Anne Strain, LCSW – Psychotherapist
Anne Strain, LCSW

DreamWork

“All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.”

- Elias Canetti

I believe that dreams are so important, they deserve their own page!

Dreams image aspects of ourselves that remain hidden, disguised and unknown. These neglected aspects often leak out through symptoms, anxieties, inhibitions and behaviors or feelings that don’t seem to make sense from a rational perspective. Working with our dreams is a way of recognizing what is trying to get our attention. When we can begin to make sense of our dreams,  we often experience changes in our waking life and in our relationship to the lesser known parts of ourselves that are seeking expression and acknowledgement. However, in order to do this, we have to move away from the logic and literalness of everyday life and speech and accept the irrational logic that the dream world utilizes. “Irrational logic” sounds like an oxymoron, but the dream world uses a logic that is based on associations, images, the “felt sense” of what appears and happens in a dream. Dreams often reveal feelings and emotions that the dreamer can’t consciously acknowledge, especially emotions that have been deemed negative, such as hate, aggression, envy, rage.  Dreams often image conflicts that are beyond the dreamer’s awareness, such as conflicts about what it means to be a man or a woman, a child or an adult, a parent, a friend.

American writer Marc Ian Barasch captures the essential nature of dreams thus:

“Our dreams disturb us because they refuse to pander to our fondest notions of ourselves. The closer one looks, the more they seem to insist upon a challenging proposition: You must live truthfully. Right now. And always. Few forces in life present, with an equal sense of inevitability, the bare-knuckled facts of who we are, and the dreams of what we might become.”

In addition to doing DreamWork with individuals as part of psychotherapy, I am also pleased to be in the planning stages of offering group opportunities for individuals who want to work on their dreams in a group setting, and to clinicians who want to learn more about working with their patients’ dreams in their practices.

If you are interested in either (or both) of these opportunities, please enter your email or other contact information below and I will be happy to send you more information when these groups are up and running.