly assignments, ask questions, share revelations, and connect with others as you move through monthly themes and challenges.
Join a Study Group! If you would like to experience Dream School as part of an intimate cohort group, email Maya at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with her your forum user name. You will be randomly assigned to a group led by either Lisa, Deb, or Joseph.
Join a Dream Group! If you would like to participate in a Dream Group, please visit the relevant section of the forum. We’ve provided guidelines for participating in a Dream Group. You can create a new space for your group. If you would like to set your space to “private,” email us at email@example.com.
DREAM GROUP GUIDELINES
Guidelines for Dream Groups
Working on dreams in a group can be a marvelously rich experience. It can be difficult to understand our own dreams. Bringing them to a trusted group of dream partners can help us see aspects of our dreams we might not have been able to perceive on our own. We hope that you will use the Dream School Forum to find others with whom you can form dream groups. We encourage you to choose whatever schedule works best for all parties, though we recommend meeting at least once per month.
First, some basics. Dream groups are for the discussion of dreams. They are not therapy groups. If you are struggling with personal issues, you may find that discussing your dreams can provide some clarity, but these groups are not the appropriate place to process trauma or significant mental health concerns. If you are facing serious challenges in this regard, we strongly recommend that you seek out individual psychotherapy. If you find that you are bringing serious personal issues to your dream group repeatedly, please consider stepping away or getting additional support so that the group can stay focused on dreams.
Likewise, dream group members should be wary of offering therapy or diagnosis to other members. Many Dream School students are mental health professionals, but dream groups are not the right place to practice our craft.
Finally, we strongly recommend that dream groups consist only of other Dream School members. This ensures that everyone in the group is working from a common fund of knowledge and helps to establish more of a temenos.
Below are some guidelines that are useful when working on dreams in groups. We have taken our inspiration from the important work done by Montague Ullman. The following guidelines are loosely based on his work. These guidelines help to create a temenos where dreamers can feel safe sharing their dreams without fear that someone else will tell them what it means or otherwise violate the sanctity of their dream material.
Each group will need to have a leader.
The leader will be responsible for organizing the meeting logistics (or for delegating this role). Most importantly, the leader will be responsible for making sure that the following guidelines are followed. Groups may decide to have members take turns being the leader. To ensure the safety of the process for everyone, it is important that all members of the dream group promise not to record any of the session for any reason. Likewise, group members should agree to respect the confidentiality of all material shared in a dream group.
1) Presentation of the dream
The leader will ask for a volunteer who is ready to share a dream. The dreamer then reads the dream aloud. Other participants may write the dream down while the dreamer is sharing. Alternatively, the dreamer may email copies of the dream to other group members. While the dream is being shared, no one speaks other than the dreamer. If other members have questions, they are not to raise them at this time.
2) Clarifying Questions
Once the dream has been shared, the leader will invite group members to ask clarifying questions. For example, if the dreamer mentioned a person by name without explanation, group members may ask who that person is in the dreamer’s life. If the dreamer shared that she felt in the dream the way she felt at her cousin’s wedding, group members may ask how she felt at her cousin’s wedding. Otherwise, group members may not ask about feelings. This step is to allow for clarification of the dream text only.
3) Group Responds to Feelings
The group leader now asks the dreamer whether the dream may be turned over to the group. If the dreamer concurs, group members are now free to share their own associations about the dream as if it were their own dream. At this time, each group member’s contribution should begin with the statement “If this were my dream,….” For example, the group member might say, “If this were my dream, I would be feeling angry at my boss for her reaction to me.” Reactions can also include purely personal associations. For example, a group member might say “If this were my dream, I would be reminded of the summers I spent on my grandparent’s farm.”Group members should not address their comments to the dreamer. In fact, eye contact with the dreamer should be avoided.
Group members should feel free to associate to the dream freely without seeking response or feedback from the dreamer. Group members are encouraged to acknowledge that their personal associations are their own projections onto the material, and ought not to hold back or censor themselves. Paradoxically, it is often the most personal associations that spark some new insight on the part of the dreamer.
4) Dreamer’s response
When the group has finished associating to the dream and the dreamer feels ready to proceed, the dream is given back to the dreamer. The dreamer is the only one who speaks during this stage. The dreamer can say anything he likes, including sharing reactions to people’s associations, other thoughts about the dream, or anything at all. It is important that other group members remain silent even if they feel an urge to ask a question. The dreamer may choose to stay silent at this point as well. The dreamer’s decision not to speak should be respected and he should not be prodded to share. If the dreamer wishes to remain silent at this time, the group leader ought to ask the dreamer whether it is okay to proceed to the next stage. If the dreamer says “no,” the work is stopped and no further questions are asked.
5) Questions for Context
In this next phase, group participants ask the dreamer questions that provide context for the dream. They may ask about life events leading up to dream. They may ask about the people who appear in the dream and what role they play in the dreamer’s life. During this phase, the group leader must make sure that the dreamer does not feel overly pressured for personal information that he or she may not want to reveal or explore. The dreamer’s safety during the exercise is always paramount. The dreamer is always free to say “I don’t want to answer that.” If the group leader senses that a group member is prodding too much, her or she should gently establish a boundary.
6) Orchestrating Projections
With the dreamer’s permission, the dream is turned back over to the group. Group members once again begin each sentence with “If it were my dream.” As before, group members should avoid making eye contact with the dreamer. The goal of this phase is for group members to tie together all that they have heard into a coherent statement about the overall meaning of the dream. Again, it is acknowledged that this is merely their projection of what they dream would mean to them.
7) Final Stage
The final stage occurs when the dream group next meets. After having had time to digest everything that happened in the previous meeting, the dreamer may share her reactions to the discussion. The dreamer may, of course, also choose to say nothing at all.
Troubleshooting for forum access
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