Dreaming : Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams
Human Sciences Press, Inc., New York City

Volume 4, Number 4, December 1994


Community Applications of an Experiential Group Approach to Teaching Dreamwork
Stanley Krippner, Stewart Gabel, Jenny Green, and Roberta Rubien
Page 215

The Experiential Dream Group: Its Application in the Training of Therapists

Montague Ullman
Page 223
Available online

Experiential Dream Group Work From a Lay Perspective
Linda J. Hall
Page 231

Authorship in Dreams and Fictions
Bert O. States
Page 237

Random Cognitive Activation in Dreaming Does Not Require a Cartesian Theater
Timothy L. Hubbard
Page 255

Krippner, Stanley; Gabel, Stewart; Green, Jenny; Rubien, Roberta.
Community applications of an experiential group approach to teaching dreamwork.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 4(4) 215-222, Dec 1994.


Montague Ullman's experiential dream process was designed to help dreamers relate their dream images to their past and present life experiences in ways that give the image a deeper meaning. This paper introduces and summarizes material presented at two panel discussions in which Ullman and his colleagues described how they have used this process with a variety of community groups, expanding the horizons of dreamwork. Several of these community programs are discussed, and represent aspects of the emerging "grassroots dreamwork movement" in the United States and elsewhere.

Key Words: dream; dream group; community.


Ullman, M.D., Montague.
The experiential dream group: Its application in the training of therapists.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 4(4) 223-229, Dec 1994.


A critique is offered of the way the clinical use of dreams is taught in training centers for psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. A more effective way of teaching about dreams to aspiring therapists is needed to counterbalance the current emphasis on theory at the expense of eliciting the necessary data. An experiential group approach is then described as a pedagogical tool stressing the importance of and the nature of the dialogue that has to ensue between the dreamer and the helping agency. The various strategies employed help the dreamer arrive at the relevant associative matrix and uncover the link between current and past emotional residues. The skills that are necessary for dream work can be clearly defined and carried over into clinical dream work on a one to one basis.

Key Words: dream; dream groups; group therapy.

Available online


Hall, Linda J.
Experiential dream group work from a lay perspective.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 4(4) 231-236, Dec 1994.


Dr. Ullman's experiential dream group technique provides a structure that can guide people toward a better understanding of their dreams. The technique is quite teachable and can be implemented within the community by professionals or lay people. The paper will present a case study of the first session of a dream group. Even groups newly oriented to the process can be extremely successful in helping the dreamer grasp the meaning of the dream, as long as the basic tenets are respected. The system of co-leadership is also discussed. Co-leadership is excellent for new leaders as it enhances leadership skills through peer supervision and modeling.

Key Words: dream; dream group; dream training.


States, Bert O.
Authorship in dreams and fictions.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 4(4) 237-253, Dec 1994.


Departing from a recent article by R. Llinás and D. Paré in Neuroscience the paper discusses the possibility that storytelling springs from the same "skill" that permits us to dream, that waking storytelling is simply "modulated by different constraints" on the imagination (among which are: responsibility to a reader, susceptibility to interruption or distraction, so called double-mindedness, etc.), and that while creating the story the storyteller is, in a manner of speaking, really dreaming under different circumstances. The paper is divided into two topic areas: the first relates to our intrinsic capacity to invent stories and images (what creative processes make invention possible?), the second to the extrinsic structures (scripts, proverbs, etc.) we borrow from the waking world in order to make dream narratives (or: what features of waking experience go into the structuring of plots?). The prevailing assumption of the paper is that the creative process, in both dreams and waking fictions, is a form of remembering, or a remembrance of things learned and stored in associational memory.

Key Words: dream; fiction; memory; scripts; creativity.


Hubbard, Timothy L.
Random cognitive activation in dreaming does not require a Cartesian Theater.
Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams. Vol 4(4) 255-266, Dec 1994.


Recent theories of dreaming have suggested that dream content is determined by the random activation of elements within a mnemonic network. These theories then suggest that the cortex is somehow able to make sense out of these random patterns of activation and that during this process the brain constructs as coherent and plausible a dream narrative as possible. Such an approach assumes that there is indeed a place in the brain where all the information "comes together" into a unified experience and from where the dream events may be "witnessed." Dennett (1991) has named such a place the Cartesian Theater and has demonstrated that for the case of waking consciousness such a notion is fundamentally misguided. Dennett's arguments can be broadened beyond waking consciousness to include the sleep state, and it is proposed here that there is no such place where the random activations are woven into a coherent story and that there is no Cartesian Theater in the dreaming brain. Instead, it is proposed that dream content is synonymous with which elements of the connectionist-style mnemonic network are most highly activated and that the threshold for a given element is determined (at least in part) by the recency or saliency of the stimuli represented by that element.

Key Words: dream; dreaming; Cartesian Theater.

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