Assessing Dream Work: Conceptualizing dream work as an intervention in dream life
How can we gauge the effectiveness of dream work? The question is especially difficult when we try to encompass the various theories of dreams such as those of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and the many current forms of dream work. A rationale is offered for why this has proved so difficult. A schematic approach to depicting dream work is described that illuminates some of the issues and a novel approach to assessing dream work is offered.Typically, the measures used for effective dream work are self-assessments by the dreamer (e.g. DeCicco, 2007, Hill & Knox, 2010, Taylor, 1998, Ullman, 1994). A different approach is possible if we conceptualize dream work as an intervention in the dreamer’s dream life. The dream work can then be judged by its influence on the next dream. This is of value to the dream worker as it provides feedback that allows her to adjust her work. It has the benefit that it allows for an independent assessment rather than relying on the self-assessment of the dreamer. It is an approach that potentially offers a rigorous methodology without causing damage to the intent of the many varieties of dream work.