Description. Dream work
is the attempt to explore and interact with dreams for psychological
insight in psychotherapy; for spiritual insight in "Christian" dream
work; or in manipulating dreams for occult revelations or "spiritual
growth" in New Age practices. Dream work may also be used as an
adjunct to physical healing.
Founder. Unknown; dream
work practices and techniques extend into antiquity.
How does it claim to work?
Dream work claims that our dreams powerfully reflect or influence
spiritual, psychological, and even physical realities. In New Age
practice, dreams can be explored and even manipulated (as in lucid
dream work) for occult revelations, spirit contact, astral travel, and
to induce altered states of consciousness. In psychotherapy, exploring
dreams may open doors to the "unconscious mind" to reveal and help
resolve hidden emotional conflicts or other problems. In "Christian"
dream work, dreams are seen as signs or even personal messages or
revelations from God; therefore, exploring dreams may be seen as the
equivalent to "studying" Godís Word. In physical healing, dreams may
be seen as a means to reveal hindrances to the healing process and
assist in the proper treatment
Considerable research has been done on the nature, purpose, and
meaning of dreams; however, much still remains tentative or uncertain.
There is a legitimate science of clinically investigating dreams and
the influence they have. Nevertheless, scientific research into dreams
must not be confused with New Age dream work.
Examples of occult
potential: Dream work can be used to foster many New Age goals,
from altering consciousness and developing psychic powers to spirit
contact. It is used in many occult disciplines, such as astrology, and
in shamanism and other forms of sorcery.
Major problems. The
value of dream work to healing is unsubstantiated. In psychotherapy,
dream work interpretation is often subjective and contradictory. In
psychotherapeutic and Christian dream work, or in New Age occult
manipulation of dreams, the practice may have unexpected or unforeseen
evaluation. Divinely inspired dreams are relatively rare and are
given by God for His purposes to accomplish His will; they cannot be
induced or manipulated by men. Normal dreams are not to be given a
spiritual significance they do not possess. Godís use of dreams in the
Bible stands in contrast to their use in psychotherapy, Christian
dream work, and occult dream work.
Unintended occult influences. Some researchers have speculated as to
possible harmful psychological consequences from personal dream