A new feature on The Daily Dreamer debuts today: periodically we'll interview a dream worker. Our maiden voyage begins with Jean Campbell, CEO and Director of The iMage Project, who has developed a method that uses dreams to facilitate healing. Click here to learn more about Jean and her work.
DD: What got you interested in using dreams as a vehicle for healing?
JC: I developed DreamWork/BodyWork after years of work with dreams and eight years of training and certification in Bioenergetic psychotherapy modalities. Along the way I saw innumerable examples of dreams providing the information necessary to healing. Dreams are one way our so-called "unconscious" provides information to us about our physical and emotional health.
DD: Can you briefly explain how dreams can help with physical issues, and what sorts of issues are best addressed this way?
JC: If we take a DreamWork/BodyWork perspective toward dreams, the connection between dreams and health is easily demonstrated by this exercise, which anyone can do: Stand the way you usually stand. Feel how you exist in the space of your body. Are there areas of your body that feel stressed or uncomfortable? Note these.
Now, pick a character from your dreams. The character can be you, another person, a totem animal. Your choice. Then stand and move the way that character stands and moves in the dream. How do you feel in your dream body? What are the differences from your stance in waking life? We under-stand, in our deepest hearts, what we need and want for health.
DD: Can you give an example of how this process affected someone's health (or life)?
JC: When we change the way we move in the world, we are changing at all levels of reality. It is essential to be aware of the body--which carries a language of its own. Once, working with the dream of a woman who had been brutally wounded and raped, I listened to her dream of fighting off her attacker. The woman was lying down as she told the dream. I noticed the movement of her legs. Bent at the knee, her legs slid her stockinged feet along the mat at a regular rhythm. "What are your legs doing?" I asked, interrupting her dream story. All movement stopped.
"I want to run away," she whispered, "I want to run away." She sobbed in shame. She knew she needed to fight off the effects of this trauma, felt she should be able to do that if she were strong. All true. But until we can integrate all of our feelings, accept even our deepest shame, healing is not possible. Health is ease with oneself, as compared with dis-ease.
DD: Thank you, Jean, for telling us about this interesting aspect of dream work. This kind of work demonstrates that the tendency to think that the mind and the body are somehow separate just isn't so.