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Tools of the Trade

Here are a few tools of the trade that I've found to be useful in my own dreamwork:



In interpreting your own dreams, it is helpful to use this little Gestalt “tool” which can uncover meaning behind your most troublesome or bizarre symbols/objects within your dreams.


Become the object that contains the most energy; basically pick out the image/object that stands out in your dream and become it.  There are 6 basic questions that you ask yourself, as this object:


  1. I am ____; my purpose is __________ .
  2. As a _______, my goal is ____________ .
  3. As a _______, my biggest fear is _________ .
  4. As a _______, I love ___________ .
  5. As a _______, I hate ____________ .
  6. As a _______, I desire/wish __________ .




Gestalt workshops allow groups of people to work on dreams using play acting and incorporation of dream symbols. 
In a nightmare, become the monster/villian/scariest object in the dream.  Then embody the emotions that this "thing" carries:
D = dreamer; M = monster
Dream:  I am lying in bed at night alone; I feel like I am awake in real life in the dream.  Basically the dream feels very real.  Suddenly I hear someone trying to get in my room.  I feel like I am in slow motion and cannot get up fast enough.  I finally get out of bed and reach for my gun but it's not loaded.  I try to load it but the man is getting closer and is now at my bedroom door.  Every time I try to load the gun, the bullets fall out.  Now he is at the door and opening it.  I am terrified; the doors opens.  The dream ends.
M = I am the robber, the intruder. I am coming to wake you up and scare you.
D - Why are you here?  I don't need someone to scare me more, I am scared enough in life. 
M = Exactly, you are too damn scared all the time.  It's high time you experience what you fear the most and get it over with.  Wake up and step up to the plate!
D - I don't know what you mean, I've been victimized enough. Why can't I have nice, comforting dreams and heal in that way?
M = You're making me extremely angry-IRATE! Don't you see, you're too scared all the time and I'm going to beat it into you, stop lying around waiting to be jumped.
D - So what part of me is you?  What do you represent in me?  Are you a part of my Shadow, what do I need to learn from you?
M = As the intruder, I am here to intrude on your fear and make it real - make you really feel it to deal with it.  This is the inner scared part of you that's being shoved in the closet.  I am the anger behind the fear.  Time to take action and get MAD-use the anger to get past the fear and DO SOMETHING.
D - Aha! I see, yes.  When I get mad I can move now.  (If I reenter the dream and use the anger I now feel, I can drop the gun and move to the door, enter into the house and fight like a true fighter).
So-becoming a part of the dream and reentering the dream can create epiphanies...huge AHA's.  Enter into the dream symbol or frightening aspect of the dream and feel the emotions.  In this way you will understand that every part of the dream is a part of you.
For more information on Nightmares, click HERE