CE Programs

PLEASE REGISTER in advance for all programs by phone or email.

dividerThe Dream Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists and maintains responsibility for these programs and their content. CPA OPD: DRE 010


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Panel with Michael Neuert, Julia Ross, Meredith Sabini

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


Sleep is as fundamental to our human health and well-being as good nutrition. Yet poor sleep is epidemic in this high-pressure workaholic society. This program features guest presenters covering a range of topics so you will go away with an informed appreciation of how to nurture quality sleep for yourself, your family, your clients. Each presentation includes 15-20 minutes for discussion and questions.


One hour—Julia Ross, MA, will discuss the 3 most common sources of chronic insomnia—cortisol excess, serotonin/melatonin deficiency, and GABA deficiency—and nutrient solutions to each. She will describe the different types of insomnia and their pharmaceutical or nutritional remedies, and the pros and cons of each.

One hour—Michael Neuert, MA, will explain how artificial electromagnetic fields from household wiring, cell phones, and Wi-fi routers can interfere with the brain’s natural production of melatonin, which is the primary hormone regulating the sleep cycle. Drawing on over 29 years of experience as an engineer, he will describe what can be done to reduce one’s exposure and thus promote healthier sleep.

One hour—Meredith Sabini, PhD, will explain the basic sleep cycle, how it changes significantly in adolescence and senior years, and practices for good sleep hygiene. Based on her own experience with mid-cycle waking, she will describe how sleep has been recently reconsidered as naturally biphasic, with a break in between for reflection and meditation. She will also recount the ancient Greek Asklepian practice of sleeping in a sanctuary to incubate healing dreams.

One hour—Questions and discussion

As a result of taking this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between sleep disorders caused by physiological and psychological sources
  2. Describe the stages of sleep and their changes throughout the life cycle
  3. Explain that melatonin is the primary hormone regulating sleep; and that artificial electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from wiring, cell phones, and Wi-fi routers interfere with its production
  4. Reconsider mid-cycle waking as a normal phenomenon historically that has evolutionary survival functions and has been renamed “segmented sleep”
  5. Describe the ancient Greek Asklepian tradition, foundational to Western medicine and psychotherapy, in which the patient slept in a sanctuary to incubate a healing dream
  6. Recognize sleep disturbances as an empirically verified marker of trauma history and PTSD.


Stephanie Hegarty. (Feb 22, 2012) “The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep” in bbc.co.uk

Michael Breus, PhD. (2006) Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health. Dutton.

Penelope Bryant, John Trinder, and Nigel Curtis. (June 2004) “Sick and Tired: Does Sleep Have a Vital Role in the Immune System?” Nature Reviews.

A. Roger Ekirch. (August 2013) “Segmented Sleep.” Harper’s Magazine.

Elizabeth Kolbert. (March 11, 2013) “Up All Night.” The New Yorker.

Mark Mahowald and Carlos Schenck. (Oct 2005) “Insights from Studying Human Sleep Disorders.” Nature.

Pierre Maquet. (December 2000) “Sleep on It!” Nature Neuroscience.

Richard Ross, et al. (June 1989) “Sleep Disturbance as the Hallmark of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.” American Journal of Psychiatry.

Marc Weissbluth, MD. (2003) Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Ballantine.

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


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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,


The following are the topics and themes that will be covered during this session.
For each area, there will be examples given and an opportunity to practice both
with dreams provided by the instructor and those brought in by participants.

Matching dreamwork with type of dream

It is necessary to have a general idea of the various types of dreams in order to select
and use suitable dreamwork methods. In this section, we will cover the clinically and empirically identified types of dreams and how to recognize them.
These include dreams about:

  • Past trauma
  • Stage of life challenges
  • Internal conflicts
  • Relations with significant others
  • Repetitive fantasies, fears
  • Somatic conditions
  • Outward-facing/objective contexts
  • Career issues
  • Prescient information
  • The internal object world

Listening to a dream

We have a tendency to want to know what a dream means upon hearing it. This puts the cart before the horse. In this section, we will practice shifting from the analytical portion of our consciousness to listening as we would to poetry or jazz – letting the dream images and storyline wash over us, draw us in to the themes and actions, and have an effect on us. Using examples provided, we will experiment with “just listening” and asking our clinical, interpretive consciousness to sit at the sidelines for the time being – not an easy task!

Retelling the dream and its inductive effects

If you make notes while hearing a dream, you can then read it back; this is a gift to the dreamer, who has never heard their own dream. Doing this has several potentially powerful effects:

  • It helps the dreamer to view the dream objectively, so they can add to it, revise it, consider it, critique it.
  • It may induce a slightly altered state, as EMDR does, such that the dreaming mind is activated; similar to hypnotic trance.
  • Retelling brings the dream to life for the dreamer, and this alone can become the beginning of the dreamwork process. It is the simplest dreamwork method, and often very evocative.

Doing a dream inquiry

Before soliciting associations from the dreamer, it can be helpful and important to invite them to clarify certain features or actions within the dream. This is an excellent noninterpretive intervention that also brings the dream to life and produces additional associations. The Dream Inquiry does not ask psychological questions or interpretive ones; only questions for clarification based on what is given in the dream itself.

Associations and keeping them relevant

The dreamer could, potentially, give associations to each and every element in any dream, which could be fruitful but could also become tedious or tangentious. Dreamers often need assistance in making relevant associations, and we will discuss ways of doing this. For instance, when a relative or old friend appears, instead of giving the entire history of that relationship, you can ask the dream what main quality the person had and/or what main effect they had on the dreamer’s life.

Creating and maintaining open space for dreamwork

We will draw on Turner’s notion of liminality in ritual and Winnicott’s concept of play or transitional space as a model for setting the stage for dreamwork. This can be explained to the dreamer as akin to children playing “let’s pretend…”. The dream then becomes the mysterious “third thing” in between you and the dreamer, which can be looked at and engaged with from many angles.

Obtaining dreams during intake

We will briefly cover how to obtain nightmares, recurring dreams, and the most recent or “initial” dreams during the intake or interview process in any setting. The ethical and psychological importance of doing so will be emphasized.


This program combines didactic and experiential portions designed to give participants a working sense of how to obtain dreams in any setting and how to create the open space for mutually exploring them. It will cover the unique shift in consciousness advantageous to hearing dreams; the inductive value of retelling them; the importance of clarifying details; and ways to guide the associative process to stay relevant.

Specifically, as a result of attending, participants will learn:

  1. That there are many types of dreams and, in selecting a suitable dreamwork method, it’s important to have some sense of what type of dream has been presented.
  2. That three questions asked during intake – about nightmares, recurring dreams, and recent dreams – can provide diagnostic and prognostic information and also prime the dreamer for bringing in dreams regularly.
  3. That your own style of dreamwork may involve any of the four basic modalities: somatic, affective, cognitive, imagistic.
  4. The mere inquiry that invited further explication of the dream figures, actions, and scenes can itself spark the associative process.
  5. That the dreaming mind, long-evolved and oriented toward survival and wholeness, has already done the hard work of selecting and presenting psychologically relevant information encoded in symbolic/metaphoric language.
  6. That simply retelling the dream to the dreamer offers an experience they have never had – witnessing their own dream; and this alone can initiate a psychologically meaningful response.
  7. That your job is not to offer abstract, intellectual interpretations at the outset but to create a comfortable atmosphere where the mystery of the dream can be mutually explored.
  8. That once the core emotions and metaphors in a dream have been recognized, linking these to the dreamer’s life situation often comes naturally.

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

June 2018 tba

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


Programs Available for CE Credits

Programs listed below have received prior continuing education approval and been offered here and/or at other venues. Complete course descriptions available upon request.
California Psychological Association Provider #DRE010

Programs on Dreams

     The Power of Dreams in Groups
Dreams and Spiritual Practice
Practical Dreamwork Skills
Dreams in Brief Psychotherapy
Including Dreams in Clinical Assessment
Including Dreams in Supervision
Objective Dreams about Others
Dreams about Illness and Healing
Dream Dialogues
The Dream as Mirror of the Self
Culture Dreaming: A Therapeutic Modality for the Culture
Dreaming Toward Death
Widening the Royal Road
Asklepian Tradition of Dream Incubation
Dreams about the Therapist, Dreams about the Client

Other Topics

Death’s Early Warning Signs
Evolutionary Psychology: Clinical Applications
Mythic Foundations of Psychotherapy
Rituals within Psychotherapy
Interior Training of the Healer
Destiny: A Neglected Factor in Psychotherapy
Shamanism & The Return of the Repressed