Waking Dreams - CPD Weekend Workshop with Allan Frater

The Psychosynthesis Trust
92-94 Tooley Street
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Waking Dreams : Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life Workshop with Allan Frater

On 14th and 15th March 2020 10am - 5pm at the Psychosynthesis Trust, London Bridge

Are you a therapist who would you like to offer a new element to client sessions? 

Join this new CPD course to enhance your repertoire of therapeutic approaches. Learn how to help your clients to unlock their creativity and imagination. 

Or are you in a creative profession and you want to lead a more imaginative personal & professional life? 

Remember how as a child, you could immerse yourself in a different world entirely? When did we stop imagining? How is today’s society limiting us and preventing us from unlocking that potential? How can you access your inner sense of creativity?

Imagination is not just hidden inside. Invite imagination back into your or your clients' life and discover how the psychosynthesis model can help. This workshop explores what it means to be imaginative, in your professional and/or personal life.

The activity of images is alive in all our actions, relationships and sense of belonging.  The practice of 'waking dreams', also known as 'guided imagery' and 'active imagination', will be used to explore a non-interpretative approach that emphasises the process of how we imagine in-the-moment rather than an analysis of content in retrospect. The skills and aptitudes developed will then be related to the activity of images in generic psychotherapy sessions and everyday life as an ongoing ‘eyes-wide-open’ waking dream.

Who is this for?

It will be of interest to anyone who want to learn more about imagination. In particular:

- Artistic creators (writers, painters, directors etc.)

- Therapists, counsellors and coaches (especially those from the art therapies such as psychosynthesis, gestalt, psychodrama, art therapy, play therapy as well as ecopsychology).

Workshop content:

Allan Frater, the trainer, will share the theories and techniques from his forthcoming book 'Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life’:

The practice of waking dreams, also known as ‘active imagination’ and ‘guided imagery’, is often presented as no different to a sleeping dream - as a means to generate image content which is then studied afterwards for insights into our psychological lives. Unfortunately, interpretation alone rarely leads to deep and lasting change. If our aim is to inhabit a more imaginative life, as it is on this workshop, then caution needs to be taken.

A safer route towards imagining is to simply spend time with images. To this end, the workshop has an experiential emphasis that presents hitherto under-explored opportunities within waking dream practice. In particular, the obvious advantage of a waking dream over a sleeping dream, which is to inhabit the dreamworld with an awareness of doing so, as sometimes happens spontaneously on either waking-up or falling asleep. The in-between waking /dreaming state makes possible an exploration of the process of imagining not in retrospect but as it is happening in real-time. A process orientation that allows for a slowed-down familiarisation with the complexity of how we imagine that can be carried over beyond set-piece ‘eyes-closed’ exercises.

As we will see, the principles discovered in waking dreams provide a basis for a wider image-centric approach to psychotherapy and everyday life as an on-going ‘eyes-wide-open’ waking dream.

The workshop draws upon and develops ideas from many sources:

- The genesis is a critical development of the hidden potential in the transpersonal ‘techniques’ of Roberto Assagioli's psychosynthesis model

- The respectful language towards imagining on the fringes of Jungian psychotherapy has been an important influence: James Hillman, Mary Watkins, Robert Bosnak and Russell Lockhart

- Ecopsychology to articulate and re-connect psychology to the land (Theodor Roszak, Jerome Bernstein, Nick Totton) and the work of cultural ecologist David Abram to bring all these influences together into an ecology of the imagination

Participants will leave with an understanding of:

 - The skills and theory of waking dream practice.

 - How to work with the process of imagining in-the-moment rather than analyse it in retrospect.

 - How to apply fractal geometry to notice and work with the repetition of image patterns across multiple scales – in waking dreams, in therapy, in everyday life, past and future. 

 - An image-centric approach to psychotherapy and everyday life as an ‘eyes-wide-open’ waking dream.

 - The embodied, non-dual and animistic aspects of imagining.

 - How contact with images is healing and transformative in itself with no need for interpretation.

 - The relevance of waking dreams to other methods such as drawings, empty-chair dialogue, creative journaling, memory work, transference/countertransference dynamics,etc.

CPD Credits: 12 hours


Allan Frater has been a core trainer at the Psychosynthesis Trust in London since 2011 and teaches on the Essentials, Foundation and Counselling Diploma programmes.

He is currently writing a book for Transpersonal Press, provisionally titled: ‘Waking Dreams: Imagination in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life’. In his teaching and psychotherapy practice he is interested in the meeting place between imagination, ecology and culture. His MA dissertation ‘The Imagination Imagined’, explored the assumptions towards imagination in therapeutic theory and how different conceptions qualitatively shape imaginative experience.

Find out more: wildimagination.uk

YouTube: wildimagination


  • MA Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy (2011)

  • PGDip Psychosynthesis Counselling (2007)

  • MBACP (Accred)

  • UKCP (reg)

On Dec 6th, Allan is also presenting a related talk, 'A Trans-Imagination: Images in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life'. Click here for more information.


CPD Embedding Professional Practice at the Psychosynthesis Trust

The Psychosynthesis Trust is a leading training organisation in psychosynthesis, offering transformative learning experiences (personal development courses and professional training) and counselling to those who wish to learn more about themselves personally and/or explore their options professionally.   

Our CPD training is an opportunity to deepen your knowledge, therapy practice and your connection with others in the field.  All events will provide CPD hours to support professional learning. 

We deeply value the importance of mindful boundaries between practitioners and clients in this sector. To ensure those boundaries are held as you see fit, where appropriate, please check with your colleagues and or clients who may also consider attending this event.