I am a dream worker. I describe myself as a depth counselor. I use dreams as a way to look at issues from inside out. Jung referred to the “objective” psyche because it orients the work to a point outside of the self (small s) or ego. He called that “point”, that North Star, the Self. Another way of understanding the Self is to see it as the archetype of wholeness.
Recently I was working with a client and we were approaching the end of our hour and a half session and she asked, “What do you get out of this?” Certainly not a living. I charge on a sliding scale, and, in the case of those who have little or no income I offer free sessions to get started and after that I will accept a barter. So, what do I get out of this?
Well, I know it works and I know it helps.
I was just listening to a report on NPR of a research-scientist who formulated a pill for a debilitating illness. It was cheap to produce and, being a good soul, he made the pill available for $2 a dose. I think that is a good model for healers of every ilk. If the medicine is “good”, it needs to be available, period. Wellness and the well-being of the human race is my goal, not necessarily feathering my nest.
I am an intuitive and I have studied Jung for many years. I have made it my own. I am fluent in Jung (his principles, theories and techniques). It’s seeped into my make-up, not just intellectually but on the cellular level. (Going back to 1974.) I have read thousands of folktales and am familiar with mythology of various cultures, so I see how the archetypal themes in dreams relate to the larger story of being human. There are lots of ways into Jung’s world-view but what makes his psychology timeless and transcultural, and almost universal is the understanding of the role of archetypes in the evolution of human consciousness. This cannot be learned or taught, it has to be experienced. But it certainly helps to see how archetypes come up in religion, mythology, biology, fiction, the arts, poetry, visions and dreams.
When we imagine we are the center of the universe, we severely limit our experience of life and the energy becomes centripetal, always pulling everything in. Everything becomes a reflection of oneself. Horizons close in. I see how we get stuck in ruts and begin believing that our experience is all there is, and I know how suffocating that is.
The beauty of what Jung offers is the idea of an objective psyche. The archetypes are our bridge into life and the world, so we can start making connections. . .respinning our damaged webs.
What do I get out of this? I love helping people re-spin their webs!
This work is really about soul retrieval. “Psyche” in Greek means “soul”. The psyche is our soul. Dreams are one way our (old) soul communicates to us. It’s different than how the brain communicates. To say the soul’s communication is nonlinear just scratches the surface. The soul’s medium of choice is dreams and the drama of our lives (life as Dream). If our lives keep repeating and we keep getting hurt by life or situations it just means that we have stopped listening to our soul. When we fall out of communication with our souls we start experiencing a meaning-drain. Things seem both negatively inevitable and random, in the sense of meaningless.
The hard part about dreamwork is, in the initial stages, moving forward often calls for the deconstruction of the old story, the old reality. Then things get muddy. The shadow begins to appear and other archetypes in the guise of different characters, both dream characters and real people who want our attention or pop up to communicate something important out of the blue, that challenges our standpoint. That is why it is helpful, during this phase to work with someone who has assimilated some of their own shadow. It can be tricky.
I get excited doing this work. It feeds me to be helping another person step into a larger life. Sure I would like to make a living in the process, just like I would like to make a living writing books. I just haven’t figured out how to do that. I am in conversation with someone who is in the same boat as me. She is giving up and throwing in the towel on doing this kind of depth counseling because people these days tend to look for quick fixes and do not utilize her. I too have given up periodically over the years, but I keep returning to it. Whether it pays the bills or not this work feeds something in me. . .on the cellular level.
It’s like being a dancer. If a dancer stops dancing they whither.
So what I get out of this is knowing that I am doing what I am good at. I’ll go back to that image of the web. The feeling I get when I see people re-spinning their webs of connection trumps any other form of remuneration or reward.