*Notes from Strephon Kaplan-Williams’ presentation at the International Association for the Study of Dreams Conference. June 19, 2004, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The Dream and Its Dreamwork – The Exciting Discoveries
In this new approach the presenter has discovered that dreamers who truly work with their dreams cannot feel safe in their confrontation with what the dream is saying about them. Referencing thirty-five years of professional dreamwork and research the presenter finds that the dreamer’s point of view is not the objective view in the dream itself. Only by dreamworking the dream do we make our subjectivity objective. We objectify the dream to objectify ourselves. We find out who we are by finding out who we are in our dreams.

Dream Definitions

A dream is an internal ego experience of meaning occurring internally during sleep
A dream is an experience in image, action and feeling occurring internally in sleep
A dream is a coherent whole using the universal language of imagery to convey our internal and external life issues and how to deal with them, including our limitations in facing their reality
A dream is an internal experience of meaning coming to our awareness in the aware sleep state from a wisdom source other than ego

Dream Functions

A dream functions to present life issues and how we are and are not dealing with them
A dream functions to train us in better dealing with life and personality issues
A dream uses intense imagery to affect us at the emotional level regarding issues to deal with
A dream represents us in our attitudes and patterns in a more objective way than we usually see ourselves
A dream functions to illustrate the need for internal and external integration and wholeness

Some Dreamer Fallacies

The dream is only or best understood by the dreamer
That you can interpret dreams using outside symbol systems
That a dream symbol can be explained out of context
That sharing dreams is a private occupation
That the dreamer needs to fear what dreams reveal or others say about the dream
That dreams are not meaningful in themselves
That you can understand your dreams without needing to understand your dream ego also

The Dreamworker

The committed dreamworker writes down at least three dreams a week for the rest of her life and dreamworks at least one dream a week
The committed dreamworker uses dreams and dreamwork as an objectifying process for making conscious oneself and ones life issues so as to develop, integrate and live realistically
The committed dreamworker chooses the objective view of the dream over that of the dream or waking egos in the choice for objectivity, resolution and wholeness

What We Know About The Dream

Dreams are created by a wisdom source other than ego because dreams present us with our life issues and our challenges in dealing with life and personality
We dream objectively about ourselves
The dreamer is represented by the dream ego
Other symbols, figures and actions represent unconscious inner dynamics and attitudes, but also outer issues, perceptions and persons

Dreaming is congruent with the intuitive function not under control by the ego
Only the ego feels fear. Nightmares show the ego handling situations and issues ineffectively
The dream presents our conscious ego response to inner and outer dynamics and situations
The dream functions to highlight issues and to train the ego consciousness in attitude change and development based on the wholeness principle and reality function

Dreams are created out of a core thrust for wholeness and resolving inner and outer issues
Dreams lead and we follow. We commit to wiser direction than the ego personality provides
Our ongoing dream task is to become more congruent with the issues and dynamics of the dream itself
There are many ways to live life but only one way to live the dream

About The Dream Ego

The Dream Ego represents our operational identity in dreams similar to the ego in waking life
The Dream Ego is only about one seventh of the dream’s dynamics, perspective and issues
The ego identity of the dreamer is challenged by the dream source in the dream
Ongoing analysis of dream ego behavior, characteristics and attitudes through a series of dreams is highly effective for personality assessment and measurement of personal growth

Dream Ego Assessment Profile

List dream ego actions and inactions through a series of dreams
List key issues and actions being repeated in a series of dreams
Find similarities of repeat actions and inactions through the series of dreams regarding repeat issues
Do analysis of attitudes behind dream ego behavior
Design changes in drego behavior to deal more effectively with repeat dream issues or situations
Analyze future dreams for changes in drego behavior and attitude regarding repeat dream issue situations


Dreamwork is the conscious relation of the dreamer to the dream
Dreamwork creates meaning out of re-experiencing the dream and its dynamics
Dreamwork requires objectifying by separating out the Dreamer Ego from the Dream Ego
Dreamwork deals with the personality and life issues dramatized by the dream

Beginner Dreamer

The beginning dreamer is passive and reactive in dreams and life
The beginner dreamer lives from fear and the principle of playing it safe in life using a defense system
The beginner dreamer tries to be in control in dreams and life but has many dreams wherein trying to control does not work
The beginner dreamer does not live in dreams or life that effectively in the sense of realizing potentials and relationships in a growthful and integrative way

The beginner dreamer is not committed to writing down dreams and working with them to mirror personality and to solve life issues and develop potentials
The beginner dreamer is not committed to self-growth and change via shifts in ego point of view
The beginner dreamer does not base life action on following the portrayal of the dream ego in the dream

The beginner dreamer is not committed to changing to become congruent within the dream and in life
The beginner dreamer does not have an organized and developed consciousness but lives through others and projects freely
The beginner dreamer has large areas of life lived in fantasy and symbol systems about how life should be but isn’t
The beginner dreamer tries to control or ignore dreams and life issues that are uncomfortable

The Dreamer Commitment

The commitment to remember and write down many of one’s dreams
The commitment to work with a dream a week with reactions to the dream
The commitment to make changes in oneself and life based on reexperiencing and understanding dream situations and issues
The commitment to becoming active, not passive and reactive, in dreams and life

The commitment to give up ones egocentric need to control in dreams and life
The commitment to become congruent in dreams and life
The commitment to serve the greater principles of integration and wholeness
The commitment to develop the reality function based on dream revelations about dream ego behavior and attitudes in dealing with life

The Dreamer Development

The dreamer experimentally commits to recording dreams as personal mirroring
The dreamer commits to working with recorded dreams for insight and creativity
The dreamer commits to personality and life change based in part on dreamworking the dream
The dreamer commits to give up the defense system and live from the reality principle as reflected in dreams and life
The dreamer begins giving up egocentric control
The dreamer begins dealing with unconscious traumatic material and repressed potentials

The dreamer begins applying dream insights and values to personality and life
The dreamer develops an organized and objective consciousness based on dreamworking many dreams
The dreamer develops an effective and fulfilling personality based on solving dream-evoked life issues and developing dream potentials in life
The dreamer develops a well-rounded personality and life style by solving dream and life issues and developing dream and life potentials

The dreamer becomes integrative and whole by becoming congruent in the dream
The dreamer becomes integrative and whole by living the potentials other characters carry in the dream for the dreamer
The dreamer becomes a self-integrating and self-contained personality by disidentifying from archetypes and integrating projections

The dreamer no longer tries to live through others but lives from ones own core being
The dreamer no longer lives through unconscious attitudes, symbol systems or fantasies, but from the reality principle, dealing with what is
The dreamer is a developed dreamworker able to work with and understand one’s own dreams from the dream source viewpoint and not just the ego viewpoint
The dreamer has major dreams of life and destiny and change points in one’s life that are followed and developed

The developed dreamer is effective and fulfilled, living a life of purpose and meaning
The developed dreamer lives fate as destiny, creating a life of meaning out of one’s core self

Dreamwork Research Principles

The dream ego is the most consistent and relevant symbol in ongoing dreaming, and therefore the most measurable basis for classifying dream categories of meaning
Development in life and personality can be effectively measured by dream ego classification as to action and attitude, plus development in ongoing dreaming
Personality and life change and development can be measured by dream ego development and change when dream and dreamer related interventions are made through applying dreamwork methodology
Dream ego development and change can be classified and measured in itself and correlations made to ego development and change in life
Personality identity and behavior can be classified through classification of dream ego characteristics, actions and attitudes
The dream record is eighty percent accurate, accurate enough for objective classification
The personality of the dreamer can be objectively classified through objectifying the dream and the dream ego
Therapeutic and growth interventions can be effectively made based on ongoing dream ego analysis
The dreamer and the dream can be analyzed and classified through objectifying the dream ego
The effects of ongoing dreamwork can be measured in classification of dream ego behavior, change and development
The effects of ongoing dreamwork can be measured in correlations between dream ego behavior and attitude and waking ego behavior and attitude

by Strephon Kaplan-Williams