Exploring a Jungian-oriented approach to the dream in psychotherapy

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Shouldice, Darina
Issue Date
MA in Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Everyone dreams. Dreams are a universal experience and speak in a universal symbolic language that is nonetheless specifically tailored to the individual psyche of the dreamer. The dream offers unique access to the deepest parts of the Self that have not yet come into conscious awareness and, as such, is an invaluable resource for psychological growth and healing. This research will explore the purpose and process of working with the dream as a guidance system towards individuation from a Jungian-oriented perspective. The study explores why the dream has previously been ignored, and even dismissed, and how it may be time to re-evaluate the value of dreamwork within a changing paradigm of psychotherapy. Five experienced psychotherapists from both Jungian and Integrative modalities participated in the research. A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews and a thematic analysis generated three distinct themes: the Purpose of the Dream in Psychotherapy; the Process of Dream Interpretation; and Dreams and Psychotherapy – A Shifting Paradigm. These themes were then discussed in the context of the literature and the research findings.