What is Dreamwork?
Dreamwork is just what it sounds like: working with your dreams. "Work" in this context consists of the development of healthy sleep habits, the recording of your dreams, the skillful retelling of your dreams, as well as an array of exercises that allow you to see seemingly obscure dream objects in a more meaningful way.
When someone starts to pay attention to their unconscious mind, dreams often begin to get sharper and clearer. The purpose of Dreamwork is to harness that clarity, reflect upon it, and shift your life accordingly.
You may be thinking to yourself that, as a Dream Counselor, I will be able to interpret your dreams for you; however, this is not necessarily the case and it is misleading to think about it that way. I am merely a facilitator, nudging you towards your own understanding of your very personal dreams.
What is Dreamwork Counselling?
Dreamwork Counselling is simply a marriage between Dreamwork and Counselling. This means I would be meeting with you along your personal journey while actively building Dreamwork skills and having ongoing discussions about your dreams. How often is up to you! It truly becomes a collaboration between the Dreamer and the Counsellor, and part of my work here is as a coach for you and your development.
Although you very well may be, you do not have to be an avid dreamer in order to work with me. Together we can work to develop your own Dreamwork skills and see what your unconscious mind has to say about whatever problems or life challenges happen to be central to our sessions. Surprisingly, dreams can highlight components of your life you may never consciously bring up to me in a session. Dreams are sneaky like that.
While some other models of counselling may be drawn upon throughout our time together, they certainly are not the focus. That being said, I do have a background that includes various approaches, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.
Education, Certification and Registration
Certification as a Dreamwork Practitioner, CDP (2019)
Institute for Dream Studies, USA
This one-year Certification Program provided me the expertise in dreamwork and dream group leadership, equipping me with tools to harness one's dreaming mind as a means of reflection and growth. This program provided me the certification needed to be regarded as a qualified dreamwork professional who can offer dream workshops, classes, and one-on-one sessions with individuals
Advanced Master of Social Work, MSW (2016)
University of British Columbia, Canada
Graduation from this program included a focus on Health and Social Care. This field of practice includes areas of social work usually subsumed into the concept of ‘health’, such as physical and mental health, addictions, violence and trauma. Its extension to ‘social care’ also includes areas that may be unrelated or only tangentially related to health, such as disabilities, age and aging. This program provided a deeper appreciation for an effective and confidential therapeutic relationship.
Bachelor of Social Work, BSW (2015)
University of British Columbia, Canada
This academic program allowed me to grapple with issues of power and issues of discrimination based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, class and culture. Furthermore, it provided me with the knowledge, values and skills necessary for an initial level of professional practice, focusing on the interface between personal problems and public issues. This undergrad program set the foundation of counseling into motion, and focused on the promotion of social justice and human well-being.
Professional Social Work Registration (2020)
Social Workers Registration Board, New Zealand
Due to a recent transition to New Zealand from Canada, I have had to register with the new Board. This registration process is currently in process.
While employed in Canada, I was registered with the British Columbia College of Social Workers, and was in good standing. That registration is currently suspended due to practicing outside Canada.
My Dream Perspective
It is my belief that we all dream, we merely lack the ability to recall them, or the skills to retell them, or the intuition to let them guide us. Save for some folks who have sleeping disorders that prevent adequate dreaming, I truly feel that we each have the ability to do this work.
Personally, when I have been neglecting my Dreamwork, I lose the ability to recall my dreams. But, conversely, it can turn around quickly. As soon as I put my journal and pen beside my bed, and I set the intention to activate my practice, things start to come back. Sometimes immediately! It is as if the dreams are sitting there on the shelf of my mind, waiting to be looked at, watched, and enjoyed.
There is a lot of opinions, static, and noise around the topic of dreams, and books are abound to tell you what your dreams mean. If I had my way, I would make all of those books disappear. Sure, they may stimulate thinking, but they distract you from the work. We each have different memories of things, different associations that no book will be able to truly capture. For example, as a young child I choked on a hard candy and required intervention. This was a form of trauma that has stayed with me, and every time I pop a hard candy in my mouth, I wonder "will I choke?" Now, the majority of the population does not associate those things. Candy is fun, freedom, pleasure, exciting, liberty, etc. So when I dream of a hard candy, it may mean something very different to me - being rooted in fear and trauma - than it does for you. So, in its essence, Dreamwork is a very personal endeavour, which in my opinion makes sharing them at times challenging.
There came a point where I no longer wanted to tell people my dreams. I became very tired of sharing powerful dream experiences with friends or family, only to have it dismissed, laughed at, or hijacked. It seems many people have impactful dreams they want to share them, but few want to truly, effortfully listen. Given this recurring feeling of dismissal, I began attending dream groups, and being very selective about who to disclose my dreams to, only approaching those I know will honour them as I do.
It has been helpful for me when trying to strengthen my Dreamwork practice to connect with others, and it is that experience that brings me to this work. I want to be able to be there for and with you, as a coach, a facilitator, a counsellor, or whatever word we can choose to ascribe to the unique and powerful relationship between the dreamer and the listener.