What insights can practitioners of Jeremy Taylor’s Projective Dream work gain from studying Daoist methods of energy cultivation?


The practice of Qigong together with the emphasis on balance, harmony unveiled with the Taoist philosophy will help this research in seeking out how people cope with strong and emotional circumstances. In this case, orient groups are a valid therapeutic tool as the fundamentals of Taoism looks at things in terms of a demonstrated movement i.e. the movement between Yin and Yang. Yin being more feminine, receptive, passive and yielding aspects of life while yang being more masculine hard, active and aggressive. Humans do alternate between these two states, in life while staying in the knowledge’s that there is always an alternative perspective i.e. it is possible to flow from one perspective to another. This knowledge can, therefore, be used to enhance the practice of projective DreamWorks (Andrews, 2003).

            DreamWorks is different from dream interpretation in that it does not entail the analysis of an individual’s dream or devours to offer a clear interpretation of the stated dream. Dream interpretation involves the psychoanalyst as the authority on the meaning and symbolism of the delusion. In DreamWorks, the therapist is nothing more than just a guide in the examination of the dream whereby the dreamer is allowed to determine significance of the dream (Bogart, 2016). In this methodology of applying DreamWorks, each individual will use dream language to explore a given dream. The tenets of this concept assert that dreams are inventions and prolongation of the conscious thoughts, emotions, concerns and memories of an individual. Thus a dream is unique to a given person.  DreamWorks entails asking questions while the interviewee is narrating out his or her dream so as to gain detailed information (King, Bulkeley, & Welt, 2011).  The reactions to the dream contents, imagery or symbols are then analyzed after the materials have been discussed.

            Therefore the steps involved including the gathering of data about the scene, asking for more information relating to the visual characteristic of the dream including the emotional aspect.  This makes the dream to serve as the beginning of a broad and deeper future-oriented task.  Therefore, the dream work model aids the dreamer to determine what the dream represents while helping the therapist to partner with the dreamer. It investigates the meaning of the dream and determines how these dreams may be a basis for treatment directions and goals (Bogart, 2016).

Limitations and criticism of dream work methodology

The efficacy of dream work cannot be disputed as numerous research documents its success. It has been used in image rehearsal therapy that reduces nightmares instances and psychotherapy experiences that have been known to impact dreams positively (where pleasant emotions in dreams increased with improvements in the therapy). However, the shortcomings in dream work especially under cognitive experimental framework are that it requires more empirical research to be undertaken in order to further validate its efficacy in the analysis of subconscious dreams (Brownell, 2010). Analysis of metadata on dream works shows that it relays heavily on case studies and single session data.

Moreover, there is a perception within the scientific society that DreamWorks is purely a biological phenomenon and it, therefore, does not contain any symbolic meaning. Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley do state in their activation-synthesis hypothesis that a dream is nothing more than content that has been reacted by commands sent to the brain but never executed. To them, dreaming is just another form of thinking that occurs when an individual is asleep. They have raised questions about the degree of unconscious material contained in any given dream (Andrews, 2003). 

Thus, together with psychoanalysis, a dream analysis under DreamWorks is subjected to the same constraints just like the Freudian theory limitations. A big critique is the basing of the methodology on case studies that give results which are difficult to generalize to a bigger population. Moreover, the theory is accused of not meeting scientific standards. For example, the notion that dreams are based on wish fulfillment has not been substantiated through research. The complaint about psychoanalytic theory relates to its negative and deterministic perception on humanity as it asserts that humans are inevitably driven by unconscious forces. This idea negates the notion of free will which is a central concept in humanistic theories (King, Bulkeley, & Welt, 2011).

Case study uses in psychoanalysis

Psychoanalyst casuistry is the most interesting as in the analysis of a case; one is able to see how and why some incidents do happen. They are therefore in a position to apply the methodologies above in approaching the mind by them. The embracing of the techniques from the orient traditions relevant to mind mediation is significant to linear psychology. Daoism offers modern psychology a worldview of the orient philosophers and healers on numerous ways that expands on their understanding while enhancing their parties (Brownell, 2010).

 This helps to explain the significance of dreams through psychoanalysis, gestalt therapy, and depth psychology. This offers a glimpse of how to go about during an analytics psychology session of dream explanation and incorporation in clinical performance. The following case studies incorporate Jungian analytical model using dreams as the basis for evaluation of etiology. The psychotherapy processes and the result of analysis for how the knowledge do Daoism can enhance the practice of Projective DreamWorks, as explained by Jeremy Taylor (Cowher, 2006).

A case study is ideal for the description and expansion of the understanding of given phenomenon hence ideal for the study of people and programs for a particular education.  For this case study, it offered a refinement of understanding of the context in which the dream occurred, allowing for its understanding, how it is different and what it is and does (Andrews, 2003).

. Case study allows for a chance to create a thick description of a case in order to convey what a reader would have experienced if he or she was the presenter, unlike other forms of research. Case study places a researcher in another field, in order to observe and record, in an objective manner; what is happening.  At the same tine examine its meaning and redirects observation so as to refine or substantiate these meanings.  This focus is fundamental and is reliant on data analysis as well as the researchers own understanding of his own experience and existing literature leading to a constructivist understanding of any given case. A multiple case study will, therefore, be used to provide multiple perspectives on this topic (Dreamresearch.net. 2004).

Case study I: Peters Dream

This study utilized observation of the dreamer with face to face interview method in analyzing of the dream using projective dream work. Peter was a volunteer who agreed to share his dream as much as possible. He gave a narration  of his dream story, the details, feelings, colors, the people in the dream etc. the dream as a narration was recorded in the first person tense so that the participants in the focus group will be able to listen empathize with the dream as if it was occurring now(Andrews, 2003).  Peter is a 35 years old man who is a professional working in an accounting firm. He has been in a relationship with one beautiful girl in the last five years and has plans of marrying her.

 He is a modest, straight fellow who has been blessed with the art of natural intelligence.  He shared his dream through a face to face interview with a request of seeking to know and understand the meaning of his dream especially from the point of psychoanalysis (Brownell, 2010). His desire from deep down his heart was for the dream to be interpreted. He says that there are some distressing transformations in his existence that have been occurring in his life especially in his wellbeing. He has slowly changed from being a courageous person who was confident of his bodily fitness into being a depressed, coward and confused man. Therefore the dream that he had, to his belief must be related to this behavioral change. His dream was as follows:

Peter was helplessly viewing a torrent of blood that was flooding

His room via the window panes; the blood flooding made him wet

While standing still and indecisive unaware of what action to take.

In an analysis of the dream, numerous questions were asked to the dreamer about his dream without any analysis or interpretation being undertaken. This was done in order to understand the dream in a better way and empathize with peter. The findings were that the jamming mind-set of which peter experienced during the conclusion of the dream were also observed in his state of awareness (Brownell, 2010). Peter had become indecisive, confused and undecided tantamount to his normal life situation. Therefore the conclusion that is made is that the dream relates to the transformation of his manners. The interview questioned the flood of blood and its meaning, to which he replied that he does not have anything to say about it. When prompted to say something about the scene of the dream, there was no association to his real life that can easily be related or inferred to.

 Further prodding of peter with quotations a discovery is made that Peter always wanted to conceive a kid with the girlfriend. A child to him is a representation of his youthfulness, strength, and sexual energy. Moreover, he stated that he may possibly not be in a position to have this child born at this time because he would not father a child anytime soon. The reasons for this were that his girlfriend had experienced her usual monthly period. In seeking to interpret the dream, the flooding as a result of the blood is an illusion that is related to his girlfriend’s menstruation period (Nelson, 2016). It also implicitly relates to the sad fact that peter was not able to make her girlfriend pregnant.  On further prodding about the level of intimacy on the relationship reveals that by the blood spreading over him in the dream. It emphasizes the notion that he is to be blamed for the negative pregnancy results. It is this imaginary guilt which is at the center of his behavior change and the main reason for his behavior change. The case of Peter just like of other men is that they relate virility with fertility (Cowher, 2006). 

It is also the main reason as to why he lost his self-confidence together with his self-esteem once he received proof that he is not going to be a father.  This made him not to feel like a man and these sentiments had a negative impact on his psyche and self-confidence.  After a brief analysis of his dream, Peter was asked to give a comment about his response to the projections of the group’s discussion (Andrews, 2003). The questions related to what he felt were on target and what was not on target.  Indeed through psychoanalysis, peter’s dream is explained through mind-set of fear in relation to his virility. Yet the cause of the fear was his notion of youthfulness, physical strength and child bearing as self-conscious. The anxiety associated with it was henceforth suspended within him and he lived with it as a feeling that had absolutely no meaning.  His fear was unrelated to any particular thing making it impossible or difficult to remove it.

 Nevertheless, the analysis of the dream has brought this up and the salient causes that have offered a renewed chance for him to psychologically rejuvenate (Blowey, 2002).  Peter was subsequently asked to explain what he thinks the dream is up to and what it is calling him to do? What was the dreams call to action both at an individual level as well as on the community level?  From this dream; it is possible to infer that psychoanalysis advances its viewpoints by commencing from the principal of analyzing the unconsciousness. This is followed by the experience, the feelings, the ideas and finally the repressed psychological contents that are dreamt in the form of neurotic symptoms and disorders (Blowey, 2002).  It is evident from this case that there are numerous behavioral complications that are anchored in repression. Through dream works methodology, psychoanalysis perceives the repressed and seeks from the dreamer the need for a conscious interrogation of what has been discarded from his conscious brain.

 This examination of a dream is a step forward towards the incorporation of the unconscious subdued materials.  A critical point to note here is that when working with a dream through an analytics procedure. It is important to normally collect, the dreamer’s associations in real life. This is because dreaming is an important resource for the study of consciousness. Dreams that are highly memorable are the ones that do offer a fruitful insight into the complexity, range, and reactivity of the human brain system (Blowey, 2002).  A lot can be learnt from this dream from this face to face interview under a focus group. Yet it does pose a challenge of risking to under-represent the phenomenon of rare but extraordinary memorable dreams. Hence the reasons why content analysis and narrative methods through face to face interview were employed to examine this piece of a detailed and memorable dream by Peter.

Case study II: A Relationship dream

The study employs the utilization of dream work investigation as a means of treating a woman who is suffering from social phobia.  The method of data analysis employed was the use of interview question through email.  A dream is a symbol of a person’s thoughts and feelings. People in many cases dream about events or episodes that relate to things which are important to them. For example dreaming about work if it is of concern to one, or relationships especially where one has undergone a break-up. Break ups do make many people dream about that relationship. Where every dream comes with a symbolism for one’s thoughts and it is probable that it reflects the current state of one’s feelings (Andrews, 2003). This makes it possible for one to observe his or her feeling as it develops while looking for evidence from the dream.

The details of this dream were collected through an email survey. Roughly a year ago, prior to the dream, the dreamer-a woman, broke up with her boyfriend. This break up was as a result of her own choice, as there was no serious commitment from the other party. The other partner was never informed of the reason for the breakup, as this, she felt would pile pressure on him to change. She felt that he should just change from his own volition (Nelson, 2016).  One year down the line, the lady got a dream. By looking through these dreams, an obvious parallel with reality was drawn. Dreams are good at capturing a person’s change in perception about someone or view where they will capture at least one or two feelings. Dreams also do capture some thoughts concerning a person’s emotions that have been developed the previous day. In some instances, a dream may capture thoughts pertaining to the present day and the plan one has in the preparation for it (Cowher, 2006).

The lady dreamt that she was strolling along a road while hauling a lamp moving towards the shopping location where her ex-worked. She was carrying the lamp while thinking about him and decided to go and visits him. Yet the dream suddenly changed and she found herself suddenly home with him.  In the dream, they were back together and the man informed her how he loves her and that he was very happy to be back with her again. He further told her how he wish he knew how she felt only if she could tell him then.  But this does not matter anymore as they are back together.  They subsequently engaged in sex, and then she woke up.

In the analysis of the dream, the reality is that the lady was yearning for the ex-boyfriend to come back to confirm to her how he thinks. She desires him to make an attempt and demonstrate to her through his action that he loves her. Yet she wants this to come from him.  The following feelings is captured by the dream, “I want to observe how he thinks and feels about me. I want to see that he actually wants a relationship. Yet I do not want to make a stand and demand for a commitment from him.” The interpretation of the dream is that these are similar to normal thoughts, where the simple appearance of symbols in the dream is not a direct link to something specifically (Brownell, 2010).

A direct translation of the dream would be, “if the lady saw the man, then she would maybe have given him another opportunity for him to tell her how he feels about her and how he had missed her”. A keen analysis of the dream shows that the lady is   heading to the man’s workplace which may be a representation of a plan that is being conceptualized in her mind. She wants to create a fake bumping into him scenario, in order to give him an opportunity to inform her about his sentiments (Taylor, 1983).

 The symbols in the dream i.e. the lamp means the woman is curious  to know what exactly is in the mind of this man concerning their relationships i.e. She is in the dark concerning these thoughts and his revelations about his feelings are the light(Barrett, & McNamara, 2012). Turning up at the workplace may be construed to be a literal symbol i.e. she probably desires to bump into her ex-boyfriend so as to offer him an opportunity of informing her how he felt.  In the analysis of this dream, an attempt is made to look for lost memories. In many cases, dreams rarely include direct literal details relating to past experiences. Instead, they tend to be metaphoric renditions of a person past experiences and beliefs. This, therefore, makes a shared dream to be a two person events instead of a one person (Cowher, 2006). Therefore the experience and beliefs that are found in the reflected analysis of the dream can be as a result of the interpreters own experiences as it is for the dreamer.  Symbols that do appear in dreams have in the past been considered as sacred oracles between humans and the divine. The symbols in the dream also may act as the bridge between the state of consciousness between the physical world of waking consciousness and the symbolic characters that do populate a person’s dreams.

 These are not just symbols that are created from within a person psyche or the primitive instinctual knowledge that is inherent in the collective unconsciousness, but as actual existence to some level other than the physical waking plane (Taylor, 1983). Therefore there can be a crossover from the physical world of waking consciousness that manifests as a vision, form or energy. This means that in life, people are always preoccupied with attaining their recognition, prestige or glory and they forget to focus on the small tasks that indeed have the potential of taking them there. A person can spend time deliberating and living in the past or the anticipated future instead of the present thus living them to be a dissatisfied lot with their lives (Barrett, & McNamara, 2012). 

That people get immersed in the problems of the past and with the worries of the future that their existence is based on these two states. Qigong helps one to get in touch with an inner quietness, making a person have a sense of inner power and capability and in the process connect to the spirit thus getting a feeling of flowing to the present. It is this that will bring balance and harmony to the lady’s life by calming emotions thus, together with the underlying philosophy introduces the mind, body and spirit approach to traditional therapy.

 This collective consciousness is common to all people. It has some acquired traits that are expressed in the form of religion, myths, values etc over time and culture stored in the mind of an individual. This self in Jungian psychology is the result or the goal of individuation, a state of optimal development of a full or total personality of a human (Cowher, 2006). This Jungian self is also analogous to the Dao in Daoism where Jung made it clear that the reason of the remarks on Golden Flower is to attempt to construct a connection of psychological comprehension connecting the working consciousness and the internal self (Taylor, 1983).


Andrews, T. (2003). Animal Speak (1st ed.). St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn.

Barrett, D., & McNamara, P. (2012). Encyclopedia of sleep and dreams: The evolution, function, nature, and mysteries of slumber. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood.

Brownell, P. (2010). Gestalt therapy: A guide to contemporary practice. New York: Springer.

Blowey, C. (2002). Dreaming Kevin: The path to healing. Haverford, PA: Infinity Publishing.com.

Bogart, G. (2016). Dream work in Holistic Psychotherapy of Depression: An Underground Stream That Guides and Heals. Karnac Books.

Cowher, S. J. O. (2006). Turning the light on: Integration of dream work and related projective techniques in counseling and psychotherapy ; an original manuscript. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co.

Dreamresearch.net. (2004). The Quantitative Study of Dreams. Resources for Scientists – The Norms. This site is the work of Adam Schneider and William Domhoff and sponsored by the University of California, Santa Cruz. http://mind.ucsc.edu/dreams.

King, P., Bulkeley, K., & Welt, B. (2011). Dreaming in the classroom: Practices, methods, and resources in dream education. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Nelson, G. (2016). Dreaming in church: Dream work as a spiritual practice for christians. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Pub.

Taylor, J. (1983). Dream work: Techniques for discovering the creative power in dreams. New York: Paulist Press.