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…on Dreams Dr. Peter Demuth Clinical Psychologist & Jungian Analyst.

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Presentation on theme: "…on Dreams Dr. Peter Demuth Clinical Psychologist & Jungian Analyst."— Presentation transcript:

1 …on Dreams Dr. Peter Demuth Clinical Psychologist & Jungian Analyst

2 Jungs Four parts to the dream (Wiley, 1995) Exposition: Like the introduction to a play. It includes the setting, the people involved, the time frame, and the overall atmosphere. The development of the plot and the sense of the challenge being faced (Problem. Dilemma). The Culmination or peripatetia during which something decisive happens or something changes completely (often unusual or unexpected). A solution or result (Lysis) in which the problem presented in Stage Two above is either resolved or results in an impasse (as in and then I woke up or the alarm went off. (pp )

3 Example #1 …as Mom and I are putting the display together and adjusting the floral layout (exposition) my mother states: I dont think that this will work (problem/dilemma). I turn to my mother and reply (Peripetia): I am going to try it this way (Lysis).

4 Example #2 Theres a group of large horses (exposition). I want to ride them (dilemma/problem). I lie down beside one of them as with my cat. The horse lies down beside me, seems to follow my lead. He starts rocking back and forth, and I realize that if he rolls over that his weight will crush me (peripetia). But he doesnt. Eventually, I climb on top of him and ride (lysis).

5 How to unpack a dream: The Patients Associations: Amplifications on the individual details (person, places, or things) of the dream using myth, fairy tales, movies, etc. Active Imagination

6 Grace, age 45 An Initial Dream I am with an unknown female. We have two kittens and are going to bathe them. The other woman puts the two kittens into the sink. One is totally submerged. I think to myself: Is this woman going to pull that kitten up? She walks away and leaves the kitten under the water. I go and pull the kitten up out of the water. I then leave and choose to take the other kitten with me.

7 Her Associations: Other woman: I dont know who this other woman is. She is not someone I am familiar with. She seems older than me, however. Kittens: Young, helpless, need protection. I am afraid that the kitten under the water will be hurt. When the woman walks away I save the kitten that had been submerged. Then I leave it and take the other kitten that will not require anything with me.

8 When I asked Faith why she had hesitated to act she was uncertain. She said: I was just kind of frozen. I was not able to act. But I am not sure why. (I suspected that the submerged kitten might represent a damaged or neglected part of Faith. I also suspected the presence of a controlling mother complex. As nothing further came to light in our discussion I filed the dream away knowing that the first dream usually offers a glimpse of both the diagnosis and the prognosis.

9 Example #2: Joe, age 45, First Dream I am in a USO/ VFW setting. Its a dank sparse bar, with a television in front. Cal Ripken, Jr., me, and Billy Ripken are together with at least one other person. Apparently Cal is in the game that I can see taking place on the TV. Somehow he is taking pitches from the bar, hitting them, and then playing out on the field shown on the television. I watch as Cal takes a swing. I dont see the ball. Cal says he missed it. He points to the sweet spot on the bat and says that the rosin should fly off the bat at the sweet spot. He says that he always tries to put the bat on the ball and that that he always has rosin on that sweet spot so he can tell whether his swing was accurate. He says to hang in there -- that I will get one. He gets the next pitch. After the hit, Cal shows me the bat again and where he has hit the ball. The bat, however, is improbably tiny, roughly the circumference of a normal bat but only six to nine inches long.

10 Joes Associations: VFW: Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its a masculine place where guys hang out. Cal Ripken: I used to live in DC. Once when going to Baltimore I saw Cal in a bar with his wife. He seemed like a good guy. They call him the Iron Man because he broke Lou Gehrigs record for playing in 2,161 consecutive games without sitting out. In the dream he is very supportive of me, although I cant quite figure out how he is doing what he does. Billy Ripken: He was less successful

11 Amplifications: Joe sees Cal Ripken as someone to be looked up to. He is viewed as a genuine positive male figure. But in the dreamscape Joe isnt sure how Cal does what he does. It seems that Joe (my reflection that I keep to myself) wants to imagine that he has the same ability as Cal (inflation) but his efforts dont tally up. Cal says to Joe as if to reassure him: hang in therethat he will get one. Interestingly, Cal Ripken is a junior. He was instructed and managed by his father who taught him how to play baseball. The father, a good baseball man, was a no non-sense disciplinarian but managed to maintain a positive relationship with both his sons. So the (sense of) father seems to be an important aspect here although he is not discussed directly in the dream. The dream seems to hint, however, at this absence of guidance.

12 Amplifications continued… There is this sense in the dream that things are connectedbut there is no obvious, straightforward way to see this connection except to observe the impact that the ball has made on the rosin previously applied to the bat. This shows that it can happen but not how it has happened. So making this connection of how will likely be the work of analysis. But interestingly, the bat (phallus) seems almost too small to hit the ball. This may suggest that Joe has a sense of inferiority and a potential shame vis-à-vis his (psychological or physical) equipment as a man. And he can not just will this to happen as the ego would like to do. He will have to go through the effort of practice and discipline (analysis). As the analyst perhaps I am being placed in the position of coach (or father).

13 Amplifications continued… This initial dream, as a diagnostic/prognostic tool, seems to suggest that there is a road forward for Joe, but that all of the ingredients for success have not been, heretofore, available. In fact, the ingredients seem dissociated or scattered or simply mysterious. Cal R. is the Iron Man. He is able to do it, but Joe isnt an iron man. Cal is known for his integrity, discipline, consistency, hard work, and for his respect of family and tradition. These are things that Joe is most likely deficient in psychologically but will eventually need to acquire if he is to succeed. So this dream may be a blueprint of sorts for Joe - but it will not be an easy path to follow. In fact, our work together is likely to be a long process.

14 Dream I have a broken piece of gold. It is a blessed totem of some sort. Blessed by the Pope and given to me by Mary the Queen. It has been somehow broken and I have been challenged in mortal combat- to the death. I need this totem to be restored- by Mary, in order to defeat my enemy. I go to the cathedral- perhaps Notre Dame in order to reach Mary. There is a great crowd gathering for the service. I am able to work my way into the assemblage but I can not get close to Mary who is either in another room, taking a different route to the altar, or perhaps I have just missed her. I am in a large ante room where there are many bishops and monks and dignitaries, and I am just a face in the crowd. A Spokeswoman comes out and starts conversing with some of the groups, answering their questions with well thought out responses- ones that seem scripted… Just behind me I overhear a conversation about government being responsive to the needs of the people. The woman is indicating that this responsibility is largely symbolic. It was never meant to be real. That idea seems absurd to me. Why should it only be symbolic and not real? I am able to seek out Marys attendant. I see her walking towards me a few rows up and sense my opportunity to ask for her help. While such an appeal is unlikely to succeed- and she even tells me that she can not possibly serve as a messenger from me to Mary, she agrees to at least listen to my story. I implore her to help me and then show her the broken totem. As I cry and tell her of my dilemma, she sees that my story is true and believes me. She is moved to help and agrees to carry my message to Mary.

15 Associations Associations: Totem: Some kind of protective talisman, Gold = untarnished- but it is broken somehow and will not work as it is currently configured. Pope = head of the earthly Church. Mary = Queen of heaven. This represents the common and the sacred. The profound and the profane. Male and Female. Consciousness and unconsciousness. Broken: Has lost its potency. This has somehow put me at risk. I am being threatened. Death is a possibility if I do not get this right. I am reminded of Jungs dream about Siegfried and the voice saying that You must understand this dream and you must do so at once. (And the revolver in the drawer forcing the issue). I needed to have this talisman restored and soon. Its energy came from Mary, the Queen of Heaven and so she would have to restore it. Notre Dame: A famous cathedral. I have been on its steps but I have never to my recollection entered its sacred space. Assemblage: Perhaps sycophants and other pretenders. All pomp and no circumstance. Politically correct. Sterile. Marys attendant: Ego –self axis. Transcendent function. Anima figure leading me deeper… Kennon?

16 Active Imagination Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Charlie is the wisest person I know. But… And yet when he answers me it is so much more than I know According to Cwick (1995) In its simplest form active imagination is an imaginal dialogue between the ego, the part of ourselves that we consciously recognize as I and another part of which we are less conscious – an element of the personality that is imbued with an unconscious aspect to the other of the dialogue (p ).

17 Some preliminary thoughts/reflections Is AI similar or the same as prayer? Is not this wise other God, or a higher power than our ego? Jung referred to it as the two million year old man within. Dantes Virgils Moses Burning Bush / Other visitations

18 A few Clinical Examples of Active Imagination

19 An Active Imagination ( ) In a recent dream I was feeling afraid of something. I was in a small room and there was a last chance to call out for help. I am barely able to cry out and in doing so I escape from the room and from something that has scared me deeply. My voice is heard. It did not fall below the decibel of notice. But what would have happened if I had not called out -- if I had stayed in the room? What had frightened me to the point of panic? It was the sense that I would have been snuffed out! I would have beenpulled under the water like when I almost drowned at age three in Assawoman Bay. When pulled under the water there is no air to breathe and no shore to swim towards. And yet, might something else be awaiting me if I had just stayed in the room? Might something other than what is feared introduce itself?

20 Furthermore, after much reflection, I can sense that I am at an impasse. My river doesnt flow. My creativity has no life. My life has no vitality. I am stuck in a place that is perhaps only exited from- not by escape, but from turning around to face that which I would prefer to escape from. My ego fears this place most of all. Is it possible, however, that escape only results in additional imprisonment? If so, let me go back into the room.

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