Tzivia Gover's "Forget About Ids and Analyses and Experience the Dream"


My friends, I just tried to reblog a post from another website for the first time and thanks to Francesca, a thoughtful reader, disovered that I failed miserably. So here I go again with a different method!  I hope you’ll let me know if it works!!
This post about the self-knowledge that dreams can bring was written by certified dreamworker Tzivia Gover and can be found at her blog,   I loved it and wanted you to see it too!

Forget about ids and analyses and experience the dream (or: A year ago … CV)

HPIM0541.JPG Early last summer I accepted a last minute invitation to visit a friend who lives two hours away for a barbecue. With no planning I jumped in my car and soon I was in my friend’s kitchen helping her rinse greens for a salad, while others prepped the grill and set the table. I spent the day playing with a little boy on the tire swing under the Chestnut tree, eating chicken hot dogs with the group, and later driving to a lake where we kayaked under a serene blue sky. Floating there on the lake in a small blue boat, my yellow paddle pushing me past the white flowers sprouting from lily pads, I felt my heart pulsing with joy.
This past winter, when I felt cold or lonely, I would remember that day—the painterly light animating the tall grasses in the field behind my friend’s house, the trees, and the buttlerflies whispering on the breezes, and the easy company of old and new friends, and the peace of paddling on that glimmering lake.
The day was sweet. But reflecting on it and savoring it in the months that followed, was even sweeter.
I don’t need to convince you that paying attention to happy moments like this one, and savoring them afterwards, adds joy to your life. Such a day can enrich our lives just by having happened, and by being remembered. Or we might go a step further and try to learn something from it: This is what happens when I take a chance and say yes to a last minute invitation, for example.
But you might need convincing if I told you that a dream is no different, that by simply savoring a sweet one, or studying a troubling one, you can learn lessons and increase the joy in your life. You might argue, “But my dreams are not like a serene summer day with new friends.” You’ll say, “My dreams are anxiety-infused, nonsensical, and bizarre.”
Yes, my friend I’ve had days—I mean dreams—like that, too.
Let’s take the days, first, because we all believe in those. For example there was the day a friend who’d always been sweet and cheerful turned argumentative and angry. Or the day I took my seat on the ferry for a weekend getaway only to realize, that I’d left my wallet at home. Or the one where my students refused to listen to me and I came home hoarse from asking them to quiet down.
I could choose to ignore those days because they too are bizarre, nonsensical, and anxiety-infused. But I’m not that kind of person, and since you are reading this, I’m guessing neither are you. Instead, I reflect: What happened? How do I understand my friend’s sudden change in behavior? What did I learn about my inner resourcefulness from embarking on a trip with no identification or money? How can I speak to my students so they will want to listen?
Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s easy to see that we can learn from our experiences rather than turn away from them, and that this is the way to grow and become more skillful at navigating what life throws our way. And you can do the very same thing with your dreams.
Forget for the moment about archetypes, analysis, ids, and super egos. Look at your dreams as experiences you can choose to dismiss as random hallucinations, or mine for wisdom, emotional insight, and original perspective.
Working with dreams is no more complicated, than what you do naturally with your waking experiences. Simply pay attention to what happened last night, when you drifted into sleep and entered into other dimensions of consciousness.

Try This:

  • This week, accept your dreams as experiences. Period. Remember: interpreting and analyzing dreams is only one of many ways to respond to them.
  • As you reflect on your dream notice: What new places did I see? What new, unusual, or unexpected abilities or facets of myself or others did I encounter?
  • Is there anything from your dream, perhaps a color, character, situation, or feeling, that you’d like to savor or reflect on?


Tzivia Gover, Certified Dream Therapist, is available to help you understand the meaning and messages in your dreams. Visit her at to view her upcoming workshops and for summer dreamwork discounts.


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10 Responses

  1. I am reading a book called The Secret History of Dreaming, in which the author espouses the view you are talking about. He writes full chapters on Joan of Arc and Mark Twain, both avid dreamers, and both who took their dreams seriously as actual experiences.

    1. I’ve been taking my dreams very seriously since 1989, and I can tell you that in terms of self-knowledge, growth and becoming comfortable with myself and my life, this attitude has been of priceless value. My dreams happen to me (my ego doesn’t make them up), and they come from my nconscious self, so if I’m interested in knowing myself, why would I not want to do everything I can to understand them? Tzivia does such a great job of making this point in the above article, that that’s why I wanted to share it with my readers!
      Thanks, Tzivia, and thanks, Debra for reading and commenting.

  2. Thanks, Jean. It works now. And I do interpret my dreams quite often. And do pay attention to my Inner Wisdom too. 🙂 Thanks for your blog!
    Love and Light, Francesca

    1. Thanks so much, Francesca, for alerting me to the malfunctioning repost earlier! And thanks for reading my blog. It’s my pleasure to be able to share my thoughts and occasionally those of like-minded people here.
      Love and Light right back at you,
      Jeanie 🙂

  3. Beautiful, Tzivia. Thank you for posting this, Jeanie. If I can be curious about all experience, dreams, bad moods, joys, and unbearable losses, then everything becomes meaningful or at least interesting. I’ve learned so much from working with Robert Bosnak on dreams. He helps the dreamer explore the sensory images of the dream rather than focus on interpretation. He feels the images themselves will transform us, and I’ve found this to be true. I love the analytical approach, too, but I’ve learned to take in the image first.

    1. Thank you, Elaine. It was my pleasure. Tzivia has much to offer those of us who take our dreams seriously. My usual method is to focus on the symbols/images and emotions first too. As I think about them I pay attention to my thoughts and associations. Then I look for what these impressions have to do with my waking life. Writing all this down helps me remember any insights I might gain. This may be a bit more analyzing than some do, but it’s a process that has served me very well. There are so many ways we can work with our dreams, I suppose the best method is the one that produces results….in terms of providing helpful insights that lead to changes in attitude and behaviors. 🙂

  4. Thank you Jean for introducing us to Tzivia’s work. I could definitely relate to her reference to daytime ‘dream or nightmare’ [my experience earlier today] and to studying our dreams. I see dreams as “night time living” and have kept dream journals since the mid ’70’s; I see dreams as ‘real’ messages for our spiritual well being. I would like to connect with others who are doing dreamwork here in Southern California–if you know of groups. Tzivia’s summer discount offer is an admirable offer to serve; I will consider it.

    1. You’re welcome, Tanene. Yes, I relate to the same things. You have a big headstart on me when it comes to keeping dream journals, however; I didn’t start until the late 80’s! I don’t know of anyone offhand who does dreamwork in Southern California, but I’ll be glad to ask my Facebook acquaintances. If you’re on Facebook, why don’t we “friend” each other, then you can get whatever information I get? My best to you, Jeanie

      1. That would work, Jean. It was an honor to read your work; your ‘research’ on yourself and how you used your dreams to deliniate your journey to create wholeness and authentic self. Alas many of my earlier journals went by the wayside in my many moves. I do ‘tab’ some dreams that appear significant to me…..and watch for them to show up in my daily life. Supports me in keeping present and mindful. See you over on Facebook. Thanks.

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