The Dream Reader and the Dream Therapist
Now, there’s a job title, Dream Reader. There’s also Dream Interpreter, Dream Analyst, Dream Alchemist, and Dream Therapist. I’m often asked about the differences between these job descriptions, and while the boundaries may overlap or blur, let’s get down to some definitions.
People who choose to be in the business of helping people with their dreams operate under a range of job titles, a far bigger range than I have listed. Dream guide and dream group facilitator spring to mind. Some may specialise solely in dreams while others may bring dream work into their current practice as a clinician or coach, inviting clients to explore their dreams as part of their therapy.
After 25 years of helping clients with their dreams and observing the services other dream workers offer, here are my personal descriptions of some of these roles:
Dream readers read into a dream without doing any analysis or offering any therapy. A dream reader receives an intuitive picture of the meaning of the dream and relays this to the dreamer. Some dream readers may have accurate intuition, perhaps combined with good psychic vision. People who seek dream readings tend to see them in a similar category as psychic readings, and are looking for messages from their dreams. A dream reading, as I observe it, is an intuitive impression of a dream that may or may not be accurate.
Dream interpreters, by definition, interpret the mysterious language of a dream into every day language that makes sense to the dreamer. They may base their interpretation on solid study and training with a reputable source, or they may step into the role with very little training but a sense of confident knowing. People who consult a dream interpreter often expect an interpretation for every part of the dream, and for every symbol. Powerful dream interpreters begin with analysing a dream (see Dream Analyst, below) and then translate the analysis (offer an interpretation in every day clear language) for the client.
Dream analysts, by my definition, analyse (or analyze) every part of a dream to identify information about the dreamer’s mindset, particularly about their unconscious mind. Dream analysis involves identifying the dreamer’s unconscious beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and patterns of behaviour, linking these back to their origins, and projecting ahead to offer how these patterns will affect the dreamer’s future if they remain unchanged. A dream analyst will generally share all this information with the client, or may choose to present it in a more easily digestible form, more along the lines of a dream interpretation.
Another take on dream analysis is a process of entering into long term (psychological) analysis bringing dreams as the potent material to work on.
Dream alchemists create unique and personal dream alchemy exercises or practices for a client to do based on the client’s dream. Dream alchemy is a precise art and science that helps reprogram the client’s unconscious limiting beliefs (identified in the dream during dream analysis) into more helpful beliefs that remove blocks and open the way forward. You might also describe dream alchemy as a process that rewires the brain for positive outcomes. Dream analysis must precede dream alchemy.
Dream therapists offer mental and emotional (and, ideally, spiritual) therapy through exploring and working with their clients’ dreams. Dream therapy is a process that involves regular (ideally weekly) sessions, similar to psychotherapy. In my practice, dream therapy is a 12-week process (12 one hour sessions over 12 weeks). During dream therapy the therapist may or may not share the analysis or interpretation with the client, but will lead the client through exploring the dream and connecting or reconnecting with aspects of the self in a healing, transformative way. The dream therapist will generally include dream alchemy or similar processes and will usually lead the client through these during the session.
If you’re thinking of training in any of these areas, here’s how I can help you through The Dream Academy:
Training at The Dream Academy
Course 1: How to interpret your dreams step-by-step is for anyone who wants to learn how to analyse and interpret their own dreams.
Do the course.
Course 2: Dream Alchemy is for anyone who wants to learn how to create and use dream alchemy practices.
Do the course. (Course 1 is a prerequisite for this course. )
Course 3: Dream Therapy Professional Level 1 is a Level 1 training course for becoming a certified dream therapist.
(Courses 1 and 2 are prerequisites for this course.)
Do the course.
Course 4: Dream Therapy Professional Level 2 is a Level 2 fieldwork and assignment-based certified training course that includes one to one private mentoring phone sessions with me.
(Courses 1, 2, and 3 are prerequisites for this course.)
Do the course.
Enjoy exploring, the courses, and your dreams!