This is a transcript of the Dream Re-entry process developed by Dr. Fred Olsen. The conversation occurred in an online chat room focusing on dreams. Dr. Olsen (Dreamtrack) enters the conversation and starts the process with the dreamer (Bravo). The questions posed are the heart of the process. My comments, based on my notes from a workshop I attended with Dr. Olsen, are in parenthesis ().
Duggan: How are you feeling today?
Bravo: I am really bummed out this morning.
Duggan: Why is that?
Bravo: I had a nightmare last night that is really bothering me.
Dreamtrack: THAT’S GREAT !!!
Bravo: Why is that great?
Dreamtrack: Dreams are such gifts to help us to understand ourselves and to resolve our inner issues.
Bravo: It didn’t feel great to me.
Dreamtrack: I know and that’s okay. It’s just that I am so involved with the power and value of dreams, I couldn’t help but respond.
Duggan: Are you a psychologist or something?
Dreamtrack: I am a dream worker and have a dream center in San Francisco.
Dreamtrack: Yup This is my first time in a chat room and I appeared right when you mentioned your nightmare. I couldn’t resist responding. I hope that’s okay. I was the intruder.
Dreamtrack: I was simply amazed at the coincidence.
Dreamtrack: Are you still there Bravo?
Bravo: Yes, I am here.
Dreamtrack: Would you like to tell us the dream? (gauge the willingness to explore)
Bravo: Sure, it made no sense to me. It left me feeling really depressed.
Dreamtrack: Do you feel okay sharing the dream content with us? (verify willingness)
Bravo: Sure. In the dream, I was at my father’s grave. The grass was dry and brown. It was very barren. In real life the grave is very lush.
Dreamtrack: Did your father die? (match “reality” with the dream content)
Bravo: Yes, he died a couple of years ago. There was a very spooky feeling in the dream, like there was a presence.
Dreamtrack: Can you feel yourself in the dream now? (it is important to have a feeling sense of the dream content)
Bravo: Yes, it is very clear, like I am right there now.
Dreamtrack: In the dream, how old are you? (ground the dreamer in their self image in the dream)
Bravo: The same age I was when my father died.
Dreamtrack: Okay. And what are you wearing there? (more grounding)
Bravo: The same clothes I had on then, just casual clothes, nothing special.
Dreamtrack: And what are you feeling in the dream? (now that the dreamer is grounded in their physicality in the dream, move to the emotional state of the dreamer)
Bravo: I’m feeling a heavy weight of guilt and shame.
Dreamtrack: Where does that heavy weight live in your body? (somatically locate the emotions to further ground the dreamer in the dream. Re-entry has begun)
Bravo: I feel it in my heart and in my stomach.
Dreamtrack: Good. Go to that place in your body where the heavy weight lives and tell me what you see. (continue somatic grounding and let the dreamer begin to explore the dream on a deeper, more complete, level)
Bravo: I see my father in his bedroom like he was when we found him.
Dreamtrack: And where are you in the picture? (bring to dreamer into the picture, as a participant – move from passive state of observing to active state of involvement)
Bravo: Standing in the doorway to his room.
Dreamtrack: What do you see in the picture? (this now allows the grounded dream-self to see more solidly from the perspective of the dream-self rather than the rational awake-self)
Bravo: What was happening then was that my father had been disabled and bed-ridden for a long time. We all had to support him. We were pretty poor.. He got all of the attention and I was angry with him before he died for not being a real father to me and getting all the attention.
Dreamtrack: I see. (let the dreamer bring the whole picture into focus)
Bravo: Off and on people would bring Dad money in small amounts and give it to him. Just before he died, he called for me. I didn’t respond. I was too upset with him at the time. When we discovered his body the bed was covered with the money. He had wanted to give it to me as a gift.
Dreamtrack: Wow. And he wasn’t able to give it to you because you didn’t respond when he called. (no need to interpret, just clarify the “facts” and outcomes based on the facts)
Bravo: That’s right. I felt so terrible.
Dreamtrack: What did you do then? (continue exploring)
Bravo: We spent the money on his funeral. I have felt so bad ever since that day. I go to his gravesite often. (the dreamer has moved from the dream to the present and his actions outside the dream)
Dreamtrack: And last night you were there at the gravesite in the dream and it was dry and barren, right? (relocate the dreamer back iton the dream)
Bravo: Yes. I feel so bad about what I did to Dad. (still outside the dream)
Dreamtrack: When you go back to the dream right now, what is the feeling? (re-ground with the potency of feelings felt in the dream. If dreamer has come out of the dream completely, start again by somatically re-grounding the dreamer in the dream)
Bravo: There is a wind. a presence there. It is spooky. (the dreamer is reacting to the intensity of his feelings and outside of his dream self observing. Bring the dreamer back to the feeling of his experience – in this case the experience of the wind)
Dreamtrack: You are there right now. What are you feeling? (re-grounding)
Bravo: I feel the wind, it seems to want to communicate with me. (see, the dreamer connected the observation to his feelings with the re-grounding guidance)
Dreamtrack: What happens when you listen? (when another sense comes into play, follow it up. The dreamer is switching channels. Go with it)
Bravo: I see my father. (the listening helped him see and he went back to the visual channel)
Dreamtrack: What is the picture? (clarify and amplify in the current channel)
Bravo: He is there in front of me. I see only his face. He wants to tell me something. I am afraid.. (the dreamer is now making his own connections with his senses and his feelings)
Dreamtrack: What is your response? (the dream re-entry is complete. Now begins the moving forward with the dream that was “interrupted” – or rather the participation in the dream was interrupted (by awkening). The dream continues even when we are no longer present. But that is a whole ‘nother concept to discuss at another time – i.e. aboriginal dreamtime)
Bravo: I feel so ashamed. I can’t look at him. (the dreamer is back in the dream)
Dreamtrack: What does he want to tell you? (facilitate the action)
[Here there was an interruption to the dream re-entry process by an outside occurrence]
Bravo: Where were we?
Dreamtrack: At the grave site. Your Dad appeared to you and wanted to tell you something. (bring dreamer back to the mis-en-scene)
Bravo: Oh yeah. Wow! Do you think that was real? Or was it just a dream?
Dreamtrack: How did it feel to you? (keep the discussion dreamer focused)
Bravo: It felt and feels as real as life, maybe more real.
Dreamtrack: I think so too. Can you see him now? (bring the dreamer back – notice dreamtrack goes to a sense to re-ground in the dream rather that the feelings, just to make sure things are on solid ground)
Bravo: Yes. I see him in bed as he was before he died. (he is back in the dream)
Dreamtrack: Good. What do you want to do now, in the picture? (empower the dreamer to proceed where he wants to go – not you. What interests the dreamer not the facilitator is what is important)
Bravo: Take him to all the special places he loved. We lived on the big island in Hawaii, that’s where I live now. He loved the island. (the dreamer is beginning the “repairing, the healing)
Dreamtrack: Good. You are there. What do you need in order to do that? (affirm and keep the momentum going.)
Bravo: His wheelchair and the family car.
Dreamtrack: Good. What happens now in the picture? (keep going – he is on a roll)
Bravo: I am driving him around the island.
Dreamtrack: You feel that? (stay grounded in the feelings, that’s where the power is)
Bravo: Yes. It feels really good. He seems so happy. We never did this together in real life. (see, he has come out again by connecting past action with present thought about the past)
Dreamtrack: What are you feeling as you do this with your father? (bring him back)
Bravo: I feel so much better, to see him happy.
Dreamtrack: What’ happening now? (get back to the action of the dream story)
Bravo: We are back in his room, before he died. He wants to give me the money. I can’t do that. I can’t take the money. It belongs to him. (and he is back)
Dreamtrack: What is his response to you not receiving his gift? (this is an interesting and important question. This dream is about the dreamer’s relationship with his father and he is creating the “end of the story” so it is crucial to develop that relationship in the dream in order to bring it to it’s preferred outcome. This question moves that relationship along)
Bravo: His is very sad. He really wants me to take it. I just can’t do that. (the dreamers empathy is in play now. But, “I just can’t do that” could derail the process)
Dreamtrack: Where do you feel blocked about receiving his gift? (dreamtrack recognizes the obstacle and goes right to work at breaking it down. He does this by somaticizing the feeling of “I can’t” rather than just going after the feeling itself)
Bravo: I feel it in my head.
Dreamtrack: Okay, go to that place in your head where you feel that block. (follow the dreamer’s lead and make him ground it)
Dreamtrack: What do you see? (use the dreamer’s preferred channel to concretize and move forward)
Bravo: I see a block of steel. It is like a cage. I am inside it. (this is a new image – a free association if you will, on the part of the dreamer and it is “outside the dream” so it is important that dreamtrack grounds this image firmly…so he asks…)
Dreamtrack: How old are you there? (remember, this was one of dreamtracks first questions. It’s almost as if a “new” dream has emerged, so the process needs to begin again, albeit probably truncated and at a faster clip)
Bravo: Young. I feel trapped. (the dream self continues to be at the same age and he states his feeling – one similar to “I can’t”)
Dreamtrack: What do you need there? (this is excellent. The block has been acknowledged, by grounding and exploration, and the dreamer clearly is an active participant, and since the process requires movement from the dreamer’s perspective why not go ahead and ask this directly)
Bravo: I need my father’s love. (can’t get any plainer than this. Wow)
Dreamtrack: Okay, What do you want to do in the cage to get your father’s love? (an empowering question. This question gives the dreamer agency to determine his own outcome.)
Bravo: I don’t know. I guess I have to call for him. He seems so distant and far away. (and he does)
Dreamtrack: What happens when you call for your father to love you? (keep the action moving and concretize it as you go)
Bravo: He comes and opens the cage. (the dreamer becomes director of his dream)
Dreamtrack: What’s happening now, in the picture? (move the action/plot along – this is the climax)
Bravo: We are hugging. It feels so good.
Dreamtrack: Notice that feeling in your body. (ground the feeling somatically to make it “real” and impactful)
Bravo: Okay. It is very warm. We’re both crying.
(this is important…allow spaces for the dreamer to process new experiences. There is no rush. The power of the pause cannot be underestimated)
Dreamtrack: Good. Now bring that feeling back to the room with your father. (and relate the new feelings, the “resolution” to the original dream)
Bravo: I feel better, but I still have a hard time taking the money. I don’t feel I deserve it.
Dreamtrack: Do you think he can use the money? (logic and reasoning are helpful as long as they allow the dreamer’s perspective to come through not the guide’s)
Bravo: LOL I guess not. He is dead. He can’t use it where he is. But it is already spent anyway. (the logic question, you can tell, was quite different from all the others and it did take the dreamer out of the dream into a “head space”. If a question does lead outside of the dream and the process, bring it back)
Dreamtrack: You see your father now? (he brings it back)
Bravo: Yes. He is smiling. He wants me to take the money. Boy, this is hard. Okay, Dad. I accept the money. (the dreamer is totally in the dream as an active participant involved in his own resolution- a big step)
(important to let moments like this sink in – no rush)
Dreamtreck: What’s happening?
Bravo. I’m crying. It is like we are really hugging and I feel his love. Thank you.
Fred Olsen Fred Olsen, M.Div., a former NASA engineer, his work over the last 25 years has been in developing Dream Reentry Healing, a system of inquiry for tracking the path of inner imagery. He is the co-founded the Bay Area Dreamworkers Group in San Francisco in 1985 and directed the San Francisco Dream House from 1986-1995. He is known for his process of Dream Reentry Healing which was more recently named Soul Tracking and Cellular Transformation.