Dreams of Remembrance, Dreams of Today and Dreams of a Life Needing to be lived
January 31st - February 2nd, 2020
Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort Tucson, AZ
In birds, Song is existence- in it the bird discloses its life... Adolph Portmann (1964) Pg 309
Our dreams are our song, calling us to remember the life we have been living, to appreciate the events of our current life and to hear the beckoning of a future waiting in potentia for us. Often what initially appears as a swirl of seemingly random life events, we come to realize that each represents the unfolding of a pattern, of a calling, steadily moving towards our unique destiny. Jung speaks to this point when writing: It is to be hoped that experiences in the years to come will sink deeper shafts into this obscure territory, on which I have been able to shed but a fleeting light, and will discover more about the secret workshop of the daemon who shapes our fate. CW. 9.1 PP 278
Dreams speak an imagistic language, conveying the wisdom of Psyche through symbols and metaphors. While we all have a deeply personal relationship to theseimages, each is grounded within an eternal and archetypal meaning and has spoken to humanity since the beginning of time about the ways of life and the ways of Psyche. Our task is to learn something of the archetypal language in our dreams.
Now let's imagine that someone has the following dream which contains both deeply personal and an archetypal meaning.
"I dream of seeing a hummingbird in the garden. So touched by its beauty, I wonder how nature could have ever created something so beautiful. I want to capture this bird and bring it into my home. I could barely contain my excitement knowing that this bird would bring such joy into my life. I remember that my father had given me a handmade birdcage for my seventh birthday which would now become the bird's new home."
When asked about the dream,shespoke of the utter joy she felt in seeing this bird, and especially about the possibility of bringing the hummingbird into her home. She knew that she would love this bird and it would be a vital part of her life. She also now felt even more grateful to her father for what he had given her. While her emotional reactions to the dream are all so positive, this dream’s message is dramatically different from what she believes it to be. The strength of her emotional reaction reveals what may well be a deep seated, oppressive attitude within her life and Psyche. As they say that two hearts beat within, so too we often find this Janus faced relationship to the dream. While our feelings about an image are clearly important, they may speak more to an unresolved complex activated by the dream, and thus capture only a partial meaning of the immensity of a dream’s message. It was Jung and the pioneers in Jungian Psychology who recognized the reality of the Psyche, which speaks to the eternal, archetypal nature of images, offering a meaning which far surpasses that of our conscious orientation. In working with a dream, in addition to the dreamer’s reactions to it, we also look to its universal, and archetypal meaning. Archetypally we find that this tiny and mysterious hummingbird has captivated humanity since the beginning of time, portraying a deeply spiritual meaning regarding the ability to find “the nectar - the sweetness of life.” So too, this symbol speaks to the tenacity needed to live a life. We find a reference to the hummingbird in a poem by Rabbi Patti Haskell who writes:
Something darting towards me Draws my eye As two feet away A hummingbird stops to hover Drinking in one magenta-glazed White geranium Before taking once again To flight ... Today is so tranquil, so peaceful with open heart I lift my hummingbird along with my prayers: endless eternal.
In considering the archetypal meaning of the hummingbird, we can understand how the dreamer is potentially putting something so precious, something can help her find that “joie de vivre” in a cage. Perhaps because of her oppressive father complex - remember that he built her this cage, she is now considering taking this capacity for joy and locking it up. In believing that to cage this animal is such a wonderful and joyous activity, we see the power of this unconscious constellation pressuring her to seriously compromise the spirit and nature of this potential for a better life. Within this caged and perhaps tortured reality, the magnificent nature and soul of this bird will be unable to fly and interact freely within her life. Fortunately in the dream we hear that she was only “preparing” to capture the bird. This is a subtle yet profound aspect of the dream’s message. The fact that she had not as yet captured the bird, suggests that there is still time for a powerful therapeutic intervention which can interrupt this tendency to lock up this gift of life. If the archetypal nature of this dream is understood, she can begin to face all those ways she stops herself from finding this "nectar and sweetness of life," and engage in the process of re-claiming her native ability to find what is good in life and to live more to her abilities and to her destiny. This dream is a powerful telling of the relationship between our feelings about our dreams and their innate, archetypal meaning. While contemporary dream work focuses almost exclusively on our personal reactions to dreams, it was Jung who taught us to look at the inherent, archetypal meaning of dream images.
While we can often rely on our clinical skills in managing the complexities of a case, there are moments when our countertransferential issues occlude our clinical judgment and clinical acumen. So too there are those terribly difficult cases which may ask more of us than we may be able to provide at a given moment.
This seminar will discuss the importance of looking at our client’s dreams to help us remain oriented to the specific clinical issues relevant to our case.
An important theme for this weekend seminar will be helping clinicians to learn how to evaluate the client's ego functioning through an analysis and understanding of their initial dream. For instance, we may find the client in a row boat or on a surfboard in the middle of the ocean, or traveling on an ocean liner. Where the former speaks of an ego unable to manage the vicissitudes of experiences likely to be encountered in the deep ocean; the later provides a welcome relief to the therapist, in seeing that a vessel made for such ocean crossings is available and perhaps representative of the therapeutic process. With the ability to translate such a dream, the clinician can more accurately and confidently evaluate how much psychological insight, stress or pressure, their client can manage.
We may also find dreams speaking of those instances when the therapist’s own personal issues have eclipsed their clinical perspective in a case. For instance, the dream may be of the therapist bringing the client into their own (the therapists) home or the therapy session being held in the therapists living room or bedroom. Here, each dream version may speak to the therapist’s lost objectivity. Rather than working from a place of sound clinical judgement and clinical objectivity, through translation of the dream we see that the therapist is treating the client from the perspective of their own very personal and unconscious space.
To illustrate these issues and therapeutic-relational perspectives, Dr. Conforti will present dreams from clinical practice, ways of working with dreams, and examples of dreams which offer a meaningful corrective to the therapist and the therapeutic process.
Demonstrate the compensatory function of dreams
Assess the role of the initial dream in clinical practice
Identify ways of understanding dream images to assist in clinical diagnosis and prognosis
Discuss the dream as an indicator of the involvement of countrertransferencial issues and apply appropriate intervention
The role in dreams in providing a meaningful diagnosis
The role of dreams in providing an accurate assessment of the strength and/or weakness of the client’s ego
Learning to see dreams as providing an accurate commentary about the therapist’s approach with their client
Learning to see how dreams often comment on the therapist’s counter-transference issues involving their work with a particular client
Seeing the role of dream images to describe the nature of a client’s traumatic experiences
Seeing the power of an image to suggest a needed next step in life for the client
This weekend will take an in depth look at this relationship between the personal and archetypal meaning in dreams while also presenting ways of making the dreams message understandable to the dreamer.
Dr. Michael Conforti is a Jungian analyst and the Founder and Director of The Assisi Institute. He is a faculty member at the C.G. Jung Institute, New York, Jung Institute, Boston, and for many years served as a Senior Associate faculty member in the Doctoral and Master's Programs in Clinical Psychology at Antioch New England. A pioneer in the field of matter-psyche studies, Dr. Conforti is actively investigating the workings of archetypal fields and the relationship between Jungian psychology and the New Sciences. He has presented his work to a wide range of national and international audiences, including the C.G. Jung Institute - Zurich and Jungian organizations in Australia Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Venezuela. He is the author of Threshold Experiences: The Archetype of Beginnings (2007) and Field, Form and Fate: Patterns in Mind, Nature and Psyche (2002), which have been translated into Italian, Russian and a soon to be released Spanish edition. His articles have appeared in Psychological Perspectives, San Francisco Jung Library Journal, Roundtable Press, World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution, and Spring Journal. Dr. Conforti maintains a private practice in Mystic, CT and consults with individuals and corporations around the world, including working as a consultant for film and television projects.
Westward Look Resort
Conference Room Rates: $140.00/night (plus tax, gratuities and reduced daily resort fee of $15) for single/double occupancy $150.00/night (plus tax, gratuities and reduced daily resort fee of $15) for triple/quad occupancy
Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists
& Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors
At the conclusion of this program, participants will:
Identify Archetypes and Archetypal Fields within dream images.
Begin to assess strength of dreamer to receive information offered from psychic content.
Compare contemporary dream symbol meaning with that of Archetypal Patterning and Jungian Theory.
Select symbol canon components to evaluate.
Analyze the patterns being brought forth through dream images.
Design a practical client intervention derived from dream content.
Target audience: Mental Health Professionals, Social Workers, Psychologists, Counselors and Nurses. The program is intended to meet Beginning Level learners where they are and introduce them into Archetypal Dream Patterning work. The material is presented in a manner that also facilitates deeper learning for those of a more Intermediate and Advanced Level. CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT
GRIEVANCE POLICY Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Assisi Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 415-5004. Grievances would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.
ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE DIFFERENTLY-ABLED
CES training facilities are handicap accessible. Special accommodations will be made available upon request. Individuals needing special accommodations, or for any other questions regarding training, please contact: Assisi Institute at email@example.com or 860-415-5004.
It is the participant's responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.
Continuing Education Credit is pending through Commonwealth Educational Seminars for the following professions:
Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
If applicable: Social Workers – New York State
Commonwealth Educational Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. #SW-0444.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists:
Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LMFTs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors:
Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LPCs/LMHCs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.