Much creativity is contained in the unconscious. By freeing our dreams from the prison of our ego’s perspective, we realize more creative power through the healing faculty of imagination. Dutch Jungian Analyst, Robert Bosnak has developed "Embodied Dreaming," a technique for working with dreams imaginatively. We sit with eyes closed in a low lit room and are led back into a dream, sinking into a consciousness where active imagination awakens naturally. Leading the dreamer with questions, locating images in the body, I can explore the images from perspectives other than those the ego imposes. Repressed images eventually become conscious and reveal tensions held in the unconscious mind.

Throughout history societies have honored the wisdom of dreams. The Greeks studied them to diagnose illness, knowing repressed unconscious material can manifest as physical symptoms. Bosnak calls dreams "energy fields" which involve us in a reality that our psyche experiences as being awake. When we identify places in our bodies where we feel emotions behind our dream images, we consciously compare and contrast them, simultaneously releasing the feelings they generate.

By expressing dark feelings and discovering their source somewhere in our current lives, we process and own the tension rather than act it out in negative behavior spurred on by the projected idea of anger being "out there" rather than "in here.“ By ourselves we find it hard to identify with alienated complexes. Universal archetypes such as The Divine Child, The Wise Old Man or Woman, The Trickster, The Hero, Fair Maiden and Devouring Feminine appear repeatedly through dreams, art, religion, poetry and mythology. When the dreamt terrorist imaginatively feels beneath his anger, the antagonism collapses.

The dream guide encourages the dreamer to describe the subtle nuances of the atmosphere, objects and figures. By gently directing the dreamer into the ego-alien aspects of the dream, the dreamer can be "tripped" into feeling these unconscious images. Questions posed trigger responses expanding the dream psychically. This is called "dreaming the dream onward." Connecting the dots of the bodily-held images, the dreamer builds a new energy body and shifts the emotional impact of the imagery. Embodied dreamwork delivers experiental understanding without extensive “intellectual” interpretation, uniting fields of diverse emotions through empathy. Participants in a dream group observe that we are all shaped by similar projections. Essentially, dream work helps heal the past and identifies old complexes at play in the present.

This essay first appeared in Natural Awakenings, Fort Lauderdale Edition, August

Author's Bio: 

Deborah DeNicola is the nationally award-winning author of 5 poetry collections. Her most recent book is the Amazon Best Seller, The Future That Brought Her Here; Memoir of A Call to Awaken iavailable in Spirituality Books on