• Dreams and the Person-Centered Approach: Cherishing client experiencing

Dreams and the Person-Centered Approach: Cherishing client experiencing

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ISBN 978 1 906254 47 6 (2012)
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This book situates dreaming and dreams at the center of person-centered theory and practice. More than thirty years ago Carl Rogers explicitly called for a focusing on dreams as a special and important form of client-experiencing. With this book Andrea Koch takes a significant step into this still largely unchartered territory: delineating the ‘dream sensing’ space with its potentialities and ‘danger zones’.

The author posits that a person-centered understanding of dreaming is to view it as a process of nightly self-healing: the mainspring of dreaming being the actualizing tendency. The fact that most people remember more dreams in times of transition and crisis – times when they also seek out counselors or therapists – emphasises the need for the art of sensing into dreams to be both cultivated and taught more frequently within the person-centered world.


1  Situating Dreaming and Dreams in Person-Centered
Theory and Practice
Rogers and dreams
Coming to a contemporary person-centered theory on dreaming
The significance of sharing dreams within therapy
Summary of the main points

2  Sensing into Dreams: Charting the territory
Rogers’ description of the creative process
Delineating the client’s space
The counselor’s coordinates
Summary of the main points

3  Experiencing the Territory with Three Dreams
The “museum dream”: Relational person-centered dreamsensing  with Helga Lemke
The “damp and crowded cloakroom dream”: Focusing and  dreamsensing with Barbara McGavin
The “nothing is set up dream”: Structural dreamsensing  with Clara Hill
Differentiating the dream sessions: A client’s perspective

4  Guiding Through the Territory
Dream work in therapy: Facilitating exploration, insight, and action
The relational person-centered approach
Focusing and dreamsensing
Diverging pathways?
Which path to travel?
Summary of the chapter

Concluding Thoughts
Appendix A: Basics of the person-centered approach and Focusing
Appendix B: Biographical notes on Lemke, McGavin, and Hill
Appendix C: Further resources

Being sent this to review ... filled me with excitement as I have had numerous clients walk through the door and say, 'what do you think this dream means?' ... I found the book easy to read and suggest it would be useful to anyone who has been asked the same question by a client ... Sarah Lewis, Person-Centred Quarterly, August 2012.

Andrea Koch has written an invaluable guidebook for dreamers and their companions that puts together a person-centred approach to meaning-making with skillful dream study. Abbe Blum, Ph.D. Reviewed in Dream Time: A Publication of the Association for the Study of Dreams.

Andrea Koch

Andrea Koch has masters in person-centered counseling, public management and human geography. Born in Germany, she spent most of her childhood in the US and lived her first decade as an adult in the Netherlands. She currently lives in Berlin, Germany and has worked for 25 years in NGOs striving for justice, peace and reconciliation. She is developing ways to integrate dream experiencing, Focusing, and a person-centered way of being, with political activism.

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Andrea Koch