TAP ended its current programme of evening talks with “Unlocking the secrets of dreams”.
The talk was due to be delivered by Matthew Harwood, who had to withdraw and his place was taken by Jane Renton, who gave a talk which thoroughly engaged the audience and promoted a lot of questions and discussion.
Jane introduced the topic with examples of dreams; one by the poet Coleridge and one from Anglo-Anglo-Saxon England 1400 years ago.
Freud said that dreams are ‘the royal road to the unconscious mind’. Jane used a more recent definition -‘the royal road to integration.’
Her work is informed by Internal Family Systems theory whose approach is that within all of us are sub-personalities which can consist of wounded and painful parts that might try to protect the person from them. These can be in conflict with each other and the core of the person which is confident and compassionate.
Jane explained , ‘what you put into a dream is within you.’ The job of the therapist is not to interpret but to bring the dream alive and work with the client for the deeper meaning to emerge and, one hopes, to be healing.
There are a number of steps to be followed for safe practice.
We start by narrating the dream in present tense to bring it more alive then check for any feelings it arouses and what parts might be important. Other things we might do is to look out for SQUIDS , what is strange, quirky, uninteresting, interesting and different. We may ask the client to speak as if they were a character or even a thing in the dream. Does any of this resonate with anything happening in your life at the moment or the time of the dream?
Jane offered several ways to illustrate the process and the one chosen was for a volunteer, one of the committee, to act as client. He was given a dream. It was the one from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
‘Last night I dreamed of Manderley.’
His interesting response was what arose for him and did show the power of the technique.
The audience was invited to do an exercise in groups and select one of four printed dreams form the table. In one group when the dream was read out, a member of it remarked ‘this is spooky. it is a dream I have.’
It was agreed that what it showed is that it can be a way of getting to the core of the person.
This was followed by a lively question and answer session. The vote of thanks given by Caroline Barrett (who new to this role and did it very well ) The evening ended with biscuits and tea or coffee.
The next TAP event is the annual conference on 30th March entitled ‘De-mystifying Trauma’ with two international speakers, John Hendon and Dr Robert Sharp. See our TAP Conference page for more details.
The evening talks resume on Friday 17th May 2019 with ‘Responding to our client’s metaphors’ by Matthew Cott at the Friend’s Meeting House.