IASD Members - this page was last updated on Fri, 02 Sep 2011

Barbara Bishop, PhD

5306 Bayridge Road
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

United States

Internet Presence

About Barbara Bishop, PhD

I grew up loving literature, but having nightmares. I majored in English, and later received my PhD from UCLA. I taught there for a time, before becoming VERY interested in dreams as a subject to study, specifically dreams about drug and alcohol use, which I had for many years. I returned to school, this time at Pacifica Graduate Institute, to study counseling psychology, and try to figure out what my own "using dreams," (dreams with drug use images in them) meant.

My mom was a dreamer. She shared dreams that changed her life. She was certain they came from a divine source. As a teenager I rolled my eyes and didn't pay much attention. As an undergraduate, I kept a journal, but not a dream journal. I recorded one dream in four years. The circumstances are as follows: I had a boyfriend who was bad news, and I knew he was, but I couldn't stop obsessing about him, and finding excuses to be with him, even though I knew I needed to get away from him. I tried "reasoning" with myself to stay away, to no avail. One night I dreamed he was dead, and his dead body was full of maggots. In the dream I could see his decaying body, with worms crawling around him. I could even smell his decaying body. He was disgusting, not handsome and charming. I awoke, and I could see that the relationship was dead. The obsession disappeared, almost without my volition. I changed jobs so that I would no longer run into him, and later went to Europe. What was striking to me was that the dream itself seemed to have an energy that led to the change I had wanted, but been unable to make happen on my own. That interested me. What else could my dreams do for me? I began recording my dreams, eventually recognizing patterns, precognitive warnings and helpful (if surprising) images. I read Ann Farraday and Patricia Garfield around this time, and later discovered Marion Woodman, who provided helpful information on addiction. I have turned to dreams for help in writing (and editing) papers, for diagnosing clients, for writing travel grant proposals, for correcting problems in a dream group and for understanding and writing about addiction. I see dreams as "texts," bearing some similarities and connections to literary texts. Dreams as "texts" can be interpreted, relished, "befriended," to borrow James Hillman's term, and used to guide and heal us. Often I have to wait for a time, to see what energy the dream is bringing.

Favorite dream book? it would be hard to limit myself to only one. Favorites include Jung ("Memories, Dreams, Reflections," Anthony Shafton's "Dream Reader," Marion Woodman's and Kelly Bulkeley's numerous books on dreams.

My notes on the IASD

I discovered IASD from a book I picked up at the Pacifica Graduate Institute bookstore, called "Among All These Dreamers," edited by Kelly Bulkeley, still one of my favorites. I liked the focus on integrating dreams into society--in politics, in the classroom, in church. I attended my first dream conference in 2002, held in Boston, and have since then made many friends and professional contacts through IASD. It was wonderful to discover so many other people who are interested in dreams. I have taught dreams in writing classes at Marymount College, and hosted a conference there (with the help of some other IASD members). I appreciate the support I get for my projects from other IASD members.

 List of dream-related publications and/or web sites where my work is featured.

in "Dream Time," see "Making Use of 'Using Dreams' in Recovery and Therapy." I'm currently writing a book on dreams about drug addiction.

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