Social dreaming

Friday 19 March, Saturday 20 March and Sunday 21 March, 6.30-7.30am

‘The Social Dreaming Matrix is a place, or setting, outside of goal-orientated configurations experienced in daily life. It is a special space for the mind to be reflective, to enlarge itself through considering dreams as a social phenomena. In short, it is a unique, precious space for people to find the potential for being creative.’

from ‘The Creativity of Social Dreaming’ by Gordon Lawrence

In Social Dreaming, night-time dreams that come to mind are spoken aloud in a setting called a matrix. When we listen to a dream voiced in the matrix, we each find a rich array of thoughts, images, and emotions coming to mind. These associations to the dream are, in their turn, spoken in response to the dream in order to amplify and explore social and collective resonances. Such associations include or lead on to further dreams.

Dreams offered to the matrix are treated as arising from and belonging to the matrix. Here dreams are never considered from the personal point of view. It is a point of importance that no dream is ever referred back to the dreamer but only referred on, as it were, to the matrix. The dream belongs to us all; in the matrix it is as if everyone has dreamt the dream. For this reason it is important a person does not associate to a dream they themselves have offered to the matrix in the work of social dreaming.

One of the essential tenets of social dreaming is that dreams are considered solely as non-personal; we have developed a social dreaming protocol whereby, once you have joined the Zoom matrix, you are asked to cover your computer screen and camera with a light cloth or scarf. This equates to producing the equivalent relative anonymity of the traditional snowflake seating pattern used in a conventional Social Dreaming Matrix. It is also better than turning your camera off which results in your name appearing, in large font size, on a black screen.

The matrix space needs to be held firmly, without interruptions, and for this reason it is important to start on time. People are asked please not to join a session after the appointed start time.

There is no right or wrong dream or association (beyond the dream not being referred back to the dreamer): anything and everything that comes to anyone’s mind has a place in the matrix and can be spoken.

It is the task of participants in a Social Dreaming Matrix to speak out the dreams and the associations that come to awareness and to speak them out with directness and fullness, without pretension. This can lead to the discovery of links and the emergence of themes moving towards new understandings.

Over the duration of a Social Dreaming Matrix, in the ever-renewing process of listening to and responding to dreams and associations, new thoughts and new ways of thinking tend to arise.

The world climate crisis is currently heading, apparently inexorably, to the next and sixth global mass extinction. Changing the direction of human activity is required at all levels.

The Social Dreaming Matrix is an opportunity for participants to access and develop their creative thinking. By becoming part of the matrix, participants can allow their intrinsic unconscious connectedness with the world and all its beings to find conscious expression.

Session leaders

Louise de Lambert appreciates learning from her experience of Social Dreaming within various conference settings. This builds on her interest in groups in different institutions and so called private practice and its professional gatherings, large and small.

Claudia Gross realises her interests in waking and night dreams in her private psychotherapy practice in Auckland, in leading Balint Groups for clinicians, and in Social Dreaming Matrix work.

Jayne Hubble’s experience began with individuals in psychotherapy, then developed with groups in Balint group work, and recently with communities in Social Dreaming Matrices, accessing the social unconscious through dream telling and associations.

Richard O’Neill-Dean developed his interest in Social Dreaming from attending a Matrix hosted by Gordon Lawrence and in ongoing discussions with other early developers of the practice.