Saturday 19 March 2016

A Waking Dream About A Workplace Conflict: Concluding Post

This week I have been analyzing a waking dream that the “dreamer” has been experiencing in her work environment. Together, she and I figured out that it is acting out a conflict that she is experiencing within herself. Here’s how she originally described what was going on in the workplace:

At work, my boss has quietly let me know that I am up for a promotion. It will involve more responsibility with our company’s strategic planning. The decision isn’t official yet, but already there are hints being given that my fellow workers can consult me for planning decisions. Some employees come to me, ask for my opinion and accept what I tell them. Others willingly ask for my feedback, but then put up resistance, letting me know that I have no authority to advise them. Still others come to me, get my input, but then don’t know what to do with it. They tell me that, even though they like what I say, they’re going to go to my boss anyway. All of this is driving me bats! No one seems to know what my role is. I go home from work feeling really maligned and unsettled.

When we treated this conflict as a dream, she discovered that the dream symbols were describing the ambivalence she was feeling toward taking on new responsibilities in her work. (Scroll down and read my last couple of posts to learn how we came to this conclusion.) This implied that her waking dream was doing nothing more than showing her a dilemma that she was struggling with in her own mind and emotions.

If this was true, then it seemed probable that the struggle at work would change if she resolved some of her own conflicted feelings. Did this happen? What follows is the post she wrote on my Facebook page the day after our discussion about her dream.

The dreamer’s Facebook post
I joined a group discussing waking dreams and am learning ways to process real life experiences when viewed as metaphorical experiences - in the same way that we think of what dreams mean. Last night, we processed a "real life" experience that comes up for me in communicating with people at work who have very different styles and needs than me around structure and timing. It was so interesting to reflect on this seemingly external issue by considering how there is dissonance within myself between constraints of structure and control and the desire for independence and freedom. Today, weirdly, I had meetings with both of them this morning and it felt like all the barriers to communication with these two people were gone. This is pretty amazing stuff...

My concluding commentary
All I can say is that this technique works, folks, it really, really does!

Next week I’ll be looking at a recurring nightmare that the adult dreamer has been having since she was about seven-years-old.

Have a question or an observation? Feel free to leave a comment. I’ll respond.

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