A professional in dreamwork is one who has learned the methodology by work with his or her own dreams under the supervision of a dreamwork psychologist who has himself or herself been trained and graduated.

A professional adheres to a standard of ethics for the protection of the clients he or she works with.

A professional gains considerable supervised experience in working with others and is so evaluated by both his or her peers and by the trainers most involved.

A professional is fully trained under supervision in working with both individuals and groups and certified as competent, objective and caring in this work.

The professional does not put himself or herself before the public in ways that he or she has not been professionally qualified for.

A professional is one who accepts responsibility to one’s colleagues and to one’s clients.

A professional maintains active contact with one’s colleagues during professional life and keeps to ongoing study and personal dreamwork so as to enhance one’s effectiveness in the field.

A professional has developed objectivity towards the dream, the dreamer and the dreamwork process through achieving a character development that no longer seeks to have the ego in control in dreams or in life. 

This is a major shift that can only occur if the leader or guide has submitted to both a supervising professional dreamwork guide and developed a balanced relationship between the personal ego and the larger center that produces the dream.

I have trained a few hundred students over the years in this approach to dreamwork and met probably every manipulation that therapists, guides and teachers can put out into the atmosphere. Almost without exception the occupational hazard of working with others dream-wise and psychologically is that the therapist or teacher is drawn out of him or herself into the exciting material of the clients.

Correctives are needed, and in this approach, like in analyst training in Jungian psychology, we insist that the students be a student and work on her or himself extensively. This process is supervised by honest feedback from ones peers and from the trainers. Ultimately the dream therapist or guide must take individual responsibility for developing personal and professional integrity.

We remember again that the ego, the dream ego also, is only around one forth of the energy functions in a typical dream. If this is so why then should a dream or waking ego seek to control all of a dream and its meaning, but this is exactly what seems to happen with a lot of dreamwork approaches, especially the interpretive ones.

We do everything possible in this dreamwork training to support each student and teacher in not trying to exert ego control over the dream and its dreamwork. The alternative is to let go of ego control and defenses and instead use the ego function to increase its congruence with what is happening in the dream through acceptance and processing.

Thus one of the fundamental questions for doing dreamwork is, How can you make your dream ego more cooperative and accepting in your dreams instead of seeking control, resisting what is happening, or avoiding what the dream portrays?

Thus for all it is very necessary to learn the dreamworking techniques well through constant practice and supervised training in the use of the techniques and in dealing with outcomes. This is also why leaders and therapists must have extensive supervised dreamwork experience of their own dream journeys before they can work in-depth with others. Anyone almost can start using the techniques on themselves and others because the techniques are powerful and effective in themselves. But since the results of letting go to the dream source again are unpredictable non-committed and non-skilled leaders will not always be able to ground the emotions and processes that are evoked in using the techniques.

Learn well the techniques and their effects on you before you use the techniques with anyone else. This is our guidance.

by Strephon Kaplan-Williams