Group Dreamwork expands the awareness, imagination, and openness of all participants.
When a dream is shared, group members enter into the dreaming along with the dreamer. The dreamer is given a kaleidoscopic, multi-faceted view of the dream, and gets to know the dream from different angles, so that an apparently static image or storyline may be revealed as an intricate, living pattern of color and light. Group members don’t just help the dreamer to understand the dream, they receive the dream as their own, and respond to it in ways that are useful not only to the dreamer but also to each group member individually, to the group as a whole, and potentially to the larger community of dreamers everywhere.
Each dream is a gift, and all group members participate in a collective learning process through which more possibilities can emerge than would have been available to any one dreamer exploring alone.
A Compass Dreamwork facilitator will bring depth and leadership to the group dream-sharing process:
- provide guildelines for group practice to ensure safe boundaries and respectful relationships, and establish a mutually responsible and caring context for this work
- provide initial instruction and training in various approaches to dreams and dreamwork, appropriate to the experience levels of group members
- ask questions of the focus dreamer and other participants, to help unfold further dimensions of the dream
- help all participants to discover connections between their waking experiences and their own and others’ dreaming experiences
- bear witness to the evolving creative identity of the group
- help participants to imagine alternative approaches to the dream, and routes through the dream, to find openings at dead ends, and to see through blind spots
- along with other group members, imagine the dream as if it were her own, and share her experiences from that perspective (always acknowledging that the dreamer’s experience of the dream is primary)
- follow the trajectory of evolving dream patterns within the group, and help the group to recognize and find meaning in those patterns
- demonstrate the possibilities of interconnectedness between this dream and the larger dreaming: a larger sense of meaning
Kirsten Backstrom is a certified dreamworker and experienced facilitator who has led dream groups in a variety of contexts. She is also trained and experienced as an interfaith spiritual director and pastoral counselor. Her approach to dreamwork is flexible, so each group is adapted to the needs, temperaments, interests, and comfort-levels of the participants, drawing from a wide range of dreamwork traditions and practices as appropriate.