About Natural Dreamwork
Over the past several years, working with my students and colleagues, we’ve developed a new empirical approach to dreams that I call natural dreamwork. In fancier language, our approach is phenomenological– a turn away from theory and back to walking the actual ground of dreams. We want people to come back to their dreams in all their rich subjectivity, to contemplate the unique images and persons they bring us, and the uncanny experience of time space and feeling they create. Instead of puzzling over what your dreams mean, we ask you to dwell on how your dreams feel. We do not interpret dreams for our clients, together we bring them to life. This approach is based on my fourteen years of experience of leading people through their dreams, in more than ten thousand hours of sessions.
Exploring your dreams naturally has many of the same benefits as walking in a redwood forest or camping in the wild. It’s a return to your roots, a contact with the unbridled imagination within you. In a time when people sometimes rely on drugs to mask every emotional discomfort, dreams offer their own natural medicine. Contemplating images in your dreams heals the broken imagination. Dreams make you whole, change how you relate to others, revive your spirits, and deepen your experience of life.
At root dreams are a natural experience, like swimming in a river or taking a walk in the deep woods. Unfortunately many people get lost very quickly when they look at their own dreams. That’s in part because of the overhang of century old theories that no longer have any scientific basis, such as Freud’s theory that dreams exist to keep us from waking from sleep, a premise that has been disproven long ago.
Dreams present a very special construction of time, space and feeling than our waking reality. They introduce us to a realm of primary imagination, a realm where encounters with deep feeling and a sense of the sacred can emerge vividly. In a natural dreamwork session, we act as guides to the unique terrain of the dream and like any good guide, we help you identify the important flora and fauna found in your dreams, the images and presences that have the most potential to heal. We then teach you how to contemplate these images and develop a relationship with these healing presences, and how to bring what you have learned in your dreams into waking life. Dreams are a natural part of our experience, but one we have forgotten how to make use of. I believe with gentle guidance everyone can learn to benefit from the natural dream.
About The Natural Dreamwork Team
Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning author, poet and teacher. Of his eleven books, his best known is The Jew in the Lotus, the story of rabbis making a holy pilgrimage through India to meet with the Dalai Lama. His account of their historic dialogue became an international bestseller, prompting a reevaluation of Judaism in the light of Buddhist thought. Now in its 35th printing overall, The Jew in the Lotus is a staple of college religion courses. The New York Times called it a “revered text.” A PBS documentary followed, and a sequel, Stalking Elijah, won him the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought.
Kamenetz’s six books of poetry include To Die Next To You and The Lowercase Jew.
When The History of Last Night’s Dream appeared in 2007, Oprah Winfrey interviewed him on her “Soul Series” program, saying, “What’s so exciting about this book is that it talks about how there’s a whole other life that we are living when we sleep and that our dreams are there as offerings and gifts to us if we only recognize what the dreams are there to teach us.” Since then Rodger has devoted himself to bringing the dreamwork through one on one and group practices, in talks and retreats. For the past three years, in collaboration with his students and colleagues, he has been working to refine and clarify the guiding concepts of Natural Dreamwork. Born in Baltimore, Rodger Kamenetz has degrees from Yale, Johns Hopkins and Stanford. At Louisiana State University, he held a dual appointment as a Professor of English and Professor of Religious Studies and founded the MFA program in creative writing and the Jewish Studies minor. He retired as LSU Distinguished Professor and Sternberg Honors Chair Professor. He lives in New Orleans where he devotes himself now to his work with clients and the Natural Dreamwork team. His personal website is http://www.kamenetz.com
MARY JO HEYEN
Mary Jo Heyen is a practitioner of Natural Dreamwork. She has a diverse private practice working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. Her practice also includes her volunteer work with the dreams and visions of those in hospice, their families and grief groups. Mary Jo offers dream presentations and workshops on a variety of dream-related topics including “Dreaming into the Mystery” helping families and caregivers learn how to be with the dreams and visions of their dying, “Who Are Those Guys?” which explores the characters who come to us in our dreams and “Integration of Meditation and Dreamwork.” Working with dream clients in person, phone or Skype you can find out more about her work at www.maryjoheyen.com.
From early years I felt a deep connection to dreams. I began working with Rodger Kamenetz in 2009 and have worked one-on-one with clients since 2014. I feel a passion for sharing ways to experience the healing and loving presences in dreams, and to feel these presences flow into waking life. Embodied contemplative practices arising from dream moments are a vital part of my practice. I live in the New Orleans area and work with clients in person, or by phone or Skype. I can be found at dreamwellspring.com.
Kezia Vida has been studying and working with her dreams intensely for almost 9 years, and been working with clients for the past 4 years. She has also engaged in studies with various shamanic practitioners and is interested in the intersections of healing, community, and transformation. She coordinates numerous dream related events each year, including dream classes and the annual NOLA Dream Retreat and Dream Caravan. You can find her writing and much more at her website, www.KeziaVida.com
Laura Smith is a dream seeker, offering one-on-one dream consultation to individuals in the US and abroad. She practices Natural Dreamwork through the cultivation of a dream practice based on the natural healing qualities found in dreams inherent in the sacred objects, symbols, creatures and archetypes that populate the dream landscape. She lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with her partner of 19 years raising heritage breed livestock on their 78 acre farm. When she’s not wrangling sheep, you can find her painting or writing in her studio, connecting to the healing energy of the earth, or engaged in laughter and general mayhem with her friends and family on various parts of the globe. She regularly blogs about her journey through dreams on the dream blog In Search of Puella and her art work has been has been featured in several publications and ezines For more, please visit Laura Smith’s website www.archetypaldreamworks.com.
Dr. DARREN JAKUBEC
I live in the town of Smithers in British Columbia, Canada. I have been practicing medicine since 1996. In 2003 I added dreamwork and increasingly I have been integrating the two practices. Primarily I serve the people in my community, especially those with diagnoses of chronic pain and depression or chronic diseases. For more information about my work please visit www.thetruthiswithin.com
Henry Shukman is a poet, novelist and writer, born in the UK and now resident in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he leads the Mountain Cloud Zen Center. He is an associate master of Sanbo Zen of Kamakura, Japan, as well as a dreamwork practitioner with a small practice since 2012, His award-winning poetry collections and novels have been Books of the Year in the London Guardian and Times, and New York Times Editor’s Choice. He sees working with dreams as a powerful path of healing and growth which, whether undertaken in parallel with a meditation training or in its own, can be deeply important and helpful. www.mountaincloud.org
The ADP Code of Ethics sets the basic ground rules for all dreamwork done by members of the Association. The code seeks to develop practitioner and client relationships that have integrity, sensitivity and mutual respect. It places the dreamwork within the frame of basic ethical principles of honesty and fair dealing so that clients can know that practitioners are worthy of their trust, in seeking to be accountable to ordinary common sense standards of right and wrong.
Dreamwork Practitioners make a commitment to:
-collaborate with the utmost respect for the clients to find the truth of their dream. -their own personal growth in relationship to learning from the dream.
-focus on being clear messengers, within their capabilities as students of the dream.
-ensure that sessions are strictly confidential. Only with prior, written permission of the client will session contents be anonymously shared for teaching or professional purposes.
-clearly define the boundaries of the practitioner/client relationship.
-make clear what is appropriate contact in between sessions.
-provide clients with tools and perspectives that encourage taking personal responsibility for their own work.
-not have sexual relationships with clients.
-not borrow money from clients, nor lend money to them.
-avoid imposing their own values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors on clients.
-avoid relationships with clients outside the dream session that would make them dependent on the practitioner.
-inform the client of session fees including, payment schedules, cancellation policy.
-make available to clients the Dreamwork Practitioner Code of Ethics.
-inform clients of the practitioner’s qualifications.
-inform clients that since dreamwork asks that they delve deeply into their own psyches, latent or present negative emotions and/or mental disorders may intensify, and in that event, they may need to seek outside support from a physician or a professional. -acquire written permission of the client to allow anonymous discussion of their work for peer support, supervision and teaching purposes.
-adhere to the intelligence of the dream as the guide.
-seek support from other practitioners when the well being of the client is uncertain or unclear.
-appropriately advise clients to other professionals when their predicament seems beyond the practitioner’s skill, experience or training.
-refer the client to another dreamwork practitioner when we believe that accepting a client will result in a conflict of interests.
-engage in ongoing professional development as dreamwork practitioners on an individual basis.