Dream Workshops Are The New Book Club



reud said, “Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” (Of course, he also called America “a giant mistake,” but moving on.) For fans of the dream workshops sweeping the mistaken nation, let’s hope so.

Says the New York Times,

Dream groups like Ms. Son’s are similar to book groups, but the themes and plotlines discussed come not from 19th-century novels or the latest best seller but from the members’ unconscious minds. Over wine and cheese or perhaps a potluck meal, individuals engage in the opposite of idle chitchat. By recounting their dreams, they expose their most vulnerable and uncensored selves – often discovering buried fears and desires in the process. The revelations, they hope, will help them live better waking lives.

The groups, which the piece explains are often just friends and sometimes led by self-styled “shamans,” are designed both as a means of self-expression and analysis. A number utilize “projective dreamwork,” defined as “a method of interpretation developed by Montague Ullman, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who in 1962 founded the Dream Laboratory at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, and was a vocal proponent of dream groups until his death in 2008.” People keep dream journals, recount their subconscious nighttime adventures, and discuss what they mean.

To those who find this enjoyable, keep on keeping on, by all means! Nothing that encourages communication, facilitates connection or makes people feel good is a problem, as far as I’m concerned. But for those of us who already feel we’re boring our shrinks, the idea of having to reveal sub-par dreams to a room of strangers is cold-sweat inducing. Or there are people like my mom, who, when I started to recount something about hiding Dean Martin in the attic, either Anne Frank or V.C. Andrews-style (I wasn’t sure why) and then marching in a circus parade, because my dad was somehow the mayor, and some ground glass – stopped me with the words, “I am not interested in other people’s dreams.” Which, you know, is her truth. As one professor quoted in the piece says, “Dreams should not be shared with anyone who doesn’t have due regard for their complexity and respect for their profound sacredness.”

Take A Look Inside My Dream [NY Times]

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