The Lightning Dreamwork Process

Robert Moss ( is a shamanic dreamwork explorer, teacher, writer, and worldwide workshop leader.  Though I've had a lot of Jungian dreamwork training and have been working with dreams - mine, and many others in my thirty year psychotherapy practice, I have enjoyed learning and practicing Robert's techniques in his Dream Teacher Training. Dream re-entry, Dream Theatre, Shamanic Journeying to find power animals and guides, and Creative Expression are among the tools he uses to help people heal through dreamwork.  Drumming is integral to his work, as its steady rhythm enables dreamers to relax and open up to their imagination and to other realms. This is a different experience from dream analysis and can richly enhance the more traditional ways of exploring dreams.

One of the basic tools Robert teaches is the Lightning Dreamwork Process.  It is quick and effective! Naturally, because I am a psychotherapist, in my practice I expand the process to include more of the dreamer's history, current life situation, etc.  But anyone - telling a dream to a friend, for example- can benefit from the Lightning Dreamwork Process.  It is worth knowing. Here are the steps to follow, assuming you are the listener:
     Ask the dreamer to:
          -  Tell the dream, as if it is happening in the present.
          -  Give the dream a title.  This will bring more focus to what follows.
          -  Tell you how he/she felt when she woke from the dream. This is crucial to understanding.
     Then ask:
          - "What in your real life - past, present, or possibly future - might correspond to the images in
            the dream?" Give the dreamer time to think about this, and ask questions about the images
            in the dream, e.g., if there's a bear encounter in the dream, "How do you feel about bears in
            general?" "Have you read or seen anything about bear encounters in the past few days?"
          - "What do you want to know about this dream?"
     Then say (because you have been picking up clues from what the dreamer has told you):
          - "If it were my dream, I'd wonder about..." and say what it is you're curious about, i.e, "I'd
            wonder if this bear came to tell me something I need to know", or, "I wonder if there's a bear
            part of me that I'm unaware of and need to make more conscious."  This helps the dreamer
            expand his/her perspective on the dream and go more deeply into the possible meaning of the
           dream. Remember also that because dreams can be both literal and symbolic, the dream can have
           more than one meaning.
     Then say: "What would you like to do with this dream?"  There are several possibilities.  The
          dreamer could re-enter the dream to dialogue with the bear; re-enter the dream and let his/her
          imagination go beyond the ending of the dream to see what happens next; sketch the dream;
          write dream poetry; make a bumper sticker based on an "AHA" about the dream's meaning;
          or do dream theatre with a friend or friends.

         Next time:  Nightmares!

Connie Myslik-McFadden