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A Dream-Guided Meditation Model and the Personalized Method For Interpreting Dreams

The Counselor’s Guide for Facilitating the Interpretation of Dreams: Family and Other Relationship Systems Perspectives

Dreams Guide Professional Writing: Textbook and Writer's Handbook

Living Dreams, Living Life: A Practical Guide to Understanding Your Dreams and How They Can Change Your Waking Life

Excerpt from: Some Everyday Dreams, How I Use Them, unpublished manuscript

The immediate goal of the Dream-Guided Meditation Model presented in this book is to attain calmness and peacefulness of body and mind. The ultimate goal from use of the model over time is to become aware of the Higher Self presence within self and all other human beings.

A Dream-Guided Meditation Model and the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams

A Dream-Guided Meditation Model and the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams

Preface

Several years ago I discovered spirituality teachings that differed from my earlier religious teachings. At the time I was an associate professor of accounting, a career I appreciated so much I had no intention to leave. Then while grading CPA (Certified Public Accounting) exams in New York City, new-to-me spirituality teachings including meditation came to my attention. Nighttime dreams came to my attention and led me to a counselor education masters degree and to the subsequent development of the Dream-Guided Meditation Model.

The dreams that led to the development of the Dream-Guided Meditation Model are herein interpreted with use of the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID). The PMID is a product of my counselor education thesis research, a turn of the twenty-first-century model chosen thesis of the year 2000 by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. See Appendix A for the One Hundred Year Turn of the Twenty-First Century Coincidence that resulted in the PMID model.

My aspiration for this book is that it will be a meditation model that is useful in some ways to various people, whatever their gender, race, national origin, religion, or marital status.

Excerpts From the Introduction

I am one who believes that humans have direct access to Higher Self guidance that is beyond human understanding but is within our experiences. Experiences that convince me are deep meditations and nighttime dreams. Readers, as you study this book, I expect you may find meditations and nighttime dreams are interactive for you as well...

Now let us learn how nighttime dreams and meditations (inner work) flow together. That’s how it is for me. The dream Dream Work and Inner Work Flow Together shown next answered my previous day’s thought-question: “Could my dreams replace my meditations?”

Meditations and Dreams

DREAM: DREAM WORK AND INNER WORK FLOW TOGETHER

There are two drain spouts running along two roofs. I look and see where the spouts almost come together in the middle. One somehow dumps into the other drain spout. Words in my mind when I woke were: “This dream work and inner work are for me.”

PMID Step 1: Connect your previous day (often the day before) events to the dream to discover the theme of this dream.
Last night I read a writer-meditator’s account on how he knows he must meditate.

PMID Step 2: Connect your previous day (often the day before) thoughts to your dream to detect which thoughts may have prompted this dream’s responses. Write “I thought” statements and record when you thought them. Last night, after I read the writer-meditator’s account on how he knows he must meditate, I thought about my meditations and how at times when my meditation success is low, I wonder if my dreams could replace meditations. So, a possible thought-question is: “Could my dreams replace my meditations?”

PMID Step 3: Select and define major words and phrases from your write-up of this dream to discover the dream’s personalized meanings. The general definition for “phrases” as used in this step is “a string of words,” which can be phrases, clauses, or whole sentences.

  • Two drain spouts running along two roofs: The thoughts in my mind as I woke (“This dream work and inner work are for me.”) identify the two drain spouts as dreams (dream work) and meditations (inner work).
  • Look and see where the spouts almost come together in the middle: Dreams and meditations almost come together.
  • One somehow dumps into the other drain spout: Meditations and dreams appear in succession instead of one replacing the other.


The response to my pre-dreams thought-question of whether my dreams could replace my meditations is: “Dreams and meditations are interactive with each other; both are resourceful.”

Now I repeat: “Readers, as you study this book you may find nighttime dreams and meditations are interactive for you.”


Synopsis of This Book

Sections A and B present detailed coverage of the Dream-Guided Meditation Model. In Section A, Chapter 1 presents the dream that brought the meditation model. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 present stages of the model as clarified and detailed by dreams subsequent to the dream that brought the model. Chapter 5 presents prospective results from use of the DreamGuided Meditation Model over time. In Section B, Chapters 6 and 7 present dreams about when and where to meditate. A conclusion and a summary of lessons presented in this book finish A Dream-Guided Meditation Model and the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams.

Selected sample from Summary of Lessons Presented in This Book

A compilation of the solutions and suggestions for each dream in this book is used to summarize the lessons presented. As you study these lessons may you find helpful ideas for your meditative life. ...

Lesson One: Dreams and meditations are interactive; both are resourceful. Dream: Dream Work and Inner Work Flow Together

Lesson Two: The three basic stages in the Dream-Guided Meditation Model are Quiet Your Body, Slow Your Breath, and Still Your Thoughts and Listen to Become Aware of Your Still State with the potential result over time of becoming aware of your Higher Self presence within your being, a presence in all human beings. Dream: A Meditation Model Given in a Dream

Lesson Four: When you wake during the night and feel restless, meditate; but meditate in extreme quiet. Dream: The Teacher Sits in Extreme Quiet for Meditation

Lesson Six: At least some of the time, even an instant, still your thoughts. Dream: The Monkey Mind

Lesson Seven: Calmly affirm that thoughts and emotions, especially negative thoughts and negative emotions, are shut out from interfering with your meditations and with your dreams. Usher the dominant thoughts and emotions out first. Dream: Usher the Dominant Woman and the Others out of the Church

Lesson Eight: Be patient as you wait for your thoughts to clear for deep meditation. Dream: Responses from Becoming Especially Aware of the Difficulty to Still the Thoughts That Cross the Mind

Lesson Ten: Recognize effects when you let your thoughts pass by, much like waiting for a train to pass by at a crossing. Dream: Stand Still and Let the Train of Thoughts Pass By

Lesson Eleven: Attempts to meditate without having practiced and without listening is like expecting to play beautiful music when you haven’t practiced. Dream: Listening and Practice Are Essential for Successful Meditation

Lesson Twelve: For times when it seems you are meditating more on an outer level instead of an inward level, return to studying the Dream-Guided Meditation Model. Dream: Reminded to Meditate with the Full Dream-Guided Meditation Model

Lesson Fourteen: Stay with the meditation process and wait patiently! Patient waiting is paramount for successful meditation. Dream: Stay in the Meditative State and Wait Patiently!

Lesson Fifteen: Keep from becoming drawn into frustrated emotions and a measure of successful meditation will occur. Dream: Confidence That Yesterday’s Second Meditation Was Deep Though Could Have Been Deeper

Lesson Sixteen: During your busiest days it is especially important to take time for meditation to calm yourself. This dream counsels me that meditation would have been symbolically worth $1,000 in calm wisdom for completing my yesterday’s work. Dream: Take Time for Meditation: It Is Worth $1,000 in Calm Wisdom

Lesson Thirty-Two: Keep inspired by realizing the ever-present still state. Dream: There Is No Place Where the Music Professor Is Not

Lesson Thirty-Four: It is possible to picture yourself in meditation in an inspiring leader’s congregation even when the leader teaches in a foreign country. Dream: Can Picture Myself in a Foreign Country Church and Meditate There

Lesson Thirty-Five: Waking-life responses to meditation can be confirmed by subsequent dreams, and added wisdom can be included in the subsequent dreams. Dream: Response to Meditation—Unexplainably Felt Enormously Uplifted; Knew There Is Infinite Mind—Beyond All Tangible Things

The Counselor’s Guide for Facilitating the Interpretation of Dreams: Family and Other Relationship Systems Perspectives, Routledge, November 2010.

by Evelyn M. Duesbury, NCC, DCC, LPC

This book will serve as a guide for practicing counselors and therapists to facilitate work with their clients interpreting their dreams in order to reduce and alleviate stress, with a focus on dreams concerning family members and other major figures in the dreamer's life with whom he or she interacts. Providing a framework for what follows, a brief historical and cultural background on the uses of dreams is presented, along with an overview of the major dream theories and therapies and the clinicians who developed them. The majority of the book then explores in-depth a researched dream interpretation model developed by the author, the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID). Through the use of a detailed case example of a client and her dreams, the author shows the clinician how each step of the PMID can be applied and carried out in their sessions with clients. Chapters conclude with self-study questions, and one is organized such that it can be used as the basis for a three-hour class on dream interpretation. (https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415883429)

Excerpts from The Counselor’s Guide for Facilitating the Interpretation of Dreams: Family and Other Relationship Systems Perspectives

From Chapter 11: Review Dreams for New Insights: It May Be Time to Move Onward

Dream: My very young son and I are here in a place that looks at first like our house, but then later it is Paul’s mom’s house. At first I see only a little dirt on the floor. When the dirt increases, I start to use the sweeper, but a sock-like thing on the end has come unstitched. I decide to let my little boy do the sweeping. I’ll go stitch this sock-like thing up right away.

My little boy pulls the sweeper canister by the cord. I was afraid of that! I scold him, “Do not pull the sweeper by the cord!” 
Paul’s mom is taking up Paul’s time. That peeves me. Paul’s hair is very curly. I bet his mom put a permanent in his hair. But, gee whiz, why would he let her? He even has pigtails. Somehow, I know for sure that the curls and the pigtails are only temporary.

I go out in back of the house to pull some weeds near a pretty little creek along the house. Paul’s mom is standing in the doorway. I pull up a couple of plants I think are weeds. My goodness! I see they really are flowers. I am surprised! I gingerly pull on a couple more plants. More flowers come up. But I’m worried with Paul’s mom standing here. I don’t want to damage anything. Thus, I don’t pull up the plants anymore.

This is really quite a lovely place. Yet in spite of that, Paul’s Mom’s presence irritates me. I know she wants things just a certain way. It surprises me, though, that I'm irritated.

PMID Step 1: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) events to the dream to discover the theme of this dream. The events may appear in either symbolic or literal terms in your dream. Write down the appropriate events and record when they occurred.

I was surprised to feel irritated at Paul when he came to bed last night. No reason. Yesterday I told Paul I had never been upset at my child in a dream. Then, last night in this dream, I became upset at my child.

PMID Step 2: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) thoughts to your dream to detect which thoughts may have prompted this dream’s responses. Like events, your thoughts may appear in your dream in either literal or symbolic terms. Write “I thought” statements and record when you thought them.

Last night I wondered where in the heck my irritation at Paul came from.

PMID Step 3: Select and define major dream phrases and symbols from your write-up of this dream to discover the dream’s personalized meanings. Consider effects of your events and thoughts of the day before your dream and earlier experiences on the meaning of each major dream phrase and symbol. The general definition for phrases as used in this step is “a string of words.” The strings of words can be phrases, clauses, or whole sentences.

  1. My mother-in-law’s house: Could be unwitting feelings about something Paul did yesterday that unconsciously reminded me of the way his mother did things.
  2. Increasingly seeing more dirt: In the background of this dream, the more I think negatively about something, the more negative it seems. Could be talking about (gee, I don’t like admitting this) how I got to thinking about Paul’s mother at times.
  3. Stitch the sock-like end up right away: Here, I act a lot like my mother-in-law. I used to marvel that she’d mend things on the spot. She never let it stack up the way I do. As they say, “A stitch in time . . .”
  4. Scold my little boy for pulling the sweeper by the cord: A fussy concern for me. Reminds me of my mother-in-law’s fussing ways. Yet that is about the way I act when I scold my little boy for pulling the sweeper by the cord in my dream.
  5. My child: Maybe the child is here to show me if my child can irritate me for something seemingly minor, when that has never happened in a dream before, my mom-in-law could be more irritated at me for something that seemed minor but was actually high priority for her.
  6. Paul’s mom has been away: Paul’s mom died a couple of years ago.
  7. Paul’s mom occupies his time: That comes from my jealousy that she took so much of Paul’s attention at times.
  8. Hair: Hair is the usual symbol for thoughts coming out of the head.
  9. Paul’s mom having put curls in Paul’s hair: The way she influenced Paul’s thoughts. At least this is how I saw it. 
  10. Curls are not permanent: The hair work, this “thought influence” isn’t a permanent influence on Paul. He is his own self.
  11. Pull out a couple plants I think are weeds: In the background of this dream, weeds mean something I need get rid of, un-flowerlike thoughts about my mother-in-law. I imitate her here again. She was so fastidious that when we walked around our garden, she pulled any weeds she saw. I took it as an insult.
  12. Really are flowers: This is going over into problem-solving, Step 5, but it’s good here in Step 3, too. When I pull weed-like thoughts, flowering thoughts appear. 
  13. Concerns with Paul’s mom being near while I work in the flower beds: Really brings a strong memory. I never wanted to make any mistakes in front of her.
  14. Know she wants things just a certain way: My mother-in-law’s exacting disposition.
  15. Is really quite a lovely place: Reminds me that Paul’s mom’s place in my life was really quite a lovely place. Deep down, I know that is right!

PMID Step 4:Compare your emotions in your dream with your pre-dream, waking-life emotions to discover whether your waking-life emotions accurately reflect how you feel about the issue in this dream. Note that the issue may be a relationship issue. What differences, if any, do you find between your emotions in your dream and your waking-life emotions? It is useful to periodically review your emotions in your dreams regarding the main issue or relationship at hand.

In the dream, I feel angry with my little boy for pulling the sweeper by the cord, flowers popping up surprise me, I’m worried I’ll damage the plants in front of Paul’s mom, I feel irritated from her standing here, and I’m surprised that I’m irritated. In waking life, last night I was surprised to feel irritated at Paul when he came to bed.

PMID Step 5: Explore your dream for possible solutions to problems, including changing (or affirming) your thoughts, attitudes, or behaviors. Consider your responses to each PMID model step, including Step 6, as you search for solutions and suggestions in this dream. Give primary attention to the power of your thoughts before your dream (PMID Step 2) to act as questions that your dream answers.

Pull the negative thoughts about Paul’s mother out of my mind right now, just like Paul’s mom did with her mending. She did it right away.

PMID Step 6: Explore your dream for family and other relationship systems perspectives, which are influences arising from reactions to family and other major relationships, both past and current. Use these perspectives to discover whether this dream reflects your reactions during experiences with family members or other important people in your life. Compare and comment on your dreaming and your waking-life reactions to the primary relationships in this dream. (If this dream is not about a relationship, type the words “Not Applicable” in this space.)

The primary relationship, I guess, is my mother-in-law. In the dream, I stop pulling weeds when she watches me. In waking life, when I was afraid of what she would say, I usually tried to keep from letting her know what I was doing. On how I treated Paul when I felt irritated at him the night before this dream, I didn’t write that down and I don’t remember now what I did. But when I react to Paul as a result of something that happened between his mom and me (as I believe my dream shows) that is way, way off-base, and very unfair to Paul! When I am able to pull negative thoughts from my mind (weeds from the flower bed) about Paul’s mother, then I’ll be far more apt to react to Paul based on our relationship, instead of partially based on my unresolved reactions to my mother-in-law.

Incidentally, later the dreamer reported that she had additional dreams about her mother–in-law. In the last dream she shared for this book, her mother-in-law’s name was changed from her given name to Eunice. The dreamer reported,

Eunice means “Gloriously victorious.” My dream shows that I have become “gloriously victorious” in overcoming negative thoughts and emotions about Paul’s mom. Paul is in that dream, also. The night before the dream, while sitting beside Paul I looked at him and thought, “I wonder how he looks and seems to others.” I wondered if they see him differently than the very solid, intelligent, and wise upper level person that I see. A capsule of that dream is presented in chapter 7, Table 8, titled “Examples of Emotions in Dreams Compared with and Waking Life Emotions (Step 4).”

From the Introduction to Section I, Preliminaries of Dream Interpretation

Research shows that all people dream, so it is obvious that all reports of recalled dreams must originate from the dreamer. What is the dreamer to learn from his or her personal communication that is the dream? Let us begin by learning what dreams are.

Dreams are nighttime counselors. Although this definition fits with the context of this book, the idea of dreams as nighttime counselors may seem strange to people who have yet to use their dreams for problem solving. A straightforward definition of dream is “a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep” ( Merriam-Webster’s OnLine ).

Dreams that reflect problem solving and connect to our reactions to experiences with people in our lives are relationship dreams. Relationship dreams are the focus of this book. A great percentage of the images, thoughts, and emotions that pass through our minds while we are sleeping are about the people we have talked with, listened to, or thought about during the day before we go to sleep and dream. Those dreams may be about our reactions, both pleasant and unpleasant, to people from our past. Counselors find that a large percentage of people who come to us come for help in alleviating the stress from their reactions to major relation- ships in their lives.

From the Introduction to Chapter 1, Historical and Cultural Uses of Dreams

The dream is a major self-discovery resource for everyone, everywhere, in whatever culture. Further, dream scenarios are exclusive to the individual dreamer. Moreover, dream contents reach beyond cognitive awareness. Cognitive behavior therapies concentrate on events, thoughts, and emotions. Dreams connect to events, thoughts, and emotions. The strengths of cognitive behavior therapies and the strengths of the facilitation of clients’ dream interpretations can be combined.

Summary of Chapter 2, Preliminaries to Working With Dreams

The purpose of this chapter, which presents elementary instructions for working with dreams, is to ensure that all readers are prepared for the work of this book. Topics covered are the dreaming of children, adolescents, and adults. The best help a parent can give his or her child is to be present when the child awakens from dreams and to patiently listen to the child, to value the child’s dreams, and to become aware of the child’s reactions and feelings and any waking-life activities that may have prompted the dreams. Sharing dreams with parents, teachers, and counselors may be the only way (or only one of a few ways) an adolescent can find relief from the stress of teenage transitions. Adults can learn to recall and record their dreams as they embark on a course of dream interpretation. The chapter concludes with anecdotes that tell how clients’ and counselors’ dreams can be helpful to the counselors’ work with clients.

From the Introduction to Section II Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID)

In a few years, after you have interpreted many of your dreams, who will you be then?
Tonight, after you have interpreted this morning’s dream, who will you be then?

Not only has my own use of the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) model helped me far beyond my greatest expectations, but also, as shown throughout this book, when others have used the PMID model, it has benefited them beyond their expectations. In addition to using the model to alleviate stress arising from relationship issues, we use it to find guidance in most circumstances of our waking lives.

Will the PMID model work for you? Will it work for each person who comes to you for counseling? Only you and your clients as individuals can answer that question. To expand your horizons on the value of dream guidance, I summarize several other dream models (Section 1) and explain and demonstrate two other dream interpretation models (Section 3).

A unique feature of the PMID model is its attention to influences arising from reactions to family and other major relationships in relationship experiences. The systems approach to dream interpretation considers influences, both past and current, arising from our reactions to other people. That is, each member of a family (or other major group) affects and is affected by others to the extent it makes no sense to attempt to understand the individual in isolation. With the PMID model, the dreamer, either facilitated by a counselor or working alone, studies his or her dreams about major relationships instead of meeting with others in the system of relationships to discuss concerns.

Another unique feature in the PMID model is that the dreamer himself or herself selects major phrases from the dream and defines them in the context of the dream. The general definition for phrases as used here is “a string of words.” Strings of words can be phrases, clauses, or whole sentences. The dreamer’s ability to define dream phrases from personal experiences is a significant key to finding meanings in the dream. A combination of intuitive insights and logical reasoning is often needed to develop these meanings.

Each step in the PMID model builds on previous steps. That is, ability to do each step blends with performing the succeeding steps.

From Chapter 3, Overview of the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams by Kimberly Tuescher, Brenda O’Beirne, and Evelyn Duesbury

This chapter serves two purposes:
1. It is an overview of the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) for practicing counselors who use this book for learning how to facilitate clients’ interpretation of their dreams.
2. It is a one-class period, 3-hour presentation to introduce the PMID model to students in graduate-level counselor education courses that are other than dream interpretation courses.

From the Introduction to Chapter 4, Daytime Events Reproduced in the Nighttime Theater of Dreams

What happened yesterday or last night anywhere in the world is headlined in the morning newspapers. What happened yesterday or last evening to the individual is often headlined in morning dream recall, depending on its significance to the dreamer. A newspaper headline states the theme of the article below it. Themes can also be identified for dreams.

Why is it important to identify the theme of a dream? This is true for the same reason it is helpful to read newspaper headlines—to find out what the dream is about. Determining the theme is the purpose of the first step in the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) model.
The counselor needs to learn how to use the PMID model with his or her own dreams before he or she is ready to facilitate clients’ use of the model.

From the Introduction to Chapter 5, Daytime Thoughts: Questions that Nighttime Dreams Answer

Thoughts are powerful antecedents to our dreams. They frequently serve as questions that the dream answers in some way. In the Chapter 4, we saw that our ability to connect pre-dream (often day-before-our-dream) events to the dream can reveal the theme of a dream. In this chapter, we can use Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) Step 2 to learn if a dream responds to any of our day-before-our-dream thoughts.

Caution: Be aware that events and thoughts are not the same thing. Address them separately when you begin to interpret your dream. When participants in our research and exploration projects recorded and considered events and thoughts separately, they often succeeded in finding the best personal meanings in their dreams.

Events are, however, few in comparison to the multitude of thoughts we think every day. Can you really determine which of your random thoughts connect to your current dream? Yes, you can, and your success will amaze you. But, be aware that this work takes dedication. A major reason it takes dedication is that dreams are more often symbolic or metaphoric than literal.

From the Introduction to Chapter 6, Dream Phrases: Products of the Amazing Creative of the Dreaming Mind

The ability to develop personalized meanings for dream phrases can enable people to find joy in dream guidance, perhaps for the first time in their lives. The Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) Step 3, which is defining a string of words, is unique to interpreting dreams. The technique is straightforward. Select major groups of words from your recorded dream narrative and define them in the context of the current dream. Selecting dream phrases is an evaluation made by the dreamer regarding which dream phrases are the most personally meaningful. The dreamer’s spontaneous feelings are the best gauges for knowing the relative accuracy of meanings he or she has developed.

Although the technique is straightforward, our ability to become at ease with developing personal definitions takes dedication and time. Dreams often include images and use figurative language; further, there are no boundaries between the dreamer’s past and current experiences. The incorporation of the dreamer’s experiences in the dream confirms that each dreamer has a uniquely personal dreaming language. When the dreamer becomes acquainted with his or her own dreaming language, meanings will become accessible. Dedication to discovering one’s individual dream language will result in rich rewards of discovering dream guidance.

From the Introduction to Chapter 7, Emotions in Dreams: Intrinsially Honest

The dreaming mind exaggerates. A major area of dreaming exaggeration is emotions. Emotions in dreams are, however, intrinsically honest, even while being exaggerated. This honesty is noteworthy because it means that dreams can tell us when our waking-life appraisals of emotions are inaccurate. Consider how helpful the emotional content in a client’s dreams can be in the counseling process. Besides assessing accuracy, comparisons over time about a particular issue or relationship help trace a client’s progress in alleviating stress.

From the Introduction to Chapter 8, Solutions and Suggestions in Dreams: Answers to the Dreamer’s Waking-Life Issues

A major outcome assessment in family counseling and cognitive behavior therapies is problem solving. A major outcome from the use of the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) model is the dreamer’s ability to discover problem-solving suggestions.

This method (the PMID model)] is especially helpful in identifying, clarifying, and resolving relationship problems. During our waking hours, we often feel frustrated that our rational attempts to solve life challenges are unsuccessful. It is then that our dreams often provide innovative and unexpected answers (S. Krippner, personal communication, March 2, 2001).

Unexpected answers found in dreams are often couched in symbolic language. The dreamer needs to interpret this symbolic language to understand the answers.  . . . The counselor-facilitator encourages the dreamer to put together all the responses from the other PMID steps (including Step 6) and study the results before deciding which answers, solutions, and suggestions are embedded in the dream.

Note that Steps 1 through 5 are useful for interpreting most kinds of dreams, including dreams about work, education, health, and the spiritual realm.

From the Introduction to Chapter 9, Interpretation of Dreams From Family and Other Relationship Systems Perspectives: Further Clues to Relieving Stress

The Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) model uses family and other relationship systems perspectives to interpret dreams. The family systems perspective as it relates to counseling is defined as influences arising from reactions to family and other major relationships, past and current. As used in PMID Step 6, the term family and other relationship systems perspectives means dreamers study their dreams about influences arising from reactions to family and other major relationships, past and current, to discover whether their reactions in the dream connect to past circumstances or whether their reactions originate from present circumstances only.

Allen (1994) developed the family systems approach to individual psychotherapy (currently renamed unified therapy), which is based on Bowen theory (1978). As the original name implies, Allen’s approach is the integration of individual counseling techniques with family counseling techniques to resolve family problems. With Allen’s approach, the therapist usually meets with only one family member. Changes in one person’s reactions compel other family members to act differently because the system has changed.

With the PMID model, the dreamer, counselor facilitated or alone, studies his or her dreams about family and other major relationships instead of meeting with others in the system of relationships to discuss concerns. This feature avoids blaming. It is not a matter of who is at fault; it is a matter of changing the person the dreamer can most easily change—the dreamer. Dreams guide the process of change. When the individual can change his or her thoughts, attitudes (emotions), or behaviors, the system of relationships must adjust to accommodate that one person’s change (Bowen, 1978; Kerr & Bowen, 1988).

From the Introduction to Chapter 10, Dreams Build on Each Other: The Individual’s Series Approach to Interpreting Dreams

Using the “individual’s series approach to interpreting dreams,” the dreamer learns about his or her reactions to one or more relationships or issues by studying a series of dreams about each relationship or issue.

In this chapter, Gloria and her counselor will more deeply examine the concept of studying a series of dreams. In the process, they will look for answers to two questions that came up during the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) work with Gloria’s “When Did I Lose Control?” dream: (1) Do Gloria’s other dreams contain suggestions for how Gloria can more easily achieve the solution she found in her “When Did I Lose Control?” dream, and (2) does Gloria have dreams that support the results of her quantitative personality tests?

From the Introduction to Chapter 11, Review Dreams for New Insights: It May Be Time to Move Onward

Serious dream workers repeatedly review their significant dreams and associated interpretations until the specific messages of the dreams are clear—or until they reach an impasse on one dream and go on to the next. Revisiting dreams and reviewing earlier interpretations to refresh former meanings, discover new insights, and review for misinterpretations are critical to our best use of our dreams. All dreamers who contributed their dreams and interpretations to this book had reviewed their interpretations at least once before offering them to me.

When people neglect to revisit their dreams and interpretations, at least the major ones, it seems analogous to counselors keeping running records of their work with clients and then never referring to those records again. Reviewing past dreams and interpretations for new insights reduces the need for the dreaming mind to repeat a message in future dreams. Repetitions of messages are marvelous, though, when the dreamer needs them. One instance of need for a repeated message is when the dreamer misinterprets the original message. Dreams provide light on other dreams. Be alert for later dreams that reveal your misinterpretations.

From Chapter 12, Delivery Modes for Facilitating Dream Interpretation: How They Accommodate Short-Term Counseling

Distance Counseling and the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams Model

The Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) defines distance counseling: “Distance Counseling . . . may include . . . stand-alone software programs.”

ACA Code of Ethics Standard H: governs distance counseling.

Our research and exploration projects have all been via a privately owned stand-alone Website.

Face-to-Face Counseling and the PMID Model
Although all the benefits of using the PMID model presented in this book are applicable to face-to-face counseling, there are unique differences in application between face-to-face counseling and distance counseling when using the PMID model.  . . .  typically 50-minute sessions. [A] time gap can be created for face-to-face settings . . . the client can record his or her dreams and develop at least some meanings between counseling sessions. Use of what a client writes between sessions thus yields many of the same benefits as distance counseling.

From the Introduction to Section III, Two Breakthrough Dream Interpretation Models of the Later 20th Century

My invitations to Ullman and Cartwright and Lamberg came from a dream. In fact, this whole book was inspired by a dream. One night, I commented to a colleague, “When I finish updating my dream interpretation course book [an unpublished series of lessons on my Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) model that I wrote for a university course I taught], I am going to devote my time to my own dreams.” That very night my accounting advisor (who once told me, “I did all these various jobs to get to where I am now”) came to me in a dream. “The university is going to put in completely new systems, computer systems,” he told me, “and you are one targeted to be the administrator.”

In retrospect, I believe what my advisor meant in that dream was to completely rewrite my course book with its emphasis on the systems approach of the PMID to dream interpretation. However, when I first interpreted that dream, I thought that the word systems meant several dream interpretation models. Thus, I invited other contemporary dream interpretation model developers to present their models in the “completely new book.”

After Montague Ullman and Rosalind Cartwright, with her coauthor Lynne Lamberg, had signed their consents, I had another dream that showed my willingness to move to another house (to present other people’s models). Yet, I really wanted to stay in the house I love. In waking-life, my husband and I live in a house that I love; in dream symbolism, I understood the new dream to say, “Stay with the PMID model as the primary focus in the book. That is the house you love and the model you know best how to teach.”

Notice that my dreaming mind waited to present this second dream until after Ullman, Cartwright, and Lamberg had signed consents to present chapters in this book. It is my great honor to include their volunteered, formerly published writings.

From the Introduction to Chapter 13, Group Approach by Montague Ullman

Montague Ullman (1916 to June 07, 2008), clinical professor emeritus, was “in the forefront of the movement to stimulate public interest in dreams and to encourage the development of dream sharing groups. Working with a small group process that he felt was both safe and effective he has spent ... three decades leading such groups both here and abroad, especially in Sweden.” (Siivola, par. 3, retrieved, February 1, 2010). Ullman’s literature and research support of elements contained in the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) model are referenced in other chapters of the current book. Except for this introduction and the self-study quiz, this chapter is a quotation from an article written by Ullman and published in 2001.

From the Introduction to Chapter 14, Cartwright’s Risc Mode, by Rosalind Cartwright and Lynne Lamberg

Rosalind Cartwright is a professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where she opened the first Sleep Disorder Service in the Midwest in 1978. She has been conducting studies of dreaming for over 45 years and has published four books: Night Life (1977), A Primer on Sleep and Dreams (1978), The Twenty-four Hour Mind (2010), and with Lynne Lamberg, Crises Dreaming (1992/2000). Cartwright was given the Distinguished Scientist award by the Sleep Research Society in 2004. (Cartwright’s literature and research support of elements contained in the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams [PMID] model are referenced in other chapters of the current book.) Lynne Lamberg is an award-winning medical journalist who specializes in mental health. She is the author or coauthor of six books, including The Body Clock Guide to Better Health (2001) with Smolensky.

From the Introduction to Section IV, Conclusions

The primary aim of The Counselor’s Guide for Facilitating the Interpretation of Dreams: Family and Other Relationship Systems Perspectives is to fill a gap that exists between current academic training for American Counseling Association (ACA) practitioners and the practitioners’ needs for focused training on how to better facilitate their clients’ dream interpretations.

The main theme concerns dreams about relationships, primarily dreams about family members and other major figures in the dreamer’s life with whom the dreamer interacts and reacts.

The primary objectives of the book are thus to explain and demonstrate ways for counselors to assist clients who want to understand and interpret their dreams. The featured dream interpretation model, the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID), integrates well with contemporary psychotherapies, especially cognitive behavior therapies.

This final section contains a chapter [Chapter 15] that highlights the main teachings presented to meet the aim, theme, and primary objectives of this book.

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Dreams Guide Professional Writing: Textbook and Writer's Handbook

by Evelyn M. Duesbury, NCC, DCC, LPC

Bronze Medal Winner 2016 Global Ebook AwardsBronze Medal Winner
2016 Global Ebook Awards!

 

 

Buy it at Amazon Kindle Edition

Chapter 9 Summary of the Lessons Presented in This Book

“In a few years, after you have interpreted many of your dreams, who will you be then? Tonight, after you have interpreted this morning’s dream, who will you be then?”

(Duesbury, 2010. p. 35)

The primary purpose of Dreams Guide Professional Writing: Textbook and Writer’s Handbook is to encourage professional writers to use their nighttime dreams to guide their writings. First, study this book and then practice, practice, practice with a trustworthy model before attempting to use your dreams to guide your writings.

Primary teachings in this book about how to use guiding dreams to direct professional writings are:

Pay attention to grammar; poor grammar overshadows good content. For understanding your writer’s guiding dreams, write the dream down, patiently tie pre-dream events and thoughts to your dream, develop meanings from those connections and from earlier personal experiences, look to more than one dream for significant decisions, and listen for intuitive insights. Resist rushing to use the first meanings you develop. For major dreams, review your original meanings weeks, months, and even years after you first interpret the dream. Review major dreams for whether the original interpretations are accurate.

To write well, realize that listening for intuitive insights is similar to listening to spontaneous music and similar to a computer that automatically starts, go into the same kind of calmness as when becoming very at ease with no rush or pressure during meditations, take breaks from intensive mental concentration to listen for creative insights, resist pushing just to complete the final edits, and, stay relaxed and jolly, however busy you are.

It can take days, weeks, months and years to understand pivotal guiding dreams completely as demonstrated by the dream “Targeted to Write a Universal Systems Book.” Continued diligent work and review eventually brought correcting dreams and the publication of The Counselor’s Guide for Facilitating the Interpretation of Dreams: Family and Other Relationship Systems Perspectives (Duesbury, Routledge, 2010).

Expect guiding dreams, notice them, and dreams will come more predominantly. Book topics vary according to the writer-dreamer’s waking-life experiences. Responses to pre-dream thought-questions come in various symbolized scenarios; one scenario is earlier life events that connect to current circumstances. Quite often the dreamer can define most phrases, (“phrases” as used in this step is “a string of words.” The strings of words can be phrases, clauses, or whole sentences) by connecting the strings of words to day-before-the-dream events, day-before-the-dream thoughts, and earlier experiences.

Dreams guide manuscript arrangement, chapter revisions and updates, book title, highlights, markets, number of words, technical term explanations, reference list omissions and corrections, plus book cover designs and inscriptions. Dreams often focus on what needs to be changed instead of focusing on what is fine as it is.

Symbolic scenarios -- though at times are difficult to understand -- help writers make editing decisions, including book cover design and inscription. Unhurried work on major edits contributes to enjoying the process.

Dreams about relationships and unrelieved psychological stressors can provide material for book manuscripts (Roderick Mackenzie). Dreams can suggest writing a book about the writer-dreamer’s waking life profession (Janice Baylis). And dreams can be sources of a writer’s to-do list (Ann Hollier).

Precognitive dreams may be so surprising that the dreamer-writer understands them only after the event has occurred. Precognitive dreams do help writers recognize events when they occur. Dreams can foretell books to be written. For instance, two 2007 dreams foretold the birth of this current book, Dreams Guide Professional Writing: Textbook and Writer’s Handbook. Then in 2012 while I was putting this book together, a dream came that I believe reflects my love for writing the book, and suggests a future use as a resource for college creative writing programs.

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Living Dreams, Living Life: A Practical Guide to Understanding Your Dreams and How They Can Change Your Waking Life

by Evelyn M. Duesbury, NCC, DCC, LPC

Buy it at Amazon Today! or at Barnes & Noble, or at Trafford., or at Kindle.

Primary Market: The general population

Book Reviews for Living Dreams, Living Life:

In The Family Journal, Vol. 17, Number 1, January 2009
Permission by Sage Publications given to book author E. Duesbury to post this review

Living Dreams, Living Life: A Practical Guide to Understanding Your Dreams and How They Can Change Your Waking-Life (2007). Evelyn M. Duesbury (Ed.), St. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 188 pp., US$19.95. Reviewed by Laura Bruneau.

Many counselors have been asked the following question from clients: "What do you think my dream means?" Typically, counselors have limited knowledge about the complex and mysterious process of dream analysis. Clients usually know even less about it than we do! Yet, are we missing something powerful in our conversations with clients by not talking about their dreams? Is there something we can learn from our dreams that can help us with our daily lives? In the book, Living Dreams, Living life, author Evelyn Duesbury argues that we can "use our literal dreams to rediscover our figurative dreams" (p. 1).

This book provides a practical and personal approach to dream interpretation. Through a six-step process, personalized method for interpreting dreams (PMID), readers learn how to interpret their dreams and how to use this information to gain insight about issues in their daily lives. The main section of the book describes the following steps in detail: (a) recording the events that occurred before the dream (typically the day before) that were also present in the dream, (b) recording the thoughts that occurred before the dream and connecting these thoughts to the dream, (c) selecting all major dream phrases in the dream and writing personal definitions for each within the context of the dream, (d) comparing the dreaming emotions to waking-life emotions and noting the differences, (e) exploring the dream for possible solutions or suggestions, and (f) considering who is in the dream and comparing dreaming and waking-life reactions to each person in the dream.

Readers are taught how to recall their dreams, how to link events in their waking lives to their dreams, how to tie in thoughts and emotions into their dream interpretations, and how to discover patterns in relationships through their dreaming. Most importantly, readers can use the insight gained from their dream interpretations to find solutions in their lives. Each of the steps in the PMID process is applied to a real-life dream entitled, Dad and the Inventory. Through reading the dreamer's (Alice) interpretations, readers learn how to apply the PMID process to one specific dream. What is most interesting is how the dream can only be fully understood by the dreamer; the dream interpretation needs to take into account the context of the dreamer's life.
Subsequent chapters provide examples of dream interpretations when working with series of dreams. Often, dream series can be about specific relationships, such as parents, grandparents, and children. The author concludes the book with information about interpreting same night dreams, lucid dreams, spiritual dreams, everyday dreams, and nightmares.

This book is easy to read and can be read fairly quickly. The author provides many helpful hints, such as how to improve dream recall and dream recording. For example, readers are encouraged to keep a journal and learn how to record their dreams so they can easily apply the PMID method. Living Dreams, Living Life is also useful for counselors who want to learn more about dream interpretation. This book may be particularly useful for short-term therapy approaches as clients can read the book between sessions and complete the PMID as homework. The author emphasizes the process of dream interpretations as being very individualized for the dreamer. Readers can independently learn their own dream language through dedicated practice, and counselors can help facilitate this process.

The reviewer's overall impression of Living Dreams, Living Life was positive. On a personal note, as I was reading this book, I started to remember more of my literal dreams and began to think about these in more depth. I found myself applying these steps in my mind throughout the day as I reflected on my dreams. I began to think more carefully about what my unconscious might be trying to tell me about my life and my relationships. Living Dreams, Living Life is a useful tool for someone who wants to learn more about the power of their dreams and how dream messages can impact their waking lives.

Review from Dream Network Journal:

Evelyn Duesbury's Living Dreams ~ Living Life is among the most user-friendly guides written to help us learn to better understand the meaning of our dreams. In reading the book, I am most impressed by Ms. Duesbury's way of communicating her knowledge; she speaks directly to us--average individuals--in a humble, yet deeply informed way. She is speaking directly, one-on-one and does not assume the posture of a lecturer or know-it-all.

Through years of vigorous and committed research, Ms. Duesbury has developed a method she calls the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID).
PMID suggests a six-step process for dreamwork:

  1. What's Happening in Your Life?
  2. What's on Your Mind?
  3. What's the Connection?
  4. What Did You Feel?
  5. What should you do?
  6. Who's in Your dream?

The method focuses primarily on our individualized, personal dreams... those which constitute the majority of our dreams.

Citing dozens of dreams, including her own, Ms. Duesbury demonstrates how working with this method has assisted many in gaining insight, healing and growth. Emphasis is placed on using this process with a current dream, preferably in light of a review of dreams recalled/recorded over several months, if not years.

The examples shared are offered in categories important in all of our lives, such as Dreams about Parents, Children, Grandparents, Psi dreams, Nightmares and more.

In the Appendices, Ms. Duesbury provides information about the research that went into developing the PMID process, the website where one can engage the PMID process online, suggested exercises that can be applied using PMID and overviews an historical perspective on the evolution of dream appreciation, acknowledging those who have contributed valuable dream interpretation models, e.g., Jung, Ullman, Gestalt, et. al.

This book is highly recommendable for anyone wishing to apply a well grounded and effective process that yields results.

Roberta Ossana
Publisher/Editor Dream Network Journal

About the Book

Living Dreams, Living Life presents the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID), a researched model for finding answers to most waking life matters including relationships, work, health and the spiritual. ?

In a fun, conversational style, readers learn easy new ways to discover how their dreams are giving them the guidance they need. Living Dreams, Living Life is particularly appropriate for individuals in the general population because it has its roots in practical and direct experiences.

We believe readers will find Living Dreams, Living Life as refreshing as Stanley Krippner, co-author of Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work with Them, does.

Living Dreams, Living Life is a breath of fresh air to readers interested in working with their dreams. Its author presents a practical method for sifting through the layers of metaphors and symbols to arrive at a dream's surprisingly direct counsel on solving problems, improving relationships, and enhancing creative spiritual growth.

Most people go through life's difficult periods without professional help. Admittedly, there are many self-help dreamwork offerings. Yet, there are few, if any, researched models that facilitate an individual's work with the system of relationships in the person's life. The model presented in Living Dreams, Living Life, the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID), is a researched model that includes a systems approach to interpreting dreams.

The systems approach to interpreting dreams, innovative with the PMID model, can be used by the individual dreamer or facilitated by a counselor. Living Dreams, Living Life not only focuses on relationship type dreams, but also shows how to use the PMID model for many types of dreams including dreams about work, recreation, career, education, health, and the spiritual.

Because dreaming is common, dreamwork is one of the most universally accessible self-help techniques available.


Excerpts

Introduction to Living Dreams, Living Life

How should you live your life?

How do you want to live your life?

These questions are very different and far from rhetorical. In fact, confusion about these questions has reached a crisis point in America and much of the westernized world.

As we have become more modern and prosperous as a culture, we have increasingly lost our way as individual people. Reports of depression rates and sales of pharmaceuticals to relieve our pain are at record levels.

More specifically, we wonder how we can live more fully and experience more happiness, fulfillment and contentment in our lives. In short, we want to know how to live our dreams.

It’s a question all people ask themselves throughout their lives. And not only are the answers sometimes frustratingly difficult to find, they also keep changing.

What works for us as children is obviously different as we reach young adulthood. Even after marriage, family, career and other life “milestones” of being an adult have been achieved, the question keeps coming back and the answer keeps changing.

We are all clearly asking questions, but precious few are finding answers. This results in unnecessary frustration and sadness and, in some cases, a seemingly permanent sense of failure and emptiness.

We have literally and figuratively forgotten our dreams and, in the process, lost touch with our lives and ourselves.

But our literal dreams can provide the single most useful and effective way to rediscover our figurative dreams, the lives we truly want to live and the people we truly want to be.

Before we get into how dream interpretation can provide an unparalleled method to living our lives to the fullest, it’s important first to take a couple of steps back and understand exactly what the problem is, how and why we arrived at this point, and in what ways the basic question of “why dreams” can be the key to resolving these issues.

To truly live our lives to the fullest it’s important first to understand the basic problem that leads to our disappointment, frustration and general confusion in our lives.

Whose life are you living?

Are you living the life you think you should be living, or are you fully living your life in the way that you want to live it?

It’s a deceptively tricky question that has been at the core of spiritual, philosophical, psychological and dream study for centuries. In more modern times, it remains the basic question that therapists had worked to help their patients answer even before the days of Freud and Jung.

The question of personal happiness and life satisfaction often comes down to resolving a basic gap between what we experience in our conscious minds (all the shoulds of our waking minds) and what lives and swims in our unconscious minds (our true beliefs and uncensored desires).

Successfully navigating and integrating these two realms gives you a strong sense of purpose, joy, self-satisfaction and contentment. The greater the connection between your conscious and unconscious, the greater will be your positive experience of yourself and your life.

Failure to balance these elements successfully leads to feelings of frustration, confusion, anger, depression and a general sense of feeling stuck or possibly adrift with no strong direction or purpose in life. The greater disconnect between the two, the more pronounced these feelings become.

Some people may also experience flip-flops between sometimes living primarily in their own little fantasy worlds to other times being immersed entirely in the real world with little or no experience of their own emotions. In extreme cases, an individual can lose touch with this “reality” and, in the process, miss the greater reality altogether.

The question of “whose life are you living?” is deceptively tricky because it’s often easy really not to know. Sometimes it’s hard to know just what we do want in our lives, let alone figure out how to achieve it.

How can it be so difficult just to know what kind of life we really want?

This begs the question of where all this confusion came from in the first place. If the key is simply keeping our conscious and unconscious minds connected, then how and why did we ever stop doing it?

You against the world

Albeit somewhat overstated, the fact remains that from your first breath your life has hinged on the struggle between your needs and desires and those of the people, organizations, and culture that surround you.

This is not to say that every moment of your life is a hard fought struggle for survival. Our own personal experience shows this not to be true at all. However, it is a personal struggle that you face daily in which your defeat can ultimately lead to a loss of your self.

The reason for this struggle is obvious and necessary. We can’t all run around rampantly and selfishly satisfying our own needs and desires whenever and however we please. We can’t just beat up somebody on the street who annoys us any more than we can just start having sex with anybody whom we find attractive, no matter how strong or how aware we are of our deeper desires.

And as we examine our development from infant to adulthood we can see how we’ve slowly learned to inhibit ourselves in order to assimilate and function in an ever-broadening world both to our own personal benefit and detriment.

As infants our whole life (and most everyone else’s around us) centered on our personal satisfaction. From our perspective, the whole universe revolved around our need for food, sleep, and, even when we pooped.

As we grew, we learned that we must restrict ourselves in order to fit into systems beyond our physical self, the first of which was our own family. We learned delayed gratification -- that even if we were hungry, we had to wait until mealtime. We learned to control ourselves physically through the significant step of toilet training. We learned that we could not make whatever sounds we wanted whenever and wherever we wanted.

As we matured further, we continued to learn to restrict ourselves to fit into larger and more complex systems. We adapted to schedules, classrooms and other sets of rules as we entered school. We also learned to do more things (such as homework or helping around the house) based on requests or expectations of others, primarily those in authority.

Our own needs also became much more elaborate and more difficult to satisfy. We found that just wanting to play a game wasn’t enough if our skills weren’t good enough to be picked for a team or play the position we wanted. We discovered that some people didn’t like us and others could be downright mean and purposely hurtful.

Still further, as we reached our teens we began our struggle for independence and self-discovery in earnest, while at the same time the pressures for conformity and acceptance sometimes became all encompassing.

Even the most average of academic students become well-versed students in the school of life, continually being educated and reinforced by waves of mass media, advertising, rock stars, movies, famous athletes, and the celebration and imitation of these by their peers (especially the cool ones).

The deep fears of being labeled “uncool,” no matter how contrived or inane the definition or demands, could often lead to extreme behaviors based solely on external expectations. In other cases, some teens rebel, purposely seeking adamantly not to fit, but always with keen awareness of a rebellion against the status quo.

By graduation from high school, most folks achieve an advanced degree in the knowledge of “normal” and the related expectations as taught by parents, authority figures and society-at-large. In short, many people discover they have defined themselves almost entirely by external criteria and values.

Yet, they had barely begun their own discovery of self or sense of personal values and criteria, long ago burying the narcissistic inner child deep inside and out of sight from public ridicule. People have precious few years’ experience or knowledge of adult emotions or sexuality, with only a confused grasp of mature love based on moments of thumping hearts and back seat gropings. High school graduates had yet even to make a first real step out into the world on their own.

This is not to say the culturalization and some level of assimilation are wrong and not necessary both for society as a whole and for an individual’s well-being. The very ability to develop and maintain mature relationships hinges on these learned skills.

The point of this brief review of human development is to help us realize that people -- all of us were educated much earlier and more intensely in the shoulds of our lives than about our own selves. The discovery of choosing how we want to live for our own satisfaction and fulfillment in a healthy balance with these other social and cultural needs is, indeed, the dance of a happy life.

This makes clear why the question of “Whose life are you living?” can be so difficult. We have been encouraged at times to over emphasize the external and the conscious self to the great harm and loss of our internal selves. Even when we recognize that we may be living our lives for others, it still doesn’t help us answer what kind of life we really want to live.

Finding your answers for your life

Given our understanding of how and why we face the confusion we do, it’s now more obvious than ever why it’s so critical to pay attention to the bias and agenda of any resource we turn to for answers.

And, the fact is, with the exception of highly skilled counselors, any person, organization or resource you find will bring some level of self-serving bias or agenda.

Some are very obvious, such as TV shows that seek higher ratings and, in turn, higher advertising dollars. This is true for all media. Their priority is drawing the greatest numbers of viewers, readers or listeners with information that creates the broadest appeal for the greatest number of people, not in providing the most balanced, factual advice.

We are all very aware of this, yet we pick up the latest fashion magazine to get advice for the best diets. We fully understand that the snippets we see of celebrities’ lives don’t offer a full or at all real picture, yet we feel that we’ve somehow fallen short in our lives because we don’t measure up to them. It’s obvious to all of us that a TV personality has no specific knowledge of our own personal problems or even that we exist to them, yet the person’s fame and mass appeal leads us to expect that they really must know what they’re talking about, so we’d better pay attention.

Advertising is especially insidious in this regard because of its constant attempts to create a personal connection with potential buyers. Tremendous amounts of demographic and psychodynamic research go into creating a sense of need that can best be satisfied by purchasing a product or service.

Again, we are all very aware of this, yet the sheer volume of messages convinces us that maybe we really aren’t up to par in various ways.

A loving Christian church no matter how inclusive and open-minded is unlikely to tell you to leave the flock and become a Buddhist. A spouse in love with you can hardly be expected to tell you that leaving the relationship is the healthiest path for you. A friend may encourage you not to pursue an out-of-state job opportunity because it could lead to the loss of your relationship.

This is not to say that there is anything necessarily insidious about these agendas. Many times those closest to us aren’t fully aware of their own biases and may give us self-serving advice even with the best intentions and desires to care for our welfare.

Even counselors bring their own biases, but the key difference here is that they are trained in the recognition of transference and counter transference dynamics. Thus, they are aware of this process and, thereby, constantly strive to be on guard against putting their personal feelings before a patient’s. This is a constant struggle for even the best-trained counselors.

Even so, the pure objective of therapy or counseling is to help the client reconnect with his or her own true feelings, desires, wants and needs. The role of the counselor is to provide unbiased support and guidance to help facilitate the client’s self-discovery and self-understanding.

Contrary to some beliefs, good counselors do not tell you what to do or how you should feel. One most ironic thing about counseling is that whereas most clients come in wanting to be told the answers to their life problems, they often already have the answers they’re looking for buried deep inside themselves.

The second key role for therapy is helping clients integrate this self-knowledge and understanding into their everyday lives. Obviously, it does no good just to realize that you have a drinking problem if you’re going to keep going out drinking every night. A counselor can help you discover ways (many times very obvious) that you can change, manage or even discontinue this behavior based on whatever is healthiest for you.

Note that unbiased and non-judgmental discussions are paramount. The more trusting and open the relationship between client and counselor, the more successful the work. And, short of criminal behavior or actions that could result in severe physical harm to yourself or others, a good counselor avoids determining good or bad behaviors for you. Those are subjective terms that can only be defined by the clients based on their own personal emotions and perspectives.

In essence helping you find your answers to your life is the whole basis and practice of good counseling and psychotherapy. It is, therefore, no surprise that it is also the whole basis and practice of dream interpretation.

Living Your Dreams

The answer to our question earlier of “why dreams” should now be clear. The study and understanding of your dreams provides you with the ability to reconnect with your deeper self -- your all-important unconscious -- to rediscover your deepest personal emotions and desires for yourself and your life.

Dreams do much more than provide insights into your deepest feelings. Knowing these feelings is just the first step. As we’ve discussed, the real key is to reconnect your unconscious emotions with your waking life.

The final piece of this puzzle, and the greatest value of what we’ll teach you about working with your dreams, is that dreams provide tremendous insights about your waking life actions and suggestions for what you can do to realize your dreams, literally and figuratively.

What’s more, this is not something that necessarily requires months or years of training and practice.

In fact, the Personalized Method for Interpreting Dreams (PMID) we will explain in the following pages was created specifically to provide anyone -- even those with little or no dreamwork experience -- with the greatest understanding of their dreams as quickly as possible.

We are continually amazed how often even the most inexperienced of people almost immediately make startling connections and discoveries that have profound impact on their lives by simply using the techniques explained in the following pages. The following story is just one example.

Carol’s Story: Opening up to the world

(We note upfront that Carol’s only experience in dreamwork was a general understanding of the PMID process gained through various casual discussions with us. She had received no formal training, nor had even discussed the PMID process at any great length with us.)

Carol, a business associate of ours, is an attractive 42-year-old woman who was reared in a somewhat conservative and traditional Christian household. She and her husband have been happily married for 15 years, with no kids, and both are owners of successful businesses. They enjoy spending time sailing on their boat and traveling to far-flung destinations on SCUBA diving trips, a passion of theirs for years.

Somewhat shy and reserved at first meeting, Carol is very intelligent and self-assured, quite witty, and enjoys the company of a wide variety of close friends.

By all standards and appearances, Carol has a very wonderful life, an assessment with which she readily agrees.

Carol had also occasionally mentioned that she was feeling somewhat confused. It appeared that it was of little concern for her, and as was her style, she didn’t really express specifically why and was somewhat reticent to discuss the matter in any depth.

Then, during a recent dinner with her, she surprised us by bringing up her “confusion” again. Once again, she was hesitant to discuss the matter, but did share two additional insights. One, although she wasn’t sure what the confusion was about, she just knew (prefaced with the usual “this is going to sound stupid”) that she wanted to feel “bigger.” By “bigger” she explained that she wanted to feel more alive or more . . . something.

Her other disclosure was that there was a great deal about herself that she always kept secret from everybody, including her husband. She explained the reason was not due to these secrets being so awful or shameful, but that she just felt uncomfortable disclosing intimate things about herself. She even commented that on the few occasions she had opened up a bit more, she often felt strong guilt the next day for being so personal, statements that surprised us given our personal experience with her.

Given what she had shared, we called her the next morning to reassure her about her disclosures, however minor they may have seemed, and make sure she wasn’t feeling any guilt over the conversation. To our pleasant surprise Carol greeted us with an extremely cheery, “Did you read my email?” which we had not yet done.

She then excitedly told us about a dream she had had following our dinner discussion. In fact, she had awakened to this dream even though she reported rarely even remembering dreams.

Her dream had been quite brief, and her memory of it rather vague. But one part stuck out clearly for her. As Carol described it to us:

I was upstairs in my house, and had heard people downstairs. When I went downstairs to investigate, I found my living room filled with strangers, but I was oddly not scared at all and knew they meant no harm.

I wondered how they had gotten in, so I went to the front door to see if it was locked. But when I looked at the door I discovered that not only was the door not locked, it didn’t even have a lock or any kind of latch or doorknob either!

“Don’t you get it?” she asked us in a surprisingly enthusiastic voice. “The door . . . my door, wasn’t locked anymore. It was open so people could come in. And that’s okay. It’s okay to let people in sometimes!” She was thrilled, and so were we.

“I’m sure there’s a lot more to my dream,” Carol continued. “And I’d like to learn about that sometime, but I’m just really excited about that door. I feel great!”

As we noted earlier, Carol’s experience was certainly very significant, but not at all unusual. Her experience was a perfect example of how a dream, even a simple door in a dream, can bring deeper insights about one’s self and open one’s eyes to a new perspective in the waking life that literally opens new doors, as in Carol’s case.

Like anything, the more you learn about working with your dreams, and the more you practice the teachings in this book, the richer and more profound your experiences will be.

But simply deciphering every part of a dream is not the end goal. As in Carol’s case, the true value of understanding dreams is to see those critical connections between your dreams and your waking life experiences in order to enhance your daily life.

Simply put, when you start living the lessons of your dreams, you will start living the life that you dream.

Epilogue

No matter what our individual histories, cultures and family backgrounds, it’s clear that understanding our dreams is a most profound and effective way to understand ourselves and our lives as has been proven from centuries of ancient practice through today’s modern scientific study. Understanding our dreams about others, in particular, is an excellent door through which we arrive at a deeper understanding of ourselves.

You can interpret your dreams about others since you now hold the resources for understanding your dreams. Those resources are the ability to recall day-before-the-dream events, thoughts, and emotions that will connect you to your dream, and the ability to realize that your personal experiences largely create your dream language. Those resources, together with the staying power to revisit dreams for new insights, are what you need to begin using this system.

As you use these resources, we trust you will find -- perhaps already have found -- that your dreaming mind is an almost infinite reservoir to help you discover and build the relationships of which you have always dreamed. Enjoy your journey. We trust you will be amazed.

Dream on!

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Excerpt from Some Everyday Dreams, How I Use Them, unpublished manuscript

Note: For dreams other than relationship dreams, PMID Step 6 (relationship systems perspectives) is omitted.

DREAMS ABOUT BEING A STUDENT

Dream Title: Bad Breath

It is dusky in the room. I am reading the second part of a presentation aloud. I read the first part fine, but now I am having difficulty reading the writing squeezed in around the typed material in this second part.

The person who wrote the second part is hovering over my left shoulder, watching me struggle with the reading. I feel quite pressured to read this correctly. There is an audience, but they are few, and really are not major characters in the dream.

Suddenly the person at my shoulder tells me my breath is so bad he cannot stand to be near me. So I give the piece to him to read, not in anger but just to solve the problem because he is the author of the piece.

PMID Step 1: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) events to the dream to discover the theme of this dream. The events may appear in either symbolic or literal terms in your dream. Write down the appropriate events and record when they occurred.

I am enrolled in a continuing education class. Yesterday I wrote a speech about imagination to be given in today's class. I wrote at first from my own heart, but when I read the completed talk to myself, the second part seemed dull. So I adopted a plan suggested by a friend. I found a prepared visualization to use for the second part and added my handwritten notes in the margins of the typed visualization.

The visualization I found, which was about butterflies in a garden, seemed to be a good fit. Some of my classmates had expressed their love for gardens, so I chose the butterflies and called the visualization “You Can Fly.” I also composed a good ending. I felt that the talk was perfect.

The theme of this dream is “my planned talk.”

PMID Step 2: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) thoughts to your dream to detect which thoughts may have prompted this dream’s responses. Like events, your thoughts may appear in your dream in either literal or symbolic terms. Write “I thought” statements and record when you thought them.

Yesterday, however, I thought about how there would be a substitute teacher, and I knew he disapproved of using meditations and visualizations in short talks. Nevertheless, I also recalled that a classmate had said we should not be concerned about using material when it is particularly appropriate. So I decided that my talk with the visualization was okay. A possible thought question is, “Is my talk truly okay?”

PMID Step 3: Select and define major dream phrases and symbols from your write-up of this dream to discover the dream’s personalized meanings. Consider effects of your events and thoughts of the day before your dream and earlier experiences on the meaning of each major dream phrase and symbol. The general definition for phrases as used in this step is “a string of words.” The strings of words can be phrases, clauses, or whole sentences.

  • Dusky in the room: There is something in my dream that I do not see, do not understand.
  • Having difficulty reading the writing squeezed in around the typed material: My handwritten notes of explanation were squeezed around the typed visualization.
  • Person who wrote the second part is hovering over my left shoulder: Represents the author of the visualization. He was making it plain that I was doing a very poor job of presenting his material.
  • Not many people: Symbolizes the class where I will present my talk. It is a small class.
  • My breath is so bad he cannot stand to be near me: A bad talk. I think of the breath coming through my throat as the source of my voice. Bad breath in the dream therefore means a “bad talk.”

Notably, when I woke from the dream, I did have a bitter taste in my mouth. At first I thought my dream merely arose from having this bitter taste in my mouth. Fortunately, I decided to look closer at my dream.

PMID Step 4: Compare your emotions in your dream with your pre-dream, waking-life emotions to discover whether your waking-life emotions accurately reflect how you feel about the issue in this dream. Note that the issue may be a relationship issue. What differences, if any, do you find between your emotions in your dream and your waking-life emotions? It is useful to periodically review your emotions in your dreams regarding the main issue or relationship at hand.

In my dream, I feel quite pressured to read the writing correctly. Yesterday, though I was willing to use the visualization, I did not feel that it truly fit me. My emotions in my dream are thus somewhat similar to my pre-dream waking-life apprehension about my talk.

PMID Step 5: Explore your dream for possible solutions to problems, including changing (or affirming) your thoughts, attitudes, or behaviors. Consider your responses to each PMID model step, including Step 6, as you search for solutions and suggestions in this dream. Give primary attention to the power of your thoughts before your dream (PMID Step 2) to act as questions that your dream answers.

My dream counters my waking-life decision that the visualization would be okay for the class presentation. In my dream, I give the piece to him to read, not in anger but just to solve the problem because he is the author of the piece. This means I need to give the visualization back to its author and use my own material. Using the visualization in my talk is actually a bad idea. 

How I Used My dream:I replaced the visualization with the material I wrote from my heart. When we arrived in the classroom, our substitute teacher told us our talks would be held to exactly four minutes. (Our regular teacher was lenient in timing.) The visualization would have taken my talk well over four minutes. Further, one of my classmates did a meditation and the substitute teacher stopped him in the middle of it when the four minutes were up, which ruined its effect. I felt compassion for my classmate and thought how I had narrowly missed being reprimanded as well. Well, I was reprimanded, but it was in the privacy of my dream.

Dream Title: Betty Works All the Problems

A colleague is saying that Betty isn't doing very well on some schoolwork. “But she works every problem,” I reply. “I know she works every problem at the end of each  chapter.” 

The other teacher and I agree about how Betty is good at these math problems. However, Betty only works the problems; she does not understand the concepts. Now I think about how problem working is only part of knowing the material.

PMID Step 1: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) events to the dream to discover the theme of this dream. The events may appear in either symbolic or literal terms in your dream. Write down the appropriate events and record when they occurred.

Yesterday I was studying for an upcoming statistics test. The theme of this dream is “studying for my upcoming statistics test.”

PMID Step 2: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) thoughts to your dream to detect which thoughts may have prompted this dream’s responses. Like events, your thoughts may appear in your dream in either literal or symbolic terms. Write “I thought” statements and record when you thought them.

Last night I decided to spend all of today working the problems at the ends the chapters. A likely thought question that this dream answers is “Is working problems the most beneficial way to study for my statistics test?”

PMID Step 3: Select and define major dream phrases and symbols from your write-up of this dream to discover the dream’s personalized meanings. Consider effects of your events and thoughts of the day before your dream and earlier experiences on the meaning of each major dream phrase and symbol. The general definition for phrases as used in this step is “a string of words.” The strings of words can be phrases, clauses, or whole sentences.

  1. Betty: A former accounting student of mine.

  2. Betty isn't doing very well on some schoolwork: In the context of this dream is the forecast that I won’t do very well on my statistics tests if I continue my plans to focus only on problem-working. Working problems was Betty’s specialty. 

  3. Know she works every problem at the end of the chapters: What I planned to do in studying for my upcoming statistics test.

  4. Think how Betty is good at these math things: Betty excelled in mathematical computations when she was a student in one of the accounting courses.

  5. Does not understand the concepts: Betty would have done better in my class if she had had greater comprehension of the concepts that supported the mathematical problems.

  6. Other teacher: Represents something that my dream is teaching me that I didn’t realize in waking life.

PMID Step 4: Compare your emotions in your dream with your pre-dream, waking-life emotions to discover whether your waking-life emotions accurately reflect how you feel about the issue in this dream. Note that the issue may be a relationship issue. What differences, if any, do you find between your emotions in your dream and your waking-life emotions? It is useful to periodically review your emotions in your dreams regarding the main issue or relationship at hand.

My defense of Betty working every problem in my dream implies that I am surprised to learn that Betty isn't doing very well on some schoolwork. In the context of this dream, I am surprised that problem working won’t help me do well on my own upcoming test. Last night I felt pleased with my plan to work problems as the way to study for the test.

PMID Step 5: Explore your dream for possible solutions to problems, including changing (or affirming) your thoughts, attitudes, or behaviors. Consider your responses to each PMID model step, including Step 6, as you search for solutions and suggestions in this dream. Give primary attention to the power of your thoughts before your dream (PMID Step 2) to act as questions that your dream answers.

In my dream, I think about how problem working is only part of knowing the material. The other part of the material is understanding the underlying concepts. Like Betty, I need more work on the concepts that support the problems.

How I Used My Dream: This is an excellent helping dream. Because of the dream, I studied my concept-related notes instead of simply working more computational problems. The test was very concepts-oriented. My change in study strategy saved my A in statistics.

Dream Title: There is Ambiguity on Page 10

Dr. Gaylon is here and is going to take my paper and present it to a large assembly of people, perhaps including professors. He hasn't read my paper before, however, and I wonder how he is going to present it when he hasn't read it.

I look on from the outside as he presents it. At first he isn't into it very much, but the more he presents, the better he likes it. He becomes very excited about it and says what a great paper it is. He arouses the audience, too, and they express enthusiasm about my paper.

A woman near the back of the auditorium tries to get Dr. Gaylon's attention. “But there is ambiguity on page 10,” she shouts. 

Then it is after the talk, and I decide I will compliment Dr. Gaylon on how well he understood the paper, even though he had not read it beforehand. But I debate whether or not to do so.

PMID Step 1: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) events to the dream to discover the theme of this dream. The events may appear in either symbolic or literal terms in your dream. Write down the appropriate events and record when they occurred.

Yesterday I reread my background notes for a paper that is due soon in a course I am taking on families and abusive behaviors. As I read the notes, I came across some material that I thought I might have omitted from my paper. So I reread the paper and discovered that I had in fact included that material.

PMID Step 2: Connect your previous-day (often the day before) thoughts to your dream to detect which thoughts may have prompted this dream’s responses. Like events, your thoughts may appear in your dream in either literal or symbolic terms. Write “I thought” statements and record when you thought them.

As shown under Step 1, yesterday I thought I might have omitted some material from my paper. Though I had included that material, my dreaming mind brings up another question, “Is there any other critical material that I have omitted from my paper?”
           
Yesterday I wondered if the professor would understand the content of my paper since it is something we have not discussed in class. The paper is based on dreams. I also wondered if he would share my paper with the class, and I felt a bit uneasy about that prospect.

PMID Step 3: Select and define major dream phrases and symbols from your write-up of this dream to discover the dream’s personalized meanings. Consider effects of your events and thoughts of the day before your dream and earlier experiences on the meaning of each major dream phrase and symbol. The general definition for phrases as used in this step is “a string of words.” The strings of words can be phrases, clauses, or whole sentences.

  • Dr. Gaylon: Demanding professor from my undergraduate degree work. After I graduated, I realized that Dr. Gaylon did appreciate my abilities, but I wasn’t certain of this while I was his student. Here, he symbolizes my current professor, who is another demanding professor.
  • Wonder how he is going to present it when he hasn't even read it before: Reflects my pre-dream thoughts about whether my current professor will understand the content of my paper since the content (dreams) is something we have not discussed in class.
  • Look on from the outside as he presents my paper: Symbolizes my apprehension about how my professor may react to my paper. I look on as from the outside.
  • The more he reads the better he likes it: Foretells that my professor will like my paper.

PMID Step 4: Compare your emotions in your dream with your pre-dream, waking-life emotions to discover whether your waking-life emotions accurately reflect how you feel about the issue in this dream. Note that the issue may be a relationship issue. What differences, if any, do you find between your emotions in your dream and your waking-life emotions? It is useful to periodically review your emotions in your dreams regarding the main issue or relationship at hand.

My dreaming apprehension about discussing the professor’s reaction to the paper contrasts my pre-dream waking-life emotions about the paper. Last night, I felt good about the paper. There is also a possible contrast between my dreaming emotions (though I didn’t record those) about the audience’s enthusiasm. Last night, I felt a bit uneasy about the prospect of the professor sharing my paper with the class. 

PMID Step 5: Explore your dream for possible solutions to problems, including changing (or affirming) your thoughts, attitudes, or behaviors. Consider your responses to each PMID model step, including Step 6, as you search for solutions and suggestions in this dream. Give primary attention to the power of your thoughts before your dream (PMID Step 2) to act as questions that your dream answers.

When a woman says, “But there is ambiguity on page 10,” the dream says there is something that I need to add to the paper. I need to clear up the ambiguity on page 10!

How I Used My Dream: As I lay in bed after the dream and thought about the dream, I knew it related to my paper I reread yesterday. I thought that the ambiguity would be in my assessment part of the paper, so I would need to add something at the end of the assessment. During the day I had the feeling something needed to be added to the paper, but the material I thought needed to be added was already in it, so my dreaming mind came through and clarified exactly what material needed to be added.

I got up and looked at the paper. Yes! There was an ambiguity at end of the assessment. The ambiguity was on page 10!

I received a grade of 100 on the paper. What is more significant, however, is that the information I added on page 10 helped me put the work in a proper personal perspective.

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