Dreamwork and Transformation: Facilitating Therapeutic Change Using Embodied Imagination

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Abstract

This article explores the value of expanding the imagination of the patient to create therapeutic change. It examines how and why Embodied Imagination, a technique of dreamwork developed by Robert Bosnak, is able to achieve such an expansion. Describing this structured practice in detail, the article explicates how Embodied Imagination helps the patient recontextualize early implicit memories and change repetitive, dysfunctional patterns, essentially affecting the repetition compulsion. Among many factors, the patient develops more flexible and fluid thinking and greater ability to learn from experience, fostering the development of new positive patterns. Confirming neuroscience research is offered, including the neurological underpinnings of the imagination and the capacity to change. Connections are also made among Embodied Imagination, implicit memories, and creativity. Dreams of both the author and her patients illustrate the technique and show how and why Embodied Imagination can create therapeutic change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-433
Number of pages24
JournalContemporary Psychoanalysis
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • creativity
  • dreaming
  • imagination
  • implicit memories
  • metaphor
  • reverie

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