A female client, I’ll call her Mary, brought the following dream fragment to our session. Often clients report recalling a dream immediately before or after a session. This can be a clue that your psyche is spurring you to awareness about a certain issue.
Mary shared the dream she’d had that morning of being alone with her mom’s boyfriend Tom. In real life Mary had told me often that she didn’t feel safe around him and that he was cutting and cynical. She said they were facing each other and that somehow that felt significant but that she didn’t know exactly what it meant.
Taking the point of view that each part of a dream represents an aspect of one’s psyche is a powerful way to tap into the message the dream has for us. I asked Mary if I could guide her to temporarily imagine she were in the place of each of the dream characters and symbols, one by one. She agreed.
We had done similar work before where through slow breathing and body sensing Mary could go into a light trance quite easily. As herself in the dream, she found herself looking away and said, “I can’t trust him and I don’t want anything to do with him.” Next I asked her to see what it would be like to imagine herself as Tom in the dream. As Tom, she noticed she was looking at herself and said, “I don’t know how to connect with you.”
Then Mary remembered something else about the dream and described a wall or a door opening between she and Tom in the dream. When I asked her to sense into the wall, she felt safety and as the wall said, “I’m here to protect you Mary.” About the image of a door opening, she told me had the same feeling as the wall. It seemed significant that the wall was also a door opening, perhaps symbolic of transformation.
We continued to work this way and indeed a few minutes later Mary experienced a transformation.
She was able to identify that Tom in her dream represented her sometimes, aggressive intellect — a shadow aspect of herself. She told me she liked her intellect but hid it behind acquiescent behavior that she learned growing up female in her family. Mary had worked on reclaiming her power in prior sessions, but this was a new aspect in her work with me.
I could see she was continuing to sense in deeply. I asked Mary if she could hold all three parts of the dream at once: herself, Tom and the wall of protection. Mary wasn’t quite sure but was willing to try.
She noticed a constriction at the top of her head. Gradually she felt it relax with the image of pink flowers blossoming in the head center. She told me she experienced a deep integration of her masculine intellect with her feminine persona — beyond her normal way of thinking.
Mary continued to sense in for a few minutes longer as if relishing the experience. She talked about how important it felt as she discovered more about how this pattern of women disowning their intellect was passed on in her family. Thereafter and in successive sessions Mary reported increasing comfort with asserting herself as a woman with femininity and power.
Return to How It Works. All stories shared with permission. Names and personal details changed to protect confidentiality.