Dreamwork Software Review: The Dream Toolbox

Dream Toolbox screen

The Dream ToolBox, by Jason S. Zack, Ph.D. and Clara E. Hill, Ph.D. The Ampersand Group, LLC, Coconut Grove, FL 33233

Few of us can share every dream with a friend, in our dream group or with a therapist. And often, important dreams are gifted when none of these resources are readily available. We can tell, from the residual feelings, that the sooner we gain insight and take action, the better.

For those of you with computers, the Dream Toolbox (DTB) is available to help with the click of a mouse. It’s the next best thing to having a good friend, group or therapist.

The DTB is an interactive system designed to help you explore your dreams, determine what they mean to you, and to use what you’ve discovered to make positive changes in your life. It is a system that blends many of the major theories of dream work (e.g., Ullman, Taylor, Delaney) and is developed based on empirical research. The model is fully elaborated in Clara E. Hill’s book Working with Dreams in Psychotherapy, Guilford Press: 1996. The software walks one through a dreamsharing process that’s as user friendly as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Exploring the significant images/symbols and making associations to each,

  2. Dialoguing re: insight received from step one on two levels, the literal and symbolic and

  3. Clarifying with yourself how to manifest the dream’s wisdom in waking reality.

In the Exploration/Association phase, you are guided through a process that helps you identify each of the significant symbols, objects, persons and images in your dream. Then you are asked to rate the dream on an emotional response level. Now, with each image, you ‘DRAW’: Describe, Reenter, Associate, and identify Waking life events that may have triggered the dream. Finally, you are asked to write a narrative, given insight gained, as to what the dream means to you now.

Taking it to step two, the LightBulb/Insight stage, you are asked to consider your dream on two levels: How the dream relates to your waking life and how each image or the overall dream might be projections of parts of yourself. Throughout this exercise, most of the right questions are asked re: present day challenges, how past events have created them, what this might be saying or mean in the future, how the dream relates to family, friends, job, physical health, spirituality, or financial affairs in your life.

Finally, you are asked to determine what Action the dream is asking of you... you are asked to identify some way in which to honor the dream by bringing into manifestation in a constructive, positive and/or creative way. Never is there an attempt to tell you what your dream means. Nor is there integrated a ‘symbol dictionary’. This would be difficult if not impossible for any software program to do, needless to say... but I mention this because this is the essence of Dream Network’s Statement of Purpose: ‘It is our birthright to learn to understand the meaning of our dreams.’ The Dream Tool Box is a valuable tool, indeed, in achieving this highly desirable goal.

A free demo version, available for both MacOS and Windows platforms, can be downloaded at www.theampersandgroup.com/DreamToolbox. Registered users will be able to:

  • Save dreams

  • Edit dreams

  • Print a summary report from each dream interpretation session

  • Access informative statistics about all of your dreams.

Dream Toolbox screen