Dreamwork Bring together the pieces

Bring together the pieces

This dream seemed sacred and profound. After dreams with shattering glass and stained glass and I saw in my outer world my perceptions were being altered and shattered. (My own shattering). This good presence came and seemed to be collecting the pieces for me and presenting them back to me. Like all the broken pieces. Breaking and remodelling are common themes in dreams. I had to acknowledge I had been broken first. This dream gave me hope.

Dreamwork Mask

Mask

I have never seen this mask before that came in my dream. I have seen similar in Neil Gaiman literature. It's terrifying and dehumanizing and made me feel like I was in a war. I have had numerous recurrent war dreams. But have never been to war in my outer world. Releasing this image helped me deal with all that I don't understand in this world and that's there's a lot of terrifying things going on constantly. I think it made me more compassionate somehow. I don't really know. Still processing this...

Dreamwork creature around car

creature around car

This dream had me scared of this large lizard like creature around a car. I felt much fear. I often tell people dreams may have 100 meanings and keep an open mind. I have to with this one since I'm still processing this. But I felt compelled to "release it" through a sketch and somehow it it less scary that way. I often encourage others to sketch or paint their dreams.

Dreamwork Feather

Feather

This feather came as an image in a dream. Floating. Peaceful. It felt peaceful. I often ask people, "is there a reason you might need to feel this feeling in your life at this time?". Could I use more peace? It seems like always. Choosing a job that is based in am emergency room or operating room gives an idea of the life choices I have made that are not always peaceful. Still looking for more of this...

Dreamwork Face Bear/Wall of Flesh

Face Bear/Wall of Flesh

In this dream I was terrified. It was just a bear and a wall of flesh that went up to the sky. Like raw steaks stacked. Blood dripping. Working with this dream... I had to acknowledge there's rawness & trauma in me. I need to be the bear with a presence in the world: have boundaries and stand my ground not worrying about what others think.. like a bear

Dreamwork Bullets turn Rainbow

Bullets turn Rainbow

I sketched this after a girl in my dream told me to BE CREATIVE! It was a compilation of dreams: I was shooting and the bullets swirled like bees into galaxy shape (recurrent war dreams), I felt like I was being shot and dying and this womans face appeared while I felt this. (Reminded me of the Valkyrie myth) And Dream where I'm drilling into my own legs (Reminds me of how hard on myself I can be.) Somehow connecting these dreams in art helps me.

Dreamwork Watch Bear Fall

Watch Bear Fall

In this dream I saw a white bear fall, or be pushed, off a cliff from a great distance. I didn't feel much. But the metaphor is not a happy one. My distance from it may be significant and I often take notice of distances and proximities in dreams. Am I distant from something painful like the fall of a white bear? I likely was. Many bear dreams followed this one until they were everywhere. I had little choice but to face the fear of the bear and what it represented for me.

Dreamwork Grey man with ripped face

Grey man with ripped face

In this dream it felt like being whipped with Cat-o-nine tails. What?!! Why was I sent this dream? It's dreams like this that capture a familiar feeling that I know with a terrifying image that make me wonder about the source of dreams, and why should I open this door? But I have found to acknowledge what is somehow living within you opens you up to truly be alive in the outer world. Somehow it was a relief to "release" this dream.

Dreamwork Weighted to bottom

Weighted to bottom

In this dream I am given lead weights to hold while on a boat. I rapidly descend to the depths of the ocean. In my outer world, I knew there was stuff I needed to deal with... and quick. I needed a push, and my dream gave it to me. Going down in dreams is often emotional and literally brings up things that are often painful and sad but live inside of you. I needed to go deeper. I'm glad I did. Going deep is often what seems necessary.

Dreamwork In the Fire

In the Fire

In this dream I watched a man in the flames. As I felt into being him, this fire did not consume or burn him. He was just in the flames. It brought many questions, including: What does that feel like? Can I be with my own fire or passion? Fire can be transformative. I'm still learning what this means. Writing helps. There was a black and white checkered floor next to this image. The part of me that viewed the world in simple black and white was being destroyed on some level.

Dreamwork Letting Go... To find our focus

Letting Go... To find our focus

This dream was hard to put to words. The words in the dream came to me,"Letting go to find our focus". People were hanging onto the edges and the spinning force would seem to cause them to not hang on and just let go. I tried to draw this. It seems very Buddhist, like "non-attachment" is talked about in Buddhism. Did I need to hear this? Yes. Still do. (I have many dreams with seeming Buddhist or biblical references despite not following or being raised in either tradition.)

Dreamwork Playing in the Wrong Game

Playing in the Wrong Game

In this dream from a few years back, I score and celebrate (I play ice hockey) as I play against this demon/darkness. Then I face off again and my heart sinks. I realize..."wait... he's going to let me score!" This game is hollow. Like winning a battle but losing the war. Like the arguments in my life that are pointless. In this dream realized I'm in the wrong game... in my inner and outer life. I needed to seriously reevaluate what I was doing and why. (Reminded me of Neitzche quotes of the allure of darkness.)

Dreamwork Dream collage sword

Dream collage sword

This image was inspired after working with many dreams and the images that seem to recur so often for so many people. Water, mountains, jail, cups (often not full...) animals, swords... I have been gifted 3 swords in different dreams. It felt like a priveledge each time. I realize its a powerful image and has a double edge. Getting what one wants or needs could be helped metaphorically with a sword. But it can also cut or wound and demands respect and humility.

Dreamwork 3 dudes visit

3 dudes visit

In this dream I feel small. I am cowering on a bunk bed with what feels like my sister. (Somewhat familiar from childhood with fighting in the house). These guys felt like good energy dudes and support. I love music. I thought one was Bob Seger in the dream. Often the feeling of being supported or "not alone" seems the main message of some dreams. It's one thing to say I don't feel alone. It's another thing to feel it. Dreams open feelings. This was a great dream.

Dreamwork 2 flowers

2 flowers

In this dream I am drawing. That there was two seemed symbolic somehow. Did I need to acknowledge some split in my world? (I can think of many). But I could definitely acknowledge that I had been ignoring that I like to create art. Often dreams inspire in a way that's beyond words. I sketched in this dream. I started sketching more in my life. That provided most of the art for this website. It felt good to start doing art again. Something I had stopped doing. I restarted.

Certifications / Associations

Unfortunately, there is no one set "certification program" to do this type of work. I will delineate some of what I have done below. There are many dream related programs out there. And psychology, psychiatry and counselling programs may or may not acknowledge dreams as being important. I have none of these specific certificates. I do have a medical degree which helps give me perspective on ethics and the concept of "do no harm".

My mentors of this working with dreams (that I call dreamwork) and those who have trained me are good human beings who have personally "walked the walk" and delved into their own dreams. We meet weekly to biweekly online as this community is quite geographically diverse. We have formed an association called the Association of Dreamwork Practitioners (ADP). But at this point it exists mainly as an organizational hub and reminder of a code of ethics statement.

The websites and bios of many of my colleagues are found in the links from this website. In meetings with peers and facilitators we discuss and reflect practices and what we have learned personally. I also follow my own dreams and work with another practitioner to help hold the mirror for me.

My experience...

  • BSc: Bachelor of Science 1990, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada.
  • MD: Medical school UBC 1994 with electives in psychiatry, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 

  • CCFP: Family medicine training 1996 Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
. 20 years medical practice with about half doing family medicine primarily
, 10 years part time pain clinic
. Currently practicing emergency medicine and anesthesia as well as pain medicine
 and dreamwork.
  • Dreamwork retreats: have attended 10 across Canada and USA led by Bill St Cyr, Susan Marie Scavo, Rodger Kamenetz and North of Eden (no longer a group). 
  • Currently in fourth year of having dreamwork clients. First 2 years did with mainly with supervision
.
  • 4 years of working my own dreams with a dream facilitator
.
  • Scattering of couples dreamwork sessions with my wife Beth and Bill and Sue.

  • Community initiatives:
 5 separate talks in community about dreamwork over the past 3 years.
  • 
4 "Art & Dream" nights over the past 6 months at the local art gallery getting (6-12 attendants each time). 

  • Have met with three church leaders so far to discuss what I am doing with dreams and be in dialogue and to get perspectives.

  • Integration into mainstream medical culture:
 Accepting referrals from local MD’s. 

  • Using dreamwork in hospital ward and in emergency room.
  • Integration of pain clinic with dreamwork clinic ongoing. Offer pain patients dreamwork as an adjunct to external treatments.

  • Research: Involved in helping educate and inform Birgit Laskowski in her Masters thesis on effects of dreamwork on 6 dreamers in Smithers (see pdf)
.
  • Applied for, and tentatively received, funding offer for another larger study on effects of dreamwork and pain and depression on local population (perhaps larger population) of dreamers. To work with same researcher Birgit.