I’ve often heard folks say that they struggle with some therapeutic processes because they feel like they always have to “start over” or go through all the childhood and family of origin stuff or that the therapy they are doing places a structure or system into the process which they find too prescriptive. When I hear this, I always think about how one of the reasons I love dreamwork so much is that the dream sets the agenda for us!

Let’s be clear, this isn’t to knock traditional modalities of therapy or even to say that dreamwork is therapy. But it would be disingenuous to say that there are no therapeutic outcomes from working with your dreams. I believe that all forms of intentional introspective work done with the deepest compassion for self and with authentic and honest review will naturally lead to healing outcomes.

But what I love about dreams is that they set the agenda. Your nightly dream will offer all that you need to understand and answer the questions of: What is my problem? Why am I blocked? Why do these patterns keep repeating in my life? Why am I angry, hurt, hopeless or exhausted? What can I do? How can I change? Where should I start?

Every dream is a doorway into any one of these questions, right where you are at this very moment in your life. Yes, it’s possible that family of origin questions will arise either through dream content or feelings. Yes, you might be provoked into old feelings that are uncomfortable and you may find yourself having conversations with your dreamwork guide/practitioner about old dynamics or past traumas. Yes, there may be some very intense work. If the dream is teeing up these issues, then that’s where your work is.

But it’s not all about the grueling work of facing into our suffering, conditioning and all the ways we have of staying safe from vulnerability and running from scary stuff. The dream also will show us the other side of our work: the awe, the reverence, the humor and joy, the great gifts of our feeling and our creative selves, the sacred encounters with the beings and guides that want to help us along the way, the deep and abiding love that is our birthright as spiritual beings having a human experience, and all that is possible for us as we begin to let go of old patterns and open to a greater and freer joy of living.

So as you continue forward into this new year, let your dreams set the agenda.

Reach out to one of our amazing Natural Dreamwork practitioners and schedule a session, or three! The answers you seek are there in your dreams, dreams that come from your deeply intuitive and highest self.


Girl on Stairs by Laura Smith-Riva


Laura Smith-Riva (she/her) is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner and Priestix of the Green Mountain Druid Order in Vermont. She works with dreamers from many parts of the globe and in her personal work is interested in the connection to the natural world through dreams and vision work and offers expressions of her journey using art, poetry and prose. To book a one-on-one session or learn more about her work with dreams, visit www.archetypaldreamworks.com