Wisdom of the Dream: Still the Royal Road

Online Course Materials:    AudiosVideos   ArticlesArticles   

All materials are available as audios with transcripts.

Developed by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

Course includes the works of Dr. Stanley Krippner, Dr. Gayle Delaney & Dr. Jeremy Taylor

Introduction to course by David Van Nuys, Ph.D. (Transcript)

General Course Description

Back at the turn of the last century, Sigmund Freud famously asserted that the dream is “the royal road to the unconscious.” One hundred years of subsequent scientific research has confirmed some of Freud’s insights and disconfirmed others. For the clinician, however, the dream continues to be a “royal road,” if not THE “royal road.” Yet, many clinicians lack confidence in making use of this rich resource. Young clinicians especially may have extensive training in CBT and scant exposure to modern psychoanalytic or Jungian approaches. Whether one regards the remembered dream as an accurate recall or as a projection hardly matters from a clinical perspective. Either way, it is rich grist for the psychotherapeutic mill. The modern view of dream work is that the dream represents an attempt to work through or problem solve ongoing emotional concerns. There is good scientific support for this general notion. The key to understanding the underlying meaning of the dream is to listen to it at a metaphorical level. It’s a mistake to take dreams literally. Rather, the key is to listen with a metaphorical ear to the life concerns that the dream is giving voice to. Also, inasmuch as the dream is attempting to heal or to problem-solve, nightmares need to be reframed as potentially helpful. The bottom line is you don’t have to be a psychoanalyst to learn how to bring this powerful tool into your clinical work. This course will set your feet firmly on that path.

This course consists of six interviews with leaders in the field who are also prominent members of the International Association for The Study of Dreams, all of which come with written transcripts. The interviews are conducted by David Van Nuys, Ph.D. Each interview will deepen your understanding of some of the scientific issues surrounding the study of dreams as well as approaches and perspectives that will deepen your work as a clinician. Mark Blagrove, Ph.D. is an academic dream researcher in the UK, and his interview will inform you of recent scientific questions and advances in this area. Similarly, Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. has a long history of groundbreaking scientific research on dreams and altered states of consciousness, generally. Robert Hoss, M.S. discusses the language of dreams in a way that takes the mystification out of what has often seemed a murky process to many. Similarly, Alan Siegel, Ph.D. provides a broad clinical perspective as he discusses the wisdom of the dream. Gayle Delaney, Ph.D. is a psychologist and author who is well known for her very practical approach, which she calls The Dream Interview Method. Finally, Rev. Jeremy Taylor describes group projective dreamwork, which he has helped to spread far and wide through his many books and workshops. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives:

  • Apply insights of depth psychology to contemporary dreamwork
  • Interpret their client’s dreams in down-to-earth practical ways that promote healing
  • Integrate modern dreamwork approaches into their own therapeutic style
  • Cite relevant research literature on sleep and dreaming
  • Recommend dream journaling and other homework strategies which will aid clients to integrate dream insights into their lives

Course Syllabus:


  • Recent Scientific Studies on Dreaming
    • Challenges of proving scientifically that people get insights from dreams
    • Relationship between REM sleep and creativity
    • Relationship between trauma and nightmares
  • Stanley Kirppner, Ph.D. on Dreams
    • Understanding what Freud got right and what he got wrong
    • Evolutionary significance of REM and dreaming
    • Role of REM in consolidating memories


  • The Language of Dreams
    • The role of color in dreams
    • Brain scan evidence about the language center
    • Limbic system activity and emotions in dreams
  • Dream Wisdom
    • Role of culture in dream symbols
    • Role of dreams in working through grief and loss
    • Dreaming and serious illness


  • The Dream Interview Method
    • An approach that does not reference any external symbol systems
    • Critique of “interpretation”
    • The dream as metaphor for what’s going on in the client’s life
  • Group Projective Dreamwork
    • Dreams do not lie
    • The dreams as a source of creativity
    • Dreamwork as a path to empathy
CE Badge Created with Sketch. 4 CE

Cost: $39.00

Top of Page >