In one way or another, I've been teaching the basics of dreaming for almost two decades now. After reading Dreaming on Both Sides of the Brain, I have a great collection of new tools to share with my students.
Cohen's background as a psychologist gives her an enormous amount of insight into the language of the subconscious -- that rich landscape of knowledge that most people don't recognize. Dreaming presents the reader with a seven step program designed to open up the world of dreams and access the information dreams offer.
Part One discusses What Dreams Are: their physiology, their psychology, and their language (symbols). Thank goodness she didn't try to offer a 'dictionary' or otherwise direct the reader into what our dreams mean. Instead she reminds us that dreams are stories, sometimes exceedingly simple ("There is a bottle on the sink and it is filled with soap") and sometimes complicated and detailed. Both have value.
Part Two gets into her seven steps. The program starts with a foundation of learning to recall and record our dreams -- usually the most frustrating step. She then asks the reader to begin to give their dreams titles. This was new to me, and on the face of it a bit silly. But as I began to title my own dreams I found the process exceedingly wise. By instinctively, intuitively, giving my dreams a title I found new layers on information coming clear. "Mars Man" makes sense only to me, but just thinking of that title recalls the dream to me vividly, and more information comes with each recall.
Each of the seven steps brought me new insight and I found Cohen's style refreshing and on point. There are no wasted words or obtuse verbiage here. Just a refreshing candor and practicality about how one can improve their dreaming experience.
This slim book is stuffed full of valuable information about All Things Dreaming. Highly recommended.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Doris E. Cohen
Red Wheel Weiser, 2017
pp. 192, $16.95