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Integrating Jungian Dream Strategies with EMDR Therapy

CE Hours 6

About this course

As an EMDR trainer and consultant, trainees will often report that their clients will share a dream with them after a critical EMDR processing session. Since they have no training in the content or meaning of dreams, they say things to me like, “I am completely ill-equipped to discuss a client’s dreams,” or “I don’t know anything about dream.,” They tend to move on with the treatment plan and move away from any discussion of the dream. Considering that the dream was so important to the early pioneers of psychology, it is unfortunate that this study has all but disappeared from the modern psychology landscape. This course attempts to fill that void. Pioneer of EMDR therapy, Francine Shapiro, encouraged the integration of other models with EMDR therapy. She stated, “Integrating models with EMDR causes profound psychological change” (Shapiro, 2018, p. 52). This course has three primary purposes: First, to bring the Jungian influence within EMDR to light. Second, to honor Shapiro’s encouragement of integrating EMDR therapy with other models of psychotherapy, such as the Jungian model’s use of dream work. Thirdly, to examine current research, understanding, and utilization of dreams in psychotherapy. This course integrates both EMDR therapy and Jungian Psychology, creating a robust synergistic awareness of the magnificence of the human psyche. This course emphasizes experiential learning, by inviting trainees to do their own internal exploration. It offers the trainee an opportunity to have a deeper awareness and understanding of their own process through dream analysis. The method used for dream analysis is based on the systematic and objective analysis of the content of dreams known as “Structural Dream Analysis” (Roesler, 2020). Additionally, we will discuss more recent therapies for working with dreams. (i. e., Imagery Focused Therapy (IFT) (Krakow, B., et. al. 2000) and Focused Oriented Dream (FOD) Therapy (Leijssen, M. 2004). Lucid dreaming will be discussed (Corlett, P. R., et. al., 2014; Chunyun, Y. & Heyong, S. 2020; Jarrod, G., et. al. 2020) and compared to Jung’s active imagination process. EMDR therapy is used in the trauma-informed approach to grief, often accompanied by dreams, which can be utilized and understood (Black, J., et. al. 2020). All three of these models, EMDR, IFT, and FOD, lack an in-depth examination of the content of the dream/nightmare. The purpose of these therapies is to have the nightmare extinguished and sleep improved. This training integrates EMDR therapy with Jungian strategies to enhance EMDR’s therapeutic understanding of the content of dreams and nightmares (Nilcerson, R. 2019). This training alters no aspect of EMDR Therapy. It relies heavily on maintaining the fidelity of all aspects of the EMDR Therapy Model. The training adheres to the EMDRIA definition of EMDR therapy. This is an advanced training. It assumes that each attendee is well versed in all eight phases of EMDR therapy and can administer all phases of EMDR competently. It is, however, assumed that the trainee will have little or no knowledge of Jungian Psychology, which is fine.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe EMDR Therapy, the Jungian model of psychotherapy, imagery-focused therapy (IFT) and focus-oriented dream therapy (FOD).
  • Explain the limitations of EMDR, FOD, and IFT with respect to dream work.
  • Describe the three-part dream structure.
  • Explain different types of dreams and how they are integrated into dream work with EMDR therapy.
  • Explain the dream amplification process and cite scientific evidence that supports the therapeutic benefit of the process.
  • Utilize the five-step dream interpretation process within the context of EMDR therapy.

Course Instructor(s)

  • Andrew J. Dobo, Psy.D.

    My EMDR story began in 1998, while I was in graduate school. A local therapist came into our school for a presentation on EMDR. She waved her hand in front of a student volunteer’s eyes and reduced his anxiety about an issue in about 15 minutes. I asked him a few weeks later if he still had no anxiety about the issue. He assured me he did not. I never saw anything like it. I was sold on EMDR therapy.

    Fortunately, one of our professors was trained in EMDR by Francine Shapiro in the early ’90s, when EMDR was in its infancy. He offered a course in it, I took it, and I’ve been using this model of therapy ever since. After twenty years and tens of thousands of EMDR sessions later, it is my privilege to train therapists at this stage of my career.

    Our trainings are more than learning a new therapeutic technique for your toolbox.

    EMDR has transformed my work and my life. I sought out my own EMDR therapist to dismantle my core belief, “I’m not good enough.” This negative belief was the culprit infiltrating every aspect of my life. Once the cognition shifted to “I am good enough,” everything internally calmed down and a profound sense of okayness and self-acceptance set in. I never felt anything like it. Without doing my own EMDR work, I doubt I would train therapists because I would think I’m not good enough.

    EMDR Educators of Florida’s mission is to transform the lives of therapists so they can transform the lives of their patients. It is the journey we’ve taken with incredible results. Let us guide you through this journey to places you never imagined you could go.

    Dr. Dobo’s knowledge of Jung and his concepts was clearly at work during EMDR processing sessions. For example, Jung has a concept called the “shadow.” It is hidden material that must be uncovered. Using psychoanalytic therapy, this can be a long process. When EMDR is employed, this Shadow material can be accessed and resolved in minutes. EMDR and Jungian concepts are perfect companions.

    It is a little known fact that Francine Shapiro’s initial understanding of EMDR was through the lens of exposure therapy but after a time she realized there was more going on than exposure to desensitize a memory. She soon realized that EMDR activated reprocessing and at that point she embraced the psychoanalytic component of free association. EMDR is like Jungian therapy on steroids. Jung would most certainly be an EMDR therapist if he was alive. It was clear to Dr. Dobo that much like Shapiro’s understanding of the importance of free association is to the EMDR process, Dobo realized there were many other parallels and complimentary ways in which to integrate the two models creating a powerful integrative combination that enhances generalization and accelerates the EMDR process.

    Dr. Dobo is excited to share this integrative approach with others in this course which was preceded by his book, Unburdening Souls at the Speed of Thought which will continue in his next book, Beyond Trauma: Transforming Power of the Integrating EMDR Therapy with Jungian Psychology.


  • Black, J., Belicki, K., Oiro, R., (2020). Comforting versus distressing dreams of the deceased: Relations to grief, trauma, attachment, continuing bonds, and post-dream reactions. PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222820903850.
  • Corlett, P. R., Canavan, S. V., Nahum, L., Appah, F., and Morgan, P. T. (2014). Dreams, reality and memory: confabulations in lucid dreamers implicate reality-monitoring dysfunction in dream consciousness. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 19, 540–553.
  • Chunyun, Y., & Heyong, S., (2020). Bizarreness of lucid and non-lucid Dream: Effects of metacognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 29-46.
  • Hackett, M. (2020). A systematic review of therapist experience of dream working in contemporary psychotherapy. International Journal of Dream Research. 13(2), 182-191.
  • Klein S. B., (2019). The phenomenology of REM-sleep dreaming: The contributions of personal and perspectival ownership, subjective temporality, and episodic memory. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 6(1), 55–66.
  • NiIkcerson, R. (2019). The intricacies surrounding psychoanalytic interpretation of dreams, its formation and function. Journal of Social & Psychological Sciences. 2019, 12(2), (p. 16-43).
  • Bosco, J. (1986). The dreams of Don Bosco. Charlotte, NC: TAN Books.
  • Chodorow, J. (1997). Jung on active imagination. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. P. 6-7.
  • Drob, D. L. (2012). Reading the red book: an interpretive guide to C. G. Jung’s liber novus. New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal Books.
  • Dunn, K. D., LeVerso, T., (2008). Expressive writing about dreams that follow trauma and loss. Dreaming 18(92), 77-93.
  • Helminen, E. & Punamaki, R-L., (2008). Contextualized emotional images in children’s dreams: Psychological adjustment in conditions of military trauma. Journal of Indexing and Metrics 5(2), 249-260.
  • Jarrod G., Rak M., Bovy, L., Peters, L., van Hooijdonk, C., Mangiaruga,A., Varatheeswaran,R., Chaabou, M., Gorman, Wilson, S., Weber, F., Talamini, L., Steiger, A., Dresler, M. (2020). Sleep fragmentation and lucid dreaming, Sleep fragmentation and lucid dreaming, Consciousness and Cognition, 84.
  • Jung, C. G. (1963). Memories, dreams and reflections. New York, NY: Random House.
  • Jung, C. G., (1972) & McGuire, W., (ed.) Dream analysis: notes of the seminar given in 1928-1930 by C. G. Jung.
  • Leijssen, M. (2004). Focusing-oriented dream work. In R. I. Rosner, W. J. Lyddon, & Freeman, A. (Eds.), Cognitive therapy and dreams (p. 137–160). Springer Publishing Co
  • Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. (2012). Changes in dreams—From a psychoanalysis with a traumatized, chronic depressed patient. In P. Fonagy, H. Kächele, M. Leuzinger-Bohleber, & D. Taylor (Eds.), The significance of dreams: Bridging clinical and extra-clinical research in psychoanalysis (p. 49–85). Karnac Books.
  • Kuiken, D., Dunn, S., & LoVerso, T. (2008). Expressive writing about dreams that follow trauma and loss. Dreaming, 18(2), 77–93.
  • Leeds, A., (2016). A guide to standard EMDR therapy protocols for clinicians, supervisors, and consultants. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
  • Roesler, C. (2020). The structural approach to the empirical investigation of the meaning of dreams – findings from the research project “structural dream analysis”. International Journal of Dream Research. 13(1), 46-55.
  • Rousseau, A., Dube-Frenette, M., Delleville, G., (2018). Self-efficacy as a mechanism of action of imagery rehearsal therapy’s effectiveness. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 206(10), 749-756.
  • Sanford, J. A. (1977). Healing and wholeness. New York: Paulist Press.
  • Schredl, M. (2010). Characteristics and content of dreams. International Review of Neurobiology. 92, 135-154.
  • Shapiro, F. (2018). Eye movements desensitization and reprocessing: basic principles, protocols and procedures (3rd Ed). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Shapiro, F. (2018). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: basic principles, protocols, and procedures, (3rd edition). New York & London: The Guilford Press.
  • Shapiro, F. (2002). The breakthrough therapy for overcoming anxiety, stress, and trauma. Philadelphia, PA: Basic Books Publishing.
  • Shapiro, F. (Ed.)(2002). EMDR as an integrative psychotherapy approach. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Stocks, A., Carr, M., Mallett, R., Konkoly, K., Hicks, A., Crawford, M., Schredl, M., Bradshaw, C. (2020). Dream lucidity is associated with positive waking mood. Consciousness and Cognition, 83.
  • von Franz, M. L., (1998). Dreams: a study of the dreams of Jung Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications.

CE Process Info


Integrating Jungian Dream Strategies with EMDR Therapy
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  • CE Hours
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  • Publication Date
    Aug 21st, 2023

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