Strephon Kaplan-Williams was a leading dreamwork psychologist of the twentieth century who has a number of firsts in the field of dream and dreamwork psychology
Kaplan-Williams earned two master’s degrees at the University of California Los Angeles and San Francisco in English literature and Counseling psychology. He received extensive Jungian analytical training for ten years with the Guild for Psychological Studies, graduating as one of their main leaders. He has undergone fifteen years of Jungian analysis and had many other trainings in modern California therapy approaches. He is responsible for originating the Jungian-Senoi method of dreamwork development and healing.
Kaplan-Williams founded the first dreamwork institute, the Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Institute in 1977 in Berkeley, California, U.S.A., not devoted to any one psychology but devoted to the psychology of dreamwork in practice by professionals and lay people alike. It was in existence for eleven years, during which time it offered a yearly professional training program in dreamwork and dreamwork psychology
Strephon Kaplan-Williams is the originating founder of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), founded in 1984 with co-founders Patricia Garfield, Gayle Delaney and Jeremy Taylor, and today the major organization in the field of dreams and their many approaches to understanding them. He is the only original co-founder who has not been elected president by the board and membership, despite his important contributions to the field of dreamwork psychology and the American dreamwork movement. Stephen LaBerge was later made a co-founder but was not a member of the team of the original four co-founders, nor ever took an active part in the organization itself
Strephon Kaplan-Williams started the first dreamwork training program for professionals (1979) at his newly formed Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Institute in Berkeley, California involving weekly year-long study in the basic techniques for doing dreamwork with individuals and groups not associated with any one school of psychology.
He has given one, two and three-year professional training programs to psychologists and lay people in dreamwork psychology since 1980. He has taught his approach in eleven countries. These include United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and Romania.
Strephon Kaplan-Williams is the first to originate the terms, dreamwork psychology and dream psychology to differentiate dreams and dreamwork as a separate branch of psychology
Until 2002, when Strephon Kaplan-Williams and a few psychologists made the initial declaration, dreams and dreamwork had always been considered a part of a school of psychology. Now he saw that dreams and dreamwork should be differentiated as a separate branch of psychology itself. Such a branch of psychology needs a developed psychology curriculum, institutes to teacher dreamwork psychology as well as do further research and development
Kaplan-Williams is responsible for redefining the terminology: dreamwork (Freud invented the term but did not combine the words, a conscious decision), dream ego, or drego, and waking ego, objectifying dreams, dream source, dream reentry, dreamwork psychology, and the ego and the seven basic archetypes model. He is the first to compile together a set of complete dreamwork techniques, many credited to their originators, some he originated himself.
He is personally responsible for originating the dreamwork methods: Objectifying Dreams, Following the Dream Ego, the Dream Task, Seven Basic Archetypes Dreamwork and modifying these other techniques substantially: Dream Dialogue, Dream Enactments, Dream Reentry (of which he originated the term) and Shamanic Dreamwork.
These techniques were originally published in his Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual (1978, 1980) and further expanded in his Dreamworking: A Comprehensive Guide For Working With Dreams (1991).
As a contribution to this newly emerging field, Strephon Kaplan-Williams wrote and published three dreamwork manuals: the Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual (1978, 1980), Dreamworking (1991), and Elements of Dreamwork (1991).
Kaplan-Williams published the first Dream Cards (1991, Simon and Schuster, sold over 110,000 copies in eight languages). They are still being re-published in the Netherlands (Droomkaarten), Brazil and Germany (Traum Symbol Karten) fifteen years later, but are not yet available again in English. He also published in 2004 the private editions The Dream Alphabet and The Dream Cards Recipes. His other published books include The Practice of Personal Transformation, Transforming Childhood.
– First Dreamwork Manual (1978,1980)
– First Dreamwork Institute (1977)
– First Professional Dreamwork Training (1979)
– First dreamwork methods: Objectifying Dreams, Following The Dream Ego, Dream Reentry (1978)
– First international dream association, ASD convening co-founder (1983)
– First Dream Cards (1991)
– First Professional Dreamwork Psychology Training Course (Romania, 2003-2008)