In this book I will share with you some of the profound
experiences and insights my clients have reported while using
hypnosis to dream during therapy. Therapists have made use
of clientsí dreams since the days of Freud, but we usually rely on
the fragments of the dream that the person can remember days later
during the therapy session. By having my clients dream during the
therapy session in what I call a waking dream, they and I
are able to work with the content and emotion of the dream in real
time. These dreams differ from ordinary dreams in that clients
always experience themselves as someone else in a waking dream.
Throughout the book, I will refer to this someone else as the
The setting for the dream inevitably involves a different place
and time, and often a change in gender. Unlike nighttime dreams,
however, the final stage of a waking dream typically includes the
death of the dream character. This is why it is critical that
clients are never themselves in these dreams. I will not risk the
emotional impact of intentionally taking someone through his or
her own death in a dream! What happens after the death
experience of the dream character is a major focus of this book.
Chapter One introduces you to the concept of waking dreams and
describes seven ways they can be used to help people resolve a
variety of personal problems, enhance their intuitive abilities,
and enrich the spiritual aspect of their lives.
Chapter Two begins with a review of what has been reported in
the literature for more than thirty years on the phenomenon of
near-death experiences. These phenomena are then discussed in the
context of what occurs in the final stage of a waking dream.
Chapter Three describes the prototype of a waking dream. Just
as many NDEs do not include all of the core components of a
prototypical NDE, few waking dreams completely match the
prototype. However, because they occur by choice, it is helpful to
have a good understanding of the many forms waking dreams can
take. This enhances the opportunities for using them both with
more confidence and greater effectiveness.
Chapters Four through Seven present a variety of actual waking
dreams with detailed case transcripts. These serve to demonstrate
some of the many ways that waking dreams can be used to facilitate
personal, even transpersonal, change.
Chapters Eight and Nine explore the parallels between waking
dreams and past-life therapy. In many parts of the world, people
believe that the soul experiences hundreds of lifetimes, each of
which affords opportunities for learning. Past-life therapy
extends the notion that current problems sometimes have their
origins in past events by looking to other lifetimes when the
events of the current lifetime are insufficient to account for the
current problem. For example, there is considerable anecdotal
research that many phobias resolve quickly with past-life therapy.
Chapters Ten and Eleven use additional transcripts from waking
dreams to probe some of the spiritual implications this work can
have for each of us.
In the final chapter I summarize and synthesize the other
chapters with a discussion of some of the spiritual, soul-level
implications that have emerged for both my clients and me from