Gestalt dreamwork as a therapeutic tool: An exploratory study

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology

Subject Categories

Counseling | Therapeutics


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Counseling and Educational Psychology

Thesis Adviser

Imelda Villar

Defense Panel Chair

Naomi R.Ruiz

Defense Panel Member

Rose Marie Salazar-Clemeña
Irma Coronel
Gundelina Velazco
Salud P. Evangelista


This study explores the effects of Gestalt Dreamwork by looking into the process changes in the counselee during the dreamwork sessions.The idiographic design was replicated nine times. The subjects' ages ranged from 21 to 30 years. They took the pre/post-instrument interviews, the Personal Orientation Inventory (POI), and the Mental Health Analysis instrument. Their significant others took the similarly scheduled interviews about their behaviors.It was found out that the process changes in the counselee during the framework sessions included: (a) re-experiencing important life events and increased self-awareness (b) some physical manifestations and paralingual expressions (c) relating therapeutic stages (d) and staying in the feeling, exaggeration, simulated dialogues, and role-playing of the dream techniques.The outcomes of Gestalt dreamwork revealed no change in POI inner-directedness and time competence scores. The Gestalt dreamwork was satisfactory. For the counselors, it was indicative of self-support on self-response-ability in identification with one's experiences and dreams. For the significant others, related to expectations were: (1) for the personal changes (2) increase in the POI self-acceptance, self-actualizing value, synergy and acceptance of aggression scores and (3) affirmed adjustment changes in the MHA interpersonal skills and social participation.

The study concluded that Gestalt Dreamwork: (1) was effective for the 21-30 age group (2) could evoke process changes related to the four therapeutic stages (3) was effective in helping counselee re-own past experiences (4) had techniques, effective per se and as part of dreamwork (5) could lead to verifiable outcomes and (6) had a useful theoretical framework.It is recommended that counseling practice should (a) consider Gestalt Dreamwork for the 21-30-year olds, (b) adapt the four Gestalt therapeutic stages to assess the client progress, and (c) use the techniques of staying in the feeling, exaggeration, simulated dialogues, and role playing. Further research should be done to (a) find and formulate measures of self-response-ability, (b) study the concept of personal integration, (c) increase studies on dreams, and (d) replicate this study on the other age groups.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

453 leaves ; Computer print-out


Therapeutics; Gestalt therapy; Focused expressive psychotherapy; Dreams

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