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Special Study Group - May 2012

Book Club Home Page 2012 Depth Psychology Book Club Line-Up Depth Psychology Book Club Home Page

Study Group on the Role of Dreams and Dream-like Experiences in Spiritual Emergence Processes
Led by Darlene Viggiano, Ph.D. (MFT), Adjunct Professor, Saybrook University

This special study group ran from MAY 1 through MAY 31, 2012, in a written forum.

Dr. Viggiano introduces the topic and posts thoughts, themes, questions, and suggested readings--then fields comments and questions from participants. This group is free and open to any member of Depth Psychology Alliance (a free online community for those interested in Depth and Jungian psychology)

Listen to an Interview with Dr. Darlene Viggiano on Depth Insights Radio

Join the Special Study Group Now for Free

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Study Group Summary

Everyone goes through challenging times of psycho-spiritual growth. During the month of May, using the book "Dreams and Dream-like Experiences, we will explore the function of dreams and visions--(rather than their meaning)--during crucial periods of psycho-spiritual development, based on research that analyzed seven cases of extraordinary experiences associated with dreaming and dream-like states.

Our general aims will be to increase personal self-awareness and emotional growth, increase knowledge about dream research based on Jungian theory, discuss the use of dreams in clinical practice, and increase psycho-spiritual awareness.

Join the Special Study Group on Depth Psychology Alliance Now for Free

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Sample Discussion Questions

1. What are some markers of spiritual dreams, based on the book study, and what is your personal experience of how dream work can aid psycho-spiritual development?

2. What are some possible functions of dreams according to the research, and how might these relate to any of your own personal experiences in dealing with critical psycho-spiritual questions?

3. How can dream-like experiences be differentiated from psychotic ones, per the group material, and how do you think dream work might be used socially to decrease fear of psycho-spiritual diversity.

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darlene-viggiano
Darlene B. Viggiano, Ph.D. (MFT)

BIOGRAPHY

Darlene B. Viggiano, Ph.D. (MFT), author of Dreams and Dream-like Experiences: Their role in spiritual emergence processes, has co-led group dream analysis for Saybrook University, where she also presented on "Brain Activation Patterns and Neuro-physiological Correlates of Hypnotic Dreaming.”

She led an experiential workshop on “Spiritual Diversity: Using dreams to identify and treat spiritual problems” for the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness.

Additionally, she provided a peer presentation for the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 60th Annual Workshops & Scientific Program, on the “Functional Mechanisms and Practical Applications of Hypnotic Dreams,” as well as presenting at the University of Phoenix on “Hypnotic Dreams: Neurophysiology and Practical Applications.”

Darlene has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, including: “Overview of Research on Jungian Hypnotic Dream-Work: Towards a Jungian model for hypnotherapeutic dream interpretation,” published in Contemporary Hypnosis and Integrative Therapy;  “Some Recent Findings on Synchronicity, Dream-Like Experiences, and Spiritual Emergence Processes,” published in The Rhine Online: Psi-News Magazine; “The role of dream narratives in spiritual development: A Jungian perspective,” published in Kaiser Permanente’s online journal Leaflet.

Also published, “Toward a role for dreams and images in a spiritual emergence process: A case study,” in Revista de Psiquiatria Clinica; “Lust, love & counter-transference: Sexual integrity in therapy,” in The California Therapist; and “The divine feminine in grail and Gnostic myth,” in Mythos Journal. Additionally, she has written several book- and audio-cassette reviews published online at the C. G. Jung Page, in Jung at Heart newsletter, in The California Therapist trade journal, and in New Times newspaper.
Click here to vist the website for Darlene's book, Dreams and Dream-like Experiences

Here's what Jungian Dr. James Hollis had to say about Darlene Viggiano's work:

Dr. Viggiano’s study of dreams and dream-like experiences is an original, comprehensive, and quite compelling introduction to and survey of the role of such phenomena in psycho-spiritual crises. Her work tracks the emergence of the psyche’s summons to a new stage of life, a revised perspective, and a re-framing of prior ego understanding of self and world.

In the course of this work she addresses critical questions about how to differentiate between summonses of the soul, and psychotic experiences.  Are they the same thing? How, and in what way, can a person or the attendant care-giver, translate such phenomena into larger understandings, agencies for growth and development, and the advent of new life?

To approach these difficult questions, Dr. Viggiano explores the role of dreams as expressions of psyche’s intent and asks how one can decipher these apparently hallucinatory images rising from the symbol-making factory we all carry within, a generative source we share with our ancestors. 

Perhaps what is most compelling in her work is her desire to facilitate persons in the throes of change, (and professional caregivers), to find the healing motive in experiences which fracture the ego and craze the lens through which one has hitherto seen the world.

What is often troubling, even terrifying to the ordinary ego state, is reframed through a series of heuristic questions, such as: what is the soul asking of me for the next stage of my journey?  What is wishing to enter the world through me? What energies, talents, commitments are seeking expression through me.

While these engagements with the autonomous psyche are understandably threatening to ego stability, Dr. Viggiano provides numerous real-life illustrations on how people were able to ride the currents of change and move into richer forms of life. This process of death and rebirth--as seen from the ego’s perspective--is how the spirit renews in each of us, how life is enlarged or diminished through our choices, and how even the most pathological experience is psyche’s way of getting our attention and asking something larger from us. 

As a reader of this material, I can attest that I learned a great deal, for which, at my stage of life, I am deeply grateful. I am larger for having read the work, and believe that others will be as well I believe that this book will appeal to more than the obvious: professional caregivers, clergy, and those undergoing crises of the spirit. I think it will provide a larger point of entry to anyone who reads it.The work is grounded in a sound empirical base, supplies criteria for appraisal of experiences, and offers numerous real-life illustrations.   But even more, it raises serious questions about the life of the soul, how it shows up in insistent ways, and how we are all asked to grow more than we had in mind. From such summonses to growth, the life of the soul is served. This book brings that point home.

~James Hollis

Join the Special Study Group on Depth Psychology Alliance Now for Free
Order the Book: Dreams & Dream-like Experiences
Listen to an Interview with Dr. Darlene Viggiano on Depth Insights Radio
Learn more about Darlene and her work
 
 

 

Depth Psychology Alliance Online Book Club 2012 Line-Up Depth Psychology Online Book Club Visit the Depth Psychology Online community Depth Psychology Alliance Online Book Club Numenon - Sandy Nathan The Cycles of Life - Erel Shalit Field, Form, and Fate - Michael Conforti Eros and the Shattering Gaze - Ken Kimmel Embodying Osiris - Thom Cavalli Rebearths - Craig Chalquist Marked by Fire - Patricia Damery and Naomi Lowinsky Deep Blues - Mark Winborn Soul Stories - Elizabeth Clark-Stern Telling the Difference - Paul Watsky Madness at the Gates - Barry Spector LIlith - Tom Stevens Depth Psychology Alliance Online Book Club 2012 Line-Up Depth Psychology Online Book Club Visit the Depth Psychology Online community Depth Psychology Alliance Online Book Club Numenon - Sandy Nathan The Cycles of Life - Erel Shalit Field, Form, and Fate - Michael Conforti Eros and the Shattering Gaze - Ken Kimmel Embodying Osiris - Thom Cavalli Rebearths - Craig Chalquist Marked by Fire - Patricia Damery and Naomi Lowinsky Deep Blues - Mark Winborn Soul Stories - Elizabeth Clark-Stern Telling the Difference - Paul Watsky Madness at the Gates - Barry Spector LIlith - Tom Stevens
 

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Copyright Bonnie Bright, M.A. 2009-2012.
Depth Psychology Alliance Online Book Club 2012 Line-Up Depth Psychology Online Book Club Visit the Depth Psychology Online community Depth Psychology Alliance Online Book Club Numenon - Sandy Nathan The Cycles of Life - Erel Shalit Field, Form, and Fate - Michael Conforti Eros and the Shattering Gaze - Ken Kimmel Embodying Osiris - Thom Cavalli Rebearths - Craig Chalquist Marked by Fire - Patricia Damery and Naomi Lowinsky Deep Blues - Mark Winborn Soul Stories - Elizabeth Clark-Stern Telling the Difference - Paul Watsky Madness at the Gates - Barry Spector LIlith - Tom Stevens