Fall 2017

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     September 9 Deep Dreaming – Fall series starts
September 16 Men’s Calling & Meaningful Work with Alan Ptashek CANCELLED
Sept 22 & 23 The Craft of Dreamwork [CE]
October 14 Community Dream Council
October 21 A Good Night Sleep—panel [CE]
    November 17 Salon on Dreams & Dreaming



DEEP DREAMING – Fall series

Starts Saturday September 9
Also Oct 7, Nov 4, Dec 2
with Meredith Sabini and Richard Russo

Sliding scale: $80-150 for series 1-4pm

Deep Dreaming is a unique process in which dreams are not consciously chosen but invited to come forth during a group meditation. We then listen to all of them repeated together as one big dream for the collective, and jointly explore its themes and imagery. The process lets us observe and participate in the unfolding morphogenetic field. Even though we look at the dreams for collective rather than personal implications, you will see your own in new light. Please see our website for articles and more complete description.

First-time attendees must come to the September meeting at 12:30pm for instructions about the process. No exceptions!

Meredith Sabini, PhD, is director of The Dream Institute and a licensed psychologist specializing in dream training and consultation.

Richard Russo, MA, is past president of International Association for the Study of Dreams, editor of Dreams Are Wiser Than Men, and Associate Director at The Dream Institute.

Sign up in advance by emailing or calling the office: 510-845-1767


How Dreams Shape, Inspire, and Guide It

with Alan Ptashek, MA, CCHT

Saturday September 16     1–5pm    $45–75



Click here for flyer

The dreaming mind knows our gifts and potentials, and dreams can help identify obstacles and illuminate new paths to consider and embark upon. Please join us for this exciting and innovative program, open to both men and women, where we will explore and reflect upon dreams about vocation, career, and the soul’s calling. How are we are to live with the work we’ve chosen? How do we attend to and nourish our work to keep it fresh and alive?

Choosing a vocation and securing a livelihood are very real demands upon men. What if these efforts were supported by an interior center—of dreams, imaginings, and the whispers of the soul? For many men, a timely turning inward guides them in how they can engage with the world. Drawing on his long background as facilitator of men’s groups, Alan will open this gathering by telling stories of dreams that guided men on their work path. Those present are invited to share recent, recurring, or significant dreams, whose array of images may provide a revitalizing sense of direction, passion, and purpose.

ALAN R. PTASHEK, MA, CCHT, SEP®, has been in private practice for 35 years, with offices in Berkeley and San Rafael. As a Certified Trauma Therapist, he conducts training programs in the US, Canada, Europe, and South America. His research and writing has been published in books, professional journals, and on DVD. Alan taught at the widely influential Men’s Conferences with poet Robert Bly, mythologist Michael Meade, and the late James Hillman. He was a presenter at The Redwood Men’s Center for many years and is a founding member of the San Francisco Bay Area Men’s Counseling Guild, a peer professional consulting group now in its 30th year.

Becoming more versatile
in bringing dreams to life

Session I: September 22, 23
Session II: December 8, 9
Session III: March 9, 10

Fridays 1–5pm  Saturdays 10–2
8 CEs     $200 per session (
CE certificate $25)

Series meets quarterly for two half-days.
Limited to 12 participants.

Interested in expanding how you work with dreams? Becoming more adept at opening up dreams so they are resonant with clients? Deepening your understanding of dream symbolism? This unique series offers the opportunity to experience and experiment with a broad array of available dreamwork methods. We will discuss the pros and cons of each and how to select methods suitable for the type of dream and the client. Innovative ways of opening “liminal space” to engage with clients will be demonstrated. Like naturalists on a foray we will let our curiosity and observational skills lead us into the wisdom of the dream. You will find that “meaning” is not an abstraction but emerges organically as the dream characters, scenes, and actions receive careful attention. Those taking this series will be well prepared to do meaningful dreamwork in any setting.

Suitable for psychotherapists, analysts, dreamworkers, spiritual directors, pastoral counselors, and others who work with dreams in professional settings. Participants are encouraged to bring in dream material to work with.

MEREDITH SABINI, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in the field since 1972. After practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy 1977-1997, she became a continuing education provider specializing in dream training and consultation. A widely published author and public speaker, she has demonstrated the relevance of dreams to somatic conditions, spiritual practice, ecological recovery, and contemporary social issues. She directs the Dream Institute of Northern California, in Berkeley.

Friday Sept 22,
Saturday Sept 23,

What kind of dream is it? Matching the dream with the dreamwork
Listening to dreams as one listens to poetry and jazz
Retelling a dream as an inductive method
Doing a dream inquiry to clarify details of the narrative
Opening “dream space” where you and client can jointly explore it
Ways of keeping associations relevant

For complete course description and learning goals of Session I,
see the CE page

Friday Dec 8,
Saturday Dec 9,

Finding the core image and emotion
Exploring the dream’s dynamic tension
Identifying the scenes as in a play
Tracking the dreamer’s stance and resources
Synthesizing the dream’s narrative
House and car as common symbols of the self

Friday March 9,
Saturday March 10,

Dream figures as the internal object world
Recognizing and amplifying archetypal symbols
Dialoging with dream figures
Re-entering and continuing a dream
Music and weather as flow and fluctuation of affect
Making images into art and ritual

SESSION IV   June 2018 tba

This session will be devoted to methods of exploring dreams in groups



Sat October 14      1–3pm    $20-50 (sliding scale)

 Many people are having “collective dreams” in response to the uncertain, chaotic atmosphere today. These dreams are broad in scope and don’t stem from the dreamer’s own background but usually refer to public situations, public buildings, public events; and they make sense only when viewed through a larger lens. Cultures throughout history as well as many contemporary indigenous ones regularly turn to such dreams for inspiration and guidance.

This Dream Council offers a special opportunity to hear collective dreams, to tell them, and to jointly explore their imagery. They provide a fresh perspective on our current situation, giving it more meaning by revealing its mythic dimensions. Those who have been puzzled by having a collective dream may feel relieved as others who witness and receive the dream are enriched by its message. The program includes a dream re-entry in which participants meditate on an image or scene especially intriguing to them.

Open to all. Bring a dream you think might be collective or send it in with permission for it to be read. Come without a dream but bring an open, curious mind.

Suggested reading: Jerome Bernstein, Living at the Borderlands

“These mythological or collective dreams have a character that forces people instinctively to tell them. This instinct is quite appropriate, because such dreams do not belong to the individual; they have a collective meaning. They are true in themselves in general, and in particular they are true for people in certain circumstances.” —C. G. Jung (CW 18; par 250)

Facilitated by Meredith Sabini and Richard Russo


Panel with Julia Ross, Michael Neuert,                              Leah Steinberg, and Meredith Sabini

Saturday October 21, 1-5pm
Open to the public     $65-85
(sliding scale)
4 CEs     $95

How many of us get a good night’s sleep these days? Would you like to sleep better? This program will explore a range of topics and research findings with a panel featuring guests knowledgeable in the field. You will learn:

  • that sleep has a first and second part, with a break for reflection and creative thought;
  • how herbal preparations for relaxation differ from animo acids that activate neurotransmitters responsible for sleep;
  • what effects EMFs, cell phones, and WiFi have on sleep and how to reduce your exposure;
  • that adolescents need 10-12 hours sleep a night;
  • what modern sleep labs offer;
  • and hear about the sleep/dream incubation ritual practiced for a thousand years in ancient Greece.

Bring your questions and concerns for a lively exploration of this vital topic.

Michael R. Neuert, MA, is an electrical engineer and licensed contractor who has specialized in the testing and reduction of electromagnetic fields over 20 years. He also has an MA in Psychology from Sonoma State University.

Julia Ross, MA, author of The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure, with a new book coming, has been directing nutrition therapy clinics since 1988, which currently includes a virtual sleep coaching program.

Meredith Sabini, PhD, is director of The Dream Institute and a licensed psychologist specializing in dream training and consultation with a longstanding interest in sleep issues.

Leah Steinberg, MA, is a clinical sleep researcher who has worked in a variety of sleep labs.

Sign up in advance by emailing or calling the office: 510-845-1767



Friday Oct 27 “Dreams About the Body”

Friday Nov 10 “Creative Dreams in Art, Science & Literature”

7-9pm     Sliding scale $10-100.

An informal Friday evening informal talk by the Director.
Drop in, bring relevant dreams, bring friends.
Refreshments served.