Using Dreams in Group Therapy

Robi Friedman

DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN DREAMING AND DREAMTELLING AND THREE WAYS TO APPROACH DREAMS

A dream told in a group has a strong impact on its working culture, openness, trust, and deepens the understanding of individual and social unconscious processes. Although dreaming may be highly influenced by interpersonal stimuli, it is an autonomous, intra-psychic function. Dreamtelling is a social event, making it especially interesting in groups. Questions like: "To whom do we tell a dream and why? What is consciously and unconsciously expected from telling a dream and when?" may guide us to work with the difference between dreaming and dreamtelling (Friedman, 2002, 2004).

I use three approaches to a dream - the more familiar "informative" (Freud, 1965) and "formative," uses along with a new approach that focuses on its interpersonal and intersubjective aspects, which 1 call "transformative" of relations. A dream may interest us not only for its connection to its past or its personal or group meaning but also for its inteipersonal and intersubjective impact on the future of the dreamer-audience relationship. Resonance and mirroring (Foulkes, 1965) are considered by me as identifications with powerful contents (Bion, 1963) and communication.

101 INTERVENTIONS IN GROUP THERAPY DESCRIPTION OF POPULATION

This population included a group of nine late-age adolescents with the mean age of twenty years, consisting of three young men and six women. Most of them were in individual outpatient therapy for different periods of time. Basically, they were fairly well-functioning college students with different problems in relationships. I worked with a female cotherapist in her late twenties for about ten sessions.

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