I began treating dreams as having a life of their own. That’s when something began happening in my professional psychotherapy practice that I hadn’t seen happen with the other forms of psychotherapy I was utilizing. People’s lives began to turn around. (…) The system that I have developed to work with living images is called “Dream Tending.” Dream Tending uses techniques that I have tested on myself, my family, my peers, my clients, and thousands of university and workshop students from around the world for over thirty years. I have carefully weeded out anything that didn’t seem to bear fruit and have poured further energy into developing the concepts and exercises that I’ve seen repeatedly helping people.
This is how Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D. introduces this innovative and accessible mental working. It reads as part memoir, part exercise book, and is supplemented with fascinating case studies. The Dream Tending method guides readers and dreamers to active work with dream symbols. From reading the case studies, I found the depth and dynamic described in these stories to be very fulfilling to read. This method applied to breaking substance abuse addictions, mending relationship conflicts, sparking career motivation, and even restoring physical health.
A broader working mentioned in Dream Tending, that of Archetypal Activism, went beyond personal psychology and into our relationship with other dreamers of our waking world: the oceans, the mountains, even the bridges and buildings of our cities. “Self-neurosis is world-neurosis,” Aizenstat writes.
So too is the Archetypal Activism that our soul may call us to, in working with our local communities. In January of 2018, The Carl Jung Circle Center had organized a Dream Tending workshop. Stephen Aizenstat would fly from his home in California to the Philippines to personally conduct it, and I looked forward to hearing from somebody I considered a true soul-and-story healer, and a rarity from the metropolitan Western world—or at least refreshingly different from my own stereotypical idea of a healer.
Devastating wildfires and mudslides in California called for a postponement of our anticipated event. The sheer scale of the damage described, from residents of effected areas, was heart-wrenching. I have gratitude for those here in Manila who have heard of this workshop and expressed interesting and openness to this innovation, for I find here a broadened community of kindred spirits. I also harbor the utmost compassion for our friends and affiliates in California. May our dreams and prayers lend resilience and hope to your land and community.
All of this life-changing perspective-shifting information is presented simply and accessibly in Dr. Aizenstat’s book, autographed copies of which are currently stocked at the Carl Jung Library for sale at the price of P1,500.