Date(s) - Sat 9 Oct 2021
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

This one-day on-line workshop with introduces an experiential and non-interpretative approach to the practice of waking dreams (also known as ‘active imagination’ and ‘guided imagery’) in counselling and psychotherapy.

In a waking dream we inhabit a dream with an awareness of doing so – as sometimes happens upon waking from sleep when the dreamworld continues to feel present alongside an awareness of lying-in bed – the experience of which allows us to become aware of not just the content of what we imagine, but also the process of how we imagine.

Based upon the book of the same name, the workshop goes beyond a standard therapeutic presentation to emphasise the healing and transformative power of imagination in its own right, rather than merely as a means to rational insight.

In particular, two novel developments of waking dream practice will be presented:

1, How exploring the in-between waking/dreaming state allows for a cultivation of the skills and aptitudes needed for an imaginative life.

2, How a broad understanding of imagination, as present in all perceptions, actions and relationships (not just as pictures ‘inside the mind’) allows the principles of ‘eyes-closed’ waking dreams to be applied in generic counselling and psychotherapy work as an ‘eyes-wide-open’ waking dream.

You will learn the theoretical basis and practical step-by-step method of waking dreams, including:

– The quality of imaginal attention needed to enter into a waking dream.

– How to move and interact and dialogue within a waking dream.

– How consideration of a waking dream as a repeating fractal pattern allows for an awareness of the activity of images in everyday life.

– The relevance of waking dreams to other image-based methods (drawings, family constellations, Gestalt dialogue etc.) as well as generic therapy with memories, future fantasies and transference dynamics.

– How and why imagining is healing and transformative in itself.

If you are interested in cultivating a richer, story-filled and enchanted existence – and helping others do so – then this might be the workshop for you.


The workshop draws upon and develops ideas from many sources. The genesis is a critical development of hidden potential in the transpersonal techniques of Roberto Assagioli’s psychosynthesis, especially in relation to the post-Jungian psychotherapists James Hillman, Mary Watkins and Robert Bosnak. Further influences come from ecopsychologists Theodor Roszak, Jerome Bernstein and Nick Totton, the work of David Abram and the recent integration of psychotherapy with complexity theory and fractal geometry by Terry Marks-Tarlow and Robert M. Galatzer-Levy.


The on-line format using Zoom will be a mix of theoretical presentation, case study discussion and supported practicum group work to cultivate waking dream skills. A short introductory reading assignment and experiential exercise will be e-mailed in the run-up to the day for completion before arriving at the workshop.


Allan Frater is a psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice. He has been a core trainer at the Psychosynthesis Trust since 2011 and currently teaches on the Essentials, Foundation and Counselling Diploma programmes. He is the author of the forthcoming ‘Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life’ to be published this summer by TransPersonal Press.

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