How Dreams Heal: Some Thoughts On the Neuroscience of Dreaming and its Contribution to Overcoming Dissociated States of Mind

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 03/10/2015
10:30 am - 1:00 pm

Location
SAP London

Categories


Dr Jean Knox

Freud thought that dreaming protected sleep from the threat of overwhelming anxiety arising from repressed infantile sexual or aggressive impulses. Jung considered dreams to be a way of communicating with the unconscious and not attempts to conceal true feelings from the waking mind. Based on the concept of compensation, Jung thought that the dream is an attempt to counterbalance an overdeveloped conscious psychological tendency and to offer symbols that can guide the dreamer towards a more balanced relationship between his ego and the Self.

More recently, an attachment/trauma perspective has highlighted the destructive effects of unprocessed trauma on the symbolic functioning of the human psyche. This approach suggests that dreams may sometimes provide powerful images that reflect dissociated aspects of the human    psyche and sense of self, with its accompanying emotional state and psychic defences.

I shall discuss the role of imaginative processes, including fantasy and dreaming in overcoming dissociation through a gradual integrative process and the neuroscience that underpins this integrative activity, particularly the role of the default network.

Dr Jean Knox is a Psychiatrist and a Jungian Analyst with a relational and attachment-based approach. She is Associate Professor at the  University of Exeter for the Doctorate in Clinical Practice and the Professional Qualifying Training in Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

A Training Analyst of the SAP, she is a Senior Member and Training Therapist of the British Psychotherapy Foundation and former Editor-in -Chief of the Journal of Analytical Psychology.

She has written and taught extensively on the relevance of attachment theory and developmental neuroscience to psychotherapy theory and practice and has published two books, Archetype, Attachment, Analysis: Jungian Psychology and the Emergent Mind (2003) and Self-Agency in Psychotherapy: Attachment, Autonomy and Intimacy (2010).

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