Book Review: Appreciating Dreams: a group approach by Montague Ullman

Book cover

Appreciating Dreams: a group approach, Sage Publications, Inc., Softcover, 273 pgs.

In the Forward to this long awaited book, John P Briggs, M.D. reveals his dramatic conversion over two decades ago from the rather strict disciplines in which he was trained as a psychoanalyst to that of a dream group enthusiast. He acknowledges that in the group setting-when members are sensitized to the process so carefully outlined in this book - "more attention is paid to the dream than is possible within the confines of the analytic hour". Additionally, he says "The group method can reach further into the metaphor of the dream, the imagery and all of the associative material of the manifest content".

Montague Ullman is responsible for Dr. Briggs' unreserved applause, as are a growing number of students and dream group enthusiasts around the planet.

Appreciating Dreams: a group approach shares in great detail the processes and insights Monte has practiced and increasingly refined over a period of nearly three decades. Through sensitive participation and observation in the subtleties and nuances inherent in dream groups, he has been like a determined prospector mining for gold. The multi-level process has evolved over time and fortunately has the fine mind, ethics and commitment of Dr. Ullman for its articulation. It is now reaching a stage of perfection; when facilitated by someone familiar with it, the process flows gently, like a midsummer river.

In Appreciating Dreams: a group approach, Monte gives special instructions as to the leader's dual responsibilities, provides A Manual for Leaders, speaks directly to the concerns of individual dreamers, defines group dynamics and responsibilities, provides information on forming a group and (in harmony with this issue of the DNJ) has included a special chapter on Dreams and Healing.

I was fortunate to experience this process in person and to see early drafts of this book several years ago when attending one of Monte's experiential dream group leadership seminars and stand among the individuals applauding Sage Press for its wisdom in publishing and making Dream Appreciation: a group approach, available to us. Be aware, however; Sage is an academic press and the book will be exposed primarily to the academic community.

This is significant, because as more educational institutions integrate courses on dreams, this carefully worded material, born of creation and experience, will be available to assist, enhance and advise teachers and students regarding the many considerations involved in both conducting and participating in the dream group; also, as more therapists begin employing dreams and the dream group process into their practice, they will have the advantage of Monte's long-term commitment to demystifying this process.

However, because of the books' exclusive exposure, many present and aspiring dream group facilitators and participants may be unaware of its publication. Get your copy now!

Thank you Monte, for being!