However, most of us can't resist finding out what other people are dreaming about and the meanings that they give to their dreams. The word "dreamwork" here is used to mean anyone who works and plays with dreams. Some dreamwork is a psychotherapist, others are artist who allow dreams to inspire their creations. But most dreamworkers are people who explore dreams to better understand the meaning and value of their lives. I will be drawing on all these uses of the word, though the last is perhaps the most relevant. A dreamer's decision to share or discontinue sharing a dream should always be respected and honored. The dreamer should be forewarned that unexpected issues or emotions may arise in the course of the dreamwork. Information and mutual agreement about the degree of privacy and confidentiality are essential ingredients in creating a safe atmosphere for dream sharing.
Note that dreamwork ethics are somewhat different than clinical ethics. Dreamworkers are generally considered to be anyone working with dreams. This may be dreamwork in a clinical setting, a institutional group setting, private counseling, grassroots support groups and/or large lecture hall demonstrations.
Sometimes people dream of cheating boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, and other lovers. For example:
Dream: " I was just getting back from the store when I looked in my bedroom window and saw by boyfriend in bed with my best friend."
Dreams of cheating partners are very common and often give us a jolt. Since we have all heard that dreams might predict the future or reveal deeper meanings, the fear arises that our lovers might be cheating on us. Usually this is unfounded. Here are some questions I ask myself:
1. How likely is this to be literally true? If it is likely, I would confront my lover, not by saying I had caught her in a dream, but that I had a dream about it and tell the lover my fears.
2. If its *not* likely, I would see the people in the dreams as parts of myself. Carl Jung saw the act of sex as a symbol of union. So if my husband, who is a very thoughtful type, was in bed with my friend, who is very emotional, I might ask myself what would happen if I joined my own thoughtful side with my emotional side?
As you can see, this technique works just as well for me. That is, if I dream I am cheating on my lover, but would never do this in waking life, then it is an opportunity for me to join with some of the characteristics of the dream lover. If Scott is a hard working person and I'm more of a happy go lucky person, I can use the dream to explore what it would be like to mix these qualities in my life.
These unexpected unions in dreams can lead some very positive growth once we get over the belief that they might be literally true.