Bad dreams or nightmares reveal the heinous, the unpleasant and the unsatisfactory, bringing out instinctive emotions of fear, disgrace and repulsiveness. Naturally, people have a gut reaction to stop the bad dream or control it.
One way to deal with nightmares or bad dreams is to improve habits for better sleep hygiene so that the variables leading to troubled sleep are reduced. Of course, this does not resolve what the nightmare is communicating. The step of discovery, of what the dream intends, is a bridge that still needs to be crossed
The object of dream tending and the nightmare is to create a relationship between the dreamer and the dream. Moving from fear or repulsion, to a place of curiosity. A space of curiosity and openness for interaction with the nightmare figure is the goal.
- It is important to become grounded and centered before dealing with the frightening image. Curiosity is key to understanding.
- Curiosity will lead to questions like, ‘who are you?” and “what do you want?” These are important to discover the core nature of the figure.
- As the dreamer gains knowledge of the image, the value of the image will be revealed, even under the horror. The connection to the dreamer’s life will also be discovered.
Once this open communication between the nightmare figure and dreamer is made, understanding and steps to solutions can be applied to the dreamer’s problems and situations in life.
Claudia DeBorde has an M.A. in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute with an emphasis in the art of Dream Tending with Stephen Aizenstat. She has studied the power of dreams through depth psychology; actively explored dreams, myth, and the animated world where the living images in dream are experienced as embodied and originating in the psyche of Nature as well as that of persons. This process opens the creativity, the generative process and the relationship to health, healing, nightmares, and the World’s Dream. She has actively worked with her own and others dreams for over 30 years.
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