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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021



Social Dreaming is a way of working with dreams where the focus is on the dream and not the dreamer. In Social Dreaming, the meaning of a dream is about the broader world in which we live. All dreams and dream fragments are welcomed, whether seemingly frivolous or serious; funny or scary. Dreams can emerge from the associative unconscious, where every dream is equal. In a Social Dreaming event called a matrix, participants are invited to offer their dreams and, through associations, explore the possible social meanings contained. The dreams are not interpreted for personal meaning, but connections are made to social life. Personal meanings are for the individual to consider privately. Each social dreaming matrix is most often followed by a dream reflection dialogue where hypotheses are developed about the social meaning emerging from the matrix. Social dreaming is a current expression of dream sharing with the intent to formulate or discover new hypotheses about the community and the world in which we live. (See Long and Manley 2019).

Social Dreaming for ISPSO Annual Meeting July 1-7, 2024

All ISPSO annual meeting registrants are welcome to join the social dreaming matrices and dream reflection dialogues held before and during the annual meeting. The dreams offered to the matrices immediately preceding and during the Annual Meeting have the potential to inform matrix participants about unconscious processes within the culture of the organization especially its annual meeting. The dream reflection dialogue following each social dreaming matrix allows matrix participants to make sense of the dreams given the annual meeting context. This can then support them in the work of the annual meeting.

Social Dreaming work understands that the meaning emergent from social dreaming belongs to a collaborative endeavour amongst participants. The SD team members act as hosts and facilitators and are not regarded as the only ones to create meaning.

The Social Dreaming team for the 2024 AM is dedicated to:

  • Provide the possibility for a social dreaming experience for all those enrolled for the AM whether in-person or virtually without the messiness of a hybrid format.
  • A containing and holding function insofar as the current state of the world and the organisations within it, may generate intense emotions accompanying dreams. The hypothesis at work is that social dreaming provides a way of both expressing and containing these emotions.
  • Ways in which participants can see how social dreaming might be applied for learning about the unconscious processes in organisations.