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).
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