Meaningful dreams are dreams that significantly reorient a dreamer's internal life (e.g., beliefs, values, perspectives), affect the dreamer's life path, and continue to be meaningful for the rest of the dreamer's life. Although previous research has reported the significance of meaningful dreams and benefits of dreamwork, no study has fully explored how working with such dreams affects women's lives and development. This qualitative study interviewed 12 middle-aged (49-64) women dreamworkers, who had been working with their dreams over many years (average 34 years) and who had had a meaningful dream at least 5 years before (average 17 years). All 12 dream narratives delineate how having and working with their meaningful dream uniquely initiated a new life phase and transformed their lives. Thematic analysis revealed that whereas most meaningful dreams contained a clear message and rapidly unfolded a new life process, some did not. Without such a clear dream message, the women‘s intensive dreamwork and synchronistic events around their dream theme gradually uncovered the meaning of their dream and unfolded a new life process for them. Eventually, these processes made their dream meaningful. For both patterns, dream experiences positively influenced psychological development, spirituality, career, female identity, interpersonal relationships, experience of synchronicity, worldview, and perception of dreams and dreamwork. Over the years, the women‘s continuous remembering and inquiring into their meaningful dream, especially into the major dream theme and image, functioned as a resource for further psychological growth. Their iv meaningful dream also guided them as a decision criterion, a source of vision for the future, and a support during challenging periods. Results were interpreted by Jungian theories of the Self, individuation, significant dreams, and women's psychological development. A model of the process of the women dreamworkers' meaningful dreaming and its sequelae based on the results is presented.
|Commitee:||Marlo, Helen, Young, Jonathan|
|School:||Institute of Transpersonal Psychology|
|Department:||Residential Clinical Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Developmental psychology, Spirituality|
|Keywords:||Dreamwork, Individuation, Middle-age, Psychological development, Significant dreams, Women|
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