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Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

Last post 08-18-2006, 9:46 PM by adastra. 10 replies.
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  •  07-27-2006, 1:01 AM 2146

    • scudeira is not online. Last active: 08-25-2006, 12:22 AM scudeira
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    Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    I have a question about gestalt therapy and dreams. I am beginning to look into the content of my dreams, daydreams and fantasies for disowned bits and pieces of myself. I was wondering whether gestalt therapy (or ken wilber who would know more about what's really going on ) makes a distinction between dreams at night and daydreams or fantasies during the day. My dreams at night tend to be more wierd - hard to find direct content, my fantasies during the day are about real situations with people, emotional reactions etc. Please let me know whether there is a difference and if so, how do I deal with it. This might also apply to TA.  thanks, scud
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  •  07-27-2006, 2:50 PM 2198 in reply to 2146

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    Hi scudeira

    I'm not sure what gestalt would say on the subject - I'm curious as to the answer to that question as well - but years ago I studied Process therapy, a neo-Jungian therapy created by Arnold Mindell.  Process work, or Process Oriented Psychology, sees the dream process as continuing all the time, but not normally noticeable by consciousness during the physically awake state.  You may find a short article I wrote on Process work helpful.

    arthur


    "Dwell in possibility" - Emily Dickinson
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  •  07-28-2006, 3:00 AM 2256 in reply to 2146

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    scudeira:
    I have a question about gestalt therapy and dreams. I am beginning to look into the content of my dreams, daydreams and fantasies for disowned bits and pieces of myself. I was wondering whether gestalt therapy (or ken wilber who would know more about what's really going on ) makes a distinction between dreams at night and daydreams or fantasies during the day. My dreams at night tend to be more wierd ...

    My understading is that at night, much of the brain shuts down as it were, and we loose part of our psychological defenses -- acting out.  In waking life, we can protect our repressed feelings from surfacing by avoiding things that trigger them (incidently, this is what the "re-education" in the cognitive and behavioural therapies seems to do) or by short-cirticuiting them through projections, like shouting or getting angry at people, etc.

    When we sleep, dreams take up the slack.  Freud thought that dreams served the function of protecting sleep.  I consider that half right; it seems to me that dreams serve the function of reconciling cognitive dilemas, and when we have shadow issues, these show up in dreams too.  In my view all repression results from an internal contradiction, which is why dream images are often so bizzare -- it can be difficult to express a paradox, you need to be creative.  Daytime fantasies don't need to be so extreem usually.

    You might also find this link useful, it has some advice on a dream interpretation method that blends a Primal-type technique with a sort of Gestalt analysis: Images, Image Sequences, and Dreams
    Gavin

    Haunted by the familiarity of inner softness behind frozen eyes
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  •  08-08-2006, 8:49 AM 3721 in reply to 2146

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    Hi scud

    I used gestalt as a therapist way back, and would say that it doesn't really matter whether you're working with dreams or fantasies - either way, they tend to be treated as projections, with no interest at all in interpreting them psychoanalytically. The actual work consists of reclaiming what has been disowned by projection, often by consciously continuing the fantasy situation in the therapeutic setting and identifying imaginatively with the different elements.  As you may already have found, this can have rapid and powerful effects, especially when you are re-owning intense or negative feelings.  A lot of our own energy can become unavailable to us through repression and its good to get that back... 

    good wishes, David

     

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  •  08-16-2006, 7:50 AM 4424 in reply to 3721

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    true, once we can identify and own our repressed  shadow stuff, we can let go of it.  i  think energy work (reiKI, in my case) can work wonders...like th time reiKI fellow student , a brand new mum of a 3 moth old baby fast asleep in her lap , during her chair sitting 'short session', which turned out  to be much longer...at some point,  began loudly hollering to  something/one to "go away!"  / "leave me alone!!" ...for few minutes this went on ...the baby stirred some, never waking up tho, which was strange in all that loud comotion ... i was working on someone else ...ok , so i didn't know what  to do, so i asked that whatever it was she was chasing away to eneter me. literally. i sensed the people working on her were not strong enough to ground / release that energy... and since  i'm not , was not afraid of any thing i had no quams of inviting 'it' ... and then, asif on cue, all got silent again.

    afterwards, at share n' learn time, someone asked H. what was she chasing away - "my fear" - "he wore black hooded thing and was grinning at me" - she sat there beeming. a nurse by profession, she was one heck of a 'strong' young woman, who wasn't invested in making up stories.

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  •  08-16-2006, 5:47 PM 4484 in reply to 3721

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    Davidd:
    ...they tend to be treated as projections, with no interest at all in interpreting them psychoanalytically. The actual work consists of reclaiming what has been disowned by projection, often by consciously continuing the fantasy situation in the therapeutic setting and identifying imaginatively with the different elements.  

    Hi, David Smile [:)]

    You say the projection isn't important in itself more that being absent?  Is it that?  Could you tell us more on that please?

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  •  08-17-2006, 7:44 AM 4512 in reply to 4484

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    ok, just a drive by::::::there are times, i think, where  Primal Scream work comes in handy ...it bypasses asin flyes over  all the jumping through  disown projections  hoops .. especially helpful in cases where  the original trauma took root   in the early months of life? or even pre-birth? 

    one reiKI experince example?  :::::  after  (in-class) Sh 's hair raising howl  session, he said - "that was just the tip of the iceberg" ... sometimes later  I heard the whole icberg bloody thing-howl in sublte-state. he and i were practicing 'distant healing' buddies. it happens.

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  •  08-17-2006, 8:00 PM 4561 in reply to 3721

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    Even if it's helpful to use fantasies as tools, one day comes where it's interesting to work without.  I imagine many other tools are available, aren't they?

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  •  08-18-2006, 2:27 AM 4575 in reply to 4484

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    Sure - Gestalt Therapy has been defined as 'A non-interpretative psychotherapy which emphasizes awareness and personal responsibility and adopts a holistic approach, giving equal emphasis to mind and body.'  Complete awareness is interrupted by many things, projection being one - for example, instead of being aware of how anxious/angry/depressed I am, I may imagine that other people are being aggressive towards me, or have unhappy dreams or fantasies. I'm resisting the acceptance of my own issues and creating a Shadow world populated by my disowned problems.  As you imply, there are many therapeutic approaches to this, and Gestalt Therapy is only one.  Rather than try to intellectually analyse the projections, as psychoanalysis does, Gestalt adopts the holistic approach - you dramatise and re-enact the dreams/fantasies/projections, using the body and the feelings and the imagination.  You could argue that its a more integral therapy than psychoanalysis because it takes account of what the body has to say as much as the mind. I've known it to be very helpful to some people anyway.

    Good wishes    Smile [:)]

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  •  08-18-2006, 2:48 AM 4576 in reply to 4575

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    Thank you Davidd. I'm looking for the ILP Kit and I'll follow your good  advice as I did last year Smile [:)]
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  •  08-18-2006, 9:46 PM 4668 in reply to 2146

    Re: Gestalt Therapy and Dreams/Fantasies

    I just started a thread on Lucid Dreaming - beginning with an interview by Robert Augustus Masters on the subject.  Gestalt techniques are a major component of his therapeutic approach, although he incorporates a lot of different things in an explicitly integral and embodied framework.

    arthur


    "Dwell in possibility" - Emily Dickinson
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