For both individual and group work I use the projective dreamwork method, combined with other tools I have acquired over the years.
Projection is the unconscious action of rejecting both positive and negative qualities in oneself and seeing them as belonging only to others. Perceiving these qualities in ourselves is uncomfortable because we have learned from our family or culture that it is not safe to be seen as having these qualities (even when we do!).
The Projective Dreamwork Method helps us be aware that this dynamic is in play.
Projection can cause a skewed perception. We say, “I am not this. Only you are this”.
However, each of us has the potential to manifest all qualities.
This does not mean that the other does not have the qualities we are seeing in them.
It does mean that we need to be aware that rejecting these qualities in us requires others to be scapegoats or heroes, and cuts us off from the full range of human expression.
Projection is automatic, unconscious, and unavoidable, yet through reflective practice we can learn to be aware of it as it arises.
The Dreamer Owns the Dream – and I own my experience of the shared dream:
Our experience of the dream is not the same as the dreamer’s, or anyone else’s.
By being aware that we are having our own personal experience of the dream, as we would a story or movie, we can then speak about it from an “I” perspective.
When we share our responses to the dream we say “In my experience of the dream…” or, “In my imagined version of the dream…”
This way we give the dreamer a selection of perspectives on the dream that may or may not ring true for them, without insisting on one meaning.
Through sharing our experience of the dream we share elements of ourselves with the group.
Even though we each experience the dream story differently, it is a lovely wonder how oftentimes someone else’s experience of the dream story rings true for the dreamer, or others in the group.