Dream Therapy Case Studies

 

Star of Bethlehem – A Core Remedy for Dreamwork

An unmarried 42-year old woman living with her parents: a traumatic memory re-emerges

A 49-year old woman, single and living alone: loss of connection with her mother

An unmarried 28-year old woman living with her parents:
gaining independence from the effects of the past


A 34-year old man, married with one child: developing emotional authenticity

Star of Bethlehem – A Core Remedy for Dreamwork

First, I would like to give special mention to Star of Bethlehem flower essence. It has a central role in my work with clients, and is used for initiating dream therapy and providing ongoing support. In particular, this flower heals painful issues that have hampered psychic development, enabling the soul to move beyond trauma and continue the emotional and spiritual process of development or individuation.

When Star of Bethlehem is indicated as the initiating flower essence (alone or combined with others), old psychic wounds are symbolically re-evaluated or re-experienced. For example, the psychic wound of miscarriage or abortion, can re-appear and be resolved in dream activity. The death of a parent or other significant person that may have included ambivalent or negative feelings, can be re-enacted toward positive resolution. Even nightmares that have re-occurred throughout a patient's life can disappear, without further intervention, analysis or interpretation.

One of the main characteristics of traumatic experience is dissociation, involving aspects of the psyche that are separated and can no longer communicate with each other. Star of Bethlehem is an integrative remedy, re-constellating these traumatic events into a new wholeness within the psyche.

The first two cases involve short-term clinical experiences, and point to the ability of flower essences to help reveal, through dream activity, the essential emotional issue faced by the client.

An unmarried 42-year old woman living with her parents: a traumatic memory re-emerges

Less than a week after taking her first flower formula including Rescue Remedy, Star of Bethlehem, Wild Oat, Olive and Crab Apple, the client reported three significant dreams. The first dream involved driving a car that moved backwards and fell into a river with her inside. In the second dream, a baby had died and she knew that she had done something to hide the death. In the third dream she met a singer and was informed that his little daughter had died.

Wild Oat
Olive
Crab Apple

When the client shared these dreams with me, I inquired whether she had lost a child or whether a baby in her family had died. She began to cry and told me she had "lost" two pregnancies, one after the other with the same father, ten years ago. Afterwards she confided that both had been induced abortions. Three years after the abortions, she suffered from breast cancer.

The dreams revealed that these events, which had been submerged in her soul's memory, were exerting a strong psychic force and needed to be heard.



A 49-year old woman, single and living alone: loss of connection with her mother

Two months before the first interview, the client's Tai Chi instructor had advised her to take flower essences. She obtained a formula from the pharmacy that included Rescue Remedy and Star of Bethlehem. In the following three days she had a dream each night. In the first dream, she arrived home and found it "invaded." In the second dream, she arrived at her office where she works as a researcher and found it full of unknown people. In the third dream, she arrived at the office where her therapist is located and found the office no longer there.

These dreams expressed a common theme: "loss of a place of her own." When I explained this to the patient, she began to tell a very cruel and "forgotten" event of her childhood. When she was about five years old, her mother was abruptly separated from her. She was ordered to leave home by her grandfather (her father's father). The patient remained in her father's family and never dared to be in touch with her mother. They never saw each other again, except for a few times on the street. When the patient was fifteen years old, her mother died of cancer. At the age of 47, the patient also suffered from breast cancer.



The next case histories involve longer term therapy, featuring flower essences and dreams:

An unmarried 28-year old woman living with her parents: gaining independence from the effects of the past

The therapy with this patient was conducted in two cycles. The first period, covering 15 months, did not include flower essence therapy, but investigated the childhood history. The most important aspect of the client's biography involved the fact that her real father had died. The client was unsure who her father was, or what had caused his death.

Only gradually did the full story unfold. The client's father had been killed by the military in 1976, when she was 2 years old and her mother was 8 months pregnant with another child. After the father's death, her mother worked hard to survive alone with two children while the family suffered social rejection. The client lost not only her father, but also her childhood; she had to help her mother and take care of her brother.

My client exhibited many depressive tendencies. She remained overly dependent on her mother and continued to feel responsible for her mother's wellbeing. Furthermore, her mother remarried and had two more daughters. The mother attempted to forget the former circumstances of her life, and did not tell her children the true facts. During this first phase of treatment, the main goal was to help the client gain knowledge and insight about the full emotional context of her early childhood.

Mustard

An interval of one year occurred while the client moved to another city to complete her academic degree. During the second phase of treatment, the flower essences of Centaury, Rock Rose, Mimulus, Mustard, Rescue Remedy, and Gorse were included in the treatment. My client was typically unable to remember dreams, but after three months of taking the flower formula, she had a clear, vivid dream. In the dream, she was in an old house, where a modern three-story building had been added. She was playing a game of "hide and seek" with other children, as well as her mother and her mother's friend. Her mother was hiding on one of the modern floors. Instead of using the staircase connecting both houses, her mother decided to come down through the balconies. While doing so, the mother became ill. Her friend thought the illness was "in her heart." But when the client's mother was taken to the hospital, the doctor declared, "No, the damage is in her mind."

This breakthrough dream describes the relationship between the client and her mother, showing both stages of their lives. The mother's inability to move between both houses shows the false attitude she developed toward the former period of her life, by rejecting rather than integrating the two parts. In this dream, the client is showing significant psychic independence for the first time. She has witnessed her mother's inability to cross between both homes. And she hears the diagnosis of her mother's false attitude, when the doctor reveals that the damage "is in her mind."

Following these core emotional insights, the client began to change significantly. She become both financially and emotionally independent from her family. She developed a relationship with a boyfriend, lost weight, and advanced to her own career and source of monetary income.

A 34-year old man, married with one child: developing emotional authenticity

This client has been engaged in professional training for psychotherapy. He worked under my supervision for several years, with attention to his own personal development as a foundation for his outer professional skills.

The client is deeply-sensitive, and tends to be anxious. I have frequently used flower essences to relieve his anxiety and stress. He often compensates with a "mind-based" attitude towards his life and work—for instance, trying to find answers to his problems in psychology textbooks. The client has a mild exterior and seldom experiences anger. However, he developed a physical symptom of "visual fatigue" after the sudden death of his father, over a decade ago.

Less than a week after taking the flower essences of Rock Water, Pine, Cerato, Wild Oat, Wild Rose and Sunflower, he experienced a series of dreams. Although the client had a rich dreamlife, these dreams were very different, and were more "embodied" with personal content and feeling.

Two of these dreams were particularly significant:

In the first dream, his father returned after ten years. My client asked him why he pretended to be dead. The father answered that he had gone away with another woman and had another son with her. The patient felt very angry at him for having a second son with another woman. He felt "displaced" in his love for his father.

The second dream involved the other members of his family – his elder brother, sister and mother. His mother was dead and he demanded payment for what he had done for her, but his mother ignored him. What he really wanted was an inheritance of the house where his mother lived, as a reward for taking care of her. As in the first dream, he again experienced anger and felt "displaced."

These two dreams revealed the client's deep-seated anger and sense of displacement towards his parents. He did not feel loved enough by his father, or appreciated enough by his mother. These core emotional feelings were not being expressed in the conscious daily life, but were now activated, or "elaborated" through the dream life.

Rock Water
Pine
Cerato
Wild Oat
Wild Rose
Sunflower

After these two dreams, my client began to behave differently in real life. He was more assertive and self-affirmative. He expressed his opinions in his personal relationships, as well as feelings of appropriate anger. These breakthrough experiences in his personal life led to a further development of his professional skills as a psychotherapist.

Back to main article


 


[ About FES | Online Repertory |Class Offerings | Research & Case Studies | Interviews and Articles]
[ What's New | Publications | Membership | Find a Practitioner | Members' Pages | Home ]

 


P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA  95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
tel: 530-265-9163    fax: 530-265-0584

E-mail: mail@flowersociety.org

Copyright © by the Flower Essence Society.
All rights reserved.