In this excerpt from the interview, “Tending Soul with Military, Veterans, and First Responders: A Depth Psychological Approach,” for Discussions in Depth Psychology™, Ed Tick, Ph.D. and John Becknell Ph.D. discuss the value of dreamwork when working with Military, Veterans, and First Responders.
With it comes to PTSD, dreams—and especially nightmares—can become especially active, even creating fear of sleeping in some individuals who return to places of combat in their dreams over and over again. Warriors are “drenched in the death imprint,” having observed or attended to death in ways and to a degree that non-warriors don’t, Tick asserts.
From a spiritual perspective, dreams are archetypal messages from the spirit world to be utilized in the healing process, and the dead that appear in dreams may be viewed as the souls of the fallen who want to communicate. Rather than trying to suppress difficult nightmares, warrior work trains warriors to engage and respond to what the dreams are asking in order to embrace what is trying to return to the warrior.
Becknell engages the concept of the imagination in warrior work with first responders, and views dreams as “the sleeping work of the imagination.” It is with our imagination that we continue to make sense out of life, he points out, and imagination can be wounded. Imagination enables us to remember the past and conceive of the future, so it is critical in helping us each build a story about our life so that we can make meaning it. Since one of the ways the imagination can manifests itself is in dreams, bringing awareness of the power of working with dreams to first responders can be very revealing for them, he notes.
Listen to the full interview or read an in-depth summary at http://www.pacificapost.com/tending-soul-with-military-veterans-and-first-responders-a-depth-psychological-approach
Learn more about the upcoming program, “Holistic Tending for Military, Veterans, and First Responders—Psycho-spiritual and Communal Support and Healing of Violent Trauma, Moral Injury and Stress” starting May 11, 2017, at Pacifica Graduate Institute