Facilitating a Client Through the Action Stage

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 2
Words: 396
Reading time:
2 min

Initially, the client is asked what changes he or she would like to make in their dream. Since it is the client who created the dream, it would be possible for them to change it too. This is a creative way to get the client to start thinking about making changes and it can lead to specific things that need to be changed. Changing the dream by the client can facilitate a sense of empowerment for the client. This also gives the therapist a chance to asses readiness for change. If the client can change the dream, it means that they are more likely to make changes in their lives.

Conversely, not able to change their dream means that the client is less likely to make changes in their lives. In the next step, the client is helped to explore how changes in their dream parallels actual changes they want to make in their life. Behavioral techniques like behavioral reversal, feedback, reinforcement can be used to help the client learn how to behave differently.

In case the client is resistant to make changes in waking life, then the client can ask to ‘honor’ their dream in some way through a ritual. Clients who like to write can be asked to use the self-help manual in Hill. Sometimes, they can be asked to draw a picture of the dream or create a dance. After this, they can be asked to write down their reactions to the experience, so that it can be discussed in sessions. Since only a portion of the dream can be discussed in sessions, and since the clients have to be helped to learn techniques for working with dreams by themselves, homework assignments can be helpful.

Finally, the client can be asked to summarize what they learned from their dreams and based on this, what they would like to do differently in their lives. To facilitate this, the client can be asked to give a title to their dream, which helps them remember the significance of the dream. The important thing in action stage is that the client has to be helped to explore action rather than dictating action. The therapist has to be neutral about whether the client makes plans to change or do anything different in their lives.