About Natural Dreamwork
Over the past several years, working with my students and colleagues, we’ve developed a new empirical approach to dreams called Natural Dreamwork. In fancy 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 our collective decades 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. They introduce us to a realm of what poets call the “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. But with gentle guidance everyone can learn to benefit from the natural dream.
About The Natural Dreamwork Team
Rodger Kamenetz has been instrumental in shaping and articulating Natural Dreamwork. He 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 36th printing overall, The Jew in the Lotus is a staple of college religion courses. The New York Times has 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.
His memoir Terra Infirma (Schocken, 1999) centered on the impact of a single dream of his mother after her untimely death. After seeing the power of visualization in Tibetan Buddhism, he found teachers to show him a path in dreams and by 2003 began working with clients. 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 six 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, M.Ed., is a certified practitioner of Natural Dreamwork. She has a diverse private practice working with clients of all ages and backgrounds, as well as mentoring new dreamwork practitioners. Her practice also includes her volunteer work with the dreams and visions of those in hospice, their families and grief groups, honoring the gift of their dreams at this most important threshold. Mary Jo offers dream presentations, workshops and classes on a variety of dream-related topics including, “Who Are Those Guys?” based on her dream primer of the same name. Her work with dreams has been published in Dream Time, a publication of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) and she is a Regional Representative of the IASD. Working with dream clients in person, phone or Skype you can find out more about her work at: www.maryjoheyen.com.
DR. KEREN VISHNY
Both a physician and a psychotherapist, Keren, a certified Natural Dreamwork practitioner, now limits her practice to Natural Dreamwork and Mind-Body Wellness. She is a Natural Dreamwork student of Rodger Kamenetz and has worked closely with Jungian Analyst Marion Woodman. Keren completed BodySoul Rhythms ® training through the Marion Woodman Foundation in 2007 and is also certified in Zero Balancing® and Mind-Body Medicine. Keren works with clients individually and in groups and is affiliated with The C. G. Jung Center in Evanston, Illinois. For more information, visit www.kerenvishny.com
Marian Enochs Gay is a certified Natural Dreamwork practitioner offering a contemplative approach to dreams for healing, growth, and wholeness. Her own dream journey began in 2009 with teacher Rodger Kamenetz, and she has worked with clients since 2014. She offers individual sessions in person in the New Orleans area, and anywhere through phone or Skype. Please visit dreamwellspring.com to learn more about her work with dreams, and contact her at email@example.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, keziavida.com
Laura Smith, a certified practitioner of Natural Dreamwork, 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
Darren Jakubec, a certified Natural Dreamwork practitioner, lives in the town of Smithers in British Columbia, Canada. He has been practicing medicine since 1996. In 2012 Darren added dreamwork and increasingly has been integrating the two practices. Primarily Dr. Jakubec serves the people in his community, especially those with diagnoses of chronic pain and depression or chronic diseases. For more information about his work please visit www.thetruthiswithin.com
Henry Shukman, a certified Natural Dreamwork practitioner, 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
Kat Samworth‘s approach is one of deep care and respect for each individual’s soul. She believes that every dream is a precious gem offering inner wisdom that can lead us towards who we are meant to be in this life. Kat began her own life-changing journey of dreamwork with Rodger Kamenetz in 2009. She feels privileged to step into the mystery and the magic of dreams with her clients. Kat works in person, over the phone or Skype. To learn more about services and to read Kat’s dream blog, please visit www.dreamforyourlife.com
Michelle MacNeil is an artist healer who has been exploring her dreams for 23 years on her own journey to openness and healing. She is a passionate believer in the ability of ones dreams to lead towards deep healing and wholeness, a knowing of our true selves, a knowing of our work in the world, and to sensing our spiritual connection. Michelle is an architect, planner, dream practitioner, visionary, and community builder. She has collaborated on three films about dreams. The films are titled; Telling Dreams, Telling Dreams of the Departed, and most recently, Dreams of Transformation, which explores the transformative quality of dreams to help us transition through life’s phases. Her dream practice includes presentations and events centered around the labyrinth, arts, community and 12 step programs. She offers workshops and retreats which provide a safe space to journey into the soul, in community, and one-on-one dream sessions with individuals in person or by phone. For more information and to view her films, please visit her website at: https://www.dreamjourneyofthesoul.com/
Donna M. Mazzola is a passionate advocate for the potency of dreams and their ability to transform one’s waking experience. A student of Rodger Kamenetz since 2016, she began facilitating dream groups and working with individuals in 2009. Donna is a certified Interplay leader, Projective Dreamworker (Marin Institute), and member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She holds a Master of Education degree and Master of Arts in Wisdom Studies. Donna is available for Natural Dreamwork sessions via Skype, phone, or in-person. Contact Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Filipic is a Spiritual Director and a Natural Dreamwork practitioner. She believes that when we pay attention to and trust what our dreams are offering, we recognize our inner wisdom which connects us to our true self, our soul. While Julie has worked with dreams for many years, it was when she began her own journey with Natural Dreamwork several years ago that she discovered the healing power of reconnecting to her feelings on a deeper level. By honoring and being present with the feelings in our dreams, we begin to experience growth and healing in our waking life. Julie offers Natural Dreamwork sessions in person in the Chicago area, or anywhere via phone or Skype. For more information, please contact Julie at email@example.com
As Natural Dreamwork practitioners we subscribe to the CODE OF ETHICS of the Association of Dreamwork Practitioners.
The ADP Code of Ethics sts 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.