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Vedfelt, O. (2020). Integration versus Conflict between Schools of Dream Theory and Dreamwork: Integrating the Psychological Core Qualities of Dreams with the Contemporary Knowledge of the Dreaming Brain. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(1):88-115.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(1):88-115

Integration versus Conflict between Schools of Dream Theory and Dreamwork: Integrating the Psychological Core Qualities of Dreams with the Contemporary Knowledge of the Dreaming Brain

Ole Vedfelt

The various ways schools of psychotherapy relate to dreams have been marked by isolationism and mutual conflict rather than self-examination and then integrating the discoveries and methods of other schools. Jung's method was in opposition to Freud's psychoanalysis. Existential psychology was dismissive of Freud's and Jung's discoveries, while cognitive dream interpretation and cognitive therapy sought other roads entirely. In addition, scientific and neuropsychological dream research has been only insignificantly tied to the psychotherapeutic dream theories. These conflicts and the lack of a comprehensive dream theory has made it convenient for the current rationalist collective consciousness and treatment systems to reject the often times challenging knowledge about ourselves that dreams can provide.

This paper describes how contemporary theories of complex cybernetic information networks can create an overriding, constructive framework for uncovering common traits within the above-mentioned branches of dream research and dreamwork. Within this framework, ten core qualities are delineated, supported by both therapeutic knowledge as well as scientific research: 1) Dreams deal with matters important to us; 2) Dreams symbolize; 3) Dreams personify; 4) Dreams are trial runs in a safe place; 5) Dreams are online to unconscious intelligence; 6) Dreams are pattern recognition; 7) Dreams are high level communication; 8) Dreams are condensed information; 9) Dreams are experiences of wholeness; 10) Dreams are psychological energy landscapes.

For each core quality I describe short dreamwork sequences from my own practice and a schematic image of how I perceive the overriding interaction between systems in the dreaming brain. For each core quality recommendations for practical dreamwork are provided.

Finally, I draw attention to dreams as a huge psychological resource for humankind.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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