#171 Dreams: Your connection to psyche – Debbie Ford

Dreams – we all have them, whether wild or wacky, recurring nightmares, vividly exciting or highly sexual.

But how often do you pay attention to your dream? How often do you legitimise them? How often you actually talk about them and share them?

This week it was absolute pleasure to talk to Debbie Ford, dream therapy psychotherapist, about this rich source of connection to psyche

Debbie explains what dreams are, their underlying dynamics and mechanics and just how beautifully subjective they are in their very essence. She gives an insight into how she works with clients and their dreams and provides some wonderful examples to really set some context of how we can begin to work with our own dreams.

Fascinatingly, we also discussed on a bigger level of what she’s beginning to see across her client’s and their dreams at this time in this COVID disrupted time – messages from the collective psyche.

This is a truly subtle, beautiful, yet really powerful conversation with a wonderful lady who is really amazing at holding space for something that our own ego so often sweeps over or puts to one side.

Read Full Transcript

Bryn 

Dreams. We all have them whether wild or wacky, recurring nightmares or exciting or highly sexual. We all have dreams.

But how often do you pay attention to your dream? How often do you legitimise it? How often you share it? And did you know that dreams are a huge, huge rich source of connection with your psyche, with the psyche. And that’s why this way, it was an absolute pleasure to talk to Debbie Ford, who is a psychotherapist who specialises in dream therapy.

 

Debbie explained just exactly what dreams are, and how what they are in relation to the psyche and give us a rough idea of the underlying dynamics of how they work and how just how beautifully subjective they are.

 

She was given insight into their into how she goes about doing therapy and gives some wonderful examples just to really set some context of how we can begin to interpret and work with trains.

 

We also had a great discussion on a bigger level of how what she’s beginning to see across dreams at this time in a covid period, college disrupted period.

 

This is a truly subtle, beautiful, yet really powerful conversation with a lady who’s really amazing at holding space for something that we so often sweep over or put to one side. And she explains why our egos do that. So I’m sure you’ll enjoy, Debbie.

 

Bryn 

Hello, and welcome back to WA Real I’m your host Bryn Edwards down the great pleasure of talking to Debbie Ford. Debbie, welcome to the show.

 

Debbie Ford 

Thank you. Hi Bryn

 

Bryn 

Thank you very much for giving me some time and sitting here and your wonderful pleasure. So I was really keen to talk to you because I wanted to continue what has been missed, like this nice rich thread of inquiry into the deeper dives into psyche. And he wanted to talk to you because of your work with dreams a psychotherapist. Yeah. So I guess the first real question I have for you is let’s start at the start. What are dreams? Why do we? I’ve spoken to a sleep expert. But yes, so she talked about the whole REM yes in a technical point. But from your psychotherapy, deeper psychodynamic point of view, what are dreams?

 

Debbie Ford 

Well, dreams for me as a psychotherapist are such a gift. They’re a gift from psyche. Because when a client comes to see me, I often say to them for that before their first appointment, Oh, do you dream just out of interest? And they’ll say, Oh, no, no, I haven’t dreamt for years. So we make the appointment, and they come in, and we’re talking and you know, just getting to know each other. And then all of a sudden, the client will say, Oh, my God, I had a dream last night. And it’s like, thank you. And then we get some real material from psyche, right. So it’s the dream is like a message. And it is a message that is mysterious. It is definitely mysterious, because we have an ego that says, I don’t want to be connected to this inner world, this psyche, this stuff that’s unconscious to me, because I’m the ego I am who I think I am. And I’m sure in the world who I am. Yes. And, and I’m, I’m not interested in this message. Now, sometimes the message will be like a nightmare, it will be recurring, it will be really significant. It’s so significant. That psyche is really making sure that the client or the person that dreamer gets the message. But we have this ego that’s going not interested. So repression comes in. And the ego does what it does best really is repress. So we have we get into this cycle. So that’s the joy of coming to therapy is that I’m kind of well the therapist, the psychotherapist especially where I’m psychoanalytically trained. So, you know our history our training is Freud and Jung. So, we are like the translators. So we we work with that intuition. We work cognitively we work symbolically. So we work with Everything, the most important thing we work with is the client. So that they come with this rich, hidden information. Yes, that they have no idea about. They don’t understand what this means. Sometimes psyche will give them a really basic. Oh, I get that. And it’s so basic that Yeah, you’ve got that. That’s awesome. But mostly it is it is more cryptic, it’s more. It’s metaphor, it’s a different language to our everyday language. Because the unconscious needs to trick the ego from doing its job, right. Does that make sense? It

 

Bryn 

does, I suppose. Just to clarify, yes. Come into this conversation yet, because they’ve seen the title off yet. And I mentioned the word psyche. For you, when we say, you know, these are messages from psyche, what do we actually mean? Are we talking individual consciousness? Or are we going even deeper that into the world of collective

 

 

Yes.

 

Debbie Ford 

Right? Absolutely. By so psyche that we call psyche is our unconscious? Yes, which is the part of us that we have no access to other than through our dreams. And through our language, occasionally, we’ll might make a slip as Freud would say a Freudian slip. And there’s a little message in that. But so we have a personal unconscious, which is our own story, our own internal narrative. But we also have access to the whole to the collective. So we have access to everything that is going on, unconsciously. With it, you know, but with men? Yeah. Is, it is just amazing. Because there are major archetypes in the collective unconscious. And it is just, it’s fascinating, because we can tell when we get a collective dream, and I’ve had some clients over COVID who have had collective archetypes

 

Bryn 

of going, Okay, in a bit.

 

Debbie Ford 

Okay. All right. Yeah. Because I kind of Yeah, it is. It’s intriguing.

 

Bryn 

Yes. And one. Yeah, that really went to a question.

 

Debbie Ford 

Okay, then definitely, definitely guided. So that answer yes,

 

Bryn 

it’s very much this unconscious are the unknown or unseen parts of ourselves, not just ourselves, but singular, ourselves plural as well. And I suppose we are going to ask you a question a bit about how we differentiate between the two as well. But I guess, listening to what you’re saying is that is that dreams? And slips are a very rich source of connection to this deeper, unknown, absolutely. world. And that, I suppose one of the what is the really the best adjective I can come up with the moment is one of the most beautiful things about what you do is you’re actually holding space for something that can so easily be just like, oh, by the way, dream, I didn’t realise. Yeah, and then that’s probably as much thought as most people. Give that. Yes. Yep. And I guess, listening to what you’re saying about, there’s this tension between the ego, I’ve got centre stage. Yeah, I’m the person, I’m the function of this person who’s running the show and out on the other. And that, you know, there’s this rich internal world. And it’s, it’s bridging a gap between the two. It is Yeah. Yeah. Which could only lead as found in previous podcasts to you know, greater integration.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes. Yes. And and that’s kind of that is that is psyches goal. Is this unconscious drive for homeless? So for homeless to happen? That includes our conscious self, and our very large unconscious self. Yes. So bit because there’s the tension between what we’re conscious of which is a teeny teeny amount, and this massive unconscious. There’s this drive within psyche to balance so that this tension of opposites and the tension between consciousness and unconscious, yes, yes, yes, it is. So it the dream helps to regulate this.

 

 

Yeah. So for

 

Debbie Ford 

people who don’t get this message, so just for ordinary dreamers, yeah. It’s it’s that’s why keeping just keeping a dream journal or even talking about your dream doesn’t have to be to a therapist but just just giving voice to it legitimise

 

 

Yes. Yes.

 

Debbie Ford 

Oh, wow. I don’t know what that was about. But hey, last night I dreamt that whatever,

 

Bryn 

huh? I guess the more the more like I said that the ego takes centre stage in and and is quick to pass off these dreams and messages, I suppose hence why dreams will become more and more and more vivid to somebody if they’re not necessarily picking up what psyches putting Yes,

 

Debbie Ford 

yes. And psychic will if it’s really important, which generally it is. psychic will find another way. So and sometimes your psyche has a bit of a sense of humour. I remember a client once who Oh, if I mentioned clients, the only client material I will use are from clients long ago. Yeah. And also, those clients have given me permission to usually dream it generically.

 

Bryn 

Yes.

 

 

change their details, but nobody out there is thinking, Oh, that

 

Bryn 

sounds like my dream. come and chat. Tell the world Yeah,

 

Debbie Ford 

no, no, no, that’s crystal. Yes. So, so one this client long ago. And the first dream was was too too mysterious for her to get. And she had so many defences in place. But the next dream, which woke her up with such a start, was this giraffe, just a symbolic giraffe that had his head CT. And it was like it was in a big fence. And it was in a jungle and was and she woke up terribly stressed because this poor giraffe was struck by and stuck by being by being not free. So we talked about her associations, because that’s what we do as therapists. Yeah, this is this is the clients dream. It’s not my associations. It’s the clients associations. So I hope associations were immediately. Well, it’s stuck. And it’s black and white. Do you node. It’s black and white. giraffes are black and white. And it’s like, Ah, yeah. So wonder what does that what does that mean to you black and white? And she goes, Well, I’ve always been told that I have no grey in my life, that it’s black, or white. And I said, so. How does that work for you being black and white? And she said, while it’s while I’m here, I’m stuck. So it was like, Thank you psyche? Oh, yeah. Yes, so simple. But the first stream psychic gave us was so difficult and so complicated, that she couldn’t see that her ego was so defended, and so clever at making sure that she didn’t get this. But it was fine. Because once we recognise that she was stuck, and we needed to talk about her fear of the grey, which is the unknown, which is where that’s our unconscious, where the ego doesn’t want to go. So we It was like this beautiful message of exactly why she was there.

 

Bryn 

I think one of the because I’ve read a couple of books about dreams quite a quite a while ago, when, when I first came across the work of Well, when I first properly deep dive and felt drawn to deep dive into the world of Carl Jung. And working with the unconscious and the psychic. One of the first points I just want to clarify that I got across it, it sounds really simple, but it’s really, really important is that psyche doesn’t necessarily talk in terms of thou shalt do this. It comes up with symbols and and and and like situations which are personally personally relevant to the individual. So the so very subject Yes, yeah, hence why going on Google and going, Oh, I had a dream of a black race. What does that mean? Black Raven means? Shit. No, no. It’s really, really important. And guess what my mom and dad won’t mind me. sharing this already exists. I listen to this and I often get phone calls from them. But this one made me laugh. And it saved it saved a morning to my parents live in the UK. And they came across several years and we were on a road trip and we were sort of stopping on a campsite living in close environment, the three of us. And one morning mum woke up, she was in a very strange mood. And she’s been very funny with and, and we were still in that sort of longing around wearing pyjamas having a cup of tea state. And I love Sarah when, what’s up? And she goes, Well, I’ve had this vivid dream. And I was at this function with your dad. And then your dad suddenly started talking to this woman. And then I realised, you dad and this woman were having an affair. And then they talked to me. And then they were saying they were going and then they just laughed. And she was being really

 

 

paranoid. And

 

Bryn 

all that had done was woke up that morning. Yep. And yeah, he had dream cheated on mum. Yes. Luckily, I’d read this book a couple of weeks beforehand. And I said, Well, look, Mum, you know, double back out of this, right? It’s not dad himself. What does dad represent to you? What was going on with this other woman? What was the dynamics of what was going on? Yep. And she’s anyway. Fast forward to Tate, like later in the afternoon. And she went for a long walk on the beach in the Ask yourself these questions. Yeah, came back. And suddenly when I’ve worked out Yes. Like, and, and because it’s this this next year. And I was like, wow, and then dad looked at me and went, thank you very much. in trouble, nothing feel. But you know, it’s a fun little landing. But the point is, is that is that going back to the point, psyche doesn’t necessarily talk in no specific language, thou shalt do this. It is up to you to do the work to build that relationship. And unpicking the meaning that is classed as

 

Debbie Ford 

it is correct. But that’s where we have the challenge because of the ego, right? ego is like the conductor of the orchestra. No egos deciding Yes, I’m gonna I like that. And anything that is imperfect or that the ego does is not impressed with our we just repress that we get rid of that. Yeah. Yes. So yes, so the the language that will come up, will be in it will be different, it won’t be our language. So it’s made of four it’s, it’s myth. It is language about like with your mom, it’s about the masculine and the feminine in her case, because it’s showing us that her internal masculine and feminine that animal, animal and animals, so in the feminine nets, the animals, that’s the inter internal masculine. So we have an imbalance because the the the masculine in her is getting a bit powerful, and the feminine is getting a bit needy. So there’s this, so dad’s cheating on mom, glitter, internal masculine, that is not actually content to just bring forth all the fantastic things that the masculine can bring, you know, the masculine for all of us, you’ve as a man, but for me as a woman, my internal masculine, it helps me make decisions. It helps. It’s linear and logical and, and problem solving. fantastic to have a language and a dialogue with your internal contra sexual figure. So there was something going on within mom, that was just slightly out of balance, because the masculine was a bit needy and a bit a bit wanting a bit more power. bit more control. Yes. Because the answer, yes. And unfaithfulness is always bad control. So it’s, you know, it’s a weak side. So do you see mama will have found her way of dealing with it? Dad’s like, fuel. I’m off the hook. That was closed. I did nothing because it did nothing other than Yeah, just like, you know. Yes. That’s right. So so you know, out our normal response is to project our egos interpretation onto debt and say, yeah, yeah. So poor dad, he cops it, but it’s actually the dreams mostly about. It’s mostly subjective, not objective.

 

Bryn 

So I guess the it’s interesting because unlike several committees, that you’ve mentioned things like animals. Yeah. So I imagine within dream therapy, there’s this balance between finding out what is the subjective meaning, yet also looking for these archetypal structures that are at play in the dreams is that yeah,

 

Debbie Ford 

it is correct. Yes.

 

Bryn 

So the working out what the subjective meaning I imagine would be consort of continued gentle questioning of. So what does that mean? Yeah. Yes. Has there been a time when a giraffe has turned up in your life? Yes. And was that sick? Yes. Does that represent to you?

 

 

Yeah, absolutely. Hmm.

 

Debbie Ford 

But thinking of that, the language with the masculine and the feminine, when it comes as an as an archetype. It’s a bit like when shadow comes into our dream, it’s very, it’s very connected to emotionality. So we can when we have a dream about shadow, about, you know, that is about what the ego has, will repress. Yeah. And we, you know, we learn to repress from, right. We are, and it’s it just comes from, you know, as Robert Bly beautifully says, you know, we start from being little tiny babies, to little children. And whenever mum and dad go, Oh, I don’t like that. That’s naughty. Don’t do that. Or that gets put in a little invisible bag that the little child starts carrying around. Yes. So we have this, we learn. When we when people do know, a displeased with us. We go, Oh, we can’t do that. You know, so we post it into our little Yeah, invisible bag.

 

Bryn 

We start to delineate

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes, yep. So and I, you know, I remember my first dream that I was aware of is shadow. That’s, that’s horrible. You know, but when you get to know your shadow, it’s fantastic. Because you, you expand a beat? Yes, yes.

 

Bryn 

Yes, I guess, as I’ve come to experientially learn that it’s not so much a place to be feared but a place that’s just not had light, Charlie.

 

Debbie Ford 

Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s, and we all have shadow. And the challenge is to get to know our own shadow rather than to project it. Because if we think of collectively, we’ve just had this black lives matter. global experience of this projection of shadow. Hmm. So we’ve found something to project it onto.

 

Bryn 

And that’s called a hook.

 

Debbie Ford 

It’s got a hook and then we go in globally, to a nice little example of the collective unconscious.

 

Bryn 

Hmm, nice little exam. Yes.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes. Not so nice. No, no,

 

Bryn 

no, no, I but it’s an example. Well, it is nice. Well, depending on the line, yes. Yes. Yes, no, but it’s necessary.

 

Debbie Ford 

It is. And it’s bringing about change. Yes. Which is wonderful. Hmm.

 

Bryn 

So within that balance of there is this subjective exploration of the meaning. Yeah, yeah. There are archetypal structures. So you’ve now introduced shadow as an animus and Anima. Water, or they’re sort of how do I put it was not wanting to go straight to the example I gave you a black Raven.

 

 

Yes, yes. Yes, yes. Yep.

 

Bryn 

Are they sort of characteristics of the various archetypes that play out that you that you can sort of share from your knowledge? So you sort of go, this sort of dream may well be your shadow, this sort of thing might characteristic might be your animals or right. Well, without? Yes, we like I said, I’m really delicate to not turn this into Debbie’s

 

 

Yes.

 

Bryn 

Yes. So we’ve caveated

 

 

Yes, we have.

 

Bryn 

Yes, thank you. But at the same time, given your experience of doing this over many, many years, surely there are certain things you start to say

 

Debbie Ford 

there are certain things you start to see. And and as a therapist, I have to be really careful that I don’t get too excited about

 

 

well, I guess

 

Debbie Ford 

I know what that is. That’s your shadow. Yeah. And because, because that’s not helpful, because it’s most important, important for the client to actually come to their own meaning and hence consciousness, but as a little guide, that light shines the light in the darkness. There are certain, like, if we, if we stick with shadow, there are certain occurrences like, for for my shadow, it was a woman. So it’s the same gender as me. And it’s usually a person of opposite colouring. So in my shadow my my woman was brunette. So she was a brown haired woman. So that it’s it shadows, usually our same gender. But the see the shadow can also come in the form of an animal. Yeah, so that’s fascinating. Because animals are instinctual.

 

 

And

 

Debbie Ford 

so, so we, we can get

 

Bryn 

suppose we suppress men instinctual. We do.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes, we do. And yes, so so. So dreaming of an animal. I immediately go to that. What Google would probably say I’ve never googled it. But animals have fairly instinctual, loyal, so I will have those uphold those associations in my mind,

 

Bryn 

a collective soul. Yes. Feeling definitely.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yeah. Yeah. Yes. So enemies, I’m just thinking now of, when we when the when psychic gives us a myth, in our dream, there will be big emotionality, it’s a little bit like meeting shadow, it’s a little bit like, major archetype, because it is a major archetype. But it’s psyches way of saying, you’ve really got to get this, I’m really going to make sure you get this, this is gonna make your life so much better gonna make this powerful. Absolutely. And it brings to mind a dream of one of my clients many years ago. And in her dream, I won’t give you the whole dream. But the significant part of the dream was that she was in this in this two story house. And upstairs was this very fragile. And cello player, a beautiful, redheaded, white skinned cello player, Thien and elegant and delicate in that room next door to this cello player was Elizabeth jolly, this West Australian writer who unfortunately is no longer with us. But she was in their room next door. And this might the dreamer. She is like a she’s, she’s neither of those women. But she’s both of those women. So she’s, she’s watching this play out. And then all of a sudden, on the balcony, there’s French doors out to the balcony. She cares this noise. Both women ignore this noise. They’re just completely absorbed in their world. And there is this beautiful male bird figure covered in white feathers. And he’s bashing the door, the French doors. Let me in. He’s not saying that. But that’s what he’s wanting. He’s wanting to get into psyche. And this, work the dreamer up. And luckily, she had it the night before we’d actually been working together weekly. And we’ve had some some significant dreams, but nothing that was getting to the actual issue. And so she came into therapy, this strange nightmare, or I feel so scared. There’s this bird like man trying to get in. And so we talked around it and I was able to show her off the shelf. I found this book that had arrows picture of arrows that she looks and goes oh man, that’s Yeah, that’s like that’s like that. What was that my door? And it’s like, well, how would that be it open the door and let Eros in? How would a bay if we welcomed the masculine into this world where the feminine one parts too fragile. One part is so engrossed in, in writing in her own narrative. How would that be? So we did some work on welcoming Eros in because the first reason she came to therapy was that she was lonely. She was a lawyer. A busy, a busy woman very much engaged in, in writing and very much embodying the Elizabeth jolly part of herself. The fragile part was definitely repressed. But there was this mythological figure, you know, Eros is the life drive, it’s love. It’s, you know, and it’s masculine, her psyche up until this point, she’s been an involved or unaware of the masculine. So this was life changing for this girl through an archetypal myth of Eros, where was joyful was so joyful. And it was, it’s one of those moments as a therapist where you go, thank you psyche that is, you know, psychic wants to heal. psychic wants for us to balance. Yeah. And it’s just so joyful. When you see the client go. I get it. Okay, yeah. This this is my dream. This is part of my unconscious. And now it’s coming up to my consciousness.

 

Bryn 

Yes, it’s such a gift and I am connected to that absolutely benevolent. Yep. Yep. And even what’s below that collectively? Yes. Yes. benevolent? Yes. Well, yep.

 

Debbie Ford 

And how benevolent is love and how important is love for self love for other in our love for something bigger than us? It is. It’s it’s a, an ingredient that we can all have access to. And if we did, it would be a much happier world.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. It’s It’s beautiful listening to that. And it reconfirms now refill that part of why I find exploring this so important in the, in this podcast, yes. Is, is that there is this untapped? great wealth theory of a benevolent force that wants to work with us, and stop us from feeling so isolated, separate, and making life so difficult.

 

Debbie Ford 

Absolutely. And it’s not that, you know, we’re trying to say, well don’t suffer, because the growth comes from suffering. But it’s, it’s like, we’re in we’re meant to be in relationship. And if we can, if we can, just by getting in touch with our internal world, when when less isolated.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. Hmm. In a world that’s been dominated by the sort of post enlightenment, rationalisation of science and measuring, yes. Which has been awesome.

 

 

Yes. Hello. You know,

 

Bryn 

I had an operation just last two weeks ago, my Rison and that’s thanks to medicine. Yes, it is. Yeah. And it’s not necessarily throwing that out but it’s also reintroducing them reading reincorporate is our relationship with our interior.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes. And it’s our relationship with our physical body as well. Because the, you know, they’re all intertwined in you know, psyche and Soma. We’re all we’re all one. Yes. And you know, even our bodily language, sometimes dreams will give us messages about what we’re doing wrong in our body. I once had a dream, I had the same dream twice. The first time I dreamed it. I was before I’d started studying psychotherapy, it occurred just before midlife, so you know, sort of quite early on. And in the dream, it was an epic long dream. But I had an experience that I didn’t know was of self so in, there was a central

 

Bryn 

offset of self.

 

Debbie Ford 

of my, my inner unconscious, yes. Power part of the collective.

 

Bryn 

So that’s part of the capital S.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes. Part of my caught my own internal, conscious, conscious self. So personal and collective. In this wise old man in white robes, was giving me this book to read. And it was this heavy fork and I was sewing or have seen this wise man. Oh my god. I’m having a visitation from this beautiful wise man. And he shows me this book and I looked, it’s like, I can’t read it. It’s all written in Sanskrit. And I was like, ah, and I wake up. So sad because I know I’m so close to something berets. I can’t, I can’t decipher it, I can’t get the code of what this means I have no idea. So I, I don’t think about the dream again. And then when I’m probably in about my fourth or fifth year of studying psychotherapy, I have the dream again. And the wise man appears again, once again, in an epic, a long, laborious dream. And I’m travelling and, and he appears wide open haired man is he looks sort of Indian, the same man in his white robes. And he’s holding the book, and I’m like, Oh, my God, am I gonna get it? And I get it. And I’m so and I look, and it’s written, I can read it. And it says, If you let go, Heaven will be yours. And I wake up like, man, if I let go, Heaven will be mine. What does that mean? What am I holding on to I’m not holding on to anything. I’m in my own training analysis. I’ve done all these years of study. And I’m like, What am I holding on to, but there was something I was holding on to in my body, that I was not really conscious of. That it gave me a clue to start to look inwards, not just at this wise man, which who was part of me listening to my masculine wisdom, that heaven could be mine. I mean, man, heaven on earth, it can’t be better than that. So it was an amazing dream. And that, that was archetype was an experience of self. fleeting, because what happens is you wake up, and then the ego comes in and goes, Well, now I must, you know, I’m now started my practice. I’m like, a 50 year, you know, I’m kind of out there. And I’m still, you know, doing this doing this study and whatever. So the ego comes in and goes, Well, that wasn’t that great. You know, you know, you know, it’s not, it’s not that good, you know, ego doesn’t want me to run with this one. there’s part of me that has just experienced something really deep within myself. He doesn’t want to go there. No, no, is it possible? So it took many years, it actually took me to physically get ill. When I realised that I, if I didn’t, if I didn’t learn to let go, then I wasn’t going to get what I got out of having breast cancer, which has been an amazing journey, but it’s it is to get in touch with that. Gratitude and also them that significant message that we’re just a spiritual being and a human body. You know, the body is just the body. You know, there was something else. So I learned to let go, really, really because I had to me year of chemo, you don’t just if you don’t let go if you hold on to that, man, you know, I don’t think you’re going to make it.

 

Bryn 

Was it yours? To let go?

 

Debbie Ford 

Fear. Absolute fear. Oh. Well, no, no, no, it was fear

 

 

of

 

Debbie Ford 

fear of the masculine outside of myself. I had projected that fear on two

 

 

on two men.

 

Debbie Ford 

And because I had a scary dad, beautiful Father, but kind of scary came back from the Second World War having been a bomber pilot and used to bombing

 

 

and

 

Debbie Ford 

and I hadn’t actually got to work and understand work with a no, my own masculine because I was afraid of that. So it was through dreams that my masculine I really really got it then, because I had this fantastic dream does this is this on track here? Am I going off? Okay? Oh, no, no, no, no. So another recurring on everything’s on track and absolutely and psyches always on track by being off track. This

 

Bryn 

is what I’m learning today. Yes,

 

 

absolutely.

 

Bryn 

So that was your ego then wasn’t getting the hang of it. Yeah.

 

Debbie Ford 

So my first time I dreamed of the masculine was about the same time I couldn’t, the same time as I had the dream of the wise man holding me the book, The wise book that I couldn’t reach. At that same time, I had this dream where I was searching for this man. And in the dream, it was my partner. So I’m searching and searching, and I go into this room and there is and I call out to Him. Oh, there you are. Stand up. And I look at him. And he’s a dwarf. Now my partner wasn’t a dwarf. He was

 

Bryn 

tall,

 

 

handsome men.

 

Debbie Ford 

I was a dwarf in my dream. And I woke up and it’s like, Oh, that’s so sad. Ah, my husband’s a tool. Oh, well, let’s pray. Let’s pray psychotherapy. So don’t really do anything with that dream.

 

Bryn 

But because you’re literally interpreting?

 

Debbie Ford 

Absolutely. And I am thinking it’s about him. Well, yes. You know, we’re having struggles at the moment, of course, his you know, he’s not standing up. I want him to stand up. He’s letting me down. So I’m projecting it all onto him. So later, when I have this dream, the relationship is actually it’s petered out. It’s in the last taking its last breath, I have this dream where I’m going on this journey. And I’m at the airport. And in fact, I’m going off to America.

 

 

And

 

Debbie Ford 

in the train, there’s this man that’s coming to meet me, he’s going to travel with me. And he’s a teacher. He is he is always things that I’ve made up in my mind that this this man is. And there he is, and we’re at the airport, and I can see him and I’m waving to him. And once again, I say to him, stand up.

 

 

He’s a tall.

 

Debbie Ford 

And it’s like, what the fuck? Excuse me? He’s a dwarf. The dwarfs come back. And it’s my masculine. I know when I wake up, oh my god, it’s not about the other. This is about my masculine. This is now about me. I don’t need to be afraid. I just need to understand that, that I’ve kept my masculine dwarfed. I’ve kept him little. Because it’s been easier to let the masculine in relationship. Carry that. Because I’m good at the feminine. I’m really good at nurturing and being intuitive and, you know, creative. I’m good at all that. But do I have permission to be strong and in touch with my masculine? No, no, but I have now because I’ve now got it. I’ve now when I’ve woken up, I’ve gone. Okay, I get this. I really get this. So that’s an example of this imbalance of our internal contra sexual figures. And how big it takes it a dream to make up Get it and how sometimes it takes like both those examples. I’ve had the dream twice. Now, you know, I’m a little bit slow. But it’s I’ve got Well, a lot of people have had recurring nightmares, psyche will keep recurring will keep giving you in a different form the message until you get it now psyche knew I was close with both these because he gave he psyche gave me

 

 

wisdom in a book

 

Debbie Ford 

masculinity in in in a dwarf and me asking him to stand out stand up and I’m thinking it’s about the other it’s actually not about the alpha, it’s about me

 

 

What a gift,

 

Bryn 

which goes back to Yes. demonstrates one of the things I asked you to clap right at the start. Yes, this is all very symbolic in person. Totally not to be projecting

 

Debbie Ford 

No, no and not to Google. What is the dwarf mean? Yes, because I’m sure I mean, I’ve never googled it, but I’m sure that there’s some some weird Oh, yeah, I bet.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. But

 

Debbie Ford 

from from my story. It’s about the use of the word, dwarf dwarf. And then what that

 

Bryn 

what that constant construct or schema? Yep, actually means for that?

 

 

Yes. Yep. Yeah,

 

Bryn 

it must have when you started your psychotherapy, yes. Yep. Was it with the intent of going into dreams? No, not at all. I must have been quite a turn quite a thing. Because Yeah, I imagine he, even within the world of, you know, providing therapy, psychotherapy, you know, staying in the world of CBT. And things like that. Nice, safe, easy ground. People know about that? Yes, they do. Everyone’s cool, including clients. Yes, as well. Yeah. And potential clients, but to go to dreams start to go down to the depths that we’re talking about now. So the depths that I’ve been exploring now that we’re now we’re into scary shit, yeah. We’re into the world of young and Freud, which means we got to read some heavy books. We got, you know, whole concentration and read very engaging sentences and paragraphs to understand nuance. It’s not reduced. No, it’s very nuanced. It’s, it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s very, very fine. Very subtle. So what made you go from was like, the clear cut as the world of psychotherapy to the No, we’re gonna go into drains.

 

Debbie Ford 

Well, it’s Yes. But you see, I still do the other. Yeah. If people but psyche always gives a stream. So it’s kind of, you know? Yeah, it was it does. Um, yeah, I know, I certainly had no intention at the beginning of working with dreams. And I’d had, I’d had my own therapy before I started studying because it was out of my own therapy that I realised that and, in my dream, the therapist I so we didn’t actually do dream work. You know, she was a psychodynamic, PhD CBT. And just what I needed at that time, yes. To make sense of my life. Yes, that was great. But then I lose layers. Yes. But get

 

Bryn 

to the next layer. Yes.

 

Debbie Ford 

But once I started to look into this, the unconscious Wow, this is something else. This is where I want to dwell. I want to go Yeah. When we when we don’t dwell, yes. So it was clear to me once I started my practice, and I’d worked out the ingredients of of how to do these, which took a little while because I started out with, with desire. I started out wanting my clients to get better. I step in, which I always do. I love Mike. Yeah, but I I wanted to get them the answer. Oh, I know what this is.

 

Bryn 

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, I know. You can play. So you play out the Saviour.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes. Yeah. So I don’t want to do that. No, it takes me a little while to get that. And then when I get it’s like, okay, okay, I can want another example of letting go. Just sit with just be with just trust. And psyche do the rest.

 

Bryn 

It’s interesting you say that it’s almost like the little journey I’ve been on with the podcast where Yes, in the first 1020 3040 episodes, yes. I knew what I wanted to go like in sound like the other that after a period of time, you just can’t let go. And yes, yep, those most people know I’ve got a yes. But yes after that. Mm hmm. Kawasaki go?

 

Debbie Ford 

Yes. Yep. Absolutely. And psyche won’t come really, I don’t think until you’re ready. It sounds bizarre.

 

Bryn 

It’s safe,

 

Debbie Ford 

it’s safe. It’s a little bit like seeing clients that have trauma in their story. And a lot of clients have, you know, most of us have experienced some sort of trauma, but serious trauma. It takes it, it takes the relationship to develop before psyche will actually start to allow us to work with actually what happens in trauma, which is about splitting. So this is it’s the relationship that contains and allows the two of us to get in sync, just like the mother and the infant get in sync in the dyad. We get to, to be able to be safe in that holding. Yes. And be good enough. That’s one of the things I learned in my training is that you just have to be good enough. You know, you don’t have to be the best. You don’t have to be like, like for me to say, Oh, I get this. I know what this is about? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s actually not about me at all. But it takes a while to get to trust that. And that comes from myself from my own in a world. But it also comes within the the dynamic of the two of us. And our psyches meeting. Do you

 

Bryn 

ever get the sense? Whether you probably know or not, is up for debate? Do you ever get the sense sometimes when you’re working with a client and this the diving into this rich material has been provided by psyche and and I can imagine there’ll be times when almost like the defences to start to peel away and peel away and peel away as you get closer and closer and closer to the truth? Do you ever get the sense that you are actually listening directly to psyche? times? And you almost feel it? Does that

 

Debbie Ford 

make sense? It does. And there are times when I’m really aware of that. And it’s funny because I my first career was if I know what you’re saying, My first career was a nurse. So I trained as a children’s nurse and I was a registered nurse for 10 years. So whether that prepared me or not, but I used to get quite I have over the years had a lot of clients that come to therapy to see me because they’re dying. Now, I don’t know whether that’s because I have set with people and nursed people who actually do die before I was a therapist. But then therapist I, I started to get clients being referred in who were diagnosed with illness and who came because they were dying. With those clients. We always work with the dream. And I can tell you that the closer we get to death, the more direct I’m working with psyche,

 

Bryn 

because the story is bullshit and like

 

 

it all just pills like

 

Debbie Ford 

it totally does bring it peels away.

 

 

And

 

Debbie Ford 

and the the spirit is already starting to move. So the spirits already starting to make its next crossing its next journey. Right. And because I that doesn’t frighten me, because I’ve been a nurse. And now because I’ve had breast cancer and I’ve been there I’ve been afraid that I was going to die. I’m not afraid of that anymore. But even before mike mike breast cancer, I wasn’t when these clients would come in I was not afraid. Something about the authen authenticity of psyche And that connection, that deep connection of my internal world with the clients internal world, because all this other stuff is gone now, all this ego stuff quickly gets the

 

Bryn 

play man as that’s been constructed Absolutely. Now.

 

Debbie Ford 

So we’re getting right down to what really, really matters. And it is such, it’s such an honour to sit with people who trust me, to guide them through the last months of their life. And I use whatever I intuitively feel psyche wants, often, it’s a lack of just a Buddhist type meditation of allowing ourselves to follow the light, practising following the light, and allowing ourselves to let go of our physical being, and trusting that if you follow the light, will, Heaven will be yours.

 

 

Now,

 

Debbie Ford 

that is such a gift to be able to do that with people. I can’t tell you, it nearly makes me moved. Because it is just been astounding. And it’s the power of psyche. Because one client

 

Bryn 

to suppose is almost like in a gauge in a compass physically within you that now feel? Absolutely. So when you get glimpses of it with clients, because you dial back from the close to death exposure is happening not experienced yet

 

 

to happening.

 

Bryn 

It takes a pretty serious peschel concoction of events to actually get people to drop all those defences. earlier than that, yeah. near death experience, end of relationship and of job. Something. Yep. Really big or the realisation that a story you’ve been telling yourself has come to an end. You’ll often say was it called wi rail? There’s nothing more real than now. And we talked about the ending of stories. So yes, I guess when those little, that little window opens on, as soon as you got quite a physical gauge for it.

 

Debbie Ford 

I have Yes. And I think I’ve kind of always, always had it. I remember having it as a nurse. So I kind of

 

 

Yeah.

 

Debbie Ford 

But the joyful thing is that the dreams of these clients is all about how they disconnecting from their body. And they start to dream of observing themselves outside of their body. So that’s when we know that crossings getting really close now.

 

Bryn 

Yes. Yeah.

 

Debbie Ford 

And the power. The one more comment on this. Yeah, the power of the mind and the body. This one client I’m thinking of he was in hospital, we had a session the day before he crossed over. He said to me, I know when I’m going to die. I don’t want my my wife and my little boy to be here. He said I’m going to I’m going to cross over. When she goes to pick him up. It’s the only window I have. Well, when his wife rang me, I said what time did he die? Our she said it was about I don’t know. She said about quarter to three, five to three

 

Bryn 

minutes long.

 

Debbie Ford 

And I said I said that man what what a gift for you? And she said What do you mean? And I said he didn’t want you to suffer anymore. He didn’t want you to be there when he crossed over.

 

 

Oh

 

 

joy.

 

Debbie Ford 

How kind he was the most beautiful man but how kind of how incredible that psyche and the physical body have a link to be able to do that to let guy and do it for another. I mean this. What a capacity. Wow. Yeah. So beautiful. And see why I love being a therapist.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. Going back to something we touched on earlier on. Yeah. right at the start is if we sort of come out of the individual analysis that you do, and now we start to look at it almost at a meta level. Yeah. Across what you’re seeing across clients. Yeah. I always find this fascinating. I find this fascinating question to ask anyone who provides any sort of service or therapy, offering to others? It’s quite interesting to see if they have an answer. But they think about it or not that and are there similarities? Or are there not in content, but possibly messages that you’re starting to experience? Because if we had had this conversation, probably 12 months ago, it would have been easy for you to go. Yes, yeah. They’re in and and anybody’s watching this will probably go Okay, that’s kind of interesting. We now we’re now global pandemic, this sort of stuff like this, this traumatic events that are shared and escaping? Yeah, yeah. One of the, just as an aside, one of the things I enjoy doing from time to time is asking people, what, oh, tell me about the pandemic. Just Just try and jump in normality and stuff, but or disrupt it. So now we have more of this shared experience. And I get the impression certainly for speaking to different guests and different people outside of the podcast, that where I would listen to people’s stories, and they would be on their own individual journeys, it feels more collectively sync. Definitely. Are there certain things that you’re experiencing, in the matter level of the dream clients? And yes,

 

 

yeah.

 

Debbie Ford 

Yeah, nice question bring.

 

 

One,

 

Debbie Ford 

one of the archetypes that has come into people’s dreaming that I’ve noticed, is big at the has been big over the last sort of nine months is the occurrence of the serpent, the snake in people’s dreams. Now, for me when I, when I think of the serpent, and when I have dreamt of the serpent only once, but it was definitely at a time of me shedding my skin of transformation of the fellas of the masculine in me at a time. I think I’m amazed at how many clients are giving me dreams that are coming. I think collectively.

 

 

And

 

Debbie Ford 

to me, they offer hope. But I don’t usually share that level with my client. But in, in my, in my psyche.

 

 

I feel

 

Debbie Ford 

that I can feel my psyche. I feel from I feel from I, I, I think that there is some method in it. Not method but something that we are collectively unconscious of that I think is going to transform us out of this darkness. But maybe we’re just still in that. Maybe, maybe. Yeah, but it’s such a like that. This is the million dollar question. But this is what I’ve noticed. You’ve asked me what I’ve observed. Yeah. One of the clock noise not a client is a friend and he won’t mind me sharing this. He shared that his dream was he had this big brown snake in his garden. And it was in the lavender patch. I mean, how beautiful is that? I mean, it’s the snakes in the lavender petrom in the dream isn’t very big. And it’s why he rang me is like what’s going on? But just that image of, you know, the holistic value of lavender, you know, a whole patch of lavender, and there’s the brown snake.

 

 

Gorgeous, huh?

 

 

But, yeah,

 

Debbie Ford 

and that meant that friend is definitely in the process of transformation.

 

Bryn 

Yeah,

 

 

and healing

 

 

and healing, because

 

Bryn 

I sort of posed a similar question or or, or, or inquired about this at this level, because I find interesting to speak to those who deal with them. the depths of the psyche, whether there is that meta level of observation, yeah. And, you know, for me, this whole conversation has been extraordinarily hopeful just by sitting back and listening to individual level in this. Yes. So the next level of questioning for me is I was like, obviously, this collectively and more and more I explain to yourself speaking to Britt, yep, several weeks ago, I get the sense that there is now this is not this sort of shallow false hope, or, well, I used to, I used to operate out of this persona that’s degrading now. So I’m going to bypass across the day, we’re into another person, you know, and we’ve all seen that, you know,

 

 

it’s very appealing.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. Yeah. It’s very, very easy. Very, very quick to do, you know, people leave. Yeah. Examples, you know, people like nipping for one persona. Yeah. This is actually rude. Oh, into the depths, then what comes out? Yeah, we’ll be so beautiful and most likely, so required, because I think at a deep level. Well, most people, particularly in Western Australia, have a level of comfort and I’m sitting in a lovely house, most of us know that. We’re not doing it as well, as we

 

 

know. Yeah, we know.

 

Bryn 

There’s a lot of trauma, there is a lot of wounding that we still carry around and play out. And those wounds do bleed out across everybody around us, typically the ones we love. Yeah. And, and, and that, you know, even as groups, we do that and hold group trauma, and probably as a collective, we have collective trauma. And this is all playing out and it is necessary to drop back into that darkness in order to move forward, which is like a real higher order or higher level. Hope. Yep. Then some sorts of awesome is gonna come in and say, No, no, no, no. someone’s not gonna come. Not there is a bigger force that will move us from one place to another. It will be a tricky rod.

 

 

Yeah, yeah.

 

Debbie Ford 

But as long as we hold tight, and we allow ourselves to sit in it hold tight to want to, because we’ve thought about like God.

 

Bryn 

Yes. Okay. But we hope to go

 

Debbie Ford 

how tight to the idea that this is something bigger than us. So if we allow ourselves to accept, yes, that no one’s going to rescue us. Yes. That we take responsibility for ourselves. Yes. And we’d be assertive.

 

 

Yep.

 

Bryn 

Then I think Sorry, go.

 

 

No, no, no, no.

 

Bryn 

I think also there’s this transcending the hubris of man, yes. recognising that this change, we’re not going to manage it. No. In fact, if anything is going to manage

 

Debbie Ford 

it, that’s why I’m holding tight really, because it’s kind of it’s, we’re going on it, we’re not taking ourselves, this is taking us

 

Bryn 

yeah, it’s like the proverbial roller coaster. As soon as that bar comes down, off you guys mind controlling it. So if somebody has been listening to this, and they want to start engaging with their dreams, shorter coming to see you, was just some of the simple and basic things that they can start to do.

 

 

Okay. Well, to tap in well,

 

Debbie Ford 

is, first of all, to have a dream journal or a little pad by your bed, bedside table pin. before you go to sleep, you say to yourself, just gently, quietly, I’d really like to remember my dream. And if you say that every night for two weeks, just gently I’d really like to remember my dream. It sets the the intention, and you will start to

 

 

dream.

 

Debbie Ford 

This is if you’re not already dreaming. Most people are dreaming. We say they say we have five to six dreams a night. Yes. So it’s just a matter of being conscious.

 

 

And

 

Debbie Ford 

scribble down. If you wake up and it’s like, oh my god, that hand drew me. scribble it down, try and go back to sleep. If not, as soon as you wake up, write it down, date it, give it a title. Don’t try and analyse that. Just write it down. Just get it out. Capture the salient points. Yep. So go with with what comes up What the symbols are? What if there’s any movement in the train? Are you running? Are you swimming? Are you drowning? You know, go with write down those write down the people who are gay. You know? Is that me? would I do that? What if it’s me? Why am I? Why am I drowning? You know, why am I in the ocean? Which is why am I deep in psyche? So, so it’s just jotting these things down. And all of a sudden, you’re kind of cooking. You know, I, there’s a bit of alchemy happening. Any? Yep. And you’ll start to get some dreams.

 

 

And that’s very exciting. That’s awesome.

 

Bryn 

What have you learned about yourself? Since working? midribs?

 

Debbie Ford 

A big so much. Yeah, so much. A some quite a lot of like, I don’t really like that. So getting to know my shadow. It’s been quite big. Because I was very good at projecting that.

 

 

You know,

 

Debbie Ford 

I’m sorry, I’ve learned about suffering rather than causing suffering, especially with men. Hmm. Oh, gosh, I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned so much. And I’m nowhere near knowing anything.

 

 

It’s just so crazy.

 

Debbie Ford 

about it. It’s it’s at how it is. But I’m in process. You know, the process of individuation is happening.

 

 

Yeah. As we’re all in process, all in it.

 

Debbie Ford 

And we’re all seeking whether we’re conscious or not, we’re all seeking wholeness. And psyche is there to help. wants to heal us and wants to balance? We’ve got this believable resource in us. Deep within us. We just have to listen.

 

Bryn 

Well, last question asked my God.

 

 

Yeah, yes.

 

Bryn 

hypothetical one by one. ticularly. Interesting, is if you could upload a single question into the collective consciousness. And everyone was to spend seven to 10 minutes just deeply contemplating the answer to that question. What would it be?

 

 

What are you so afraid of?

 

Debbie Ford 

That’s my question. Hmm. You know, we’ve all We’re all afraid at some level. And what is it? It’s individual, it’s collective. I would love everyone to contemplate

 

 

that.

 

Debbie Ford 

Because a lot of the time it’s it’s our imagination, making a story that we don’t need to make if we just come back to mindfulness and just be in the moment. We don’t need to be afraid.

 

Bryn 

Lovely, beautiful before talking.

 

 

Oh, really? Yeah.

 

Bryn 

Sorry. I think it’s been such

 

 

I’ve enjoyed it too. Good.

 

 

I hope the listeners like it. Interested? Yeah.

 

Bryn 

It’s been such a beautiful, hopeful, delicate conversation. Yet I say delicate, but she’s the powerful.

 

Debbie Ford 

Oh, really? That’s psyche.

 

Bryn 

Yes. That’s psyche. There we go. And were described in the conversation Rama described.

 

 

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Bryn 

I’ll be thinking about that for the rest of the day. Yeah. Good. And if people want to reach out and come find you, how did they go about that?

 

Debbie Ford 

They will, they will do it.

 

Bryn 

If you want to give him a practical stare.

 

Debbie Ford 

I don’t know. Yeah, yeah. Just know just put my name in a come up eventually.

 

Debbie Ford 

I just believe people come when they need to come. And something will, you know, it just happens the right people choose the right therapist.

 

Bryn 

That it’s been absolutely beautiful. Talking to you

 

Debbie Ford 

pleasure. Thank you

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