Dreamwork: A Cross-Cultural Perspective for Art Therapists

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Worley, Paula
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Dream imagery is ideally suited for use in art therapy and can provide a glimpse into the emotional inner world of clients.Cultures throughout the world use dreams for healing and insight and often incorporate the art process into their utilization of dream material. However, to date, minimal art therapy research has been found by the researcher on dreamwork, and even less identifying cross-cultural differences on dream processing and its use for healing and insight. The field of art therapy would be enriched by a review of the historical development of dreamwork found in cultures throughout the world. In review of the professional literature, a substantial amount of research conducted in the fields of anthropology, psychology, history, and art was found on the use of dreams across a wide variety of cultures. A historical research design was chosen to examine previous research on dream processing within a variety of cultures.