DreamSenseMemory - a Gestalt-based dream-work approach embracing all our senses

Submitted: February 16, 2021
Accepted: July 24, 2021
Published: August 24, 2021
Abstract Views: 6633
PDF: 1402
HTML: 131
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Gestalt therapists believe that their task is to help their clients to experience repressed, ambivalent, and unpleasant things in order to accept and implement them in their whole self. To implement those ‘things’, those elements of the self, they need to be uncovered first, which is a process that often is achieved by dream work, as messages from the unconscious that are stuck in our dreams can be revealed by certain Gestalt-therapy methods. The method in focus is the newly developed DreamSenseMemory technique which is based on neurological findings on how the senses at play influence memory processing. Dream work with the DreamSenseMemory method has the advantage that by using this method on a regular basis, dream content will not only be remembered more often but also in more detail. Thus, effectively supporting dream work and its process of understanding the message of the unconscious, accepting the elements withing and implementing them in the self.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Abrahan, V. D., Shifres, F., & Justel, N. (2021). Music improvisation enhances neutral verbal and visual memory in musicians and non-musicians alike. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 75, 101807. doi: 10.1016/j.aip.2021.101807. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2021.101807
Alban, L. S., & Groman, W. D. (1975). Dreamwork in a Gestalt therapy context. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 35(2), 147-156. doi: 10.1007/BF01358186. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01358186
Arshamian, A., Iannilli, E., Gerber, J. C., Willander, J., Persson, J., Seo, H.-S., Hummel, T., & Larsson, M. (2013). The functional neuroanatomy of odour evoked autobiographical memories cued by odours and words. Neuropsychologia, 51(1), 123-131. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.10.023. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.10.023
Beach, C. (2013). Using psychodrama in analysis. In Jung and Moreno (pp. 129-147). London: Routledge.
Bowen, H. J., Kark, S. M., & Kensinger, E. A. (2018). NEVER forget: Negative emotional valence enhances recapitulation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25(3), 870-891. doi: 10.3758/s13423-017-1313-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-017-1313-9
Bowman, C. E., & Nevis, E. C. (2005). The History and Development of Gestalt Therapy. In A. Woldt & S. Toman, Gestalt Therapy: History, Theory, and Practice (pp. 3-20). Newcastle upon Tyne: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781452225661.n1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9781452225661.n1
Busch, H.-J., Leuzinger-Bohleber, M., & Prokop, U. (2003). Sprache, Sinn und Unbewusstes: Zum 80. Geburtstag von Alfred Lorenzer. Tübingen: Edition Diskord.
de Bruijn, M. J., & Bender, M. (2018). Olfactory cues are more effective than visual cues in experimentally triggering autobiographical memories. Memory, 26(4), 547-558. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2017.1381744. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2017.1381744
Edwards, D. J. (1989). Cognitive restructuring through guided imagery. In Comprehensive handbook of cognitive therapy (pp. 283-297). Berlin: Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4757-9779-4_15
Ehrenfels, C. von. (1890). Über Gestaltqualitäten. Vierteljahrsschrift Für Wissenschaftliche Philosophie, 14(3), 249-292.
Feder, B. (1992). Peeling the onion: A Gestalt therapy manual for clients (R. Ronall & B. Feder, Eds.). Bud Feder.
Flexser, A. J., & Tulving, E. (1978). Retrieval independence in recognition and recall. Psychological Review, 85(3), 153-171. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.85.3.153. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.85.3.153
Freud, S. (1900) Die Traumdeutung. Wien: Deuticke. (transl.: Freud, S., & Crick, J. (1999). Sigmund Freud the interpretation of dreams. Trans. Joyce Crick. Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Freud, S. (1905). Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud, Volume vii (1901-1905): A case of hysteria, three essays on sexuality and other works (pp. 1-122). Trans. James Strachey, Anna Freud, Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson. London: Vintage.
Gegenfurtner, N. (2005). Eine empirische Studie über die gestalttherapeutische Arbeit mit Träumen - Prozessanalysen von Klienten- und Therapeutenverhalten im Rahmen von 30 Therapiestunden. Monaco: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität.
Greenberg, L. S., & Dompierre, L. M. (1981). Specific effects of Gestalt two-chair dialogue on intrapsychic conflict in counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 28(4), 288-294. doi: 10.1037/0022-0167.28.4.288. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.28.4.288
Hartmann-Kottek, L. (2000). Gestalttherapie. In C. Reimer & U. Rüger (Eds.), Psychodynamische Psychotherapien: Lehrbuch der tiefenpsychologisch orientierten Psychotherapien (pp. 177-233). Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-12851-0_11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-12851-0_11
Herz, R. S., Eliassen, J., Beland, S., & Souza, T. (2004). Neuroimaging evidence for the emotional potency of odour-evoked memory. Neuropsychologia, 42(3), 371-378. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2003.08.009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2003.08.009
Holzinger, B. (2013). Albträume - was sie uns sagen und wie wir sie verändern können. Monaco: Nymphenburger Verlag.
Holzinger, B. (2014a). Lucid dreaming in psychotherapy. In Lucid dreaming: New perspectives on consciousness in sleep: Science, psychology, and education; Religion, creativity, and culture, Vols. 1-2 (pp. 37-61). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.
Holzinger, B. (2014b). 'Dream Sense Memory’ Traumarbeit in der Gestalttherapie und die psychotherapeutische Technik des luziden Träumens. Psychotherapie Forum, 19(3), 111-120. doi: 10.1007/s00729-014-0024-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00729-014-0024-1
Holzinger, B. (2018). To Dream - Perchance to Sleep (B. Feder, Ed.; L. Cosentino, Trans.; 2nd ed.). Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta Verlag.
Holzinger, B., & Klösch, G. (2013). Schlafchoaching: Wer wach sein will, muss schlafen [Sleep coaching: Who wants to be awake needs to sleep, in German]. Berlin: Goldegg Verlag GmbH.
Horikawa, T., Tamaki, M., Miyawaki, Y., & Kamitani, Y. (2013). Neural decoding of visual imagery during sleep. Science, 340(6132), 639-642. doi: 10.1126/science.1234330. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1234330
Koffka, K. (1935). Principles of Gestalt psychology. London: Kegan Paul.
Kohut, H. (1977). The Restoration of the Self. New York, NY: International Universities Press.
Lewin, K. (1963). Feldtheorie in den Sozialwissenschaften. Göttingen: Verlag Hans Huber.
Lieberman, M. D., Eisenberger, N. I., Crockett, M. J., Tom, S. M., Pfeifer, J. H., & Way, B. M. (2007). Putting Feelings Into Words. Psychological Science, 18(5), 421-428. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01916.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01916.x
Maercker, A., Rosner, R., & Baumann, K. (Eds.). (2006). Psychotherapie der posttraumatischen Belastungsstörungen: Krankheitsmodelle und Therapiepraxis - störungsspezifisch und schulenübergreifend ; 11 Tabellen (1. Aufl). New York, NY: Thieme. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1055/b-002-37749
Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2011). The Senses in language and culture. The Senses and Society, 6(1), 5-18. doi: 10.2752/174589311X12893982233551. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2752/174589311X12893982233551
Metzger, W. (1936). Gesetze des Sehens (4th ed.). Klotz.
Nobus, D., Lockheart, J., Holzinger, B., Adler, K., Barrett, D., Wessely, Z., & Blagrove, M. (2021). 120th Anniversary Event for Dora Telling Her Burning House Dream to Freud. International Journal of Dream Research, 14(2), 1-16.
Perls, F. S. (1969). Gestalt-Therapie in Aktion. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett.
Perls, F. S. (1972). In and out the garbage pail. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Perls, F. S., Hefferline, R. F., Goodman, P., & Perls, F. S. (1995). Gestalttherapie: Grundlagen (3. Aufl). Monaco: Dt. Taschenbuchverl.
Perls, L. (1992). Concepts and misconceptions of Gestalt therapy. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 32(3), 50-56. doi: 10.1177/0022167892323004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022167892323004
Pesant, N., & Zadra, A. (2004). Working with dreams in therapy: What do we know and what should we do? Clinical Psychology Review, 24(5), 489-512. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2004.05.002. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2004.05.002
Plümacher, M., & Holz, P. (Eds.). (2007). Speaking of colors and odours. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.8
Sparrow, G. S., & Thurston, M. (2010). The five star method: a relational dream work methodology. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 5(2), 204-215. doi: 10.1080/15401383.2010.485113. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15401383.2010.485113
Strasberg, L., & Morphos, E. (1988). A dream of passion: The development of the method. New York, NY: New American Library.
Tulving, E., & Thomson, D. M. (1973). Encoding specificity and retrieval processes in episodic memory. Psychological Review, 80(5), 352-373. doi: 10.1037/h0020071. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/h0020071
Ullman, M. (1984). Group dream work and healing. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 20(1), 120-130. doi: 10.1080/00107530.1984.10745718. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00107530.1984.10745718
Wagemans, J. (2015). Historical and conceptual background: Gestalt theory. In Oxford Handbook of Perceptual Organization (p. 22). Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199686858.001.0001
Walker, M. (2018). Why we sleep: The new science of sleep and dreams. London: Penguin Books.
Yontef, G. M. (1993). Awareness dialogue & process: Essays on gestalt therapy. Santa Barbara, CA: Gestalt Journal Press.

How to Cite

Holzinger, B., Nierwetberg, F. ., Cosentino, L., & Mayer, L. (2021). <em>DreamSenseMemory</em> - a Gestalt-based dream-work approach embracing all our senses. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 24(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2021.529

Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.

List of Cited By :

Crossref logo