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Freud Thought The Irish Were Too Difficult To Figure Out
It is amazing how we hold certain folks in history out in such high-esteem. Did you know that Freud may not have been the super psychologist we believe he was? I…
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Dream Groups by Telephone May Be Better Than Meeting In Pers

We human beings are visually dominant creatures. We draw many conclusions based on visual cues alone. Our eyes tell a very different story about the world around us than the story that is told by our ears."Over the past few decades," writes Malcolm Gladwell, "the classical music world has undergone a revolution... [To avoid favoritism in hiring] screens were erected between the committee and the auditioner... In the past thirty years, since screens became commonplace, the number of women in the top U.S. orchestras has increased fivefold." (Blink, 2005).Now these are professional musicians who make their living by the quality of sound. Their personal status will improve as the quality of the orchestra does, and they recognize musical competence like no amateur could hope to. Yet, when they are seeking the very best talent available, the visual prejudice of gender bias alone so distorted their judgements that just adding a screen during auditions led to a 500% change in gender composition! Now add the visual cues of social class, race, mood, attractiveness and more. In telephone dream groups, the invisibility of meeting by telephone is the "audition screen" that eliminates visual prejudice. And it orchestrates a more secure, less biased discussion."TeleDream" is a telephone dream group that was founded in the year 2,000 with the intent of bringing advanced dream work groups to individuals needing resources for interpreting their dreams. We assumed that in a telephone group, we would have to sacrifice the degree of support and intimacy that arises in a face-to-face dream group, but we were quite mistaken. A telephone group tends to be more focused on the specific content of the dreams and on the emotional tone of the members, and seems to be less biased and more growth-focused than when people are in the same room.Groups that meet "in-person" do develop trust and intimacy that may partially be enhanced by personal contact, by physical touch or by visual feedback--but they also suffer from biases of many sorts. Dream groups have the profound, inner wisdom of dreams to guide the agenda and set a tone of radical honesty. Dream work, itself, focuses the discussion on matters of genuine psychological and spiritual importance; so much so that direct contact seems not to improve matters!"What the classical music world realized," Gladwell explains, "was that what they had thought was a pure and powerful first impression--listening to someone play--was in fact hopelessly corrupted. 'Some people look like they sound better than they actually sound, because they look confident and have good posture,' one musician, a veteran of many auditions, says. 'Oher people look awful when they play but sound great.... there is always this dissonance between what you see and hear'."This dissonance is especially strong in everyday life when nonprofessionals are forming impressions and opinions on an ongoing basis. When we eliminate information like who is the best dressed today, or who has gestures that remind you of an ex-boyfriend, or who resembles your first grade teacher--the group's attention remains on the dream images and meanings and what they have to teach everyone in the group. Group trust grows and deep friendships are formed on the basis of the quality of what is shared, competence in helping and demonstrated compassion.Most of our prejudices are visually based. You can't hear skin color at all. Height and gender and physical appearance make no difference in an email group or in a telephone dream group--both of which have proven highly effective. The safety of working from one's home and the freedom from being judged on superficial traits often allow greater intimacy and an emphasis on deeper values. It is said that man (or Ego) looks on the exterior, but God (or the Higher Self and its dreams) look upon the heart.Gladwell quotes Julie Landsman, who plays the lead French horn for the Metropolitan Opera in New York: "Ive been in auditions without screens, and I can assure you that I was prejudiced. I began to listen with my eyes, and there is no way that your eyes don't affect your judgment. The only true way to listen is with your ears and your heart."This perfectly describes the non-visual benefits of telephone groups for working with dreams. We initially thought dream work by telephone (and email) would be of great value in spite of the lack of face to face contact, but in fact dream work has been enriched by the elimination of visual prejudices and the inevitable biases of face to face contact. If professional musicians can't eliminate massive prejudice when the status of their career is on the line, we should not assume the average dreamer can do a better job: face to face dream groups are good, telephone and email dream groups may even be better.

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