Henri Rousseau: The Sleeping Gypsy

3. Feedback to the dreamer

     After having painstakingly obtained all the information from the dreamer by means of the preceding steps (which do not have to be followed in any particular sequential order), the dreamer is naturally curious about what you may have to say about what you have heard. What you have to say will be based on your knowledge, experience, intuitions and feelings. Please keep in mind, though, that these are your knowledge, experience, intuitions and feelings and not necessarily those of the dreamer. Thus, all you can offer is your fantasy about what the dream might mean and it seems only honest to offer your remarks about the dream by prefacing them with something like "If I were you and this were my dream, it might mean something like ...", or - more succinctly - "from what I heard, my fantasy about your dream is ...". This is really all one can say. The enormous advantage of this approach is that the dreamer is free to accept what you say or not.

     There is often a sort of "pressure" on a dreamworker to "deliver" some sort of wise analysis of the dream. Please try to resist this (self-engendered) tendency. Most dreamers are perfectly happy if you have listened attentively (with an open mind) about what they have told you and for any effort you expend to make sense of the message being offered in the dream. If you will be seeing the person again, the two of you will then have a chance to share more ideas that have come about the dream (it doesn't all have to be done in one go!). This can be an immensely rewarding co-project!

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