Working with Others and having the "Aha" Experience

In the realm of dream work there is a giant paradox that is impossible to ignore:

As the dreamer, you are the only one who can say what your dream means. No one has authority over your dream images. No one else can say, “You dreamed of X and it absolutely, positively means this…”

But here’s the paradox: dreams have many layers of meaning and while it’s relatively easy for a person to glean the most obvious layers of dream meaning, it’s far more difficult to grasp the deeper layers on your own.

So how do you figure out what you don’t know?

Hiring a dreamworker, working with a dream partner, or forming a dream group can significantly enhance your dream work experience.

For instance, many of my clients do dream work with me twice a month. As a result, I notice patterns emerging in seemingly unrelated dream symbols and storylines. These patterns retell the same or similar stories using different scenarios to help the dreamer connect with the deeper messages.

When I point out the message I see, the dreamer is often surprised and has an enormous  “Aha” of recognition and is better able to take action to help resolve whatever issue needs to be addressed.

However, if you are working with someone else and they offer thoughts about your dream the only way you can know if their ideas are relevant for you is if you resonate with what is said. This frequently reveals itself with a feeling of “Aha.” There are at least two kinds of “Ahas.”

1) The positive “Aha” as in, “Wow. That fits so perfectly.”
We have this type of “Aha” when we recognize the truth of someone’s thoughts about our dream. This type of reaction may cause a bodily sensation of goose bumps or shivers.

2) The negative “Aha” as in, “No way! I am not like that at all!”
Be on the lookout for a negative “Aha.” This type of reaction can indicate the dreamer else is having a negative response to something that is true, or partially true, and something that the dreamer would rather deny in waking life. The negative “Aha”, like the positive one, often creates a bodily response, like an emotion of anger, guilt, denial or shame.

A feeling of indifference to the dream projection probably may mean the dream thoughts hold no relevance for the dreamer.

You can apply the “Aha” experience to dream dictionaries, symbol dictionaries, and all dream interpretation or exploration. Just because someone (like a dream dictionary) tells you your dream means X does not mean it’s true. Only you can say what is true and you’ll know this by the “aha” feeling you get when the truth is spoken.


When you share your dreams with others, or when you share dreams thoughts about other people’s dreams, it’s important to remember 3 things:

1) Only the dreamer knows what his or her dream means.

2) The dreamer is often only semi-conscious of what the dreams are saying, and therefore may need help understanding the dream messages.

3) The only way the dreamer can know if a dream “interpretation” is right for him or her is if he or she has an “Aha” of recognition.

Exploring dreams with other people is tremendously helpful. Remembering these 3 points can help make the experience more pleasurable and safe.

Read Next: How to Incubate a Dream

About the Author:

Amy Brucker helps people heal their ancestral wounds so they can free their purpose, passion, and inner power. She offers a one-on-one, private healing/mentoring program Healing the Ancestral Wound. See link "Work with Me" on main menu for details.

Jeremy Taylor’s Dream Took Kit

If you are going to start a dream group, there are certain guidelines I suggest you follow to create a safe environment. It is important that participants feel welcome and confident that their dream and experience will be honored and kept private.

Dreamworker Jeremy Taylor has a Dream Tool Kit that can be readily used and copied by dreamworkers. He gives his students and colleagues permission to use the Tool Kit as long as he is credited and the copyrights are maintained. It is a solid model, and I cannot think of a single reason to create a new one.

If you establish a dream partnership, whether it’s with one friend or a group of people, having a handout of the Tool Kit can be useful. If you do this, please ensure Jeremy’s name and information are left intact. If you change the tool kit significantly, do not use Jeremy’s name. (These are requests Jeremy has shared in his dream groups).

Downloadable PDF copy

All dreams speak a universal language and come in the service of health and wholeness. There is no such thing as a “bad dream” — only dreams that sometimes take a dramatically negative form in order to grab our attention.

Only the dreamer can say with any certainty what meanings his or her dream may have. This certainty usually comes in the form of a wordless “aha!” of recognition. This “A-ha” is a function of memory, and is the only reliable touchstone of dream work.

There is no such thing as a dream with only one meaning. All dreams and dream images are “over-determined,” and have multiple meanings and layers of significance.

No dreams come just to tell you what you already know. All dreams break new ground and invite you to new understandings and insights.

When talking to others about their dreams, it is both wise and polite to preface your remarks with words to the effect of “if it were my dream…,” and to keep this commentary in the first person as much as possible. This means that even relatively challenging comments can be made in such a way that the dreamer may actually be able to hear and internalize them. It also can become a profound psycho-spiritual discipline — “walking a mile in your neighbor’s moccasins.”

All dream group participants should agree at the outset to maintain anonymity in all discussions of dream work. In the absence of any specific request for confidentiality, group members should be free to discuss their experiences openly outside the group, provided no other dreamer is identifiable in their stories. However, whenever any group member requests confidentiality, all members should agree to be bound automatically by such a request.

6 Basic Hints for Dream Work
by Jeremy Taylor © 1996

About the Author:

Amy Brucker helps people heal their ancestral wounds so they can free their purpose, passion, and inner power. She offers a one-on-one, private healing/mentoring program Healing the Ancestral Wound. See link "Work with Me" on main menu for details.