£295 – £395

Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life

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£295 – £395

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Event description
A 10-week online course with Allan Frater, the author of newly published, ‘Waking Dreams’.

About this event

		Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life image

25 hours online over 10 evenings

6.00 to 8.30 pm on Tuesday 10 May, 24 May, 7 Jun, 14 Jun, 28 Jun, 12 Jul, 6 Sep, 13 Sep, 27 Sep and 4 Oct

Why this course?

In a waking dream we inhabit the dreamworld with an awareness of doing so – as sometimes happens upon waking from sleep when a dream continues to feel present alongside an awareness of lying-in bed.

Waking dream practice (also known as ‘active imagination’ and ‘guided imagery’) takes advantage of the spontaneously creative and therapeutic imagination found in this borderland consciousness in-between waking and dreaming.

This online course is an opportunity to learn and apply new developments within waking dream practice with the author of newly published, ‘Waking Dreams’. In particular:

- How the generic principles and skills of all image-based transformation and healing are revealed by attending not just to what we imagine, but also to the process of how we imagine in a waking dream.

- How a broad understanding of imagination – as present in all perceptions, actions and relationships (not just as ‘pictures in the mind’) – allows everyday life, the arts and experiential psychotherapy to be approached as an ‘eyes-wide-open’ waking dream.

If you are interested in cultivating a richer, story-filled and enchanted existence – or a therapist wanting to help others do so – then this might be the course for you.


- Psychotherapists, Counsellors and Coaches

- Art, Drama and Family Constellations therapists

- Eco-therapists and anyone interested in an image-centric approach to ecopsychology

- Artistic creators (writers, storytellers, painters, directors, etc.)

- Artistic consumers (novel readers, movie watchers, art gallery goers, etc.)

- Leaders of change

The course is intended for therapists and also interested non-therapists - with examples and exercises that include and also go beyond a conventional therapeutic context. No expert understanding is required.

Course aims and learning outcomes

After attending the course, you will:

- Have a broad understanding of imagination as present in all perceptions, actions and relationships.

- Have an appreciation of imagining as a healing and creative therapy in its own right.

- Have familiarity with a practical step-by-step ‘eyes-closed’ waking dream method.

- Be able to participate in everyday relationships with people and places, creative projects and generic therapeutic work as an ‘eyes-wide-open’ waking dream.

- Have a theoretical basis that validates the complexity of imaginative change.

What to expect

The online format using Zoom will be a mix of theoretical presentation, case studies, group discussion, practical demonstrations and small-group practicums to cultivate waking dream skills.

You will learn the theoretical basis of waking dream practice alongside a practical step-by-step method.

There will also be suggestions and e-mail support for an off-line project exploring your life, work and environment as a waking dream – which will build upon and also feed back into the online class learning.

The group size will be capped at 15 students. Exercise instructions and any handouts will be distributed prior to each session. The slideshow presentation used in each session will be distributed afterwards by e-mail. The evening sessions will be fortnightly and run between 6pm and 8.30pm GMT. A completion certificate will be used at the end of the course.

Course sources

The course draws upon over fifteen years of research and teaching exploring the meeting place of transpersonal psychology, ecotherapy and Jungian image-based work. The genesis is a critical development of Roberto Assagioli’s psychosynthesis, especially in relation to: the post-Jungian psychotherapists James Hillman, Mary Watkins and Robert Bosnak; the ecopsychologists Theodor Roszak, Jerome Bernstein and Nick Totton; the work of David Abram; and the recent integration of psychotherapy with complexity theory and fractal geometry by Terry Marks-Tarlow and Robert M. Galatzer-Levy.

Course outline

The below modules are based upon the six skills-based chapters in the book, ‘Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life by Allan Frater.

Read the introduction to ‘Waking Dreams’ here.

Module1: Entering

The course begins with a clarification of the quality of imaginal perception needed to enter a waking dream – both the ‘eyes-closed’ variety and the novel ‘eyes-wide-open’ application within generic psychotherapy and everyday life.

- The hypnagogic state in memory, present moment perceptions and future fantasies

- Fantasy versus imagining as a matter of degree

- Imagination as a synthesis of all the senses

- The three steps of entering

- Entry points: generic, bespoke and spontaneous

- Parallel imagery

Module2: Exploring

Once established in a waking dream, this second module focuses upon the ‘what next’ question of how to interact with images.

- Habitual versus creative imagining

- The three steps of exploring

- “Novel Images” as triggers of creative possibility

- Exploring memories, future fantasies and transference dynamics (relationships)

- Pacing

Module3: Dialoguing

How dialogue in a waking dream requires a subtle shift of attention from physical sounds to auditory images.

- Similarities and differences between imaginal dialogue and everyday speech

- Personification and animistic imagination

- The three steps of dialoguing

- The importance of everyday language and avoiding jargon

Module4: Shapeshifting

How imagination allows for a shift of perspective beyond the limitations of habitual self-identity into the seeing, feeling and thinking of another waking dream character, person, object or place.

- The distinction between identity and experience

- The three steps of shapeshifting

- Shapeshifting and tree-hugging

- Shapeshifting and therapist countertransference

- Point-of-view (in Gestalt chair work and other image-based methods)

Module5: Emerging

How the often irregular and unexpected nature of imaginative change in waking dreams can be understood and approached using ecological metaphors and the notion of emergence in complexity theory

- The limitations of a mechanical theory of imaginative change

- Images as ecosystems

- Living and dead metaphors

- Complexity theory in waking dreams

- Aspects of emergence: synthesis, unpredictability and small changes

Module6: Patterning

How by considering a waking dream as a template for a repeating fractal pattern imaginative potential can not only be maintained but also further realised within the activity of images in everyday life.

- Fractal Imagination

- Fractal process versus mechanical content

- The three steps of patterning

- Fractal pattern and entry-points to waking dreams

Pre-course: You will be prompted to submit a brief outline of your desired outcomes and a reading list will be provided, for optional pre-course study.

Ticket price

At the Trust we appreciate that each person has their own unique situation – including financial. We invite you to select the price point that feels like it represents a fair contribution for attending this event.

The options are: £295; £310, £335, £360, £395

If you are a current Psychosynthesis Trust student and finances are a barrier to attending this workshop, please contact Paula at events@ptrust.org.uk

		Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life image


Allan Frater was brought up near Edinburgh and now lives in North London, exploring the parks and water ways with his dog Milly. He is a psychotherapist in private practice and author of ‘Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life.’ Since 2011 he has taught at the Psychosynthesis Trust, on the Foundation and Counselling Diploma courses as well as CPD events related to his research interests in imagination, ecopsychology and transpersonal psychotherapy.

Qualifications:-Diploma in Supervision with Soul (2013)-MA Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy (2011)-PGDip Psychosynthesis Counselling (2007)-MBACP(Accred)-UKCP(reg)

Find out more: wildimagination.uk | @wakingdreams20

**Please note: Unfortunately, our insurance does not cover participants residing in Canada and the US. This means we cannot accept applications from these countries. If you have any questions, please contact events@ptrust.org.uk**

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Date and time


Online event

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Refunds up to 30 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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Organiser Psychosynthesis Trust

Organiser of Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life


The Psychosynthesis Trust is a leading training organisation in psychosynthesis, offering transformative learning experiences (personal development courses and professional training) and counselling to those who wish to learn more about themselves personally and/or explore their options professionally.


We are a small educational charity that has a rich 50- year history of enabling human potential in the UK. Our founders were pioneering leaders in education, psychology, science and spirituality and we continue to work at that nexus today. We’re proud of our heritage and draw on the wisdom of our founders and all those who have contributed to the organisation over the years.


The Trust has an intention of playing an important role in one of the most exciting times in history – helping people to finding meaning, purpose, wellbeing and a sense of place in an increasingly complex world. We believe that our work will help to enable an expanded sense of human consciousness in individuals and in society.


Our work is based on psychosynthesis – a transpersonal psychological model and approach that integrates the spiritual aspect of the human experience.


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