I admit it, I'm addicted to creativity books; I also have a strong interest in psychology. However, under most circumstances I favor a somewhat biologically-based approach to psychology, and even when I go for more traditional approaches I usually avoid the heavily symbolic, Freudian/Jungian methods. Let's take dreams, for instance. I roll my eyes at books that tell you "snakes symbolize X; if you dream of Y it means Z" and so on; I think most of them are pretty silly, and are simply taking advantage of our desire to find meaning in everything around us. I much prefer Hobson's work on the madness of dreaming, with its strongly neurological approach.
That said, however, I enjoyed Veronica Tonay's "The Creative Dreamer: Using Your Dreams to Unlock Your Creativity," and found a great deal of value in it. This alone should be a good indicator of how balanced and reasonable her approach to the subject is.
Tonay is a Ph.D. and therapist who has done a great deal of research into dreaming. She bases those equivalencies she does suggest on studies that have found certain common themes across all cultures--not simply on her own or one psychologist's interpretations. Even better, she points out that there are many ways to interpret dreams and that you have to find the one that works best for you.
Tonay uses sample dreams and series of dreams, exercises, and instructions on keeping a dream journal to teach us to mine our own dreams for insight into our emotions, our state of mind, and what might be inhibiting our creative process. She believes that much of our creative mind is reflected in our dreams, and that we can use the insight we gain from those dreams to free ourselves of unwanted baggage and to unblock ourselves when we get stuck. We also generate a ton of interesting ideas in our dreams, and we can directly mine those for material we can use in our creative endeavors.
Tonay is rather Jungian in outlook as a psychologist, and discusses such concepts as shadow qualities. Those who don't agree with a Jungian outlook may be put off by the use of the terminology and such, but try to look past it. She's incredibly practical in how she applies her concepts to dreaming and psychology, and there's a great deal of value to be had in here no matter what your take on psychological theory.
I think "The Creative Dreamer, Revised" would be a great investment for any artist, writer, or other creative that feels they could stand to improve their creative output or self-understanding--which is to say, pretty much all of us. The writing is interesting and evocative, and some truly beautiful quotes are contained in here. Many exercises are provided to help us remember, analyze, and even guide our dreams. This is a relatively quick read, but it will provide you with food for thought for a long time to come.
- Paperback: 1 pages
- Publisher: TEN SPEED PRESS; 1 edition (14 February 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1587612682
- ISBN-13: 978-1587612688
- Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 322 g
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