This qualitative research examines the experiences of people who have explored their dreams using the Waking Dream Process (Hamilton, 2014) in the context of transpersonal psychotherapy. The Waking Dream Process is a method of revisiting dreams by engaging the body and imagination to facilitate psychological integration and personal development. The twelve participants took part in semi-structured interviews and completed scales measuring changes in mental well-being and attitudes towards dreams. Thematic Content Analysis (TCA; Anderson, 2007) drew out themes from the interview transcripts. In alignment with Movahedi’s (2012) observations, hermeneutic and statistical analyses were combined to further reveal patterns in the results. The TCA and scales findings were triangulated to test and strengthen the trustworthiness of the results (Guba, 1981).
This study found that the Waking Dream Process (Hamilton, 2014) supported positive changes in mental well-being and attitudes towards dreams. The benefits included psychological integration and insight into past and present psychological issues, enhancing personal and transpersonal understanding and connection, which correlated with the individual well-being measures. Participants also emphasized safety and trust within the therapeutic container (Merritt, 2012).
Dave Billington, MA, Dipl. Psychotherapy, is the Research Development Officer at the Dream Research Institute, London. His MA from Northampton University examines the impact of the Waking Dream Process on client well-being and experience of therapy.