Date of Award

Winter 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services



Committee Director

Radha Horton-Parker

Committee Member

Laurie Craigen

Committee Member

Theodore P. Remley


Clients often wish to discuss their dreams in counseling sessions in order to make sense of their waking experiences. Although the efficacy of dream work has been indicated in numerous studies, other studies indicate that a majority of therapists report a lack of knowledge in working with dreams. The purpose of this qualitative heuristic design study was to explore the experiences of individuals participating in dream work groups that use the Ullman method as a foundation for exploring and finding meaning and waking life relevance from dreams. The Ullman method features a series of structured steps in which all group members participate in assisting the group member who shares a dream in finding its meaning. After researcher immersion in the topic, seven participants were recruited through criterion and snowball sampling methods. Triangulated data sources included face-to-face individual interviews, written journal entries, and creative art responses with accompanying written artist statements. Six major themes emerged from the analysis of the data: Parameters, Space, Inner Activations, Connections, Transformations, and Integrations. Results of this study indicate that participants experienced beneficial outcomes whether they were engaged in the process as a "dreamer" or person sharing a dream, or as a group member assisting others to find meaning in their dreams. Findings also indicate that life issues addressed and resolved through group dream work are similar to issues that clients bring to counseling sessions.


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