Dreams and the Person-Centered Approach: Cherishing client experiencing
ISBN 978 1 906254 47 6 (2012)
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
Which path to travel?
Summary of the chapter
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.