Dreams & Nightmares

Written by Martyn Carruthers

Dreamwork Case History

I was teaching a class about dreams and Jungian archetypes at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. I asked for a demonstration subject and a young woman volunteered. She described a recurring dream of being chased by a (female) vampire.

During our dreaming together, instead of her running away in terror, I helped her talk to the dream vampire. The vampire explained that she was a keeper of power, and as the woman kept running away, the vampire kept following – to give her her power!

The vampire offered the woman a cloak – jet-black with bright red trim. She put on the cloak and felt immediately resourceful. She said that she could not remember feeling so strong. The now-friendly vampire offered advice about the woman’s life challenges.

Two weeks later, the woman reported that she could maintain her powerful state, and she described changes that she was making in her problematic relationships.

In Your Dreams

We help people understand and change themselves, their emotions, their relationships and their lives! One way that we coach people is in their dreams – our Dreamworkextends our systemic coaching. We use it mostly to help people sort out complex issues for which people do not have the conscious resources – e.g. challenging goals, negative emotions, limiting beliefs and demanding relationships.

We help people test and verify their dreams with their own experiences. Thus, our dreaming together, whether daydreams, repetitive dreams or nightmares, takes the form of structured interactive metaphors that enable most people to explore and change beliefs, emotions and relationships.

We have helped hundreds of people explore sleeping, waking and lucid dreams. We consistently find that people are only partly aware in their waking life. If we explore your dreams, we explore all areas of your life. Through our Dreamwork, we can help you learn to anticipate problems, become more fully aware, and deal with parts of life that you tend to overlook or ignore.

Dream Team

It can be fascinating to notice themes that are many dreams share. There are often significant links between dreams, and more recent dreams may modify earlier dreams. Dreamers can learn to be aware that their dreams may present their history during a dream. Some dreams seem to offer or integrate key events from the past and present them in dreams.

Some dreams present material that the dreamer has overlooked or ignored. Dreamers can use their dreams to be more alert to their lives. Lucid dreams often us offer deep wisdom for our waking lives. Sometimes it feels like you can dream a dream until the dream dreams you.

We help people explore their beliefs, emotions and habits in their dreams – where they can be changed. Limiting beliefs, unpleasant emotions and unwanted habits cannot be easily changed by willpower alone. They are often taboo. But they are also the basis of decisions about reality and life direction.

Deep beliefs are often at the root of problems that cannot be discussed – they manifest as family taboos. Such beliefs are often gained by people wanting a success that challenged the beliefs of parents or other authorities. Many strange beliefs are accepted as truths only because they were communicated by parents, teachers or other authorities.

Rejecting beliefs from important people is close to rejecting those people, with a risk of being rejected ourselves. Thus, while these beliefs shape ourselves and our reality, we cannot reconcile them with our ideals, which may trigger dissatisfaction and failure. If our potential achievements may contradict these accepted beliefs, then we may block or sabotage our success and chances of happiness.

Our Dreamwork explores these blocks and can expose their dynamics and structure. Do you want to open the doors to achievement and a more satisfying life?

Are You the Dreamer? … Or the Dreamed?

My interest in dreams and Dreamwork began in Hawaii in the 1980’s, with two friends who were also studying huna with native Hawaiian healers. Together we researchedMoe ‘Uhane and Ho’omoe – dreams and dreaming together of pre-contact Hawaii … and we explored some strange realities.

Dreaming may be older than human consciousness. When I watch sleeping babies and sleeping animals move their limbs and body, while making unusual sounds, I assume that they are dreaming. Dreams seem to assimilate or integrate events, and perhaps evaluate future possibilities.

Since ancient times people have searched for the meaning of dreams. Dreams seem to be one way that people connect their emotional reality to the physical world. Psychologists say that an awake human mind is limited to holding about seven thingsin consciousness. It seems that a sleeping human mind (unconscious, subconscious or body-mind) can simultaneously manage thousands of things … for example, the details of dreams.

 

In ancient Egyptian healing, one relief for mental problems was to sleep in a temple. The island of Philaewas said to be a center of temple sleep. Dreams would be influenced by expectations of supernatural powers; and were interpreted by priests.

Temple at Philae (Photo: Przemyslaw Idzkiewicz)

 

Many books are available about interpreting the content of dreams, which are often written as if every reader uses the same symbols as the author, regardless of their history, family and cultural background. Be wary of the claims of dream analysts … whose dreams are they analyzing? Their own?

Daydreams, Meditations & Visualizations

Can you imagine yourself on a beach in Hawaii? Or shopping in Paris with a platinum credit card? If you feel out of sync with the world, you can create some retreats. Can you picture and feel yourself in places you’d like to go to, or doing things you might like to try? Driving a new Mercedes convertible? Parachuting? Climbing Mount Everest? Sailing in the South pacific … with somebody special?

Athletes often power-dream before competitions. They imagine themselves winning a race, or skiing a challenging hill or moving through their gymnastic movements. They see themselves doing each move perfectly … (and if they are smart they also see themselves gaining awards or recognition).

If you remember the touch and feel of a lemon … cool, heavy and a bit greasy … and how your fingers feels when you peel it … and now imagine biting it. Probably you mouth fills with saliva. Your body glands are responding to your imagination … your dream … not to external reality. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Hawaiian Dreamtime: Moe Uhane

In old Hawaiian shamanism, unusual or recurring dreams were considered significant, and worthy of exploration. To better recover the details of a dream, and to find the meanings, an expert (kahuna) might join people within their dreams. Hawaiian Dreamwork is called ho’omoe or moe’uhane – dreams of the spirit or lucid dreaming – and is a potent key to open the door of Hawaiian Spirituality.

I have been exploring moe uhane and developing Dreamwork since 1988, and I developed some very useful methods for using and changing dreams in coaching, counseling and psychotherapy. My feedback and responses are persistently positive and often phenomenally so.

Many anxiety attacks or depressions are like waking nightmares, and the methods I developed for changing dreams are often valid. Hawaiian shamanism and ho’omoe includes awaiku – angelic assistance.

We help many people manage unpleasant dreams and recurring nightmares during our Dreamwork. (I integrated dream coaching into our systemic training … we teach it on our Systems 3 training.)

Dreamscapes & Nightmares

If you have nightmares connected to relationship violence – please
seek advice from appropriate professionals about the violence.

We often help people find relief from nightmares, which usually reflect relationship and emotional problems. We may offer to dream with you. We may gently enter your dreamscape with you, and together we can explore and understand the often-confusing and sometimes scary imagery. In this way, we can help you integrate your conflicts, clarify your relationships or assimilate trauma.

 

I had terrible dreams about a demon – I was avoiding sleep and becoming ill.
Since your dream work I can enjoy sleeping again.
 Croatia

 

Dreamwork is particularly useful when we help people change limiting beliefs, negative emotions or dysfunctional relationships. Our dream coaching also helps people find lasting solutions for unpleasant or disturbing dreams and recurring nightmares. If your nightmares are due to anxiety about some crisis or traumatic event, we can ask your unconscious mind what solutions you want!

Dream Coaching: Dreaming Together

Entering a dream reality is like entering Pandora’s Box. Neither of us know what to expect. First, forget any books of interpretations of dream symbols, at least for now … we usually find that events and symbols in your dreams have many messages, not only one. Also, many scary dreams are those of inner children – split off parts of you that got stuck in some crisis or trauma and never grew up.

Dreamwork is no place for arrogance! You can have such interesting dreams, filled with layers of rich symbolic meanings and emotional significance, often reflecting your relationships, goals and emotions. In dreamtime, we can dream dreams together that can change reality!

If you have unpleasant or recurring dreams – contact us.

Ho’omoe wai kahi ke kao`o. 

Let’s travel together like water flowing in one direction.

Do you want to change unpleasant or recurring dreams?

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