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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Social Dream-Drawing: A Methodology in the Making

This article describes the theoretical and experiential development of a methodology designed to access the unconscious of role holders through drawings of their dreams. Based on the pioneering work of Gordon Lawrence and his Social Dreaming-Matrix, this methodology holds the assumption that dreams belong not only to the dreamer but are expressions of the collective unconscious from which important meaning for the organization can be gleaned. Research on the use of drawings in organizational consultation and research illustrates the important value of these projective methods, and two Social Dream-Drawing sessions are described in depth. The article closes with an elaboration of two aspects of this new methodology that differentiate it from Social dreaming: the potential for deeper access to unconscious material (due to the combination of both visual and verbal data) and the role of the drawing as a 'third eye' on the process, giving the drawer some distance from the dream material and the possibility to associate with the group. In this process, original dream material emerges more and more, and collective associations deepen. The article emphasizes the important role of the facilitator to clearly communicate the purpose of the methodology and to both contain anxieties regarding regression and encourage creative thinking and deeper understanding. It is also the role of the facilitator to help participants link the material to larger organizational issues.