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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Dreams always take place - An integrative theory of dreaming underlying Social Dreaming

Social Dreaming has been a key offering at ISPSO annual meetings since the 1996 meeting in New York City, when it was first a part of the Professional Development Program. Since then, many books and papers on Social Dreaming have been published, mostly under the inspiration and leadership of Gordon Lawrence. The Gordon Lawrence Foundation for the Promotion of Social Dreaming has also been established, so that Social Dreaming may be developed further in the future and that Lawrence's contribution will continue to be honoured. But, what, in fact, is the theory of dreaming that underlies this praxis? And how is this theory enacted in the course of a Social Dreaming event? The purpose of this paper is to offer an integrative theory of dreaming that grounds Social Dreaming practice. The theory presented in this paper encompasses not just how dreams are produced from the unconscious, but the particular way in which they are worked with in practice. This is a theory of production and practice. Together, this guides researchers and practitioners and provides a solid grounding in working with dreams and making them an essential resource for organizations, groups and individuals. This theory of dreaming is derived from a combination of many theoretical sources and the work of many great thinkers, which, taken in combination, resonate with this methodology. I developed this theory as part of my doctoral work in developing and researching Social Dream-Drawing, a socioanalytic methodology based on Social Dreaming.